[Masturbation Monday] Wait, Masturbation Month!? Why?

Did you know that May is officially Masturbation Month? Well, you do now!

You might be thinking, “a whole month dedicated to masturbation. Why!?” Well, because wanking is an awesome thing to celebrate! But there’s more to it than that. So what else is this Masturbation Month thing all about?

Right now, masturbation is the safest sex we can have

I mean, technically that’s always true. But it’s especially true in the time of COVID-19. Right now the only sex we should be having is with ourselves, with the partners we live with, or conducted via virtual means. (Not Zoom though, I beg you.)

Aaaaaand my blog goes back to being a Corona-free zone… now.

The fact remains, though: masturbation is the safest form of sex, both physically and emotionally.

Your only lifelong sexual partner is you

The one person you can always rely on to be there? YOU! So just as it makes sense to cultivate strong emotional self-reliance, the same is true sexually. Learning your own body, what makes you tick and what gets you off, is an incredible gift to yourself. It means you’ll always be able to have a banging sex life, regardless of access to (or interest in) partnered sex.

Masturbation is still ridiculously stigmatised

This is still especially true for women and those assigned female at birth. The myths surrounding masturbation are often kinda bonkers!

Anti-masturbation sentiment also runs rampant in certain religious communities, with religious thinkers prescribing everything from showering with the door open to eating a snack every time you get horny to folding fucking laundry to curb the desire to masturbate.

But there’s also a secular community dedicated to the supposed evils of masturbation. The NoFap community is a bizarre corner of the internet where people who think they’re “addicted” to porn or masturbation go to discuss their attempts to give up masturbation.

…but it doesn’t need to be!

Here are the facts: masturbation, in the overwhelming majority of cases, is healthy, natural, and good for you. It has positive physical and mental health benefits. It is ONLY a problem if it is negatively interefering with other areas of your life.

Masturbation addiction (and sex addiction) are not real things.

Masturbation does not harm relationships, it is not cheating, and it doesn’t “ruin” you for partnered sex. In fact, it can make your partnered sex better!

We are all entitled to pleasure

We are all entitled to experience pleasure without shame, guilt or reproval. Masturbation is about pleasure, and Masturbation Month celebrates that. Our bodies are capable of giving us incredible pleasure. We are allowed to revel in it, to enjoy it, to celebrate it.

Happy Masturbation Month!

I’m partnering with Lovehoney to bring you Masturbation Month content all May long! I have some fabulous products lined up to share with you all over the coming weeks. Check out their curated selection of popular toys if you’re looking for some inspiration to get you started.

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Can Masturbation Ever Be Cheating?

Short answer: no.

I’ve heard/read this question dozens if not hundreds of times in the years I’ve been writing about sex. People are desperate to know, it seems, if masturbating while you’re in a relationship can ever be classed as cheating.

In order for me to rip this notion apart, let’s examine what “cheating” is. To many people, it is probably broadly defined as “doing sexual or romantic things with someone who isn’t your partner.” That’s sort of fine, but I don’t think it goes far enough. Lots of us do sexual and/or romantic things with people other than our primary partners all the time, but with their knowledge and consent. That’s kinda what consensual non-monogamy is! And yet it is still possible to cheat in an open or polyamorous relationship.

I propose the working definition that cheating is willfully and knowingly breaking the rules of your relationship in order to engage sexually or romatically with another person without your partner’s knowledge and/or consent.

“Yourself” does not count as “another person.”

You cannot cheat on your partner with yourself. You simply cannot. Doing anything with your own body, and only your own body, is a universe away from doing something with another person behind your partner’s back.

In my view, saying that touching your own body sexually is cheating makes about as much sense as saying that going to a coffee shop or restaurant by yourself counts as cheating.

You cannot cheat on your partner with yourself!

But it’s even more fundamental than that. Your body is yours.

You have an absolute, inalienable and irrefutable right to your own body. It belongs to you, and nobody else. Always.

Look, even if you think you’re the most absolute subby sub who ever subbed and you’ve given complete control over your body to your Dominant… you can still take that back at any time. You get to say “nope” (or “red” or “canary” or whatever means no according to your agreements) and have everything stop. Period, the end, done.

You have the right to do what you like with your own body. And that includes to engage in a sexual relationship with yourself.

You may have mutual agreements with your partner around sexual activity with others outside your relationship, and you should absolutely stick to those (or if you can’t, renegotiate the rules or end the relationship.) But your partner does not own your sexuality. They do not have a right to have any and all of your sexual activity and feelings directed at them exclusively forever more. (Nor is this realistic. Show me a sexual person in a relationship who has never had even a fleeting sexual thought about someone other than their partner, and I’ll show you a liar.)

What if my partner is masturbating all the time instead of having sex with me?

If you’re dissatisfied with the sexual relationship you have with your partner, that’s a conversation the two of you need to have.

“We’re not having as much sex as I would like, can we talk about that?” is a really valid thing to raise. Being able to talk frankly about sex is important to a strong and healthy relationship. And in a good relationship, your partner will be willing to have the conversation and work to solve the problem so that you’re both happy and satisfied. But “forbid masturbation” isn’t the answer. This is just likely to lead to resentment, hurt feelings, and sneaking around and dishonesty.

So no. Masturbation is not and cannot ever be cheating.

Anyone who tells you otherwise is full of shit. Also, trying to control what you do with your own body is a red flag for abuse.

Wank away guilt-free. And walk away from anyone who thinks that being in a relationship means they can take away your bodily autonomy.

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