What is masturbation?

What is masturbation

Masturbation, or self-pleasuring, is touching and rubbing parts of your body for sexual pleasure, such as the penis, scrotum, clitoris, vulva, breasts and anus. Masturbation can involve a person exploring their own body, but can also happen between two people (mutual masturbation). If masturbation is occurring between people (mutual masturbation), consent needs to be given and obtained.

Masturbation is a common behaviour that is seen at all ages from childhood, through the teen years and throughout adulthood by people of any gender. It’s a healthy way for people to explore bodies, to find out what feels good sexually, and how to achieve an orgasm.

Sexual pleasure through masturbation can be a very normal part of a person’s sexual experience. How frequent people masturbate is different for each person. It might be several times a day, a week or a month to not masturbating at all. How often a person masturbates is not a problem unless the time spent masturbating is replacing other aspects of a healthy and balanced life – for example school, work, responsibilities, social activities.

percentage of people who masturbate

Who Masturbates?

Just about everybody. Masturbation is a very common behavior, even among people who have a sex partner. In one national study, 95% of males and 89% of females reported that they have masturbated. Masturbation is the first sexual act experienced by most males and females. In young children, masturbation is a normal part of the growing child’s exploration of their body. Most people continue to masturbate in adulthood, and many do so throughout their lives.

Why Do People Masturbate?

In addition to feeling good, masturbation is a good way of relieving the sexual tension that can build up over time, especially for people without partners or whose partners are not willing or available for sex. Masturbation also is a safe sexual alternative for people who wish to avoid pregnancy and the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases. It also is necessary when a man must give a semen sample for infertility testing or for sperm donation. When sexual dysfunction is present in an adult, masturbation may be prescribed by a sex therapist to allow a person to experience an orgasm (often in women) or to delay its arrival (often in men).

Is Masturbation Normal?

While it once was regarded as a perversion and a sign of a mental problem, masturbation now is regarded as a normal, healthy sexual activity that is pleasant, fulfilling, acceptable, and safe. It is a good way to experience sexual pleasure and can be done throughout life.Masturbation is only considered a problem when it inhibits sexual activity with a partner, is done in public, or causes significant distress to the person. It may cause distress if it is done compulsively or interferes with daily life and activities.

Is Masturbation Harmful?

In general, the medical community considers masturbation to be a natural and harmless expression of sexuality for both men and women. It does not cause any physical injury or harm to the body, and can be performed in moderation throughout a person’s lifetime as a part of normal sexual behavior. Some cultures and religions oppose masturbation or even label it as sinful. This can lead to guilt or shame about the behavior.

Some experts suggest that masturbation can actually improve sexual health and relationships. By exploring your own body through masturbation, you can determine what is erotically pleasing to you and can share this with your partner. Some partners use mutual masturbation to discover techniques for a more satisfying sexual relationship and to add to their mutual intimacy

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.

Side effects of too much masturbation

Side effects of too much masturbation

There’s no ‘normal’ amount of masturbation and masturbation isn’t harmful, even if you do it often.

If you masturbate a lot in a short space of time, however, your genitals might feel sore. This can sometimes lead to a swollen penis caused by fluid in the tissues (oedema). While it may look alarming, the swelling will go away within a day or 2.

If you masturbate with another person, there’s a very small risk of getting or passing on a sexually transmitted infection (STI), but only if you pass fluids, such as semen, to one another’s genitals – on your fingers, for example.

Unlike what you may have heard, masturbation doesn’t affect sperm count. After someone with a penis has ejaculated, it can take a bit of time before they can do it again – this is normal and doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong.

If you get any bruising, cuts or soreness from masturbation, you’re probably masturbating too hard or roughly.

Masturbation and guilt

Some people may feel guilty about masturbating because of cultural, spiritual, or religious beliefs.

Masturbation is neither wrong nor immoral, but you may still hear messages that self-pleasure is “dirty” and “shameful.”

If you feel guilty over masturbating, speak with someone you trust about why you feel this way and how you can move past that guilt. Therapists that specialize in sexual health may be a good resource.

Addiction to masturbation

Some people can and do develop an addiction to masturbation. You may be spending too much time masturbating if masturbation causes you to:

  • skip your chores or daily activities
  • miss work or school
  • cancel plans with friends or family
  • miss important social events

Addiction to masturbation can harm your relationships and other parts of your life. Masturbating too much may interrupt your work or studies, which can lower productivity.

It may also hurt your romantic relationships and friendships, because you don’t spend as much time with your loved ones as you used to, or don’t pay attention to their needs.

If you’re worried you may have an addiction to masturbation, speak with your doctor or a counselor about ways to cut down on masturbating.

Talk therapy can help you manage your addiction. You could also cut down by replacing masturbation with other activities. Next time you have an urge to masturbate, try:

  • going for a run
  • writing in a journal
  • spending time with friends
  • going for a walk

Advantages of Masturbation on Health

Check out some benefits of masturbation on our health and how it helps in different health issues:

  • It increases blood flow in the body and releases endorphin, a pleasure-enhancing brain chemical.
  • It releases emotional stress, depression, and anxiety.
  • It makes you comfortable and confident with your body.
  • It lets you explore your desires and makes you sexually satisfied even without a partner.
  • It lets you experiment with yourself, understand your body, and know what works for you, in order to attain orgasm.
  • It can help you get sound sleep and prevent insomnia.
  • It can strengthen your relationship with your partner as you understand your body well and help your partner as well.
  • It reduces the risk of STD’s.
  • If done to the limit, it works as a stress buster and causes great relief.

With some advantages of masturbation its own disadvantages too. Male and females do it daily in order to attain orgasm when dissatisfied with their partners. The thought of masturbation keeps their mind preoccupied making them inactive in their social life. Masturbation is addictive in nature and can make a person waste ample of their time doing it thus depriving them of becoming productive in life.

Disadvantages of Masturbation

Anything in excess is not good for health and causes adverse effects on the body, Compulsive masturbation can be very addictive and can get uncontrollable at times. Check out some disadvantages or effects of masturbation on our body:

  • If you get addicted to it, it can lead to frustrations if you are deprived of doing it every time you feel like it.
  • It can cause a lack of concentration and social life.
  • It can injure the genitals if done vigorously.
  • It can cause early ejaculation in men.
  • It may affect a good sexual relationship with your partner.

Nowadays, with more availability of sex toys like vibrators, dildos, etc, masturbation is becoming popular in females too. They no more depend on their partners for sexual satisfaction. With more sources and exposure to sexual lives, females don’t compromise with their sexual lives. But as mentioned, everything comes with its own disadvantages, too much masturbation has affected females too making them more involved in self-pleasuring and less in people around them.


  • It can lead to addiction which can further affect your day-to-day life.
  • It can injure your vagina and can cause irritation due to too much rubbing.
  • It may cause an infection inside the genitalia.
  • It can make your mind preoccupied making you less concentrated and involved in other important things in life.
  • The urge to pleasure yourself all the time can make you really uncontrollable at times.
  • It can make you emotionally and physically detach from your partner.


Read out some benefits of masturbation for both male and female persons.

  • Masturbation eases tension in both males and females.
  • Makes a male or female feel light.
  • It prevents a guy from being sick due to too much sperm deposit.
  • Helps in producing an imaginary sex image in both males and females.
  • Reduces the rate of male or female horny feelings.
  • Masturbation prevents a man from having sex without a female.
  • Satisfies both male and female sexuality.
  • Reduces sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Preserves a virgin guy (based on what some people believe).
  • Offer cools an aroused body.
  • The best way of a collection of sperm when running a sperm count analysis.

Is masturbation good for you


About reading out about some disadvantages of masturbation, you can read out some more information on masturbation positions, how it can be bad for you if you do it excessively:

  • It is a serious sin in the holy bible.
  • Makes the penis or dick get weak when been used in the body of a female.
  • It makes a penis develop too many veins thereby making it unattractive.
  • It causes infections in females.
  • Weakens the hormone responsible for producing sperm.
  • Masturbation makes a man moan, suffer, and starve for real sex during the period of masturbating.
  • It reduces the period of ejaculation in men.
  • Weakens the womb in females thereby not enabling the womb to carry a child which leads to abortion (miscarriages most of the time).
  • It sometimes causes infertility in females.
  • It causes cancer in the females.
  • Masturbation can make a female lose her virginity.
  • It can cause sperm disability which leads to abnormal children (in fewer cases).


Your Guide to Masturbation
Male Masturbation: Side Effects, Benefits, and Risks
How often should you masturbate?
Masturbation Effects on Your Health: Side Effects and Benefits
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Masturbation

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