I Think I Might Be Masturbating Too Much | Ask Athena | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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I Think I Might Be Masturbating Too Much

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Dear Athena,

I think I might be masturbating too much. My girlfriend is starting to stress about it. We were talking recently, and she asked me how often I masturbate. I told her, and she thought it was too much and that it would start to mess up our sex life and could hurt my penis. Do you think it will? Should I not do it as much? Is it going to screw me up?

Thanks,

Masturbating on the Mind

Dear M on the M,

This is a really common concern. Many men — and even women — go through a phase where they believe their masturbation routine may be too much. But getting extra-handsy down there rarely leads to health concerns. It really only becomes a problem when it starts to overshadow other aspects of your life.

Are you happy? Do you get your work done on time? Are you choosing a five-knuckle shuffle over hanging out with friends? Do you prefer your hand to your girlfriend? If you're able to maintain a normal, productive lifestyle and enjoy the company of others without the distraction of masturbation, then you're fine. Really.

If, however, you're obsessively masturbating and the rest of your life is slipping by the wayside, you may need to talk to a sex therapist. As with any compulsive behavior, if you notice work, relationships or sleep being affected, it's time to seek help.

As for health issues, you'd have to be masturbating roughly and multiple times a day to cause any chafing. That's really the only physical harm you can do.

Your girlfriend may not know that masturbating isn't always about lust; it can be a major stress reliever and even a sleep aid. Maybe your lady doesn't masturbate herself and doesn't realize how nice it can be. Maybe she thinks you'd rather fool around with yourself than with her. She needs to know that masturbation is a normal, healthy part of your relationship with your body. It can even enhance your sex life together — it helps you learn what kind of pressure and pleasure you prefer.

Have a chat with your gal. Give her the attention she craves and reassure her that you'd rather have a hot date with her than with your penis. Then you can resume your relationship with both important members of your life.

Yours,

Athena