Male Masturbation: The Story of Men’s Self-Pleasure
From history to eye-opening recent studies on our self-pleasure habits, let's take a closer look at male masturbation.
Male masturbation is a stimulating topic
The story of male masturbation is truly fascinating. Most men do it – and men have done it since the beginning of human history. The ancients, for example, positively revered solo sex, weaving male masturbation into ritual and myth. Of course, the narrative of men and masturbation has had its ups and downs – including the anti-masturbation fever of the 19th century. But today, it’s widely accepted as an important part of a healthy life and sexuality. You could even say we’re living through a male masturbation golden age.
From the eye-opening work of sexologists and scientists, to the groundbreaking influence of new sex media, and the revolutionary impact of sex toys: read on for a closer look at the male masturbation story.
Male masturbation has a gripping history
Have you ever come so hard that you've seen stars? Well, the ancient Egyptians believed the lone god Atum's ejaculation was the source of the entire universe's creation. Taking their seed in the most literal sense, men ceremonially spilled their semen each year to ensure a plentiful harvest.
Male masturbation was regarded as a totally normal release for the men of ancient Greece. In fact, it was the subject of plays, comedies, and even pottery.
Nevertheless, an obscure Bible passage – in which God slays Onan for spilling his seed – would eventually incite a clampdown on masturbation that endured for centuries. Numerous Enlightment texts warned of male masturbation's ‘dangerous side effects’ – including death. And in the 19th century, the damning medical theories quite literally spiked, spurring the invention of hair-raising anti-masturbation devices.
Sexologists made male masturbation sexy
"In the 19th century, masturbation was a disease; in the 20th it's a cure," wrote psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Thomas Szasz. Thankfully, once the wheels of the sexual revolution began to turn, absurd anti-masturbation propaganda was left in the dust.
Do all men masturbate? Sexologist Alfred Kinsey established in the 1940s and ‘50s that masturbation was an almost universal human experience.