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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Too much of a good thing?

Published: February 2, 2007
Section: Arts, Etc.

Q: Is it possible to masturbate too much?

A: Masturbation is a great way to relieve stress, learn about your body, and enjoy a quiet night in. Some argue that you can never masturbate too much. Why? Because masturbation in and of itself has no consequences. It does not damage your ability to enjoy sex with others, nor does it have any health risks. Not only does it give you a way to pamper yourself and get some instant gratification, its a great way to get some exercise, or even just keep your hands busy.

Masturbation can also become a hobby, and there are plenty of products that enthusiasts can use to enhance the experience. These include vibrators, dildos, lubricants, vibrating massage gloves, or even incense, candles and lingerie. A good imagination also helps, and if you need a little inspiration there is always pornography or, for the avid reader, erotic fiction, or erotica.

Masturbating is good, and most of the time, you can not have too much of a good thing. There are some instances, however, where one might be masturbating too much. Like, for instance, if your genitals are chafing, you might want to give your body a little time to recover before going at it again. Carpal tunnel might also be a sign that you are overworking your body. Still, there are ways to minimize these physical side effects. Lube is a great way to stave off chafing, and using a vibrator or a masturbation sleeve or fleshlight might cut down on stress to your wrist. If your fingers are so wet theyre pruning, try wearing latex or nitrile gloves with a little lube.

Some believe that masturbation is addicting. While there is no medical evidence to support this, it is a commonly held belief. And it is an understandable belief as well. It is not uncommon for people to feel the urge to masturbate more than once a day. There are plenty of stories about folks getting off at work in the company bathroom. There are also discreet, hands-free, remote controlled vibrators that you can wear to class.

Now, theres nothing necessarily wrong with getting off somewhere other than your bed. However, you must be careful and conscientious. Remember that exposing yourself in a public space is against the law. Be careful to never leave fluids on a public toilet, or any other public space for that matter. Not only could that incriminate you, but its just not hygienic. And its rude. You should also take care not to get caught, especially by a child. In fact, you probably should never do it within the vicinity of children. Also watch out for surveillance cameras.

But even if you dont get caught by a camera or a coworker, you might still want to take stock of how often you wank it and whether its by choice or because you feel addicted. A good way to define whether or not youre addicted is to decide whether or not masturbation interferes with your ability to function normally. Is it keeping you from finishing your term paper? From finishing a project at work? Is it distracting you from your personal relationships? If any of those things are true, there is a chance you might be hitting it too often. If youre looking to cut back, aim for doing it once a day. If you are finding it very hard to cut back and it is interfering with your life, it would not be a bad idea to talk to someone about it.

But if masturbation is not interfering with your daily life, dont worry about it. We are each entitled to a little self-lovin', or a lot of self-lovin. Enjoy yourself.