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How Often Should I Masturbate?

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Many people feel shame or guilt about masturbation. Sometimes we’re taught that it’s dirty and embarrassing, or that it can take away opportunities for sex in a relationship. Some of us were taught that it’s “slutty” or perverted. Masturbation is tied up with a ton of negative connotations. As a result, there are also rumors about its negative impacts, including that it leads to premature aging, infertility, or cheating.

Those rumors aren't correct. Masturbation is a valuable part of a solo sex life, and most people do it. It’s a way to get more in touch with what you like, which has a ton of benefits for both solo and partnered sex. It does not lead to premature aging or infertility. It doesn’t lead to, and is not, cheating.

In fact, masturbation has benefits like better mood, concentration, focus, and cognition. It can reduce pain, blood pressure, and stress, and improve sleep and even your immune system. It can also drive sexual desire back up if you struggle with low desire. Having sex leads to having more sex, and by engaging with yourself you’ll boost your desire to engage with a partner, too.

For people with penises, masturbation has an added benefit: if you struggle with premature or involuntary ejaculation, it can be a way to practice lasting longer in bed and getting more control over your orgasm.

For people with vulvas, it’s just as key. Dr. Britney Blair, clinical psychologist, and Lover co-founder says: “Partnered activity is great, but masturbation is the single best thing people with vaginas can do for their sexual wellness.” Every time you masturbate, you build stronger ways to connect with your sexual desire and pleasure. The more you know what you like, the more you’ll be able to share about what you like with a partner, which will lead to better sex.

No matter your age or gender, masturbation can be an enjoyable, normal, and fun part of any healthy sex life. It’s how most of us first learn about sex and pleasure, and it’s a way to continue to connect with your body, arousal, fantasies, and desires throughout your life.

Is It Possible to Masturbate Too Much?

If you have a penis and you’re over the age of 25, try to limit masturbation to once every 48 to 72 hours. Doing so will make sure you get the most pleasure possible, including having the best erections and orgasms possible, alone and with partners. This is particularly true if you experience erectile dysfunction. (As a reminder: at some point, everyone with a penis experiences erectile dysfunction.)