Masturbation has come out from under the covers. Blogs and social media in the pleasure industry (us included!) tout the physical, mental and even spiritual benefits that self-pleasure can unlock. Often, it’s framed as a golden pathway to sexual empowerment and noted as an important element of living a sex-positive life. But what lies on the flip-side of masturbation’s benefits? Is it possible to over-indulge in the pastime of solo-sex? Can you lose feeling from over-using a vibrator? Are there any negative effects? Will you be able to orgasm again later?
For this post, Dr. Kristie Overstreet answers the question ”Can you masturbate too much?” and all that that entails...
“Courtney” a new client reached out to me to determine if we would be a good fit. She was worried that she might be masturbating too much. She told me that she masturbates almost daily. She was also having difficulty reaching orgasm with her partner but had no problem when she used her vibrator. She was worried and embarrassed as she asked me for my next opening so she could start sex therapy.
As a clinical sexologist and certified sex therapist, I have worked with many women who struggle with sex, intimacy, orgasm, masturbation, and other issues that affect their lives. Our society sends mixed messages to women and breeds unrealistic expectations involving sex. We are supposed to enjoy and reach orgasm every time we have partnered sex, but there is a judgement when it comes to solo masturbation. It’s as if we are expected to get all of our pleasure only when we are with our partner. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
One of the most common negative messages that comes with this expectation is that you can masturbate too much. The thought is that if you are masturbating frequently, then you won’t be able to experience an orgasm during sex. It’s as if there are a limited amount of orgasms and you don’t want to waste them on masturbation. It’s safe to say that you aren’t going to overdo it with masturbating and there isn’t a limited amount of orgasms per day. If you think that you are masturbating too much be sure to explore what led you to this thought process.
Here are a few things to consider:
Just like Courtney, women commonly think that there is something wrong with them if they can have an orgasm during solo masturbation but not with a partner. There is nothing wrong with you regardless of what someone may tell you. When you masturbate solo, you don’t have to give effort, thought, or attention to anything except yourself. Your sole focus is experiencing pleasure. You get a break from having to worry about what your partner may like or not like. You have privacy and don’t have to think about another person. This is very freeing and gives you the opportunity to experience intense pleasure.
It may be harder to reach orgasm with a partner versus solo masturbation but this just gives you the opportunity to try something different. Think of this as a new adventure and a way to increase intimacy with your partner. For example, try masturbating with your partner. If you haven’t done this yet, then put it on your sex to-do list.
Here are a few tips when masturbating with your partner:
It is difficult to feel pleasure if you are experiencing pain. Follow up with your doctor and describe what you are feeling so they can help you figure out what is leading to the pain. Pay attention to your body and if it feels good, keep doing it. If it doesn’t feel good then stop. You are the best expert in your own life and know your body better than anyone else. You deserve to feel pleasure during solo sessions and partnered sex. Masturbation is also a stress reliever that has countless benefits for your emotional, physical, and overall health. Stop worrying and get back to focusing on what feels good for you. Avoid online searches to find information on masturbating too much and start paying attention to your body.