A Few Ground Rules.
Before starting, we should set a few ground rules. First of all, with any debate there should be actual evidence; this means that old wives tales and myths regarding masturbation cannot be considered. Neither can lines of evidence based on unprovable religious claims and morality, all points I make must be based upon evidence from credible sources.
Before the second half of the twentieth century, most arguments against masturbation were flimsy and required sensationalist fear mongering to work. Old time claims such as the masturbater going to hell, going blind and reducing in height were used to frighten and manipulate people into keeping their hands above their pants. These arguments evolved into more modern myths about masturbation such as hair loss, vision problems, hairy palms and other “dangers of masturbation.”
There Are Legitimate Reasons Not to Masturbate, Like Loss of Sensation
Yet for all this propaganda, there are still numerous sensible reasons to keep both hands above the sheets at night. Prolonged male masturbation, for example, has the potential to make it difficult or even impossible to climax with a partner later in life. This is caused by the tightfisted masturbation known as the “deathgrip” which could cause sexual difficulties for men and their partners.
The most obvious symptom of the inability to climax is a partner feeling scorned due to their perceived inability to cause an orgasm. According to numerous articles submitted to Dan Savage, this is a somewhat common scenario, which in most of the letters, results in the man feeling anxious or ashamed and the partner feeling resentful. It’s not hard to understand why this happens. Male anagorsmia is so rarely discussed that, if a woman doesn’t know it’s possible for a man to have sex without orgasm, they may think that the fault lies with themselves.
Let’s not forget why it’s sometimes so hard to climax. This happens because of the lack of, or loss in, sensation. There is some evidence that suggests that masturbation, when it occurs more than 2-3 times per week over a prolonged period, could reduce penile sensation by damaging capillaries and making the skin thicker. Further, engaging in any sexual stimulation that differs from partnered sex will lessen partnered sexual sensation.
Nor is this restricted only to men. Sometimes overuse of powerful sex toys, such as the Hitachi wands, have the same effect as the death grip, and makes the body more amenable to one type of sensation over another. Prolonged use of one masturbation method may inhibit a woman's ability to climax through other methods, this is the same with men, resigning both to sex lives with the only tool that still works.
Or Sleep Dependency
More than just the effect on a person’s future sex life, we must also consider that masturbation releases endorphins in the brain which help induce sleep. This seems like a good thing, until someone masturbates before bed too often and becomes dependent upon that release of endorphins. Endorphine release and the blissful feelings it creates is believed to play a role in addiction, to everything from exercise to food, so why wouldn’t a person slowly become dependent on that extra burst of masturbation endorphins to fall asleep?
And the Health Problems
Finally, there are the general health problems that stem from over-masturbation. Everything from testicle pain, to fatigue, reduced sex drive and hair loss might be connected to masturbating more than 2-3 times per week. This may seem like reasons not to over-masturbate, except for the importance of how and when habits are formed in life.
Most people start consciously masturbating in their early teens, before they’ve developed any sort of impulse control or the ability to reason out actions and consequences. Allow them to masturbate freely and they’ll set in motion a series of habits that will ruin them for sex, make it impossible to sleep without endorphins and cause a number of troublesome health problems.
But it's Still Better to Masturbate Than Not to
This is my case against masturbation and despite all of it, the advantages of masturbation still outweigh the costs. The freedom of open sexuality that allows a person to explore their tastes can be the difference between a happy lover and a miserable and repressed one. Not to mention the health benefits of masturbation, from improved sleep, maintaining strength of sexual muscles, mood enhancement, boosted immunity, improvement during sex and even reduced chance of prostate cancer.
The benefits far outweigh the costs of masturbation, but that’s clear for anyone trying to research the subject. Most of the arguments against masturbation are scare tactics about hell or medical ailments, without any evidence backing them up because there are few legitimate reasons not to masturbate. While there are some legitimate medical concerns regarding masturbation, they’re mainly restricted to excessive masturbation and pale in comparison to the benefits.