Apparently there is something bad or wrong about masturbation. It’s not natural, or it’s devoid of the element of procreation or sharing that is supposed to be the purpose of sexual drive. Some people who accept masturbation as okay have issues with pornography. Besides being devoid of procreation like masturbation, pornography also devalues the act of sex and devalues the people/gender/activities that are displayed. Some authors then carefully try to slot themselves as “erotica” to avoid being labeled as porn. Erotica is supposed to have realistic people, realistic emotions, realistic stories. Erotica is like romance, but with sexual descriptions. Imagine Jane Austen or Harlequin Silhouettes with the missing sex scenes included.
But romance also seems to me to be a form of emotional masturbation. Action movies satisfy the adrenaline-seeking hormone-driven young male in a similar manner than romances satisfy the fairy-tale connection-seeking female (excuse the gender stereotypes). When the girl, lying on her front on her bed, ankles crossed in the air above, when she closes her book, smiles dreamily and sighs, hasn’t she just achieved a similar result as her brother on his X-box playing Call of Duty? And aren’t they both doing the same as the college student in the dorm bathroom with his copy of Penthouse magazine? They’re all experiencing satisfaction/enjoyment/pleasure with something that simulates a real life situation, even though that situation is one that they may or may not want to experience in reality. Aren’t these all a version of masturbation?
This probably not a new idea, but it’s a new thought to me. Self-satisfaction, whether physical or emotional or some combination of both. Start with some outside source to stimulate the reaction, stir in some individual element of desire, need or curiosity. Add in imagination as a leavening agent and you’re on your way. Just shake, bake, cook.