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A Lesson in Permission-giving: Or what happened when I didn’t want to masturbate

[You’re in for a treat, dear readers – this one has quite a bit of self disclosure.]

People who know me, know that I LOVE masturbation. My blog readers may have even sensed a theme — it’s a topic I’ve written a lot about. I even have a list of my favorite things.  If it’s possible for self pleasuring to be part of one’s core beliefs then it is definitely one of mine.

Then of course, there is  Masturbation May: a whole month(!)  dedicated to getting ourselves off! Yes, please! Ooh, I love it! I believe masturbation is important whether you’re in relationships or single. It is one of the best ways to figure out what you like and what feels good. As we know, it is the least risky kind of sex. As long as you are playing with clean toys, with no sharp edges it’s pretty safe. (You could fall out of a chair, though, I suppose…)

But what happens when low desire sets in?

legs and arms crossed over pelvis

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

I recently experienced a sudden, jarring realization that several days – maybe a week? – had gone by since my last orgasm. As a sexologist and a lover of this form of pleasure, I felt sort of guilty.

Hold up, hold up, hold up … Feeling guilty for NOT masturbating? Yeah, that’s weird. I felt conflicted because I try to practice what I preach. On the other hand, I know it can be counterproductive to force anything sexual. Things can back fire, and we end up more frustrated than anything else.

In an effort to encourage embodiment and acceptance in myself and my own sexuality,  I had to give myself permission that it was okay to not want to masturbate.

Desire ebbs and flows throughout our lifetimes. There are times when we have to “fake it til we make it” — pleasuring ourselves or having sex when we’re not really in the mood — which is NOT the same thing as being coerced) but then the body catches up and is like, “Thanks! I needed that!”

The question really comes down to how you feel about the change in desire. Is it something you want to change? Or are you okay with it for the time being and comfortable with allowing the embers of your desire to flare up when they are ready?

There may be times when you just don’t want to put a lot of time or energy into masturbation or sex. And that’s okay. However, if low desire is something you want to change (and as long as it is not related to medical concerns) I would say don’t wait for desire to return. You may have to jump into action to get your fire burning again. In the sexual response cycle desire sometimes follows arousal rather than the other way around.

male vs. female arousal

The funny thing in my recent scenario was as soon as I named it and allowed myself the permission to not masturbate if I wasn’t in the mood, my desire shifted like the wind. Now, that doesn’t always happen, sometimes my change in desire can be as stubborn as I am. But I found it pretty amusing as I reached for some lube and headed for my first orgasm in days.

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