Masturbation has always been something of a sensitive topic. The Victorians were so horrified at the mere thought of it they produced an amazing number of pamphlets, books and physical devices to prevent youngsters from ever engaging in it. Masturbation has been blamed for everything from spotty skin to homicidal tendencies and, even now, there are those who believe it’s the root of a number of sexual dysfunction issues. In truth, masturbation can help with everything from alleviating symptoms to depression to providing various male enhancement benefits, including being able to last longer and improving technique. Nevertheless, the question remains – is it possible to become addicted to masturbation and, if taken to extreme, could it be harmful?
Too Much of a Good Thing
Although masturbation is a normal, healthy activity, it’s possible to engage in it so often that a person does develop a type of addiction. However, it’s important to point out that an addiction to masturbation is a fairly extreme condition and most people never develop a habit that should be a cause of concern. For those who worry over whether or not they are masturbating too often, or that their habit might be affecting their health or other aspects of their lives, there’s one easy way to tell if your habit has gotten out of hand: Give it up for a few days.
Refraining from masturbating for a few days – or even a week – can not only reassure you there’s no problem with your normal level of activity, it can also heighten your pleasure once you resume. Primarily, though, being able to abstain should reassure you about whether or not you are fostering an addiction.
What to Do If You Are Addicted
Being addicted to masturbation will not cause you any health problems since masturbation is, in and of itself, a healthy activity. However, if your masturbation habits force you to leave work early, avoid time with family and friends and give up doing other things you enjoy, then it’s an issue you should begin dealing with. An addiction such as this is considered a psychological sexual addiction and there are many doctors who specialize in treating this specific kind of disorder. Seeking help for this type of addiction, however, can be somewhat embarrassing for the patient and, as a result, many people never seek out the treatment they need. Any kind of sexual addiction carries with it a certain amount of stigma but it’s important not to let that prevent you from getting the counseling you need to move past it.
Self help options are available and often the key to recovery is two-fold. First, you must identify the feelings and sensations that make you want to engage in chronic masturbation. Usually these feelings have little or nothing to do with feeling sexually aroused and people with a problem often use sex or masturbation as a way to ‘check out’ mentally and escape the pressures, stress and problems of their real life. Identifying these sensations and conditioning yourself to engage in a different behavior will help you to break that chain. Secondly, you’ll need to establish or strengthen positive, healthy relationships with other people in your life. This gives you a support system as well as an outlet for your need for intimacy and acceptance.
Masturbation is a healthy and natural part of every person’s sexuality. Although it can be used as an effective treatment for a number of sexual performance issues, such as premature ejaculation or as an overall male enhancement, there are times when masturbation becomes an escape and is used to avoid issues or personal relationships. If this happens, masturbation can become a problem instead of a benefit. For men who find themselves using masturbation as an escape, it’s important to find other outlets for that energy and foster healthy personal relationships to help put masturbation back where it belongs – as a healthy part of their sex life and not a compulsive action. That way, men can still enjoy masturbation for the healthy activity it is without allowing it to interfere with their personal lives.