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Are you masturbating too much?

Are you masturbating too much?

These days you would be hard pressed to find someone of a sexually active age who doesn’t know what masturbation is, but for the avoidance of doubt:

masturbation

/mastəˈbeɪʃ(ə)n/

noun

1.stimulation of the genitals with the hand for sexual pleasure.

"a desire to engage in masturbation"

For some people, masturbation is something which is an everyday occurrence, whether they’re in a relationship or not. The desire for sexual release is a perfectly normal thing, and if sexual interaction with someone else isn’t possible, or something that you don’t really fancy doing, then some alone time is a good solution to the problem. Self-stimulation has been around since the dawn of time (quite literally) and it isn’t just us humans who indulge in it, there are members of the animal kingdom who are just as proficient as any human is. Google gorillas + masturbation and you’re bound to find something to satisfy your curiosity.

Despite this, self-pleasure has often been seen as a sin, as something perverse and dirty, something which isn’t normal when you’re in a relationship and being sexually active. But, as we know now, there’s nothing abnormal about it – in fact, it’s often encouraged, whatever your relationship status. However, that doesn’t mean that a little clarification isn’t necessary, something to put us all on the same page, so let’s start at the beginning with some of the most often-asked questions.

  • 1.Is it normal?
    Yes! Our sex drives are designed to make us seek out sex so the human race continues to thrive, it’s a basic instinct which happens all because of hormones. So, sex is one thing, but if you’re not in a position where having sex is on the cards at all, then masturbating relieves those feelings. It cannot be stressed enough: self-stimulation of one’s genitals is perfectly normal. In fact, for men, it’s a biological necessity. Emptying the testicles needs to happen so that they can be filled with fresh sperm which is better than the old stuff.
  • 2.If it’s so normal, why has it been so frowned upon in the past?
    There are lots of things that have been frowned upon in the past, which have now evolved to become socially acceptable, as we understand more of human behaviours. Masturbation is no exception.
  • DID YOU KNOW?
    As recently as the beginning of the 20th century, ‘female hysteria’ was considered something to be medically treated. And what did this treatment consist of? Manual stimulation of the genitals by a doctor (yes, really!) to induce orgasm. In other words, women were considered to have symptoms which could be cured through having orgasms. It’s uncertain what we might call that today, ‘female hysteria’ is a bit extreme, but being ‘sexually frustrated’ is not.
  • 3.I’m in a relationship, should I still be masturbating?
    If you want to, then yes! Masturbation doesn’t get abnormal if you’re sexually active with someone else. Your own sexual stimulation is a private thing, which doesn’t change if you’re in a monogamous relationship. That said, if you’re looking to have sexual stimulation from someone else, that’s probably not a great idea. Masturbation is a far better way to go if you’re looking to maintain the status quo (ha! It rhymes).
  • 4.I’ve read about mutual masturbation, what does that entail?
    It’s pretty simple really, it’s masturbation that you do in tandem with another person, either on yourself, or them. It means manual stimulation, i.e. just using your hands, although sex toys can be used on yourself. In fact, it’s probably fair to say that involving sex toys can make it a more intense experience.
  • 5.I masturbate a lot – how much is too much?
    With the advent of porn, sexual behaviours have changed. Avalanches of the stuff, from the tame to the horrible explicit, has descended on society through the magic of the internet. Gone are the days of top-shelf magazines being the go-to choice, now you can access pretty much whatever you want (unless it’s illegal) through just a few clicks on your computer/smartphone/tablet. But this availability has led some people to masturbate excessively, sometimes several times a day. If you’re constantly thinking about masturbating, or indulging in it multiple times a day, every day, or if it’s causing friction in your relationship, then it might be time to take stock, and have a look at what you’re doing. There is such a thing as porn addiction, where viewers watch it compulsively, and aren’t able to orgasm without watching it. That’s a red flag on its own, so don’t
  • 6.Are there different techniques I can use?
    Yes! You can choose different positions, or add in sex toys. You can use other things as well, some men like the feeling of condoms, for example, (and it’s less messy that way!). Have a look online for ideas and suggestions, websites like www.solotouch.com are a good place to start, you’ll find lots of people contributing their techniques there. 
Stuart Brown

Stuart Brown

I'm Stuart, senior Editor at British Condoms. I am an expert in all areas of sexual health and have a passion to drive knowledge to youth in the UK. Any questions for me or media enquiries, please feel free to tweet me @britishcondoms. Always open to engagement.

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