Dial M for…
“Masturbation! The amazing availability of it!” – James Joyce (1882-1941)
The simplicity of this quote is refreshing.
In a game (A Private Affair) designed to encouraging couples to risk sharing the very personal, this solo pastime would seem to be among the more private secrets indeed. When was the last time anyone casually asked you, “Hey… do you masturbate? When? Where? Why? Just wondering. And… do you floss?”
The stats? “They say” …that 80-90% of men masturbate at least occasionally (87% in our APA poll); that 70-85% of women masturbate at least occasionally (77% in our APA poll); most report masturbation to be completely satisfying physically (feels great!), but often somewhat unsettling psychologically (feel guilty, or at least some shame).
In one recent poll 45% reported that “pleasuring themselves right before bed” was their preferred time to masturbate. 35% said it was “whenever opportunity knocked,” and 19% indicated that the shower, where “privacy and cleanliness couldn’t be beat” was their time and venue of choice.
In our own APA poll, 45% of women indicated that they took time for this at least once (& up to seven times!) per week, 16% said 1-2 times a month, and 39% said rarely or never. 76% of men found time for this from once-a-day (15%) to 3 times/wk, 11% said 1-2 times/month, and 13% reported rarely or never.
So during the past month, 87% of men and 61% of women indicated that they had made time in their lives for this. (APA Poll) – See “Polls Archive” for stats from all our APA polls.
Most of what we read on the web or in the popular press are either statistics (who, when, where, why, how, and especially how often, etc.), with enthusiastic encouragement to experiment more often, and to enjoy masturbating more happily for goodness sake, along with sometimes quite technical (expert) advice on the latest methods. (“Don’t try this at home by yourself; these experts are trained professionals!”) We are also reminded that it cures many ills and lengthens our lives, and that it should be a matter-of-fact part of good honest marriages, and not just a necessary cathartic for the isolated single with pent up passion!
When Nikola Tesla invented the AC Induction Motor in 1888, a happy application was quickly found for the fabulous vibration these motors could generate! This early advertisement makes modern day “personal vibrator” marketing seem tame and clinical by comparison.
“…that delicious, thrilling, health-restoring sensation called vibration. It makes you fairly tingle with the joy of living!” – early 1900’s ad for vibrators
Masturbation has been understood to be a practical (and handy) part of our sexual life, expression and satisfaction for a very long time. One of the APA game cards wonders if you can identify with Penelope, from this 1st Century Latin poetry…
“And while Ulysses snored, chaste Penelope put her delicate hand to use.” – Martial, 40-102 A.D.
In one of the very few sex surveys carried out by a woman (Davis, 1929) in the first half of the last century; 2200 single and married women were polled. 60% of these women (in this 80 year study) reported that they masturbated. Not much changing it seems.
We should have secrets, and it seems reasonable that this should be one of them. It appears however, that we are much more committed to personal sexual pleasuring, than we are to flossing (only 10-12% of north americans floss regularly!)
With this in mind, our suggestion is that you consider risking a bit more fun with this secret. If you don’t yet have a copy of the APA game, consider revealing something about this to your partner, enjoying the risque erotic disclosure and conversation about this private affair, and the naked trust this would require. It’s not about the masturbation per se, but rather about letting your lover in on a very personal secret. “Intimacy” is sometimes written as “Into-Me-See” (Yep, corny but not bad).
We’ve written else where in this blog site about looking at sexual stats, YOUR OWN! …this will be an interesting addition to this sexy body of knowledge! Go ahead, shed some emotional clothes with the one you love! And perhaps have some fun sharing some future numbers with your partner; a check-mark or happy face on that fridge calendar, a mid-morning email inquiry, “sweetheart… when was the last time you…” …or a happy face sent to their BlackBerry. “And how was your day?”