Can You Be Addicted to M@sturb@tion?
Can you be Addicted to Masturbation? The Short Answer: No.
Here’s our longer answer:
The concept of masturbation addiction is something that Brenda has talked about before (here for example) but we think this topic deserves revisiting. Especially during Masturbation Month (May - our favourite!), and especially when the top google search results about this are full of misinformation.
Humans are designed to be sexual beings and self-pleasure can be a great way to explore that side of ourselves. How often one person self-pleasures will be different from the next person, and this is okay and to be expected! However, some people who masturbate wonder if they have become addicted to it.
People may feel like they have a sex addiction or masturbation addiction, not because they masturbate every minute of every day, but because their behaviour does not match what they are being taught from outside sources.
Religious beliefs may be one of the voices telling us there is something wrong with our masturbation habits. We hear this messaging from a lot of other sources too, oftentimes from corporations trying to make us feel like we have a problem so they can sell us something to “fix” it. Sometimes shame is placed on us to control our actions (and purchases). For example, Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow’s wellness brand (oops, I’m bringing up Goop again!) shares articles about low desire to make readers feel like they have an issue, and then sells us supplements to “improve” this part of ourselves that doesn’t actually need fixing.
We are here to tell you that you cannot be addicted to masturbation.
Some people may masturbate compulsively to the point where it interferes with other things in their life like socializing with friends, or work. For some it may result in feelings of shame or guilt afterwards. While these effects are very real, valid, and can be distressing, they do not mean a person has an addiction.
Addiction is a term that is used a lot, but it should not be used lightly. Addiction is not simply an intense urge to do something you enjoy, like masturbating or eating, it’s a complex chemical dependence on a substance and the inability to stop a behavior despite the negative consequences it may cause.
I often wonder how many healthy and natural sexual behaviours are incorrectly framed as concerning because society doesn’t fully accept, understand, or teach about these things properly.
The problem with masturbation occurs when people think there is a problem with their behavior, which is mainly influenced by outside sources. Someone may compulsively masturbate, it may be someone's main coping mechanism, and it may be used to cover up something else that is going on. The solution for this is not to stop masturbating, but rather to find a variety of ways to manage the stressors in life that add to your quality of life and not distract from it. Ironically, masturbation can actually be one of those healthy ways, it just probably shouldn‘t be the only one
In reality, believing you are addicted to masturbating may cause more distress and negative outcomes than just going ahead and doing what you naturally feel like doing. We hope it helps you to know that you cannot be addicted to masturbation. You may be able to guess our stance on masturbation here at the Tickle Trunk, we love it and all the wonderful benefits it can provide. That is why we love to celebrate all month long and all year round - happy Masturbation Month!
Erica, The Traveling Tickle Trunk