Introduction (overview) to masturbation, it’s side effects, health benefits, addiction, treatment, how to Stop, and other related issues.
There’s a lot of conflicting information – including some myths and rumours, about whether masturbation is bad for you.
Know this: whether you masturbate is up to you and only you. If you do, rest assured that doing won’t cause any physical harm. And if you don’t there is no harm, no foul, for you either.
Masturbation causes your body to release several hormones. These hormones include:
• Dopamine. This is one of the “happiness hormones” that are related to your brain’s reward system.
• Endorphins. The body’s natural pain reliever, endorphins also have de-stressing and mood-boosting effects.
• Oxytocin. This hormone is often called the love hormone and is associated with social bonding.
• Testosterone. This hormone is released during sex to improve stamina and arousal. It’s also released when you have sexual fantasies, according to a 2011 study.
• Prolactin. A hormone that plays an important role in lactation, prolactin also influences your mood and immune system.
THIS AFFECTS YOUR;
Masturbating can cause you to release healthy amounts of the above hormones, which is why it can positively affect your mood and physical health.
Dopamine, endorphins, and oxytocin are all called “happiness hormones” associated with stress reduction, bonding, and relaxation.
SOMETIMES, MASTURBATING CAN HELP YOU FEEL A LITTLE BETTER WHEN YOUR MOOD IS LOW.
AS WELL AS YOUR FOCUS AND CONCENTRATION
You might have heard of “post-nut clarity” — a situation where your brain suddenly feels focused after you have an orgasm.
Indeed, many people find that masturbating helps them concentrate better. As such, they might masturbate before working, studying, or taking a test.
There’s no scientific explanation for this, as it hasn’t been studied specifically. However, this sense of clarity and focus might be a result of feeling relaxed and happy after an orgasm.
IT CAN HELP ALLEVIATE STRESS AND ANXIETY
While oxytocin is commonly known as the “love hormone” and associated with social bonding, it’s also associated with de-stressing and relaxation.
As one 2005 study points out, oxytocin plays an important role in regulating stress and reducing anxiety.
It does this by reducing blood pressure and lowering your cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone associated with stress.
So, if you’re hoping to relieve some tension after a tough day at work, masturbating might be a good relaxation technique!
IT CAN HELP YOU FALL ASLEEP
Anecdotally, many people use masturbation to fall asleep — and it’s no wonder.
Oxytocin and endorphins are associated with relaxation, so it makes sense that masturbation can help you sleep, especially if stress and anxiety are keeping you from getting some shut-eye.
IT MAY ALSO HAVE AN EFFECT ON YOUR SELF-ESTEEM
For some, masturbating can be a way of practising self-love, getting to know your body, and spending quality time on your own.
Because you’re learning to enjoy your own body and figuring out what feels pleasurable for you, masturbation can boost your self-esteem.
ALL OF WHICH COULD IMPROVE YOUR SEX LIFE
Many sex therapists suggest masturbating regularly — whether you’re single or partnered.
In addition to the physical benefits derived from masturbation, a boost to self-esteem coupled with relaxation can be great for your sex life.
As for your libido, there’s some evidence that masturbating can help you maintain a healthy sex drive. For example, this 2009 study links frequent vibrator use to a high sex drive and positive sexual function, as well as general sexual wellness.
Masturbating can help you figure out what’s pleasurable and exciting for you, which can help you show your partner what you enjoy.
BUT THE EFFECTS AREN’T ALWAYS POSITIVE
While there are proven benefits, some people do have negative experiences with masturbation.
You might dislike the feeling, or it might be against your belief system, or you might simply be uninterested in it. That’s fine! Whether you choose to masturbate or not is up to you.
Some people experience negative feelings related to social or spiritual expectations
Masturbation is considered a sin in some religions. There are also many societal stigmas attached to masturbation: Some people believe women shouldn’t masturbate, or that masturbation is immoral.
That’s not to mention the anxiety-inducing myths around masturbation.
Many of us have heard the rumours that masturbation causes you to go blind, or that it can cause you to grow hair on your hands — both completely false claims that seem to circulate widely among preteens!
If you believe those things and go on to masturbate, you might experience feelings of guilt, anxiety, shame, or self-loathing afterwards.
It’s totally okay to abstain from masturbation because of your personal beliefs, but if you want to work through feelings of guilt and masturbate without anxiety, talking to a therapist might help.
Certain underlying conditions may also play a role
Aside from societal and spiritual difficulties, underlying health conditions might make masturbation difficult.
For example, masturbation may be frustrating if you experience:
• erectile dysfunction
• low libido
• vaginal dryness
• dyspareunia, which involves pain during vagina penetration
• post-orgasmic illness syndromeTrusted Source, a little-known condition where individuals who have a penis can become ill after ejaculating
In addition to this, masturbating might be upsetting if you’ve experienced sexual trauma.
If you think you have an underlying condition that makes it difficult to masturbate and it’s bothering you, talk to a doctor you trust.
Likewise, if you’re struggling to masturbate due to emotional distress, you may find it helpful to talk to a therapist.
It ultimately depends on your individual needs and desires
Is masturbation bad for you? No, not inherently. Whether you masturbate and how you feel about it is individual.
Masturbate if you’d like to, but don’t feel pressured to masturbate if you don’t enjoy it — it’s really up to you!
Masturbation is a common activity. it’s a natural and safe way to explore your body, feel, pleasure and release built-up sexual tension. It occurs among people of all backgrounds, genders, and races. Despite the myths, there are actually no physically harmful side effects of masturbation. However, excessive masturbation can harm your relationships and everyday life. Other than that, masturbation is the fun, normal and healthy act.
SIDE-EFFECTS OF MASTURBATION
Let us look at some of the hidden truth behind masturbation which no one agrees to tell;
• GETTING ADDICTED: I mentioned earlier that too much of everything is bad for human health and this is one of the major reasons I said so. Masturbation gets so addictive which could be compared to those who happen to be drug addicts- no difference. No one tells you this because it is quite pleasurable satisfying yourself that you most likely even inculcate others to carry out this same action and on and on it goes.
• THE ENERGY DRAIN: If you happen to be a masturbator, you would agree with me on the fact that masturbation is one hell of an energy drainer which on the long run gets to lead to constant weakness and feebleness. Taking a walk becomes stressful, making dinner as well amongst other household activities you must carry out. All becomes tiring and this is due to the action of pleasurable satisfaction through masturbation. To be honest, it is more of an energy consumer than having real sex as this works with unnatural illusions thereby overworking the mind to create these illusions and fantasies in creating a perfect picture for the action.
• DYSFUNCTION OF THE PRIVATE ORGAN (PENIS): This happens to be one of the major effects of masturbation no one ever speaks off. Like how would I tell you if I have erectile dysfunction caused by masturbation when I know you would make a joke out of it? I would rather tag you along in the act of masturbation so you as well suffer from this effect. That is how it works hence no one says nothing. Over 80% of men who pay respect to constant masturbation are at great risk of suffering from dysfunction of their private organ (penis).
• LOGIC DAMAGE (NEUROLOGICAL EFFECTS): Men who get to masturbate a whole lot suffer from neurological concerns which get to affect their logic. This starts out little at the early stage of masturbation but as the man gets older, it becomes a severe case.
• IMPULSIVE EJACULATION: This effect happens when due to masturbation; the penal nerve has been over-stimulated due to frequent pleasurable encounters with you. When eventually you get to have sexual intercourse with a real woman, due to the already sensitive and stimulated penal nerve, in no time you get an untimely ejaculation of sperm which in most cases get to lead to breakups in relationships amongst other problems that may come up on the long run. In a case where you happen not to last in bed, check and ask yourself if you are a frequent masturbator, if yes then you have your answers to why you are an untimely sperm processor. Forget drugs and herbal medicines, the best solution is to quit the act of masturbation.
• PROBLEM OF A SEX LIFE: This is about the effect just above this one. Masturbation leads to a “kill vibe” when it comes to intercourse with the opposite sex (real human). A masturbator hardly gets turned on by girls and does not get to enjoy sex anymore as time goes on but rather prefers the pleasurable encounter with him all alone. Well, for most men on a statistical basis that carry out masturbation, it is because they maybe cannot approach the opposite sex so give or take- whether a girl is there for them or not, it does not matter for as far as they can get pleasure without any second party.
• DROWSINESS IS YET ANOTHER EFFECT Men who masturbate suffer from a lot of drowsiness and this is in context with my second point “The energy drain”. Masturbating leads to the release of a large quantity of dopamine to the human brain which is a major element in stimulating drowsiness in the individual.
• FORGETFULNESS, In the long run, you begin to notice you forget things easily just for no reason and not like you are old though. This is because of the steady release of a large amount of dopamine to the brain which clouds your thinking ability.
• AGEING IS HASTENED: In an average, a case study has it those men who tend to pleasure themselves sexually by the means of masturbation six to seven times on a weekly get to have their ageing hastened which is caused by the constant drop in the testosterone level in the male body.
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 counsellor 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
DOES MASTURBATION CAUSE A DECREASE IN SEXUAL SENSITIVITY?
For women who have sexual dysfunction, enhanced stimulation — including masturbation — can help increase sexual desire and sensitivity.
In fact, two 2009 studies found that vibrator use among women and men has been linked to an increase in desire, arousal, and overall sexual function. Women also reported an increase in lubrication, while men reported better erectile function, according to the studies.
Masturbation can affect sensitivity during sex for men because of their technique. Research has shown that too tight of a grip on a penis during masturbation can decrease sensation.
Sexual health experts recommend changing your technique during masturbation to restore sensitivity levels during sex.
BENEFITS OF MASTURBATION
Masturbation is a healthy sexual activity. It has many benefits for your physical and mental health.
There are limited studies on the benefits of masturbation, but there are studies on sexual intercourse and stimulation.
Research and anecdotal reports suggest that sexual stimulation, including stimulation through masturbation, may help you:
• relieve built-up stress
• sleep better
• boost your mood
• feel pleasure
• relieve cramps
• release sexual tension
• have better sex
• better understand your wants and needs
Couples may also mutually masturbate to explore different desires, as well as avoid pregnancy. Self-pleasuring also helps you prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
MASTURBATION DURING PREGNANCY
Hormone changes during pregnancy cause some pregnant women to feel heightened sexual desire. Masturbation is a safe way to release sexual tension during pregnancy.
Self-pleasure may also help ease pregnancy symptoms, such as lower back pain. You may feel mild, irregular cramping, or Braxton-Hicks contractions, during and after orgasm.
They should fade away. If the contractions don’t disappear and become more painful and frequent, contact your doctor right away.
Masturbation may not be safe for women with high-risk pregnancies. This is because an orgasm can increase your chances of labour.
HOW TO STOP MASTURBATING
Learning to stop masturbating is a process. You must overcome urges and behaviours you’ve practised for months, possibly years. This can take time. But it’s possible
As with any other behaviour that feels out of control, retraining yourself to not masturbate requires a series of steps and strategies. These can include the following approaches
Talk a therapist
When you’re ready to develop a healthier relationship with masturbating or to stop entirely, talk with your doctor. They can refer you to a counsellor, psychologist, or psychiatrist who specializes in sexual health.
Masturbation often carries a stigma. Some religious, cultural, and spiritual traditions associate masturbation with immorality or sin.
Masturbation is neither bad nor immoral. It’s normal and healthy. If you feel guilty or upset because you masturbate, tell your therapist or doctor. You two must get to the root of your feelings so you can overcome them
Take your time
Therapy isn’t a one-stop-shop. A single visit is a step toward help, but you should expect to see a therapist who specializes in sexual health for several weeks or months.
As you continue to meet and talk, you will begin to feel more comfortable. This can help you be more honest and forthcoming about your feelings and behaviours
Keeping a full schedule will cut down on the opportunities you have for masturbation. Find activities that are self-soothing, engaging, or exciting.
This can include exercise, mindfulness, yoga, discovering a new hobby, making dates with friends for dinner, or exploring new museums or exhibits. When you keep busy, you reduce opportunities for masturbation
take care of your body
A healthy diet and exercise are good for your body in many ways. For people trying to stop masturbating, a new emphasis on caring for yourself may reduce urges or provide motivation to resist. It can also provide a new focus for your energy and efforts
With the help of your doctor or therapist, identify your trouble times. Maybe you masturbate at night before bed. Maybe you masturbate in the shower every morning.
If you can identify when you’re most likely to masturbate, you and your doctor can come up with activities and plans to overcome the urge and the learned behaviours
Find a support group
Accountability is important for anyone trying to modify behaviour that feels out of control. It can also help you develop new behaviours. Support groups are available for people with out-of-control sexual behaviour.
Ask your doctor or therapist if there’s a support group in your area. Likewise, online support groups may be helpful for people who can’t meet with traditional in-person support groups
Limit your alone time
Downtime can be difficult for people trying to reshape behaviours. Try to move activities you’d normally conduct alone to a more public space.
For example, if you like to watch sports, go to a sports bar or pub instead of staying at home. If you’re anxiously awaiting new episodes of a show, host a viewing party so friends come to your house
Wear extra clothes at night
Underwear provides only a slight physical barrier between you and your genitals. But rubbing or touching yourself at night may mindlessly encourage you to masturbate. Wear an extra layer of clothing or two to reduce the sensation if you do rub yourself
Stop watching pornography
The stimulation from pornography may be too strong to overcome. Take measures to prevent yourself from accessing pornography.
Throw out any movies, magazines, or other content. Move your computer to a public room in the house so you can’t be alone when using it. You can also install porn-blocking software. More important, identify what the function of your porn use is.
Behaviour that feels out of control doesn’t form overnight, and it doesn’t end overnight either. Be patient with the process. Commit to the end result and understand you may hit stumbling blocks along the way. Determination can see you through the inevitable mistakes and struggles
the term “masturbation addiction” is used to refer to a tendency to excessively or compulsively masturbate. Here, we will explore the difference between compulsory and addiction and review how to:
- Recognise habits that may be considered problematic
- Reduce or eliminate unwanted behaviour.
- Know when to talk to a mental health professional
IS IT REALLY AN ADDICTION?
There’s some debate around whether you can truly be “addicted” to masturbation.
Although there’s been a push to medically recognize masturbation addiction, some say it should be recognized as a compulsion, not an addiction.
There’s no clinical diagnosis for masturbation addiction. It’s not recognized as addictive by the American Psychological Association (APA).
Masturbation addiction also isn’t recognized as a mental health condition by the recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), which sets the criteria for diagnosing mental health conditions
?Because the APA doesn’t consider masturbation to be truly addictive, people often refer to “compulsive masturbation” instead of a “masturbation addiction.”
WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?
Frequently masturbating doesn’t mean you have a problem or addiction.
Generally speaking, there’s only cause for concern if you feel your behaviour has become excessive or obsessive.
The following scenarios, for example, maybe signs of a masturbation compulsion:
• Masturbating takes up a lot of your time and energy.
• Your home, work, or personal life is suffering because of masturbation.
• You might be late to meetings, cancel events, or leave social appointments early to masturbate.
• You masturbate in public or in uncomfortable places because you can’t wait to get home.
• You masturbate even when you don’t feel aroused, sexual, or “horny.”
• When you feel negative emotions — such as anger, anxiety, stress, or sadness — your go-to response is to masturbate for comfort.
• You feel guilty, distressed, or upset after masturbating.
• You masturbate even if you don’t want to.
• You find it difficult to stop thinking about masturbation.
WHAT CAUSES IT?
Masturbation has several health benefits. It can help you de-stress and lift your mood.
If you’re under a lot of stress, or if you have a mood disorder, you might use masturbation to relax and feel better.
This isn’t wrong in itself, but you might become obsessed with chasing the high of orgasm. This could lead to masturbation that becomes problematic for you.
Compulsive sexual behaviours might also be neurological, as Mayo Clinic points out. An imbalance of natural brain chemicals and neurological diseases like Parkinson’s might lead to compulsive sexual behaviour. However, more research is needed.
Other research in animals trusted Source suggests behavioural addictions might alter the brain’s neural pathways similarly to substance use disorders. This may lead you to want to do that behaviour more often, like masturbate.
WHAT TREATMENT OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE?
A doctor or other healthcare provider may recommend one or more of the following treatments.
Talk therapy can be a great way to figure out whether masturbation is hurting your life and, if so, how to address it.
Your therapist might ask questions about:
• your feelings and behaviour around masturbation
• whether you engage in other compulsive sexual behaviours, like partner sex and porn use
• problems caused by your compulsive masturbation
• past traumas
• your current stressors
This will help your therapist determine whether your behaviour is considered compulsive.
They can also help you process your feelings, figure out the root cause of your compulsive behaviour, and find a way to stop or reduce the behaviour.
Remember that what you tell your therapist is entirely confidential. They’re not allowed to discuss your sessions with anybody else.
There are several different support groups for compulsive sexual behaviour.
Your therapist or doctor might be able to recommend one, as could a local addiction centre.
Many people prefer online support groups and forums, which you might also find helpful.
There’s no medication for treating compulsive masturbation.
However, compulsive sexual behaviours are sometimes related to underlying mental health conditions, such as:
• bipolar disorder
• anxiety disorder
In these cases, prescription medication could help with compulsive behaviours.
WHAT IF IT’S LEFT UNTREATED?
Compulsive behaviours may worsen over time.
This could put a strain on your relationships — including your romantic and sexual relationships — as well as your mental health.
This, in turn, could lead to lower sexual satisfaction and self-esteem.
The bottom line
No matter whether you call it an addiction or compulsion, it’s important to remember that the behaviour is treatable.
A trained therapist can work with you or your loved one to overcome unwanted behaviours and improve your quality of life.