Does Your Sex Life Affect How Often You Masturbate?
Can the sex you’re having with your girlfriend determine how often you take matters into your own hands—erm, hand? The answer might be more complicated than you think, a new study from University of Texas at Austin and Brigham Young University suggests.
Researchers looked at survey data from 7,600 men between the ages of 18 and 60 who were asked whether or not they had masturbated in the past two weeks, how often they had sex during that time, and if they were happy with the action they were getting.
It’s not exactly shocking that 61 percent of guys admitted to masturbating within the past two weeks. (Here’s how common masturbation really is.) As it turns out, how often you get laid isn’t really linked to how often you have solo sex. People who did and didn’t get off on their own had similar amounts of sex, the researchers found.
That changed slightly when they took sexual satisfaction into account: Men who reported being happy with their sex lives were just as likely to masturbate, regardless of how often they got laid or not. But guys who were less satisfied with their sex lives had the highest masturbation rates.
Translation: Your tendency to masturbate may rely more on whether you actually like the sex you’re having, rather than how often you actually do it.
But either way, you shouldn’t hesitate to give yourself a little love every now and then, says Moushumi Ghose, a licensed sex and marriage therapist who is not affiliated with the study. If you’re having regular sex—and loving every minute of it—masturbation has the ability to complement what you’re doing in bed, the study authors say.
Ghose agrees: “I like to
think of masturbation as the gateway to a healthy sexuality,” she says. “It’s the one way to discover our inner passions and desires, by tapping into what turns us on.”
And if you’ve hit a dry spell, keeping yourself satisfied on your own is typically perfectly healthy, even though masturbation can be a taboo topic, she explains. (Here’s how you can tell if you’ve been masturbating too much.)
Bottom line: Some sexual alone time can benefit you beyond the bedroom. As if you needed any convincing, here are five reasons you should masturbate tonight.