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Throughout history, there have been many social changes that occurred for better or worse. However, the area of sexuality is still under development.
In pure dictionary form, masturbation is defined as “the act of stimulation of the genitals by one, to achieve sexual pleasure”. Normally, when a child is growing up, he or she experiences several changes in the normal physiology. This includes the maturity of genitals and other factors associated with it. The child becomes more aware of the features of opposite sex, which are perceived as attractive and desires to mate with them. Due to certain limitations, they feel that they will not be able to do it, and the frustration builds up, which leads to the act of stroking their privates and hence the act is felt liberating to them.
All normal and healthy males and females undergo the act of masturbation. In older times, it was seen as a heinous act, a disregard for religious, social and societal norms. However, nowadays it is realized as a medium of self-expression. It is also reported that 95% of men and 89% of women report that they have masturbated at some point in their life (Source:www.webmd.com). Both singles and couples do it, and some find it a way to explore their own self through understanding what their body needs.
For some, the lack of a partner may be a factor. For others, there can be different reasons. I’ve personally known a couple who are in a distant relationship and they regularly do video chats to fulfill each other’s desires. A girl said that it is a great stress reliever, and not surprisingly, the research suggests that it releases a series of hormones that make you feel good. Others have also said that they do it to help achieve their partner orgasms. A friend of mine said that he survived through masturbation during the last months of his wife’s pregnancy. One girl even informed that she didn’t experience any sexual pleasure from intercourse, so she experimented with herself through masturbation, and now she is leading a very satisfied married life.
Society is shaped by the values and actions of the people. For the Pakistani culture, sexual relationships before marriage are not encouraged or accepted. While our social order is to marry off our children at young age, many people are not fortunate enough to be married. This again has a number of reasons such as financial standing, education, age, family background, race, city and many more.
I believe that education is the primary culprit, as there is no solid way of providing our children and adults with the right form of sexual knowledge. The dominant religion in our country, Islam, has teachings about sex and it does not encourage the act of self-pleasure. But, more recent clerics say that in order to avoid ‘fitna’, they are permitted to do so. This is another reason for the confusion among the teenagers and young adults particularly.
If you browse the internet, you will find forums where they claim to ‘treat’ masturbation, and a lot Hakeem’s provide medicines that assert the cure for being handsy. People think that they have this ‘illness’ and need a cure, and thus they end up in more mess than before. Hard to think that a nation, with a majority of its population labeled as ‘young’, faces such crises when it comes to their sexual health.
Ideally, a family doctor might be a good source, and they can help you understand the needs and healthy, realistic limits of what masturbation is. So to sum it all, it is important to understand and discuss sexuality in a very realistic manner. This can only be achieved when one knows all ins-and-outs of the matter. Masturbation remains a taboo among all societies but now, it is advised to take a good look at what is normal now.