Is Masturbation Killing My Sex Life? Yes, No, Maybe.

No...

Humans have always masturbated.  Discoveries from ancient times show cave paintings, tablet etchings and ancient art that depict this very intimate act of humans.  Even some artifacts found were likely used as sex toys. 


Fast forward to today, and rather than an open acceptance of masturbation as a self-love practice that can bring immense love and health benefits, there is still some shame, taboo and embarrassment around the act of touching oneself. 


Despite some of the stigma, cultural norms and religious mixed messages, studies show on average 61% of men masturbate compared to approximately 31% of women.  


Aside from the feelings of pleasure, people practicing solo sex report that masturbation eases stress, results in better sleep, elevates mood, releases sexual tension and even becomes a self-discovery tool, helping to learn how you want to and don’t want to be touch, which can be valuable insight for a partner. 



YES…

But can a frequent masturbation practice cause a person to loose interest in partner sex?  Better yet, can touching your penis on a regular basis do any damage?  


Since there is no “normal” frequency, or “average” amount of time to masturbate, tuning into your own sexual energy is a must.  Keep tabs on the time it takes you to get sexually aroused after having a solo-orgasm (refractory period).  Make sure your harnessing some sexual energy for your partner.  Commit to showing up for making love with not only your physical self, but your emotional heart too.  



MAYBE…

Loosing interest in partner sex might be the first sign that your masturbation practice needs adjustment, especially if you’re more excited about masturbating than you are about having sex with your partner.  During relationship conflict, if you find yourself masturbating rather than having difficult conversations – again, better check in with yourself – what are you running from?  If you’ve tried to slow down on the frequency of your practice and were unable to, or became obsessed with thinking about it – it’s time to reach out to a professional sexual health counselor or sex therapist. 


According to the medical literature, frequent or rough masturbation can cause minor skin irritation, bruising, swelling or skin chaffing. Additionally, if too much pressure is used while stroking the penis, a buildup of plaque in the shaft can result in Pyeronie’s disease.  On the extreme side – compulsive masturbation could develop chronic penile lymphedema due to scarring and continuous lymphatic irritation. These are the telltale signs to adjust your practice and switch up your routine. 


Keep in mind...masturbation isn't the only act that can affect your sex life. Other things that can kill your sex life; your diet, not getting enough sleep, medication side effects, anxiety, anger, your smartphone. Stay tuned for more posts on each of these libido killers. 

© 2018 Valerie Padd, RN BSN

Website by Olivia Rush Design

Hudson, OH  |  205.531.3867  |  valerie@intimacyhealth.com

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