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What Is Compulsive Masturbation?

Alex Tree
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Masturbation becomes a problem if a person cannot prevent himself or herself from doing it in public. In addition, he or she might stop socializing or eating to masturbate an excessive number of times per day. People with this problem often do not enjoy what they are doing and have negative feelings after finishing. Masturbation on a regular but non-damaging basis is a normal sexual activity and not considered compulsive. In fact, some countries around the world encourage teenagers to masturbate to lower the rate of teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.

Compulsive masturbation is sometimes a sign of a sex addiction, mental health problem, or negative reaction to a prescription medication. A person with a sex addiction derives little to no pleasure from having sex, but compulsively participates in sexual acts anyway. Sometimes, masturbating compulsively is a sign of hypersexuality or obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and medications that strengthen compulsive behaviors can worsen the condition. On the other hand, many sexologists and other experts do not believe sex addiction exists and suggest that its symptoms are a by-product of a social stigma.

A sex addict has symptoms similar to a gambling or drug addict; he or she denies the problem but consistently puts sex above all else. The person might repeatedly cheat on his or her partner, expose himself or herself in public, and molest or rape. For some, the problem manifests in compulsive behavior or legal sexual acts and does not progress further. A sex addict does not gain satisfaction from his or her sexual deeds and often feels guilty or disgusted afterward. Many sex experts believe that this addiction is actually a form of OCD, while other people believe the health problem is an excuse used by criminals and people who commit adultery.

Hypersexuality is the extremely frequent urge to engage in a sexual activity. The cause is unknown, though some people blame sexual addiction. Occasionally, hypersexuality is a negative reaction to a medication and is cured by taking the person off that drug. People suffering from excessive masturbation might benefit from discussing their medications with a health professional. There is limited knowledge on this subject because it is not a commonly reported problem.

Contrary to what some sex experts believe, there is no scientific link between OCD and compulsive sexual acts yet. On the other hand, it is generally agreed upon that compulsive masturbation can be a symptom of a mental problem. Treatment is usually targeted at diagnosing and treating the compulsive health disorder rather than trying to make the patient stop masturbating. Regular masturbation has scientifically proven health benefits, such as relieving stress and possibly helping prevent prostate cancer.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Alex Tree
By Alex Tree
Andrew McDowell is a talented writer and The Health Board contributor. His unique perspective and ability to communicate complex ideas in an accessible manner make him a valuable asset to the team, as he crafts content that both informs and engages readers.
Discussion Comments
By anon987498 — On Feb 03, 2015

I think it is a disorder of sorts. I hate it because it controls me. It has nothing to do with sex or pleasure even. Not like this. It's a horrible compulsion that I'm ashamed of and would never want anyone to know. I call in sick sometimes to stay home all day alone to do this. Ten times is fairly typical. Over and over to the point it hurts. It's a very empty feeling.

I am in a relationship and I have a good group of friends, so this isn't about being single or not. I am sometimes late for meetings because I 'must' masturbate first. Very rarely is one time enough. It's perhaps anxiety related or a form of OCD for me. If I'm feeling shut down, I do it for hours. This is not for pleasure, people. Not in my case anyhow. I'm female, by the way.

By anon987251 — On Feb 01, 2015

I don't agree completely. This practice has ruined my life in a world in which sex is fundamental .

If I don't masturbate, I get cramps and muscular pain all over my body. This is an addiction, and it's worse than using crack because for me, it's just a secret, but only after 20 years I had to admit it because psychiatrists were misled by my behavior. I had almost stopped, but I'm really rowdy when I don't do that. This, for me, is not having complete control of my body, but if I make it public, people will laugh at me, and that's why I've never had sex with a woman. For me, the orgasm is important. I can decide when I want it without comments on my lasting power and the dimensions of my penis.

By anon353846 — On Nov 03, 2013

I don't believe there is such an issue. I think its just a total lack of self control. This total lack of control is everything that is wrong with this world now. Blaming everything on a "mental disorder." It reminds me of ADHD. These are people who just don't want to do what they should be doing. It's spoilt behavior. I have witnessed several kids with so called ADHD, and in every case, they had parents who pandered to their every whim without the slightest hint of discipline.

This "compulsive masturbation" is another of those things. All I have to say is get your hands off your genitals, show a bit of control and get a job to keep your hands busy!

By anon348231 — On Sep 14, 2013

Defining compulsive masturbation can be difficult for the layman. One man can masturbate three times a day and it can be compulsive, while for another man it's simply his preferred way of spending time. But compulsive or not, frequent masturbation can lead to an overly tender penis or, depending on whether one uses lubrication and the kind one uses, irritated penile skin. A penis nutrient cream (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) can help in these cases, soothing a sore penis and helping to heal dermatologically challenged skin.

By anon343578 — On Jul 31, 2013

@donasmrs: Only three or four times a day? Only? Hell- the only reason I stumbled upon this is because I know I have an issue. From the time I wake up to literally the time I go to bed, I'm doing it like crazy. Needless to say, I am attempting a day off from this "activity" today in order to wash every pair of pants I've soiled in the last three days due to this.

By anon333213 — On May 03, 2013

Obviously, an excess of anything is bad. The act of masturbation can be addictive, like any other addictive substances, therefore, this act pulls the practitioner deeper into the valley by creating sexual stress, physical and mental tiredness. Therefore, it's very very important to control the sexual energy. Masturbation might be beneficial for the health of a person but in a controlled manner, which is not possible.

Therefore, in my opinion, marriage is the better solution for the relief of sexual energy.

By turquoise — On Mar 06, 2013

@donasmrs-- Please don't beat yourself up about this. Compulsive addictions happen to many people. Thinking of yourself that way will only make things worse.

You have to think about this like any other illness. It's like the flu or like high blood pressure. When you receive the necessary treatment, mainly therapy and perhaps medication if you're suffering from depression, you will be free of this habit.

Believe in yourself and don't be ashamed or scared to ask for help. Speak with your doctor and let them help you. That's why they're there! This really can happen to anyone, you're not the only person going through this!

By donasmrs — On Mar 06, 2013

I think I'm suffering from compulsive masturbation. I masturbate three to four times a day. It's affecting my social life negatively. I don't have a significant other and I don't think I ever will. I'm disgusted with myself, I feel like a pervert.

By discographer — On Mar 05, 2013

I think that faith can be a powerful tool for those suffering from obsessive-compulsive behaviors such as this. It might not work for anyone but I knew of a patient who was able to beat his addiction to masturbation and sex by strengthening his faith and belief in God.

His belief system did not allow for masturbation and adultery and once he was convinced of that, he was able to stop. He continues to enjoy a healthy sexual life with his partner, but he's not on the extreme end anymore.

I think this is a great example. Once again, I realize this might not work for everyone. In fact, it might even backfire but it's something to think about when considering alternative treatments for addictive behaviors.

Alex Tree
Alex Tree
Andrew McDowell is a talented writer and The Health Board contributor. His unique perspective and ability to communicate complex ideas in an accessible manner make him a valuable asset to the team, as he crafts content that both informs and engages readers.
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