Masturbation is conventionally defined as the self-stimulation of genitals in order to attain arousal and ultimately sexual pleasure. People who engage in masturbation achieve maximum sexual pleasure during orgasm, just like in a normal sexual act between two people. It must be pointed out that engaging in masturbation often does not necessarily mean being addicted to masturbation so there needs to be a good understanding of what masturbation addiction is.
Masturbation in teenagers is also a common phenomenon as they grow up and start experiencing sexual urges. It’s usually a time of great experimentation since their bodies are maturing and undergoing a lot of changes. When done in moderation, it can be beneficial as it can be an ideal way of relieving sexual urges and preventing sexually transmitted infections and diseases. Excessive masturbation, on the other hand, has a lot of negative effects.
The Psychology of Masturbation Addiction
In masturbation addiction, two key substances play a role, dopamine, and endorphins. Dopamine is a reward neurotransmitter that allows a person to feel pleasure. Endorphins are chemicals which the body uses to counteract stress and physical exertion, making you able to relax and recover. While a person is masturbating, dopamine is released and the person experiences a pleasurable high which peaks off during a climax. After the climax, endorphins are released, making the person feel sated and sometimes fall asleep.
When a person becomes dependent on these feelings and uses them to escape stressful life situations or mental problems, it opens the window for masturbation addiction to occur. Masturbation addiction can become a cause for concern when it transforms into a means to cope with issues instead of facing them head on.
Effects of Masturbation Addiction
As indicated earlier, masturbation has some benefits when done in a controlled manner. A man who wants to donate his sperms can masturbate in order to do so. An individual who is not in any sexual relationship or does not have a steady sexual partner can masturbate to relieve his or her sexual urges and at the same time reduce the possibility of contracting sexually transmitted diseases and infections.
However, when done excessively, it becomes a real problem. It is then categorized into what is clinically referred to as a compulsive sexual behavior. This has several effects. There can be a loss of time as well as productivity because one would then spend a lot of time masturbating instead of taking part in meaningful work. People who are addicted to masturbation can spend so many hours watching pornographic clips and thus become less productive individuals.
This behavior may have several effects on a family as well as interpersonal relationships. It comes with so much secrecy, deception and breaking of trust which can strain relationships. A person who masturbates excessively can develop unrealistic sexual expectations from a spouse or a partner. This can then lead to broken marriages, unhappy families and in the long run an aversion to romantic relationships by the partner who is aggrieved.
Psychologically, there is shame and guilt that accompanies this kind of behavior. Such people may develop low self-esteem and anti-social behavior because they feel morally selfish and sexually depraved. Teenagers addicted to masturbation may experience falling grades and may also be the subject of bullying. Sometimes they may find themselves masturbating in public just to calm their sexual urges. It can also lead to inappropriate sexual discussions even in the presence of grown-ups or guests. This, in turn, can create a rift between parent and child, and in the process lead to other bad habits such as drug abuse just to cope with the pressure at home and school.
Masturbation addiction may also lead to the emergence of more depraved sexual tendencies as an individual looks to find new exciting ways to achieve sexual pleasure. A man may start developing extreme sexual habits such as watching child pornography, peeping through windows or key holes just to catch a glimpse of a naked body and even molesting his own children just to satisfy sexual urges. Females may also become sexual predators and experiment with different things just to satisfy their sexual urges.
Irritation of the genitals is another effect of masturbation addiction. This is more common when one does not use the right type of lubricants during the act.
All these are negative effects that arise as a result of excessive masturbation. Such behavior is anti-social and requires remedial measures to correct the situation.
How to Curb Masturbation Addiction
Certain helpful activities can help prevent excessive masturbation, including:
- Participating in volunteer programs.
- Engaging in sports.
- Exploring creative talents such as art and writing.
- Taking morning jogs.
- Avoiding solitude.
- Interacting with people.
- Removing pornographic material from your home and computer.
- Seeking counseling service.