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Sexual stimulation or self-pleasure has been looked down upon by cultures all over unanimously. And that is especially true when it comes to women. For generations, women’s sexuality has been shunned away, not authorized by society to be talked about or explored.
In today’s world, people are more accepting and take things in a sex-positive light. But the taboo around the topic has created several misconceptions about the whole topic. The inhibitions built thus far has to be broken in order to engage with the activity and the topic in a healthy manner.
In this article, we will look at everything you need to know about masturbation and masturbation addiction in women. Let’s look at some of the common questions women have about self-pleasure.
Female Masturbation Addiction: Is Masturbation Healthy?
An age-old question, but still without a consistent answer. You might have found the answers to be always changing depending on whom you ask or what you refer to.
Some say masturbation in women leads to hair loss. Some say masturbation affects hormonal balance or worsens PCOD. Some even claim that it can make you blind.
However, none of these bizarre claims hold true and have been defaced by science time and again. You can read about the hormonal level impact of masturbation in women here.
So, is masturbation actually healthy?
Well, that depends on how you look at it. But to answer the question of whether the act itself can have health benefits – Yes, it does. Let’s look at what the health benefits of masturbation in women are.
Health Benefits of Female Masturbation
The health effects of self-pleasure in women are both psychological and physical. Masturbation causes the release of endorphins that help you relieve pain and feel pleasure. The dopamine produced will elevate your mood and make you feel happy.
The oxytocin produced, at the point of orgasm, even helps reduce cortisol levels.
The production of these chemicals can make one feel more confident, less anxious, and have a positive outlook. These changes will result in overall better physical health as well. It is known to help alleviate menstrual cramps and muscle pain or tension.
The orgasms attained can also help strengthen the pelvic floor.
Self-pleasuring is also a great way to get quality periods of sleep as well as understand one’s own body. By learning what your body likes and does not, you improve your relationship with your own body.
Knowing what you will like will make your real-life sexual experiences more enriching and exciting as well. Knowing that you can give yourself orgasms is quite a liberating experience as well.
Negative Effects of Female Masturbation
While masturbation has several health benefits, it is not all good going down south. Excessive masturbation can cause irritation or pain in the genital area which is likely to go away in a day or two.
Though it doesn’t have any serious negative effects physically, overindulgence in the activity can change some things for the worse. With excessive self-pleasure, there is an increased chance of you getting desensitized.
Being desensitized means a diminished sensitivity. Being touched away, or rubbing extensively can make lighter touches not so much pleasurable. The use of sex toys like vibrators can even make vanilla sex or touching with one’s fingers boring.
This can destroy relationships as well, which can arise from your partner’s lack of trust or lower self-esteem in themself. They might feel like they’re not enough or that they can’t give you the same pleasure that you’re about to give yourself.
But the biggest problem that entails masturbation, one that many seem to turn a blind eye to, is masturbation addiction.
An addiction is a compulsiveness to engage in something, where the individual is ready to risk or sacrifice other more important things in order to take part in it.
How to make it more pleasurable:
There is no set rate at which people should masturbate. It’s whatever works for you. But for everyone, there is a limit that is good for them. If you’re going past that limit, there’s a good chance you are well on your way to developing an addiction.
Has it become a cycle of watching porn, masturbating, and then achieving an orgasm?
It becomes more and more difficult the more frequently you do so. If that’s the case with you too, then you might also be addicted to PMO.
Various studies have been conducted to pinpoint the symptoms of addiction that you might notice in your day-to-day life.
Here are some ways to identify if you have an addiction:
You’re doing it even when you’re not aroused
The tendency or craving to touch oneself can be linked to one’s libido. And some do have a much higher libido than others.
But if you’re masturbating even when you’re not sexually aroused might indicate addiction. You’re pleasuring yourself to induce the dopamine rush that comes from orgasm as nothing else is interesting or giving you the same pleasure.
You put yourself at risk of masturbating
Some people get an urge or craving to masturbate in a public place or somewhere they’re not supposed to. The fact that you’re not allowed to do it makes it all the more adventurous and enticing.
Though that might be true, if you find yourself increasingly trying to engage with it and putting yourself at risk, you just might be an addict.
You miss other important events
The best sign of addiction that others tend to note is when someone cancels or misses an important event to engage in their addiction.
Alcoholics or drug abusers often miss social events to be on their own high. In the same way, people who crave PMO (Porn, Masturbation, Orgasm) tend to miss social gatherings or pressing situations to pleasure themselves.
You do it to escape negative feelings
The reason people miss or don’t show up to social events is that they don’t find it as pleasurable as masturbation. This could also be due to the negative feelings they have around that event or activity.
For example, someone might have to study for their test, but they might not like the subject or the teacher. This makes them think negatively or induces bad feelings in them.
When one combats these feelings with their addictive behavior instead of facing it, they further their dependence on the substance or activity they have compulsivity to.
You’re masturbating excessively
This should be a no-brainer. But as mentioned before, sexuality and libido are different and unique to every individual. If you feel like you’re doing it more than you should, or feeling guilty after you orgasm, maybe it’s a clear sign that your body is giving – That you are an addict.
- In a study conducted by (NATSAL2 in 2000) by CORE UK, 71.2% of British women revealed they masturbated at least once, at the same time 34% of French women aged 18 to 19 and 38% of women aged 20 to 24 reported masturbating.
- In another study conducted by the National Library of Medicine in Germany: 94.5% of German women masturbated at least once in their life.
- However, in Portugal: a staggering 91% of Portuguese women indicated they had masturbated at some point in their lives, revealed in a survey of 3,687 Portuguese women by ResearchGate
What to do if you’re an addict
If most of these instances check out with you, then there’s a good chance you are an addict or you’re developing an addiction. Most experts haven’t categorized masturbation as an addiction yet there are subreddits with more than a million active members talking about their addiction.
When you’re a woman, it becomes especially embarrassing to talk to someone or seek out help for this. Despite being a sex-positive society, many still don’t understand the importance of identifying your porn or masturbation problem.
Masturbating excessively can be detrimental to your mental health, sometimes leading to social distancing and even depression. But the changes addiction makes on someone are all reversible. The best way to control your addiction is to take care of your urges. Learning to fight your urges is key to curing your addiction.
Finding support groups where you can talk about your relapses or your streak can go a long way; discussing each other’s shortcomings in the battle will remind you that you’re not alone. Being lauded for your streak will work as positive reinforcement, reminding you that you’re on the path to making yourself better.
Facing your emotions, even if they invoke negative feelings in you, will make you relieve stress. By procrastinating or escaping it, you’ll only make the situation harder for you to resolve. Masturbation gives you instant gratification but it doesn’t yield anything beneficial. Therefore, cultivate the habit where you deal with tasks at hand head-on.
Removing all your triggers can help you not get distracted. Your triggers could be anything, a poster on the wall or your sex paraphernalia.
To make it worse, social media or the internet, in general, are full of triggers. Installing adult content blockers, like BlockerX can make sure that you’re not exposed to anything that will make you want to touch yourself again.
But to be able to do all this, and reverse the negative effects your addiction has caused, you have to accept that you’re an addict. The first step in curing your addiction is acceptance. To accurately ascertain whether you’re one or not, take this free test on BlockerX.
The Stigma of Female Masturbation
It is often considered a foreign concept when people are introduced to the term known as ‘Female Masturbation. Since sex is so taboo in most societies, females are unable to enjoy sex with their partners and have to resort to solo sex for ultimate sexual pleasure.
In more recent studies on the frequency of female masturbation, the number of times women masturbated has been compiled as –
- At least once every 3 months for more than half of American women aged 18-49 surveyed, by Emergency Medicine Specialists The Kinsey Institute
- A few times a year according to 45.5% of women and at least twice a week according to 22.5% of women, collecting samples of adolescents aged 14 to 17 years old, being female by JAMA Network
- 40.8% of women had masturbated within the previous month; 21.8% reported they had NEVER masturbated in their lifetime, according to a US survey of 1,046 by the National Library of Medicine
- Twice a week for an average of 13 minutes each session for women aged 18 to 72, of which 84% were European and 16% were Americans by OnlineDoctor