Contrary to the myth, there is no physical harm of masturbation. In fact, it is a common and a natural activity amongst people of all age groups, race, and gender to explore their body and release any sexual tension they might have.
Experts and researchers also agree that the act itself is a natural process of sexual behavior and is given a bad reputation for its private nature – as one cannot discuss these habits with even the closest friends.
Of course, excessive masturbation might not be good for both – your personal relationships and daily life. Many people shy away from the process as acts of self-pleasure are often deemed as ‘dirty.’ Some people also believe that the habit is prohibited for moral and religious reasons. But in the end, it is a personal choice and many people continue to take pleasure from their body without compromising on their health and personal relationships.
Side effects of masturbation
As we mentioned above, there are no physical consequences to masturbation. However, excess of anything can be harmful and those who masturbate on regular basis complain of the following:
- Weakness and fatigue
- Low sex drive with partner
- Low back pain
- Potential damage to the penis
- Pain in the testicular area
- Early ejaculation
Can a person be addicted to masturbation?
Yes, some people can be addicted to the sexual activity. However, there is no right answer to the frequency of the habit as the desire for self-pleasure varies from man to man and their general health.
- Misses out on school or work requirements
- Misses social gatherings with friends and family
- Becomes reluctant to participate in physical activities such as sports and other hobbies
- Prefers to stay in room
- Regularly injure themselves by rubbing intensely
- Experiences pain in the genital areas
- Is masturbating multiple times a day
- Constantly feels lustful
Masturbation and its effects on sexual relationships
The general audience believes that masturbation affects sexual abilities and relationships with the intimate partner. However, this is not the case and experts claim that the act can enhance sexual relationships as the person has a better understanding of their body and its needs.
On the other hand, masturbation causes physical exertion, which often leads to hindrance in the sexual activity. As a matter of fact, if a person misses sexual intercourse with their intimate partner constantly and prefers self-pleasure, it can be a sign of addiction and requires attention of a professional therapist.
Of course, there are times when it is ok to indulge in such acts. These include scenarios when a partner is not present, is sick, pregnant, or has a low sex drive.
Masturbation and its effect on fertility
Sperms are continuously produced in the bodies of healthy men and excessive masturbation does not affect their fertility or overall sperm count.
However, those who have a habit of masturbating frequently complain of premature ejaculation and even ejaculation during sleep. Nevertheless, researchers have not yet found any evidence that links both of the issues together. In fact, there are certain masturbatory techniques that men can learn to delay ejaculation and improve premature ejaculation.
Can you get STDs from masturbation?
STDs or sexually transmitted disease is a major concern amongst sexual active individuals. However, if a person is masturbating alone, there is no chance of him or her becoming infected with any type of STDs.
But yes, it is possible to get STD if a person is masturbating with another person and touching each other’s genitals. STDs can also pass from the semen or vaginal fluid so make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after touching the other person’s genital area.
It can also spread if you are sharing sex toys with the other person. If you are, we recommend using a condom on each toy and changing them each time a different person handles the toys.
Can masturbating injure the penis?
Masturbation is achieved best when performed sitting down, standing, or lying on the back. If a person ejaculates facing their front, they would put more pressure on their genital area, causing it potential injury. It is also suggested not to squeeze the penis too hard during ejaculation as it may damage the veins and the blood vessels of the penis.
Is it safe to masturbate during pregnancy?
Hormonal changes during pregnancy may evoke enhanced sexual desire in some women. Masturbating during these times is completely safe for both –the mother and the fetus. In fact, it may ease some symptoms of pregnancy as well such as back pain.
However, masturbating during high-risk pregnancies is not recommended as it may induce labor early on. Masturbation can also cause the women to have mild contractions that fade away within a few hours. If they don’t, it is suggested that you visit your medical care provider immediately.
Are there any benefits of masturbating?
Surprisingly, yes! There is no problem with occasionally pleasing yourself if there is nothing going on. In fact, acts of pleasure like masturbating can provide several benefits including:
Relief from stress
There is nothing like a good orgasm to relieve the body from the build-up of stress and tension accumulated from the day. With masturbation, one can calm the nervous system and release the cortisol or the stress hormone along with ejaculation for a calming effect. It even helps some people sleep peacefully.
Improves genital health
Men generally loose muscle tone in their penis as they age. This makes them more vulnerable to incontinence, erectile dysfunction, and prostate cancer. Masturbation exercises the pelvic floor muscle and lowers the risk of these issues.
Improves body image and confidence
Men are often wary about their body. By exploring their body and ways to enhance sexual desire can empower men and improve their body image and self-confidence.
So, is masturbation safe or not?
Masturbation is safe as long as signs of addiction are not present. It may even provide some health benefits and improve sexual relationships with the partner.
Nevertheless, if the activity comes in the way of your personal relationships or if you are having any negative feelings – talk to a qualified therapist or a trusted loved one immediately.