Why Arabs Need to Understand and Talk About Masturbation

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Any topic related to sexual health is usually taboo in the Arab community. Generally, sex education is something that is not discussed amongst those that are born and raised in a conservative Arab households. And let’s be honest, most Arab households are very tight on specific boundaries not being crossed. Today we will briefly talk about masturbation in the Arab world, why is it looked down upon? And what are some of the health benefits of self pleasure? Because believe me there are many to consider. 

Masturbation is a topic that is not discussed or taught to young individuals based on cultural norms and standards in most Arab households. Most MENA households teach young men and women that it is inappropriate to know anything related to the topic of sex and understanding their own human bodies. The topic of self-pleasure is immediately an extremely far-fetched topic to be discussed. If you happened to get the sex talk from you Arab parents, you’re one of the very few lucky (or unlucky?) ones.

Most women don’t talk about masturbation because it is even more controversial and they are never given the freedom to understand and explore their body and their sexual needs. The saying always goes that men want to marry women that are pure and innocent, and the ones that understand themselves can often be too demanding. This means women that know what they want inside the bedroom are looked down upon simply because how would they know? Where did they find out? How did they figure it out? Arab men of the older generation can’t even remember the last time their wives demanded something in the bedroom from them. The topic of a woman pleasing herself can be something to ask and discuss but most don’t even know how to do it, and where to begin. 

In the Arab world, sex for men is the opposite of sport. For example, when people play soccer, they always talk about it. This is not the same when it comes to sex for men. Everyone is having it, and most men have admitted to having it way before marriage, but no one talks about it because it is a topic that is looked down upon and will cause a lot of judgement for others. For men it is easier to get away with it because they don’t need to deal with the whole drama attached to a woman’s virginity status and her family honor. 

All genders in the Arab community don’t really talk about masturbation since it is less normalized than the topic of having sex itself, and the theme of self-pleasure usually rises the feeling of disgust within these cultural minorities that are simply not educated in a topic like that. When people don’t have the facts, they will be quick to judge and make assumptions. At Yalla! Let’s Talk., we are here to tell you that there are many benefits to masturbation you should consider, including the fact that it is one of the safest ways for people to receive sexual pleasure and not have to worry about STD’s, inflections or pregnancies. It is completely natural, normal and in fact very healthy when practised at a moderate frequency. 

According to Planned Parenthood here are some of the benefits to masturbation 

1. Releases stress

Masturbation is known to help release stress and sexual tension. Sexual desire and expression is a normal human biological need that most people have (unless you’re asexual). If you’re not sexually active with a partner, masturbation can be a great alternative to satisfy your biological sexual needs. It is also known to help you sleep better at night. 

2. Helps you gain confidence 

When you are able to explore your body and see what are some things you enjoy and what you don’t like, you gain more confidence in yourself and your body. Importantly, when you are in a relationship and are sexually active with your partner, you are better able to communicate to your partner what you like and don’t like when you understand your body well. 

3. Releases endorphins 

This is a simple and obvious one, but masturbation releases endorphins and puts you in a better mood. So next time you want to have a good day, maybe try some self pleasure 😉 

4. Helps relieve menstrual cramps and muscle tension 

If you are a woman who struggles with terrible menstrual cramps, or if you are someone who has bad muscle tension, we are here to tell you that masturbation can fix that. It is also able to strengthen the muscle tone in your pelvic and anal areas. 

The topic of masturbation in the Arab world is extremely taboo and not talked about. However, we should definitely work on destigmatizing it and normalizing the conversation around it for our own health. We are here to tell you that is completely healthy and one of the safest ways to please yourselves. There are several benefits to it and people have said that it is a crucial part of development and growing into who you are and understanding your identity. Some of you might be unfamiliar with it, or might be surrounded by people that don’t condone it. We’re here to tell you maybe you should reconsider it and try to look at the concept in a more positive light, and maybe even too slowly try to have fun and explore your body.

by Mariam Asif – YLT Staff
@marr_2000

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