Masturbation

The topic of self-love is the punch line of many hysterical teen movies and urban legends. Since the beginning of time, people have circulated myths about masturbation — that it causes blindness or mental derangement. The subject needs to be brought up delicately.

Masturbation Is Normal

You probably noticed that your son liked to put his hand on his penis, even as a baby. As soon as he figured out where it was, his hand was there. Many parents attest that diapers didn't even contain their son's desires. While masturbation starts as something without a purpose other than feeling good, once puberty hits, there is a whole new light to masturbation — sexual release.

Your son may think about masturbation but never do it, or he may think about masturbation and masturbate multiple times a day. These are both normal variations. The only thing wrong with masturbation is the psychological harm it could cause if your son were to feel guilty about it.

Talking about Masturbation

The important thing to remember is that masturbation is normal. But it can be frightening for your son if you do not teach him early enough in life that masturbation is normal and healthy. It is important to tell him that it is nothing to be ashamed of or worried about. You also need to provide him with answers to his questions and information about where he can turn should he have more questions.

Fact

Your son may experience nocturnal emissions or wet dreams — spontaneous discharge of seminal fluid from his penis. The embarrassment of wet sheets and not quite knowing what's going on may inspire him to do a load of laundry.

To start a conversation about masturbation, you might try to bring up the topic of hygiene. This can start as a very casual chat. Talk to him about the proper way to clean and care for his penis and scrotum. Explain to him that erections happen. He should already know what an erection is and why it happens. During his adolescence, he will have more frequent erections, sometimes for no apparent reason. Let the conversation move on from there.

You may want to buy him a book about body changes that includes information on masturbation. You can also help him find some appropriate Web sites that you have screened. The most important part is that he has a person, preferably a parent, to talk to about this topic.

Talking to your son about masturbation may include dispelling myths. For example, if someone has told your son that masturbation will make him blind and he has recently experienced visual changes, which are normal as the body grows in puberty, he may be worried that his new need for glasses results from his newest hobby.

E-Fact

Erections are a fact of life. Your son may experience them anywhere and for any reason. Try to help him figure out how to deal with them, including what to say when a teacher asks him to stand up in class while an erection is raging.

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