5 Things You Didn’t Know

If there’s one thing that almost every guy is an expert at, it’s masturbation. After years of extensive practical experience, you think you know everything there is to know. But according to experts, perhaps not. Here are some that may surprise you.

1. Masturbation is not as healthy as sex.

“Not all orgasms appear to be the same,” says Tobias S. Koehler, MD, assistant professor at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield. Study after study shows that sexual intercourse has many benefits for men—for your blood pressure, heart and prostate health, pain, and more. You might think masturbation too. But it’s not. What difference does it make if you ejaculate during sex or on your own? Nobody is sure. But your body seems to react differently. Even the composition of semen will be different if you masturbate instead of having sex.

However, does it really matter?

Have you really masturbated all these years just because you wanted to improve your prostate health? Did not think. But one study, Harvard’s Health Professional Followup, found that masturbation can help reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

2. Masturbation is not safe.

Of course, this is a low risk. This is the safest form of sex. No one has ever contracted an STD from themselves and become pregnant. But like other low-risk activities (chewing, walking), it still has some risks. Frequent or gross masturbation may cause minor skin irritation. Violent flexion of an erect penis can cause the chambers that fill with blood to rupture, a rare but terrible condition called a penile fracture. Koehler saw guys with him after vigorous masturbation. “After that, the penis looks like an eggplant,” he says. “He’s purple and swollen.” Most men require surgery to recover.

3. There is no “normal” amount of masturbation.

Guys can obsess over whether they masturbate too much. But what really matters is not how many times you masturbate per week (or day), says Logan Levkoff, Ph.D., a sexologist and sexologist. How does it fit into your life? If you masturbate many times a day and lead a healthy, fulfilling life, this is good for you. But if you masturbate many times a day and miss work or refuse to have sex with your partner because of it, consider seeing a sex therapist. Even then, there’s nothing special about masturbation, that’s the problem. Compulsive masturbation is like any behavior that ruins your life – whether it’s a compulsive poker game or browsing your social media every minute.

4. Masturbation does not affect your relationship.

Lewkoff says the most devastating myth about male masturbation is that it’s a sign that something is wrong in your relationship. The thing is, most guys masturbate. They masturbate if they are single, in a bad relationship, or in a good relationship. They are just doing things that have nothing to do with their partners. Masturbation isn’t just about sex, Levkoff says. For many, this is a common way to relieve stress, clear your head before work, or go to bed.

5. Masturbation is almost certainly good for your sex life.

Masturbation can help your sex life as it is how guys know what they like during sex. “I think women would be more sexually satisfied in their relationships if they masturbated as often as men,” Levkoff says. Are there any exceptions? Some guys get so addicted to certain pressures during masturbation or porn stimulation that they can’t perform with a partner, says Jan Kerner, Ph.D., sex therapist and book author. She comes first.

However, Kerner says these guys are the exception. “For the vast majority of men, masturbation is great,” he says. “I’m usually more worried about a guy who has stopped masturbating – which could be a sign of anxiety or a health problem – than a guy who does it regularly.”


Brodie, S. Journal of Sexual MedicineApril 2010

Jan Kerner, Ph.D., sex therapist, New York; author, She Comes First: The Thinking Man’s Guide to Pleasuring a Woman.

Kinsey Institute: Frequently Asked Questions.

Tobias S. Koehler, MD, MD, Andrologist; Associate Professor, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield.

Logan Levkoff, Ph.D., sex therapist, certified sex educator, American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, New York.


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