Is Masturbation Productive?

NoFap, masturbation, productivity, pleasure, and sexual frustration
by Cam Fraser // July 11 // 0 Comments

When it comes to masturbation, I know a lot of men's coaches are of the opinion that it is a waste of time. This is especially true for the coaches who resonate with the ideas put forward by the NoFAP community.

If you're unfamiliar, the NoFAP community is an online group of predominantly men who challenge themselves to abstain from porn, masturbation, and orgasm (or PMO as it is known in their jargon). FAP refers to "fapping," a slang term to describe masturbation. The general belief is that if you don't watch porn, don't masturbate, and don't ejaculate, you'll be much more happy, productive, and attractive to women.

While the men's coaches I'm referring to might not be part of the NoFAP community, there is a tendency for these guys to promote the idea that masturbation is detrimental to your productivity and is a distraction from achieving you goals. I take issue with this.

The idea that these men espouse is that if you stop watching porn and masturbating, you'll have time to go to the gym, or work on your hobby, or get more shit done. Don't get me wrong, if you're masturbating 17 times a day and that is interfering with your work and family responsibilities, of course abstaining from masturbation going to give you more time to do other things. That is simple time management.

What I take issue with is framing masturbation within a conversation about productivity. I mean, firstly, I think you can use masturbation, self-pleasure, and eroticism to actually be more productive. But this is still playing into the same conversation, when in fact masturbation isn't about productivity at all, it is about pleasure.

The de-prioritisation of pleasure in the conversation about masturbation, in favour of productivity, is, in my opinion, doing a disservice to men. Masturbation - which I often reframe as self-pleasure, because the word "masturbation" has a lot of baggage associated with it - is an opportunity for us to slow down, connect with our bodies, and experience enjoyable physical sensations.

Unfortunately, because the language used by these coaches centres productivity and being "on purpose," anything that is deemed to not contribute to their productivity or purpose is labelled a waste of time or a distraction. The way this is interpreted by many men, it doesn't allow for self-care, pleasure, joyfulness, and eroticism, because all of these things are seen as not contributing to their productivity.

If I was to get political about it all, I'd say that this is a classic case of neoliberal ideology, which has been ingrained in us. The urge to be productive, to work, and to achieve more has found its way into the bedroom and hinders our ability to be in our pleasure. That is why deeply and unapologetically experiencing and expressing your pleasure is a rebellious and radical act.

That is what I want for the men who are reading this, to be rebels and radicals, to push back against the narrative that you need to be productive all the time and that pleasure has no place in your lives. You and I both know this isn't true. Let's show them.

Cam Fraser is a Certified Professional Sex Coach and Certified Sexologist. Being a former Tantric Yoga Teacher, his work integrates scientifically validated, medically accurate information about sexual health, with sacred sexuality teachings from the mystery traditions. As a coach, he helps men go beyond surface-level sex and into full-bodied, self-expressed, pleasure-oriented sexual experiences free of anxiety or shame.

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