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'Masturbation has taken its toll on me'

I am 28yr old, about to get married in 8 months time. I do masturbate quite a bit. I am afraid that has taken a toll on me. I am experiencing premature ejaculation meaning, within a few seconds when I masturbate i get the ejaculation. I am worried whether this will affect my married life. Is it a psycological issue or should I get any medical help before my marriage? Lately because of this uncertainty and due to work pressure, I am not easily tempted or stimulated when I see something sexual. Earlier i used to be tempted very fast and that resulted in masturbation. Is this because I am not relaxed during these times? Should I stop masturbation permanently and exercise restraint?

M, 28, single,UK

Vast majority of people (both men and women) masturbate and so far there is no evidence to say that masturbation is harmful either physically or mentally.

Since Alfred Kinsey's times a number of reports and surveys have shown that a large number of people do it and yet enjoy their sexual lives. Research has repeatedly shown that the main problems associated with masturbation are psychological - owing largely to guilt, anxiety or fears about masturbation. Rumors about masturbation have been omnipresent causing or perpetuating misconception about masturbation.

Common concerns about masturbation include whether the latter causes impotence (a stigmatizing word now discontinued in favor of erectile dysfunction), premature ejaculation, infertility, shortening of penis, reduced testes size, penile curvature, difficulty with intercourse, insanity .. and so on.

Contrary to popular belief masturbation DOES NOT cause any of them. On the other hand, it could be utilized as a learning tool towards reaping a greater sexual pleasure, overcoming premature ejaculation, becoming orgasmic and so on.

As to premature ejaculation I have to say a few things. Yes, masturbation CAN lead to premature ejaculation , but it should be understood that it's not the masturbation that is at the root of the problem, but the way one learns to masturbate.

Many people, in course of their masturbatory experience, have learnt to masturbate to rapid orgasms. For example, many people want to do it fast and get over with it as soon as possible so that they have fewer chances of being detected. In contrast, those who have learnt to be slow, spend good amount of time stimulating themselves on and off several times before ejaculating, have evolved to gain control over ejaculation even during sexual intercourse.

In essence, premature ejaculation during masturbation is a learned response and could be undone. You may re-train yourself to be slow and steady and take longer time to ejaculate. I encourage you to read an excellent book by Bernie Zilbergeld or one by Helen Kaplan who have described how to effectively use masturbation to overcome premature ejaculation.

Since you have been struggling with feelings that masturbation has taken a toll on you I encourage you to consider talking with a counselor to help sort out your feelings.

*   *   *

As you have rightly guessed, work related stress as well as concerns about masturbation could have a negative impact on your sexual desire and response, but this is short-lived. The moment you realize these stressors are removed your normal responses will return. Stay relaxed and assured that masturbation is harmless, and you can gain control over ejaculation with techniques described in the above books or other means. You may continue to enjoy the sexual relief that masturbation gives you.

Last but not the least, it's always a good idea to talk with a counselor to sort out your feelings about masturbation.

All the best
Poosha Darbha






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