Jiggy with Jen: Your Relationship and Sex Questions Answered
How much masturbation is too much masturbation?
Asking For a Friend
Dear Asking For a Friend,
This is a pretty common question, especially with people talking about things like porn and/or sex addiction. The agonizingly simple answer is, naturally, it depends. I think the “better” question might be: is it possible to masturbate too much? And the answer to that seems to be, unfortunately, yes. However, I want to note how incredibly healthy masturbation is for the human psyche and body. Masturbation helps to release sexual tension, reduces stress, can help one sleep better, allows the person to be more in tune with their own pleasure and to feel more confident about their body. Masturbation truly can be about showing yourself some much needed love. For women, it can even help relieve menstrual cramps. And while not completely about masturbation, the American Medical Association recommends that men ejaculate 2-3 times every 10-14 days for prostate health.
So when does masturbation become unhealthy? That’s the real question here, right? Masturbation becomes unhealthy when it interrupts your relationship, sexual health, or social health in some way. For some, masturbation becomes preferred over sex with their partner, thus, often hurting their relationship. There are some who have begun to prefer to stay home in order to watch porn or masturbate versus being social and getting stress relief that way. Furthermore, if a person only masturbates “one way”, they can get “stuck” on this methodology and unable to perform otherwise. I have known several clients who are unable to orgasm with a partner because they have essentially trained their body to orgasm with their hand, or one type of sex toy, or in one position. This is not very sustainable across a relationship.
Ideally, a person would be able to both have sex with a partner, if they have one, and masturbate. Many will say that sex is preferred, but I still encourage people to masturbate, as well. This can help with desire discrepancy and again, give yourself some “me” time. Your body is always changing and you might be able to find erogenous zones you didn’t know you had!! It’s all about the balance. I hope this helps and you can pass on the info to your friend!
I am a HUGE bachelor fan; but, one thing I never understood is how the bachelors/bachelorettes can
possibly claim that they're in love with more than one person at a time…it just seems impossible! Is it
really true that someone can be in love with more than one person at the same time?
I am so glad you asked this question. I get asked this all the time in some sort of context or another. So
here’s the thing, there is not really a finite amount of love that each person contains. As humans, we
have the ability to love many and love many, deeply. Think about the number of people, friends, family,
etc that you love. Now do you think that if you met new people that you would not be able to love
them, as well? Of course you could!!
But being in love, that is something that most people, even today, try to reserve just for one person at a
time. We like to think that that one person is the MOST special person and they can be and often are
the most special person. But again, we are human and our capacity to love is truly only limited to the
number of persons in our life (loving humanity as a whole is perhaps a different category). We might not
be able to imagine loving more than one someone with the same intensity and you might be correct on
that note. Though, I might argue that it may not be about intensity, but more about the feeling of
connection at the time. When we get into an argument with our significant other, we will often still feel
love, but will feel disconnected from them. So the connection ebbs and flows and often people confuse
the feeling of connection with love. So let’s say one is in love with two persons, you might feel more
connected to one at a given point and then the other at another, this doesn’t decrease the love you feel
for them. One of the ways we know this is the idea of children. We often hear parent say, “I love my kids
the same.” And they genuinely mean it, but they might have a better connection with one or like the
“quieter” child’s personality more. The love is the same, the connection is different.
I think some people don’t want to believe that you can be in love with more than one person at a time
because it threatens their ideals and/or their relationship. It scares them to think their partner could fall
in love with someone else while still loving them. And, as previously stated, they can’t imagine at the
time loving someone else as much as they love their partner. And look, the truth is, if you are in a single
person monogamous relationship, being in love with someone outside of that dyad can threaten your
relationship. In which case, you may have to make a decision and let go of that other love. However, we
are seeing an influx of persons in poly-romantic relationships so this could be an option for some.
*Disclaimer: this is not meant to act as or replace therapy in any way. Questions sent in may be edited
for de-identification purposes, length, and/or grammatical coherency.
To send in a question email Jen at JiggyWithJen@gmail.com
To schedule a therapy session with Jen Reeves please call Houston Relationship Therapy at
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Written by Jennifer Reeves, MA, LMFT, CST