It’s a perfectly healthy and normal behaviour, yet somehow it can also take your mental and physical health to unbearable lows. It helps you sleep better, but can lead to insomnia. It can relieve stress, but also lead to social anxiety. Make you more sexually aware of yourself, yet eventually lead to decreased libido (sex drive) and unrealistic sexual expectations in relationships.
If you haven’t noticed yet, allow me to enlighten you; there are some not-so-slight contradictions in the claims both sides of this argument declare to be true. This can perhaps lead us to believe that it’s not exactly as set in stone as we’re often made to think by either side which blindly advocate for what they believe due to some underlying personal or cultural reason, but instead more akin to varying from person to person.
This is indeed the case, as expected from any human-related matter to be honest, so it comes as no surprise that it’s all about moderation.
Yes, masturbation – if done in adequate amounts – can present health benefits. It can reduce menstrual cramp pain for females, risk of prostate cancer in males. It can act as a reliever of tension that could’ve been building up for a very long time coming, allowing one to relax in a moment of pure ecstasy. With the feeling, though, it’s just one moment. And it can cause some more serious issues when done excessively.
One of the main reasons masturbation can feel so good is the rise in dopamine levels. This doesn’t just happen at sexual climax though – it’s during the whole process from start to finish. Dopamine levels are estimated to increase to about 200% of their normal levels, and the only issue that arises here is when this period is prolonged and frequent.
One can begin to become desensitized, and require seeking more stimulation to acquire the same good feeling; pretty much how most addictions play out. Still, however, I acknowledge how extreme this case might be, so let’s instead take things from another perspective.
It’s not always a directly physical benefit or harm. For one, consider for a moment the fact that masturbating requires energy. Using up this energy –again if excessively- will lead to fatigue. This all ultimately points towards even further amplification of this state of constant tiredness and exhaustion, which we all probably experience regardless of whether or not we masturbate frequently.
It doesn’t end there, though – it actually gets better. When someone who used to excessively masturbate decides to stop, all of this energy that they’ve been using up on sexually pleasuring themselves gets automatically directed towards other matters. You won’t suddenly have less energy to go around – you’ll have more to spend on other things. It can consequently go without saying that this often results in increased productivity and capability of giving attention.
So, yes, it’s not all negative, but when you consider the possibilities which could occur if you happen to stumble upon a path that is more destructive than you had initially planned, it might occur to you that all of this really isn’t necessary. Not psychologically, not biologically. Females do not require masturbation, and neither do males – the only difference is that males require ejaculation to get rid of excess sperm, which while not ideal, is done in one’s sleep when they do not already do so regularly.
So to sum up, yes, it can be healthy, and no it’s not necessary.
It can also be unhealthy in certain situations, but you really can’t go wrong with it if you don’t do it all – or at least not frequently enough that it starts negatively impacting your life.