When it comes to completely normal masturbation habits and routines, we're still too embarrassed to talk about them. Which is weird, because pretty much everyone masturbates. Whether you're gay or straight, male or female, single or in a relationship, for almost everyone I know, masturbation is a fact of life. And for some of us, it's a very regular fact of life. In fact, TENGA, a designer of pleasure products for men, interviewed 1,200 Americans about all things masturbation. How we do it, how often, with what, and how it affects our relationships — just to scratch the surface. And it was fascinating, because there was a massive discrepancy between how many of us masturbate (like, almost everyone) and how many of us are comfortable talking about (far too few of us).
Not only that, they separated a lot of the data into different generations— Millennials, Generation Xers, and Baby Boomers— and there were some big differences in between them. While in some ways younger people are more open and relaxed about masturbation, it's as much as you think. We may be forward-thinking in some ways, but there's still a long way to go.
So here are five facts about Millennials and masturbation, because we may be talking about it, but that doesn't mean you can trust everyone.
1. Millennials Are More Likely To Masturbate To Get Better At Sex
I normally think of masturbation being about stress release or figuring out what you like. But nearly one in five Millennials were masturbating to improve their performance in the bedroom — which was more than any other demographic.
2. Millennials Do It More Than Other People
While men masturbated more often than women, and singles masturbate more than those who are coupled up, there was also a sizable difference between Millennials and other age groups. We tend to masturbate 15 times a month — or ever other day — compared to 12 times a month for Gen Xers and only seven for Baby Boomers.
3. Millennials Are More Open About It
Millennials were more comfortable than any other generation talking about masturbation. Which didn't really surprise me, because among my friends, it's totally normal to bring it up over coffee or burritos. But there are still people who feel embarrassed about it or just want to keep it private.
4. ...But We Aren't Totally Truthful
Weirdly, considering we say we're more comfortable talking about it, Millennials actually lie about masturbation more than GenXers or Boomers— in fact, almost twice as much as Boomers. 40 percent of Millennials lie when it comes to talking about masturbation. The main reasons for lying was being embarrassed or fear of being judged, which are both awful ways to feel, and shows how important it is that we start talking about masturbation in a more open way.
5. We Don't Always Masturbate Alone
I'm not talking about mutual masturbation — well, I am sort of— I'm talking technology. Almost a quarter of us have masturbated with their partner on the phone or Skype, which means 25 percent of Millennials are better at understanding technology than I am.
It's good that people are connecting, because the truth is, nearly everyone masturbates so it's ridiculous that there is still so much shame and embarrassment talking about it.
Images: Andrew Zaeh for Bustle; TENGA