Does Masturbation Affect Your Sex Life?

Updated: Jul 18

During the Victorian times we were told that men who masturbated would end up with hairy palms. There were lots of stories and old wives tales to put people off from exploring their bodies and in effect induce shame. The hangover from this is that we still have outdated perceptions of self-pleasure. I recently received this query from my anonymously Ask A Sex, Love & Relationship Coach A Question page.


"I have a habit of masturbation, will it affect my sex life? Will my stamina decrease?"


My reply...

There are so many different components to this. As I don't know how you are self-pleasuring and your relationship to masturbation I'm going to offer some general 'rules of thumb'.


For us to be able to experience the most amount of pleasure in a variety of ways there are 2 key elements that we need to practice. The first one is being present in the body. The second is changing what we do and how we do it.


If we take a look at presence, if we are fully present in our bodies during self-pleasure and tune into the sensations that arise, if we notice and work with the sexual energy and arousal we are able to experience pleasure not just in our genitals but we can access pleasure in different parts of our bodies. We are more open and flexible to different types of touch, we can slow down the process to last longer by really listening to what our body is communicating with us. In this way, presence in self-pleasure will affect your sex life in a positive way.


How we self-pleasure and what we do during self-pleasure and shaking it up to add variety enables us to connect to different pathways to pleasure. If you find yourself always self-pleasuring in the same way with the same beginning middle and end, you are teaching your body that is your only route to orgasm. Changing the position you are in during self-pleasure, where you touch yourself and how, changing the rhythm and the pressure, all of this teaches the body that the paths to pleasure are varied and it gives you greater flexibility to transfer those skills when you are with a partner.


Regarding if it will affect your stamina, if you are being completely present and use your breath and educate yourself about your body, self-pleasure is a great tool to learning how to last longer in partnered sex (if you're a man) and how you reach orgasm (if you're a woman).


What is always important to come back to is what is your overall relationship to pleasure? Are you feeling shame? Do you feel that it is in some way affecting your ability to lead a normal life? Is it distracting you from being able to move through your day? If the answer is yes to these then exploring what support might be available to work with your relationship to your self-pleasure practice. Or, is your relationship to pleasure curiosity and exploration? Is it mindful and embodied? Being true to your relationship to your own self-pleasure and bringing more self-awareness to this part of your sexuality will be the guidance for the direction to continue going in or to decide to make a change.



Carla Crivaro is a trauma-informed and certified Sex, Love & Relationship Coach, she works with men and women internationally to reach their goals in delicious sex, profound love and authentic relationships. Carla helps men and women understand themselves and each other, sexually and relationally, in and out of the bedroom. You can reach her at hello@carlacrivaro.com.


Other articles which are supportive around this topic are:

When There's Only One Path To Orgasm

Dildos, Glass Wands & New Pleasure Pathways

Genitals & Shame

Premature Ejaculation

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