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The Motivation for Masturbation

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    - A psychological perspective.

    I'm writing a 3000 word essay on human motivation, the topic I've chosen in masturbation. I chose masturbation because on the outside, it serves little purpose in terms of reproductive success or anything like that so it would be an interesting topic to look into. Plus, my lecturer is interested in sex-psychology so I might manage a few more marks for interest sake

    Have you come across anything of interest? Could this be described through a Darwinian perspective?

    I'm thinking about things like it enabling a person to release tension from the libido perhaps, without risking either pregnancy or impregnation (and thus potentially losing your resources through having to pay for the child's upbringing (if you're male), personal safety (no risk of STD/harmful pregnancy or harm from male relations such as brothers and fathers, and harm from jealous partners).

    And of course there's the fact that although it's not as good as sex, it's a damned site easier to masturbate than to get laid. Perhaps there's a psychological argument for lazy people, here..!


    And of course, humans are not the only animals that masturbate. I propose that this proves that masturbation is not a cultural behaviour.

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    Does anyone have any helpful ideas about the human motivation to masturbate?
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    what Uni are you at!?
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    To achieve orgasm? That's my main objective anyway, dunno about others.
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    (Original post by BexyBear)
    what Uni are you at!?
    I'm at Kent, in my final year.


    (Original post by The_master616)
    To achieve orgasm? That's my main objective anyway, dunno about others.
    :lol: Well that's certainly the desired outcome. I think that works with the releasing tension argument. I can't think of why humans need to orgasm though, that's a difficult one.
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    I think it's a subconscious need to do it. Like eating, sleeping and the need to find shelter, orgasm is what usually results after mating.
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    My main motivation is that if I don't, my insides will clean themselves out in the middle of the night, and my mum does my laundry. There's no purely psychological motivation behind it at all, it's a physical necessity.
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    (Original post by spiral87)
    My main motivation is that if I don't, my insides will clean themselves out in the middle of the night, and my mum does my laundry. There's no purely psychological motivation behind it at all, it's a physical necessity.
    Females masturbate too, and so do animals, so it must be more than that.
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    For pleasure.

    I go by inclination and natural drives.

    HENCE THE USERNAME, GET IT?
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    I'd have thought it's pretty basically a side-effect of our evolutionary imperative to have sex: sex feels good because that way we have more of it, and we hijack that system to feel good without the bother of finding someone else. I'm don't see that there's that much to talk about (though I feel I'm probably in danger of coming off like this comic) in the way of 'motivation'; the motivation for getting sexual pleasure is evolutionarily obvious, and in the absence of other people to help people will do it by themselves. If people masturbating in preference to sex were a common thing it would be interesting, but they don't, to my knowledge.
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    I usually do it when I have trouble getting to sleep :erm:
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    Maybe you're looking more into this than it is. Creatures masturbate, I mean it's a simple but effective pleasure that relieves stress and feels good. I mean what other motivation could there be?

    I'm not having a go btw, its just that I don't see more that what it is.
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    Its fun?

    No seriously, its like asking why we eat chocolate rather than an apple - its because it tastes nicer.
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    This makes the uni assignment I'm currently writing seem so boring in comparison.

    Surely the main motivation is the fact that the end result feels well, orgasmic.
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    (Original post by aliluvschoc)
    Females masturbate too, and so do animals, so it must be more than that.
    I'm only speaking from a personal point of view. It does feel good obviously and everyone just sometimes gets the urge

    Still, some women can get to 20+ without ever touching themselves or having an orgasm, guys start at about 11 or 12 and do it as much as they can.
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    (Original post by The_master616)
    Maybe you're looking more into this than it is. Creatures masturbate, I mean it's a simple but effective pleasure that relieves stress and feels good. I mean what other motivation could there be?

    I'm not having a go btw, its just that I don't see more that what it is.
    Apparently women masturbate more during certain parts of their menstrual cycle, and men masturbate more regularly when they are cheating. I need to remember the sources for that, but I don't see how anything can be too simple to investigate.
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    (Original post by spiral87)
    I'm only speaking from a personal point of view. It does feel good obviously and everyone just sometimes gets the urge

    Still, some women can get to 20+ without ever touching themselves or having an orgasm, guys start at about 11 or 12 and do it as much as they can.
    I wonder how true that really is.
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    Is it not just the sex drive, which could be explained biologically?

    I too would have thought this was a bit too "simple" to investigate, but then perhaps as you say there's more to it than you'd initially expect.
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    Sometimes boredome is the main reason.
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    (Original post by aliluvschoc)
    Apparently women masturbate more during certain parts of their menstrual cycle, and men masturbate more regularly when they are cheating. I need to remember the sources for that, but I don't see how anything can be too simple to investigate.
    Well, the first just follows from fertility being at different levels during the cycle; it makes sense for women to want more to have sex when they're more fertile. The second sounds interesting, though it could easily be a case of correlation rather than causation (ie the men that want more to have sex and therefore masturbate are more likely to cheat).

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Updated: January 4, 2012
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