Masturbation: Myths and Potential Side Effects

Masturbation: Myths and Potential Side Effects

Masturbation is the act of self-stimulating your genitals. The act as such has multiple layers with different positions, forms, myths and benefits.

Everyone has their perception and understanding of themselves associated with the act. But why is it that people don’t talk about it?

Some people worry that masturbation conflicts with their religious, spiritual or cultural beliefs. They then experience guilt that usually just kills the pleasure aspect of it. Same goes for those who’ve had bad past experiences with sex and people who are too shy or just don’t know how to. Furthermore, some people just don’t have a sex drive and don’t feel the need to engage in the act.

Discussing feelings of guilt with a friend or therapist might help a person to move past feelings of guilt or shame that they connect with masturbation. We, furthermore, want to make sure you know that masturbation is not immoral or wrong and that you may self-pleasure without feeling shameful.

Besides just apprehension to the act, there is a lot of hilarious myths that often cause people to stop engaging in the act or just don’t allow them to start from fear. Myths and Potential Side Effects
Sex is fun, but so is masturbation

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Some myths about masturbation (the lols):

  • blindness
  • hairy palms
  • make you insane
  • infidelity
  • impotence later in life
  • erectile dysfunction
  • penis shrinkage
  • penis curvature
  • low sperm count
  • infertility
  • mental illness
  • physical weakness

Some couples worry that their relationship must be unsatisfying if either one of them masturbates; this, too, is a myth. Myths and Potential Side Effects
Vibrators are one of the best ways to restart your sex drive!

Here are a few potential side effects debunked:

Masturbation is truly harmless. There is no way for you to get an STD or pregnant and is comparatively more sanitary than sex. If done too aggressively it can lead to chafing or a couple of rashes around the genital area but usually heals within a couple of days. Men who masturbate a lot in shorter periods may have Edema, which is a swelling that goes away within a couple of hours – days.

Decreased Sexual Activity:

It’s true. But not in the way you think. Masturbating too many times a day does not cause a decrease in your sex drive but aggressive masturbation does. With a constant tight hold on your penis or harsh thrusts/friction to your clitoris, your body will become accustomed to this form of sexual gratification. When you have sex then, it can be a bit underwhelming.

To change this, experts have often advised the usage of vibrators. They tend to increase arousal and sexual function in both men and women. Women who use a vibrator have reported improved sexual function and lubrication, while men experienced an improvement in erectile function.

Prostate Cancer:

While there still isn’t enough evidence of whether masturbation increases or decreases masturbation, there have been multiple studies to conclude. 2 notable studies conducted 2003 and 2016 proved that the more men ejaculate, the lower their risk of getting prostate cancer. There is speculation that the reduced risk is because frequent ejaculation may prevent the build-up of cancer-causing agents in the prostate gland.

In contrast, a 2008 study found that frequent sexual activity during a man’s 20s and 30s increased his risk of prostate cancer, especially if he masturbated regularly.


Yes, addiction to masturbation is an actual thing and often hinders an individual’s daily activities or sex life.

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Common reasons for addictions include:

  • an escape from depression – due to the sudden release in hormones
  • unhappy or lack thereof a sex life
  • an escape from relationship issues or substitute for real-life experiences
  • gratification from porn and not another individual

If you know someone or are someone who thinks they might be adversely impacted by their masturbation practice, you should speak with a healthcare professional. Myths and Potential Side Effects
Touch yourself, there’s nothing wrong! Photo credit:

Health Benefits:

Masturbation has been scientifically proven to increase your health. Here are some ways that it does so:

  • it helps relieve built-up stress
  • you start sleeping a lot better
  • it boosts your mood
  • helps you relax your body and mind
  • gives you the feel-good feelings
  • helps relieve cramps
  • releases sexual tension
  • helps you have better sex
  • a better understanding of your wants and needs

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In conclusion, masturbation is great. But remember that this is YOUR opinion and YOUR choice. Deciding to masturbate or not should be forced upon you. If you feel uncomfortable or guilty, don’t force yourself to do it. Thereby, if you enjoy it, engage in it. It’s a feel-good activity, hence, if you aren’t feeling good then you need to reassess your actions.

Keep masturbating!

While you’re here, read: An A-Z Guide on Contraceptives


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