In this article, we will look at:
- What is masturbation? Is masturbation bad?
- Is masturbation a common behaviour?
- Is masturbation harmful?
- Is it healthy for a man to masturbate daily?
- How many times in a week is masturbation considered normal for a man?
- Can masturbation replace having sex with a partner for men?
- Can masturbation cause premature ejaculation?
- Can masturbation affect your sperm count?
- When is masturbation not safe for men?
- Can masturbation make you thin?
- Will a man’s testosterone level lower due to masturbation?
- What are the benefits of masturbation for men?
- Is excessive masturbation harmful to a man's health? Side effects of masturbation
- How do I know that I am masturbating excessively?
- What is the treatment of excessive masturbation?
- In The Spotlight - Latest news on masturbation
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What is masturbation? Is masturbation bad?
Masturbation is self-stimulating your genitals in a sexual way to the point of reaching an orgasm.
It is a very common behaviour among men and women and is a very normal part of growing up for children of both sexes.
(To know more about female masturbation please see: Female Masturbation/Masturbation Facts for Women: Benefits and Risks)
Most children play with their genitals between the ages of two and six. To a grown-up person, the sight of children fondling their own genitals can feel disturbing because he/she looks at the act through adult filters. However, this act is a very normal part of growing up for every child, as it is a process of self-exploring their own bodies and discovering how each part of their body responds to touch, and how some parts are more pleasurable than others. To a child rubbing his/her genitals simply feels innocently pleasurable and is not “wrong” or “bad”. These “adult filters” are often introduced to the children by the adults, and often the child ends up feeling confused and worried.
These adults react to the child in the same way that they saw their own parents or grown-ups around them react, while they were exploring their own bodies as children. Therefore, they continue to carry those feelings of shame and never got a chance to get comfortable with their own sexuality.
The act in itself is not “good” or “bad”, though in some cases, religious beliefs may induce people to label it as “bad”.
The crucial factor in such a scenario would be how an adult approaches a child and makes the child feel comfortable with his/her own body and gently explains the propriety side of it, should the child indulge in the act in front of people, but without shaming the child.
Sexual development is a very much an essential part of normal growth and development for a child, just as physical development, emotional development, learning and developing language and communication skills are normal.
Having said that, what also needs to be stated is, even though there is nothing wrong with masturbation, it is also okay not to masturbate. Some people have naturally lower levels of sexual desire or may decide that they want to abstain from masturbation for religious or personal reasons. You can follow whatever option you feel is best for you.
Is masturbation a common behaviour?
Experts and researchers in sexuality agree that masturbation is a completely normal process for human beings and is a healthy sexual behaviour. It probably has a bad reputation because it is an intensely private sexual behavior, which no one discusses even with the closest of friends.
Is masturbation harmful?
No. From a health science perspective, masturbation is not at all harmful for you. Some people think masturbation is bad for moral reasons, however, that is a personal choice.
Is it healthy for a man to masturbate daily?
There is no right answer to this question. Masturbating daily can be normal for some men, whereas for others it can be excessive. As long as masturbating does not affect your overall energy levels, and does not encroach on your daily life and activities, you should be fine.
Though, few sex experts consider masturbating daily to be excessive. Masturbating daily can lead to weakness, fatigue, early ejaculation and may inhibit sexual activities with your partner.
On the other hand, missing out on regular orgasms increases stress levels and can add to mental health issues, frustration, and unhappiness in general. Masturbating aids stress release and helps to stabilize your mood, making you happier and healthier.
How many times in a week is masturbation considered normal for a man?
Again, there is no right answer to this question as the frequency per week can vary from man to man based on his general health conditions. There are men who masturbate two to three times a day, or five times a week, or even once a week.
Sexual drive is natural, however, an excess of anything is harmful. Therefore, rather than increasing the frequency of masturbation you can consider diverting your energy to things such as sports, or any other hobbies. This ensures that you live a balanced, healthy and happy life.
Can masturbation replace having sex with a partner for men?
Masturbation has its own place and so does sex with a partner. In fact, masturbation can enhance the experience with a sexual partner, because it helps you understand your own body better.
However, if masturbation begins to hinder sexual life with your partner then it could be a sign of a problem. Due to masturbation, if you miss out on sex with your partner you miss the experience of intimacy with a partner.
There are valid times though when masturbation can replace sex, for example:
- if the partner’s sex drive is lower than yours then masturbation is an option
- if the partner is sick
- if your partner is pregnant
- if the partner is not available
Can masturbation cause premature ejaculation?
Excessive masturbation may cause damage to the nerves that allow for the ejaculation. This can cause premature ejaculation or even an ejaculation during sleep.
Can masturbation affect your sperm count?
Masturbation does not affect the number of sperms you produce, as sperms are continuously produced in the bodies of men.
It does take time, however, after one ejaculation to ejaculate again. This is quite normal and in no way is an indication of your sperm count getting depleted.
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When is masturbation not safe for men?
Masturbation is generally safe. However, if it is done excessively and aggressively then it can be harmful.
- When you touch the genitals of an infected person and then touch yours you may suffer from Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). STIs can also occur if you share your sex toys with an infected person.
- If you masturbate in a face-down position you tend to exert more pressure on the penis, and you may injure it. To avoid this you can masturbate while standing, sitting, or lying on the back.
- You should avoid squeezing the penis while ejaculating, to prevent the flow of semen. Else, this can damage the nerves and blood vessels in the penis, and will also force the semen into the urinary bladder.
Can masturbation make you thin?
Masturbation does not make you thin. However, excessive masturbation can make you lose a little weight, as technically, it is like any exercise you perform.
Will a man’s testosterone level lower due to masturbation?
No. Masturbating only has a modest effect on circulating testosterone as a research shows. However, again moderation is the key. Masturbating excessively will definitely lower testosterone levels.
What are the benefits of masturbation for men?
Masturbation is a part of healthy sex life and research reveals plenty of health benefits for men after masturbation, it is beneficial in the following ways:
- For men, masturbation may help prevent prostate cancer. Toxins build up naturally in the urogenital tract. Men who ejaculate over five times per week decrease these toxin levels. This significantly lowers their risk of prostate cancer.
- When men ejaculate, a little cortisol gets released, which is the stress hormone. This boosts their immune system.
- Masturbation can release stress and tension from the body by flooding the system with endorphins. Endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body and can lead to sound sleep.
- With age men naturally lose muscle tone even in the penis. Masturbation or regular sex in a way exercises the pelvic floor muscles and prevent erectile dysfunction and incontinence.
- Masturbating releases feel-good neurochemicals like dopamine and oxytocin that lifts your spirits, boosts your satisfaction, and activates the reward circuits in your brain.
- It can enhance your relationship with your partner since you know yourself physically.
Is excessive masturbation harmful to a man’s health? Side effects of masturbation
Excess of anything can be harmful. Masturbating excessively can cause:
- early ejaculation
- may also inhibit sexual activities with your partner
- injury to the penis
- vision changes
- lower back pain
- testicular pain
- hair loss
If you find yourself excessively masturbating, you may want to divert the excessive energy in a more healthy way, such as :
- listening to music
- joining dance classes
- following an exercise routine such as aerobics, running, cycling, swimming etc
If the tendency persists, you may want to consult a psychiatrist or a counsellor as it can also be related to mental stress.
How do I know that I am masturbating excessively?
You know you’re masturbating excessively when:
- it causes you significant distress.
- you are masturbating multiple times per day to escape from stress or realities of day to day life.
- you regularly injure yourself by rubbing aggressively.
- you hardly have time for your friends or family as you are too busy pleasuring yourself.
- you constantly feel lustful and fight the urge to pleasure yourself.
- you experience pain in your genitals.
What is the treatment of excessive masturbation?
You immediately need to consult a general doctor, who may, in turn, refer you to a psychiatrist or a counselor. Sessions with a psychiatrist or a counselor will help you to regulate and divert your energies in a more productive way and gradually wean you away from aggressive masturbation.
At times, medication may also be suggested depending on your symptoms and general health conditions.
In The Spotlight
- Science Says Men Should Masturbate 21 Times a Month- Here's Why
- How a Bollywood Masturbation Scene is the Answer to India’s Rape Culture
- Masturbation myths, sexologists on how much is too much, it’s ill effects and more
- Masturbation: The taboo activity everyone does
- Masturbation: Self-Abuse or Biological Necessity?
Questions answered by trusted doctors
Did you know?
Masturbating too hard can lead to fracturing your own err…ding dong
Tugging at it sure brings a lot of pleasure, but just keep in mind, tugging at it too hard could lead it to snap, yes snap, even though there are no bones there. You will actually hear a cracking sound, experience excruciating pain along with bruising and swelling - in other words all the signs of a fracture. Other actions that can lead to a penis fracture are, rolling over on the bed with an erection, and striking against a partner’s pubic bone while having an intercourse. A fracture needs to be treated immediately without any delay as the likelihood of getting an erection after experiencing a fracture is very low.
Perhaps India too needs to talk about masturbation more openly?
In the year 2009, the European nations, and the United Kingdom made a big pro-masturbation move with the aim of detracting teenagers from engaging in risky sexual behaviour that could lead to STDs or unwanted pregnancies. Pamphlets were created containing pertinent information about masturbation which were distributed to parents, teenagers and youth workers. This is an idea worth considering in India. In fact, not only about masturbation. Perhaps classes can be taken on comprehensive sexual education which can also include masturbation along with guidelines of how excessive masturbation can be detrimental and guidance on how to proactively channel away the extra sexual energy to highly creative pursuits.
Each year, about 1000 people die trying to strangle themselves while masturbating
This is known as Autoerotic Asphyxiation. When the brain’s supply of oxygen is cut off temporarily (asphyxia), a person experiences a euphoric high seconds before he loses consciousness. There are people addicted to this. These Autoerotic asphyxiators chase this high in order to experience the next level of sexual thrill, and end up strangling themselves with cords, ropes, scarves, and ties. Though bizarre some even resort to sealing their heads in plastic bags! Doctors, as well as psychologists never talk about this issue as they do not want to put dangerous ideas in the heads of young and inexperienced people. But such a step could be seen as a double-edged sword, as young people need to be made aware of the dangers they could put themselves in, in their search for pleasurable thrill but it could also give them dangerous ideas leading to serious harm, especially as sexual asphyxiation could lead to cardiac arrest and coma. Leave any such dangerous ideas to fantasy and pleasure yourself in a safe way!
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Male dyspareunia or dyspareunia in men is a recurrent or continuous pain in the genital or pelvic region which occurs during or after sexual activity and is present for three months or longer.
Phimosis is a health condition in which the foreskin is not retracted or pulled back from around the tip of the penis.