For men and women - young or old, seldom or often - masturbation is a normal part of human behaviour. But just as people can develop complicated ideas about other normal activities such as eating or relationships, the secret part of us that is sexuality is prone to confusion and myth.
The Sexologist gives us a few facts.
I have heard that having sex a lot makes a person lose weight and become thin, is this true, and if true does the same apply to masturbation?
Expert: If sex can make you lose weight (due to the energy one must use for good sex), we would have seen a lot thinner ladies and men than we are seeing now - or perhaps all the overweight ones eat just too much to have good sex! It does not cause weight loss.
Q: Saw wife masturbating
I saw my wife masturbating on the couch, she doesn’t know I saw her. Do I leave it alone or address with her?
I never thought of her masturbating before if or even if she’s doing it.What is your advice? Life has been hectic with 2 kids aged 3 and 6, we currently are intimate probably once a week which is not enough for me.
What questions do I ask and how should I do this?
Expert: Firstly I need to confirm that masturbation, by both men and women, is a very common, normal and healthy part of our sexuality. It is also absolutely normal and common for men and women who are married or in committed relationships to still enjoy solo masturbation.
I would not suggest it necessary to discuss her masturbation. If the concern of the frequency of your sexual encounters is of concern to you and results in resentment and frustration, then that is an issue that may need some discussion.
Q: Too much
I have a problem as I’m obsessed with masturbation. I masturbate a lot during the week, to such an extent that I no longer ejaculate.
I have also stopped having a girlfriend because I still just masturbate. How do I break away from this habit and would it have a negative impact when having sex with a lady due to weak erections? I heard that masturbation causes softer erections.
Expert:Regular masturbation does not cause softer erections. If anything the more frequently a man is sexually active, be it with masturbation or sex with a partner, the better his sexual function and erections could be.
You are concerned about the frequency of your masturbation, almost describing what may be "obsessive masturbation". This is a difficult topic because there is no set standard of how much masturbation is too much.
Some people masturbate every day or more than once a day, and others a few times a week and others a few times in a month.
Generally if a person masturbates to the degree that they hurt their penis, or it starts impacting on their social and work life – not getting to work or school, avoiding family and other social activities to masturbate, neglecting previous hobbies and interests, spending money meant for other things on porn to aid masturbation, then we would have reason for concern.
In such a case, the suggestion would be to see a therapist to explore what underlying emotional and psychological issues the person might be trying to "cope" with through obsessive masturbation.
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Image: Playful woman in bed from Shutterstock