... on io9 right now, with this informative graphic:

Um, you know why this is straight up tickling me?

No one in the comments* is talking about the fact that almost TWENTY PERCENT of men aged 18-24 masturbate less than once a year. Only 18.8% masturbate as frequently as, honestly, we are conditioned to think men masturbate. Well, they're talking about it, but not the way I want to.

Seriously. The movie, TV, media jokes. The inter-friend banter. We (women and men alike) are told that men are insatiably sexual creatures. How many of you have heard that myth that men think about sex every seven seconds (which has actually been debunked)? How often are women told that men just naturally have higher sex drives than women? How often is that gender disparity reinforced in popular culture? How often is that insatiable need for sex summoned to explain date rape and other kinds of sexual assault?

I mean, I don't entirely have answers for these questions, because it's 4am for me and I don't have the fortitude to Google these things. But these seem to be themes that crop up in sex talk all of the time, whether we're talking anecdata with friends or messages in our media.


How often do women write into advice columns or, hell, even make a post or comment on GT concerned that they're abnormal because THEY want sex more than their partners? Pretty frequently, in my experience.

I mean, no. Masturbation does not necessarily correlate with sex drive. Maybe some of these people are in such frequent-sex relationships that they don't need to masturbate. But to me this dispels a lot of myths I've heard all my life about men constantly needing to ejaculate in some way, myths that it's common for men to masturbate multiple times per day, myths that masturbation is largely a male arena. The stats are still higher for men, but not nearly as much as you'd think from the way Western culture talks about men and their penises.


No judgement to any men reading this who DO masturbate very frequently - I am not trying to single you out, or make you feel abnormal. To me, this infographic shows that really, all masturbation habits are as 'normal' as the next, relatively speaking, that it would really not be difficult to find a specific woman who masturbates more frequently than a specific man does, and that our cultural constructions of men as masturbatory creatures is really incredibly false.

*I wouldn't recommend that comment section. It basically seems like a bunch of men talking about how much they masturbate (a lot, if you were wondering) and people claiming that everyone who didn't answer >4x/week is a lying liar (Ex. "I have to think that most of these people are lying. Maybe a few are seriously handicapped or something?"). I'm curious if this is some sign of virility or something - you don't seem to find anyone bragging about how rarely they masturbate... although Jane you ignorant slut makes an appearance telling women to orgasm more! I balk at that a bit, but great intention I think!