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Are masturbation and sex physiologically the same?


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38 replies to this topic

#1 Forever_Fifteen

Posted 24 January 2009 - 02:23 AM


Are masturbation and sex physiologically the same?
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#2 EmbraceUnity Re: Are masturbation and sex physiologically the same?

  • Location:USA

Posted 24 January 2009 - 03:40 AM

Are masturbation and sex physiologically the same?


No.

Among other benefits, real sex releases ocytocin, lowers blood pressure, and relieves stress. Furthermore, vaginal intercourse stimulates the immune system.

For a review of the scientific literature, here is a good resource:

http://www.plannedpa...ession-6358.htm
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#3 Evolutionary Re: Are masturbation and sex physiologically the same?

  • Location:NYC

Posted 24 January 2009 - 04:17 AM

Are masturbation and sex physiologically the same?


No.

Among other benefits, real sex releases ocytocin, lowers blood pressure, and relieves stress. Furthermore, vaginal intercourse stimulates the immune system.

For a review of the scientific literature, here is a good resource:

http://www.plannedpa...ession-6358.htm

Progressive, I'm not so sure. What if you watch porn while you masturbate? Does your brain really notice the difference? It may not, unless there are real-life differences such as the release of chemicals from one person to the other.
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#4 forever freedom Re: Are masturbation and sex physiologically the same?

Posted 24 January 2009 - 04:33 AM

Interesting ttopic, i wondered that myself a few times. Waiting to see some discussions.
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#5 erzebet Re: Are masturbation and sex physiologically the same?

  • Location:Universe

Posted 24 January 2009 - 02:00 PM

the oxytocin explanation is logical, you can't get attached to someone if you masturbate but the lowering of tension and stress relief happen no matter the way we have sex.

and what is the explanation for vaginal intercourse improving immunity?
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#6 Evolutionary Re: Are masturbation and sex physiologically the same?

  • Location:NYC

Posted 24 January 2009 - 02:33 PM

the oxytocin explanation is logical, you can't get attached to someone if you masturbate but the lowering of tension and stress relief happen no matter the way we have sex.

and what is the explanation for vaginal intercourse improving immunity?


You can't if you masturbate to porn? In any case, there's a great site all about oxytocin @ http://kuchinskas.ty...hug_the_monkey/, maybe the best on the Internet. There's another one @oxytocin.org
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#7 EmbraceUnity Re: Are masturbation and sex physiologically the same?

  • Location:USA

Posted 24 January 2009 - 07:31 PM

Progressive, I'm not so sure. What if you watch porn while you masturbate? Does your brain really notice the difference? It may not, unless there are real-life differences such as the release of chemicals from one person to the other.


It is true that masturbation has many of the numerous benefits of real sex, and this is confirmed in many of the studies reviewed in the link I posted. However, I am pretty confident that the degree of the effect is greater with real sex.

Also, companionship generally has been shown to have striking health benefits... even if that companion is only a dog. Being along is generally not as conducive to health. We are social creatures.

Furthermore, some health effects, like immune system stimulation, are the result of the exchange of fluids and impossible to achieve during masturbation.

Edited by progressive, 24 January 2009 - 07:31 PM.

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#8 nowayout Re: Are masturbation and sex physiologically the same?

  • Location:Earth

Posted 24 January 2009 - 08:52 PM

Furthermore, some health effects, like immune system stimulation, are the result of the exchange of fluids and impossible to achieve during masturbation.


I guess so much for safe sex then. The immune system will certainly enjoy being stimulated by the clap :)

Edited by andre, 24 January 2009 - 08:55 PM.

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#9 Forever_Fifteen Re: Are masturbation and sex physiologically the same?

Posted 26 January 2009 - 10:32 PM

Isn't end result the same? Ejaculation of semen. I suppose the same things will be released.
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#10 Shepard Re: Are masturbation and sex physiologically the same?

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 12:30 AM

I'd bet heavily that the body knows the difference. I don't want to meet the man that can be fully aroused all by his lonesome.

Edited by shepard, 27 January 2009 - 12:30 AM.

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#11 Forever_Fifteen Re: Are masturbation and sex physiologically the same?

Posted 27 January 2009 - 12:46 AM

Shepard, the brain might know the difference. The body? Please prove that these two have different pathways? You don't want to meet a guy who can be aroused by himself? My friends and I all agree that almost every male teenager masturbated. If you stroke that organ, you can be aroused.
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#12 Shepard Re: Are masturbation and sex physiologically the same?

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 12:59 AM

Shepard, the brain might know the difference. The body? Please prove that these two have different pathways?


I'm not entirely sure what you're saying here. Are you implying that the two are separate entities?


You don't want to meet a guy who can be aroused by himself? My friends and I all agree that almost every male teenager masturbated. If you stroke that organ, you can be aroused.


I said fully aroused. The physical act of an erection isn't necessarily even part of the arousal process. It comes and goes for various reasons while young and then you experience the opposite end of the spectrum later on. There is a vast difference between masturbating as a teenager, having sex with a partner, having sex with a very wild and hot partner, and having sex with a very wild and hot partner where you have a real emotional connection.

Edited by shepard, 27 January 2009 - 01:01 AM.

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#13 nowayout Re: Are masturbation and sex physiologically the same?

  • Location:Earth

Posted 27 January 2009 - 01:47 PM

I'd bet heavily that the body knows the difference. I don't want to meet the man that can be fully aroused all by his lonesome.


Not to detract from partner sex, but I feel sorry for the male who cannot regularly blow his own mind via masturbation.
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#14 katzenjammer Re: Are masturbation and sex physiologically the same?

Posted 27 January 2009 - 02:56 PM

I'd bet heavily that the body knows the difference. I don't want to meet the man that can be fully aroused all by his lonesome.


I agree. Neither porn nor one's own hand can replace the manifold and complex sensory experience with a responsive, loving, female: touch, scent, sound (not mechanical, but responsive), etc. Also, have you ever noticed that you can't really give yourself a massage? Or tickle yourself? You can't entirely predict the complex movements of another person's hands - adding a level of sensory excitement that you simply cannot provide yourself. Of course, maybe it's the women I've been with...lol!
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#15 nowayout Re: Are masturbation and sex physiologically the same?

  • Location:Earth

Posted 27 January 2009 - 03:42 PM

I'd bet heavily that the body knows the difference. I don't want to meet the man that can be fully aroused all by his lonesome.


I agree. Neither porn nor one's own hand can replace the manifold and complex sensory experience with a responsive, loving, female: touch, scent, sound (not mechanical, but responsive), etc. Also, have you ever noticed that you can't really give yourself a massage? Or tickle yourself? You can't entirely predict the complex movements of another person's hands - adding a level of sensory excitement that you simply cannot provide yourself. Of course, maybe it's the women I've been with...lol!


Agreed, but OTOH on your own you have more control over your physical arousal. You can get to the edge and stay right there for hours, which is extremely difficult with a partner. If done right, the sensations can build up and be extremely intense.

In the end, I guess the answer to the OPs question would depend on the individual's practices, imagination, and so on. Many guys apparently masturbate rapidly and perfunctorily, which has always surprised me.
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#16 StrangeAeons Re: Are masturbation and sex physiologically the same?

  • Location:Indiana

Posted 27 January 2009 - 07:54 PM

OK, this is a definite no. There are benefits to masturbation and sex that relate directly to the process of increased bloodflow, erection, orgasm, and ejaculation, but the body can very obviously tell the difference. First of all, things feel a lot different when you have a whole body pressed against you. Your body knows when you are physically contacting another human being; it's an essential part of socialization and emotional development; so I imagine in the emotionally stunted, the autistic, etc. the gap between masturbation and sex isn't all that great. Otherwise (I would speculate) there's a huge difference in terms of hormone and neurotransmitter activity, and the intensity of even the basic physical processes is greater.
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#17 Shannon Vyff Re: Are masturbation and sex physiologically the same?

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  • yes

Posted 28 January 2009 - 05:32 AM

You are missing the cuddling hormones--a lot of the benefits of sex are the bonding hormones vassopresin (more for men) and oxytocin (more for women) and such:http://www.oxytocin.org/cuddle-hormone/ I'm a big proponent of sex daily for health and longevity, it keeps the relationship more loving and stress free :p
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#18 Mixter Re: Are masturbation and sex physiologically the same?

  • Location:Europe

Posted 28 January 2009 - 07:28 PM

Forever_Fifteen et. al., "Gene Expression Variance in Oxytocin- and Related Hormonal Variability Through Nucleus-Paraventricularis-Mediated Differential Responses By Intercourse- Vs. Internet-Pron- Stimuli"

I.e., probably this will lead to a smaller hormone output (and perhaps less in number if it's not just oxytocin) with less real stimuli. Just like I'd suspect seeing a food commercial on TV will most probably produce less ghrelin output than actually holding your nose over a gourmet meal, but very similar pathways of appetite are involved. :p
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#19 Luna Re: Are masturbation and sex physiologically the same?

  • Location:Israel

Posted 28 January 2009 - 11:45 PM

Cuddle hormones = fluffy toys hormone? ^^
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#20 Forever_Fifteen Re: Are masturbation and sex physiologically the same?

Posted 29 January 2009 - 11:29 PM

From the answers, what I'm understanding is that they involve similar if not exactly the same pathways. Both release same hormones, neurotransmitters, chemicals etc, and both make you feel good and healthy, especially for a male.


So is it more of a matter of quantity than quality? Perhaps sex releases more, amount-wise, than self-sex. Of course, for social and emotional quality, sex offers more, since there're connections to another human
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#21 caston Re: Are masturbation and sex physiologically the same?

  • Location:Perth Australia

Posted 30 January 2009 - 12:54 AM

It depends on the person. Some people have more inward facing sex drives even though they do need external stimulation for new content.
Perhaps they are polar aspects of "hell" one one hand (no pun intended) some people are just solosexual and enjoy masturbation more than they could ever enjoy sex and some people get almost no joy at all from masturbation and need to have sex. The downside is that the second person is constantly reliant on other people and needs them all the time. They risk pregnancy or STD just to get sexual release.

That's why you get some people who are never single and some people who are always single.
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#22 Luna Re: Are masturbation and sex physiologically the same?

  • Location:Israel

Posted 31 January 2009 - 03:51 PM

Cuddling > Sex & Masturbation together! :~
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#23 Heliotrope Re: Are masturbation and sex physiologically the same?

Posted 01 February 2009 - 01:02 AM

even my professors say men should "service" themselves with masturbation/ejaculation often. It's amazing that males who ejaculate two times a week have like half the risk of prostate disease, those that ejaculate more than 21 times a month may only have a third the risk of prostate


However, I'm in both biology and asian studies departments. I take broad classes. Many East Asian studies profs say the yogi/ qi-gong/ Martial Artists say the less ejaculation the better. They say ideally around 1 small release per 100 days is enough. To be near god level, one should never ejaculate
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#24 Evolutionary Re: Are masturbation and sex physiologically the same?

  • Location:NYC

Posted 01 February 2009 - 09:38 AM

Perhaps, the physiology and neurobiology of asians is different from caucasians. Leading to different optimal ejaculation frequencies between different populations.
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#25 EmbraceUnity Re: Are masturbation and sex physiologically the same?

  • Location:USA

Posted 01 February 2009 - 04:49 PM

Perhaps, the physiology and neurobiology of asians is different from caucasians. Leading to different optimal ejaculation frequencies between different populations.


Actually, they believe in magical vital forces that will be "lost" through ejaculation. There was a thread awhile back which argued that not ejaculating for 2 weeks has nootropic effects. I have no idea if it was true, because I didn't make it that far and couldn't think about much anyways.
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#26 Ghostrider Re: Are masturbation and sex physiologically the same?

  • Location:USA

Posted 01 February 2009 - 07:20 PM

Not to detract from partner sex, but I feel sorry for the male who cannot regularly blow his own mind via masturbation.


There was a thread awhile back which argued that not ejaculating for 2 weeks has nootropic effects. I have no idea if it was true, because I didn't make it that far and couldn't think about much anyways.


Ever consider that there might be negative aspects to frequent ejaculation? I read something on M&M about a year or two ago regarding the negative side effects associated with ejaculation, something related to "neuron flogging" but I never bothered to lookup the term. That might be associated with the "nootropic effect", by doing the opposite, mentioned in the quote above. Could it also be possible that sex could trigger the aging decline by shifting the body's resources more towards reproduction instead of survival -- the opposite effects of CR and resveratrol? In other words, the body is biased towards survival until sex occurs, then after that point it is less biased towards susvival and more towards maximizing reproductive function? Evolution would favor that circumstance. I am not saying that sex initiates a self-destruct sequence, but could there be some signal produced by the body to resources away from survival to reproduction when sex occurs?

I don't seriously believe the above, I just want an explanation for why this is not the case. I noted the benefits of sex above, but no one discussed the aspect of survival vs. reproduction.
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#27 Heliotrope Re: Are masturbation and sex physiologically the same?

Posted 02 February 2009 - 03:09 AM

Perhaps, the physiology and neurobiology of asians is different from caucasians. Leading to different optimal ejaculation frequencies between different populations.


Actually, they believe in magical vital forces that will be "lost" through ejaculation. There was a thread awhile back which argued that not ejaculating for 2 weeks has nootropic effects. I have no idea if it was true, because I didn't make it that far and couldn't think about much anyways.




they call those "vital forces" chi/qi. And to Neuron's "Perhaps, the physiology and neurobiology of asians is different from caucasians. Leading to different optimal ejaculation frequencies between different populations"

It's not really different physiology, but different philosophy

btw where's the thread arguing not ejaculating for 2 weeks or lose semen only once a week has Nootropic effect?
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#28 Evolutionary Re: Are masturbation and sex physiologically the same?

  • Location:NYC

Posted 02 February 2009 - 03:46 AM

Perhaps, the physiology and neurobiology of asians is different from caucasians. Leading to different optimal ejaculation frequencies between different populations.


Actually, they believe in magical vital forces that will be "lost" through ejaculation. There was a thread awhile back which argued that not ejaculating for 2 weeks has nootropic effects. I have no idea if it was true, because I didn't make it that far and couldn't think about much anyways.




they call those "vital forces" chi/qi. And to Neuron's "Perhaps, the physiology and neurobiology of asians is different from caucasians. Leading to different optimal ejaculation frequencies between different populations"

It's not really different physiology, but different philosophy

btw where's the thread arguing not ejaculating for 2 weeks or lose semen only once a week has Nootropic effect?


Try this, this, & this.

Edited by Neuron, 02 February 2009 - 03:56 AM.

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#29 nowayout Re: Are masturbation and sex physiologically the same?

  • Location:Earth

Posted 02 February 2009 - 02:29 PM

Perhaps, the physiology and neurobiology of asians is different from caucasians. Leading to different optimal ejaculation frequencies between different populations.


Actually, they believe in magical vital forces that will be "lost" through ejaculation. There was a thread awhile back which argued that not ejaculating for 2 weeks has nootropic effects.


Four words: "Master of your domain". :)
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#30 Heliotrope Re: Are masturbation and sex physiologically the same?

Posted 24 March 2009 - 08:57 PM

Perhaps, the physiology and neurobiology of asians is different from caucasians. Leading to different optimal ejaculation frequencies between different populations.


Actually, they believe in magical vital forces that will be "lost" through ejaculation. There was a thread awhile back which argued that not ejaculating for 2 weeks has nootropic effects.


Four words: "Master of your domain". :)



yeah be master of your body
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