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Teens: Let’s Talk About Masturbation & Sex Addiction

Although it’s embarrassing to talk about, discussing a topic can be the venue for learning more about it. Besides, masturbation is a normal part of sexuality. Because it carries a strong stigma in society talking about it with friends or family rarely happens. Society delivers many messages that say masturbation is bad for you, that is causes blindness, or that it will make you impotent later in life. It’s simply not true. Masturbation is a way to express your sexual energy. As long as it is done in moderation, respectfully, and in the private, enjoy yourself!

 

Sadly, there is a common obstacle to self-pleasure, and that’s guilt. Guilt is the most common feeling associated with masturbation. Feeling guilty before, during, or after might make you feel like you never want to be sexual again. Or you might vow to yourself, you’re never going to masturbate…ever. However, just thinking about masturbation later might only make the guilt stronger. Given all the negative messages about masturbation, the feelings of guilt, shame, and embarrassment can be normal. Sorting through those negative feelings and allowing yourself to masturbate anyway, should you want to, can be a healthy and healing experience.

 

On the other hand, the forbidden nature of sexuality only secretly feeds becoming obsessed with masturbation or sexuality in general. In fact, a teen or young adult who is prone to sexual sensitivities might be at risk for developing a sex addiction, especially if sex is an unspoken topic in his or her family. When sex is off limits in a family, a teen might secretly engage in excessive sexual activity, porn, and/or fantasy. An addiction to sex and porn often develops when sex is regarded as shameful, secretive, or abusive. It’s common for those who have experienced sexual abuse as children to later develop urges for masturbation and continue to engage in it compulsively. A compulsion for sexual activity in general, including excessive masturbation, begins when there is a loss of control and an adolescent spends large amounts of time engaging in sexual-related activity to the point where he or she is neglecting social, academic, or familial responsibilities.

 

Yet, one of the most effective treatment methods for teen sex addiction is group therapy. Group therapy is a treatment method similar to individual therapy, although there are a number of people in the room discussing a psychological or social concern they share. There is often at least one mental health professional in the room to facilitate a therapeutic discussion of the topic.

 

The primary reason group therapy is so effective for teen sexual addiction is that it takes the secretive, forbidden nature of sexuality off the table. Suddenly, the topic is being openly discussed among a group of teens. Group therapy for teen sexual addiction can be gender-specific to make talking about sex easier and more comfortable. In group therapy, a teen can find others who are struggling with the same issues and come out of the dark about the concerns they are having.  Parents and caregivers of teens with sex addictions might also find group therapy useful for them as well. Such a group can provide caregivers with the resources they need to support their children through the difficulties of addiction and breaking free of an addiction’s grasp.

 

Although it’s common for feelings of guilt and shame to occur with sexual experiences, such as masturbation, many teens and adults won’t develop a sex addiction. If that’s the case, if you enjoy masturbation, then don’t stop yourself! As long as it’s experienced in moderation, in private, and with enjoyment, experiencing pleasure can enhance mental health and bring delight to your life.

 

 

Reference:

Grohol, J. (2007). The Top 10 Myths Behind Masturbation. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 1, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/lib/the-top-10-myths-behind-masturbation/0001047

 

 

By Robert Hunt
If you are reading this on any blog other than Paradigm Malibu or via my RSS Feed, it is stolen content without credit.
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Paradigm Malibu is an adolescent mental health and drug treatment center dedicated to identifying, understanding and properly treating the core issues that impact teens and their families.

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