Masturbation Addiction: Psychology, Effects, and Statistics

masturbation addiction symptoms

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Masturbation is conventionally defined as the self-stimulation of genitals to attain arousal and ultimately, sexual pleasure. People who engage in masturbation achieve maximum sexual pleasure during orgasm, just like in a normal sexual act between two people. It must be pointed out that engaging in masturbation often does not necessarily mean being addicted to masturbation, so there needs to be a good understanding of what masturbation addiction is. With the advancement of information and technology, more ways to increase pleasure through masturbation have been introduced. Almost everyone who is sexually active or is experiencing sexual urges can masturbate.

It does transcend generation and gender. Even people who have sex partners sometimes engage in it. Masturbation in teenagers is also a common phenomenon as they grow up and start experiencing sexual urges. It’s usually a time of great experimentation since their bodies are maturing and undergoing a lot of changes. When done in moderation, it can be beneficial as it can be an ideal way of relieving sexual urges and preventing sexually transmitted infections and diseases. Excessive masturbation, on the other hand, has a lot of negative effects.

The Psychology of Masturbation Addiction

In masturbation addiction, two key substances play a role, dopamine, and endorphins. Dopamine is a reward neurotransmitter that allows a person to feel pleasure. Endorphins are chemicals which the body uses to counteract stress and physical exertion, making one able to relax and recover. While a person is masturbating, dopamine is released, and the person experiences a pleasurable high which peaks off during a climax. After the climax, endorphins are released, making the person feel sated and sometimes fall asleep.

When a person becomes dependent on these feelings and uses them to escape stressful life situations or mental problems, it opens the window for masturbation addiction to occur. Masturbation addiction can become a cause for concern when it transforms into a means to cope with issues instead of facing them head-on.

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Effects of Masturbation Addiction

The dangers of excessive masturbation include:

  • Low productivity due to spending too many hours watching pornography
  • Unrealistic sexual expectations due to porn, leading to broken marriages and unhappy families
  • Low self-esteem and anti-social behaviors
  • Irritation of the genitals

As indicated earlier, masturbation has some benefits when done in a controlled manner. A man who wants to donate his sperms can masturbate to do so. An individual who is not in any sexual relationship or does not have a steady sexual partner can masturbate to relieve his or her sexual urges and at the same time reduce the possibility of contracting sexually transmitted diseases and infections. When done excessively, it becomes a real problem. It is then categorized into what is clinically referred to as a compulsive sexual behavior. This has several effects:

  • There can be a loss of time as well as a productivity because one would then spend a lot of time masturbating instead of taking part in meaningful work. People who are addicted to masturbation can spend so many hours watching pornographic clips and thus become less productive individuals.
  • This behavior may have several effects on a family as well as interpersonal relationships. It comes with so much secrecy, deception, and breaking of trust, which can strain relationships. A person who masturbates excessively can develop unrealistic sexual expectations from a spouse or a partner. This can then lead to broken marriages, unhappy families, and in the long run, an aversion to romantic relationships by the partner who is aggrieved.
  • Psychologically, there is shame and guilt that accompanies this kind of behavior. Such people may develop low self-esteem and anti-social behavior because they feel morally selfish and sexually depraved. Teenagers addicted to masturbation may experience falling grades and may also be the subject of bullying. Sometimes they may find themselves masturbating in public just to calm their sexual urges. It can also lead to inappropriate sexual discussions even in the presence of grown-ups or guests. This, in turn, can create a rift between parent and child, and in the process lead to other bad habits such as drug abuse just to cope with the pressure at home and school.
  • Masturbation addiction may also lead to the emergence of more depraved sexual tendencies as an individual looks to find new exciting ways to achieve sexual pleasure. A man may start developing extreme sexual habits such as watching child pornography, peeping through windows or key holes just to catch a glimpse of a naked body and even molesting his children just to satisfy sexual urges. Females may also become sexual predators and experiment with different things just to satisfy their sexual urges.
  • Irritation of the genitals is another effect of masturbation addiction. This is more common when one does not use the right type of lubricants during the act.

All these are negative effects that arise as a result of excessive masturbation. Such behavior is anti-social and requires remedial measures to correct the situation.

The difference in Masturbation Between Males and Females

There isn’t much difference between masturbation addiction in men and women. Men generally pleasure themselves by stroking or massaging the penis until they ejaculate. There are a few that also use sex dolls for sexual arousal and orgasm. Women masturbate by stimulating their clitoris and the vagina because that is how they achieve arousal and pleasure. Just like in men, some use their hands while others make use of sex toys such as vibrators. Society tends to be more receptive about male masturbation as opposed to female. It all has a lot to do with how sexual liberty is perceived differently in men and women. Because of this, many women shy away from talking about their sexual fantasies because of how society may judge them. Medically speaking, women can still develop infections as a result of masturbation. Using saliva as a lubricant during masturbation can interfere with bacteria found in the vagina, and this can cause a yeast infection.

Studies show that more men masturbate than women. A group of researchers, in their publication, The Social Organization of Sexuality reported that after interviewing almost 3000 people, they found out that 41.7% of the women had masturbated that year when compared to 63.3% of the men.

According to the Janus Report on Sexual Behavior by Samuel and Cynthia Janus, 10% of the women who participated in their survey say they often masturbate (a few times a week). For men, the percentage was 25%.

Masturbation Addiction Statistics

Statistically, it has been shown that more men than women are addicted to masturbation. Men between the ages of 18 and 30 form the biggest percentage of those who excessively masturbate. This was according to a survey conducted by Promise Keepers Organization. The survey also found that masturbation addiction is common among religious people just as much as it is among people who don’t pay much attention to matters of faith. People engage in masturbation at a much earlier age presently because of access to pornographic material on the internet. Boys as young as 10 years old are touching themselves for sexual pleasure.

Who suffers from addiction to masturbation?

Men between the ages of 18-30 masturbate excessively more than any other age group, according to Promise Keepers Organization. In modern times it very easy for younger people to engage in masturbation due to access to pornographic material on the internet.

How to Curb Masturbation Addiction

Certain helpful activities can help prevent excessive masturbation, including:

  • Participating in volunteer programs
  • Engaging in sports
  • Exploring creative talents such as art and writing
  • Taking morning jogs
  • Avoiding solitude
  • Interacting with people
  • Removing pornographic material from the home and computer
  • Seeking counseling service

Excessive masturbation can be stopped by doing a combination of different things. One can find an alternative route to channel the energy such as participating in volunteer programs, engaging in sports, and exploring the creative talents through writing and art. If one finds oneself mostly masturbating just before one goes to work, find something else to do, like taking a morning jog to calm one down. It’s also good to avoid solitude and interact with people. In case a person has pornographic material on the phone or computer, delete them. This is an important step. Develop the right mindset and believe that addiction can be curbed. It’s also not a bad thing to share what one is going through with family and friends and also seek counseling services.

Many people suffer from masturbation addiction but often fail to acknowledge that they have a problem. The first step in kicking this habit is accepting that a problem exists, then making deliberate efforts to curb it.

View Sources
  1. http://www.pamf.org/teen/sex/masturbation/#Can a Person Become Addicted <br/>or Masturbate too Much?
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2945841/
  3. http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/answered-questions/masturbating-stats-are-there-gender-differences-and-why
  4. https://www.press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/S/bo3626005.html
  5. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elwood-d-watson/pornography-addiction-amo_b_5963460.html

Comments

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  • Geoff
    Good article. Very informative. Now I know I need to seek help. Masturbation isn’t my only sexual addiction though.
  • Brand
    Fairly educational sex ed. I feel dependent on masterbation while at the same time i can at least tell myself no. But all in all i feel quite open to this suggestion. Just keep busy if u find yourself jacking every second of the day & console others -& yourself
  • dan
    This is a very informative article. I’ve never really had the motivation to stop, and this did a good job explaining the negatives. 10/10
  • Sham
    Masturbating daily became my habit. I used to enjoy it and got addicted to it. Without masturbating i cudnt sleep but after long term practice it started showing bad side-effects on my sexual and mental health. Then i went to doctor and they provided me medicines but it didn’t work for me. After that one of my friend suggested me herbal medicines of arogyam. And results are amazing yaar… My problem got completely cured in just 5 months. Thanks you dost.
    • Gaurav
      Pls name the medicine give the name of arogyam medicine
    • John
      Get some Prozac or Zoloft. That does the trick for me. My shrink and I worked to that solution. I take 60mg daily and have no sexual desires. I can still have sex, but I don’t orgasm at all. Best way to stop masturbating. Plus I last until my woman is literally begging me to stop.
  • Jason
    I am so addcited to the point I do it at least more than 5 times a day, always horny, sometimes I did it in my car when I’m out, it is really bad
  • Niz
    The article is really helpful. I have a friend and I think he’s addicted to Masturbation, because he has told me that he masturbates everyday. He’s not a sociable person and has lots of problems in his life, and by marijuana and Masturbation he tries to cope with his problems. I really wanna help him but I don’t want to upset or offend him. I’ve been trying to involve him in some activities like learning photoshop and going to the gym but I don’t think it’ll help that much. Could you maybe give me some tips on how to approach him about this problem? Thank you.
  • David H.
    Hi. In general, the article is OK but it confounds addiction to masturbation with addiction to pornography.
  • schean
    I am single, live alone, naked almost always, and i masturbate for hours each day. i have a professional life, social life, and i masturbate a lot. i’m not sure why i would choose to change anything about my life regarding masturbation. i don’t see any negative effects of my love of masturbation. i am my only partner but i choose to be my own lover. masturbation has always been my sex of choice, and yes, i do it asch lot, sometimes many hours each day. it feels so damn good
  • Ashley
    Same thing but i’m female and started at 6 years old – my Mom is concerned but not enough to stop me. Sometimes for me, it’s like 5 times a day. I got addicted to doing it to piss videos and vomiting drunks.
  • Brian E.
    I think the best thing to do is find a reason(s) as why you’re greatly reducing your M-sessions or stopping totally. Mines were religious and practical. Yours might be different. So try to be as busy as possible and find other ways to release tension such as intense exercise (cardio, weights lifting, yoga, etc), having sex with someone you love (after you beat the addiction). You’ll be surprised how much more life you’ll enjoy in the simple things, and how much more sex will be more emotionally, physically, and psychologically satisfying because once you stop fingering your and depend on another person for your sexual needs and relive you urges; this is so powerful. Simply for the fact that it’s not just about you getting pleasure but the other person also. Hope this helps.
  • Brian E.
    Have faith. All it takes is one thing to kick off your recovery. Something like masturbation addiction isn’t going to happened overnight. It takes time.
  • Brian E.
    Well Egyptshian, my advice to you is keep the faith and believe that you can be free. Nothing is impossible with God. There’s just some much more to life than sitting in front of a computer screen watching overexaggerated sex scenes on the internet. Let me tell you a secret: the only real porn that you’re going to find is real is amateur, masturbation type, and sex machines. That’s it. Now that’s not me saying you should look them up, but consider what porn is doing to your perception of the opposite sex. If you’re still convinced that some how watching porn is fun and good, then watch a video: 10 Lies you Learned From Porn and Your Brain on Porn – The Scary Effects of Porn Addiction. Please; take my advice from someone who’s been a porn addict for 5 years ( 13 – 17). Walking down this road will leave you empty, alone, exhausted, and without a lack of drive to do anything productive with your life. Please don’t follow after your desires. I beg you.
  • C.Ford jr
    I am a married and faithful black man. My childhood experience with self/ involuntary masturbation started for me @ the age of 3. Because of my experiences my template for arousal sexually is acutely specific. It has vast renditions. The only thing that is a must is that my partner must be sincere in her rawness, real in her explicitness, and primal in her instinctual acts with me . if I sense any disturbance in her sexuality be it morally twisted or immaculately romantic I’m instantly disconnected from her energy that is the power supply to my cock and 1 of 2 things are going to happen. 1. my cock is going disengage and deflate inatantly, or 2. Because I’m always full of an un-quailed temperment and energy i will bust off not prematurely but quick non the less. But when we are equally, identically, and oppositly in yearning and need 4 one another I ravage every entry point GOD created and attached to her and more often than not we will always attempt to top a new orriface into her some how. At times my addictions flare defiantly/and substance wise. This happens most when the choice of extensive opposite work scheduling and the human experience factor work together. The result is my being home alone at minimum 12 hrs a day 6 days a week. And I have to get off hard every day for normality to remain a feeling to me. For the last month because of her personal “sh*t” and my personal “sh*t” we are distant and I’ve been with cock in hand virtually jerking off to my porn of interest but never can I get off. I’ve entertained getting sucked off by some random woman who is confident in her sl*t attribute. But my voes are solid in my commitment and I waiver not in my relationship. My problem is the longer my absence is from inside my wife the more powerful my craving for my substance of choice mixed with the natural need to f*ck my wife grows. What left is a web browser flooded with non tangible imagery and a wrath certered in my genitalia that has me furious with every emotion imaginable and a natural insecurity concerning the status of my relationship but never the insecurity of self! I’m beginning to become numb to my hand on myself and porn but yet can’t quit masturbating in hopes for a sexual reprieve. Any info/suggestions will be highly appreciated.
  • Raz
    you dont tend to see the effects until after word me right now its messing with my mental health my relationships with family friends hell i even lost my girlfriend to it. There’s one thing i try to remember in life you dont notice it till its too late the problems like to hide and only come out when itle really hurt you. but dont pass me off with a hardened heart try to see where im coming from its always best to get another point of view.
  • RF
    I am 74 yrs. old and have been masturbating since I was 11. I masturbated heavily through puberty with really bad results. My penis never grew to full average size. The shaft of it also collapsed and it just flops there. The best erection I got when I was younger and to this day was 3 1/2″ long. Talk about being embarrassed. I have been married 47 yrs. What I am trying to say is they masturbating could really hurt you in the end.
  • SXTeN
    I’m 16 and had the same problem.For me personally i would recommend replacing wanking with a new hobby or some sort of physical activity like running or push ups to drain your body of its energy.Also i recommend that you write down the reasons you want to stop and whenever you have the urge to do it read those aloud to stop yourself from doing it.Next,I would recommend thinking before you act, this may sound stupid but it helped with my poor impulse control.Finally you should not edge or go to porn sites “just to look”.I don’t know how bad your addiction is, some of these comments may help,some may not whatever happens I wish you the best in your journey to better yourself.yours sincerelySXTen
  • jav streaming
    That’s so cool! I don’t suppose I’ve read anything such as this before. So pleasant to obtain somebody with some primary thoughts on this matter. Really thank you for beginning this up.
  • Dev
    Nice article
  • khangelani dlamini
    Horrible my GOD!
  • John
    Im 42 years old and i been masturbating since 13 and my relationship is trash i still try to please my wife but is so hard when you had done it u self please i need meds plus i need to overcome this issue how can i get the help and support what medicines should i take what kind of supplements i need to restore my strength
  • Chris
    Hi there, I am also addicted to masturbation, and I got courage to tell my pastor about it and he told me is “THE MORE YOU GET CLOSER TO GOD THE LESS YOU FEEL DOING IT”. I have been practicing that and it’s helping. You know when you read the word most of ur free time and meditate the word u won’t get time to think about porn or masturbation. Try this it might help. God bless you and I hope you get over it.
    • Roberto
      I’m a Christian man who has struggled greatly with this my entire adult life. At church, at work and in public, I’m this really nice guy who has good relationships, good job, nice demeanor, polite behavior, etc. I have a graduate degree, work in the corporate business world and live an upper middle class lifestyle. But at home, alone, I spend hours watching porn and masturbating. In recent years it has graduated to strip clubs and massage parlors. Nobody in my life knows. I have tried to stop a hundred times over the years. I would give nearly anything to stop. I live as a total hypocrite, and bring shame on my faith and myself as a person. Any Atheist/agnostic/non-believer would be entirely accurate in scoffing at me. I’m not even trying to say it’s wrong for others. But for me, I know it’s wrong, and I want to stop, but cannot. It’s like I need rehab the way a crack addict needs rehab, but I would have to admit to the world, my family and friends the lie I live. I would probably lose my job/career taking months off in rehab while having to live the rest of my life with a label of being a sexual misfit. I can’t do that. It’s too hard. Ironically, if I were a drug addict or alcoholic, I believe society would be encouraging in admitting the problem and getting sober. But to ever tell anyone that I had to seek therapy/rehab for sex addiction is like telling people you are some kind of monster that shouldn’t be allowed to be in public. I think that stigma is probably worse than the shame and guilt I live in now. I don’t know. All I do know is this sucks because I just want to stop and be normal. I want to actually be the man I pretend to be around others; a good and decent man free of sexual deviancy. So I just keep going, keep struggling, and pray that one day somehow someway there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
  • Teetee
    My boyfriend is addicted to masterbation he spends hours a day in the bathroom we have been together for 7 months and we hardly have sex HELP I need advice aside from his addition he is perfect. I don’t know what to do!
  • Mina
    Masturbation has levels.The preliminary stage is where your interest is only on pleasure.At this level you begin to program your mind towards receiving sexual pleasure from stimulating your sex organs.Consequently you will become CONDITIONED from your brains neural network all over your body to obtain orgasm by masturbating.At this level the one involved in it is online searching for positive benefits of masturbation.After a while you will get to the point where i call the RED DOOR.when u cross that level its very COMPULSIVE…DEMANDING…THE NUMBER OF ROUNDS YOU GO PER MASTURBATION SESSION WILL SHOOT UP. That is why you are here searching for answers on how to stop. This was what i did to reduce my rounds per masturbation session to almost once a month. make sure you get another ACTIVITY that will release endorphins hormones in your system regularly.over time this new activity will make your brain revert from gaining—feel good hormones via masturbation to that new positive activity.and it should be some activity that will release endorphins–make you feel good—it takes time to cultivate such a new activity.YOU CAN START TODAY EVEN NOW.
  • Dave
    I started masturbating at age fifteen. I have tried so many times to stop but i end up finding myself repeating it over and over. It has affected my academics and I find it so difficult to contribute in discussions.I really need help.
  • Jack
    Hi. My name is Jack. I’m 16. So I’m reaching out because I want to know if I have a masturbation addiction. So when I get sexally aroused I do masturbation in my bedroom. Anyways. I would sometimes masturbate than I would just keep doing it like 3 more times right after my first session. That’s why I’m wondering if it’s just my hormones making me do it so much. Because I’m a teenager so I can understand my hormones are going crazy. At the same time. I think to myself. Why do I masturbate so much. I feel guilt from it sometimes. I feel like I’m the only one who masturbates so much. So I was wondering. Do I have a masturbation addiction?
  • Jeffrey
    Is masturbation the reason I’m antisocial? Could masturbation make my grades go down?
  • Suleiman Abdullahi
    Nice and educative article. But my problem now is that I am suffering from the effect of masturbation. So I need cure and health advice please. Thank you
  • Sorry but can't say
    Thanks a lot !! From today I will try my best to stop watching porn and also stop masturbation! I am a man and i ejaculate 1 or 2 times daily but from today I will stop these things
    • jack
      Thank you so much ladies and gentlemen for this article it is nice and it really helps me, because i was almost addicted to it, but through your overview, otherwise it could affect me because of lack of its infect. I hope from today i leave it alone through the power which God gave us of knowing good and bad and prayer i shall manage it as we are struggling for our heath,future marriage. Thank you, may God bless you.
  • Kapil k m
    I am trying to come out of it and I will ,but is it wrong or being shameful doing that
  • Eliezer
    I started masturbation at the age of 15-16 years due to influence and also porn.. And this has caused a lot of effect on me.. It doesn’t make do what I have to do. I think of something to do and after getting the thing I end up not doing it and then finding myself masturbating.. I need help and I’m still young I want to stop but I find it every difficult to stop it. Help a soul. And I really love your article.. It is a word changer.
  • Kashhh
    Masterbation can lead u not longer sex in bed with partner?
  • Ethindran
    Good idea I will follow this and sure I will stop masturabating