You’re wondering about the amount of time you spend masturbating. When it comes to masturbation, how much is too much?
There is no magic amount that indicates how much masturbation is too much. It depends on various factors. Most importantly, are your masturbation habits impacting your functioning in your regular life?
Masturbation is Healthy
Most experts agree that masturbation is healthy. It is something almost every single human does or has done.
Masturbation is a healthy way to explore your sexuality. It releases sexual tensions and allows you to enjoy your body. It even has health benefits!
Masturbation can help:
- Reduce stress
- Improve sleep quality
- Release sexual tension
- Understand your sexual wants and desires
- Boost your mood
So, how much masturbation is too much? That just depends.
When Does Masturbation Become Concerning?
There is a point for some people when masturbation becomes a concern. It goes from being a random activity or even a habit to being an addiction.
Sexual addiction develops because of a desire for dopamine release.
When you experience sexual pleasure, your brain releases a pleasure chemical called dopamine. Dopamine helps people understand what feels good so that they can repeat that activity.
But, dopamine also plays an integral role in forming an addiction.
Masturbation, similar to methamphetamine, causes your brain to produce this feel-good chemical. Your brain learns that what you’ve done feels good. Therefore, you should do it again to trigger the same positive feelings.
Experiencing something overwhelmingly stimulating does something surprising to a person’s brain. The brain releases an excessive amount of dopamine. As a way to combat this rush of chemicals, the brain starts shutting down its dopamine receptors.
When someone becomes addicted to an activity, it’s because they still seek that original dopamine hit that the receptors no longer provide. So they then have to escalate the activity (masturbation, sex, or porn-watching habits, for example) to get the same dopamine release.
Signs of Masturbation Addiction
People with masturbation addictions display common signs.
Signs of masturbation addiction include:
- Lack of Focus. They cannot focus on other activities. Masturbation consumes their thoughts, making them unable to function in their regular lives.
- Inappropriate Behavior. They masturbate at inappropriate times or in inappropriate places regardless of potential consequences. Like at your job, in your vehicle, or a public restroom.
- Coping. They use masturbation to cope with difficult emotions like stress, loneliness, or anxiety.
- Time Consuming. Masturbation takes up a large amount of their free time or energy.
- Relationship Issues. They choose to masturbate over having partnered sex. This results in the ability to form relationships or stay in a committed relationship.
- Injury. They experience genital injury from compulsive masturbation such as bruising or chafing.
- Emotional Concerns. They experience feelings of guilt or shame after masturbation.
- Habits. Some people with masturbation addiction masturbate even when they aren’t aroused.
Masturbation becomes problematic when it begins to consume a person’s life.
Effects of Masturbation Addiction
There are many downsides to masturbating too often.
Excessive masturbation can take a toll on a person’s sex drive. You’re shutting down the dopamine receptors by overwhelming your brain regularly. You’ll start to feel less and less satisfied with your sex life. You’ll experience less pleasure from partnered activities. You’re training your brain and body to crave a particular stimulus that a partner cannot replicate.
Your mental well-being may take a hit as well. For example, the guilt and shame you feel about your masturbation habits can have an immense impact. These negative feelings result in low self-esteem because you feel out of control of your impulses.
Your relationships will likely suffer as well. If you’re choosing to masturbate over having sex with your partner, it will have an impact on your relationship. Your partner may feel unloved or realize you’re hiding something.
You’re also choosing to masturbate over going to social events or outings with friends and family. People will notice that you’re pulling away, and your relationships will suffer as a result.
Tools to Help Curb a Masturbation Habit
People need professional help to recover from masturbation addiction. But, you can do things on your own to attempt to stop your habit before it becomes more serious.
Activities to attempt to control masturbation include:
- Practicing mindfulness through meditation or yoga
- Spending time with loved ones
- Exercising or finding other healthy ways to get a dopamine release
- Identifying your masturbation triggers and avoiding them
- Engaging in hobbies such as hiking
Contact BAI to Learn More About Sex Addiction
How much is too much masturbation? At Begin Again Institute, we can help you determine if your masturbation habit has become an addiction. If so, we can help you create a plan for getting control of your life again. All you need to do is reach out to us to get more information or start healing today.