The “M” Word

Personal notes are no longer personal….

I would like to take some time out and speak on the subject of masturbation. Before everyone gets all giggly and slightly grossed out, I implore you to stay the course and keep an open mind on this one because I believe I touch on some valid points that could be beneficial. My relationship with the “M” word is a mixed bag. Having gone through the phase of binging on the typical addictive and slightly destructive substances as a young pubescent adult, I have now developed a strong dislike and dare I say “hatred” for such a task. 

Masturbation can come in many shapes and forms. We are all familiar with the sexual form no matter your gender, but people often fail to realize that there are many other types that aren’t as direct an gritty as the most popular form of pleasure. I’m going to loosely define masturbation as a way of self-nurturing in order to seek pleasure and a state of familiarity one would normally get from their surroundings. The act of creating something on your own to avoid the social resource is the aspartame to me on a social level. It is a synthetic substitution that poses dangers to the self on both superficial and deeper levels.

As we grow into adults we discover that we do have the power to make ourselves happy and that it is possible to isolate ourselves from the population and live a somewhat normal life. We explore these methods as we go through puberty. Some of us cling to this form of self sufficiency more than others. Problems can form in the form of addiction. We begin to believe that further human interaction to achieve the same satisfying result is possible and eventually becomes a thing to be desired. There is a shift in priorities for some of us, and we begin to see how low we can sink. 

I’m not implying the act poses no positive outcomes. We all love to get our kicks in many ways. What bothers me the most is the type of isolation it creates. Many of us may not realize the damage this can be causing in both an intimate and non-intimate relationship. I know I’ve had my failed attempts due to my previous beliefs of self-nurturing behavior where it didn’t belong. Damage can be done to the user and the partner on a transparent level. Someone may all of a sudden not receive the same amount of attention from their significant other and begin to question the source of this lack of interaction. Not only that but the user is convinced that their partner is no longer as high a priority as they once were. 

If you are aware of the type of isolation this can cause, it is most surprising to see how quickly these waves of emotions can come into our headspace. We cancel plans and throw out human interactions altogether. This may seem like a plus when a short amount of thought is been devoted, but later (and sometimes when irreversible damage has been done) we realize the pain we have caused for ourselves and to those around us. 

Human interaction is a beautiful thing. As much as I like to get lost in the mountains on my bike I find human interaction of equal value (and human interaction while on the bike is, I’m sure you guessed it, euphoric.) We are social creatures and there is scientific research that shows significant health benefits from a healthy amount of interaction with others. I’ve been living at my new place for almost two weeks and immediately enjoy the company of another person there with me. While I’m trying to find the balance between a healthy interaction between cohabitants and unhealthy smothering, time spent is enjoyed in all forms. 

So to take such as thing as powerful as human interaction and substituting it for something as selfish as masturbation is an ugly and destructive thing to do. It may be satisfying momentarily, but if you are unaware of the psychological damage it can do, it may be too late before you find yourself isolated from your peers. Sure there are those who can still interact with others while still getting our kicks alone, but like all addictive habits, it takes a strong mind and discipline not to cross the thin line into a harmful form of self indulgence.

See, not so bad after all, right? Until next time….

-dfj

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