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If you think you know all there is to know about masturbatuion, there's a good chance that you don't. Masturbation is more than simply the act of self-pleasure. Learn how masturbation can be beneficial, and in what ways it can be harmful.

Think you know everything there is to know about masturbation? Well, chances are you don’t. Though it seems like a simple act of self-pleasure, there’s actually more to it than most people realize.  While most people associate masturbation with being an act performed primarily by men, the reality is that both men and women engage in self-pleasuring activities in fairly equal numbers.[1

Unlike men, women are far less likely to admit it, and most women will not speak openly about it with their friends the way that many men will. But just because men are more accepting of the act doesn’t mean that they have it all figured out. There are a lot of questions surrounding masturbation. Many men actually wonder if their technique is abnormal, or if they engage too often in the act of self-stimulation. Other people wonder if it is safe to masturbate.

The truth is that masturbation is safe, most of the time. Many people express concern about the safety of masturbation.

Putting aside any religious beliefs or personal beliefs about morality, from a medical standpoint, masturbation is generally one of the safest types of sex.[2]

When masturbating, an individual can achieve self-pleasure and orgasm without the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease. Engaging in sex with a partner is far more likely to put you at risk of pulling a muscle or straining your body than if you were to engage in masturbation.[3]

Although masturbation is one of the safest types of sex, it isn’t entirely without risk.

There are still laws of physics and biology at work, regardless if the sexual experience is enjoyed alone or with a partner. Frequent and excessive masturbation can cause skin irritation on the penis or vagina, as can vigorous or aggressive masturbation.[4]

When a man masturbates in the face down position, for example, when thrusting the penis on a pillow or towel, it can result in permanent damage to the urethra. This urethral damage can cause the urine to exit the penis in a spray that is difficult to direct and control, rather than in a normal streaming pattern. In extreme cases, though rare, the damage can be so significant that the man must urinate sitting down because using the spray is so difficult to control that using the urinal becomes impossible.[5]

Another possible danger associated with masturbation, is penile fracture. Penile fracture occurs when the soft tissue surrounding the penis tears as a result of the penis striking a hard object or being forced down during an erection. Though rare, it is an emergency that requires immediate medical attention.[6]

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