Talking About Masturbation

by Reid on April 16, 2015

Middle-aged couple hugging in hammockMost people don’t talk about masturbation, and that can leave people feeling ashamed or uncomfortable.

Join Reid Mihalko from and Cathy Vartuli from as they share.

Cathy: Do you ever masturbate?

Reid: No! Never.

Cathy: You’re going to scare them.

Reid: What are we talking about?

Cathy: Masturbation.

Reid: Oh, no! No, no!

Cathy: A lot of us are brought …

Reid: I’m Reid Mihalko from

Cathy: I’m Cathy Vartuli from

Reid: What are we talking about today?

Cathy: Masturbation. In our society, a lot of people were taught that it’s really shameful, sinful or that it’s just something you do until you get a relationship.

Reid: Really? That’s kind of fucked up.

Cathy: It’s kind of sad.

Reid: Yeah because masturbation is about pleasure and understanding how and what makes you feel good and being able to go to all kinds of fantasy in your brain and merge that erotic that’s happening in your brain, that turn on with the actual self-manipulation and not having your pleasure be anchored to … or dependent upon another person, but you being a sovereign agent, a fine individual who has control and expression over their own sexuality.

Cathy: Yes.

Reid: That’s fucked up that culture tells us otherwise.

Cathy: It really is.

Reid: If they were really thinking they’d say it’s also a sin against God.

Cathy: Whatever you were taught, when you connect with your body and learn what turns you on, if nothing else, it will help you communicate that to your partners. It is a beautiful way to relieve stress after a long day or connect with yourself. I have an abuse history, so for me, when I used to masturbate it was not very connected and I’m still working on that. It’s still a process, but when we connect with ourselves with love as much as we can; we’re really opening pathways too for pleasure. As I continue working through that and releasing trauma and be more connected with my body, I find that there’s a lot more pleasure involved in masturbating and I bring those pleasure pathways to my partners. It’s just a delightful way to explore and get to learn about yourself.

Reid: Yes. It’s a great way for you to work on your own kind of like, “Wow, I have a lot of shame or own sexuality. I’m feeling pleasure. I don’t deserve to feel pleasure. Oh my goodness, if I’m masturbating I’m wasting energy that I could be devoting to my partner,” which isn’t really true unless you’re using masturbation to avoid connecting with your partner. Then we could actually have a conversation about what’s going on and there’s enough pleasure to go around.

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: Why are you masturbating? Are you masturbating to enjoy yourself and your body and God’s gifts to yourself or are you using masturbation for non-positive reasons. You don’t have to get all psychosomatic about it, but are you enjoying yourself or are you masturbating to prove that you’re not worthy? All the weird stuff that we do, that’s usually culture. Pleasure is pleasure. Go read Sex for One by Betty Dodson.

Cathy: That’s a great book.

Reid: That’s a great book. Read Full Exposure by Susie Bright, another great book about eroticism. Enjoy yourself, enjoy your body. We only have it this lifetime folks. Get to it.

Cathy: It’s really fun if you masturbate with a partner because you get to see things they do themselves that you’re like, “Ooh, I can’t wait to do that to them,” or you can find out little things that really turn them on. It’s also really hot.

Reid: Yeah and then you’re also role modeling for each other that it’s okay for you guys to touch yourselves and have your own agency around your own pleasure and that you can just share that with each other by doing that together. Some people think it’s freaking hot.

Last but not least, a lot of people love masturbating with toys. Don’t make it mean something about yourself or your partner if you can’t have orgasms without using toys. Use toys, explore using toys. There’s all these different kinds of sensations and situations that you can create with a partner, without a partner. In masturbation, use it as your own personal laboratory to just try all kinds of things, different sensations, vibrators, not vibrators, dildos, lubes, not lubes.

Cathy: Bubble baths.

Reid: I recommend lube. Then go nuts, have fun and then share what you discovered about yourself with the people in your life if it’s appropriate, not at the Thanksgiving Day table.

Cathy: Maybe not the bus driver on the way to work.

Reid: No. If you are having Thanksgiving dinner with us then you could totally be like, “Oh my God, I figured this out, masturbating,” because we’re cool with that, we’re probably naughty guys.

Cathy: Yes. Leave comments below. We’d love to know what you think. What stories did you have about masturbation growing up, what did you discover about yourself?

Reid: What are your favorite techniques?

Cathy: Yes.


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