Jokes about masturbation are countless, and, when men get together, they are quick with many crude quips about the subject. But considering that masturbation is one of the most common acts in which human beings engage, it is surprising that there is not more serious information available to the general public. How much understanding does the average person have about the subject? Why is such a common human experience still considered to be a taboo subject by so many?
A shorthand explanation is that the taboo about discussing masturbation is not based on the mechanical stimulation of the genital itself, but rather on the emotionally-laden fantasies that accompany the act. This fact will become abundantly clear as you progress through this book.
I hope to convey clearly what I have learned about masturbation from my more than 50 years of clinical experience as a child and adult psychiatrist and child and adult psychoanalyst. In any in-depth form of psychotherapy or psychoanalysis, sexuality, including masturbation, is always discussed, because sexuality is such an integral component of human experience. I have had the privilege of talking to literally thousands of boys, girls, men and women about their sexuality, and in particular their masturbation.
Some of the information that follows is taken from a scientific paper I authored that was published in the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association in 2012. Because listening to this book may stimulate further interest in the subject, I have included a bibliography that will facilitate further study of the thinking about this subject of other professionals.
Most of my clinical experience has been with heterosexual men. Therefore, this book will focus on them. However, since nearly all men, and most women, regardless of sexual orientation, masturbate; the information herein should be useful to everyone.