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Only 57 Percent of Straight Men Masturbate Regularly

Masturbation is one of those things that you might assume has a 100 percent participation rate, like breathing, blinking, or finding Jennifer Aniston attractive.

The reality: Only 57 percent of straight men said they masturbated at all in the last month, according to a new study from Indiana University

While masturbation is normal and may even have health benefits, it doesn’t necessarily mean that anything is wrong with you if don’t beat it regularly.

For example, it may just mean that you’re having plenty of partnered sex to satisfy you. Having more sex leads to less masturbation for some people, says Debby Herbenick, Ph.D., a study coauthor and Men’s Health sex advisor. 

Other men may not masturbate because they lack interest in sex, says Herbenick. 

Research suggests that 14 to 17 percent of men have low desire, which is linked to low testosterone, stress, alcohol consumption, and poor general health. 

If you’re not interested in sex and that concerns you, talk to your primary doctor about it, says lead study author Brian Dodge, Ph.D.

For other guys, social pressures could keep them from masturbating, says Herbenick. For instance, some religions and cultures cast masturbation as a shameful act. 

It’s also possible that the pressure is coming directly from your partner, Herbenick says.

“We know that quite a few women ‘police’ men’s sexualbehavior, including getting upset if they find their partner is masturbating—and even more upset if they feel their partner is masturbating to porn,” she says.

If this happens to you, check out What to Say When You Get Caught Masturbating for some brilliant ways to break the tension and start a conversation about solo sex. If you can reassure her that your masturbation doesn’t mean that you’re dissatisfied with her, she may come around.

What if you masturbate a lot? That’s fine too, says Herbenick. 

There’s a huge range for how much masturbation is considered “normal”—even up to a few times per day. As long as your frequent urges aren’t interfering with your work life or your relationship, you have nothing to worry about, she says.

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by Ali Eaves

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