Do you idealize your romantic partners by thinking about them more eagerly when they are not physically around? Isn’t it faire to say that sometimes you fall in love not so much with the person herself, but with the IDEA and the MEMORIES of her (or the idea of love itself)? Reductively, this means that you are merely falling in love with yourself, because it is YOUR neurons that are generating these ideas and memories that you cling on to and are in love with… This partly explains why people say that love is self-centered.
Relying on similar ontology, it bothers and turns me off sometimes when I try to masturbate to my own imaginations (or memories of my past sexual experiences) because ultimately, I’m really just getting off to electric signals and neural chemicals. It is not my ex girlfriend that I am getting turned on by, but MY OWN mental representation of that person as an idea that is generated by my own consciousness via computational algorisms and symbol manipulations. This makes masturbation completely self-absorbing and self-enticing. You could also say that the act of masturbating to the imagination is a play of domination between your two selves, as consciousness splits itself in half, with one half of it acting as the director and producer of the mental pornography that you are masturbating to, while the other half of your consciousness watches the product simultaneously.