This is part one of a two-part series about healthy masturbation, an important topic that doesn’t get nearly enough attention.
A Short History of Masturbation
Before the internet age, masturbation was something that had stayed essentially the same for the preceding 100 years.
But the advent of high-speed internet access and essentially unlimited, free porn, has changed the way we masturbate. And this has created serious challenges and problems for young men growing up in this new environment.
So before I tell you how to masturbate correctly, first I want to tell you why there’s a good chance that you’re doing it wrong.
What’s wrong with masturbation?
There is not anything inherently wrong with masturbation (despite what religious zealots and puritans might say…). It won’t make hair grow on your palms. It won’t cause you to go blind or deaf.
Masturbation is a perfectly normal thing. Most men do it regularly and it doesn’t affect their lives in a negative way.
However. With the introduction of high-speed internet and the availability of free video porn, the way we masturbate has changed into something that “real sex” is having trouble living up to.
In the past, a young man might have masturbated to the idea of a beautiful woman, or maybe if he was lucky, he had some drawings or nude photos.
Today, young men have their choice of anything, all in high-definition, video form. From hardcore, extreme pornography to bondage, transvestites, costumes, etc. If you can imagine it, there’s probably a porn of it (also known as “Rule 34”).
When I was a teenager, I can remember waiting anxiously for over an hour to download one nude photo over my computer’s 14.4k modem. In 2014, because of the incredible processing power of our computers and high-speed internet, we can have multiple tabs open to different videos on the same computer and switch back and forth. We can even have access to porn 24 hours a day, anywhere we go, on our mobile phones.
The world young men are growing up in is very different sexually from anything that’s come before. And from a sexual development perspective, there are many signs that this is not a good thing.
Passive vs. Active Masturbation
One key difference in the way men masturbate today is that the increased role of pornography makes men much more passive.
Unlike the young guy growing up 50 years ago, who likely had to imagine the scenario, the young man who is watching pornography today doesn’t need to use his imagination.
That young man 50 years ago had to create everything in his mind – the girl, the location, kissing her and taking off her clothes, the way her body looked – and those thoughts and sensations would turn him on.
And though he’s not purposefully doing this, he is programming his brain to react to ‘real life’ sex scenarios. A few years later, when he has his first girlfriend — yes, he might be nervous because it’s his first time — but he’s played the scenarios in his mind enough that probably his ‘equipment’ probably works. He’s built the pathways in his brain that lead from making out to getting undressed to sex. The important thing is that he’s wired up his brain that he’s the active person in the scenario. He is the doer.
Conversely, let’s look at what heavy porn use does to your sexual patterns. First, you’re in a passive role, just watching the action. The young man is watching another guy have sex with the girl he desires.
With porn, the person masturbating doesn’t need to use his imagination. Everything is laid out in front of him. And because he doesn’t need his imagination, without realizing he turns it off. He’s just a passive voyeur, getting off while watching others have sex. After practicing this role of voyeur for so long, our brain gets wired up to be turned on by just that – watching sex. Not having sex.
This passivity is partly responsible for some of the ED and anxiety problems men are having. But it’s not the whole picture.
Porn Leads to Unrealistic Expectations
Consciously you’re probably aware that what when you watch porn, what you’re seeing is the highlight reel.
What you don’t see in the final cut is the guys popping Viagra and Cialis pills to keep themselves hard for a half-day of filming. You don’t see the girl filling her vagina with water between takes so that in the next scene it looks like she’s squirting. You don’t see the guy doing ridiculous workouts 3 hours a day to get his abs to look that way.
Consciously you might know these things, but unconsciously you are creating expectations of how sex should be.
Then there are the expectations of women. With the exception of some outlying genres, the majority of women in porn are between 18 and 25, wear lots of makeup, and have perfect bodies. This is what we’re training our brains to get turned on to. Does it really come as a surprise then, when your real-life girlfriend, who’s girl-next-door cute (but not drop-dead gorgeous) doesn’t turn you on?
If you ate at 3-star Michelin restaurants every day for five years, then went to your local eatery, how do you think it would taste?
Our tastes all depends on what we are used to.
I also want to bring to light the negative self-talk that goes on under the surface with porn watching.
For example, most guys in porn are – let’s face it – pretty well-endowed.
If you’ve got an average-size penis, what do you think it does to your self-confidence to watch these genetic outliers have sex every time you masturbate? If you have a below-average size penis and you watch a lot of porn, you are just asking for an inferiority complex.
When else in the history of the human race, could you watch this many other guys have sex with so many women? Never. Unless maybe you hung out with the Marquis de Sade in the 1700s, if you were a normal guy growing up in western society, you probably never even saw another couple having sex. In your whole life.
Now think for a minute about how many people you’ve probably seen have sex in your porn-viewing past. If we’re including compilations and short clips, it could be in the hundreds of thousands. Do you really think that doesn’t have some weird, unintended consequences on you?
If everyday you’re watching these well-endowed, long-lasting, (fake) orgasm-giving guys, what do you think that is doing to your inner sexual confidence?
Developing Unhealthy Patterns
Many guys who come to my site share a similar story. They’ve been for a long time without a girlfriend, and when it comes time to be intimate with a new partner, they find they can’t get an erection.
Why does this happen?
If you’re single for a long period of time and masturbating regularly, you can easily find yourself trapped in patterns that don’t translate well into real sex.
For example, guys who have been escalating to more and more extreme genres of porn, or guys who masturbate with a “death grip”. When it comes down to being with a real woman, these guys might not be able to get an erection, get turned on, or be able to have sex at all.
As someone who had great sex for a period of my life, then suddenly was in this situation because of excessive porn use, I can tell you this is a horrible place to be.
The point is this: watching too much porn creates unrealistic expectations and simultaneously puts added pressure on you – and her. And with sex, unrealistic expectations and pressure equals anxiety and tension – the two worst things if you want to get and keep an erection. This is IN ADDITION to the weird things it does to your dopamine receptors by allowing you to view more and more varied and extreme pornography.
Are your masturbation habits setting you up for failure? If you’re okay with having a life of terrible sex, sexual anxiety and lonely evenings with a box of tissues, fine (see what I did there?). If not, it’s time to change.
Continue Reading: Part Two of How to Masturbate Correctly.