Search Results: Porn Addiction

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Who’s up next?

Name: Sofia
Gender:
Age: 54
Location: Arizona
You are sick Dr DICK! I believe that porn is a sign of weakness in men and women. They cannot control their need and put their personal relationship in harm. Its degrading towards women and it gives off the wrong message to men about women. Porn is very harmful in peoples daily lives. Relationships come to an end because of men’s porn addiction. Men have lost families, wives, girlfriends etc. because of porn. Men find themselves defending it so much that they end up losing the people in their lives who do not agree with it (wives, GF, BF, etc.) What does porn leave them? Nothing! Lonely nights with no one by their side and a PC full of nasty images. Porn leaves men lonely and pathetic. Men are destroying their lives to make a porn filmmaker more wealthy. What a great exchange.

So nice of you to drop by, Sofia, and thank you for being so solicitous about my health. Yes, I was sick, I had a little cold there for a couple of days, but I’m much better now.

Oh wait, you’re saying I’m sick because I don’t share your repressive opinion about pornography. I get it; you’re another moral crusader who needs to denigrate those who don’t share your beliefs. What is up with that?

Ya know the thing is, darlin’, I actually share many of your concerns — a lot of porn is harmful and exploitative. It also can be very disruptive to people’s lives and can cause serious damage to otherwise healthy relationships. I mean how difficult was it for you to come up with that critique? Taking pot shots at porn in this sex-negative culture is like shooting fish in a barrel. Get over yourself, girlfriend.

And ya know what else, ma’am, all the things you accuse porn of — being harmful and exploitative, disruptive, damaging to otherwise healthy relationships — you could say about the worst aspects of organized religion, the fast food industry, our government, the credit card industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the medical industry, the war machine and it’s horrific profiteers, like Halliburton. And what about BP and the damage it is wreaking families, an entire way of life and on a whole ecosystem in the Golf of Mexico? The list goes on and on.

Hell, everything humans touch has the potential for becoming harmful and exploitative; it’s the nature of the beast. Even your own tirade is harmful to and disruptive to those of us who are trying to make a difference in the adult entertainment industry. Trust me, you would have made a better case if you said you wanted to help change the status quo in porn, not just point out its inherent flaws.

And what’s all this; “Porn leaves men lonely and pathetic”? Are you suggesting that you are the alternative? Perhaps, if you weren’t so bitchy and condescending your men wouldn’t turn to porn. Your abrasive personality and moral rectitude would drive the pope to porn.

Oh, and have a nice day! NEXT!

Name: Suzanne
Gender:
Age: 25
Location: Auckland
Should a woman fake an orgasm to keep her partner happy?

Brilliant idea, Susanne! Rather than help your ineffectual lover overcome his inadequacy with the truth and a little tutorial on how to make you cum — lie to monkey about his sexual prowess.

I see nothing wrong with that! Other than when you’re done fuckin’ him, or he’s done fuckin’ you, the next unlucky woman he happens upon will have twice the work. She’ll not only have to tell him the truth — that he sucks as a lover — but she’ll also have to contend with his inflated ego. Thanks to you and the deception you practice, he’ll be convinced that he’s a fabulous lover when, of course, he’s a Neanderthal.

What could be wrong with that, Susanne? D’oh!

Name: Emily
Gender:
Age: 28
Location: Texas
How much should I tell my new partner about my sex life with my exes?

How about just enough to get his dick hard?

Hell, I don’t know! Some guys get off on hearing all the gory details of the sexual exploits of their partners, albeit, it’s a relatively small number of guys. Just keep in mind that most men prefer the bliss that is ignorance.

If you’ve been around the block a time…or six, maybe you best keep that to yourself till you find out how much the new guy can stomach.

Good Luck

Name: Phillip
Gender:
Age: 31
Location: Austin, Texas
Dr. D, I’ve never had a problem with my sex life up until now. My wife and I have been very happy with our physical relationship. But, about 8 months ago, in a very vivid nightmare, I dreamed we were making love and when I came, the ejaculate was blood. I came blood. Everything in the dream stood still as I watched, almost like a third person, as my life flowed out of me. I woke in a sweat, and we’ve not made love since. We’ve talked about the dream, tried to be intimate, but I’m simply not able to enjoy the contact anymore. This is someone about whom I care deeply and with whom I am deeply in love. Considering professional help but would like your take.

Interesting! Yet another case of how one’s psyche can override one’s eroticism.

This is nothing to be toyed with, Phillip. Like an earthquake, this vivid dream has jarred you out of your happy, healthy sex life with your wife. And like anyone who has survived an earthquake, or a similar natural disaster, you need to put your life back together again as quickly as possible. I encourage you to seek a sex-positive therapist to help you break the spell of this nightmare.

The longer you let this thing hang out there the more perverse it will become.

Good Luck

Name: Lorenzo
Gender:
Age: 33
Location: Italy
I can only get off by squeezing my cock with my thighs. I have done this for as long as I’ve masturbated. I only found out years later that you should use your hand. But this does not work for me. Is this normal or common?

Lorenzo, what you report is neither normal nor common. But do you really care about “normal” and “common” if this technique works for you? And what the fuck is normal anyhow — statistical normalcy? I think we can forget that being the arbiter of things sexual.

Apparently your masturbation technique isn’t any less effective than those who employ a more “common” practice — like using one’s hand.

Basically, there aren’t a whole lot of “shoulds” when it comes to the style one employs to squeeze one off — and in your case, I mean that literally. If squeezing your cock with your thighs works for you — SWELL, knock yourself out!

Since you don’t report that this method of getting off is getting in the way of your partnered sex, I think you should leave well enough alone and enjoy your uniqueness.

Good Luck

Name: Sam
Gender:
Age: 22
Location: London, UK
Dear Dr. Dick, I am a young gay guy, and when I masturbate I am able to achieve orgasm and ejaculate; but when I am with another guy I do not cum. Don’t get me wrong, I have a great time during sex, but my partner doesn’t get me off. This is not a person-specific thing — this has been happening to me since I was 16.
Call it “delayed ejaculation”, if you will; but it’s more like “non-existent ejaculation”! The weird thing is, I don’t mind myself; the foreplay and sex is totally hot and I’m as happy as a clam with that as it is. But my partners have always been frustrated and disappointed, as if ejaculation is the official mark of success to show the culmination of a great fuck. So they keep trying until they get tired, which I guess is inevitable.
Is this something I should be worried about if I’m otherwise okay with sex? Or should my partner be less concerned about the orgasm and just realize that it doesn’t bother me. Many thanks and kudos for such an informative site.

Hey Sam, thanks for your kind words about the site, they’re much appreciated.

As to the issue you present, it’s not particularly uncommon. Many people are unable to, or choose not to, get off in partnered sex. And there are several very common reasons why. Without going into detail about that, let me just ask one thing. Are you able to masturbate yourself to orgasm when you are with a partner, like you can do when you are alone? If so, maybe you could incorporate that into your sex play your partner.

It’s true what you say about some people thinking a sexual encounter is only “successful” if both partners shoot. That’s nonsense, as both you and I well know. There’s no necessary connection between an ejaculation and sexual satisfaction, just like there’s no necessary connection between an ejaculation and an orgasm. If you cave to that way of thinking you won’t help your misguided partners and you will be adding a good deal of performance anxiety to your sex encounters. And nobody wants that! Stick to your guns, Sam!

Good Luck

Clearing The Deck

Time to clean out the dr dick sex advice anonymous submission in-box. I wish I could have used some of these questions in my podcast. But I can only do that if you use the toll-free voicemail phone number to call in your submissions, people!

If you want to be in one of my podcasts, use the Lick-A-Dee-Split Connection!

Name: Sofia
Gender:
Age: 54
Location: Arizona
You are sick Dr DICK! I believe that porn is a sign of weakness in men and women. They cannot control their need and put their personal relationship in harm. Its degrading towards women and it gives off the wrong message to men about women. Porn is very harmfull in peoples daily lives.Relationships come to an end because of mens porn addiction. Men have lost families, wives, girlfriends etc. because of porn. Men find themselves defending it so much that they end up losing the people in their lives who do not agree with it (wives, GF, BF, ect.) What does porn leave them? Nothing! Lonely nights with no one by their side and a PC full of nasty images. Porn leaves men lonely and pathetic. Men are destroying their lives to make a porn film maker more wealthy. What a great exchange.

love-dr.jpg

So nice of you to drop by, Sofia, and thank you for being so solicitous about my health. Yes, I was sick, I had a little cold there for a couple of days, but now I’m better.

Oh wait, you’re saying I’m sick because I don’t share your repressive opinion about porn. I get it; you’re another moral crusader who needs to denigrate those who don’t share your beliefs. What’s up with that?

Ya know the thing is, darling, I actually believe, as you do — that a lot of porn is harmful and exploitative. It also can be very disruptive to people’s lives and can cause serious damage to otherwise healthy relationships. I mean how difficult was it for you to come up with that critique? Taking pot shots at porn in this sex-negative culture is like shooting fish in a barrel. Get over yourself, girlfriend.

And ya know what else, ma’am, all the things you accuse porn of — being harmful and exploitative, disruptive, damaging to relationships — you could say about organized religion, the fast food industry, our government, the credit card industry, the big oil companies, the pharmaceutical industry, the medical industry, the war machine and it’s horrific profiteers, like Halaburton. And the list goes on and on. Hell, everything humans touch has the potential for becoming harmful and exploitative; it’s human nature. Even your own tirade is harmful to and disruptive to those of us who are trying to make a difference in the adult entertainment industry. Trust me, you would have made a better case if you said you wanted to help change the status quo in porn, not just point out its inherent flaws.

And what’s all this; “Porn leaves men lonely and pathetic”? What, are you saying you’re the alternative? Perhaps, if you weren’t so bitchy and condescending your men wouldn’t need to turn to porn. Your abrasive personality and moral rectitude would even drive the pope to porn.

Oh, and have a nice day!

Name: suzanne
Gender:
Age: 25
Location: Auckland
Should a woman fake an orgasm to keep her partner happy?

Brilliant idea, Susanne! Rather than help your ineffectual lover overcome his female_ontop.jpginadequacy with the truth and a little tutorial on how to make you cum — lie to the monkey about his sexual prowess.

I see nothing wrong with that! Other than when you’re done fuckin’ him, or he’s done fuckin’ you, the next unlucky woman he happens upon will have twice the work. She’ll not only have to tell him the truth — that he sucks as a lover — but she’ll also have to contend with his ego. Thanks to you and your deception, he’ll be convinced that he’s a fabulous lover when, of course, he’s not.

What could be wrong with that, Susanne? D’oh!

Name: emily
Gender:
Age: 28
Location: Texas
How much should I tell my new partner about my sex life with my exes?

How about just enough to get his dick hard?

Hell, I don’t know! Some guys get off on hearing the gory details of the sexual exploits of their partners, albeit it’s a relatively small number of guys. Just keep in mind that most men would prefer the bliss that is ignorance.

If you’ve been around the block a time or six, maybe you best keep that to yourself till you find out how much the new guy can stomach.

Good Luck

Name: Phillip
Gender:
Age: 31
Location: Austin, Texas
Dr. D, I’ve never had a problem with my sex life up until now. My wife and I have been very happy with our physical relationship. But, about 8 months ago, in a very vivid nightmare, I dreamed we were making love and when I came, the ejaculate was blood. I came blood. Everything in the dream stood still as I watched, almost third person, as my life flowed out of me. I woke in a sweat, and we’ve not made love since. We’ve talked about the dream, tried to be intimate, but I’m simply not able to enjoy the contact anymore. This is someone about whom I care deeply and with whom I am deeply in love. Considering professional help but would like your take. Thanks, Phillip in Austin

Interesting! Yet another case of how one’s psyche can override one’s eroticism.

This is nothing to be toyed with, Phillip. Like an earthquake, this vivid dream has jolted you out of your happy, healthy sex life with your wife. And like anyone who has survived an earthquake, or a similar natural disaster, you need to put your life together again as quickly as possible. I encourage you to seek a sex-positive therapist to help you break the spell of this nightmare.

The longer you let this thing hang out there the more perverse it will become.

Good Luck

Name: Mike
Gender:
Age: 33
Location:
I can only get off by squeezing my cock with my thighs. I have done this for as long as I’ve masturbated. I only found out years later that you should use your hand. But this does not work for me. Is this normal or common?

Mike, what you report is neither normal nor common. But do you really care about “normal” and “common” if it works for you? Apparently your masturbation technique isn’t any less effective than those who employ a more common practice — like using one’s hand.

Basically, there aren’t a whole lot of “shoulds” when it comes to style of masturbation. If squeezing your cock with your thighs works for you — SWELL, pup, knock yourself out!

Since you don’t report that this method of getting off is getting in the way of your partnered sex, I think you should leave well enough alone and enjoy your uniqueness.

Good Luck

Name: Sam
Gender:
Age: 22
Location: London, UK
Dear Dr. Dick, I am a young gay guy, and when I masturbate I am able to achieve orgasm and ejaculate; but when I am with another guy I do not cum. Don’t get me wrong, I have a great time during sex, but my partner doesn’t get me off. This is not a person-specific thing — this has been happening to me since I was 16.
Call it “delayed ejaculation”, if you will; but it’s more like “non-existent ejaculation”! The weird thing is, I don’t mind myself; the foreplay and sex is totally hot and I’m as happy as a clam with that as it is. But my partners have always been frustrated and disappointed, as if ejaculation is the official mark of success to show the culmination of a great fuck. So they keep trying until they get tired, which I guess is inevitable.
Is this something I should be worried about if I’m otherwise okay with sex. Or should my partner be less concerned about the orgasm and just realize that it doesn’t bother me. Many thanks, and kudos for such an informative site.

Hey Sam,

Thanks for your kind words about the site, they’re much appreciated.male_fuck19.jpg

As to the issue you present, it’s not particularly uncommon. Many people aren’t able to, or choose not to get off in partnered sex. And there are several common reasons why. Without going into detail about that, let me just ask one thing. Are you able to masturbate yourself to orgasm when you are with a partner, like you can do when you are alone? If so, maybe you could incorporate that into your sex play with a partner.

It’s true what you say about some people thinking a sexual encounter is only “successful” if both partners cum. That’s nonsense, as you well know. There’s no necessary connection between an ejaculation and sexual satisfaction. If you cave into that way of thinking you won’t help your misguided partners and you will certainly add a good deal of performance anxiety to your sex encounters. And nobody wants that! Stick to your guns, Sam!

Good Luck

The Thrills of Left-Handed Wanking

By Tom Usher

left hand

I’ve always been confused about my strongest hand. When I was knee-high to a grasshopper, I used to switch hands when writing or coloring in, when one or the other hand got tired. As a grew older I realized I was left-handed when I was writing but had an ambidextrous hangover because my stronger side was always my right.

But, I hear you ask, what does this mean for your preferred wanking hand of choice? Yes, a pertinent question. A little personal, as I barely know you, but it means in reality that I’ve always used both hands, and never really thought too much about it either way, you weirdo. After doing a bit of research I found that left-handed wanking, or “non-dominant hand masturbation,” is a thing.

“I wank with my left hand so I can browse porn using my mouse easier with the right,” is one excuse trotted out a lot by wankers. Others say the “orgasm is more intense and lasts longer when I wank with the left hand.” Finally, a lot of wankers seem to say that “wanking with the opposite hand makes it feel like someone else is doing it.” All good and valid reasons from people of an ‘ambisextrous’ nature (ZING). But to find out the real reasons why we may choose to bash off with our non-dominant hands I spoke to counselor, psychosexual, and sex addiction therapist Michael Stock, a member of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity (ATSAC).

VICE: Why might you think guys might want to masturbate in different ways? What reasons have you heard so far?
Michael Stock: The key thing with internet porn is that the person, or teenager, watching it and masturbating separates sex from emotion. They’re short-circuiting—going straight to strong sexual arousal using porn, rather than putting in the effort from being with a man or woman. When they switch on their computer, they have more porn than they can shake a stick at their command—with anonymity and accessibility.

So you think people end up wanking in different ways because it’s become so easy to be aroused?
Yes. A typical guy will orgasm within about two minutes of starting to masturbate. Some people will say, ‘no that’s not me’ but most men masturbate roughly to porn, completely focused on the idea that they have to get to the orgasm—nothing pleasurable about it. Some of my clients play around for several hours and might sit there watching porn, stimulating but not allowing themselves to come, but most come quite quickly.

What mental or physical difference can non-dominant masturbation make, then?
I imagine it’s about variety, because the human brain craves excitement. If I were looking at porn, I’d start on the reasonably soft stuff and then I’d want more and more, which all has to do with dopamine. That’s when people get addicted. I’ve worked with clients who the only way they could come is masturbation—they couldn’t even do couple sex anymore. So I can imagine that non-dominant hand masturbation is another way to get some excitement and make wanking feel different.

I see a lot of stuff on the internet about the shape of people’s penises and how it affects things differently when masturbating. Have you come across anything like that?
I would say that’s unlikely to be true. I think there are a lot of rumours but, first of all, most of us are boringly normal, and secondly the size and shape shouldn’t matter. The only issue is if a man has been circumcised or not: circumcised men may find the head of the penis, filled with nerves, feels very sensitive. Unless the shape of the penis was absolutely extreme, it’s not relevant.

Have you seen any experiments or research done on the right and left hemispheres of the brain and how that impacts on masturbation?
I think that’s a red herring. Neuroscience says the right and left hemispheres talk to each other all the time—this idea is very overdone. You’re right in the sense that as someone right-handed, the left hemisphere of my cerebral cortex controls my right hand and the right side of my brain controls my left hand. But I wouldn’t think using one side of the brain or the other would be particularly important in masturbation. It would be different probably more realistically, if you think about it—and I’m going to assume you masturbate…

Assume away.
… If you were masturbating with one hand, your thumb and finger would be in a particular position, rubbing up and down the shaft of the penis. If you used your other hand, you’d stimulate other areas of the penis.

001

I’m ambidextrous, so this idea of right-handed people masturbating left-handed is a new thing for me.
You’ve made the case for me! You can be ambidextrous, able to do it either way around, and we can certainly learn to change. I’m strongly right-handed. I can write with my left but it’s extremely difficult; it feels like I’d get brain-ache after a while. I would say that for someone imasturbating with their non-dominant hand, the main effect would a different, and somehow novel physical stimulation of the penis.

Earlier you mentioned how porn may be desensitising us when it comes to our pleasure from masturbation.
I’ve had young men as clients, 18-year-olds, so hooked on porn that they’ve become uninterested in couple sex. We train our brain all the time, and I believe most of our behavior is learned. Young guys in particular—say 16-year-olds—who masturbate a lot are in the middle of a crucial time when their brains are growing in complexity, in neuropathological ways.

At 16, your brain did something called ‘pruning.’ It went in and got rid of lots of neural pathways it didn’t need, like a railway network over the UK that’s gone mad laying tracks everywhere until you say, ‘This is crazy I don’t need this track.’ And your brain rips up a track. Your brain goes from an overgrown weed at 16 to a nice tree structure two years later—you’ve pruned your brain. Today’s youngster are being exposed to more extreme porn when they’re young, in this pruning stage, and that’s where things have grown really interesting for someone in my line of work.

Complete Article HERE!

A handy history

Condemned, celebrated, shunned: masturbation has long been an uncomfortable fact of life. Why?

by Barry Reay

A handy history

The anonymous author of the pamphlet Onania (1716) was very worried about masturbation. The ‘shameful vice’, the ‘solitary act of pleasure’, was something too terrible to even be described. The writer agreed with those ‘who are of the opinion, that… it never ought to be spoken of, or hinted at, because the bare mentioning of it may be dangerous to some’. There was, however, little reticence in cataloguing ‘the frightful consequences of self-pollution’. Gonorrhoea, fits, epilepsy, consumption, impotence, headaches, weakness of intellect, backache, pimples, blisters, glandular swelling, trembling, dizziness, heart palpitations, urinary discharge, ‘wandering pains’, and incontinence – were all attributed to the scourge of onanism.

The fear was not confined to men. The full title of the pamphlet was Onania: Or the Heinous Sin of Self-Pollution, and all its Frightful Consequences (in Both Sexes). Its author was aware that the sin of Onan referred to the spilling of male seed (and divine retribution for the act) but reiterated that he treated ‘of this crime in relation to women as well as men’. ‘Whilst the offence is Self-Pollution in both, I could not think of any other word which would so well put the reader in mind both of the sin and its punishment’. Women who indulged could expect disease of the womb, hysteria, infertility and deflowering (the loss of ‘that valuable badge of their chastity and innocence’).

Another bestselling pamphlet was published later in the century: L’onanisme (1760) by Samuel Auguste Tissot. He was critical of Onania, ‘a real chaos … all the author’s reflections are nothing but theological and moral puerilities’, but nevertheless listed ‘the ills of which the English patients complain’. Tissot was likewise fixated on ‘the physical disorders produced by masturbation’, and provided his own case study, a watchmaker who had self-pleasured himself into ‘insensibility’ on a daily basis, sometimes three times a day; ‘I found a being that less resembled a living creature than a corpse, lying upon straw, meagre, pale, and filthy, casting forth an infectious stench; almost incapable of motion.’ The fear these pamphlets promoted soon spread.

The strange thing is that masturbation was never before the object of such horror. In ancient times, masturbation was either not much mentioned or treated as something a little vulgar, not in good taste, a bad joke. In the Middle Ages and for much of the early modern period too, masturbation, while sinful and unnatural, was not invested with such significance. What changed?

Religion and medicine combined powerfully to create a new and hostile discourse. The idea that the soul was present in semen led to thinking that it was very important to retain the vital fluid. Its spilling became, then, both immoral and dangerous (medicine believed in female semen at the time). ‘Sin, vice, and self-destruction’ were the ‘trinity of ideas’ that would dominate from the 18th into the 19th century, as the historians Jean Stengers and Anne Van Neck put it in Masturbation: The Great Terror (2001).

There were exceptions. Sometimes masturbation was opposed for more ‘enlightened’ reasons. In the 1830s and 1840s, for instance, female moral campaign societies in the United States condemned masturbation, not out of hostility to sex, but as a means to self-control. What would now be termed ‘greater sexual agency’ – the historian April Haynes refers to ‘sexual virtue’ and ‘virtuous restraint’ – was central to their message.

Yet it is difficult to escape the intensity of the fear. J H Kellogg’s Plain Facts for Old and Young (1877) contained both exaggerated horror stories and grand claims: ‘neither the plague, nor war, nor smallpox, nor similar diseases, have produced results so disastrous to humanity as the pernicious habit of Onanism; it is the destroying element of civilised societies’. Kellogg suggested remedies for the scourge, such as exercise, strict bathing and sleeping regimes, compresses, douching, enemas and electrical treatment. Diet was vital: this rabid anti-masturbator was co-inventor of the breakfast cereal that still bears his name. ‘Few of today’s eaters of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes know that he invented them, almost literally, as anti-masturbation food,’ as the psychologist John Money once pointed out.

The traces are still with us in other ways. Male circumcision, for instance, originated in part with the 19th-century obsession with the role of the foreskin in encouraging masturbatory practices. Consciously or not, many US males are faced with this bodily reminder every time they masturbate. And the general disquiet unleashed in the 18th century similarly lingers on today. We seem to have a confusing and conflicting relationship with masturbation. On one hand it is accepted, even celebrated – on the other, there remains an unmistakable element of taboo.

When the sociologist Anthony Giddens in The Transformation of Intimacy (1992) attempted to identify what made modern sex modern, one of the characteristics he identified was the acceptance of masturbation. It was, as he said, masturbation’s ‘coming out’. Now it was ‘widely recommended as a major source of sexual pleasure, and actively encouraged as a mode of improving sexual responsiveness on the part of both sexes’. It had indeed come to signify female sexual freedom with Betty Dodson’s Liberating Masturbation (1974) (renamed and republished as Sex for One in 1996), which has sold more than a million copies, and her Bodysex Workshops in Manhattan with their ‘all-women masturbation circles’. The Boston Women’s Health Collective’s classic feminist text Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973) included a section called ‘Learning to Masturbate’.

Alfred Kinsey and his team are mainly remembered for the sex surveys that publicised the pervasiveness of same-sex desires and experiences in the US, but they also recognised the prevalence of masturbation. It was, for both men and women, one of the nation’s principal sexual outlets. In the US National Survey (2009–10), 94 per cent of men aged 25-29 and 85 per cent of women in the same age group said that they had masturbated alone in the course of their lifetime. (All surveys indicate lower reported rates for women.) In the just-published results of the 2012 US National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, 92 per cent of straight men and a full 100 per cent of gay men recorded lifetime masturbation.

There has certainly been little silence about the activity. Several generations of German university students were questioned by a Hamburg research team about their masturbatory habits to chart changing attitudes and practices from 1966 to 1996; their results were published in 2003. Did they reach orgasm? Were they sexually satisfied? Was it fun? In another study, US women were contacted on Craigslist and asked about their masturbatory experiences, including clitoral stimulation and vaginal penetration. An older, somewhat self-referential study from 1977 of sexual arousal to films of masturbation asked psychology students at the University of Connecticut to report their ‘genital sensations’ while watching those films. Erection? Ejaculation? Breast sensations? Vaginal lubrication? Orgasm? And doctors have written up studies of the failed experiments of unfortunate patients: ‘Masturbation Injury Resulting from Intraurethral Introduction of Spaghetti’ (1986); ‘Penile Incarceration Secondary to Masturbation with A Steel Pipe’ (2013), with illustrations.

‘We are a profoundly self-pleasuring society at both a metaphorical and material level’

Self-stimulation has been employed in sexual research, though not always to great import. Kinsey and his team wanted to measure how far, if at all, semen was projected during ejaculation: Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy, Kinsey’s biographer, refers to queues of men in Greenwich Village waiting to be filmed at $3 an ejaculation. William Masters and Virginia Johnson recorded and measured the physiological response during sexual arousal, using new technology, including a miniature camera inside a plastic phallus. Their book Human Sexual Response (1966) was based on data from more than 10,000 orgasms from nearly 700 volunteers: laboratory research involving sexual intercourse, stimulation, and masturbation by hand and with that transparent phallus. Learned journals have produced findings such as ‘Orgasm in Women in the Laboratory – Quantitative Studies on Duration, Intensity, Latency, and Vaginal Blood Flow’ (1985).

In therapy, too, masturbation has found its place ‘as a means of achieving sexual health’, as an article by Eli Coleman, the director of the programme in human sexuality at the University of Minnesota Medical School, once put it. A published study in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology in 1977 outlined therapist-supervised female masturbation (with dildo, vibrator and ‘organic vegetables’) as a way of encouraging vaginal orgasm. Then there is The Big Book of Masturbation (2003) and the hundreds of (pun intended) self-help books, Masturbation for Weight Loss, a Womans Guide only among the latest (and more opportunistic).

Self-pleasure has featured in literature, most famously in Philip Roth’s novel Portnoys Complaint (1969). But it is there in more recent writing too, including Chuck Palahniuk’s disturbing short story ‘Guts’ (2004). Autoeroticism (and its traces) have been showcased in artistic expression: in Jordan MacKenzie’s sperm and charcoal canvases (2007), for example, or in Marina Abramović’s reprise of Vito Acconci’s Seedbed at the Guggenheim in 2005, or her video art Balkan Erotic Epic of the same year.

On film and television, masturbation is similarly pervasive: Lauren Rosewarne’s Masturbation in Pop Culture (2014) was able to draw on more than 600 such scenes. My favourites are in the film Spanking the Monkey (1994), in which the main character is trying to masturbate in the bathroom, while the family dog, seemingly alert to such behaviour, pants and whines at the door; and in the Seinfeld episode ‘The Contest’ (1992), in which the ‘m’ word is never uttered, and where George’s mother tells her adult son that he is ‘treating his body like it was an amusement park’.

There is much evidence, then, for what the film scholar Greg Tuck in 2009 called the ‘mainstreaming of masturbation’: ‘We are a profoundly self-pleasuring society at both a metaphorical and material level.’ There are politically-conscious masturbation websites. There is the online ‘Masturbation Hall of Fame’ (sponsored by the sex-toys franchise Good Vibrations). There are masturbationathons, and jack-off-clubs, and masturbation parties.

It would be a mistake, however, to present a rigid contrast between past condemnation and present acceptance. There are continuities. Autoeroticism might be mainstreamed but that does not mean it is totally accepted. In Sexual Investigations (1996), the philosopher Alan Soble observed that people brag about casual sex and infidelities but remain silent about solitary sex. Anne-Francis Watson and Alan McKee’s 2013 study of 14- to 16-year-old Australians found that not only the participants but also their families and teachers were more comfortable talking about almost any other sexual matter than about self-pleasuring. It ‘remains an activity that is viewed as shameful and problematic’, warns the entry on masturbation in the Encyclopedia of Adolescence (2011). In a study of the sexuality of students in a western US university, where they were asked about sexual orientation, anal and vaginal sex, condom use, and masturbation, it was the last topic that occasioned reservation: 28 per cent of the participants ‘declined to answer the masturbation questions’. Masturbation remains, to some extent, taboo.

When the subject is mentioned, it is often as an object of laughter or ridicule. Rosewarne, the dogged viewer of the 600 masturbation scenes in film and TV, concluded that male masturbation was almost invariably portrayed negatively (female masturbation was mostly erotic). Watson and McKee’s study revealed that their young Australians knew that masturbation was normal yet still made ‘negative or ambivalent statements’ about it.

Belief in the evils of masturbation has resurfaced in the figure of the sex addict and in the obsession with the impact of internet pornography. Throughout their relatively short histories, sexual addiction and hypersexual disorder have included masturbation as one of the primary symptoms of their purported maladies. What, in a sex-positive environment, would be considered normal sexual behaviour has been pathologised in another. Of the 152 patients in treatment for hypersexual disorder in clinics in California, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Texas and Utah, a 2012 study showed that most characterised their sexual disorder in terms of pornography consumption (81 per cent) and masturbation (78 per cent). The New Catholic Encyclopedia’s supplement on masturbation (2012-13), too, slips into a lengthy disquisition on sex addiction and the evils of internet pornography: ‘The availability of internet pornography has markedly increased the practice of masturbation to the degree that it can be appropriately referred to as an epidemic.’

Critics think that therapeutic masturbation might reinforce sexual selfishness rather than sexual empathy and sharing

The masturbator is often seen as the pornography-consumer and sex addict enslaved by masturbation. The sociologist Steve Garlick has suggested that negative attitudes to masturbation have been reconstituted to ‘surreptitiously infect ideas about pornography’. Pornography has become masturbation’s metonym. Significantly, when the New Zealand politician Shane Jones was exposed for using his taxpayer-funded credit card to view pornographic movies, the unnamed shame was that his self-pleasuring activities were proclaimed on the front pages of the nation’s newspapers – thus the jokes about ‘the matter in hand’ and not shaking hands with him at early morning meetings. It would have been less humiliating, one assumes, if he had used the public purse to finance the services of sex workers.

Nor is there consensus on the benefits of masturbation. Despite its continued use in therapy, some therapists question its usefulness and propriety. ‘It is a mystery to me how conversational psychotherapy has made the sudden transition to massage parlour technology involving vibrators, mirrors, surrogates, and now even carrots and cucumbers!’ one psychologist protested in the late 1970s. He was concerned about issues of client-patient power and a blinkered pursuit of the sexual climax ‘ignoring … the more profound psychological implications of the procedure’. In terms of effectiveness, critics think that therapeutic masturbation might reinforce individual pleasure and sexual selfishness rather than creating sexual empathy and sharing. As one observed in the pages of the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy in 1995: ‘Ironically, the argument against masturbation in American society was originally religiously founded, but may re-emerge as a humanist argument.’ Oversimplified, but in essence right: people remain disturbed by the solitariness of solitary sex.

Why has what the Japanese charmingly call ‘self-play’ become such a forcing ground for sexual attitudes? Perhaps there is something about masturbation’s uncontrollability that continues to make people anxious. It is perversely non-procreative, incestuous, adulterous, homosexual, ‘often pederastic’ and, in imagination at least, sex with ‘every man, woman, or beast to whom I take a fancy’, to quote Soble. For the ever-astute historian Thomas Laqueur, author of Solitary Sex (2003), masturbation is ‘that part of human sexual life where potentially unlimited pleasure meets social restraint’.

Why did masturbation become such a problem? For Laqueur, it began with developments in 18th-century Europe, with the cultural rise of the imagination in the arts, the seemingly unbounded future of commerce, the role of print culture, the rise of private, silent reading, especially novels, and the democratic ingredients of this transformation. Masturbation’s condemned tendencies – solitariness, excessive desire, limitless imagination, and equal-opportunity pleasure – were an outer limit or testing of these valued attributes, ‘a kind of Satan to the glories of bourgeois civilisation’.

In more pleasure-conscious modern times, the balance has tipped towards personal gratification. The acceptance of personal autonomy, sexual liberation and sexual consumerism, together with a widespread focus on addiction, and the ubiquity of the internet, now seem to demand their own demon. Fears of unrestrained fantasy and endless indulging of the self remain. Onania’s 18th-century complaints about the lack of restraint of solitary sex are not, in the end, all that far away from today’s fear of boundless, ungovernable, unquenchable pleasure in the self.

Complete Article HERE!

The Naughty & The Nice

Just in time for the holidays, here’s my Naughty and Nice list.

NICE

NAUGHTY

NICELY NAUGHTY

Happy Holidays!