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Masturbation, the stimulation of one's own sex organs for erotic sensation, occurs in males and females of all ages. This article will leave to you any decisions about the morality, immorality, or amorality of masturbation.

1. Even infants masturbate.

Many parents don't know quite what to make of their infants taking pleasure in playing with their genitals. Babies' bodies are so small that essentially all parts are reachable. Masturbation may be part of body exploration, or it may be a repeated activity.[1]

2. A majority of women masturbate 

A study reveals that 92% of women regularly take time out to masturbate. This is a huge jump from the findings of previous studies (74% in 1979 and 62% in 1953).[2]

3. Married people masturbate too 

Yes, married people do masturbate. The idea that marriage fulfills all sexual needs, and that married people have no need to masturbate, has been pretty thoroughly destroyed by modern society. 

4. You can get addicted to masturbation 

Yes, you can get addicted to masturbation, and the most common signs of masturbation addiction are that you:

  • can masturbate to the point of self-injury,  
  • tried to stop, but you can't 
  • masturbation interferes with your relationships and negatively impacts how you feel about yourself.

5. Masturbation is healthy 

Masturbation is good for your health, both mentally and physically. And yes, masturbation is the safest sex out there — there’s no risk of getting pregnant or getting an STD.

6. Compulsive masturbation in men can result in lymphedema.

Lymphedema is a condition of constant swelling of tissues due to blocked flow of lymph. Excessive masturbation in men can result in impaired flow of lymph through the groin, causing fluids to accumulate in the penis. These fluids accumulate outside the corpus cavernosum that fills with blood to empower erection, and can make erection impossible. The penis grows larger, but stays soft.[3]

7. Both men and women who have Parkinson's disease may begin masturbating compulsively.

Anyone who has Parkinson's disease may develop an enhanced sex drive. As the disease takes its toll on executive function, or reasoning ability, some people with Parkinson's are more likely to seek inappropriate sexual partners or to masturbate compulsively. The drug L-dopa (Artane) can make the situation worse by interfering with bladder function so that physical stimulation of the sex organs is constant.[4]

8. A clinic in Denmark uses masturbation to teach women how to have orgasms.

The European Orgasm Academy in Copenhagen uses the Betty Dodson method to teach women aged 18 to 88 how to have orgasms. According to the Academy, between 11% and 60% of all women have never had an orgasm. Most commonly women who have never had orgasms are those who have been taught that women's sexual pleasure is sinful, or who have suffered rape or traumatic sexual intercourse.[5]

The Academy offers women a five 3-hour sessions in which they have a group discussion, psychodynamic "reparenting" therapy with a psychologist, and "Scandinavian vaginal massage" (also known as vaginal acupressure) with the therapist applying a vibrator to areas that should be stimulated during masturbation or intercourse.

The organization reports that 93% of women in the program achieve orgasm "as witnessed by therapist" by the end of the 15-hour program. Whether this program would have similar success in the US or UK is questionable because many American and British women associate vibrator use with lesbianism, whereas fewer Scandinavian women do.

9. Mutual masturbation is a leading sexual activity among gay males, at least in the United States.

A survey of 24,787 gay and bisexual men in the USA found that the most common male-with-male sexual activity was kissing (performed by 75% of men in the survey), followed by oral intercourse (performed by 73%), and mutual masturbation (performed by 65% of men in the survey). Only a minority of gay and bisexual men engaged in anal sex, most of them between 18 and 24 years old, who reported a more limited repertoire of sexual activities and who were more likely to engage in acts involving penile insertion.[6]

10. Higher levels of testosterone are associated with greater frequency of masturbation in men 40 years of age and older.

A study of 2,478 European men found that men who have the lowest levels of testosterone are the most likely to suffer erectile dysfunction and also the least likely to masturbate. Men who had normal testosterone levels were less likely to suffer erectile dysfunction and more likely to masturbate, but there was a plateau after which additional testosterone had no effect on sexual ability or sexual desire.

Men who had higher estrogen levels were also more likely to suffer erectile dysfunction and less likely to masturbate. In men over 40, having a variety of sexual skills sometimes makes erection unnecessary for sexual interaction.