Nature: Masturbation is the act of stimulating the external sexual organs by oneself, accompanied by fantasies that are usually of a sexual nature, and having as its aim the discharge of sexual excitation. The most important consequence of masturbation is the guilt which usually accompanies it, and the struggle to defend against such guilt which may last for years and absorb all the energy of the psychic system.
Background: Freud tended to the view that neurasthenia could follow upon excessive masturbation; it is nowadays felt that neurasthenia is more likely an outcome of insufficient orgasm - that is, if anxieties and guilt disturb the satisfactory character of the masturbation. It would also seem that the adolescent in conflict about the practice has a deep need to believe that masturbation is a wrong thing and he often resists enlightenment about its harmlessness. This may be because the conscious masturbatory fantasies are distorted derivatives of unconscious Oedipal fantasies, and if the adolescent did believe that masturbation was harmless, he would have to face the Oedipal desires which were responsible for the guilt.
Problem Type: F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update 01.01.2000 – 00:00 CET