Question: Hi Doctor, Just Wanna Know about the side effects of masturbation… in regards to physically as well as mentally.
Masturbation is a natural activity that is performed by certain species of animals, humans being one of them. By using the term “side effects” I assume that you are referring to negative effects of masturbation. When considering masturbation, as with most things, balance is the key.
Masturbation is an activity that some children stumble upon naturally, many teenagers perform daily, and adults may or may not engage in at different times in their life. It is used to help relieve natural urges, experience pleasure, decrease stress, as a sleep aid, and as an adjunct to sexual activity shared between partners. Negative effects could be experienced in both physical and mental realms if it is used in an unhealthy, unbalanced way.
Usually, masturbation does not produce any physical negative effects. It is natural and the body is designed to not only sustain, but also enjoy this activity. If, however, a person masturbates with excessive force, pressure, persistence, or using objects that could cause physical damage, the result could be bruising, lacerations, skin burns, etc.
Mentally, masturbation provides excitement, release of stress, and profound calm. There is an increase of sex hormones for both men and women, as well as release of oxytocin which promotes feelings of security and bonding. Of course, if there is no balance or if it is used in an unhealthy way, masturbation can produce feelings of guilt, feelings of emptiness, feelings of isolation, etc.
Masturbation has been a part of human history as long as we have been human, and it is a useful activity that provides many benefits to both the individual and relationships as well. It is an enjoyable sexual activity that does not carry any risk for either pregnancy or sexually transmitted illness (unless body fluids are transferred to another person). It is how you use it that determines whether it will have a negative or positive effect for you. But that is true of everything in life – even food and water necessary to sustain us.