May is National Masturbation Month! Come one, come all! 

Sexual experimentation and variety is an important aspect of being sexually satisfied 1,3 – especially in regards to the relationship you have with yourself.

Masturbation, also known as solo sex, is a common form of sexual expression across the lifespan, without risk of pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections (STI), and regardless of partner availability or interest 2.

You’re not alone – The majority of people masturbate3. There are ample reasons why people masturbate – mostly because there are so many benefits to pleasuring yourself! 

Masturbation can help people explore their sexuality, experience pleasure, and learn about their bodily responses in ways that may support healthy sexual development, self-esteem, and body positivity 2.

Do you ever think about why people masturbate?

Research shows that there are many reasons why people masturbate – 

  • Feelings of sexual desire 1
  • Release sexual tension 2
  • Sexual pleasure 1,2
  • Sexual satisfaction 1
  • Feeling “horny” 2
  • Stress relief 2
  • Relaxation 2
  • To experience an orgasm 2
  • To explore their sexuality
  • To learn more about their body 2
  • Help fall asleep 2
  • Love oneself 2
  • Because they are having less partnered sex than they would like/to fulfill their sexual desire 2
Some People Don’t Masturbate (and that’s OK too!).

Here are some reasons why some individuals may not want to masturbate: 

  • Lack of interest in masturbating 2
  • Being in a committed relationship 2
  • Conflict with morals or values 2
  • Discomfort with one’s body 2
  • Lack of privacy 2
  • Stigma against masturbation 2
  • Partner disapproval of masturbation 2
  • Religious and cultural shame 2
  • Being against one’s religion 2

Single people masturbate more1! This is typically due to not having a sexual partner to engage in intercourse with; masturbation is a great tool for when you want the benefits but don’t have access to partnered sex. Access to partnered sex may also be central in explaining why partnered adults generally report higher sexual satisfaction than non-partnered adults1

How often do you masturbate? 

A recent study revealed that men tend to masturbate more often than women 1,2.

Specifically, over half of women and the majority of men have masturbated in the past month1,2.

Within that sample, women reported that they had masturbated 2 or 3 times per month, whereas men reported masturbating 2 or 3 times per week 1.

Masturbation decreases with age (but it doesn’t have to!)

Research trends show that individuals masturbate less often as they get older 1. However, some people may find their older years to be the most sexually liberating and pleasurable! 

Sex issues? Your doctor may prescribe masturbation! 

Masturbation is often used as a therapeutic treatment plan for sexual difficulties, such as premature ejaculation and anorgasmia (difficulty achieving orgasm)2.

Masturbation is a normal act to want to experience that also has many benefits! 

Want to learn more? Check out Bedsider for more articles on masturbation! 



1 Fischer, N., & Træen, B. (2022). A Seemingly Paradoxical Relationship Between Masturbation Frequency and Sexual Satisfaction. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 51(6), 3151–3167.

2 Herbenick, D., Fu, T., Wasata, R., & Coleman, E. (2023). Masturbation Prevalence, Frequency, Reasons, and Associations with Partnered Sex in the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Findings from a U.S. Nationally Representative Survey. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 52(3), 1317–1331.

3 Moser, A., Ballard, S. M., Jensen, J., & Averett, P. (2023). The influence of cannabis on sexual functioning and satisfaction. Journal of cannabis research, 5(1), 2.