UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Campus Courting:


I am concerned about a friend of mine who I feel might be over-masturbating. He confessed that he does it several times a day everyday and sometimes he goes missing while we’re hanging out, I can’t stop from assuming he’s out back beating off. Could this be a serious problem, or medical condition?-Anonymous

Masturbating is a normal practice and feeling slightly weary about it is normal also. The Aetna Inteli-Health website (www.intelihealth.com) explains that “Among American adults about 90 percent of men and 65 percent of women practice masturbation. Despite the fact that this is an exceptionally common practice about half the teen-agers and adults who masturbate feel guilty or anxious about their behavior.” To me this is startling information. Masturbation is completely natural. It is a safe release of tension and of course pleasurable. I think accepting that you’re a human being with male instincts who masturbates is better than abstaining from masturbation due to guilt and turning to, let’s say drugs or alcohol for a stress-reliever. It’s easy, harmless and cheaper than beer. But, all joking aside sex and masturbation can become addictive like most activities or substances that lead to instant gratification. If you allow beating off to take precedence over other important aspects of your life it could be a sign of a problem.

Your question reminds me of a friend I had in high school. He had a touch of ADHD and was quite sexualized at 19. He told me that he beat off at least seven times per day, every day. This seemed shocking to me, since I knew people who could barely find time to eat, let alone masturbate daily with such busy schedules. But, he managed to. He explained, it was simple and calculated: 1. Morning Wood. 2. Pre-shower. 3. Before catching the bus. 4. In bathroom @ school where he’d then smoke a cigarette or a bowl, not always in that particular order 5. After-school Session. 6. Pre-dinner 7. Post-dinner. 8. In bed before sleep.

Mind you, he wasn’t the most scholarly guy I knew, but he managed to be a wicked musician in a punk rock band. A punk rocker that loves to talk about his masturbation? Shocker! Anyway, he later got a girlfriend who popped out a few kids. He tells me he still frequently masturbates, just not 8 times a day. He has a “real job” and kids to take care of. So, your friend is not alone. But, I understand your concern. Masturbation used to be frowned upon and still is in certain sects and religions. Catholic schoolchildren were told they’d go blind or would grown hair on their palms. This is all nonsense and quite repressive for young adults. My opinion is: Do it up! It’s important to be sexually aware of yourself, your desires and your body – men and women.

“It is generally considered compulsive if masturbation is performed excessively.” Inteli-health states if it, “becomes time consuming. Interferes with a person’s daily routine, work or social functioning. Continues despite no longer being pleasurable or gratifying. Places the individual at risk of physical harm, or has legal or personal consequences.” So, basically if he’s failing classes or avoiding social interactions with friends or loved ones because masturbation is consuming all his time and he’s missing out on life, then it’s most likely a problem. Also, if he’s avoiding real sexual experiences and prefers his hand to another human being, this could be a sign of a sexual disorder or an inability to feel intimacy with others. If he is over-masturbating to the point that his Johnson is being irritated and injured than, yes it is unhealthy and self-destructive and he’ll need to invest in some KY Jelly. Also, if he’s pulling (no pun intended) a Pee-Wee Herman (not that I entirely agree with his exploitation, but that’s another story) and jacking off in public this is illegal behavior and a surefire sign that your friend has a problem. But, if he’s simply feeling aroused often and needs to release a little bit more than the next guy, hey that’s fine. I’m assuming he’s young and men have a physical need to ejaculate. Plus it’s mating season, I think it is much better to masturbate than to exploit lots of women without discretion for meaningless sex.

Inteli-health suggests that “if you suspect that you have a sexual problem, discuss the situation with your doctor openly and honestly. In some cases, your doctor will simply reassure you that you have nothing to worry about.” There is also a helpful website full of Frequently Asked Questions regarding masturbation you may want to have him check out: “JackinWorld: The Ultimate Male Masturbation Resource” (www.jackinworld.com). But, if he’s you’re your average dude with a lot of “time” on his hands, then I say give the guy a break, or lend him a hand. Good Luck.

Is sperm less potent after the 3rd nut and if so does that cut down on the chances of unwanted pregnancy during unprotected sex?-Anonymous

Well, with repeated ejaculation the amount of semen decreases, but just because there is less of it does not by any means guarantee that the risk is lessened and it is nowhere near obsolete. There may be a miniscule reduction in pregnancy risk, but not enough to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Menstuff.org states that: “A load of ejaculate contains 40 million to 600 million sperm.” That is a good amount of sperm there bucko, so I’d say if you and your partner don’t want to get pregnant than use protection, or trust the birth control. Relying on the “third nut” rule is pretty risky. Also if you have consecutive ejaculations without thoroughly washing that area, especially if you are uncircumcised, there is a risk that there are live sperm cells living on your penis. Be careful.

A friend of mine has been with her boyfriend for three years, she loves him and even thinks he’s the man she’ll marry. The problem is she occasionally has phone sex with her ex-boyfriend in another state. Also if she’s ‘bored’ she goes to sexual chat rooms and she has ‘harmless’ cyber sex with strangers. She thinks just because she doesn’t know them and doesn’t actually touch anyone that it isn’t cheating. Her boyfriend would feel betrayed if he found out. She doesn’t know if she should stop. Or if it’s considered cheating. What should I tell her?-Anonymous

I’m not saying that this is cheating because there is no precise definition for it, it is a relative term and it depends on the situation you’re involved in. If your friend were in an open relationship it would obviously not be cheating. If she were in a relationship where non-physical interaction wasn’t considered serious than, no it would not be cheating, but she’s in a situation where her boyfriend will feel, as you put it “betrayed”, so this I would consider cheating. The sexual conversation she’s having is something that her man most likely feels is sacred talk for only his ears. Let her know that the fact that it is with her ex-boyfriend will definitely upset her current mate.

Give her a scenario: Ask her this: “Say your boyfriend is in class with a girl who he asked out a few years back and you know that he really liked her at one time, but it didn’t work out. They don’t touch each other, but they pass notes full of sexual innuendo. Would this upset you? Or would this be cool with you?” See what she says, but I’m pretty sure it would bother her. I know it would bother me. It would bother most people involved in closed relationships.

She should be aware that her committed boyfriend is making sacrifices for her, he may be abstaining from behavior he finds sultry or exciting for her sake. Tell her to take his sensitivity into account. Is this sensitivity something that drew her towards him? Her actions are bordering on downright dishonesty and she seems to be preying on his sweetness. I personally find that a very attractive quality. I feel that you could do a few things about this situation. I think you should ask your friend how attached she is to the idea of phone and cyber sex. Does she need to be doing this? Is she willing to give it up for her lover? If she is willing to put her steamy late night chat sessions in the past, then maybe she can keep this secret from him. But, if she is unable to stop, if this behavior defines her as a sexual being and she is unwilling to change, than she at least needs to tell her man. See what he thinks of it. After all he may have some skeletons in his closet that he’d like to let her know too. Communication and Honesty is Key!