For most people the first experience with orgasm appears after masturbation. For others it occurs during sexual intercourse, touching, or dreams. Some adolescents believe that masturbation is wrong and experience guilt and other negative feelings after masturbation which they need not at all.
Many sex therapists believe that masturbation serves an important function in adolescence by serving as an outlet for sexual tension and makes it easier to experience orgasm during sexual intercourse as an adult.
One of the most important changes in puberty is sexual desire. Hence, masturbation is a natural and one of the safest behaviours
which protects from AIDS and sexual problems.
So it is an individual choice to masturbate or not and the decision should be made without any guilt, fear or shame.
Masturbation is not harmful as long as it is done for sexual gratification. Some individuals tend to masturbate only occasionally while others do it more frequently, reaching up to multiple times a day. So when do we say that a certain individual is masturbating too frequently? As mentioned above, masturbation just like intercourse results in the release of certain chemicals in the brain (e.g. acetylcholine) and body (e.g. serotonin and dopamine) which in turn cause psychological as well as physical relaxation. These chemicals are good for us as long as they are released in a limited quantity.
However, if these chemicals are produced in higher proportions, they tend to stay longer in the body, producing harmful psychological and physical effects such as lack of concentration, decreased ability to memorize things, sleep disturbances and physical lethargy. When a person masturbates excessively, he repeatedly stimulates the cells responsible for the production of these hormones. These cells in turn respond by not only increasing their function but also their numbers so that whenever the person masturbates, more than the usual amounts of said chemicals are produced in the body, producing more than the usual effects.
These chemicals also control a type of nervous system in our body called the parasympathetic nervous system. This system is responsible for penile erection. Excessive production of these hormones also affects the parasympathetic nervous system which might result in erectile dysfunction in males.
So how can one find out whether he is masturbating that frequently? The answer is quite simple. Whenever a man feels that he has become addicted to masturbation and tends to do so not for sexual pleasure but for mental and physical relaxation. This is the time when he has to control himself and seek help if needed.
Pornography has become extremely common over the past few years. Amongst the individuals who masturbate, 80% men and 40% women masturbate most times to porn. Although, masturbation is not harmful, it can create problems, especially in men, if done while watching porn. As mentioned earlier, masturbation just like intercourse causes the release of certain chemicals in the body that not only cause physical and mental relaxation but also control the parasympathetic nervous system.
This nervous system controls the level of sexual arousal (and erection in males) and works in a very precise balance with another type of nervous system called the sympathetic nervous system which controls orgasm (and ejaculation in males). Masturbating while watching porn causes excessive release of these chemicals in the brain, resulting in enhanced sexual pleasure.
However, if this practice becomes a habit, it results in increased functioning capacity and the numbers of the cells producing these hormones, which can ultimately disturb the precise working balance between the two nervous systems, resulting in sexual dysfunctions, especially in males. In females, since their brain becomes used to increased amounts of these hormones, there can be development of difficulty to reach orgasm during regular sexual activity.