Healthy Masturbation 101: Is there such a thing?

Healthy Masturbation 101: Is there such a thing?

Let's clear up some myths and misconceptions

Is Masturbation Healthy?

Beating your meat. Spanking the monkey. Waxing your carrot. Choking the chicken. Oozing your noodle. Whatever you want to call it, there's nothing wrong with a bit of self pleasure.

Once you've successfully hit reboot on your porn habit, you're probably wondering whether you'll ever be able to masturbate again. Will you enjoy it without porn, or will you risk relapsing into a compulsive habit?

After quitting porn, some guys find their sex drive ramps up, and others find their need to fap goes down dramatically.  When you've overcome a compulsive porn habit, is it possible to find a healthier way to masturbate? Or will you have to close that door forever?

You might feel empowered to leave fapping behind, to channel all that energy into real life sex and other hobbies. But if you do want to be able to pleasure yourself from time to time, feel no shame or judgment. What's important is that you get into a healthier habit that doesn't make you fall back into using porn.

Before we dive into what a healthy masturbation habit could look like for you after you reboot, let's clear up any doubts or lingering questions you might have.

Busting the myths about busting your nut

Myth 1: You NEED to come regularly to stay healthy

You might have heard guys talking about how important it is to ejaculate regularly, maybe even daily, in order to stay healthy. The idea that frequent orgasms are vital for a healthy prostate, maintaining testosterone levels, and even improving cardiovascular health seems to have been around for a while, but there’s no concrete scientific proof to back this up.

“There are no really good objective data that I know of showing a causal link (positive or negative) between ejaculation frequency and prostate cancer risk.'

Richard Wassersug PhD, prostate cancer expert, 2017

Myth 2: Sperm retention will make you unwell

Not ejaculating – will it give you headaches, acne, eye strain, or a handful of other health conditions? The answer is... No. Sperm is made up of protein and other nutrients, so any that goes unused gets repurposed for the body to use elsewhere:

'Sperm that have reached their sell-by-date get broken down in the same way that, let’s say, blood cells get broken down. And basically any of the nutrients and goodies in the sperm just get recycled back inside the body.' Cambridge University scientist

Maybe you've been told that you need to habitually release your jizz to stay healthy. Truth is, wet dreams are your body’s way of naturally releasing the excess fluid when it needs to.

The bottom line: manual intervention is not needed in order to stay healthy.

Myth 3: There’s such a thing as too little or too much fapping

Once a day? Once a week? How much is too much?

The jury's out on this one: the answer depends who you talk to, because it's different for each of us. The truth is that you don’t need to intentionally blow your load at all. If your body requires an ejaculatory release, it will happen while you’re asleep in a wet dream (a.k.a. a nocturnal emission).

How much self pleasure is too much? Again, it depends. If you're recovering from a compulsive porn habit, the mental impact of that means you'll be less able to know when to stop. Although your brain will have rebalanced after a reboot, unless you make a concerted effort to not overdo it, a relapse could be possible.

Before rebooting, I thought masturbation was a ‘need to have’. A friend told me he didn't masturbate and I couldn't believe it. I thought everyone HAD to masturbate. Now I realise masturbation and sexual pleasure in general is nice to have, but you don't need it.  Truegamer007, NoFap forum user

Myth 4: There's no difference between orgasming solo and having sex.

Sex is a full package, it's not just about the climax. A lot of the benefits we associate with coming are the result of intimacy between you and your partner during sex, not just of the orgasm.

There's a lot more to sex than just than the physical release. Kissing and touching lead to a release of happy hormone oxytocin, and are primal bonding behaviors which can make you feel safe and relaxed. Plus, sex is a lot more of a work out than masturbating,  boosting your cardiovascular health and immunity.

So if you can, focus on having sex more and jerking off less, and you'll feel happier and healthier as a result.

Myth 5: You can or can’t masturbate during your reboot

Some say that masturbating during a reboot is bad. Others say that masturbating is fine as long as you’re not using porn or porn substitutes. The truth is that there's no strict rule here that applies to everyone. If you jerk off during your reboot - even without porn - you might be activating your cravings or slowing down your sexual dysfunction recovery. On the other hand, you might be giving yourself a sexual outlet that makes staying pornfree easier. The answer isn’t one size fits all.

However, rebooting is a chance to rewire your brain and regain your emotional and physical sensitivity. To get there, you need enough distance from unhealthy mental patterns, and to free yourself from porn triggers and fantasies. That’s why we do recommend going for at least 30 days completely masturbation free if you can.

Myth 6: The ‘Chaser Effect’ will make you relapse

After rebooting, a lot of dudes talk about the 'chaser' – that's the cravings that come up post orgasm and linger for up to a couple of days after. This makes guys worried about whether having sex or jacking off will lead them to relapse.

If you're worried about the chaser effect, consider this: everyone is different, and you're not necessarily going to experience it – or maybe not as strongly as you think.

The antidote to the chaser? Become aware of your urges, so that you don't just follow them without thinking. This journey is about you getting to know yourself and your limits better. If you start experiencing really strong urges each time you fap, consider doing it less, or not at all until you feel more in control.

If you have a partner, you can channel that energy into more sex, which will feel a lot more satisfying than fapping.

‘I now call it the Chase~Her effect, because she makes me want her over and over. I chase her around all day.’ - YBOP user

Or, if you’re single, try channelling that energy into other areas of life: find a creative pursuit, set new targets at the gym, or get clear on your life goals. You might be positively surprised with the results.

Pleasure after Porn: Is it possible?

In a society where we have porn on tap, we've reached a place where self pleasure and porn seem inseparable for many of us. Masturbating without porn might seem dull, and not arousing enough to get off.

Will fapping post reboot cause you to relapse? Not if you stay disciplined, and do what you can to stop the habit escalating again. You need to redefine self pleasure, and that’ll be a lot easier if you avoid any porn triggers. Without the extreme stimulation of porn, when you come you won't set off the intense neuro-chemical cycles that trigger the addiction process in the brain.

This might sound radical – or near impossible – but the healthiest way to masturbate when rebooting is not only without porn, it's without going into any fantasy at all. The porn-fantasy-pleasure link is a really tough one to break. But it is doable. By retraining your pleasure response to just enjoying the physical sensations, you won't run the risk of things getting out of control like before.

If you do visualize anything, make sure it’s first-person and realistic, not memories of porn.

Also, use lubrication and gentle stimulation. A lot of guys get into the habit of strangling the snake with far too much force, which can physically desensitize you for real sex.

Once you relearn how to pleasure yourself, you'll be rediscovering what feels good and connecting with yourself in a more mindful way. It'll feel like you're exploring your body for the first time. By ridding yourself of porn fantasies you'll becoming more present with your pleasure, and that will lead to better sex too.

Still not convinced you'll be able to get off without the porn? After you reboot, the brain rewires and your body's pleasure response is calibrated. You'll find you're way more sensitive to touch than before. Meaning it won't be as hard as you think to enjoy a more softcore approach that you’re used to.

'Unless you want to live in complete abstinence in your future , you'll have to accept that sexual release may be a trigger to watch porn. This trigger can come from having sex or masturbate. However, that trigger can be controlled and is not supposed to be a danger for the rest of your life - unless you go away from it. You will have sexual releases in your future, so if you don't want to relapse because of it, you have to get used to it. If you masturbate today , it shouldn't make you want to watch porn. It should only respond to your sexual needs.'  Reddit user (anon)

How To Masturbate in a Healthy Way

Not all of this will be apply to everyone, so keep an open mind and experiment to find exactly the balance that works for you:

  • Don't guilt trip yourself. Beating yourself up each time you knock one out is going to leave you feeling bad about yourself. There's nothing wrong with self pleasure. What you want is to be conscious of how you integrate it back into your life, so it doesn't become an all-consuming habit again.
  • Having a fapping schedule to stick to works for some dudes, but not all. Depending on you, it could provide a good amount of discipline, so you don't feel guilty or think about it too often. Or... a schedule could lead to more anticipation and frustration than it's worth. Give it a try to see if having a schedule is something that will help or hinder your process.
  • Don't let jacking off become a coping mechanism: avoid going for it when you're bored, emotional, or can’t sleep. After your reboot you're probably more aware of your own moments of weakness, and you don't want to fall into those old traps again. Only go for a dose of DIY pleasure when you want to instead of need to, and not to escape how you're feeling.

‘Masturbation is not all that and it's an illusion that I need it. Life doesn't get better by doing it and the same issues are still there afterwards. The way I used it was to try and fix me when in reality it was like an abusive friend that I could not escape from.’ kk76, Nofap forum user

  • Be more gentle with yourself. With your sensitivity restored, there's no need to beat your meat aggressively. Go for a slower and softer touch: you'll be surprised how much you're able to feel, and this way you'll avoid escalation.

‘Masturbating like this is a million times different from doing it rapidly and without any respect for your own body [...] Treating the act with respect will take away the compulsive use, as it will become more satisfying.’  Reddit user (anon)

  • Learn to get off without any fantasies. Yes, it’s possible. Start by getting more sensual with yourself: try self massage with some oils, enjoy long baths, and explore touch all over your body. As you do this you'll awaken a new sensory awareness, and as you move south you'll feel way more arousal just from touch, without relying on daydreams to get off. Becoming more mindful in how you jerk off will have benefits that percolate into your sex life too, so it's a win win.
  • What about the chaser effect? If you have a partner, try exploring non-goal orientated play, to get the benefits of intimacy without igniting stronger urges. If you’re single, get yourself out on the dating scene to enjoy the buzz of attraction and flirting, without having to always opt for fapping.
  • There's no right or wrong here. What's important is that you're aware of the process as you rediscover your body and redefine what feels pleasurable.

Find Other Ways to Relax

Here's a thought: our ancestors didn't masturbate nearly as much as we do. In fact, in some tribal communities there isn't even a word for masturbation. The reason for this isn't a difference in our sex drives, but a difference in lifestyle.

Our predecessors lived much more active, social and all-round healthier lives than we do now. They were also having more sex, as they were coupled up as soon as their hormones started raging, so that mojo was funnelled into sex. Plus they weren't constantly bombarded with hyper sexual imagery, so sex wasn't as much of an cultural obsession as it is today.

Ancient traditions didn't consider mojo to be separate from energy as a whole, and there's some wisdom in that which can still help us today. Tao philosophy talks about chi - meaning vitality, and the Indian 'science of life' Ayurveda has prana - meaning 'life force'. Both represent a holistic energy: it's your physical, mental and sexual energy in one. Having varied, healthy energy outlets like our ancestors and the tribesmen, means it doesn't build up to frustration and a strong need to release.

Unlike what many people think, your need to wank isn't just about how strong a sex drive you have. It's more tied up with your lifestyle, and there are ways you can improve your day-to-day life that will ease those urges in an effortless way. If you focus on living a more balanced life, you'll be less likely to relapse or  get into a compulsive fapping habit.

‘If you're sexually frustrated, there are ways to resolve it that do not involve masturbation. You can exert yourself physically, exercise. After an intense workout session, masturbation would be the last thing on your mind. Heck, even something like hanging out with the opposite sex goes a long way to alleviate frustration.’ Truegamer007, Nofap forum user

Here are a few healthy lifestyle hacks to curb those cravings:

  • Good sex is always a better option than a good wank. So if you have a partner, focus that sexual energy and desire into sex. You'll both start enjoying yourselves more, you'll find more satisfaction in sex, and so you'll be less interested in going lone ranger for pleasure. If you’re single, try channeling that energy into dating.
  • Socialize more. Why? For all our tech and 'social' media, as a society we're becoming more and more isolated as individuals. Apart from an instinct to procreate, there's a primal urge in us to connect with others, which also drives our sexual desire. Get out in the real world to meet and connect with people, and your urge to fap may lessen.
  • Put your mind to becoming healthier on the whole: with a better diet, more sleep, more exercise, and more time outdoors.
  • Yoga and meditation are great tools to connect with yourself and be more aware of your cravings as they ebb and flow.

There is no universal law that dictates how, when, and how much you can masturbate for it to be 'healthy'. The limits and discipline you need to be at ease will be personal, and not the same as the next guy.

The most important takeaway here: pay attention to what comes up when you fap after your reboot. Observe how strong your urges are, and how different it feels. That way, you'll be able to gradually integrate self pleasure back into your life in a more sustainable way.

Don't forget you can share your experience of life and sex after rebooting with the REMOJO community, and read other guys' stories for tips and guidance.

New Insights