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  • Is Masturbation Healthy?

You may have heard some crazy things about masturbation being bad for you, like it makes you grow hair in weird places; it causes infertility; it shrinks your genitals; or once you start masturbating you’ll become addicted to it. None of that’s true. Masturbation isn’t unhealthy or bad for you at all. Masturbation can actually be good for your health, both mentally and physically. And it’s pretty much the safest sex out there — there’s no risk of getting pregnant or getting an STD.

When you have an orgasm, your body releases endorphins, which are hormones that block pain and make you feel good. The good feelings that come with an orgasm happen whether you’re masturbating or having sex.

Plenty of research has shown the health benefits of masturbation. Masturbation can:

  • release sexual tension

  • reduce stress

  • help you sleep better

  • improve your self-esteem and body image

  • help treat sexual problems

  • relieve menstrual cramps and muscle tension

  • strengthen muscle tone in your pelvic and anal areas

Masturbation also helps you figure out what you like sexually. Where do you want to be touched? How much pressure feels good? How fast or slow? Learning how to have orgasms on your own can make it easier to have one with a partner, because you can tell or show them what feels good. And when you’re comfortable with sex, your body, and talking to your partner, you’re more likely to feel comfortable protecting yourself against STDs and unintended pregnancy.

How much masturbation is too much?

Some people masturbate often — every day, or even more than once a day. Some people masturbate closer to once a week, once every few weeks, or every now and then. Some people never masturbate, and that’s fine too. All of these are perfectly normal.

Masturbation only becomes “too much” if it gets in the way of your job, your responsibilities, or your social life. If that’s a problem for you, you may want to talk to a counselor or therapist.

Some people learn when they’re young that masturbating is wrong or bad, so they feel guilty about doing it. If you feel that way, try to remember that most people masturbate. It’s perfectly normal, and there’s nothing wrong with it. Talking to a counselor or therapist may help if you have trouble getting over guilty feelings.

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