Why do we masturbate?
Okay, yes, it's a very loaded question. And it's one to which I doubt I could append a particularly comprehensive answer. There are many reasons to masturbate and I'm not going to interview all 7.2 billion people on the planet to find them all out. And that's not counting all the people who don't.
Over time, I've been through a lot. I didn't start masturbating until I'd had my first sexual experience, and even then, it wasn't for any particular reason other than the fact that I was enjoying orgasms too much to stop. Throughout university, I was getting back in touch with my sexuality - particularly in my first year when I'd just come off SSRIs - and, being free to do what I wanted in my little room, masturbation became a big part of that... both reclaiming an identity and starting to amass my porn collection.
For the last decade, my reasons for masturbation have been as varied as one would expect. Usually it's just to gain pleasure. Sometimes it's an experiment. Or an emergency. Or a way to pass the time. Maybe I'm just horny. I've also masturbated for people. Over people. On people. And sometimes, even though I doubted Esque when she originally told me, it does help me sleep.
But for the past month or so, there's no doubt as to why I've been masturbating.
I've been under an incredible amount of stress. I won't go into the details, because there are far too many (and too varied, and too identifiable...) to mention. Living in the capitalist world as I do, most of the stress is to do with money, but then there's also time and self-image and confidence, and the lack of the same. Work is a slog and seeming like it's too much, even though I was missing it when I wasn't there. There are so many unexpected outside sources that have come from outside - all of them at approximately the same time. Frankly, I'm a bit of a wreck.
It all seems too much. And that's why I masturbate.
As a result of stress, one of the things I've lost is control. I'm not a very driven person, but at least I like to have an idea of what the next short-term goal is. In these situations, it's hardly even possible. I can break things into small chunks, but every time I do, the end goal gets changed and I have to start again from scratch.
But when I masturbate, I take control. It's something I know how to do. It's fun, it feels good, it's healthy, and it's free. Sometimes, it's the only thing I can do, because I have no time, wherewithal, or resources to do anything else.
I know it's silly. I know it's temporary. People say it's not good to run away from your problems. They say it's better to light one candle than curse the darkness. I'm aware of all that, and I know that if I do one thing that I can (and there aren't many that I can do; I am limited where I am right now), that's on thing off the list. But I need it. I need that sweet release; I need to trick myself into believing that everything's all right.
In those few moments, orgasm helps me achieve that state.
Why do I masturbate? Because I need to. Because I need to escape. It's the only way out.