Masturbation Myth Busters!

The full eBook is OUT NOW for $6.13 including VAT. Click Here to Preview or purchase “SEX, Not as a separate Subject” now! So assuming it’s common knowledge that masturbation does not make you blind, cross eyed or give you hairy palms, and if we can safely say that enjoying some self lovin’ does not kill innocent kittens, let’s take a look at a few more myths that surround the greatest source of free pleasure and entertainment ever!

masturbation_addictionMasturbation Myth 1 – Masturbation is a Cheap Substitute for Sexual Intercourse. 

This is one of the worse and most harmful myths that is still perpetuated to this day. The belief that pleasuring yourself is just something you have to do in the absence of “real” sex causes a huge amount of shame, guilt and feelings of sexual inadequacy in teens and adults alike. The amount of trashy literature that I’ve read in books and on the internet saying things like “You don’t wanna go home and jerk off like a loser do you?” or “Don’t you feel bad that the only thing you’ve screwed is your hand?” is just shocking, wrong and not very helpful at all. Masturbation is a totally valid form of sexual expression and is no better or worse than sex with another person. In fact I, and I’d assume most people, have had sexual encounters with others which were less pleasurable, less satisfying and even less meaningful that some of their masturbatory experiences! There are even people who actively choose a self-sexual lifestyle. These people essentially decide that they wish to remain single and love and enjoy only themselves in a sexual manner. Sometimes people choose self-sexuality for a period of time, others do it their entire life. And despite not having “real” sex with other people they can live equally, and in many cases, more sexually fulfilling lives than those who are married or engage in regular sex with a number of people!



So listen, masturbation is not a cheap substitute for sexual intercourse, it is just as valid a form of sexual expression as anything else. We need to understand this. No more guilt, no more shame, we require a sense of masturbation pride! It is vital to our sense of self love and acceptance, it’s vital to enjoying meaningful and pleasurable relationships with others and it’s vital to our overall emotional and physical health. Let’s use the example of eating again. Sure it can be fun to go out to dinner with friends and share a meal, but it can be equally enjoyable to make yourself a nice sandwich and eat it out in the garden under the sun alone. There simply is no better or worse when it comes to sexual experiences, only difference.

Masturbation Myth 2: “You’re Too Old to Masturbate!” 

Dude's got the right idea!

Dude’s got the right idea!

This is another big one. Boys in particular worry about this. I know when I was younger I used to wonder “When will I stop masturbating?” I wasn’t too concerned, I grew up in a sex positive environment and I enjoyed myself. However it didn’t stop me wondering. As I grew older and learned more about the subjects of sex and masturbation I realised the shocking truth: There is no such thing as too old! Everyone is different of course, and we all go through phases of heightened or lowered sexual virility and potency, but there is simply no set age at which to stop masturbating or engaging in sexual intercourse. Take for example the celebrated American sex educator, author and artist Betty Dodson. Born in 1929, Betty is still writing articles and making videos on sex and masturbation. Never have I seen an octogenarian more vibrant and full of life, and Betty claims it’s all down to her regular and lengthy sessions of self-love and self sex. Annie Sprinkle is another amazing example. Annie spent time as a sex worker and pornographic actress before going on to earn a degree in human sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. Born in 1954, she is another example of someone who has dedicated their life to the celebration of the human body and human sexuality in all its glory. These are just two high profile examples of people who continue to enjoy their sex and masturbation long into their twilight years. There is simply no age at which the human body stops being capable of enjoying sexual stimulation and orgasm. And the benefits of sexual stimulation and orgasm continue to improve our health all the way into our hundreds and beyond.

So if you or someone you know is worried that they might be too old to still be masturbating, just remember our friend Betty Dodson. If she can do it into her 80’s so can you! I genuinely feel sorry for those who give up masturbation through abstinence at any point in their life. Ironically abstinence is a form of fetish just like any other. If that’s what you’re into that’s cool, but at least be honest about it.

Masturbation Myth 3: When You Have a Partner You Should No Longer Need to Masturbate.

u5ddglThere is a scene at the start of the film American Reunion where a married couple are both secretly engaging in masturbation on their own. When they discover that each other were getting themselves off, they both felt offended. As if their masturbation suggested that they weren’t good enough for each other sexually. The couple assumed that if they needed to masturbate there must be something wrong with their relationship. What a ridiculous and harmful message! Many people assume that once they get into a steady sexual relationship with someone they will suddenly no longer require masturbation as they are getting “the real thing”. And when the urge is still there to enjoy their own body and sexuality, it can become worrisome, they might think “what the hell is wrong with me?!” There’s nothing wrong with you, this is completely normal, in fact it is often the case that masturbation can become a more common occurrence once we are engaging in regular partner sex! The increase in sexual activity fills us with wonderful, pleasurable experiences and brings our focus to sex even more. We find ourselves in a heightened state of arousal and potency so this naturally increases the likelihood of engaging in masturbation.

So forget about this myth. Married couples, partnerships and those who get a lot of regular casual sex all engage in masturbation as well. This is perfectly healthy and normal. You don’t suddenly stop wanting and requiring self-pleasure when you hook up with someone, and you should certainly never worry about it. Masturbation is not a sign that there’s something wrong with you or your partner. The healthiest relationships feature a good, positive attitude toward partner sex and toward each other’s own masturbation as well.

Masturbation Myth 4: You Can Masturbate Too Much. 


Aww, poor Edward

This assertion is false, for the most part. Common sense dictates that anything done too much or for too long will be harmful. You can drink too much water, you can inhale too much oxygen, you can exercise too much and yes you can, technically, even masturbate too much. If you find yourself masturbating (boys or girls) to the point where it hurts, or damages your genitals, by all means stop. If you are chafing, blistering, or causing callouses on your hands or genitals then do take a break, and try to plan out a masturbation regime that does not result in such injuries. In order to incur such injuries you would have to be at it hours at a time on a daily basis which is very rare. However if you do have an problem with this, there may be some underlying issues and you might want to see a good sex therapist. But for the most part it is virtually impossible to masturbate too much. Both men and women can do it every day, and many SEX, Not as a Separate Subject smlsex educators actively encourage daily masturbation! Multiple times per day is fine too, but as with anything use common sense and don’t damage, hurt, or exhaust yourself. Everyone has a different intensity of sexual desire, and our sex drives vary as we go through different periods in our lives. Some people might find that they enjoy masturbation only a few times per week, others might enjoy it every day, and others still might go longer periods of time without even thinking about it. The length of time between self-pleasure is not important, it’s not a competition. The important thing is that you pleasure yourself when it feels right for you, and in the way that is natural and enjoyable. There’s no right or wrong way, and there’s no right or wrong amount!

Thanks for reading! All the best :)


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Rohan Healy is the author of “Greeks to Geeks: Practical Stoicism in the 21st Century”“The 7 Things That Made Me Genuinely & Irreversibly Happy: And How They Can Do The Same For You” and Sci Fi Action/Adventure novel Gyaros: The Mice Eat Iron!

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52 thoughts on “Masturbation Myth Busters!

  1. Awesome post! I don’t know how this topic is received in Australia, but in America we have this strange dichotomy of prudish notions + sexual availability. It gets very confusing and creates a lot of tension where I don’t think there needs to be. Open, honest communication about sexuality, desires, needs and the like is rare. (Americans have a tendency to view any form of male sexual expression as being dangerous/unacceptable too.)

    The one that I’ve encountered the most (personally) is #4, especially since I’m physically a woman. This may be too much information, but I am one of those people whose drive is such that I pleasure myself every morning…not because I “have to”, but if you have morning wood you should use it, right? *wink wink nudge nudge*

    Not only have I encountered others who think that straight women don’t ever masturbate, but there are (nonprofessional) tests online that propagate the myth of Men = Always Sexual, Women = Rarely Sexual. I realize I’m a high testosterone woman…but there has to be other “normal” gals who are just as sexual.

    Sigh. I really wish my country would stop being so full of sexual repression and misinformation. :(

    • Great comment Sophia. From my experience and studies into the subject it seems to me that the idea that men are highly sexual and “always on” whereas women are rarely sexual and rather cold, comes from cultural influence and not from biology. Pre agrarian cultures tend to show similar levels of sexual activity and sexual desire between the sexes which suggests that it’s our cultural conditioning that has creates these assumptions, not nature.

      There is so so much wrong with the way sex and sexuality has been treated over the past 3000 years at least, and still today the level of open, natural and fun communication surrounding sex is severely lacking. For a function that is as important to our overall physical and psychological health and well being as eating and sleeping well, and getting good exercise, it’s not good enough that it is spoken about only in dry scientific terms, or in giggles and whispers.

      There are plenty of males who have lower sex drives, and plenty of females with higher ones. There is no normal, not really. The closest thing that comes to normal would be meeting whatever sexual needs you have as an individual. If that means daily masturbation then by all means go for it. I’m sure you’d be surprised how many women enjoy it daily, despite what they might say ;)

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


  2. Great post. Really, we should be promoting masturbation to youth rather than shaming them, as it might discourage them from engaging in sexual activity with partners before they a) have any sort of understanding about their sexuality, b) are emotionally ready for be in a physical relationship, and c) are prepared to be responsible about preventing unwanted pregnancy and disease.

    • Thanks Janna!

      Absolutely. In order for people to be able to make safe, informed decisions regarding sex we must provide them with the important information. Encourage conversation on the topic, have fun and learn. Forcing kids to learn about this stuff through trial and error or schoolyard or internet misinformation is not the way to do it.

      I’m just doing my part to provide open, honest communication on the subject :)

      All the best!


    • Oh absolutely, masturbation is the realm in which we discover ourselves and what we like. We can then convey that to our lovers for some very special experiences. Masturbation is crucial for many reasons :)


  3. I’ve never masturbated a day in my life. By that I mean today. Okay that’s a lie. Twice a lie…

    “At this point sex is just for something to think about when I masturbate.” – my friend right before he turned 30

    • Ha! Yeah I’d be lying too if I were to make those statements.

      Oh man, ouch. Well I’ve met people who’ve had unsatisfying sex lives up until their thirties, only for it to totally turn around. So there is hope for your buddy. Anyway sex is probably the best thing to think about when masturbating, I find that to be the case anyway.


  4. I’m pretty open about most things. But like Denise and Tiffany, I almost blushed at the begging of this post too.
    I’m all good now. Lots of info. Great post, Rohan
    Oh and the Edward scissor hands picture cracked me up!

    • Yeah, well these subjects have been taboo for so many hundreds of years it’s really no surprise. Still, I’m not exactly ready to bring up my masturbation habits at the family dinner lol. *pass the mayonnaise please…*

      Ahem, anyway, yes cool! I’m glad you liked the post :)

      I know right?! Poor Edward :( No wonder he’s so sad all the time!


  5. Great article, I can see it will be a great book. I also say that you can explore your own body like that and see what turns you on, which zones are more stimulated and what is more fun. Speaking as a woman….. then you have much more fun with a guy , guiding him and have the whole pleasure!

    • Thanks Ute, glad you liked it :) Yes indeed, I fully agree. Learning about your erogenous zones, exploring and finding out what makes you feel amazing is so important to our enjoyment of partner sex when it happens :)

      Keep well!


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  7. Rohan,
    Thank you for debunking these myths about masturbation. As a father of two sons, I will keep these in mind when my sons get older. I grew up believing a number of these myths. I think the other myth is reflected in a number of comments above–that female masturbation is somehow wrong. Why do females blush when it comes to pleasuring themselves? It could be argued that our culture focuses on pleasing men, not women. Just some food for thought. {{{hugs]}} Kozo

    • It may be because I identify more with the masculine gender, or because my friends have always been male, but I personally don’t mind talking about sex/masturbation/orgasms. After all, a lot of “guy talk” does focus on these topics…and our anatomy isn’t so different that someone who is physically female couldn’t join in the discussions.

      Sure when you’re young you giggle and blush about these things, that is probably typical. But hanging out with just your best buds on a camping trip or grabbing some after-work drinks? The talk is blunt, risque and definitely has no room for blushing.

      • That’s great, and absolutely the way it should be! Fun and open discussion about sex, sexuality, masturbation and orgasm is awesome, and the best way to learn and share. You’re exactly right. Waaaay to much is made of the differences between the sexes when in fact in most respects we are the same, or very similar anatomically, and sharing what we like and don’t like, do and don’t do, helps us all get a greater understanding of ourselves and each other :)

        Excellent comment Sophia!


    • Thanks Kozo! Already this book is serving the purpose I hoped it would :)

      Yeah, I dedicate a whole section of the book to female sexual dysfunction, the female orgasm, masturbation and the guilt and shame that surround it for many people, and women in particular. It’s all a sad symptom of the millennia old repression and stigmatization of female sexuality.

      Female masturbation, like all masturbation, is a normal and healthy part of life, and indeed a good exploration of one’s own body and sexuality greatly increases one’s enjoyment of partner sex as well.

      There is definitely a male dominated slant toward pleasure and sexual gratification in most societies around the world. Ironically though, by ignoring women’s pleasure we greatly reduce the man’s ability to enjoy sex as well!

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Kozo! Hugs :)


      • Hey Rohan,
        I’m wondering if you have found that women are naturally more orgasmic than men, but due to sexual repression their orgasms have been stunted. I ask for two reasons. 1) I recently read in The Hite Report that girls become orgasmic as early as 5 years old, so puberty in our society is all based on male biology. 2) the G-spot experiments where women are able to achieve multiple orgasms.
        If you cover this question in your book, you don’t have to answer it here, since I will be purchasing the book.

        Thanks again for your wisdom and generosity. {{{hugs}} Kozo

      • Hey Kozo!

        Absolutely Kozo, up until recently medical science still questioned whether the female orgasm existed at all which is very, very sad. Because the model of orgasm used was the male ejaculatory orgasm (just one of many forms of male orgasm, including prostate orgasm), and because the primary form of female orgasm (clitoral orgasm) did not conform to the male ejaculatory orgasm, many (stupid) doctors concluded that the female orgasm was a myth.

        Women are capable of clitoral, g-spot and a-spot orgasms. As well as this, blended or full body orgasms are often experienced through the nipples, anus and other erogenous zones.

        Both women and men are very highly orgasmic, well beyond the common male ejaculatory orgasm. We do both sexes (but women in particular) a great disservice by focusing only on one type of orgasm.

        And yes, Wilhelm Reich talked about the sexuality of children over 50 years ago, and that kids should never be repressed when innocently exploring their own bodies and sexuality at a young age. Of course it’s never right to engage sexually with a child, but it’s perfectly healthy for them to explore and play with themselves.

        Young girls who are reprimanded for exploring and enjoying themselves often have trouble experiencing orgasm later in life for obvious reasons. It’s tragic really.

        I go into this stuff a bit more in the book :)

        Hugs Kozo!


      • I can’t wait to read your book, Rohan. It is what I have been looking for my whole life. Maybe I will just give my sons a copy when they come of age. It will save me the birds and the bees talk. haha.
        {{{hugs]}} Kozo

  8. Great post, can’t wait to read the sexytime book ;)

    Yeah…I don’t know why exactly but I grew up thinking masturbation was something to be ashamed of. People never spoke about it openly other than to use it as a term of insult (“you wanker!” lol). But in time I came to learn that it can be a valid expression of self love. I learned the awesomeness of using it as a kind of tantric practise and a means of not just exploring physical sensations but raising energy up through my body and expanding states of consciousness even sometimes. A really neat book is “the multi-orgasmic man” (which may even be of some interest to women to). Full of Taoist sexual techniques which really expand on this so much more as a practise of self love. The book explains the energetic aspects of it and using sexual energy to heal the body and increase energy, health and longevity.

    Thanks again for another really cool post — and that cat pic made me LOL!

    • Yeah Rory, I definitely delved into the Taoist and Tantic methods of cultivating and expressing sexual energy. Not with the depth of a book like The Multi Orgasmic Man, but certainly enough to put people on the right track regarding that :)

      Yeah it’s very important to get rid of the shame associated with sex and self sex in particular. Masturbation has the ability to make us happier, healthy people and even better lovers with others!

      Thanks for the lovely comment Rory, all the best :)


  9. Hi Rohan – A very interesting read. Being the quirky person that I am, I am probably the one person and maybe the only person, that you may come across that has never master-bated in her life and personally I wouldn’t want to. I don’t mind giving myself a pat on the back or a comforting stroke on the arm but personally the thought of touching myself in that way, is not a nice feeling and I wouldn’t want to do it. And I don’t need sex either – I can live without that for years. I appreciate you helping others to feel better about it though – good for you.

    • There’s, nothing wrong with that at all. It is estimated that around 1% of people are asexual; that is people who have a very low or nonexistent sex drive.

      As long that is normal and natural for you then that’s fine. If there is no desire to masturbate then you are not doing anything wrong at all :-)

      Everybody feels different about touch and sexuality, and experiences them differently as well.

      Thanks for providing your insight, I really appreciate it!

      All the best :-)


      • Hi Rohan, had a read about what asexual means and I am not sure that I am one of those as I certainly can be attracted to someone physically. I just prefer to kiss and cuddle to express love, not have sex.

      • There ya have it, a further example of the great diversity of human intimacy and sexuality :) We all relate in different ways, it’s important to go with whatever feels natural to us.

        Oh and I didn’t mean to label you as asexual, apologies if I came off sounding like that. Obviously you know your own experience much better than I could :)

        All the best!


      • Hi Rohan, if I am honest, I did feel you were giving me a label even though you didn’t mean to, so apology accepted. As I am quite quirky and different it’s hard for people to understand where I am coming from sometimes. I live in my own little bubble and don’t always need what others would deem necessary. If someone asked me to live without sex, fine, is someone asked me to live without writing, never. You can tell which I prefer.

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