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How Often Do Men Masturbate? Age, Health Benefits, Risks, Myths

How Often Do Men Masturbate? Age, Health Benefits, Risks, Myths

By Dr Dean Knoll

Thanks in large part to American films now embedded in popular culture (we see you, American Pie), we know men take great pleasure in, well, pleasuring themselves - even more so than women. But how often do men masturbate? Do these figures differ between married men and men of different ages? Are there risks associated with over-pleasuring oneself? Let’s take a look.

A quick history of masturbation.

Masturbation as we know it was invented in the early 18th century. This “new” phenomenon created "a nearly universal state for generating guilt, shame and anxiety” for its participants. However, masturbation today is much more openly discussed and much of the stigma around it has lessened substantially.  

Nowadays masturbation is a common and normal sexual activity, which in reality is a healthy (and free) way to experience sexual pleasure. One survey conducted in 2018 polled 13,000 individuals from 18 countries that make up 57% of the world’s population, and found that 78% of the participants masturbate. People of all genders and sexual orientations masturbate, but men are more likely to masturbate than women. This survey also revealed that 80-96% of men reported have experimented with masturbation, compared to 48-78% of women.

How often do men masturbate in general?

We all know there is nothing wrong with a bit of self-loving, but just how often do men masturbate? Generally, men masturbate either daily, weekly, a few times a month or not at all, and all of these time frames are within normal parameters. 

According to 2009 data of males aged 25-29 from the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior as collected by Five Thirty Eight, 17% had not masturbated in the past year, 15% masturbated a few times per year to monthly, 25% masturbated a few times per month to weekly, 23% masturbated 2 to 3 times per week, and 20% masturbated more than 4 times per week.

How often do married men masturbate?

Men masturbate for many different reasons such as to relieve stress, to relax, to experience sexual pleasure and to release sexual tension. These reasons to masturbate often continue to exist when a man is married, and they do not necessarily indicate a problem with the relationship.  

Masturbation can also be a healthy outlet for a person’s sexual release when a couple is experiencing desire discrepancy (i.e. one partner has a higher libido or sex drive than the other partner). However, masturbation in men does increase as sexual activity decreases. Sixty percent of married men who’ve had sex recently still report high rates of masturbation, but 79% of those who haven’t had recent sex or are sexually discontent report high rates. 

Ultimately, the rate married men masturbate varies, and what works for one marriage will not for another.

Male masturbation by age.

Almost all men masturbate, and that’s just counting those willing to admit it on a survey. In a 2018 Tenga Global Self Pleasure Report, when men were asked if they have ever masturbated, the responses by age varied:

14 to 15 years - 67.5% 

16 to 17 years - 78.9%

18 to 19 years - 86.1%

20 to 24 years - 91.8%

25 to 29 years - 94.3%

30 to 39 years - 93.4%

40 to 49 years - 92%

50 to 59 years - 89.2%

60 to 69 years - 90.2%

70+ years - 80.4%  

What’s more, how often men masturbated varied between all age groups from 2 to 3 times a week to more than 4 times a week.

Is there a "normal" amount a man should masturbate?

There is no one single answer to how often men do or should masturbate on average. We know some men pleasure themselves more than others, and the frequency could be anywhere from daily to not at all.  

Ultimately, there is no “normal” frequency a man should masturbate, nor is there an objective measure to determine how much anyone should jerk off. If a person is satisfied with how often they masturbate and they don’t feel like it negatively affects other parts of their life, then that’s the right amount for them.

Can men masturbate too much?

Usually, most men don’t need to be concerned about masturbating too much. Again, scientifically speaking, there is no definitive measure as to how much masturbation is too much, as each person’s sexual health is measured differently.

Can a man run out of sperm?

Unsurprisingly, “can you run out of sperm” is a common question that is associated with male masturbation figures. In a nutshell, the answer is no. The male body cannot run out of sperm. A man produces 1500 sperm cells each second, implying that in 10 seconds, one would have 15,000 sperm cells inside the testicle. Therefore, it is not harmful to release sperm daily because our body produces millions of sperm each day. Translation: go nuts.

Are there risks associated with masturbation in men?                                                                                     

There are some risks associated with masturbation. As with any sexual activity, it is essential to uncover if there are any potential hazards to your physical or mental wellbeing. 

Mentally

There can be situations where one person feels guilty about masturbating, experiences less satisfaction with partnered sex, or finds that it has become a compulsive activity that interferes with their work or social life. If this occurs, it would be beneficial to seek care with a health care provider or a sex therapist.  

Physically

Physically speaking, with vigorous and frequent masturbation in men, one can develop skin irritation, bruising of the penis and a decrease in sensitivity of the penis. Rarely, with very aggressive masturbation one could fracture the penis, which can essentially cause it to resemble an eggplant and require emergency surgery for correction.

Are there benefits to masturbation in men?

When a man undergoes sexual arousal, chemicals in his body known as oxytocin and dopamine get released into the bloodstream. Health benefits are received from these chemicals. In men, oxytocin helps to reduce stress levels in the body and helps to maintain positive emotions. Dopamine helps the body to feel positive emotions at a more temporary time frame.  

Some more health benefits reported when a man masturbates and ejaculates also include an increased function of the immune system, a more relaxed sleep state, less stress and improved feelings of pleasure, lower blood pressure and even an improvement in partnered sex. 

Another key benefit associated with masturbation is improved sexual health through the promotion of intimacy with one’s self. Masturbation also helps with the prevention of highly transmissible disease such as sexually transmitted infections and HIV.

Myths surrounding male masturbation.

There are many myths surrounding masturbation. Unfortunately, many people feel ashamed of masturbation because of these outdated myths, even though most of them have been debunked many times. Some of our personal favourite common myths surrounding masturbation in men are: one can go blind, one can become infertile, one has reduced sexual function, one develops mental issues, one’s penis will shrink, or one will develop a low sperm count. Never fear, though: not one of these myths is true.

Can sex toys be used by men while masturbating?  

Although not necessarily common, sex toys can absolutely be used by men whilst masturbating. A report in 2019 found that 49.4% of people (both men and women) don’t use sex toys ever when masturbating. Comparatively, 7.9% of people use a sex toy every time they masturbate. This report also found that 1 in 4 people watch porn every time they masturbate and that men are 1.8X more likely than women to do so. Porn and masturbation are more popular with people who are not currently in relationships.

Speaking of sex toys, we have a wide range of toys that can be used for male masturbation, including:

Essentially, how often a male masturbates is based entirely upon them, and there is no hard and fast rule as to how often men should masturbate. Male masturbation is a healthy and natural way to relieve stress, lessen sexual tension and allow one to connect with himself and his body without outside pressure. This permits one to nurture and strengthen his connection to his body and sexuality. Essentially, get to it - as many times as you want!

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