Dear Dr. Date,I wa…

Dear Dr. Date,
I was recently at a friend’s place for a small soirÇe (or party if you will) and in my drunken stupor I notice a book on the coffee table titled Sex for One. I immediately set down my beer and opened this piece of literature only to find it was a woman’s guide to masturbation, illustrations included.
Who needs a manual on masturbation? I thought this was just sort of a natural thing. If a woman needs a guide for double-clicking her mouse, how can a guy ever expect to pleasure her properly? Would they ever fake it with themselves?
Is this a little drastic or is just me? Please, enlighten me Dr. Date!
–On My Own

Actually, my friend, there is a right way and a wrong way to masturbate.
It’s also likely that you are doing it the wrong way. Generally speaking, masturbation is great. It teaches about what we like and need sexually and gives us at least a vague idea about what sex with a real partner is like.
There are, however, a couple of problems that can arise from masturbation.
The first problem is that, like any pleasurable behavior, you can become addicted to masturbating. I’m sure many concerned people are now asking how often they have to masturbate to be termed an addict. It’s not so much the frequency as it is the role masturbation plays in your life. If you find that you have more interest in masturbating than having sex with a live partner (or going to work or school), then you may have reason to be concerned.
The second problem? Certain types of masturbation do not imitate sex or prepare an individual for sex. Probably the most common case of this occurs when you try to climax as quickly as possible because you are afraid of being caught. This is a leading cause of premature ejaculation — you become accustomed to reaching orgasm quickly. Masturbation should make you a better lover.
The gender politics of masturbation are fascinating. As long as everyone is telling the truth, studies show that men masturbate much more often than women. Looking at the evidence, I — and many others more qualified than me — blame our sexually repressive culture. It was only 100 years ago that masturbation was widely seen as a dangerous and unhealthy act practiced by degenerates and the mentally ill. Because of this, masturbation still involves a significant amount of shame for some women and men. The particular book you paged through attempts to reeducate women about the benefits of masturbation and remove the shame from a harmless and natural behavior.