Masturbation

Addiction

Even though the majority of the world accepts masturbation as “normal”, it can be highly addictive, especially when combined with pornography viewing.

In the masturbation sectionwe discussed that for some men, masturbating may only be a habit, something that they can stop doing with minimal effort.  The number of years a man has masturbated may play a role as to whether masturbation is simply a “habit” or if it has progressed to an addiction.  This was shown in our surveys where 29% of teens were able to quit masturbating cold turkey compared to only 12% of adult men.  An addition 27% of teens were able to quite masturbating within two months compared to 21% of adults.  Overall, this resulted in nearly 56% of teens being able to quit masturbating within two months compared to just 31% of adults. That left just under half of teens and two-thirds of adult men struggling to stop masturbating.  This would indicate an addiction on some level.  See the results of the study below:

Masturbation Quitting.jpg

As you can see in the above table, 6% of young men and 18% of adult men are unable to quit masturbating at all.  This number may actually be much higher since 75% of men in our survey reported not having any breaks in masturbation during their teens and with 39% never having a break from continuous masturbation as adults.  In addition, 15% of teens and 6% of adults took over a year to overcome masturbation.  If masturbation were nothing more than a simple habit, it would not take this much concerted effort.  Especially when we see that nearly 10% of teens spent more than two years trying to overcome masturbation.

For men who are trying to stop masturbating for personal or religious reasons, having an addiction rather than a habit can be particularly frustrating.  Especially if they know or hear of others who were able to overcome masturbation much more quickly them.  In some cases, it can take four or more years of dedicated effort to stop masturbating.  Sometimes this difficulty can occur due to the body not resuming wet dreams in a timely fashion.  this can increase sexual congestion and thus the temptation to masturbate to relieve that congestion.  More on these types of issues are discussed in the section on disorders that often accompany addiction recovery.

Masturbation, especially when engaged in for longer periods of time, can trigger the addictive centers of the brain.  Masturbation addiction is intensified by the fact that oxytocin, the bonding hormone, is released during ejaculation.  This release of oxytocin during orgasm “binds” a man to self-induced sexual pleasure.  Masturbation is most difficult to overcome when it occurs during pornography viewing because it becomes higher in intensity, thus trigger the addictive portions of the brain more strongly.  Because masturbation addiction is often associated with pornography addiction we will discuss these two addictions together in this section.  However, it is important for men who simply find they have a masturbation addiction (they don’t view pornography) that many of the same principles outlined in the following section still apply and may be helpful to them in overcoming masturbation.  

 

 

Images on this page from top to bottom include:

  1. Original table