Everybody does it…masturbate, that is! Masturbation is a healthy form of self-pleasure that increases sexual wellness and just makes us feel good. But how much is too much? Or how much is too little?
We wanted to know how often you should masturbate, so we asked Galia Godel, M.Ed., who is a sex educator and a Jewish educator. Godel uses she/he pronouns, so you may see us use those interchangeably in this article—more on the importance of pronouns in an upcoming post in a few weeks!
Why are we talking about masturbation?
Godel answered all our burning questions about masturbation, and we’ll bet there’s more than a few answers you’re looking for from him, too. It’s still important to destigmatize self-pleasure, because tons of masturbation myths persist. No, masturbation doesn’t cause hair loss or blindness, but you’d never know it by looking at how many people Google those questions every day.
Is masturbation healthy?
Masturbation has tons of benefits, including:
- Pain and headache relief
- Better sleep
- Improved self-image
- More confidence
And like Godel says below, masturbation also makes partnered sex more enjoyable. She says you’re the only one who knows what you like best, and masturbation is the key to finding and expressing your likes and dislikes.
So, whether you’re wondering what the benefits of masturbation are, how it increases sexual wellness or whether masturbating infrequently means you’re “broken,” we’ve got the answers below.
Lora DiCarlo asks Galia Godel all about masturbation
LD: What are the best benefits of masturbation, and why should we do it?
GODEL: It's fun! It passes the time and makes us smile. It can make it easier to fall asleep, or give us an energy boost to start the day. It helps us understand our own bodies better, and gives us practice at achieving sexual pleasure. It gives us happy neurochemicals and reduces stress.
It allows us to achieve pleasure without needing someone else to be a gatekeeper of positive sensations.
LD: How can masturbation make sex with partners more enjoyable?
GODEL: Most obviously, people who masturbate regularly know how to give themselves sexual pleasure. It means that when you have partnered sex, you can show them what you like, and teach them how to make you moan or come or smile. You can do to yourself what you know feels good, and heighten the positive experience.
Maybe slightly less obviously, people that masturbate regularly tend to be in more tune with their own bodies and to be less self-conscious. It means that instead of spending brain power wondering if you look good, you can spend it working on feeling good.
LD: Does masturbating frequently mean you have a sex addiction?
GODEL: Not in the slightest! If someone is dealing with sex addiction, they may display that through frequent masturbation, but the inverse is not inherently true. There are people who masturbate every day, or several times a day, and it's not necessarily a sign that anything is wrong. It might just mean that they want more orgasms!
LD: Does masturbating infrequently mean there's something wrong with your libido?
GODEL: Nope! Some people prefer to have sex than to masturbate, in order to achieve orgasms. And some people don't want either, and that's also okay! Having a low drive for sexual pleasure, or low interest in sexual interactions, or low interest in masturbation are all common and fine and healthy, as long as you're not distressed by it.
LD: How often is it normal to masturbate?
GODEL: Any amount of masturbation is "normal," whether it's never, twice a month, or twice a day.
LD: What are some signs a person might want to seek therapy about their masturbation habits?
GODEL: The two things that might cause me to suggest that someone needs help would be if a) they were distressed by their masturbation habits, or b) if they masturbated so frequently that they were missing important events or social interactions.
Masturbation itself is healthy and great—it's when it causes a negative effect on the rest of your life that there is some cause for concern.
Now It's Your Turn
We hope this conversation demystifies masturbation just a little bit. It can be a taboo or embarrassing subject, but don’t feel ashamed! Everyone masturbates (even non-human animals, like hedgehogs and primates), and it’s good for us, too. There’s absolutely nothing shameful about self-pleasure.
If you’re not sure where to get started with self-pleasure, consider perusing our guides to stimulating the prostate and stimulating the clitoris. And if you’re ready to take the next step or want to make your masturbation time a little spicier, we’ve got just what you’re looking for, like the double-ended Sway for both prostate and G-spot stimulation, or Drift, the perfect warming bullet for beginners.
If all else fails and you’d like to chat with someone who can help you find the perfect pleasure product, then we recommend reaching out to our dedicated customer success team! Making pleasure accessible is part of our mission, and you deserve to know how to make yourself feel good. Pleasure to the people!