The History of Male Masturbation: From Start to Finish

The History of Male Masturbation: From Start to Finish

Masturbation is an act that nearly every man participates in. And who can blame them? Self-pleasure feels fantastic and has plenty of surprising benefits. What many men don’t realize is that masturbation has a long and deep-rooted history. 

Scientists have found records of masturbation dating back 40 million years to the prehistoric primates. Such a legacy deserves to be understood, and learning about the history of jacking off can help up your own masturbation game, as well. In this article, we’ll dive into the history of self-sexual pleasure and human sexuality. 

What Is Male Masturbation? 

Both male and female masturbation are perfectly normal sexual acts. But what is male masturbation? Self-pleasure is commonly defined as the self-stimulation of one's own genitals, often resulting in orgasm. The act and intricacies of masturbation can get a bit more complex as you start experimenting and reaching higher levels of pleasure. 

Did you know that jacking off not only feels good but also has some serious benefits? Here are just a few of the reasons to get down and dirty with yourself:

  • Lowers stress
  • Treats insomnia
  • Releases endorphins
  • Promote better mental health
  • Decreases the risk of prostate cancer
  • Lead to better partnered sex 

Male masturbation is a healthy and commonplace practice that leads to plenty of perks for modern men. 

The History of Male Masturbation

The history of masturbation and self-genital stimulation is as old as human and proto-human history. It’s impossible to fully dissect what we know of ancient masturbatory practices in this article, but below, we’ll cover the basics of the fascinating history of jacking off. 

It All Began With the Primates

It’s not a joke, and it’s not a myth. Primates do and have always masturbated (along with other beings in the animal kingdom). For a long time, researchers were hesitant to label their “masturbatory-like” actions as onanism. 

However, new evolutionary biology studies have found that animal primate masturbation served an ‘evolutionary purpose’ as it protected males from sexually transmitted diseases and even boosted fertility. For females, masturbation soothed period pains and boosted libido. 

These actions date back over 40 million years, and the findings help researchers understand the functions of masturbation in modern humans, as well. While we currently masturbate consciously because of a desire to feel sexual pleasure, there may be a biological benefit to masturbation even today. 

Even though our masturbatory practices have evolved since the old days, there is a clear biological drive to masturbate that has always been present in the human race. 

Masturbation Faces Religious Turmoil

Religion has always heavily commented on sexual acts, and masturbation is no exception. (Surprise!) The ancient story of Onan from the Torah illustrates this perfectly. In scripture, Onan’s father ordered him to fulfill his familial duties, which included procreating with his late brother’s wife as per the customs of levirate marriage.

Onan wasn’t a big fan of this idea since he felt the children wouldn’t really be his. He went to his sister-in-law and “spilled his seed on the ground” in direct violation of his father’s orders. Aka, he masturbated. God then punished Onan for this act with death (quite a frightful consequence for jacking off). 

Now, to be fair, there are other interpretations of this story. For one, Onan went directly against his father’s command and the rules of his community by not following the customs of levirate marriage. This rebellion is a huge no-no and an act against God. 

Still, this tale is the basis of much ancient religious disapproval of masturbation. After the rise of Christianity, the idea of masturbation was slowly turned into a taboo act that was frowned upon. Masturbation was directly related to lust (which is a sin in the Christian bible) and to ancient stories like Onan. 

Regardless, people persisted in their self-sexual activity habits. Occasionally, men of faith were even encouraged to masturbate as it helps with “self-control of sexual behavior.” Overall, masturbation was still frowned upon and definitely not widely discussed. 

The Rise of Masturbation in Ancient Empires

Ancient empires and cultural systems all had varying views on masturbation, which determined how often people spoke about masturbation and even participated in it. Here are some ancient empires and their general attitude toward jacking off.  

  • Greeks: We currently know more about the ancient Greek attitude toward masturbation than the Romans. The Greeks viewed masturbation with a tolerant disdain. It wasn’t made fun of or hated in the way that same-sex love was, but it certainly wasn’t promoted. 
  • Romans: Researchers really don’t know a whole lot about the Roman attitude toward jacking off. It is referenced in some comedic plays and graffiti but otherwise not commented on. However, the main ejaculation goal for the Romans was procreation, so masturbatory acts weren’t encouraged. 
  • Egyptians: The ancient Egyptians were one of the most sexually progressive of the old empires, though maybe not for the reason you’d expect. Egyptian myth states that the first god, Atum, created the universe via masturbation. This belief puts self-pleasure on a very high pedestal, viewed as a sort of holy act by ancient Egypt. 

Just like the ancient (and some modern) Jews and Christians, the old empires held varying strong views about masturbation. Europe’s 18th century and Victorian era gave rise to philosophers and sexologists like Freud, Kant, Tissot, and Rousseau. All of whom had strong feelings about masturbation (and many of whom were reported to be frequent masturbators themselves). 

Clearly, despite the ancient naysayers, masturbation has remained a consistent sexual act by males throughout history and the world. 

Present Day Practices

Latest studies show that about 92% of American men masturbate, and it’s safe to assume that from British London, England, to American California, men are pulling similar numbers across the world. The fact is that masturbation is fun and pleasurable. Now, more than ever, it’s also a more widely accepted act. 

This acceptance has led to innovative techniques and tools that help men refine their masturbation game and boost sexual performance overall. Sex toys have moved beyond the simple dildo or basic vibrator. 

At Fleshlight, we pride ourselves on supplying the premier tools for getting off and reaching peak enjoyment. All our toys are 100% made in the United States with body-safe silicone, so they’re ideally designed to perform. 

The advantage of choosing Fleshlight is the assurance that your new bedside friend will last for ages and that it will give you stunning orgasms. Respect the ancient men who jacked off in shame, and make sure your self-pleasure time is the most enjoyable.  

Honor History With Fleshlight’s Collection

From the proto-humans to the ancient empires to modern-day gentlemen, masturbation is well-practiced and a part of human nature. The best way to honor your ancestors is by refining your sexual self-exploration and ensuring you have the absolute best jacking-off routine.  

At Fleshlight, we provide fantastic tools like the pornstar pocket pussy and the best blowjob simulators to help you reach amazing orgasms over and over again. Looking for something a little more backdoor-focused or hands-free? We also designed the best male anal toys and the top sex toy mounts for your ultimate pleasure. 

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