Masturbation is normal
Masturbation is defined as self-stimulation of the genitals. Touching or rubbing your own genitals to feel good is part of normal human sexual development and can help relieve stress, teach you about your body, provide personal comfort and be pleasurable. Although many cultures still actively discourage masturbation and place moral constraints on sexual behavior, masturbation is a part of normal human experience. Masturbating does not mean that you are promiscuous, oversexed or deviant.
When masturbation becomes a problem
Many people are uncomfortable talking about masturbation at all. The truth is that Whether you masturbate at all, and how often you do, is completely up to you. However, if masturbation is practiced excessively or under inappropriate circumstances, you might have a problem. Furthermore, masturbation may cause guilt and psychological pain from the disapproval of others. These feelings can result in considerable distress and can even affect sexual performance. But when is masturbation unhealthy? Masturbation and the urge to masturbate become unhealthy when masturbation:
- Continues even though it is no longer pleasurable or gratifying
- Has legal or personal consequences
- Interferes with your daily routine, work or social life
- Is performed excessively
- Takes up a great deal of time
- Puts you at risk of physical harm
Am I addicted to masturbation?
Several characteristics are present during sexual addiction, whether sex acts are performed with a parter(s) or alone. If you suspect that you are masturbating too much, you can discuss the situation with a urologist openly, honesty, in confidence. Search the American Urological Association Foundation’s Find a Urologist database. If there is a real problem, your doctor can either treat it directly or refer you to professionals who specialize in sexual disorders. To self-evaluate your tendency to be addicted to masturbation, answer the following questions.
- Are you having trouble establishing and maintaining emotional closeness in a relationship?
- Do you experience recurrent and intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, and behaviors?
- Do sexual fantasies, urges or behaviors cause you distress?
- Do sexual thoughts, feelings or behaviors impair daily functioning?
- Do you feel driven to masturbate, whether or not it is a source of pleasure or satisfaction?
- Do you use masturbation as an escape from other problems, such as loneliness, depression, anxiety or stress?
- Does your preoccupation with masturbation affect your health, job, relationships or other parts of your life?
- Do you continue to engage in masturbation despite consequences (relationships, trouble at work, etc.)?
- Have you make promises or commitments to stop masturbating that you break?
- Do you want to stop masturbating but cannot?
Treatment for masturbation addiction
Treatment for any type of sexually compulsive behavior usually involves seeing a therapist who specialized in sex disorders, visiting an in-patient sex treatment center, going to sex addiction support groups or some combination of the three. With time, education and support you can lead a normal sexual life again, free from the compulsion to masturbate.
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Intelihealth website masturbation topic
Merck website sexual health topic