Is masturbating bad or good for my health?

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    Because of guilt feelings, many wonder: is masturbating bad for you?

    Is masturbating bad or good for you? There are a number of health benefits of masturbation, despite this still being a taboo topic. (Sutterstock)

    For many people the topic of masturbation is taboo. Many believe masturbating is bad for your mind, body and soul. There are actually many myths and beliefs that say masturbation will make you crazy, turn you blind and harm your sex life. If this is true, does that mean most people do not masturbate?

    SEE ALSO: Health benefits of sex: Why you should be having more of it

    Actually, according to statistics from the U.S., reported by The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, approximately 60 percent of men over the age of 16 and 40 percent of women over the age of 20 admit to self-stimulation over the course of 30 days.

    The percentages go up even higher when the time frame is extended out to 12 months, with almost 80 percent of men and 60 percent of women masturbating.

    But is masturbating bad for your body? Is masturbating bad for your mind? With all the stigma surrounding it, you would think it was a one-way ticket toward a life of delinquency.

    Is masturbating good for you?

    Many people wonder: Is masturbating bad for you? But few times the question goes the other way around. Masturbation actually has health benefits and many experts believe not masturbating is a sign of issues.

    Masturbating is good and natural for both men and women.

    One of the best things about masturbation is that it is safe; there is no concern about sexually transmitted diseases.

    Masturbation is an ideal way for individuals to learn and explore their sexuality before they enter into sexual relationships. Masturbating can teach a person how they like to be touched, improving their confidence and increasing their chances of experiencing sexual pleasure with a partner.

    But the health benefits of masturbation extend beyond just initiating pleasure.

    SEE ALSO: Sex addiction, a real mental and physical issue for many

    According to Planned Parenthood and the State Government of Victoria’s Better Health Channel,  masturbating is both physically and mentally good for you.

    Benefits include:

    • Creates a sense of well-being.
    • Enhances physical and emotional bonding with partners.
    • Increases the ability to have orgasms.
    • Improves relationship satisfaction.
    • Improves sleep.
    • Improves body image.
    • Is a way to treat sexual dysfunctions.
    • Can reduce stress.
    • Can relieve sexual tension.
    • Can relieve menstrual cramps.
    • Can strengthen pelvic and anal muscles, reducing the risk for incontinence.
    • Increases the release of the feel-good neurotransmitters in the brain.
    • Can improve the health of the prostate.
    • Can improve male immunity.
    • May build resistance to yeast infections.
    • Can help relieve chronic back pain.
    • Can improve the body’s pain threshold.

    In healthy individuals, masturbation is seen as a harmless expression of sexuality.

    While it is often performed alone, mutual masturbation is also seen as beneficial. This practice involves both partners and provides the same health benefits of solo masturbation while also creating intimacy between lovers.

    Is masturbating bad for me in some cases?

    The benefits of masturbation are clear, but that doesn’t mean some people aren’t plagued by the common myths associated with this form of sexual activity so the question ‘is masturbating bad?” is a valid one.

    Historically, masturbation was seen as a sign of mental illness, and children were taught they would go blind, experience sexual dysfunction and become sexual deviants if they indulged in such an activity.

    In some religions, people are taught that masturbation is a sin, and this can often lead to feelings of guilt or shame.

    Belief systems aside, there is no physical or mental reason why a person should not masturbate.

    Masturbation causes no physical harm to the body, according to WebMD, aside from skin irritation if proper lubrication is overlooked.

    SEE ALSO: Overcome insecurities for a better sex life

    What’s more, masturbation DOES NOT:

    Many people ask -Is masturbating bad?- There is no scientific indication it is

    Is masturbating bad? Despite myths it’ll make you go blind, no – it is not bad for your health. (Shutterstock)

    • Cause hair to grown on the palms of the hands.
    • Cause an individual to become gay.
    • Cause addiction.
    • Cause infertility.
    • Cause mental illness.
    • Cause stunted growth.
    • Cause sexual organs to turn color or change shape.

    The only real dangers associated with masturbation are linked to mental health–but not in the way traditional thinking would have you believe.

    Most people who experience mental issues related to masturbation are feeling shame or guilt because of their behavior.

    Planned Parenthood indicates approximately 50 percent of both men and women feel guilty after masturbation, and these negative feelings can have an impact on overall health – not the act itself or masturbating.

    For some people, masturbation can be the manifested symptom of a serious condition, such as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), where the same activity must be repeated over and over again. This does not mean these individuals are addicted to sex; it is no different than if the OCD symptom was something non-sexual, like repeatedly brushing your teeth.

    SEE ALSO: Can masturbation make men sleep better?

    The average person masturbates anywhere from several times a day to never at all–the range for “normal” is very broad. Keeping that in mind, if masturbation interrupts normal daily activity, replaces sexual intercourse as a choice, or causes reclusive habits, counseling should be sought from a professional.

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