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Is Masturbation Normal & Healthy

By Thomas C. Weiss - 2015-05-27 - Updated: 2016-02-07


Masturbation is the first sexual experience most women and men have.

"Most people continue to masturbate into adulthood and a number of them do so throughout their lives."

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“Masturbation is part of a healthy sex life. It’s totally safe and harmless. It’s healthier than brushing your teeth every day.” - Gloria Brame, Ph.D., Clinical Sexologist

Masturbation is the self-stimulation of the person's genitals in order to achieve sexual arousal and pleasure, often times to the point of sexual climax. Masturbation is usually performed by stroking, massaging, or touching the person's clitoris or penis until and orgasm is achieved. Some people also use stimulation of the vagina to masturbate, or use sex toys such as a vibrator.

How Many People Masturbate?

If you are wondering who masturbates the answer is well – almost everyone. Masturbation is a very common behavior, even among those who have a sexual relationship with a partner. One national study discovered that 89% of women and 95% of men reported that they have masturbated. Masturbation is the first sexual experience most women and men have. Where children are concerned, masturbation is a regular part of a growing child's exploration of their own body. Most people continue to masturbate into adulthood and a number of them do so throughout their lives.

Reasons Why People Masturbate

Along with feeling good, masturbation is a good way to relieve the sexual tension that may build up over a period of time, particularly for those who do not have a partner, or whose partners are unwilling or available for sex. Masturbation is also a safe sexual alternative for people who desire to avoid pregnancy and the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV infection or gonorrhea. Masturbation is also necessary when a man needs to provide a semen sample for sperm donation or infertility testing. When sexual dysfunction is present in a person, masturbation might actually be prescribed by a sex therapist to allow the person to experience an orgasm, or to delay its arrival.

Is Masturbation, 'Abnormal?'

Masturbation was regarded as a sign of a mental health issue and a perversion in the past. Now it is regarded as a usual, healthy sexual activity that is fulfilling, pleasant, safe and acceptable. Masturbation is a good way to experience sexual pleasure and can be done throughout a person's lifetime. It is only considered to be an issue when it inhibits sexual activities with the person's partner, causes significant distress to the person, or is done in public. Masturbation might cause distress if it is done compulsively or interferes with the person's daily life activities.

Can Masturbation be Harmful?

In general, the medical community considers masturbation to be a harmless and natural expression of sexuality for both women and men. It does not cause any physical harm or injury to the person's body and can be performed in moderation throughout a person's life as a part of usual sexual behavior. Some religions and cultures do not approve of the use of masturbation, or even label it as being sinful – something that might lead to shame or guilt concerning the behavior.

Some experts suggest that masturbation may actually improve a person's relationships and overall sexual health. Through exploration of your own body through masturbation, a person may find out what is erotically pleasing to them and then share this information with their partner. Some partners use manual masturbation to discover techniques for a more sexually satisfying relationship, as well as to add to their mutual intimacy.

Information Concerning Masturbation

Masturbation has been approached by a number of doctors. Dr.'s Brame, Cadwell and Landa approached masturbation, making statements in regards to the benefits. What follows is information regarding masturbation.

Masturbation helps to prevent cancer. A study in the nation of Australia discovered that men who ejaculated more than five times per week were one-third less likely to develop prostate cancer. Disease-causing toxins build up in a person's urogenital tract and when a person masturbates, they essentially flush the toxins out of their system, according to Dr. Brame. Masturbation makes men harder – as they age, men naturally lose muscles tone; yes – even in their genitals.

Regular sex or masturbation works out a person's pelvic floor muscles to prevent incontinence and erectile dysfunction. Dr. Brame stated, “It keeps the angle of your dangle perky.” The doctor suggests that people masturbate three to five times each week in order to receive the best results. Masturbation helps a person to last longer. It helps people to increase the length of time they are sexually active with their partners. Dr. Brame said that masturbating an hour before a date will give a person more control.

Ava Cadell, Ph.D. suggests that a person train themselves by timing how long it takes them to orgasm through masturbation. If it usually takes two minutes, attempt for three minutes the next time. Or a person may count how many strokes they need to reach and orgasm. If a person achieves orgasm after fifty strokes, they should reach for sixty. According to Dr. Cadell, “Most men can double the number of strokes and the time within one month. Masturbation seems to be a very pleasurable form of exercise.

Dr. Jennifer Landa, M.D. And specialist in hormone therapy said that masturbation increases a person's immunity. Ejaculation increases levels of the hormone, 'cortisol.' Cortisol is one hormone that usually receives bad reviews as a havoc-wrecking stress hormone. The fact is – it actually helps to regulate and maintain a person's immunity in small doses. Dr. Landa said, “Masturbation can produce the right environment for a strengthened immune system.” Masturbation boosts a person's mood. It releases a number of, 'feel-good,' neurochemicals such as oxytocin and dopamine that lift a person's spirits, increase their satisfaction and activate the reward circuits in a person's brain.

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