Is there such a thing as too much masturbation?
I have a really high sex drive and now that I’m single I recently realized that I’ve been masturbating almost every day, sometimes multiple times a day. This is the first time in my life that I’ve ever been this consistent with masturbating so I started to worry if I was doing it too much. I crave intimacy and I would like to be with a partner but I’m single and feel like I need to take care of my needs. Also, I should point out I’m not at like, the point where I feel I need to do it. It’s just so enjoyable that I find myself doing it and it’s just really picked up in frequency. So with all of that said: how much is too much masturbation?
You may have heard that throughout the course of a relationship, you experience many different relationships. The same is true for your sex life. From the time you become sexually active to whenever you stop, there’ll be ebbs and flows with both self-pleasure and partner sex.
Right now you’re in a flow state—and that is totally ok! Masturbating daily or multiple times a day generally isn’t something to worry about, especially if you don’t feel like it’s something you need to do.
You’re enjoying yourself and taking care of your needs—in my opinion, the world would be a better place if we all approached self-pleasure from this perspective!
The benefits of masturbation
Masturbation helps you learn what your body likes and doesn’t and helps you reacquaint yourself to, well, yourself after big life changes like becoming single, becoming a parent, or dealing with chronic illness. It lets you explore new fantasies and try new sex acts. It also relieves stress, reduces pain, and helps you sleep better.
How much is too much masturbation?
There are different views on whether or not you can masturbate too much. At one end of the spectrum are fundamental religious beliefs saying that any masturbation is too much. On the other end, is the belief that there is no such thing as too much masturbation.
My research and decade of experience teaching about sex land me somewhere in the middle.
Masturbation becomes a problem when it interferes or hides something
If you are worried about masturbating too much, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Are you shirking daily responsibilities to masturbate?
- Are you avoiding facing physical or mental health issues?
- Does masturbating exacerbate physical or mental health issues?
- Do you feel a compulsion to masturbate, like you can’t get through a day without it?
- Does it feel like you need to masturbate in order to sleep, relax etc?
- Do you feel drained, ashamed, angry, scattered, or similar?
Answered yes to one or more? I recommend checking in with a sex therapist.
While the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists doesn’t find sufficient evidence to support the existence of sex addiction, they do acknowledge that there are real physical, psychological, spiritual, and sexual health consequences that can result from sexual urges, thoughts, or behaviors.
Masturbating too much doesn’t necessarily ruin you for sex
Another common concern about masturbating too much is that it is harmful or will impact your sex life. This doesn’t have to be the case!
Masturbating a lot won’t harm your nerve endings or diminish your ability to experience orgasm and pleasure. What can happen is that your nerves get accustomed to being stimulated in a particular way and your body learns, “this is how I climax.” This can make it harder to experience orgasms in other ways. The solution? Switch up how you masturbate. Our bodies like shortcuts and that includes how we experience orgasm. Alternate using hands and toys; use different amounts of lubes; try different positions, speeds, or pressures. If you’ve been masturbating one way for a while, switching up your self-pleasure may mean it takes you longer to experience orgasm at first. It’s worth sticking with it to guarantee you never get stuck in a masturbation rut.
The cultural message that womxn don’t masturbate is BS
There are people of all genders and sexualities who enjoy masturbating a lot—and those who avoid it. There’s a ton of variation both person-to-person and throughout your sex life.
Enjoy the immense pleasure you’re giving yourself right now and lean into exploring new ways to experience pleasure and orgasm.
Featured image by Ana Harff
Author Bio Kait Scalisi, MPH, is an advocate for the revolutionary power of pleasure inside the bedroom and out. Through her public workshops, private counselling, and online platform Passion By Kait, she harnesses her science education, social justice insight, and radical empathy to empower folx to get more in tune with their bodies, discover what brings them pleasure, and integrate it into their lives and relationships in ways that are both practical and powerful. Learn more and find #freedominpleasure at PassionbyKait.com, Instagram and Twitter @PassionbyKait, and Facebook www.facebook.com/PassionbyKait.