Are You Masturbating Too Much? Six Signs the Answer Might Be “Yes”

Masturbation
Medically approved by
Dr Earim Chaudry
Last updated
14th August 2020

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Masturbating is a perfectly normal, healthy pastime. And so long as it remains enjoyable, there’s no upper limit to the number of times you can do it.
But if you feel like you can’t control the impulse to masturbate, or it’s interfering with your day-to-day life, or perhaps even taking the place of sex and therefore damaging your relationship, you may have an unhealthy fixation with it. 
The good news is, however, that there are things you can do to cut down and bring your masturbation habits under control.

When Do You Know You Masturbate Too Much?

Figuring out whether or not you masturbate too much will largely centre on the ways in which it impacts your life, livelihood, and mental and physical well-being.

In other words, the number of times you masturbate is only a small part of a bigger picture.

You could only masturbate a few times a week, but that could be a few times too many if it has serious knock-on effects for your personal and professional life. Meanwhile, someone else could masturbate five or six times a week — or more — and be perfectly happy and healthy.

Here are six surefire signs that you’re masturbating too much:

1. You’ve Got Masturbation On The Brain 24/7

Can’t stop thinking about masturbating? Got the urge to do it as soon as you wake up? Is it distracting you from your work or studies, and all you want to do is go home and be alone with yourself (and PornHub)?

If that sounds familiar, it might be time to reassess your relationship with masturbation — especially if the impulse arises without any obvious sexual stimuli. 

2. You’re Using It as a Distraction or an Escape

Being consumed by the urge to masturbate is one thing, but if you’re actively using it as a means of escape, it could suggest that all’s not well with your life in general.

Masturbation is a relatively low effort way to make yourself feel good. But if you’re doing it for a regular mood boost when you’re stressed or depressed, you need to be careful you don’t become overly reliant on it. If you do, it could stray into the realms of compulsion or addiction.

3. You’re Doing It At Inappropriate Times, Or In Inappropriate Places

Masturbating in the office or in public would indicate a lack of impulse control and suggest that your relationship with masturbation has become a compulsive one

Furthermore, it puts you at risk of discovery and leaves you open to serious consequences, such as termination from your job or public indecency charges.

4. Your Professional and/or Personal Life Suffers

If you’re late for meetings, missing deadlines, or tired and sluggish because you were up late giving yourself a hand, it might be time to admit that your masturbation habits are out of control.

Likewise, if you’re skipping quality time with friends or family to instead spend it alone — or prioritising your free time for masturbation ahead of other hobbies and pursuits — it could point to a problem. 

5. Your Sex Life Suffers

If you masturbate using the same stimuli (i.e. specific hand movements, speed, lubricant, and/or a particular category of pornography), you could find it difficult to replicate this feeling during intercourse.

This is because you’ve conditioned yourself to get off in that precise way, and that could lead to serious problems in terms of getting and maintaining an erection when having sex with a partner. 

This is known as Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction (PIED).

6. You’re Experiencing Physical Pain

If you’re masturbating so much that you’re causing yourself pain or damage, take that as a huge, flashing sign that you need to slow down.

Typical masturbation-related injuries range from the mild, such as skin chafing or swelling, to the serious, including Peyronie’s disease, which is a build-up of scar tissue that causes curved and painful erections.  

How to Stop Masturbating Too Much 

Masturbation should be a pleasurable, safe, and guilt-free activity. 

But if you’re struggling to resist the urge to masturbate, or if it’s impacting your wider life, there are things you can do to cut down:

  • Try to reduce (or stop altogether) your porn-watching habits. Consider using a browser extension or smartphone app to block adult content — the accompanying warning may snap you out of the headspace and help you stay in control.
  • Avoid spending time in the room(s) where you masturbate most. Don’t relax on your bed, for example, where the urge could strike. Instead, spend time elsewhere in your home, or in communal areas if you share with other people.
  • Look out your running shoes or hit the gym. Not only is exercising good for your mental and physical health, but it also releases the same endorphins as masturbation —  while burning the energy you’d otherwise use to masturbate. Win-win.
  • Limit your alone time. Fill your calendar with activities so that you’re not spending most of your downtime by yourself. See friends and family, attend sporting events, join an art class — really anything that gets you out and mixing with people.
  • Join a support group. Accountability is massively important when it comes to changing your behaviour or developing a new mindset. A support group of like-minded people can provide this, while also offering advice based on their own experiences.
  • Speak with a professional. If you want to develop a healthy relationship with masturbation, the best thing you can do is talk things over with a professional who specialises in sexual health. They’ll help you get to the root of your problem and provide tried and tested recommendations to overcome it.
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In Summary

So, are you masturbating too much? Unfortunately, the answer lies not in how often you’re doing it, but in how it impacts your life as a result.

If masturbating makes you feel happier, helps you sleep better, alleviates stress and anxiety, and doesn’t impact your work or relationships, chances are you have the balance just right.

But if you find that it interferes with your personal and professional life, hinders your sex life, or causes you physical pain, it could be time to cut down.

References

  1. Healthline – Does Masturbation Have Positive or Negative Effects on the Brain?: https://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-sex/masturbation-effects-on-brain#stress-and-anxiety

  2. Healthline – Everything You Need to Know About Masturbation ‘Addiction’: https://www.healthline.com/health/masturbation-addiction

  3. Timothy W. Fong (2006). Understanding and Managing Compulsive Sexual Behaviors: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2945841/

  4. Healthline – Peyronie’s disease: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/peyronies-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20353468

  5. Family Orbit Blog – How To Block Adult Websites On Google Chrome – Parental Control For Chrome: https://www.familyorbit.com/blog/block-websites-on-google-chrome/

While we've ensured that everything you read on the Health Centre is medically reviewed and approved, information presented here is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

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