Beyond supporting or condemning the act of masturbation, in this article we want to study the harmful effects this behavior can bring to our lives. About this issue, we should not draw a widespread and arbitrary conclusion, because each case is different, and the effects vary depending on the factors surrounding each person: the age, the intensity and frequency, wether or not accompanied by pornography, etc.
What we propose to do is to analyze the most common consequences and why the wide majority of people, especially men, actually masturbate. This way, one can draw their own conclusions according to their condition. Though masturbation is practiced by both men and women, this article is merely focused on men. However, the same conclusions apply in the case of women.
Studies of modern science have shown that many of the effects that in antiquity were attributed to masturbation are simply untrue. It is false that masturbation causes blindness or grows hands. However, it has been demonstrated that the habit can bring other more serious side effects such as inoculating to people a slavish and compulsive behavior.
Masturbation and pornography
Masturbation is not only an act of physical stimulation but also depends on the psychological stimulation. The sexual response does not occur without setting a specific mental belief about an idea. This interrelationship between excitation and suggestive elements (such as images or videos) is leading people to become active consumers of pornography. The act of masturbation wouldn’t have been considered that nocive hadn’t it been associated with pornography. The most remarkable and profound effects are not due to the physical act of masturbation but to the impact and footprint conditioned by the existence of pornographic materials necessary to produce physical arousal.
Masturbation and overperceptions
Overperception is the tendency to recreate sexual fantasies misinterpreting the image of the people one has visual contact with. The habit of masturbation and pornography consumption may lead to overperception. In an unconscious manner, the mind can maliciously interpret all the visual information received from the outside world.
Odds are the individual’s psychology to become a large library of concepts wrongly associated with the impressions collected from the real world.
It is common for people who masturbate to have a mentality full of pornographic information and to make confusions between feelings such as sympathy, kindness, tenderness, appearance, etc. interpreting them as indecent proposals or sexual innuendos.
Interestingly, those people that use to masturbate usually face difficulties when they go for a real sexual intercourse.
Masturbation, a waste of biological potential
The substances that our body produces contain a high biological potential. To make a liquid such as sperm, the body uses the best elements available. Sperm contains hormones and lots of nutrients that play crucial roles in the body. The reproductive material handles the biological development. Genetically, this material is what turns the embryo into a girl or a boy.
Athletes know the value of the hormones and abstain from sex or masturbation for a while before competing to perform to the best of their potential.
In the veterinary field, it is also known the immense potential of the reproductive material, and therefore castrations are used to make animals obedient and docile.
The frequency of masturbation is a patchy loss of these substances, and, although the body can recover, it has to extract the best nutrients again and makes great efforts.
The act of masturbation always leaves a state of exhaustion as do the other activities in life. Instead of wasting this biological potential, it can be channeled to productive activities, so the body is prepared for further challenges.
Nonetheless, despite other activities in life, masturbation and ejaculation lead to pleasure due to the release of a cocktail of hormones in the body, worth mentioning dopamine and oxytocin. But, on the other side of the spectrum, individuals must be aware they are wasting their biological potential while developing the vicious habit of unloading the biological reserves whenever they feel pleasure. In some, this can also lead to compulsive masturbation behavior and body’s capacities to manufacture the biological material are by far overfulfilled. This is a very dangerous situation.
Masturbation as a way to compensate traumas and emptiness
Many people who have had traumatic experiences in their lives resort to masturbation to compensate the psychological gaps or to escape a reality that they do not feel consistent. There are many cases of individuals who, for various physical or psychological reasons, can not relate or have had amorous frustrations in life and choose to masturbate to reach the experiences that they would have enjoyed for real. Many people come to masturbation and pornography with the intent to access and participate in imaginary sexual scenarios without running the risk of failure, rejection, or frustration.
In these cases, masturbation, along with pornography, can cause a partial sense of wellbeing and, in the end, all they do is attenuate the low self-esteem.
With fantasy and masturbation, the individual may face a decrease in complexes emerged as a result of experience. Fantasy can serve the individual to evade the difficult conditions of life, but never will it help to surpass.
Masturbation as a selfish trend
The act of masturbation has no other purpose than self-satisfying the individual. From this perspective, masturbation can lead to a selfish behavior to the detriment of a relationship. The person cultivates and develops a selfish vision, preferring masturbation instead of a real relationship, because the latter requires a series of commitments and values such as loyalty, understanding, responsibility, accountability, tolerance, etc. The individual can self-satisfy with pornographic materials that do not require any of the aforementioned values. When a person acknowledges the idea of sex without any responsibilities, away from loving and being loved, their intentions solely rely on the fleeting pleasure.
Addiction to masturbation
All pleasure stimulants cause addiction in humans and tend to generate a level of human decay; masturbation makes no exception. Compulsive masturbation can be compared with any addiction, such as alcohol, drugs, smoking, gambling, etc. It produces the same psychological and behavioral phenomena, as well as similar devastating effects.
Many people take masturbation as a quick way to please themselves when they can not get satisfaction from other activities or in other areas of life.
Remember that masturbation, like other stimulants, produce imbalances in the production of biochemicals in the brain. The body develops a biological dependent release of these substances, resulting in a compulsive and uncontrollable need to repeat the activity. In this case, masturbation.
There are many instances of young people who find the orgasm through masturbation and then begin to obsessively practice it to experience the same pleasure again and again. This behavior is the beginning of a very strong dependence that brings long-term implications and conflicts in all areas of life.
There are many symptoms that can indicate the presence of addiction to masturbation. Many people need to masturbate daily. In some cases several times a day. When the individual feels they can not leave the habit, and it has become an indispensable activity for their physical and emotional wellbeing, it is a sign that they are addicted.
A frequent phenomenon in individuals addicted to masturbation is that they tend to have two separate lives because in reality, in the public life they are acting very differently as compared to the intimate sexual life dominated by their hidden addiction. The act of masturbation is usually a very secret facet of the individual, as well as the materials consumed and used for self-stimulation. The psychology of the individual is gradually becoming denser and more bizarre, without this being perceptible in the public life. Nonetheless, when the individual’s secret identity becomes strong enough, they begin to externalize and manifest publicly. When the compulsive masturbation behavior is no longer satisfied with the consumption of pornography, people tend to become sex offenders, stalkers, rapists, pedophiles, murderers, etc.
Many theories and opinions from medical authorities, scientists, and sexologists who qualify masturbation as beneficial and recommended are currently delivered. However, it is clear that the studies that support these statements only include the effects related to the health of the body, not the mind.
Masturbation can not be studied in isolation. Dissociate masturbation from pornography and therefore from the profound consequences that this generates in human psychology. The addiction to pornography opens doors to more complex sexual tendencies. We could consider porn as the “marijuana drug”.
Many consider masturbation as a prolonged puberty. However, when masturbation and pornography are going hand-in-hand, mind and sex are affected so they will never be the same again.
Science and medicine may have come a long way, but in the field of human behavior and psychological health, they are still far from providing concludent answers. Modern medicine does not have appropriate tools to measure the impact of these trends in psychology to measure the short, medium or long-term side effects.