What Happens If... You Masturbate Too Much?

Can you ever have too many solo sessions?
AndreyPopov via Getty Images/iStockphoto

There’s still plenty of stigma around masturbation, the art (yes, art) of self-pleasure, even though so many people do it.

Whether you’re bored, need a distraction, or are just in the mood, it’s exceptionally common to masturbate.

But there are serious questions around the act of touching your own genitals or other sensitive areas of the body for sexual arousal or pleasure.

For instance, what happens if you do it too much?

Sarah Riccio, a sex expert and owner of Delicto.com, a website which encourages sexual pleasure, explained that masturbation is “a harmless expression of a person’s sexuality” although it does go against some religious beliefs.

She explained: “The only health risk to masturbation can be tenderness or soreness when performing the act often.

“If there has been a lot of friction, the skin can react and become red and sore, however this will go away soon after the act, or a cream can be applied to reduce the discomfort.”

There are also no risks of catching STIs with masturbation, but it is worth remembering that using sex toys without cleaning them can increase your risk of developing an infection.

Riccio added that it is a “healthy pastime and allows a person to relax and please themselves”, and the main thing is that you continue to enjoy it.

She explained: “There is no upper limit to the number of times you can do it.

“However, understanding whether the impulse to masturbate interferes with your day-to-day life will help you to decide if your habit has become unhealthy.”

If you’re worried that’s become the case, Riccio said these are some things to watch out for:

  • Having masturbation on the brain 24/7,
  • Using it as an escape,
  • Doing it at inappropriate times,
  • Doing it in inappropriate places.

She said if you start thinking this is happening to you, try to focus on other activities to distract yourself – like going for a walk.

If it starts to have a significant impact on your daily functioning it might also be necessary to seek professional help from your doctor, a counsellor or sex therapist.

For lots of people, the sex expert noted that masturbation is often seen as a form of self-care or therapy.

It does have a long list of benefits too – it can help you achieve better sleep (because of the euphoric feeling which usually follows), and lower your blood pressure as well as improved sexual function.

Riccio also suggested that it helps keep your memory sharp and improves your self-esteem, boosts your immune system and strengthens your pelvic floor.

“When a person brings themself to orgasm, their body is flooded with oxytocin and dopamine, hormones that create feelings of love and happiness,” Riccio explained.

“This can spark a boost in self-confidence, make them feel more empowered in their sexuality, and deepen their understanding of how they like to receive pleasure.

“This enhanced awareness of one’s sensual self can absolutely lead to better communication and greater sexual satisfaction with a partner.”

It’s worth remembering that a 2018 study from the Journal of Sexual Medicine also found that women climax almost twice as quickly during masturbation compared to partnered sex.

Yep, the average time to reach orgasm when alone time was just eight minutes while the average time with someone else is 14 minutes.

Make of that what you will.