I have a really embarrassing question to ask. I know that you’re not a doctor, but is masturbation healthy? Does it impact my workouts and how often is too often?
This is probably my favorite question. Ever.
As it turns out, a lot of people rub the nub. One national survey found that 95% of men and 89% of women reported masturbating; the other 5% and 11%, respectively, reported lying. In other words, a little hand to gland combat is a very common and normal part of the human experience.
First things first, masturbation is actually quite healthy. Despite antiquated medical assumptions to the contrary, science has shown that masturbation is a good thing. Benefits range from sleeping better to stress management and improved brain health. Apparently, orgasms are better for your brain than crossword puzzles or Sudoku.
As to the impact of masturbation on athletic performance, the research is also clear. Back in the day, coaches would steer their athletes clear of sexual activity including self pleasure; the assumption was that getting your rocks off decreased testosterone – a hormone that many believe boosts athletic performance. But science is a beautiful thing! In actuality, regular sexual activity increases testosterone. Myth busted!
So when it comes to draining the dragon, how often is too often? According to Logan Levkoff, PhD, a sexologist and sex educator:
It’s not how many times you masturbate in a week (or day) that really matters. It’s how it fits into your life… If you masturbate many times a day and have a healthy, satisfying life, good for you. But if you masturbate many times a day and you’re missing work or giving up on sex with your partner because of it, consider seeing a sex therapist.
What is harmful, on the other hand, is the shame and guilt that many people feel because of the views that their culture or religion impose on this healthy and natural human practice.
As if you needed another reason for some five knuckle shuffle. Enjoy.
P.S. If you want to give your forearms a break and train another muscle group, give Davey Wavey’s Six Pack Workout a try. It’s five, 12-minute ab workouts that you can do just about anywhere.