Masturbation is normal, natural, and frankly, a pretty boring activity for people to clutch their pearls over. And yet, the pearl clutching over touching one’s own bits has been a popular feature of plenty of societies and cultures for ages–including our own. But there’s some good news: it’s a little less taboo than it was in the past. Hell, we’re finally getting around to collectively acknowledging that it’s not just a guy’s past time and it’s not weird for girls to masturbate. That’s a big step!
And yet, there are a lot of masturbation myths out there there that–whether you buy into them are not–are meant to stoke fear and skepticism about a pretty harmless sexual act. Whether thanks to religious dogma or straight up misinformation, let’s all have a laugh and a cringe at nine of the most outrageous masturbation myths ever. Hey, you might have believed a few of these yourself once upon a time.
Masturbation Makes You Go BlindIs there any scientific evidence for this? Nope. Did that stop generations of old school conservatives and religious folks from telling young people that masturbation will make them lose their vision? Of course not! Luckily, this charge seems to be moving out of vogue, but what better way to strike the fear into the heart of a harmless 11-year-old than the threat of blindness from touchin' their junk? Skins
You'll Lose Your Hair If You MasturbateMasturbation makes you feel good. What it doesn't do is make you lose your hair. This myth has mostly been directed at men to prevent the, from jerkin' it, but regardless at the gender it was angled to...it's BS. Masturbation has nothing to do with your hair follicles. Empire Records
Guys Pretty Much Have To Masturbate; Girls, Not So MuchListen, there's nothing in the biology of a cis-gender man that suggests that they HAVE to masturbate, while women just don't have that biological need. This myth just falsely normalizes the idea that masturbation is appropriate for men to do, but weird AF for women to do. While more men masturbate than women, more than half of women already own up to doing it. In other words...a ton of women are playing with their bits, and there's nothing weird or abnormal about it. Orgasms are orgasms, and they feel good for everyone. Fast Times At Ridgemont High
Your Palms Will Become HairyI'm going to be honest, I have no idea where this myth originated and the internet was of little help when it came to figuring out that mystery. Just rest assured that it's not true. Your palms will be exactly the same after you masturbate...you should probably wash them, though, at the very least. Ginger Snaps
You'll Get A Ton Of AcneWhat better way of terrifying a hormonal teenager than with the threat of having a face full of acne if they dare touch their bits and pieces? For ages, people falsely perpetuated the urban legend that masturbation causes acne. Touching your penis or your vagina has nothing to do with oil production and skin cells on your cheeks...think about it. My So-Called Life
You'll Go InsaneWhen masturbation wasn't associated with weird physical side effects like strange hair growth or associated with criminal and anti-social behavior...people just resorted to believing masturbation made you go nuts. Um, for the record...it doesn't. Enough said. There's enough stigma against mental illness without people having to throw in masturbation into the mix. The Craft
People In Relationships Don't MasturbateDon't buy this BS, and don't be guilted out of masturbating (or assuming your partner will or should stop doing it) just because you're in a relationship. Couples still masturbate because, um, we all have needs, and sometimes our partner isn't there. Or, you know, sometimes we just want to get off solo. Couple even get each other off and perform mutual masturbation. Masturbation actually provides a sense of intimacy for many couples, so don't get it twisted: Masturbation isn't just for single losers who can't get any. Clueless
Masturbation Will Make You InfertileWhile doctors suggest that people with a low sperm count avoid masturbating frequently if they're trying to have a baby with their partner...there's no--and I mean no--evidence that masturbation leads to infertility. Broad City
It's Just Straight Up Bad For YouYou've probably heard this before, but masturbation actually has a lot of positive benefits. It can help ease menstrual cramps, prevent insomnia, and ease anxiety. Plus, it just feels good. The only time you might need to worry about masturbation is if you feel a compulsive desire to do it to the point of interfering from your normal, daily activities. Otherwise, masturbate on! There's nothing to be afraid of. The To-Do List
Which of these myths do you consider the most over the top and ridiculous? Which did you actually believe once upon a time? Tell us in the comments!