How Often Should you Masturbate (and other Masturbation FAQs)

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How Often Should you Masturbate (and other Masturbation FAQs)

 

For many, masturbation habits are one of those things that still feel a bit naughty to discuss openly. Even those who talk frequently about their sex life with others may shy away from delving into how many times a week they’re wanking.

Yet masturbation is an important element of not only sexual health and sexual satisfaction, but mental health. Yep, the benefits of masturbation are many and varied, and they include a sharpening of your mind in addition to your sex drive. 

 

So is it healthy to masturbate? 

In a word, yes! Both your physical and mental health can be boosted by getting yourself off, and reaching orgasm has a number of positive side effects — for example, it lowers blood pressure, which reduces stress. Orgasms also bring all kinds of health benefits, including the release of oxytocin, aka the “bonding hormone.”

If you’ve ever felt like cuddling after sex (who hasn’t!?) you’re likely experiencing some of that good, good oxytocin. Research shows that reaching orgasm is linked to warm fuzzies, including stimulating feelings of trust, empathy, open communication, and joy. According to oxytocin researcher and OB-GYN Dr. Felice Gersh, "whichever way it is stimulated and produced, it increases the feeling of love and bonding."

It’s important, too, to distinguish between masturbation habits and ejaculation. If you’ve got a penis, you may not ejaculate every time you masturbate, and some suggest that it’s even healthier (especially as a man ages) to engage in male masturbation without ejaculating. There’s a whole world of non-ejaculatory orgasms (sometimes referred to as energetic orgasms) that men can explore. Side effects of non-ejaculatory orgasm in men include increased focus, boosted levels of energy, and even better skin.

 

Speaking of the benefits of male masturbation 

It may sound wild, but the benefits of masturbation may even include reducing your chance of getting cancer. According to medical advice, if you’ve got a penis, masturbating more could lower the chances of you getting prostate cancer

Yep, research now shows that the more often a man ejaculates, the less likely he is to end up with prostate cancer. One major study that came out in 2016 tracked 32,000 men for a full 18 years. It didn’t matter to the researchers whether men were masturbating, having wet dreams, or having sex with a partner — the researchers counted any way of reaching orgasm. The results? Guys who ejaculated the most (at least 21 times/month, or just over 5 times per week) had a 20% lower chance of contracting prostate cancer! (That was compared to men who ejaculated 4-7 times/month, or 1-1.75 times per week.) 

The upshot is that medical advice suggests that the more you ejaculate per month, the less likely you may be to get prostate cancer. Experts aren’t sure why this is, though some believe it can help flush out toxic chemicals that can accumulate in semen.

 

So how many times per week should you masturbate?

There’s really no set number of times per week to get in that masturbation habit. The important thing to keep in mind is that it’s a normal, healthy human activity, and there’s nothing wrong with you for wanting to do what feels good. After all, one of the side effects of you doing what feels good is that you’re usually even kinder and more open-minded when you do.

In terms of how often you get off, it’s good to know that sometimes masturbation can be a trigger point in relationships; some people believe a couple’s sex life should only involve partnered activity, not solo time. But sexperts and relationship experts agree that there’s a place for reaching orgasm by yourself, even if you’re in a relationship. This is something to have an open discussion about with your honey. Sometimes it can be sexy to bring that vibrator or male masturbation toy into the relationship. (Menage a toy, anyone?)

 

Are there any other benefits of masturbation?

Glad you asked! 

As established, it’s healthy for both men and women to masturbate. Here are a few more unexpected benefits of orgasming:

 

If you’re a woman, orgasms can help regulate your menstrual cycle

Researchers aren’t positive as to why, but it may have to do with circadian rhythms. “[Regular orgasms] improve immune health, mental health, and likely circadian health,” says Dr. Gersh. “We know that the ovaries are very circadian and have melatonin receptors and respond negatively to inflammation. Regular orgasms will work on all these levels to maintain our innate rhythms and lower inflammation, fostering regular cycles.”

 

Reaching orgasms can boost your immune system

A 2004 study found that sexual arousal followed by masturbation and orgasm boosted men’s leukocyte levels (the white blood cells that protect you from infectious diseases like cold and flu). Another study out of Indiana University demonstrated that women who were sexually active and had orgasms had “greater changes in helper T cells.” T-cells are another essential element of your immune system.

 

Orgasms can make you smarter

A 2013 study demonstrated that when women masturbate and come to orgasm, a flood of hormones are released, increasing brain activity. The cortical, subcortical, and brainstem regions light up, meaning you get both physical and mental benefits from reaching orgasm.

 

It can make your skin all glowy

Want your sex life to be part of your skincare routine? Look no further than your masturbation habits — one of the side effects of reaching orgasm is that all your blood vessels open at the point of climax. This is why you get that pretty “sex flush,” and it also stimulates collagen production. (Collagen is part of what keeps your skin looking youthful and plump.)

 

It can make you live longer

While it may sound far-fetched, sexual satisfaction and reaching orgasm are definitively linked to longevity. For example, a recent Welsh study found that men aged 45-59 who had “high orgasmic frequency” (git it) lowered their risk of mortality by as much as 50%. (Men who had two or more orgasms per week died half as much as those who reached orgasm less than once per month.)

And an 80-year study on married heterosexual couples found a strong link between orgasms, health benefits, and longevity. Women who orgasmed frequently lived longer than those who didn’t.

 

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There you have it — medical advice and relationship experts agree: Masturbation is good for you, body and soul. So get out there and get off. That’s an order. ;)

 

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