Is It Normal to Masturbate?

One of the most commonly asked questions about masturbation is, is it normal to masturbate?

Masturbation is a normal urge in humans. There are no long term physical or psychological side effects of regular masturbation. Masturbation is safe, avoids risky sexual behavior, can be used to improve technique, is devoid of performance or partner pressure and can aid in relaxation and improved self esteem. Men and women who masturbate sleep better,are more confident and have better self regulation with their emotions. 

Is it normal to masturbate more than once a day and does it cause harm? 

Generally the reason for masturbation dictates how often it is done. When applying masturbation as a therapy it can be done more than once a day. However, some men or women may masturbate to avoid the anxiety provoked by impending tasks or performance. Masturbation then becomes a way to avoid confronting life problems or issues. Such people may find that they are late for school or college, fail to submit assignments on time, are being bullied or intimidated, have poor work performance and do not meet regular targets. In such cases masturbation is often done in a hurried manner with emphasis on ejaculation or orgasm alone. There is no pleasure derived from the arousal process or any new learning from the technique used. Such masturbatory practices are part of a greater psychological disturbance that needs professional help. Note that the masturbation did not cause the problem but was a coping mechanism. Often men or women or their relatives blame masturbation for the person’s inability to deal with life issues where in reality deep psychological problems and limiting beliefs are responsible for the way they cope with everyday difficulties. In such cases it is better to see a counselor or psychiatrist to help resolve the issue that is causing distress.

Is it harmful to masturbate frequently?

This is only if the above factors apply and deeper issues are not addressed. Rarely if an incorrect technique issued the penis becomes sensitized to a very firm grip which cannot be replicated by the vagina. Such men may suffer with problems of inadequate vaginal stimulation and delayed ejaculation during intercourse. It is important to practice masturbation with a gentle hand and an attitude of exploration of feelings, sensations and emotions for greatest benefit. Orgasm or ejaculation is the reward for having persevered with a gentle technique and learning derived from the changing sensations of arousal.

Does masturbation interfere with the man's ability to father a child?

No. Masturbation in itself does not cause any changes in the ability of the sperm to fertilize the egg. Frequent masturbation can affect the quality of semen produced when reported in a test. Therefore it is often advised that men should abstain from masturbation or intercourse when submitting a semen sample for examination when fertility tests are being undertaken.

Can women masturbate?

Yes, women can and do masturbate. If they  have not done so they should take the first opportunity to learn to do so. Masturbation allows women to learn about their body, what turns them on or off and how to achieve an orgasm. Since women are able to have multiple orgasms it is important for them to learn how to increase the level of their arousal using different techniques. This way they can adjust the speed of achieving an orgasm depending upon the situation. This then precludes the need for a prolonged foreplay each and every time. This way women are equal participants in their sexual pleasure and confidence. Once they are aware of their own anatomy and physiology and sexual  response they are empowered to enjoy and participate in sexual activities for their own pleasure as well as their partner’s.

Should men stop masturbating after marriage?

Whether to masturbate or not is an individual decision. It should be a personal decision not dependent upon the approval of the partner or family. Where couples enjoy regular sexual intercourse and the urge to masturbate does not occur it is ok not to masturbate. However, there are several benefits to masturbation even within a marital relationship. Masturbation can be used to enhance technique and to improve erections as well as delay ejaculation. It gives the man an opportunity to explore new techniques to get aroused which he can then share with his partner. If he finds certain sexual activities a turn off, masturbation can give him an opportunity to explore why this is the case. Even within a marital relationship, there can be breaks in sexual activity e.g holidays, after a baby, after an illness or accident. In such cases, masturbation gives relief from sexual tension without the risk of an extramarital affair or sexually transmitted infections. There is no evidence that masturbation affects fertility. In fact, regular ejaculation keeps the genital tract flushed and functioning normally.

Do night emissions occur because of masturbation and is it bad?

 Night emissions are a normal part of puberty and adult life. It is an overflow of secretions from the genital tract that is expelled during deep relaxation and sleep. There are no negative consequences tonight emissions and imply that the genital tract is functioning normally. Men who masturbate about 2-5 times a week find that they do not get significant night emissions. This is because the overflow is insignificant. So masturbation is not a cause of night emissions and there are no long-term health consequences. 

Warning: If night emissions begin suddenly in adulthood and occur in-spite of regular masturbation they can be an indication of an infection of the prostate and seminal vesicles. If there is a risk of a sexually transmitted infection either because of unprotected intercourse or multiple sexual partners this should be taken seriously and investigated appropriately. It would be wise to consult a urologist/andrologist or a specialist in sexually transmitted infections.