Why do i masturbate too much

What is 'Masturbation Addiction'? Signs and What to Do

Masturbation is considered a healthy and pleasurable activity, but can it become an addiction?

Self-stimulation is an integral part of human sexuality that provides a natural way to experience pleasure, explore sexual techniques, and satisfy sexual urges.

How often one person masturbates can differ widely from another. And just because you may engage in self-pleasuring more frequently than others doesn’t mean it’s something to be concerned about.

Still, if you feel you masturbate too much, you may be wondering if it’s possible to become addicted. And if so, what can you do if you’re experiencing masturbation addiction?

The term “addicting” is commonly used to describe many things, from TV shows to food items like chocolate. For instance, you might hear someone refer to a new candy bar or the latest Netflix series as “addicting.”

However, addiction is not merely an intense feeling or urge to do something you enjoy. It’s a complex brain condition characterized by the inability to stop using a substance or engage in a behavior despite the negative consequences it causes.

Because masturbating releases “feel good” chemicals in the brain, like other addictive substances and behaviors, some believe compulsive masturbation could be considered an addiction.

For example, approximately 40 studies have found people with hypersexual behavior may share the same brain changes observed in people with clinical addictions.

However, masturbation addiction is not recognized as a mental health condition in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). This is also the case for other sexual-related behavior categories, such as sex addiction and porn addiction.

Instead, these are commonly referred to as compulsive sexual behaviors and sometimes grouped with hypersexuality disorder or out of control sexual behavior (OCSB).

Although masturbation addiction isn’t recognized in the DSM-5, it can still cause distress, feelings of shame, and social or relationship issues. This can profoundly impact a person’s life, making it feel like a genuine condition for someone experiencing it.

Masturbation is a natural and healthy activity that has several health benefits. It can relieve stress, help you sleep, promote a positive mood, and help you learn more about your sexual responses and needs.

But when does the frequency of masturbation cross the line from healthy to problematic?

According to a survey reported by the International Society of Sexual Medicine, masturbation is more common than sexual activity with a partner.

In men 18 to 59 years old, the frequency of masturbation ranged from once a week to a few times a month. About 20% of men reported masturbating two to three times a week, and less than 20% masturbated more than four times a week. Women reported masturbating once a week or less.

If you masturbate more than this, it doesn’t necessarily mean there is a problem. The number of times a person engages in self-pleasuring varies among individuals.

However, if your frequency causes you concern, you might want to see if there’re any signs that you may be compulsively masturbating.

Commonly reported signs of masturbation addiction are:

  • masturbating so frequently that it interrupts other aspects of your personal or professional life
  • difficulty waiting to get home to masturbate, resulting in self-pleasuring in uncomfortable or inappropriate places
  • engaging in masturbation as a response to stressful situations or emotional discomfort
  • genital irritation or other symptoms of injury
  • difficulty reaching orgasm with a partner due to a loss in genital sensitivity
  • feeling overwhelming guilt or shame after masturbating
  • inability to reduce or stop masturbating even though you want to

In general, if masturbating becomes excessive or obsessive for you, that might be an indication it’s time to talk with a sexual health professional.

Excessive masturbation can sometimes occur in people with certain health conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, bipolar disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Some drugs such as methamphetamine, cocaine, and certain prescription medications for Parkinson’s disease can also lead to an increase in self-stimulation.

Aside from health conditions, drugs, and prescription medications, other factors that might lead to compulsive masturbation include:

  • a history of sexual or physical abuse
  • a family history of behavioral addictions
  • living with cultural or religious expectations
  • ease of accessibility to pornography

One study found that the hormone oxytocin and altered DNA pathways in the brain might play a role in hypersexual disorder, a condition also characterized by compulsive sexual behavior. Further research is needed, but scientists suggest this discovery could lead to new treatment options.

Overwhelming evidence suggests masturbation has no real negative side effects for most people. Still, if it becomes excessive, it can cause:

  • emotional and psychological distress
  • irritated skin on or around the genitals
  • problems with performance when engaging in sex with a partner
  • intimate partner relationship difficulties

For some people who morally or religiously oppose masturbation, engaging in self-stimulation can cause shame and low self-esteem. These feelings can also make it seem as if any amount of masturbation is too much, leading to intense feelings of guilt even if masturbation occurs only occasionally.

If you feel you might be experiencing masturbation compulsion or addiction, the first step is to consider discussing it with a therapist or other mental health professional.

Keep in mind that all health professionals practice complete confidentiality, and nothing you talk about will go beyond you and your therapist.

Treatment options for masturbation compulsion or addiction include psychotherapy, also called talk therapy, to identify the root cause of the behavior. You and your therapist can then work together to create coping strategies and ways to reduce or eliminate compulsive masturbation.

Things you can do yourself to reduce your time spent masturbating include:

  • avoiding triggers such as pornography
  • engage in other activities like exercise or new hobbies
  • spend more time with others in social situations
  • examine how you deal with stress and emotional discomfort and adopt new coping strategies
  • break it down into a manageable goal by handling one urge at a time

You could also seek out a support group either in person or online to have a safe place to discuss your concerns and learn new ways to manage sexual behaviors.

Just because masturbation addiction isn’t a clinically diagnosable condition doesn’t mean it’s not real for those experiencing it. If you are concerned your masturbation frequency or urges are becoming problematic, know you are not alone, and there are options available that can help you overcome it.

You can find a counselor or therapist specializing in sex therapy through the American Association of Sexuality Educators and Therapists (AASECT) directory. You can also find a list of sexual health professionals through The American College of Sexologists International.

If you feel uncomfortable visiting a mental health professional, there are online therapy options that might work for you.

Online support is also available at Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous and Sex Addicts Anonymous.

For men who wish to reduce or stop masturbating, NoFap is a community-based sexual health platform that supports compulsive sexual behavior. However, there is some debate on its benefits.

Masturbation feels good and can be good for you. Ultimately, how much you do it is a personal decision based on your needs. If it’s not harming your personal or professional life or causing you distress, it’s a perfectly natural activity to enjoy at your discretion.

But if you feel it is causing problems in your life, there is help available to provide the support you need to manage it better.

What Happens if You Masturbate Too Much?

Looking back on the pandemic, when social distancing and stay-at-home orders took IRL sex off the table, you might have started masturbating more than you ever have before. (What else was there to do?) While there are clear benefits to masturbation—you’re not going to get a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or accidentally impregnate your partner—you may now be wondering if you're in the habit of masturbating “too much.”

After all, excessive masturbation doesn’t have the best connotation. When we think of guys who masturbate every day, we think of pubescent boys hiding out in their locked rooms, attempting to break their daily “high record.” We don’t think of successful, grown men in loving relationships.

The truth, however, is there’s really no such “thing” as excessive masturbation. "Some people masturbate more than others," according to the International Society for Sexual Medicine. "There is no 'normal' frequency. Some do it daily, some weekly, and some rarely. Some never do." While 27 percent of 30-to-39-year-old men masturbate once a week to a few times a month, that number varies quite a bit by age, according to a 2009 survey of 2,500 American men.

“However often you masturbate, it’s not a problem until it starts affecting your life in negative ways,” says Dan Drake, MFT, LPCC, a certified sex addiction therapist and clinical counselor.

But that doesn't mean that it can't pose a problem, particularly if it interferes with your everyday life.

So when does a harmless masturbation habit turn into an issue? Here are the physical and psychological signs that you may need to give your boner a bit of a breather.

1) You hurt yourself.

Some guys masturbate so often that they actually hurt themselves, says Tobias Köhler, M.D., a urologist at Southern Illinois University. These injuries could be mild (e.g., skin chafing) or a more serious condition like Peyronie’s disease, or scar tissue buildup in the shaft of your penis that can result from using too much pressure while stroking, Köhler explains.

This may sound obvious, but if you’re masturbating so often that you're hurting yourself, you need to cut back, he warns.

2) Your job suffers.

If you can’t complete a work task because you can’t stop thinking about masturbating, that’s when it becomes an issue. If you’re consistently watching porn at work or are you’re late to a meeting because you were masturbating in the bathroom, then you likely have a problem.

3) Your friendships suffer.

Do you cancel on friends because you'd rather stay home and masturbate? Are they getting annoyed by your constant flakiness? Then your masturbation habits could potentially be an issue.

We want to be clear: There's nothing wrong with reserving a night to get down with yourself. That's all well and good, and in fact, feel free to mark that in the calendar now! The cause for concern is when your need to jerk off has a clear negative effect on your relationships.

4) Your sex life suffers.

Some guys who masturbate a lot use one specific type of stimuli—say, certain categories of porn coupled with specific hand movements. When it comes time for them to actually have sex, they find that they can’t recreate the same type of excitement, Dr. Köhler explains.

Basically, if you watch the same porn or use the same hand motions every time you masturbate, it teaches your brain and body to get off that way and that way alone. If you're having sex with a real-life partner, this could cause serious problems, both in terms of keeping it up and getting erect in the first place. “If that happens, you have a problem that needs to be addressed,” says Köhler.

5) You always think about masturbation.

You wake up wanting to masturbate. At lunch, your mind wanders to your favorite porn scene. Your commute home is almost unbearable, because you just want to sit on the couch with a beer and PornHub.

If any of this sounds familiar, and you often find yourself distracted by thoughts of when or how you’re going to yank it next, that’s a strong indication you have a problem, Drake says.

Pekic//Getty Images

If you realize you have a masturbation problem, what should you do about it?

“There’s nothing unhealthy or problematic with masturbating,” Drake says. “But if it becomes detrimental to your life, then you need to treat it like you would any other harmful habit. ” That means doing one of two things: a) cutting yourself off cold turkey, at least for the time being; and b) adopting more of a “harm reduction” approach by setting limits for yourself—for example, making a rule to only masturbate at night.

Considering you probably don't want to give up solo orgasms for the rest of your life—masturbation is, after all, an integral part of any healthy sex life—you'll probably want to opt for the latter approach. Set rules for yourself and see if you can adhere to them. If you can't, and you find yourself slipping back into harmful old habits, consider seeing a therapist, as there might be a deeper psychological issue at play.

Bottom line? Indulging in a little self-love every now and then is fine. It's only when it gets in the way of your actual life—or your actual sex life—that it becomes a problem. But if it’s not negatively interfering with anything, then go ahead and masturbate to your heart’s content!

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Melissa Matthews

Health Writer

Melissa Matthews is the Health Writer at Men's Health, covering the latest in food, nutrition, and health.

Zachary Zane

Zachary Zane is a Brooklyn-based writer, speaker, and activist whose work focuses on lifestyle, sexuality, and culture. He was formerly the digital associate editor at OUT Magazine and currently has a queer cannabis column, Puff Puff YASS, at Civilized.

I masturbate too much - Psychology

Hello, I am 25 years old and I think I masturbate too often. It started at an early age. I lost my virginity about a year ago. it’s great that you have to resort to masturbation. Sometimes 5-6 times a day. I don’t have a permanent girlfriend. And I don’t want to have sex for sex, changing partners like gloves. I can’t with myself. Strong desire, attraction, some fantasies in my head. Sometimes it comes to the point that I stop controlling my arousal. The member “gets up.” To relieve tension, I masturbate. kind of joy, then shame and negative emotions. I don't like the fact that I can't get rid of this addiction/habit. Advise me something please. Thank you!

The best answer according to the author

Good night. Paul, unfortunately, can lead to many problems. After all, masturbation is your escape from your own, many other problems.

I'll tell you about one scientific experiment: an electrode was implanted into the brain (in the pleasure center) of a rat. When the rat pressed the button in the cage with its paw, it received an impulse of pleasure. Having discovered this relationship, the rat pressed the button until (right on it) and died. Think about the outcome of this experience))

Contact a specialist immediately.

Wisdom to you. Lydia.

P.S. Dear customer, our experts have spent their time and their professional knowledge to answer your question. Please show your good manners: choose the best answer and mark the answers of other experts. Remember, the professional view of an expert on your problem may not coincide with your opinion about it, but this is not a reason to give the expert a minus

The best answer according to the author

Other answers

Hello Pavel!

You are too obsessed with masturbation and the feeling of shame and negativity that invariably cancel out the pleasure you experience from the process itself. You need to understand the true reasons that prevent you from enjoying life to its fullest. Good luck. Irina.


Anna Medvedeva

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Shenderova Elena

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Artur Kagramanov

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Related questions

How to stop masturbating?

Excessive concern

I masturbate too much, I am constantly excited, I have not had a sexual life yet.

I am 19 years old


May 29, 2019


Hello, I am Katya, I am 19years. The problem started a long time ago. It started probably at the age of 11, when I first saw porn. And even then I was very concerned about it, even then I could not stop. But if then it was once or twice a week, now it’s 20 times every day. I always finish (for this I strain my whole body). I have not lived a sexual life yet, I have a boyfriend and we are constantly engaged in foreplay.
But I feel excited almost all the time. When I stand, I go somewhere on business - it's still normal, I don't feel arousal, I forget about it. But as soon as I lie down or sit down... No matter how hard I try, I can't distract myself - the only way out is to masturbate. Sometimes I even masturbate right behind my boyfriend when he is sitting at the computer, and I just can't help myself and do it several times and very quietly. By the way, I finish in less than a minute.

Please tell me what to do. It's terrible, I reproach myself for it. I go to a psychologist, she has already helped me cope with an eating disorder, but I would be much more ashamed to tell her about this, but I so want to get rid of it!

May 29, 2019

Olga Tikhonova Psychologist

Katya, you already go to a psychologist,

I would be much more ashamed to tell her about this, but I really want to get rid of it!

Tell us about it, there's nothing to be ashamed of - you need help. You are at an age when the level of hormones in the blood is high, which may be why you experience such a strong sexual desire. In addition, you need to be examined by a gynecologist and an endocrinologist in order to better understand what is happening. Get help and take care of your health. I can support you online in a private consultation, if you still do not dare to talk to your psychologist, then write to me in private messages.

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