Ever wondered if too much masturbation is actually a thing? Like, we’ve all had those weeks where we’ve gone at it (with ourselves, hah) a li’l more than usual. And who doesn’t love spending a little (or a lot of) one-on-one time with their vibrator?
That said, how do you know when you’re crossing the line? And is there a line at all, for that matter?
It turns out that too much masturbation isn’t going to cause you any physical harm (phew), but it could impact the way you have sex and the kind of sex you have with a partner. Curious? Here’s what the experts have to say about too much masturbation:
First off, masturbation has *a ton* of health benefits.
Let’s start with the good news, shall we? Masturbation can be good for your health, says Sadie Allison, PhD, a sex educator and founder of GoLove CBD. “It’s a wonderful way to help with stress or anxiety.” That’s because, when you orgasm, your bod releases chemicals like oxytocin, prolactin, and endorphins, all of which help you chill TF out, relax, and even have an easier time falling asleep.
Masturbation can also increase your sense of self-worth and confidence in the bedroom, says Allison. “When it comes to partnered sex, it’s difficult to know what to ask for in bed if you’ve never experimented with your body on your own,” she explains.”Masturbation is a wonderful way to learn about your own sexual response, and what kind of stimulation you like and don’t like.”
KK, so this all sounds pretty great. Masturbation makes you happy and can lead to better sex. But can you have too much of a good thing? Keep on reading…
It’s possible to become desensitized.
Too much masturbation can make you desensitized to other kinds of touch, says Kate Balestrieri, PhD, a psychologist and sex therapist based in L.A. If you’re using the same vibrator or making the same motions with your hands every time you masturbate, you may have trouble replicating those sensations with a partner and experience trouble climaxing. “Think about it this way, no matter how talented someone is with their tongue, they will never be able to mimic the vibrations of a rechargeable toy,” she explains. Sad but true.
But don’t worry, if too much masturbation makes you desensitized, it’s not permanent. All you need to do is set your fave vibrator aside for a week or so to regain what feeling you might’ve lost. To avoid this issue in the future, Balestrieri suggests switching up your technique every now and then during self-pleasure—a fun fix!
Too much masturbation may impact your relationship.
Yes, your self-pleasure habits will affect your relationship if you’re indulging in too much masturbation. “If done in excess, masturbation can lead to preoccupation, unrealistic fantasies, and decreased arousal with your partner,” says Balestrieri. This is more likely to happen if porn is involved. If viewed too often, porn can lead to withdrawal from your partner and unrealistic (and unsatisfying) expectations for your sex life, Balestrieri explains.
Your partner can also express concern regarding your masturbation habits for a variety of reasons, says Janet Brito, PhD, a clinical psychologist and certified sex therapist in Honolulu, Hawaii. If your partner says they’re troubled by how much you masturbate, it could indicate they’re feeling insecure about where your relationship stands and aren’t sure if you’re still attracted to them.
They also might feel bad if your sexual arousal levels don’t align, or you could have different boundaries in terms of sexual pleasure and exploration. Basically, different people have different attitudes and levels of openness regarding masturbation. And while that’s totally fine, you shouldn’t feel guilty about any of your self-stimulating pleasure habits if they’re not interfering with your life.
The good thing is that some classic communication can solve these issues, says Brito. If either of you feels uncomfortable about the way the other engages in masturbation, it’s important that you explain your feelings without judgment or fear of being judged. Basically, masturbation is totally normal and isn’t a reason to freak out unless you’re letting it impact the way you have sex, so just be honest with each other and reach an understanding that makes you both happy.
Is masturbation ‘addiction’ a real thing?
Experts agree that there’s not enough information out there to classify someone as addicted to masturbation. But masturbation can still be a crutch that keeps people from enjoying everyday life.
“Some signs to watch out for: routinely missing important events like work, friend obligations, or family gatherings as a result of staying in to masturbate,” says Allison. “If it starts to affect your job and your personal relationships, it’s time to consider whether you might want to seek some help.”
Seeing a sex therapist is the perfect way to gain insight into why you’re relying so heavily on masturbation. If any of this resonates with you, and you think you might be overdoing it, talk through your concerns with a pro. Otherwise, vibe on.
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