Male Masturbation

Male Masturbation: The Story of Men’s Self-Pleasure

From history to eye-opening recent studies on our self-pleasure habits, let's take a closer look at male masturbation.

Male masturbation is a stimulating topic

The story of male masturbation is truly fascinating. Most men do it – and men have done it since the beginning of human history. The ancients, for example, positively revered solo sex, weaving male masturbation into ritual and myth. Of course, the narrative of men and masturbation has had its ups and downs – including the anti-masturbation fever of the 19th century. But today, it’s widely accepted as an important part of a healthy life and sexuality. You could even say we’re living through a male masturbation golden age.

From the eye-opening work of sexologists and scientists, to the groundbreaking influence of new sex media, and the revolutionary impact of sex toys: read on for a closer look at the male masturbation story.

Male masturbation has a gripping history

Have you ever come so hard that you've seen stars? Well, the ancient Egyptians believed the lone god Atum's ejaculation was the source of the entire universe's creation. Taking their seed in the most literal sense, men ceremonially spilled their semen each year to ensure a plentiful harvest.

Male masturbation was regarded as a totally normal release for the men of ancient Greece. In fact, it was the subject of plays, comedies, and even pottery.

Nevertheless, an obscure Bible passage – in which God slays Onan for spilling his seed – would eventually incite a clampdown on masturbation that endured for centuries. Numerous Enlightment texts warned of male masturbation's ‘dangerous side effects’ – including death. And in the 19th century, the damning medical theories quite literally spiked, spurring the invention of hair-raising anti-masturbation devices.

Sexologists made male masturbation sexy

"In the 19th century, masturbation was a disease; in the 20th it's a cure," wrote psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Thomas Szasz. Thankfully, once the wheels of the sexual revolution began to turn, absurd anti-masturbation propaganda was left in the dust.

Do all men masturbate? Sexologist Alfred Kinsey established in the 1940s and ‘50s that masturbation was an almost universal human experience.

We’re living through a masturbation golden age

Recent scientific research has continued to shed light on the orgasm’s myriad health benefits... Men have gotten the memo: pleasure is, in itself, healthy.

The rise of porn completely transformed the mainstream perspective of male masturbation. Moreover, it's fueled a masturbation renaissance. In contrast to the negative media representations of previous decades, male masturbation is now often portrayed as a sign of empowerment. On-screen masturbation is increasingly applauded by audiences. “I keep masturbating,” Robert Pattinson proudly remarked in a 2019 interview. “In the last three or four movies, I've got a masturbation scene.”

Meanwhile, recent scientific research has continued to shed light on the orgasm’s myriad health benefits – including a boosted immune system and a reduced prostate cancer risk. Men have gotten the memo: pleasure is, in itself, healthy.

Sex toys have revolutionized masturbation

Sex and life are almost inseparable in today’s sex-positive climate, and masturbation tips for men abound, including the use of sex toys. Over the past decade, sex toys have soared in popularity with guys of all ages and sexualities. Advancements in design and quality, and increased accessibility, have normalized toy use in male masturbation. In a large-scale 2019 survey, 70% of all sex toy owners responded that the masturbation experience is improved by introducing a toy.

How to masturbate for men is no longer limited to the penis, but to the pleasure potential of the many other erogenous zones – including the male G-spot. Unprecedented sexual knowledge and openness have made us more comfortable exploring our bodies than ever. Male masturbation has become so satisfying, in fact, that a growing community – known as ‘solosexuals’ – aren’t at all interested in dating.

In the swinging ‘60s, one of the masturbation questions on researchers William H. Masters and Virginia E. Johnson’s lips was what happens to the male body before, during, and after orgasm. Their pioneering research into the nature of human sexual response put both female and male masturbation in the spotlight.

Pretty much everyone masturbates

Is there any truth in the old joke, “98% of people masturbate, and the other two percent are lying?” Since the biggest masturbation surveys are conducted anonymously, we can rule out any fibbing. But in terms of most people masturbating, the statement is not far off.

The same 2019 survey found that 84% of Americans have masturbated – and most of them are men. A whopping 91% percent of American men responded that they have masturbated in their lifetime. Furthermore, men masturbate an average of 15 times per month. That’s not to say that masturbating more or less frequently isn’t normal.

Our habits are more alike than we might think

While the bedroom and bathroom are the preferred male masturbation locations, respondents reported pleasuring themselves everywhere from at work to in the car.

The survey even got into the conditions in which men feel horniest. And it turns out that our habits are more alike than we might think. The hottest months for male masturbation are June and July. Unsurprisingly, the golden male masturbation hours are in the evening.

While the bedroom and bathroom are the preferred male masturbation locations, respondents reported pleasuring themselves everywhere from at work to in the car. And, despite the ubiquity of porn, it seems that all is not lost for the power of the imagination. Compared to 75% of men watching porn while they masturbate, 47% fantasize.

What the study proved more than anything, however, is that male masturbation is an important part of a healthy sex life. 74% of Americans agreed that masturbation is a form of self-care or therapy.

Knowledge of how to pleasure yourself is power

From the ancients’ romanticization of masturbation to eye-opening recent studies on our solo sex habits, the biggest takeaway is that knowledge of how to pleasure yourself is power. We are all writing the masturbation story as we speak – or rather, as we masturbate. And if we continue to open up about how, when, and where we touch ourselves, the future of male masturbation looks even more exciting.

The best way to masturbate for men is to experiment. Because the more we educate ourselves, the greater our potential pleasure.