Masturbation is common across people of all genders and in fact plays a very important role in the sexual development of an individual. But what is masturbation? In simple terms it is when a person stimulates their genitals for sexual pleasure which may or may not lead to an orgasm. It is something that gives an individual autonomy over their body to explore and find what they like and don’t like. It not only has physical and mental health benefits but also improves your relationship with your partner and of course with yourself. Masturbation has always been surrounded with a lot of myths, weird gazes and giggles and of course- guilt. Even though the myths are busted time and again by researchers, there is something people often neglect- the ‘side effects’ of excessive masturbation. Well, as they say excess of everything is lethal. Don’t worry, excessive masturbation is not lethal for you but it does have a few side effects.
1- Can Cause an Injury Excessive masturbation can cause you an injury. Though the injury may be mild chafing or irritation but if that is something happening with you, maybe it is time to stop.
2- Can Cause Addiction Masturbation releases endorphins (happy hormones) and relaxes your mind. If not checked, your body may start asking for the happy hormones more frequently and this may lead to addiction.
3- Might Impact your sexual life Excessive masturbation may train your mind to achieve an orgasm only through solo act. Hence, overdoing it may impact your relationship with your partner.
4- Can Cause Bacterial Infections Even though masturbation is considered as the most safe sex practice, adopting unhygienic practices such as using unsanitised sex toys may invite a few infections to your body.
Now, the questions is “how to find out if I am masturbating too much?” or “how much masturbation is too much masturbation?” Well first, there is no fixed number. Everybody is different and there is no hard and fast rule to masturbate xyz number of times a week. Second, your body and mind will always give you the signs that you might be overdoing it. Signs you’re Masturbating too much 1- Inflamed/Chafed Genitals If you feel your genitals have inflamed and have started to pain, then maybe it is time to take a break from it.
2- Hampers your Social Life If you’re working or are out with your friends and yet your brain keeps telling you to ditch everything and go home just to masturbate, then that my friend is your cue.
3- When it becomes a ‘habit’ Masturbation is an act that helps to release the sexual tension. But if you have started to masturbate just because of habit not because you feel like it, time to mark this a red flag.
4- When your ‘gut’ says so You may ignore warnings sent by your brain but when your second brain starts to send red signals, it is definitely time to stop. If you have started to feel that you might be overdoing it, take it as a sign and stop.
What you can do? It is advisable to try and abstain from masturbation for a while. However, if you find it too hard to abstain then seeking help from a therapist or a healthcare professional would be the best.
Don’t forget that no matter how much of a head-turner masturbation is considered even today, it is something completely natural, healthy and if kept in check, a safe way to explore your body.