We are old enough to remember when masturbation was a taboo and wasn't talked about both by our parents and society in general. It seemed to me that masturbation had a negative aspect even with teenagers. This might be a personal perspective as I remember it being reffered to as "jerking off", "beating off" etc. (and is still described that way today). Personally I prefer 'masturbation' over the slang terms just as I do "making love" versus "f--king".
It seems also that people seem to think that if you masturbate, you're not able to find a sex partner. I'm sure these attitudes have changed (hopefully) over the years, but I wonder how many women and men over 50 still to a certain degree, have those feelings.
I am grateful that I have masturbation as an option. I'm divorced and am unattached right now and masturbation has been a great way to relieve sexual tension as well as stress etc. I don't have to feel like I need to be in a dysfunctional relationship just because I want sex. No, masturbation does not compare to being in a loving, caring relationship, but it sure beats being in a messed up one! I didn't always feel this way though. When I was young, I felt that I had to have a girlfriend to experience 'good' sex and that masturbation was for a distant backup. Now I'm a lot more comfortable with my sexuality and that includes masturbation.
Hopefully I'll find women and men over 50 here on SF that would like to share their thoughts and feelings about sex. Most of the sites that I've visited thus far really don't have such a category and I might post a request to start one here. In general, the web doesn't have much about sex over 50 that isn't real generic and barely scratches the surface let alone a forum based site that people can post their thoughts on.