We all remember the trolling of a well-known actress in a highly forgettable movie. Well, it’s hard to forget because it was a trifle upsetting. The episode in question, of course, is the woman pleasuring herself, supposedly to the surprise of her husband and to the dismay of an audience that knows all about it but doesn’t want to talk about it.
For the uninitiated, the scene in question is about an actress masturbating on screen. Well, for one thing, that scene addressed a host of questions that weigh on the minds of many sexually active – “Is it normal to masturbate?” “Am I the only one who is masturbating every day?” “Is masturbation unhealthy?”
If you still have some lingering doubts, we’ll try to address them with this lowdown on masturbation myths and facts.
Is It Normal To Masturbate? Facts and Myths
Now, the word masturbation sounds a bit more awkward than the euphemistic ‘pleasuring herself’, right? Is masturbation normal? Of course, it is! The stigma surrounding masturbation is toxic and so 20th century! How are we going to progress and evolve as a society if we keep shoving these normal biological needs under the carpet?
The pertinent question, then, of course, is why the trolling? Is it because it was about female masturbation, and thus was unacceptable? Because men have been shown doing it or suggesting it on screen with little condemnation.
Or is it because it was not in a porn film but a mainstream film? Is it boiling down to a man-woman issue or just that it was upsetting, especially since it is about women? In a new public space, I was asked if the act (someone still didn’t quite want to use the word, masturbation) was an acceptable thing, irrespective of gender.
Well yes, and as usual, we do find references of such in our mythical stories, too, except that they are not as explicit as we are used to. Our storytellers of yore believed in imagery and flowery language, much like our old films which showed two flowers coming together! All the masturbation myths have come from these stories of fiction from which we have not been able to separate reality.
Is it normal to masturbate every day? Continue reading to get validation of why it is completely normal and healthy.
Related Reading: Oh My God! A Take On Sexuality In Mythology
Of course, it always existed!
This takes me to a relatively less known myth from the Mahabharata. Once upon a time, there lived King Uparichara Vasu in the city of Chedi. He was a famous and brave king, who was respected by even the Gods.
Once he had the urge to go hunting. Just when he was about to leave, he got a message from his wife, Queen Girika, who was in her fertile phase, to come and make love to her. But the king had other ideas of sporting in the wild and left his wife disappointed.
When he had had his fill of hunting, he decided to rest. The weather was lovely, and romance was in the air, and that is when he thought about his beautiful wife. The narrative says, thinking about her, ‘his seed fell’.
The narrative says, thinking about her, ‘his seed fell’.
As I said earlier, our texts have never been explicit. Still, being of an oral genre, such language enabled the storyteller to avoid being too direct and also avoid a single incident taking the focus away from the main narrative, which in this case is leading to the birth of Satyavati, who goes on to play a significant role in the epic.
The theme of masturbation is prominent, conveying that this act of satisfying yourself is an age-old phenomenon.
The Greeks and Sumerians have stories about it
Greek mythology, too, makes an interesting reference to the act of masturbation. According to the philosopher Diogenes, Pan, the god of the wild and the shepherds, was frustrated by unrequited love for Echo, who was in love with the handsome Hyacinthus.
Seeing Pan in pain, his father, the god Hermes, supposedly taught him the act of masturbation, a ‘solitary and sophisticated act of intercourse’, to relieve him of his frustration. Pan, in turn, is supposed to have taught it to the lonely shepherds!
According to Sumerian mythology, the famous rivers Tigris and Euphrates are supposed to be the result of the god Enki masturbating in the dry riverbeds to give birth to them. Once again, there is no taboo on the act or the implication of masturbation.
The cynic might say that these all refer to male masturbation. As someone once said, the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence! Mythology has primarily been written by men and quite often for men.
In this all-male domain, this has been overlooked, but that doesn’t imply that female masturbation did not exist. Besides, not discussing it then cannot be a reason not to discuss it now. These masturbation facts have been the result of decades of research and archaeology.
It’s a basic human instinct
The said movie might not have caused the ripples desired by the producers of the film, but it sure has brought the subject out in the open and that too through mainstream cinema. So the gentleman who was scandalized watching the scene with his grandmother, take heart!
The actress wasn’t doing something alien to human culture; she was giving in to one of the most fundamental instincts of humans. The best you should have done is not watched the movie with your grandmother. Stop trolling the actress! Besides, we are living in a world, where if you can, so can she!
To answer the question of how much is normal masturbation, it’s totally up to you. It depends on your needs, desires, and mood. Don’t be embarrassed by something so natural that everyone does. And if it empowers you, don’t hesitate to speak about it in public!