National Masturbation Month is a reminder that taking time for yourself is nothing to feel bad about and is even good for you.

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This is part of our Taboo Series.

We all do it, at least most of us do. And yet we all pretend we don’t.

Who me? Why I never…

Why the denial?

Why is this very natural, human, and healthy activity such a source of embarrassment? Assuming you’re keeping it strictly to yourself, it doesn’t affect anyone except the person doing it.

Masturbation is not only fun, it’s good for you.

It can relieve stress, help you get in touch with yourself, improve sleep, can relieve menstrual cramps, and much more.

The science in support of masturbation really can’t be beaten. Researchers have compiled hours and hours of work, and have done exhaustive studies on the benefits of sexual self-pleasure. I’d be willing to bet they’re still collecting data on the subject, because science.

The consensus is clear on its positive benefits.

It is hard to imagine how such a relatively healthy activity can rub so many people the wrong way. And yet, there are still some people vehemently against it.

The masturbation opposition

Brace yourself…this could come as a shock.

Just kidding. You know who doesn’t want you to masturbate.

That’s right. It’s God.

The same dude who installed your devil’s doorbell doesn’t want you to ring it. Sure, he made it feel good, but touching yourself is a one-way ticket to the lake of fire. He’ll blame Satan, of course, but we all remember who made Satan. The big guy himself.

Sounds like a setup to me.

If He really didn’t want to send people to hell for pleasuring themselves, He could have only made it feel good after you were married (to the opposite sex, of course).

It’s enough to suspect He isn’t real at all.

The religious guilt and shame around this pleasurable activity have caused a lot of harm to its believers. Very simply, religion invents a problem in order to sell you the solution. It makes you feel bad for a natural urge, then gleefully offers comfort and repentance, knowing full well that you will sin again and come crawling back for forgiveness, forever trapping you in a vicious cycle of guilt and shame.

It’s a vile and abhorrent way to gain and keep control, but effective.

Having grown up in a Catholic family, I have my mother to thank for protecting me from the damaging ideas that came along with our religion, which calls masturbation “an intrinsically and gravely disordered action.” She was strong enough to let go of the fear that was instilled in her around masturbation and sex by a gaggle of nuns, and to make sure I didn’t go through the same thing.

My mother not only wanted me to enjoy myself without guilt and shame but also to understand that it was important to learn about my body. Satisfying sex starts by knowing yourself. Having the ability to talk openly about your sexual wants and needs is an important part of building a lasting intimate relationship.

Seeing as how God also frowns on divorce, you’d think He’d be a little more considerate when it comes to playing with yourself.

Becoming comfortable with yourself and your body is imperative to living a happy and healthy life.

Masturbation can become a problem

Like all things we find pleasurable, if indulged in excessively, masturbation can become harmful. If it is interfering with your everyday activities or relationships, then you could have an issue.

If you’re calling in sick frequently to stay home from work and masturbate, you might need to talk to a medical professional about it. Or maybe look for a better job.

But regular masturbation that doesn’t interfere with your daily life is healthy. And National Masturbation Month is an important reminder that taking time for yourself is nothing to feel bad about and is even good for you. And as a mood elevator and stress reliever, it might just be good for those around you too.

So give yourself a hand and celebrate accordingly.

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I am a former adult entertainer, with a love of books, writing and humor. My job has given me a unique perspective on life. I spent twenty years as a stripper on and off and started writing as a way to...