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Masturbation - the Practice of Sole Sexual Pleasure

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Introduction

Masturbation or the practice of sole sexual pleasure is often considered a safe sexual activity that can improve both the health of the practitioner and his or her sex life with a sexual partner. For many adolescents, masturbation is the first type of sexual activity that they engage in. It serves as a way for adolescents to explore their own sexuality and to become familiar with their body. Many clinicians have recommended masturbation as a way for individuals to fulfill their sexual needs in the absence of a sexual partner. In addition, masturbation serves as a way for men to treat premature ejaculation and for women to improve their ability to attain orgasm. What now is considered an acceptable practice was at one time a sexually deviant taboo, a sin that goes against the natural order. Masturbation even caused a panic to break out in Europe during the 18th century. This entry provides a brief history of masturbation, the evolution of the practice from taboo to acceptable, the prevalence of the practice, and commonly accepted masturbation practices.

According to the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior (2010), most Americans have experimented with masturbation, with 67 to 94 percent of men admitting to masturbating at least once in their lives, and 43 to 85 percent of women. Despite the seemingly limitless amounts of slang terms and phrases synonymous with masturbation, it is important to note that not everyone partakes. Masturbation may be only one of many sexual behaviors that constitute our sexual identities, but there are limitless possibilities in your exploration and participation. Herpes can very much be a beginning of a new sexual self if you give yourself permission to release your ghosts.

CASE

A seven year and two month old female patient was brought by her mother to the outpatient clinic of child psychiatry with a complaint of stretching by flexing the legs and rubbing on objects. According to the information acquired from the mother, this behavior started first when she was 3years of age. Previously, she was rubbing on her bed and then falling asleep. Later, she started rubbing on objects during the day, especially the edge of her seat. Without intervention, it continued for 3-5 minutes and she sweated and the frequency of her respiration increased at the same time. She started doing it when she was alone in her room so as not to be exposed to the mother’s warnings and punitive attitudes. In the last year, she has been masturbating in crowded environments by stretching her legs to create pubic pressure. The frequency and duration of the complaint have increased in the last 6 months and she has performed it during the day, when she has been out of stimuli in the last 2 months. According to the mother’s statement, she has repeated this behavior 15-20 times in a day. The family had to take the child out of school, because she was conducting this behavior during the lessons. The family was seen by pediatrician for this complaint. She was directed to a neurologist because the laboratory investigations for probable diagnosis were within normal ranges. Her neurological examination and psychiatrist was consulted and 1 mg/day risperidone was started because of the excessive

masturbation behavior. No prominent decrease in complaints was noted at the follow-up

examination after 2 weeks and risperidone was increased to 1.5 mg/day. According to the statements from the family, risperidone was regularly administered for 1 week at a dose of 1.5

mg/day. There was a little decrease in masturbation behavior but the drug was discontinued due to excessive sleepiness and fatigue. In the mental evaluation, she was a girl who appeared to be her age and dressed appropriately for her socioeconomic status; she had the ability to speak compatible with her age and gave short purposeful responses. There was no effort to talk

spontaneously or to maintain the relationship. Reactions from the environment against her

behavior and concerns related to the inability to go to school were present in her thought content. Her general knowledge was compatible with her age; she gave the impression of normal intelligence. No symptoms were discovered in support of perception disorder or obsessive compulsive disorder. During observation in the examination room, she was masturbating by stretching her legs to create pubic pressure. No prominent feature was present in the patient’s history. She had reached developmental stages such as walking, talking and toilet training at

appropriate times. She had a 2-year old brother. It was understood that there had been problems in the marriage relationship of her mother and father especially for the last 2 years and the mother has left home 2 times for short periods of time. There was no history of a psychiatric disease in the family. When the history taken from the family as well as clinical observation and medical investigations were evaluated together, the patient was diagnosed as excessive childhood masturbation. The family was informed about the causes, the course and treatment of the situation. Behavioral suggestions were made. Because the patient experienced marked sedation with partial benefit from risperidone treatment, 2.5 mg/day aripiprazole oral solution was started after receiving the consent of the family. In the follow-up examination after 10 days, it was stated that there had been a reduction in her complaint; she had been masturbating 5-6 times in a day and therefore the dose was increased to 4 mg because she reported no significant adverse effects. Her complaint decreased significantly with an increase in the dose and there was no complaint after the 3 month follow-up; the medication was reduced by tapering the dose. Her complaint showed no recurrence in follow-up examination performed after the stopping the medication.

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