Eugene Viljoen

Dr Eugene Viljoen answers your questions regarding auto-eroticism.

  1. How would you define auto-eroticism in your own terms?
    In layman’s terms the word would refer to self-pleasuring, or sexual arousal that you induce yourself in your own body, without direct sexual stimulation from someone else. It could include masturbation.
  2. Do you think auto-eroticism (finding yourself sexy and desirable) is important for relationships to improve? Please explain how it affects your relationship with your partner?
    One aspect which determine a positive sex-drive refers to the way in which you view yourself. Your self-image and self-concept defines how you feel about yourself. The better you feel about yourself, will also have a positive effect about the way in which you will be able to be sexually spontaneous in your relationship. The opposite is also true. The more negative your views about yourself, the less inclined you will be to project yourself in your relationship with a positive sexual concept. In the event of a negative self-image it might have a constructive effect on your relationship, if you take steps to improve your self-image. If you feel self-conscious about being over-weight and the extra kilo’s cause a low self-image, it might have a major boost on your self-image if you reduce your weight and experience/celebrate a newly found positive self-image. It is therefor important for couples to keep the sexy in their relationship? It’s one of the most important ingredients to keep the heat and spice in your love life! When we take the sexy out of our relationship, it feels cold and we stop having fun.
  3. Do you think auto-eroticism deserves more representation/ is it something that many people steer away from?
    For many years children in history different religious groups taught people that self-pleasure is a sin and bad things will happen to you if you do practice self-pleasure. Adolescents develop major emotional problems because of feelings of guilt, as they found it difficult to balance/regulate their sexual needs and the guilt feelings which develop after a natural sexual outlet, like masturbation. According to the latest declaration of the World Association of Sexology, which forms part of the World Health Organisation (WHO), stated that every human being have a right to experience sexual pleasure as a fundamental basic Human Right. It is therefor important to make sure that every child receive appropriate sexual education in order to develop a healthy sexual self-concept. Articles like this can help to destigmatize auto-erotisism and define self-experimentation as a normal practice in the sexual development of every child and the sexual conduct of all people. The practice of self-erotisism can help the individual to learn about the needs and pleasures of your own body.
  4. Are there any negative impacts that auto-eroticism could have on one’s relationship and own wellbeing?
    If something like self-pleasure becomes the norm in your sex life when you are in a committed relationship, or if self-pleasure starts to become a coping mechanism (escapism) for stress and anxiety, it could very easily be construed as a negative influence in your relationship. The reason is because this practice could replace sexual interaction and usually robs the couple from having sexual intimacy with each other. When a couple have major disparities in their sexual needs, it would be perfectly acceptable for the partner with the higher sexual need, to use auto-erotisism as a method to alleviate sexual tension and frustration. In the event of sexual frustration building up in a couple, it is common knowledge that this could be the reason why couples have intense and emotionally destructive conflict. Therefor practising auto-erotic stimulation could be a way to reduce these conflicts.
  5. Could you provide our readers with useful tips on how to boost sexual self-confidence in order to ultimately improve relationships? Make a list of your positive and negative sexual experiences from your past. What is it that you can learn from these experiences in terms of what you should avoid and what you could use to your advantage? Know what gives you pleasure. What type of touching is appealing to you? When you are able to communicate your needs adequately and comprehensively to a partner, it might help you to boost your experiences in a relationship, without frustration. This will add to your self-confidence. Be mindful in your sex life. Try to focus on pleasure and how it can add to your positive experiences, instead of thinking about what you have to do the next day at work, whilst you are having sex. Be less focused on how you perform, in order to impress your partner. It is the duty of your partner to tell you what they like. Use that as your cue to please your partner. Therefore be mindful and in tune with yourself and your partner.

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