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For masturbation month we interviewed some amazing sexologists regarding their thoughts on masturbation, advice, and what effective sex education means to them.
Interviews were conducted in Spanish and translated and edited for clarity.
Bejarano is a psychologist & sexologist from Spain who covers a range of topics related to sex & masturbation and has taken part in televised interviews and discussions.
1. Do you think that men educate themselves - sexually?
The reality is that no person is educated sexually or, rather, is educated well.
Nor are quality classes taught in schools and institutes, nor are the contents adequate enough for effective education. Sex education is usually based on fear: fear of STIs or unwanted pregnancies. Which is absolutely necessary and essential, but that’s not all there is to sexual relations.
This is, of course, not due to a lack of professionals in this field – but rather due to a poor and outdated curriculum, which should be modernized and make room for new sex education methods and syllabi.
We must claim pleasure and affection. And of course, all the benefits a healthy sexuality brings us. It is very important to talk about masturbation in sex-ed classes, because it is the first experience we have, the most important and the one that we will do throughout our lives. With ourselves and others, it would be essential that young people are taught to show affection, tenderness, and affective responsibility.
2. Do you think we should encourage men to talk more about sexuality and experiences?
Of course, and this is done to a certain extent, but it is done in a detrimental way many times. It is not uncommon for adolescents and young adults to comment to their peer group on real experiences or concerns they have, where they hope to receive advice or simply to talk about what they have done. The problem is when they do it without respecting the identity of the other person or leaving a bad impression.
Unfortunately, many cases are seen where some boys compete to perform the greatest humiliation on the other person with whom they are having sex with and then tell it to their friends. And this is the kind of thing that should be, and can be, avoided with a good education in this area. Respect and affection should not be left in the background ever.
We must be able to identify violence and nip it in the bud and not give wings to those who, in conversations, laugh at other people and their erotic practices.
Therefore, yes, it is very necessary to talk about sexuality and experiences, but always from a positive and close perspective to eliminate the taboo in conversations and help us to be freer.
3. Why do you think we should speak up during masturbation month?
It is never a bad time to raise your voice and speak out, and if there is a month to encourage that, even better. There are two main problems with the taboo of masturbation. The first, someone who lacks strict sexual education experiences fear, remorse, guilt and a whole long list of negative feelings. Especially in women and people with a vulva, who have suffered consequences as severe as criminalization for feeling pleasure provided by themselves and outside of heteropatriarchal intercourse. On the other hand, we have people who do masturbate without fear, talk about it, share it, but they do it through a single source. That is to say, it is very common in boys where it is almost expected of them to watch porn and engage in masturbation with exclusive categories such as “hand-job”. In one form masturbation is seen as a form of erotic content and simultaneously as normal practice, an idea commonly associated with men and people with a penis. So, having a voice to show others that they can change their idea’s regarding masturbation patterns and encourage them to explore other options is not only an interesting way to get to know each other more, but it is totally recommended.
Have greater variability in the systems used with self-stimulation, such as using toys, silicone egg types, electric masturbators for the penis, anal toys with or without vibration and a whole huge list of possibilities for broadening your horizons. And, although these toys require money, ranging from very cheap to more expensive, if you can't spend on that, you have options that you can do yourself, like caressing yourself with something soft that you have at home - from a feather to some kind of cloth handkerchief. You can also try changing between different textures, shapes and speeds which is very important in order not to end up always doing the same actions and experiences. It's also important that you don't always conclude masturbation with ejaculation, sometimes we can (and should) not have it.
On the other hand, regarding the source of stimulation, it’s good to promote change such as switching from video pornography to erotic literature for example. There are thousands of erotic books and many more internet forums where you can search for the stories that you like the most with as many themes as people writing them. Even write your own stories! In addition, fantasies in the imagination should also be encouraged. You can lie down, close your eyes and evoke what would most excite you at that moment.
4. What are some of the benefits of penile masturbation?
Starting with the most logical benefits, we could go to the pleasure itself. Masturbation is pleasurable and that is usually the main reason why we do it. Then, on a physical level It helps us relax and reduce stress, it can also eliminate headaches and general malaise for a while thanks to the neurotransmitters and hormones released, the dilation of blood vessels, and increased oxygen in the blood. It's even good for the heart, as it increases the pulsations.
On a psychological level, it helps us improve our self-knowledge of our own body, to learn what we like and how and in what way. It frees us, and we take care of ourselves, dedicating time to ourselves and even giving ourselves this self-stimulation can improve our self-esteem and our own perception.
Also, as a bonus, having sex (and we should remember that masturbation is sex), strengthens the immune system, which when living a global health crisis, never hurts.
5. Is there anything you would like to say?
It is very important to put aside taboos and fears. Exploring our body is imperative to be able to get to know each other better, to enjoy ourselves more, and to be able to communicate better - even if we want to and can have sex with other people. This conversation, it was dedicated to people with a penis, although it is true that women suffer from this censorship much more. We must get rid of this. Getting to know each other is taking one more step to escape from some of the barriers imposed on us by a society where, in many cases, these are still judged behaviors despite how positive and beneficial they are for our mental (and physical) health. Experiment As long as you can, you won't regret it.
Check out Darío Bejarano on Instagram