What is masturbation?
Masturbation is a way of exploring your own sexual self and is a completely natural activity. It is also, therapeutic to an extent that the pleasure one experiences from masturbating relieves stress, anxiety and elevates one's mood instantly. This 'pleasure' may however, become addictive with the person being compulsively dependent on masturbation for general wellbeing. This in turn, affects the body as a whole.
Masturbation is a normal and healthy sexual activity. However, if you feel that your masturbation habits have become problematic and you want to reduce or stop this behavior, there are several strategies and approaches you can try.
1. Self-awareness and motivation: Recognize that you want to make a change and have the motivation to do so. Understanding why you want to reduce or quit masturbation can help you stay committed to your goal.
2. Seek support: Talk to a healthcare professional, such as a doctor or therapist, who can provide guidance and support tailored to your specific situation. They can help you address any underlying issues that may contribute to excessive masturbation.
A therapist will do some deep listening to understand your issues and identify your triggers. You just need to be completely honest with your therapist and have faith on them. The therapists are bound to keep your information in the strictest confidence.
The therapy may take several sessions and you may not see any immediate results. Changing habits is difficult and takes time. You just need to be patient and consistent
3. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): Consider undergoing therapy such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy or CBT, which can help you identify and modify the thoughts and behaviors associated with excessive masturbation. A therapist can provide techniques to manage triggers and develop healthier coping mechanisms.
CBT is a psychotherapeutic approach that focuses on the connection between a person's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It is a structured, goal-oriented form of therapy that aims to help individuals identify and modify unhelpful patterns of thinking and behavior. The core principle of CBT is that our thoughts and beliefs influence our emotions and actions.
CBT aims at restructuring negative or irrational thoughts and also modify the response loop that follows these thought patterns. CBT is frequently used the world over to overcome phobias, anxiety disorders, addictions, OCD etc
What are the causes of masturbation addiction in males/men?
1. Habitual behavior: Often adolescents start masturbating as they become aware about their sexuality. A good number become quiet obsessed with masturbating, to the extent that it becomes a compelling habit whether they derive any pleasure out of it or not.
2. Coping mechanism : Masturbation is a stress buster. Very often men use this as a method to alleviate anxiety, stress, depression or even boredom. For some it is also a way of overcoming low self esteem. Addiction happens when men need to masturbate to overcome any negative emotional state. It is just like smoking addiction, you must have a fag if you are even a bit stressed. Of course, masturbation is not harmful the way smoking is.
3. Sexual drive : Sexual fantasies, strong sex drive, and curiosities around sexuality can also lead to masturbation addiction
4. Obsessive behavior: Some people have a predisposition towards obsessive behavior. Their threshold levels for addiction to any activity are relatively lower. Such people have a higher tendency to develop masturbation addiction.
5. Lack of sexual fulfillment: Inability to find a sexual partner or non-availability of a sexual partner, sexual incompatibility with the partner, relationship issues etc may lead to excessive masturbation.
6. Porn content: Nowadays, it is very easy to get free access to porn content on the internet. This provides a constant source of stimulation. This along with lack of any sexual outlet , can lead to severe masturbation addiction issues.
What are the negative side effects/symptoms of masturbation addiction in males/men?
1. Physical harm: Too frequent masturbation or vigorous masturbation, especially with sex toys can lead to friction injuries on the penile skin, pain, soreness/ swelling etc. This is usually harmless and resolves on its own in a few days. If it does not, you may need to consult a doctor.
2. Feeling of tiredness: Excessive masturbation can lead to a low energy state where you may feel too exhausted for daily routine work. Some may experience emotional exhaustion too. In this mental state, you may not find interest in doing activities that you enjoy doing eg playing soccer or basketball. These states of exhaustion are very temporary and go away in a few hours usually.
3. Erectile dysfunction: The erectile dysfunction caused by excessive masturbation is an interesting phenomenon. Masturbation over a long term can lead to temporary desensitization of the penis. People who experience this usually have rough masturbation techniques. When they indulge in vaginal sex with their partners, they are unable to get similar stimulation and are unable to have fulfilling sex. This in turn leads to performance anxiety. Erectile dysfunction is a natural consequence of this anxiety. Fortunately, this is a purely temporary problem and resolves quickly once the affected persons understand the reason behind the problem.
4. Distress: Feelings of guilt, shame, distress etc especially if masturbation does not conform to societal or religious norms. This can become quite disabling and lead to low self-confidence.
5. Interference with daily activities: Masturbation addiction can negatively impact daily routines since it may take up a significant amount of time. This in turn can lead to mental distress.
6. Relationship issues: People with masturbation addiction often masturbate despite having a sexual partner. This may lead to relationship issues since the sexual partner may see this as an offensive or demeaning act towards them.
7. Neglect of other activities: An individual with masturbation addiction may shut themselves down to other pleasurable activities like hobbies, social work, creating new relationships, spending time with friends etc.
Even though porn is not a prerequisite for masturbation, easy access to online porn sites and other sexual materials further, attracts one towards masturbation. Worry about masturbation addiction. Have questions that you cannot discuss with anyone. Help is just one step away.
What are the treatments/managements of masturbation in males?
If you are habitable to masterburate Some treatment/ managements of masturbation:
- Urge to find 'pleasure' leads to quicker climax and thus, affects intimacy with the partner
- Affects other daily activities, job, family, friends etc
- Sore, painful or swollen penis.
- Trouble forming emotional bond with others
- Uncontrollable sexual thoughts, fantasies or feelings
- Lack of attraction towards opposite sex
- Sexual dysfunctions such as Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
- Isolating yourself from others which may eventually, lead to depression
- Many experts agree that there is no direct relation between masturbation and fertility problems.
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How to stop masturbation in males/men?
Quick tips to reduce masturbation.
1. Counselling with a therapist is highly beneficial. Do not hesitate, go for it.
2. Sex addiction support group therapy. Look for one or ask your therapist about it.
3. Get back to hobbies that give you pleasure.
4. Socialize and interact actively with friends and family.
5. Mindful meditation with appropriate breathing techniques can be a powerful method to overcome any addiction.