Despite what society might have us believe, masturbation is completely normal. In fact, it can be good for you.
Here to talk about masturbation as self-care are Dalychia and Rafaella, the founders of Afrosexology. In this stream, Afrosexology answer a number of questions about solo sex, such as: “Is it cheating?” “What are some tips for first-time masturbators?” and “What is with the sensitivity of the clitoris?”
Answering such questions and getting clear on misconceptions about masturbation — no, masturbation is not only for men who can’t control their sexual desires, and, no, it’s not just for people who can’t get “the real thing” — is a step toward normalizing this very common sexual practice.
To unpack masturbation shame, Afrosexology suggests thinking about where you received such negative messages — was it from church, school, your parents? Consider evidence that contradicts those messages. You might have been told masturbating will make you grow hair on your palms (a common myth), but did it? Though it’s easier said than done, you can start to move past masturbation shame by leaving behind messages you’ve found to be untrue or don’t serve you.
Once we start owning masturbation, it can be something to “affirm and to adore and to worship” the body. Afrosexology says it can be a great way to get over negative body image. When you’re giving yourself time to love and appreciate yourself, you are also learning what you like and don’t like, and how to communicate your needs better.
There are so many ways masturbation can bring us joy, help us to love and appreciate our body, and strengthen our ability to communicate desires. For these reasons, masturbation is self-care, not taboo.