According to the international calendar, May is Masturbation Month. Yes, there is a month dedicated to the act of bangin’ your bacon. This might sound silly to many of you, but it provides us with an ideal opportunity to break the silence around this taboo sexual act and reflect on and celebrate the pleasures and benefits of cranking your own love pump.

It would seem that freeing willy is as old as time itself, visible in a range of artifacts dating back to the ancient world. In Egypt, for example, the sun god, Atum, is depicted as creating the first Adam and Eve equivalents, Shu and Tefnut, by jerking off. The Sumerians make reference to the Mesopotamian god Enki blowing his own horn and ejaculating into the Tigris River, thereby filling it with flowing water. The Ancient Greeks also held a relaxed attitude toward burping the worm, regarding it as a healthy and normal substitute for other forms of sexual expression and pleasure.

However, during the 1700s and 1800s, hand jobs were increasingly condemned, and the act became associated with mental and physical deficiencies. Prominent physicians, scientists, and philosophers believed that insanity, vision and hearing problems, epilepsy, mental retardation and a range of health problems could be attributed to draining one’s main vein.

Furthermore, religious leaders held the view that men had a limited amount of life-giving juice, and to spill it on the ground was considered a sinful waste of God’s precious gift and a threat to the continuation of civil society.

Many of these views, or variations of these views, persist today despite scientific evidence to the contrary. Research has shown that doodling your noodle can have the following benefits:

  • Reduces the risk of getting prostate cancer;
  • Relieves depression and increase self esteem;
  • Reduces the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection, including HIV;
  • Lowers blood pressure, reduces tension and induces a relaxed state;
  • Alleviates insomnia;
  • Improves immune system functioning;
  • Increases self awareness of pleasure points; and
  • Can be useful for alleviating premature ejaculation.

So it would seem that adjusting your antenna has plenty of health benefits and can actually do wonders for your sex life. Some men prefer doing it in the morning, and some prefer doing it at night. Some men prefer doing it in the shower, whereas others find relief by doing it in the bathroom at work.

Some men enjoy pulling their handbrakes once or twice a day, whereas others do so three or four times a week. Some men use lube, some don’t. Most men believe that they already know all there is to know about their own penis and sexual responses. But just because they know how their tools work, doesn’t mean they are actually skilled in their trade.

In fact most men only experience a fraction of their full erotic and orgasmic potential. What follows is a short guide to help you explore new ways to maximise your rewards and in the process become a best friend to your best friend.

Tip 1: Vary your pace, take your time

Most guys learn to jack off in secret without getting caught. As such, they become accustomed to tweaking their twinkies quickly and vigorously without paying any attention to where their sexual arousal can take them.

In order to break this pattern, ensure that you try to vary your pace and create opportunities where you will have some extended time and privacy to allow your experience to unfold more fully (see tip 2 and 3).

Tip 2: Switch it up a bit

Most men learn early in their lives what the most effective mathod is to get themselves off. Once a proven method has been found, most men do not alter their utilitarian approach to self love. But this can be very limiting (and boring) as there is an endless selection of ways to satisfy your appetite and pleasure yourself.

For example, if you are accustomed to using your right hand try using your left hand instead. This may seem awkward at first but the new hand may be able to teach the old hand a few new tricks. Another possibility would be to experiment with new positions: lying on your back, lying on your side, sitting up, kneeling, squatting etc.

It may feel ridiculous at first, but it may introduce new sensations you never thought possible. You could try moving your hips more and simulate the thrusting that takes place during sex. Take note of how moving your hips in different ways can bring you closer to or further from the point of shooting your load.

You may also consider varying the intensity of your hand stroke. Most men learn early on that vigorous strokes work best to achieve the desired result. But there are other strokes that bring with them different sensations, and potentially different orgasms. For example, twist your hand as you move up and down. Experiment with different movements, pressures and speeds.

Tip 3: Explore, explore, explore…

Most men learnt early on to focus their attention and energy on vigorous up and down strokes along their penile shaft to achieve orgasm. As a result they neglected other equally important areas that could enhance arousal and pleasure.

While tussling your muscle try tweaking your nipples, caressing your stomach, pinching at your ear lobes, nibbling at your bottom lip, massaging the crease between your penis and inner thigh, fondling or tugging gently at your balls, massaging and applying pressure to your perineum (area of skin between your ball sack and anus) or massaging your sphincter.

If really adventurous, consider inserting your finger (or a sex toy) into your anus and massage your prostate while you perform a loner with your boner. By increasing your attention on the erogenous zones you will ensure a better, more intense climax.

These are only a few tips (among many) to get you thinking about how to enhance your pleasure while getting in touch with your manhood. There are a number of sites that offer suggestions of tips and strategies you can try. The great thing about a manual override is that it can be done on your own or in the company of someone else. So, celebrate with us this month, and give yourself a well-deserved helping hand!

For more information and advice on sexuality, safer sex and sexual health, log on to For more information on the services offered by OUT LGBT Well-being call 012-430-3272 or log on to (Helpline: 0860 OUT OUT/ 0860 688 688)

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