/ / The things we do indoor | Unraveling the shame around masturbation

The things we do indoor | Unraveling the shame around masturbation


Three years ago, Mensa, Fred, and I returned from work. We shared an apartment with another friend of ours, Teddy. As young men who had just finished the National Youth Service Corps, our hopes were high and we decided to build a career in one of Nigeria’s busiest cities.

As we came home on this day, we didn’t expect to hear sounds coming from the house. They were like groans of someone in pain or pleasure. It was difficult to say but they were consistent and deep.

We looked at ourselves in surprise. A lot of questions ran through my mind; was Teddy back already or has some strange being found its way to our house? Mensa held his shoe, ready to attack the invader, while the rest of us walked gingerly behind. Upon opening the toilet door, Teddy jump and looked at us in horror, his phone fell to the ground as well as a bottle of cream. He had his shorts down; it was not just his voice we had heard. The other sound came from his phone. We have joked about it since then; we made fun of him, how we caught him red-handed. We even suggested to him that he get a girlfriend or get a fling once in a while. He didn’t make it funny and would tell us not to talk about it. He didn’t join in the joke, it was written all over him that he didn’t enjoy the jokes we made.

There is an old joke about masturbation, “80% of people masturbate, and the other 20% are lying about it.” It is a very common behavior, from teenagers to adults, even among people who have a sex partner. Masturbation is the first sexual act experienced by most males and females. For children who have reached the age of puberty, masturbation could be a normal part of the growing child’s exploration of his or her body. This could continue well into adulthood, and many do so throughout their lives.

Let us define the term, “masturbation”.

Masturbation is the self-stimulation of the genitals to achieve sexual arousal and pleasure, usually to the point of orgasm (sexual climax). It is commonly done by touching, stroking, or massaging the penis or clitoris until an orgasm is achieved. Some persons also make use of sex toys such as a vibrator while masturbating to increase the sensation and pleasure. Two people could masturbate together and it’s called mutual masturbation. Masturbation, according to sex experts, can help people find out more about their bodies, what brings the most pleasure and they can communicate this to their partner. Such couples would see a lot of improvement about their sex lives and learn more about their partner’s body.

How is it done?

Masturbation is done in a variety of ways, the underlying principle is to stimulate the genitals. Some men or boys would use the hands or rub their penis against a soft surface mimicking a thrust. Generally, women would use their hands or have someone masturbate them. There are other means too, as some persons become creative with the act but the underlying principle remains.


Masturbation and sex toys

Masturbation is traditionally done with the hands stroking, touching, or massaging parts of the body. As a member in the broad spectrum of sexual activity, masturbation is another way to get pleasure. A way to get more pleasure from masturbation would be to use sex toys. There are many sex toys on the market. Women have been known to use sex toys for a long time since the sexual revolution of the 1970s. In fact, the movie, Sex and The City brought female sexual acts and sex toys to mainstream media. Some of these toys include finger vibrators, thrusting dildos, and rabbit vibrators, strap Ons, vibrating panties, double-ended dildos and a host of others, as new toys are being discovered every day.


Some benefits of masturbation include:


  • getting to know your body and what feels good
  • releasing sexual tension
  • relaxing and helping you fall asleep
  • improving your mood
  • relieving menstrual cramps.
  • It’s also free from the risk of pregnancy and STIs.


Here are some masturbation tips:

  • Wash your hands before touching your penis, vulva, vagina, or anus.
  • Use a good lubricant. It lowers friction, which helps prevent small tears in your skin and makes things more comfortable.
  • Clean your sex toys. Otherwise, bacteria can build up and cause an infection. The best way to protect sex toys is with a condom that you change whenever the toy is passed from partner to partner or from one body opening to another, mouth, anus, or vagina. If you don’t use condoms, clean sex toys before and after every use. Read the instructions on the package for how to clean your toy.
  • Don’t share sex toys with multiple partners without cleaning/using new condoms every time. They can pass along STDs.
  • There are more similarities than differences between male and female masturbation. That’s because everyone masturbates differently and there’s no single “right” way to do it.
  • You might think that guys are the only ones who masturbate. But that’s just not true!
  • Regardless of your gender, masturbation is totally healthy and normal. It’s a great way to get to know your body and what feels good. It’s also 100% safe, with no risk of pregnancy or STDs.


Is masturbation legal?

It may surprise you to know that in some parts of the world, masturbation is still a criminal offense. I am sure you find it funny that something which is supposed to be private and intimate is considered a crime. Well, it is, depending on the circumstances surrounding it and this varies from country in definition and punishment. Many countries give no damn about it except it is done in public and in the sight of onlookers, especially minors. Other countries that have a state religion would see it as a sin and have laid down punishments ranging from public flogging to imprisonment for up to three years.

Masturbation, culture, and history

Going back to our story at the beginning of this article, it can be deduced that in some societies, masturbation is not a wrong thing but its not something talked about, something. It is seen as personal. Some individuals do not talk about it for religious reasons, talking about it as a sin, a waste of one’s vital force, unhealthy, and an inability to curb one’s sexual appetite. When the ancients spoke of masturbation, they referred to men. They didn’t consider women having any ability to have sexual pleasure; it was thought that they are more or less vessels to attend to the sexual needs of men. It is known that in ancient Egypt, it is believed that the world was created when the god, Atum, masturbated and all came to being; the people of ancient Egypt perform a ceremony yearly commemorating this. In fact, one of the duties of the pharaoh was to masturbate into the Nile to bring fertility to it.

The Jews took masturbation as a sin. It is considered a form of impurity and the man was made to atone for the wrong done. In Asia, the Indians and Chinese didn’t take it well as well. They considered it a waste of a man’s life force. Ancient Greeks were and Romans cared less about masturbation. They saw it as the next recourse when women were not available. In Christianity and Islam, masturbation is looked upon from the Jewish perspective. In Roman Catholicism, sexual acts outside of vaginal penetration are frowned upon. Sex should be between a man and a woman who have contracted marriage and it is for procreation alone. Therefore, sex outside of this union and for this purpose should be avoided.

Indigenous cultures around the world care less about masturbation and leave it to the individual to decide what they want, though women would be seen perverts if they were found engaging in such. Despite the taboos surrounding it, masturbation has found its way into popular culture and is discussed in the media. The sex toy industry makes billions each year attending not just to women’s sexual needs but men as well. It would seem that men, except those who have sex with other men, have become novices in the art of sex and pleasure.





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