Masturbation is a clean, safe way to explore your sexual interests, release endorphins to boost your mental health and relieve sexual frustration. In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about male masturbation, common masturbation misconceptions and getting the most out of your solo play.
What is Masturbation?
Masturbation is a term used to describe any sexual self-pleasuring activity. It most commonly involves rubbing erogenous zones like your penis, testicles, or anus. Masturbation not only feels good, but it can be a great way to explore your body and learn what you do and don’t like during sexual encounters with a partner.
Masturbation: Myths vs. Facts
When it comes to masturbation, there’s lots of misinformation circulating. Some masturbation myths are easily debunked (no, you won’t grow hair on your hands because you masturbate), but other myths can almost seem plausible. Let’s take a look at some common information and misinformation surrounding masturbation and separate the myths from the facts.
Is Masturbating Good for Your Health?
Yes, masturbating is good for your health. When you masturbate, your body releases endorphins which can boost your mental health. Studies have shown that masturbating can relieve stress and improve sleep without the risk of acquiring STIs.
Does Masturbation Affect Penis Growth?
No, masturbating has no permanent effect on the size of your penis — erections notwithstanding. And despite what you may have heard, masturbating can’t cause your penis to shrink.
Does Masturbation Reduce Testosterone?
No. Testosterone levels naturally increase during sex or masturbation, and then they fall back to normal levels after ejaculation. However, your overall serum testosterone levels — the total testosterone in your bloodstream — remain the same whether you masturbate or not.
Can Masturbating Lead to Infertility?
No. Some research does suggest that going two to three days without ejaculating can improve your semen quality, especially for men with lower-than-normal semen levels. So temporarily abstaining from masturbation before your partner’s ovulation window may help if you’re trying to conceive. Otherwise, there’s no reason to worry that masturbating will have any effect on your fertility.
Does Masturbating Make You Last Longer?
Maybe! Although masturbating is not a sure-fire way to increase your stamina, this is one of those cases where practice can make perfect. When you masturbate, you can learn more about your body including which things you can do to stop premature ejaculation. You can then use those same techniques to last longer during sex.
That being said, there’s no evidence to suggest that you should masturbate immediately before sex to last longer. Although most people experience a refractory period after climaxing — a period of time where they can’t climax again — masturbating before sex can also make you hyper-sensitive and can make sex less enjoyable.
How Much is Too Much?
In moderation, masturbation is healthy. It is possible to masturbate too much. Let’s take a look at some specifics about masturbation so you can determine the right amount of solo play for you.
Do All Men Masturbate?
Not all men masturbate — but a lot of them do. Studies show that over 70% of men report masturbating. Some men may choose not to masturbate due to low libido, misconceptions surrounding masturbation, religious preferences or personal agreements between a man and his partner.
Is it OK to Masturbate Every Day?
The average guy masturbates three to four times a week, but it’s absolutely okay to masturbate more (or less) than that. Some men masturbate daily, or even several times a day, while maintaining a normal and healthy lifestyle.
At What Point Does Masturbation Become Problematic?
Masturbating becomes unhealthy when you begin doing it compulsively or when masturbating interferes with other parts of your life. Some common signs that masturbating has become problematic include:
- Masturbating while at work
- Skipping activities, like social engagements or work, in favor of masturbating
- Skipping sex with your partner so that you can masturbate instead
- Masturbating so frequently that your skin becomes raw or chafed
If any of these statements ring true for you, it may be time to seek the help of a certified sex counselor.
Should I Use Porn with Masturbation?
There’s nothing wrong with using porn occasionally while masturbating. If you feel like you “need” porn to masturbate, that can be a sign that you’ve trained your body to rely on certain visual cues to experience pleasure. Try mixing things up and getting to know your body away from pornography so you can experience pleasure in different ways.
Take a Look: How To Have A Prostate Orgasm?
It’s also important to remember that pornography is created with the audience in mind. It’s always important to communicate with your partner about what feels good to them during sex and not assume that what turns you on when watching porn will be enjoyable for your partner.
What Positions and Techniques Are Good for Masturbating?
Often, men get used to masturbating the same way they have since they were teenagers. If you’re tired of the same old masturbation techniques, try switching positions.
Some positions you can try include:
- Lying on your back
- Sitting in a chair
- Standing up (like in the shower)
- Upside down (with legs up on a chair or bed)
Switching techniques can also make masturbation more interesting. While it’s common to stroke your penis up and down while masturbating, you can enhance the experience by adding some other techniques to the mix. Some ideas include:
- Rubbing Other Parts of Your Body: Try stroking your chest or even rubbing your own hair while masturbating. This is a great chance for you to learn what feels good to you so you can communicate that with your partner during foreplay.
- Playing with Your Testicles: Your testicles can be very sensitive, and engaging them during masturbation can be a lot of fun. Try cupping your testicles and using a gentle rolling motion.
Introducing Anal Play: If you’re curious about anal play, masturbation can be a great time to try it out safely before you bring a partner into it. The prostate, located inside the anus, can be incredibly pleasurable for men. Just be sure to use plenty of lubrication and go slow when experimenting with ass play, as this is one area in your body that does not self-lubricate.
Best Masturbation Techniques
There is no “best” way to masturbate. Masturbation gives you the space to determine what feels good for you. The more you masturbate and learn about your body, the more likely you will be able to communicate your preferences with a partner and improve your overall sexual satisfaction.
Can I Use an Automatic Male Masturbator Toy?
Bringing toys into masturbating can take your solo play to a whole new level. Some great toys for guys to use while masturbating include:
Anal Stimulation Toys: These toys can help you reach your prostate while masturbating. Making contact with your prostate can bring an amazing new level of pleasure to your solo play.
C-Rings: These rings go around your penis and prevent premature ejaculation, allowing you to masturbate longer and work on your stamina.
Strokers: These put pressure on your penis during masturbation, simulating the feeling of intercourse with a partner.
- Vibrators: Not just for women! Vibrators can add a “zing!” to your solo play that you can’t get without toys.
What is the Best Lube for Masturbating?
The biggest health risk to masturbating is the risk of chafing your penis (or your anus if you’re introducing anal play). Using lube while masturbating can prevent this from being an issue and can also enhance the sensitivity of your penis, making masturbation even more enjoyable.
Here’s what you need to know:
Water-Based Lubricants: These lubricants are the easiest to clean off sheets or furniture, but aren’t as durable as other lubricants.
Silicone-Based Lubricants: These allergy-friendly lubricants last longer than water-based lubricants and can be used in the shower without washing off. It's important to remember that you shouldn’t use silicone-based lubricants in conjunction with silicone toys.
- Oil-Based Lubricants: This long-lasting lubricant allows you to keep on masturbating for as long as you want and can be used with silicone toys. It is, however, associated with an increased risk of infection and isn’t recommended for guys with sensitive skin.
There Will ALWAYS Be Different Strokes for Different Folks
All bodies are different so it makes sense that what feels good when masturbating is different for everyone. The frequency, duration and techniques of masturbation will vary from person to person. As long as masturbation doesn’t interfere with your daily life and feels good for you, you’re doing it right!
Masturbation. (November 2020). Better Health Channel.
Masturbation Effects On Your Health: Side Effects and Benefits. (June 2017). Healthline.
Masturbation and Penis Size: What’s the Link? (January 2020). Medical News Today.
Does Masturbating Before Sex Affect Your Performance? (May 2018). Healthline.
Male Masturbation: Does Frequency Affect Male Fertility? (November 2020). Mayo Clinic.Male Masturbation: 5 Things You Didn’t Know. WebMD.