How Often Is Okay To Masturbate?
My Personal Opinion
Written by: Angela Watson | Updated: March 25th, 2019
Masturbation is kind of our bread and butter here at Doctor Climax. How to get the most out of your masturbatory experience and what toys can help get the job done is the name of the game here.
We also like to focus on a lot of sexual health related issues, and as a sex therapist I find great joy in helping people become more comfortable with their sexuality. One thing that always seems to come up time and time again with my clients is whether or not its okay to masturbate in the first place, and my answer is always a resounding yes.
But then this begs another question, just how often is it okay to masturbate? Can you have too much of a good thing, or even not enough? This question is a bit more nuanced and requires you to know your body carefully before proceeding. Everybody wants to make sure their habits are healthy and not hurting them in the long run, so it is definitely worth exploring.
After all of the research I've done both by reading literature, consulting with my colleagues, and consulting with my patients, here's just a few things I've noticed when it comes to keeping a healthy masturbation frequency.
Masturbating Too Little
One movement has really taken off in current years, it is called the NoFap movement and its adherents say that abstaining completely from masturbation is the best way to keep your sexual organs as healthy as possible and even goes as far as saying that eliminating masturbation entirely can help alleviate depression and social anxiety disorder. Most people find the movement after experiencing poor sexual functioning with real flesh and blood partners and want to get a fix to their issues.
While some people report positive outcomes from abstaining completely, I'm not convinced it was masturbation alone that was the issue. Most people now consume massive amounts of pornography and not always in a way that I would consider healthy. For instance, some people have dozens of tabs open at a time and watch only a few minutes from each individual pornographic film before moving on to the next tab. In my humble opinion, this is a poor choice as it leads to a warped idea of what sexual contact means to the brain.
But back on to my main point about masturbating too little. I actually deal with a large number of people who were taught from a young age that masturbation is evil and will only lead to bad things happening. Typically, but not always, these are people who were raised in an ultra-conservative home that followed rigid religious ideals surrounding the act of self-pleasure. What these people report is that they have frequent issues with premature ejaculation and even erectile dysfunction.
Have you heard of the expression "Use it or lose it"? The same thing applies to your sexual organs. These people haven't taken the time necessary to explore their bodies and gain control over what sexual contact does to their bodies. At worst, men I've spoken to can't achieve an erection at all simply because they have actively suppressed their sexuality for so long that it is hard to consciously flip the switch back. If they can achieve orgasm, a number of them ejaculate much too quickly for their liking because their genitals are extremely sensitive to any sort of stimulation.
The main takeaway here is that there is such thing as masturbating too little. Occasional masturbation is great for an individual to truly become connected to themselves sexually and to reach a level of sensitivity that works for them.
Masturbating Too Much
Now let's look at the other side of the coin, and that's overindulgence in masturbation.
One of the simplest issues that can arise from masturbating too much is that in uncircumcised individuals masturbating several times a day can result in swelling of the foreskin that essentially renders the penis inoperable until the swelling has gone down. Typically this is a result of masturbation that is too forceful, but simply overdoing it can contribute to this condition as well. The swelling will go down in time, but there is a risk of damaging the sensitive nerves in the penis that will result in a desensitization of the penis that may last long term.
Others become compulsively addicted to masturbation to the point where it interferes with their ability to live a normal, gainful life. If a disproportionate amount of time is spent masturbating as opposed to completing one's goals in life, that can be an issue. In the same way that watching too much TV can be detrimental, so can an over reliance on masturbation.
Besides that, choking the chicken too much can result in a condition known as death grip, where repeatedly masturbating with a strong grip results in the penis becoming so desensitized that it can become difficult to orgasm through natural sex with a human partner. This can be troubling, as it can result in decreased sexual satisfaction for both partners as well as an inability to reach orgasm. So, technique should be considered.
Moderation Is Key
I personally don't subscribe to the idea that masturbation in and of itself is a harmful process. Monkeys masturbate, dolphins masturbate, it isn't an unnatural process. The only thing that is unnatural about our masturbation habits now is the effect of porn.
How you choose to consume pornography can shape your minds associations with sexual contact and result in some sexual dysfunction. If you only look at porn here and there it probably won't be much of an issue. However, if you constantly seek out new porn videos and watch several of them in a single session, it won't be doing you any favors as far as keeping yourself healthy. Porn use should be carefully monitored, as it is always more of an issue than masturbation itself.
Masturbation is a great way to relieve stress and it also helps you know how your sexual organs are functioning. So long as you are masturbating in a healthy way (not being too rough/forceful, being mindful of your porn intake) there is pretty much no set limit as to how often you can masturbate and remain healthy. It should be a release of tension and depending on your libido that might mean once a week, once a day, or several times a day. Your sexual desire should be seen as a tank that gradually fills up over time until some steam is let off. If you're just letting off some steam so you don't boil over, that's great! If you're going at it again and again even though the tank is empty, that's more of an issue.
It might not be the answer you're looking for, but there is really no set amount for what constitutes the "right" amount of masturbation. Its highly dependent on you as an individual, which should actually be seen as liberating as opposed to confusing. Sex is dynamic and your need for it can change from week to week and year to year as you get older. There's nothing wrong with a little self pleasure from time to time, just don't go overboard.
Those who don't masturbate at all risk running into issues, and those who masturbate too much risk running into issues. So find a healthy middle, moderation is key.
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