22 November 2007

Can masturbation affect your health?

I always feel like masturbating, as it gives me a lot of pleasure, but sometimes I fight myself to stop masturbating, because I think it will affect my health. I think it will make me weaker and thinner, because I want to do body building, and if I am thin how can I have a muscular body? Is it true that masturbating will affect me in that way?

Evelyn Kuang

Hi Michael,

Thank you for your question. I am happy to tell you that despite what you may have heard and learned about the negative affects of masturbation, they are simply not true. Masturbating will not make you weaker and thinner, nor will it damage your health. On the contrary, medical studies have shown that masturbation helps to ensure prostatic health. Men who masturbate are actually healthier, i.e. have lower rates of enlarged prostates, or prostate cancer, than men who do not masturbate.

Masturbation is a common sexual activity to people everywhere, of all ages, races, sexual orientation, or gender. With very rare exceptions, frequent masturbation is not harmful. There is no standard ‘normal’ amount, but only what you feel is normal for you. Whether it is once a month, or three times a day; if it is part of a balanced sexual and social life, masturbation poses no specific risks.

To let you in on some history about the negativity surrounding masturbation, the idea that it is bad for your health actually originated with an anti-masturbation pamphlet that was written in 1712 as a way to sell a bogus “tonic” that was supposed to stop the disease of “self-pollution”. There has been a long history of people attempting to pathologize and moralize masturbation in medicine and religion. For example, some people have said that it will make you go blind, give you acne, or make hair grow on your palms. All of these claims have been refuted by science. Today virtually all physicians and scholars agree that masturbation is harmless.

Please let us know if you have further questions about this issue,

Evelyn, for AlterHeros