Masturbation can undoubtedly get the heart pumping and the blood flowing, but can indulging in this pleasurable activity also get enough calories burning to induce weight loss?
There was a time when engaging in a little solo play was believed to cause hairy palms and blindness, but those myths have been long busted. Today, masturbation is considered a perfectly normal, safe, and even healthy aspect of sexual behavior.
However, owing to stigma and hesitancy to openly talk about it, there are still a number of questions about masturbation. One common question is whether masturbation has any association with weight. We know that masturbation burns calories, but does it do enough to make you shed a few pounds?
Well, stay tuned because we will be revealing the answer to this question and some others, as well as we unveil some of the mystery that surrounds masturbation
What is masturbation?
Masturbation, by definition, is the self-stimulation of the genitals for sexual arousal and pleasure, usually done until the point of orgasm or sexual climax.
There are many misconceptions about masturbation, but perhaps the most common one is that masturbation is a shameful or perverse act. The hush-hush around masturbation has led most of us to believe that it is something to be embarrassed about and feel guilty for engaging in. This could not be further from the truth. Masturbation is an entirely natural part of sexuality. Humans of all ages and even animals masturbate. In fact, studies have shown that childhood masturbation is a common occurrence and can start as early as 2 months of age, with a peak of occurrence at 4 years old and adolescence .
The topic of masturbation might make many people uncomfortable. Some might even go as far as to say it is a sin. However, it is not only normal but is also healthy, and if a survey is ever conducted regarding the number of people who masturbate, you will be surprised to see that 9 out of 10 people masturbate, and all 10 of them acknowledge that it is a natural act. While acknowledging that it is healthy and natural, you should also know that it is 100% okay to masturbate more than once a day; it only becomes a problem when it starts interfering with your everyday life.
Benefits of masturbation
As established, masturbation is actually healthy, and if you’ve ever been scared into thinking it is unhealthy, then it mostly is because of how taboo anything sexual-related is. Masturbating is completely safe, and any myth that you have heard about how it will negatively affect your body is false unless medically diagnosed.
Here are some benefits of masturbation: 
- It is safer than most types of sex since you can not get pregnant or contract any sexually transmitted diseases.
- It is good for exploring your sexual preferences, which can eventually lead to healthy sexual practices.
- People often use masturbation as a way to de-stress and relax. It can also help you fall asleep.
- Exploring the sexual side to your body can be empowering and can help improve your body image.
- Having an orgasm through masturbation can be very beneficial. An orgasm releases endorphins, or otherwise known as happy hormones, in your brain. It can also act as a painkiller and help with period cramps.
Although masturbation is safe, you must still be careful; if you have a cold sore and touch it before masturbating, you might get herpes. When you’re masturbating with another person, make sure to wash your hand before touching yourself if you have touched their genitals. Semen and vaginal fluids can transmit STDs; therefore, make sure to avoid spreading these fluids on your partner’s genitals or rubbing your genitals against each other. Feel free to use condoms when you’re mutually masturbating to avoid any consequences.
How is masturbation different for men and women?
Masturbation is the process of sexually gratifying yourself; this process could vary from person to person and, more importantly, from one gender to another. This has more to do with the different genitals and people’s preferences.
When it comes to penile owners, their preferred method of masturbation would include focusing their play on the penis. This could include rubbing, stroking, groping, and other forms that you would like to experiment with. There are various ways to pleasure yourself, and you do not have to stop at your penis; you could explore other erogenous zones like your neck, ears, nipples, lips, etc., and your prostate, also known as the male G-spot.
Masturbation for women or vaginal owners is a little different in the sense that it might take longer for them to reach their climax. Here, they not only focus on pleasuring their vagina but might also have to take into consideration their clitoris, labia, and even the pubic area. However, similar to penile owners, you do not have to limit yourself to these regions alone; you can always explore your other erogenous zones like the inner thigh, ears, neck, lips, nipples, etc.; nipple play is a popular method used by most individuals to reach climax.
When penile owners reach climax, they ejaculate and, in most circumstances, do not require a lot of stimulation to reach this stage. However, vaginal owners require a good amount of stimulation, and their experience of climaxing is very different since they do not ejaculate; they experience a build of pressure and a sudden release during which they will have excess vaginal fluids.
Essentially, everyone masturbates and experiences the build of pressure and a release with an ejaculation, which is where the question regarding whether it can affect weight loss and if there are other side effects comes into the picture.
Can masturbation cause weight loss?
Masturbation is healthy, yes, but not in terms of weight loss. Your weight is not related to how much you masturbate or how much you ejaculate even. Your body weight is not carried in your sperm or your vaginal fluid; therefore, by ejaculating or having a squirting orgasm, you will not lose any of your body weight.
When we say masturbation is healthy, we mean in terms of how it makes you feel after, which is relaxed and stress-free. It can help reduce any stress built up over time and help release endorphins, otherwise known as happy hormones. Masturbation does not physically affect your body in any way; it does not cause weight loss and does not affect your genitals in any way either.
Experiencing fatigue after masturbation is normal; however, it isn’t similar to how one feels when they work out. While masturbating, you are not necessarily training any muscle or shedding any calories. All things considered, if you experience extreme fatigue after masturbation or active weight loss, consider getting in touch with a professional since these could be symptoms of other conditions.
Are there any other side effects of masturbation?
There are no side effects to masturbation per se; it can not affect your body in any way, shape, or form. However, two concerns accompanying masturbation are the guilt of having done it and any issues with chronic masturbation.
Guilt due to masturbation
Most people feel guilty after masturbation because of how it has been associated with being taboo or sinful according to various cultures and religions. This, however, is not true since masturbation is more natural than one would think, it is healthy, and neither is it dirty or shameful. Therefore, there is no rational source for the guilt, and if you are experiencing guilt after masturbation, it is best to talk to someone you trust about why you might be feeling guilty and how you might be able to deal with it.
Masturbation is normal, and as a teenager, you might indulge in it 3-4 times a week or every day, and this will naturally reduce as you age. Now, although there aren’t any restrictions regarding how often one can masturbate when it comes to your health, it does become a cause of concern when it starts interfering with your everyday life. The good news, however, is that you can find help if you think you are addicted to masturbation. You can talk to a sex therapist or try and indulge in other activities like exercising, spending time with your friends, writing a journal, or just going for a walk.
Does masturbation decrease height?
No. Masturbation does not decrease height or interfere with a person’s growth. Masturbation is not related to the developmental aspect of one’s physical health; in other words, it does not affect your height or weight. Masturbation can, however, affect your mood and state of mind during the activity in a good way since masturbation can help relieve you of stress and can release happy hormones.
Does masturbation cause hormonal imbalance?
No, masturbation does not cause a hormonal imbalance of any sort. Yes, the act of masturbation can help relieve stress and release endorphins and other feel-good hormones, but it does not affect your hormone levels in any way. Although masturbation can cause a fluctuation in testosterone levels right after orgasm, it has shown no adverse effects on testosterone levels or other hormone levels.
No, masturbation does not cause muscle loss. After an orgasm, a man’s testosterone levels might fluctuate temporarily, which might raise the concern of whether it will affect their gains; however, the good news is that this fluctuation is temporary and does not affect your body physically. Masturbation does release feel-good hormones but does not affect your physical growth in any way, shape, or form.
Does masturbation cause a heart attack?
On paper, masturbation can not cause a heart attack. Masturbation and any other sexual activity will cause a rise in your blood pressure, but this is never a cause for concern. Any sexual activity is the equivalent of mild forms of exercise like brisk walking, climbing a flight of stairs, slow jogging, etc.; if you have been cleared to do any of these activities, then you can also indulge in masturbation or other sexual activities without any concern.
Masturbation, or the act of touching one’s self for pleasure purposes, has often been considered taboo, unsafe, unholy, sinful, and other such terms. However, one should know that masturbation is actually extremely natural and healthy; it not only helps relieve stress but can also release endorphins and other such happy hormones.
Masturbation does not cause any harm or affect your physical health; it does not cause weight gain or affect your height, heart, or hormone levels, for that matter. At the most, it might cause a temporary fluctuation of your testosterone levels, which will go back to normal in no time.
The only way masturbation can become an issue is if it starts interfering with your day-to-day life. If you feel like you are working with an addiction, then it is important that you get help, ideally from a sex therapist, but also from someone you trust and feel comfortable with.
- Doust, Zarin Keihani et al. “Diagnostic Value of the Urine Mucus Test in Childhood Masturbation among Children below 12 Years of Age: A Cross-Sectional Study from Iran.” Iranian journal of medical sciences vol. 41,4 (2016): 283-7.
- “Give yourself a hand: the health benefits of masturbation.” Queensland Health, 1 November 2021.