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Does overmasturbation equal permanent damage?
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Questions in the Erection Concerns Forum are being answered by Janice M Epp, PhD, a Clinical Sexologist from The Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. This forum is for questions and discussions about the psychological aspects of Erection problems or erectile dysfunction.

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Does overmasturbation equal permanent damage?

Please help! I'm 29 yo and have been masturbating frequently as long as I remember, on average at least once a day sometimes less/more.  

I am without a doubt an excessive masturbator.  The problem is now I've noticed over the past month or so it has been very difficult to achieve an erection.  I've had weak/soft erections on a regular basis.  This comes at a bad time as I am now in my first serious relationship, and "had sex" for the first time recently and the first time I wasn't able to maintain an erection to penetrate and the second time I was but left little pleasure for me.  

Now that I'm in a relationship that will hopefully have sexual activity, I'm finding it a possibility that I'll be unable to perform and I think the stress/depression is making it worse.. I can't have a solid erection during sexual activity or masturbation.  Only occasionally in the morning waking up will I have a decent erection, and even then it seems softer/weaker than past.  I haven't had a rock hard erection in months.  

The concern brought me to the internet to search on the effects of "over-masturbation" and to add to my fears I found pages of sites which said erectile dysfunction and impotenence, as well as weak/soft erections are a definitive consequence of overmasturbation as it effects chemicals in the body.  

I'm scared to death now that after 29 years I'm finally having sex and won't be able to enjoy it, or even perform at all.  

Is this permanent?  If I stop masturbation, which I'm pretty sure I'm capable of doing, for a period of time and then lessen masturbation in the future.. will the chemicals balance themselves out again and I can achieve a firm erection?  or is this permanent damage that has been done that will require some kind of drugs?

I'm 29, and have been masturbating for about 13 years.  I thank you in advance for your time!
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Oh dear. I could have saved you lots of time and grief if you’d written to me before doing your Internet “research.” You can find so much misinformation on the Internet because there’s no quality control. “Over-masturbation” sites are written by people who want to sell you something, for example, herbal remedies. No medical expert recognizes “over-masturbation” because there is no scientific evidence that there is any such thing, just as there’s no such thing as “under-masturbation.” What most of these non-experts mean by “over-masturbation” is anything more than what THEY do or are comfortable with.

Let’s note the difference between a “belief” and a demonstrable fact. There are people who believe that the earth is flat, in spite of all evidence to the contrary. Similiarly, many cultures have myths that associate semen with strength. None of these myths is based on any scientific research.

Self-pleasuring doesn’t affect your body’s chemicals in any negative way. What it CAN do, like any strenuous exercise, is either energize you or make you feel tired. Exercise affects everyone different, so it’s possible that after an orgasm, you feel tired, the same way as after a brisk work-out. And you know that later, you’ll regain your energy. The difference here is that no one has told you that working out is going to affect you permanently, so you haven’t begun to worry and stress about exercise the way you’re worrying and stressing about self-pleasuring.

One reason these myths about semen and strength still prevail is that after orgasm, there is a period in which men cannot have another orgasm--the "Refractory Period." Think of it as a time when your body is resting in order to build up its ability to orgasm again, if you will. It's just a rest period, and nothing to worry about. This period varies from man to man, depending on age, physical health and other factors. It’s a biological process, and has nothing to do with how often you self-pleasure, etc.

Let’s talk about what we DO know about self-pleasuring.

It’s the surest way to orgasm and the most effective way to learn about our sexual response cycle, as well as the surest way men to learn orgasmic control.  If you feel you come too quickly, the surest way to slow down is to teach yourself a new pattern via self-pleasuring.

Another advantage is self-knowledge: How can you show a partner what you like if you don’t know yourself?

And the #1 reason for self-pleasuring: it’s fun!

Self-pleasuring is a part of who you are sexually—for your whole life, not just when you don’t have a partner. People self-pleasure from birth to death, when they’re alone and when they’re partnered. It’s just one of many options we have as sexual beings. It’s not better or worse than partner sex, just different—like steak is different than chicken.

Remember that all our scientific data show that the people who take responsibility for their OWN pleasure have the best sex lives and rate themselves as happiest about their sexuality. So please stop torturing yourself, accept your sexuality as a gift and start enjoying life.

About your erection concerns: Welcome to your 20’s! Erections go up and down. You’ll find this happening all your life. It doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy sex, but you have to let go of such a narrow definition of what constitutes “good.”

Much of your problem is due to your attitude. Once you experienced anything less than a “strong” erection, you started feeling anxious and judging yourself, which can be a vicious circle. The more you worry about erections, the more your penis won’t cooperate. In fact, it can be downright rebellious!

Many men feel that if their erection goes down even a tiny bit, there’s something wrong with them. Where does this come from?

Men receive so many messages that sex is about “performance” and pleasing a partner, rather than just enjoying the pleasure of it. Everything is goal-oriented—like a football game. The other message that many men receive is that sex is somehow dirty and wrong, unless you’re doing it for reproductive purposes. Sometimes this can creep into our unconscious thoughts and sabotage any pleasure. Ask yourself whether you have any conflicts about being sexual—any old messages that might be lurking in your subconscious.

Your body is working fine—it’s your heart/brain that’s getting in the way. For more information about erection issues, attitude, etc., I highly recommend the book “The New Male Sexuality” by Bernie Zilbergeld, Ph.D. It’s widely available both used and in paperback and is an invaluable resource.

Relax, stop putting pressure on yourself and enjoy sex for what it is: pleasure. Give yourself permission to enjoy whatever happens—and find partners who aren’t hung up on performances issues either. Best of luck to you. Dr. J
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I'm, 29 years old...I'm addicted to masterbetion,,,it seem that I'm contented with it,..I'm asian...I can stop it. I'm masterbating (masturbating) 2 or 3 times a day...I feel that my day won't be completed if I'm not masterbating (masturbating)...I'm wooried that my hair is thinning,...itcan cause ur early aging? Is that true? Please help me.
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