Sexual Wellness

9 Health Benefits of Masturbation for Men

Fact Checked

Masturbation gets a bad rap, but it isn't always bad for you. In fact, it has some amazing health benefits. Here are nine reasons to consider masturbating tonight.

Last Updated: 11/11/2022

Written by

Kimberly Wilkes

Sure, it would be nice to always have someone there during your times of sexual need. But if you’re single or you and your partner lead busy lives—and these days who doesn’t—you might not have anyone around the minute you feel like getting it on. It’s during these times of need that men masturbate.

Most men masturbate. In fact, one survey found that 92% of American men engage in a regular game of sexual solitaire.1 

Despite the fact it’s nearly a national pastime among males, masturbation often gets a bad rap. People have blamed it for everything from acne to poor performance during partner sex. We dived into these inaccurate impressions of masturbation in a previous blog post

Most of the time, masturbation is not only perfectly harmless but also has a lot of surprising health benefits. A lot of these benefits apply to any sort of sexual stimulation, whether it’s partner sex or masturbation. However, supplementing the number of orgasms you have per week during sex with your partner with a little alone time can boost the benefits of sex. 

Here are the ways in which masturbation can improve men’s sexual health. 

Masturbation Reduces Stress and Boosts Mood

Masturbation, like partner sex, calms you down and reduces stress and anxiety. Having an orgasm ramps up levels of feel-good brain chemicals called endorphins, as well as other  chemicals linked to happiness such as oxytocin and dopamine. The release of these chemicals jumpstarts the reward center of your brain, making you feel more relaxed and happy. 

It Helps You Sleep Better

The brain-chemical boost you get from masturbating can lead to a better night’s sleep. No matter how you achieve an orgasm, whether through masturbation or partner sex, you’re more likely to enjoy a night of sound slumber. 

In one study of 778 people (336 males and 442 females) nearly half of male participants reported that masturbation with orgasm reduced the time it took them to fall asleep after turning the lights out, and 52% of the men felt they slept better throughout the night.2  

Sex with a partner fared better with nearly 74% of men reporting that sex improved their sleep quality and nearly 68% reporting that sex helped them fall asleep faster. But this study shows that when you’re without a partner and want a good night’s sleep, masturbation might do in a pinch. 

Stops Premature Ejaculation

A common myth is that masturbation leads to an inability to have an erection when having sex with a partner. This is only true if you try to have sex with a partner right after masturbating.

Any time a man has an orgasm, a refractory period follows, during which time he is unable to have intercourse. The refractory period varies from man to man. Some men can re-engage in sexual activity after a half hour while other men might take as long as 24 hours.

In fact, men who suffer from premature ejaculation often use masturbation as a way to stop themselves from having an orgasm too soon during partner sex.3 Masturbating an hour or two before sexual intercourse can stop you from climaxing too fast during penetration. 

It Can Lead To A Longer Life

Scientists have found that men having the most orgasms every week live longer than men having fewer orgasms. For example, in a study of 918 men, those who had two or more orgasms per week had half the risk of dying compared with men who had orgasms less than once a month.4

In another study, researchers surveyed 166 men who were 70 years old and 226 women.5 Five years later, the researchers checked to see which of the study subjects died before their 75th birthday. The sooner men stopped having sex, the more likely they were to have died. This connection didn’t exist in women.   

Although these studies also applied to partner sex, using masturbation to increase your number of orgasms per week could extend your lifespan. 

It Improves Sexual Performance Anxiety

During masturbation, you’re going it solo, so you don’t have to worry what someone else thinks about you. Masturbation can help you feel less self-conscious about your body and ultimately build self-esteem. 

Masturbation May Lower Risk of Prostate Cancer

According to recent research, masturbation—like partner sex—can reduce a man’s rsk of prostate cancer. It all comes down to how many times a man ejaculates in a given month. 

In one study, researchers followed a group of guys for 18 years and found that men aged 20 - 29 who ejaculated at least 21 times per month had a 19% reduced risk of prostate cancer compared to men who only ejaculated four to seven times per month.6

According to the study, more ejaculations equalled better prostate health even in older guys.  Men ages 40 to 49 who ejaculated 21 or more times a month had a 22% reduced risk of prostate cancer.

Keeps You Harder During Aging

As you get older, you lose muscle tone. The same thing happens in your pelvic area. The key is to use it or lose it as the saying goes. Masturbating or having sex frequently is a good way for your pelvic floor muscles to stay in shape and defend against sexual decline.

It May Promote a Healthy Immune System

Although there aren’t many studies on this topic, Sexual arousal during masturbation increases the levels of immune cells known as natural killer cells, according to a study of 11 men.7 Natural killer cells seek out and destroy viruses and tumors. 

Since you need enough sleep to keep your immune system healthy, masturbation’s ability to promote a good night’s rest is another way in which it boosts immunity.

It Might Be the First Sign of Sexual Decline

If you don’t currently have a partner, masturbation is one of the only ways you’ll know you’re experiencing sexual decline. It can serve as a wake-up call to fix the problem now so that when you are in a relationship you’ll be back in top form. 

Another way to find out if you’re suffering from sexual decline? Take our free quiz, which will also tell you your true sexual age and how it compares to other men.

Sources:

1. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/worlds-largest-masturbation-survey-uncovers-how-traditional-views-of-masculinity-prevent-men-from-having-fulfilling-sex-lives--relationships-300638644.html

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6409294/

3. https://health.cornell.edu/sites/health/files/pdf-library/premature-ejaculation-gaining-control.pdf

4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2128033/

5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7324994/

6. https://www.europeanurology.com/article/S0302-2838(16)00377-8/fulltext

7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15316239/