autoeroticism
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Autoeroticism is a practice of
sexually stimulating Sexual stimulation is any stimulation, stimulus (including bodily contact) that leads to, enhances and maintains sexual arousal, and may lead to orgasm. Although sexual arousal may arise without physical stimulation, achieving orgasm usually requ ...
oneself, especially one's own body through accumulation of internal stimuli. The term was popularized toward the end of the 19th century by British
sexologist Sexology is the scientific study of human sexuality Human sexuality is the way people experience and express themselves Human sexual activity, sexually. This involves biological, erotic, Physical intimacy, physical, Emotional intimacy, emotio ...
Havelock Ellis Henry Havelock Ellis (2 February 1859 – 8 July 1939) was an English physician, eugenicist Eugenics ( ; from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the He ...
, who defined autoeroticism as "the phenomena of spontaneous sexual emotion generated in the absence of an external stimulus proceeding, directly or indirectly, from another person". The most common autoerotic practice is
masturbation Masturbation ( ) is the sexual stimulation Sexual stimulation is any stimulus (including bodily contact) that leads to, enhances and maintains sexual arousal, and may lead to orgasm Orgasm (from Ancient Greek, Greek ὀργασμός ' ...

masturbation
. Though the terms autoeroticism and masturbation are often used interchangeably, they are not synonymous as not all autoerotic behaviors are masturbatory.
Nocturnal emission A nocturnal emission, informally known as a wet dream, sex dream, nightfall or sleep orgasm, is a spontaneous orgasm Orgasm (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, ...
s, erotic daydreams, and
sexual arousal Sexual arousal (also sexual excitement) describes the physiological Physiology (; ) is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone ...
to 'sexually-neutral' stimuli (music, scenery, art, risk, spiritual reverie, etc.) are also examples of autoeroticism.


Terminology and concept

A 1977 paper titled ''Asexual and Autoerotic Women: Two Invisible Groups'', by Myra T. Johnson, contrasts autoerotic women with
asexual
asexual
women: "The asexual woman ... has no sexual desires at all utthe autoerotic woman ... recognizes such desires but prefers to satisfy them alone." Johnson's evidence is mostly letters to the editor found in women's magazines written by autoerotic/asexual women. She portrays them as invisible, "oppressed by a consensus that they are nonexistent," and left behind by both the sexual revolution and the feminist movement. Society either ignores or denies their existence or insists they must be ascetic for religious reasons, neurotic, or asexual for political reasons.


Self-stimulation

Some people use
sex toy A sex toy is an object or device that is primarily used to facilitate Human sexual activity, human sexual pleasure, such as a dildo or Vibrator (sex toy), vibrator. Many popular sex toys are designed to resemble human genitals, and may be vib ...
s such as
dildo A dildo is a sex toy A sex toy is an object or device that is primarily used to facilitate Human sexual activity, human sexual pleasure, such as a dildo or Vibrator (sex toy), vibrator. Many popular sex toys are designed to resemble hum ...

dildo
s, vibrators,
anal beads Anal beads are a sex toy selling a range of sex toys, England, 2005 A sex toy is an object or device that is primarily used to facilitate Human sexual activity, human sexual pleasure, such as a dildo or Vibrator (sex toy), vibrator. Many p ...

anal beads
and
Sybian machine Image:Tn sybian gmax1.jpg, A Sybian with attached electric wire and switch board A Sybian (), or Sybian saddle, is a masturbation device primarily designed for use by women. It consists of a hollow saddle-like seat containing two electric motors ...
s while alone.
Autocunnilingus Autocunnilingus is cunnilingus Cunnilingus is an oral sex act performed by a person on the vulva The vulva (plural: vulvas or vulvae; derived from Latin for wrapper or covering) consists of the external sex organ, female sex organs. The v ...
remains unproved but
autofellatio Autofellatio is the act of oral stimulation of one's own penis A penis (plural ''penises'' or ''penes'' () is the primary sexual organ that male animals use to inseminate females (or hermaphrodites) during Copulation (zoology), copulat ...

autofellatio
, the act of orally stimulating one's own penis, is thought to occur in less than 1% of the male population, possibly because of the physical flexibility required to perform it.


Criticism and controversies

Some people, for religious or personal reasons, believe autoeroticism to be wrong. For example, masturbation is considered a
sin In a religious Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and practices, morality, morals, beliefs, worldviews, religious text, texts, shrine, sanctified places, prophecy, prophecies, ...

sin
by the
Roman Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian ...

Roman Catholic Church
. Teaching adolescents about masturbation remains controversial in some parts of the world. For example, in 1994
Bill Clinton William Jefferson Clinton ('' né'' Blythe III; born August 19, 1946) is an American politician and attorney who served as the 42nd president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and ...

Bill Clinton
fired Surgeon General
Joycelyn Elders Minnie Joycelyn Elders (born Minnie Lee Jones; August 13, 1933) is an American pediatrics, pediatrician and public health administrator who served as Surgeon General of the United States from 1993 to 1994. A Vice Admiral (United States), vice admi ...

Joycelyn Elders
in part because she advocated teaching about masturbation in schools as a way of preventing
teenage pregnancy Teenage pregnancy, also known as adolescent pregnancy, is pregnancy in a female under the age of 20, according to the World Health Organization, WHO, but others say it is under the age of 18 or 17. Pregnancy can occur with sexual intercourse afte ...
and
sexually transmitted diseases Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), also referred to as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and the older term venereal disease, are infections that are Transmission (medicine), spread by Human sexual activity, sexual activity, especial ...
.


Safety

A few autoerotic practices are considered unsafe, and sometimes even lead to
death Death is the permanent, irreversible cessation of all biological functions that sustain a living Living or The Living may refer to: Common meanings *Life, a condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organi ...
. These include
autoerotic asphyxiation Erotic asphyxiation (variously called asphyxiophilia, hypoxyphilia or breath control play) is the intentional restriction of oxygen to the brain for the purposes of sexual arousal. The term autoerotic asphyxiation is used when the act is done b ...
and
self-bondage Self-bondage refers to the use of restraints File:Handcuffed Hands - to the front.png, Modern Hiatt Speedcuffs Physical restraint refers to means of purposely limiting or obstructing the freedom of a person's bodily movement. Basic method ...
. The potential for injury or even death that exists while engaging in these practices rather than the partnered versions (
erotic asphyxiation Erotic asphyxiation (variously called asphyxiophilia, hypoxyphilia or breath control play) is the intentional restriction of oxygen Oxygen is the chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, T ...

erotic asphyxiation
and
bondage Bondage may refer to: Restraints *Physical restraints **Bondage (BDSM), use of restraint for erotic stimulation ***Self-bondage, use of restraints on oneself for erotic pleasure Social and economic practices *Serfdom, feudal enslavement of peasant ...

bondage
, respectively) becomes drastically increased due to the isolation and lack of assistance in the event of a problem.


In other animal species

Autoerotic behavior has been observed in many species, both in the wild and in captivity. Individuals of some species, such as apes and dolphins, have been known to create tools for autoerotic purposes.


References


External links


Autoerotic Behaviors and Patterns
{{DEFAULTSORT:Autoeroticism Masturbation