In praise of masturbation: it's sex with someone I love!
I've been doing it since I was in 7th grade when I got a load of the developing girls in junior high. I was 12, now I'm in my late 50's, so I've been beating my meat for the better part of 45 years. I've never regretted it.
Oh, I've taken some time off, but when you're someone who has as much sexual energy as I have, well, a nightly wank (and even one during the day) is a good antidote.
Not that this has ever interfered with my hunt for a good girlfriend. I've dated some very attractive women in my days, and I guess part of that reason is that rather than take up with someone whom I know I'll lose attraction for eventually (and end up disappointing them), I just take matters into my own hand to get myself through those dry stretches.
I don't know what the longest stretch you've had without having a sexual partner. For me, it's been sixth months, and believe you me, I don't know how I would handle that unless I had my friendly left hand to get me through.
As Homer said in the Illiad, "Give masturbation, or give me death!"