Tuesday, February 13, 2018

What are the Masturbation Benefits for Aging Men?

Forbidden Topic?

People talk about anything and everything but, for many of us, having a conversation about masturbation is still taboo; we won't discuss the subject at work or at dinner parties. My two favorite quotes from Woody Allen are: “Don't knock masturbation, it's sex with someone you love” and “I am such a good lover because I practice a lot on my own.”

Masturbation is a topic that could do with some airing. It is easy to explain why, over the ages, religious groups have condemned masturbation, claiming it inhibits self-control and promotes sexual promiscuity. Given these negative messages some of us receive while growing up, it is not surprising that there are still feelings of shame and embarrassment about this very natural and healthy activity.

Several studies have shown that close to 100 per cent of men masturbate, which is quite understandable, and for women it's about 82 per cent, depending on age.

Masturbation is important for helping you to discover your body and to find out what you like. Contrary to popular belief, you are responsible for your own orgasm. So, if you know your body and know what excites you, you will be able to communicate that to your partner.

Recent Study on Linking Masturbation Habits to the Prostate Cancer Risk

Masturbation may be good for you – or bad, depending on your age. The solitary sexual activity that is widely practiced but little discussed, is linked with an increased risk of prostate cancer when practiced frequently by young men in their twenties and thirties, doctors say.

But by the time men reach their fifties, it may protect against the disease because it helps remove toxins that have built up over a lifetime.

Prostate cancer is known to be driven by the male hormone testosterone, and men with high levels of testosterone tend to have a higher sex drive and a higher risk of the cancer.

But most research has examined older men because prostate cancer is unusual under 50. Researchers at the University of Nottingham studied the link between sexual activity in younger men and the disease to see if it affected their long-term risk. More than 400 men with prostate cancer diagnosed before the age of 60 were questioned about their sexual habits over the preceding decades and the results compared with 400 controls.

The findings showed that those who had been most sexually active in their twenties – having sexual intercourse or masturbating more than 20 times a month – were more likely to have the cancer. Frequent masturbation, but not sexual intercourse, in the twenties and thirties was significantly linked with the later development of prostate cancer.

In their 50s men who were most sexually active (more than 10 times a month for sexual intercourse and masturbation combined) enjoyed a small protective effect. The effect was greater when masturbation was assessed on its own.

Polyxeni Dimitripolou, who led the study published in the British Journal of Urology International, said: "It seems as if keeping up a certain level of sexual activity through the decades is better than having a high level early [in the 20s and 30s] and then nothing."

"One theory is that during the early years the prostate gland is more susceptible to hormonal changes and is still developing. As men age and accumulate toxins from the diet or through their lungs, sexual activity may help release them. Studies have found toxins in the semen and the fluid produced in the prostate. As you age it is more important to flush them out."

Other Benefits

The best thing about masturbation is its many unexpected health benefits for both women and men.

Masturbation may:

1.     Promote the release of endorphins, the neurotransmitters associated with happy feelings that can improve overall mood and fight off depression.
2.     Produce a chemical called oxytocin, which works as a natural pain reliever.
3.     Help reduce headaches and muscle aches.
4.     Relieve stress and tension and aid relaxation after a stressful day.
5.     Provide a sexual outlet for people who are on their own, by choice or circumstance.
6.     Help to induce sleep, or conversely, help to start the day with more energy.
7.     Improve the immune system and contribute to overall health.
8.     Strengthen muscle tone in the genital and pelvic floor area, which can lead to better sex.
9.     Keep you free from sexual transmitted infections as it's the safest kind of sex.
10.     Help people who suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), a neurological disorder causing leg pain, cramps, tingling and itching, (published in the medical journal Sleep Medicine). Several doctors in the US have had confirmation from their patients that it helps.
11.     Translate into better sex as stimulating each other at the same time is intimate and rewarding. People often masturbate into old age.

Possible health benefits, specific for women only:

1.     Combats pre-menstrual tension and other physical conditions associated with the menstrual cycle, such as cramps.
2.     Relieves painful menstruation by increasing blood flow to the pelvic region; which will also reduce pelvic cramping and related backaches.
3.     Builds resistance to yeast infections.
4.     Allows women to explore and understand their bodies better, so they will know what they like when they have sex with a partner.

Possible health benefits, specific for men only:

1.     May help combat premature ejaculation by training to last longer; it's easier to practice control when on your own.
2.     Regular flushing of the system keeps semen healthy.

Does masturbation cause a decrease in sexual sensitivity?

For women who have sexual dysfunction, enhanced stimulation, including masturbation, can help increase sexual desire and sensitivity. In fact, two 2009 studies found that vibrator use among women and men has been linked to an increase in desire, arousal, and overall sexual function. Women also reported an increase in lubrication, while men reported better erectile function, according to the studies.

Masturbation can affect sensitivity during sex for men because of their technique. Research has shown that too tight of a grip on a penis during masturbation can decrease sensation. Sexual health experts recommend changing your technique during masturbation to restore sensitivity levels during sex.

What is the “normal” frequency of masturbation?

Some people masturbate more than others. There is no “normal” frequency. Some do it daily, some weekly, and some rarely. Some never do. However, the recent study performed by researchers from Harvard and Boston medical schools and universities offers substantial proof that the risk of prostate cancer was significantly lower in men who ejaculated at least 21 times a month through sex or masturbation, in comparison with men, who ejaculated just four-to-seven times a month.

There's no such thing as "abnormal" masturbation

Men often wonder if there's something abnormal about the way they masturbate. But experts are loath to offer specific definitions of "normal" and "abnormal," pointing out that men show great variations in both frequency and technique. "We humans are too diverse to establish a norm," says Betty Dodson, PhD, a New York City-based sexologist and the author of Sex for One. Every man masturbates in his own way, says Martha Cornog, the author of The Big Book of Masturbation, whether he "uses his hands, rubs against something, uses a sex toy or household object, wears special clothing, fantasizes, looks at a book or magazine, tries different positions, or looks in a mirror."

Masturbation is very safe -- but not entirely safe

Unlike sex with a partner, masturbation can't give you a sexually transmitted disease. Nor will it subject you to the muscle strains, pokes in the eye, and awkward moments that can come with partner sex. But masturbation safety isn't guaranteed. "Masturbation is just about the safest sex there is," says Cornog. "But the laws of physics and biology don't stop operating just because someone is masturbating."

Frequent or overly vigorous masturbation can irritate the skin of the penis, as the average guy knows all too well. Less well known is that habitually masturbating face down -- for example, by thrusting against a sheet, pillow, or even a carpeted floor -- can injure the urethra in such a way that urine exits the penis not in a stream but in a hard-to-control spray. Barbara Bartlik, MD, a psychiatrist and sex therapist in New York City, says she's seen facedown masturbators with urethral trauma so severe that they are no longer able to use a urinal and must urinate while seated.

In certain extremely rare instances, masturbation and partner sex alike can cause penile fracture. This painful condition -- actually a tear in the tunica albuginea, the whitish tissue surrounding the penis's spongy layers -- occurs when an erect penis strikes a hard object or is forced downward. A medical emergency, it often necessitates surgery.

Solo sex can supercharge your sex life -- or scuttle it

For various reasons, solo sex can be a real boon to sex with a partner. It helps teach men about their own sexual response -- what feels good to them and what doesn't -- so they will be better able to explain to their partners just how they like to be touched. It helps men learn to recognize the "moment of inevitability" just before orgasm and helps teach them how to avoid premature ejaculation. Perhaps most significant, it's a great coping mechanism for any man whose partner is temporarily unavailable for sex -- because of absence or illness -- or has a sex drive that doesn't quite match his own (something sex therapists call a disparity in frequency preference).

Of course, some men become so obsessed with solo sex that they begin to lose interest in having sex with their partner. The resulting hurt feelings and alienation a partner feels can make it hard to sustain the relationship. But experts are quick to point out that masturbation is perfectly OK even for men in a committed relationship. "We cannot assume that just because a man masturbates that there is a problem with his primary relationship," says Bartlik.

Masturbation and guilt

Some people may feel guilty about masturbating because of cultural, spiritual, or religious beliefs. Masturbation is neither wrong nor immoral, but you may still hear messages that self-pleasure is “dirty” and “shameful.” If you feel guilty over masturbating, speak with someone you trust about why you feel this way and how you can move past that guilt. There are also therapists that specialize in sexual health and may be a good resource.

Sources and Additional Information:

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