Published on April 19, 2018

It’s totally normal to masturbate (touch yourself for sexual pleasure) whether you’re sexually active with other people or not. Masturbation even has health benefits, like reducing stress. Masturbation was once vilified as a perversion. All sorts of efforts, ranging from extreme guilt to diabolic contraptions, were made to discourage both single and partnered people from doing it. Yet sexologist Alfred Kinsey’s groundbreaking data, first reported in the 1950s, had plenty to say about the subject, including that women who masturbated before becoming sexual in a marriage had a much better likelihood of achieving orgasms during sexual contact with their husbands.

There is nothing inherently unusual or atypical about pleasuring oneself. Furthermore, there is absolutely no evidence that masturbation is harmful to one’s health. In fact, if anything, masturbation tends to be linked to better (not worse) physical and psychological well-being! For example, among women, research finds that masturbation is linked to higher self-esteem, among men; it is linked to a lower risk of developing prostate cancer. In brief, it seems that masturbators have nothing to worry about when it comes to their personal health.


Masturbation is often a complement to an active sex life, rather than a substitute for having one. Despite the increased frequency of masturbation in relationships, there are some people who view their romantic partners’ solo sexual pursuits negatively (e.g., they may see it as a sign that their partner is no longer sexually interested in them). However, in the vast majority of cases, this concern is probably not warranted.

Masturbation is a normal activity within relationships and, as long as it’s not completely displacing partnered sexual activity, it is not necessarily problematic. Thus, it would be wise not to jump to the conclusion that just because your partner is practicing self-love that they love you any less.


There are few ways masturbation could, in fact, hurt your relationship:

  1. When one is looking forward to masturbating more than being with ones partner.  Your partner could feel neglected or not desired if you prefer to masturbate rather than sexually connect with him or her.
  2. When you masturbate to the point of self-injury. If you are at the point of self-injury, you may be experiencing compulsive masturbation, which can lead to other challenges in your relationship.
  3. When you feel shame regarding your masturbation. Shame/guilt can present itself because of   spiritual/religious belief system, media messages, or family views. It can lead to secrecy or even maintaining a double life of sorts around your sexual behavior.
  4. When it interferes with work. People who use masturbation as a coping mechanism for releasing stress may masturbate privately at work. Aside from possible ramifications professionally, this can lead to other possible unhealthy stress-management behaviors. If you are turning to nonrelational relief as a form of dealing with stress versus relational relief, you may be inclined to hold in difficult feelings and not share them with the people who care about you most.
  5. You tried unsuccessfully to decrease or stop masturbating. One of the criteria for addictive behaviors is an unsuccessful attempt to stop the behavior. Masturbation may increase in frequency, and you may feel helpless to stop. You may want to consult a professional if you relate with this.


These points are not about whether masturbation itself is healthy or unhealthy, but rather when it could potentially damage the relationship.

It is suggested to take the help of a therapist, and couples should discuss their views on masturbation in their relationship and come to an agreement that both parties feel comfortable with.

If you think you are engaging in addictive behaviors, consult a trained professional who has experience working with sexually compulsive behaviors.


Category(s):Love addiction, Relationships & Marriage

Written by:

Dr(Prof) R K Suri

Prof (Dr) R. K Suri is a trained professional chartered clinical psychologist, having more than 33 years of experience in hypnotherapy, psychoanalysis, neuro-psychological assessment, career counseling, relationship management. Has been providing career counselling globally and has been providing counseling at IITs, IIMs, SPAs, for admission to Universities in the US, UK, Australia etc. Relationship management for persons to provide the breakthrough in life. Internationally recognized in the field of Cognitive Neuropsychology

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