In case you haven’t marked it down on your calendar yet, May is National Masturbation Month. It was established in 1995, as a sort of eff you to the Bill Clinton Administration. On December 9, 1994, Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders was fired by President Clinton for daring to suggest – gasp! – that masturbation be part of the sexual education curriculum in the U.S.
So on May 14, 1995, San Francisco-based sex shop Good Vibrations declared the day National Masturbation Day in Elders’ honor. Soon, it went from a one day in May to the whole month. In some other parts of the world, teenagers are encouraged to masturbate. In 2009, the U.K.’s National Health Service distributed pamphlets to teens and their parents about the benefits of masturbation and the fact that choosing masturbation over sex would prevent unwanted pregnancies and STIs, The Daily Mail reported.
When we think of female masturbation, we often think of clitoral stimulation with a vibrator. But vibrators can aid in male masturbation as well. In a study in Journal of Sexual Medicine, 16.6 per cent of men reported using a vibrator alone while masturbating. Open your mind and give a vibrator a try.
You’ve probably heard of sex injuries, but how about masturbation injuries? It seems like if you’re the one behind the wheel you should know when enough is enough, but for some that message isn’t very loud and clear. A study published in the journal Trauma and Acute Care Surgery found that 60 per cent of penile fractures occur during masturbation. Other horrors include strangulation from being squeezed too tight and gangrene from infected wounds opened by excessive chafing.
It’s one thing to lose an erection during sex – thanks to a variety of things like stress, exhaustion, performance anxiety, etc. – but men can also lose their erection during masturbation. However, in this case, it could be a lot worse than simply being too stressed to keep it up and keep it going. Researchers in Italy found that 45 per cent of men were unable to maintain an erection while masturbating, and those guys had a greater risk of heart disease. While going limp during a self-love sesh isn’t a guarantee that you’ll end up with ticker trouble, erectile dysfunction is an early sign of cardiovascular issues and is absolutely something you should have checked out by your doctor.
Surprisingly, not all semen is the same. Multiple studies from the 1990s, including one by researchers in Japan, show that semen from sex contains more sperm than semen from masturbation. Your prostate may be more active during intercourse.
But not all masturbatory semen is created equal, either. In a study published in Evolutionary Psychological Science, researchers found that masturbating men produced more semen when they viewed an erotic film featuring a woman they’d never seen before than when they watched the same subject over and over.
Research may have confirmed that men masturbate more than women, but men aren’t the kings of the castle when it comes to masturbation. Although the evolutionary reason behind it is lost on scientists, animals also masturbate. Some animals like to rub their genitals against different outside sources or, if they’re flexible enough, they’ll even give themselves oral sex – for example, walruses can pull this off no problem. Other animals like moose get off by rubbing their antlers against trees, porcupines prefer sticks, and squirrels will even masturbate until they ejaculate. Then, they’ll consume the ejaculate, which might be a market they’ve cornered.
The article 11 Shocking Facts You Never Knew About Masturbation was originally published on MensHealth.com