Masturbation is conventionally defined as the self-stimulation of genitals in order 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 really 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 you 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.
Effects of Masturbation Addiction
What are the dangers of excessive masturbation?
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 in order 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 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 own 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.
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. The 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 the 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 yeast an 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 masturbate often (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 really 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 mordern times it very easy for younger people engage in masturbation due to access to pornographic material on the internet.
How to Curb Masturbation Addiction
How to stop excessive masturbation?
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 your home and computer
- Seeking counseling service
Excessive masturbation can be stopped by doing a combination of different things. You can find an alternative route to channel your energy such as participating in volunteer programs, engaging in sports and exploring your creative talents through writing and art. If you find yourself mostly masturbating just before you go to work, find something else to do, like taking a morning jog to calm you down. It’s also good to avoid solitude and interact with people. In case you have pornographic material on your phone or computer, delete them. This is an important step. Develop the right mindset and believe that your addiction can be curbed. It’s also not a bad thing to share what you are 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 there after making deliberate efforts to curb it.