• tim wood
    5.6k
    Maybe it is different for a woman because at least for me the goal of masturbation is to orgasm.ArguingWAristotleTiff
    It seems to me that most folks' understanding is partly backwards. Orgasm is evolution's gift to those that survive to get them to do the business required to survive - all the extra pleasures and possibilities thereof just a bonus that is in fact a part of the package. If sex is that business, then orgasm is the reward. Of course for an emotionally healthy and mature human there's much added to that, and that properly the physical pleasure falls within the spectrum of the many joys of relationship.

    That is, sex doesn't push us, so much as orgasm (broadly understood as the whole spectrum of pleasures that sex can yield, along with the thing itself) pulls us. The "O," then - the bigger the better - is just one of the places we're built for and purposed to go to - masturbation just healthy practice for discovery and keeping in shape, as it were, maybe like tai chi, for the main event(s).
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.7k
    I fixed that for you.Benkei

    True indeed. Thank you my friend. I know I can always rely on you to correct my errors.
  • Tobias
    14
    I do not know if I have much to offer. Kant was against masturbation because he thought it constituted using your body as a means to an end. I am inclined to a liberal view myself and to challenge that liberal view I will try to give what is in my view the most compelling argument against masturbation.
    That would be the following: in masturbation you replace a direct sexual encounter with another human being for one with yourself. In that relationship you have complete control, you expose yourself to no one and can explore every sexual fantasy you like without having to negotiate with a partner. This creates a fantasy world in which you are much more safe than in the 'other' world that sexuality is. With ' other' I mean here you expose yourself to another, a 'not you'. Now if masturbation takes the place of actually venturing out in the sexual with a partner, it might be harmful because it makes actually beginning that journey harder, you feel safe in that world you created for yourself.
    So this argument is different from Kant's masturbation is not wrong because it is self indulgent, it is 'wrong' because it excludes otherness. You allow a fantasy to take the place of the real.
  • Jack Cummins
    461

    The problem I see with your argument is that you talk as though the choice of avoiding 'otherness' of masturbation as if it is a lasting, permanent option. It is surely an option rather than just entering into relationships just for sexual gratification.

    Relationships are based on a lot more, so I would argue that masturbation is a way of living in the meantime. The right person may not be found for a while or not at all, but this is a matter very different to the act of masturbation itself.
  • Todd Martin
    34
    Funny, to join a philosophy forum and find masturbation as the most interesting current topic!
    The Ancient Greek philosopher Diogenes (as Diogenes Laertius tells us in his biography of the philosophers) was caught masturbating, and ridiculed for it; he responded, “I wish I could satisfy my belly by rubbing it!”.
  • bert1
    575
    Maybe it is different for a woman because at least for me the goal of masterbation is to orgasm.ArguingWAristotleTiff

    Whereas for me the goal is to traumatise schoolchildren.
  • Jack Cummins
    461

    Your reply is worrying!
  • Todd Martin
    34
    Rereading Rousseau’s Emile on this subject (Allan Bloom’s translation). Here is a paragraph taken from his (Rousseau’s) instructions to the tutor of Emile, charged with the young man’s education (pp 333-4):
    “...watch the young man carefully. He can protect himself from everything else, but it is up to you to protect him from himself. Do not leave him alone, day or night. At the very least, sleep in his room. Distrust instinct as soon as you no longer limit yourself to it. It is good as long as it acts by itself; it is suspect from the moment it operates within man-made institutions. It must not be destroyed, but it must be regulated, and that is perhaps more difficult than annihilating it. It would be very dangerous if instinct taught your pupil to trick his senses and find a substitute for the opportunity of satisfying them. Once he knows this dangerous supplement, he is lost. From then on he will always have an enervated body and heart. He will suffer till his death the sad effects of this habit, the most fatal to which a man can be subjected. Surely, rather than that...If the furies of an ardent temperament become invincible, my dear Emile, I pity you; but I shall not hesitate for a moment, I shall not allow nature’s goal to be eluded. If a tyrant must subjugate you, I prefer to yield you to one from whom I can deliver you. Whatever happens, I shall tear you more easily away from women than from yourself.”
    One should look at the context of this passage: here Rousseau contrasts masturbation as an “instinct”, ie as a mere satisfaction of physical need like Diogenes’ example, with the act as one of imagination, freighted with the images of a corrupted society...which speaks much to the post that preceded this one.
  • Baden
    11k


    I'm just going to pretend I didn't see that.
  • Todd Martin
    34
    By “the post that preceded this one”, I mean, of course, the penultimate one, not the ultimate; ie, not Mr. Cummins’, but Bert’s
  • Book273
    65
    Masturbation avoids the problem of safe sex. Also, at the present time of the pandemic we are almost prohibited from meeting others so masturbation is about the only uncomplicated form of sexual expression left openJack Cummins

    Well, as per our national chief medical officer, as long as you wear a mask while having sex, then it's ok to have sex during the pandemic. Which, to me, says she is doing it wrong. This also explains why our national pandemic policies are so bizarre, if you think a medical mask during sex is the way to go, clearly I can disregard anything else you ever say.

    To the point of the question, I would suggest that NOT masturbating would be more of a violation of moral duty to self. I would further support that by explaining the value of masturbation to the self as successful masturbation releases pent up stress, relaxes the individual and allows for improved sleep.
  • Jack Cummins
    461
    [reply="Book273;472855"
    I did not realise that the chief medical officer said that it is fine to have sex during the pandemic, as long as you wear a mask. No wonder the virus is spreading. But what about social distancing and handwashing? It seems rather absurd. I presume that she meant that it is fine with members of your household or social bubble, not chance encounters with strangers?

    I still think that masturbation is the best option for many at this point in time. At the moment, it is one of the few liberties we have left.
  • god must be atheist
    2.4k
    At the moment, it [masturbation] is one of the few liberties we have left.Jack Cummins

    I don't look at it as liberty. I look at it as your duty that you pay to your country and people. It is the yoke you bear for your family; you protect them, fight for them and for their welfare by your ceremonial discharge. It is certainly healthier than smoking. (Please... no cheap puns.) A husband and wife, in holy matrimony, and in God's own service, will make their marriage last a lifetime by employing the services of imaginary lovers.

    "Spare the rod and spoil the child."

    We must join and sing hozannah to the Lord, for masturbation is not only a duty, but a gift from the gods. It is one of the most egalitarian widespread movements that join people regardless of race, creed, nationality, height, financial standing, flexibility, organ donor status, sex, gender, gender identity, confusion, misplaced sex organs, sexual changelings, and god only knows what else.
  • Jack Cummins
    461

    Yes, I am glad that you celebrate diversity in all its forms. We must uphold gender dysphoria, intersex, misplaced bodies and all the people who do not fit into the binary of gender.
  • god must be atheist
    2.4k
    Binary genders as such started first with the first digital computers. It's basically O-s and I-s. I shan't elaborate.
  • Jack Cummins
    461

    I do agree, and I think that each of us has a masculine and feminine side, but primarily I am coming from a Jungian perspective and I am bisexual.
    ,
  • god must be atheist
    2.4k
    I am magnetic, in this sense, that I find myself attracted to the opposite, but I do celebrate sexual diversity.

    To deny a block of people sexual joy and ensuing happiness just because they are different is cruel.
  • god must be atheist
    2.4k
    Well, as per our national chief medical officer, as long as you wear a mask while having sex, then it's ok to have sex during the pandemicBook273

    I think we must petition the med officer that during masturbation as well we ought to wear masks, and socially distance ourselves from ourselves.

    This ought to be the only way allowed to autoerotical satisfaction.
  • Book273
    65
    that's why you wear a mask while in the car alone. So that you can't catch Covid from yourself, as you are already closer than six feet from yourself...unless you have a dissociated personality disorder, then your are fine, sort of.
  • Dymora
    31
    I bet Emanual Kant can't or won't. The reproductive system is based on extreme pleasure, insatiable pleasure. I think it pretty ABNORMAL to not want to allow ourselves to experience this pleasure whenever we can; either by sex or oursex. Usually, only real sex has the ability to harm another individual. I guess you could rub the foreskin off if your really abrasive and persistent. I don't think that masturbation helps social interaction skills that much like real sex has the ability to do. Jus' Sayin'
  • Maw
    2.2k
    Kant was a virgin, just jack off who gives a shit
  • god must be atheist
    2.4k
    Kant was doing himself, and his self is a container for his last name. So technically he was not a virgin, as penetration in a--oh, boy,--metaphysical way was achieved.
  • Ignance
    16
    This is an odd topic; I've heard that Emanuel Kant believed that masturbation was a violation of "moral duty to the self" or something along those lines, but I'm not sure what his line of logic or reasoning was.

    Does anyone have any other opinions on this subject
    IvoryBlackBishop

    masturbation in itself is nothing to be particularly ashamed of, it’s really the pairing with porn that makes it a concerning matter. another facet is that semen is considered by some spiritualists to be an extremely creative, powerful force that should be retained and channeled rather than released.
  • bert1
    575
    It's fine as long as you wear a mask and maintain a 2m distance from the people you are with.
  • fishfry
    1.6k
    masturbation in itself is nothing to be particularly ashamed of, it’s really the pairing with porn that makes it a concerning matter.Ignance

    That's an interesting point of view, can you explain please? You are saying that if someone with a vivid imagination creates their own stimulation in their mind, that's ok; but if someone without such a good imagination uses the interwebs to dial up some visual stimulation, that's "concerning." Can you say why, and exactly what the concern is? Let's assume that the performers and production crew are all consenting adults and are compensated fairly.

    Also, one should not be "particularly" ashamed of wankification; but that perhaps they should be just a little ashamed? How much shame is required, exactly? I need to know right away. "Asking for a friend."
  • praxis
    2.9k
    I would argue that masturbation is about one of the only free ways of sexual expression in a broken and an increasingly coercive world.Jack Cummins

    Perhaps if you worked on your own coercive skills you wouldn’t need to pay so much.

    It is about acceptance of one's own body and sexuality. In this way, it can be seen as a spiritual act.Jack Cummins

    Did a priest tell you that? :grimace:
  • Ignance
    16
    That's an interesting point of view, can you explain please? You are saying that if someone with a vivid imagination creates their own stimulation in their mind, that's ok; but if someone without such a good imagination uses the interwebs to dial up some visual stimulation, that's "concerning." Can you say why, and exactly what the concern is? Let's assume that the performers and production crew are all consenting adults and are compensated fairly.fishfry

    there are some studies that show porn may pose a myriad of issues to the human brain. a cursory Google will show you these things, here’s a quotation from the top article.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/neurosciencenews.com/neuroscience-pornography-brain-15354/amp/

    “Porn use has been correlated with erosion of the prefrontal cortex — the region of the brain that houses executive functions like morality, willpower and impulse control. To better understand the role of this structure in behaviour, it’s important to know that it remains underdeveloped during childhood. This is why children struggle to regulate their emotions and impulses. Damage to the prefrontal cortex in adulthood is termed hypofrontality, which predisposes an individual to behave compulsively and make poor decisions.

    It’s somewhat paradoxical that adult entertainment may revert our brain wiring to a more juvenile state. The much greater irony is that while porn promises to satisfy and provide sexual gratification, it delivers the opposite.“

    and a bit deeper dive, a quotation from a more scholarly source dealing with how it may lead to lesser sexual satisfaction with intimate partners:

    “When judging the attractiveness of romantic partners, we often to refer to a common standard, one informed by other individuals we encounter (Kenrick & Gutierres, 1980), as well as the media we watch. When males view images of attractive females, and then judge the attractiveness of their own mates, we observe contrast effects—they see their mates as less attractive than those not exposed (Kenrick, Gutierres, & Goldberg, 1989). This same principle might also apply to other aspects of relationships: “Free-spirited, varied sexual encounters in pornography produce a sharp contrast versus the restrictions, commitment, and responsibilities associated with family and relationships and make the latter appear as particularly restricting” (Mundorf et al., 2007, p. 85) to Zillmann and Bryant (1988b) tested these contrast effects by exposing individuals to six hours of non-violent pornographic material over six weeks, measuring satisfaction with their (mostly dating) partners, not only in terms of attractiveness but also with affection, sexual curiosity, and sexual performance. Compared to controls, those exposed expressed substantially less satisfaction on each of these measures. These findings are supported by correlational data connecting pornography to decreased satisfaction with physical intimacy in a relationship (Bridges & Morokoff, 2011; Poulsen, Busby, & Galovan, 2013). Real life, it seems, does not compare favorably with pornography.”


    it can desensitize the human brain to regular run-of-the-mill heterosexual (and/or gay) relations and make people search for more extreme forms of porn, like BDSM, gaping, orgies and other forms of hardcore porn in order to achieve pleasure. really similar to a drug, honestly! (this is OFTEN ONLY, overconsumption however) another aspect is that it may delude consumers as to what actually occurs in sex or what sex should be like, (which leads to less sexual satisfaction as stated above) so, really my main concern lies within porn addiction (albeit what qualifies as “addiction” is somewhat nebulous in my opinion)

    of course, porn has its own benefits though. it encourages sexual expression, sexual catharsis etc. it isn’t DOOMING. and i find the issue has a lot of conflicting information due to some of it being religion-laced and that it’s a “sin” and all that other nonsense. maybe it’s a huge looming issue (with the NoFap forum/movement with thousands of members) or maybe it’s a case-by-case thing. but i feel like ive dealt with some issues with porn, so i abstain every now and then just to be safe

    Also, one should not be "particularly" ashamed of wankification; but that perhaps they should be just a little ashamed? How much shame is required, exactly? I need to know right away. "Asking for a friend."fishfry

    that was more me convincing myself, i don’t feel particularly shameful after masturbation, but i feel a little ashamed because i feel like i should be doing the real thing or i should’ve spent that time doing something else!
  • Outlander
    761
    Does anyone have any other opinions on this subject?IvoryBlackBishop

    Dopamine is addictive. Why go through the motions of maintaining a healthy relationship if that's all you're really after.

    There's many theories and beliefs as to why it's unhealthy ranging from the understandable to the downright bizarre. Heard it all. From folk tales like it can make you go blind, to religious views that it's a "waste" or other versions like "you have limited ammo" before you don't know what you're gonna get, and even more farfetched like every time you do a kid is born somewhere and one day you're gonna run into him. That and some say it's just gay. Sounds odd but you can't neglect the fact your mind and body is still reaching full mental and physical orgasm by vigorously stimulating a member of your own gender with your hands, even if it is your own. Just what I've heard.

    Porn is a side topic, which many also believe is unhealthy. First, you're watching another person with a person you're trying to focus on. Which subconsciously may be a little unhealthy. Let alone the industry, no one wants to see or even hear about their sister, daughter, or future, current, or ex partner baring it all for the world to see and.. doing that. Heard an interesting fringe theory as well. Some suggest it can lead to perversion as you're subconsciously training yourself to become aroused by imagery or video of persons who by visual comparison are much smaller than you the viewer. It's an interesting take.

    If anything it can lead to an unhealthy addiction that takes up your time and even leaves you burnt out for your life partner(s). That's not fun for either.
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