Q:I have a high sex drive, but I’ve been so busy studying for finals lately that I haven’t been able to go out and meet people. What can I do to get some sexual satisfaction?
Masturbation — or autoeroticism — is a great option for people who don’t have the time to pursue sexual partners. Commonly defined as the touching of one’s own sex organs for sexual pleasure, whether it be to orgasm or not, masturbation is practiced by an average of 70 percent of men and 50 percent of women. In short, this behavior is totally normal despite its common “taboo” label in social circles.
Even though some groups see masturbation as an unnecessary or even evil practice, the benefits of autoerotocism are based in scientific research. Masturbation is common in the animal kingdom, and if multiple species adopt a specific behavior, it is usually considered evolutionarily advantageous.
On this note, studies done on men who indulge in autoeroticism show that frequent masturbation results in less genetic damage and a higher overall quality of sperm, as the worn-out sperm are replaced with healthier, stronger sperm. Another specific benefit for males is a reduced risk for prostate cancer.
Other health benefits focus on the reduction of stress. Masturbation contributes to decreased levels of sexual tension, better sleep, low blood pressure, high self-esteem and immediate feelings of calm and focus.
Additionally, for women masturbation can relieve menstrual cramps and muscle tension, making it useful when life is especially stressful. The amazing thing about masturbation is that there are no established health risks — not even addiction.
Masturbation is not a long-term solution to loneliness, but for the most part, it has the ability to satisfy your sexual desires — especially if you are pressed for time. So, the next time you sit in your room cramming for a test, stop thinking “why me?” and start thinking “why not me?”