The thing is, we often become stuck in our ways when it comes to solo play. While jerking off is always going to feel good - many of us don't realize that there are countless techniques that can take masturbating to a whole new level.
We talked to our certified expert Danny Garrett about simple masturbation tips that virtually anyone can enjoy - and some of the benefits these techniques can offer.
Why Masturbate? Main Benefits
Masturbating is sometimes thought of as something to be embarrassed about - but this couldn't be further from the truth. Studies show that nearly 75% of adult males in the U.S. frequently masturbate - so you can safely say that at least three out of every four guys you know enjoys self-pleasure.
So, what do this many people get out of masturbation? If you thought the biggest benefit was a few minutes of sexual pleasure, the answers might surprise you:
It can work as a stress relief
When we masturbate to orgasm, we trigger the release of a series of hormones and chemicals that are associated with pleasure, happiness, and relaxation. These naturally lower our levels of stress and anxiety. The hormones at work include:
What's more, the impact of these hormones on our mood is even proven to help us sleep better. A 2019 study showed a clear link between orgasms, sleep quality, and the time it takes to fall asleep. Since improved sleep is one of the best things to reduce stress, masturbation is a definite win-win.
It can help with ED
As you've seen, masturbation reduces stress and anxiety - which are contributing factors for many people with ED. What's more, masturbation can help you get a better understanding of your body and your sexual function - helping you to control your performance with a partner.
It can help with incontinence
A recent study explored whether masturbation can help to combat incontinence after prostate surgery. The study was small - so further information is needed - but the outcome looked favorable.
This is likely because of the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles are well-known to affect women's sexual function and bladder control - but the same is also true for men.
To help control the bladder, both men and women are encouraged to do 'kegel' exercises - tightening and releasing the muscles under and behind the genitals.
When we masturbate and orgasm, these muscles naturally contract and release - making masturbation a pleasurable way to add some kegel exercises to your day.
It can contribute to preventing prostate cancer
In a study spanning nearly 20 years, frequent masturbation and ejaculation was shown to decrease the risk of prostate cancer.
We're not talking about small numbers either. The study showed that guys who ejaculated at least 21 times a month had about a 20% lower chance of developing prostate cancer compared to guys who ejaculated just 4-7 times.
There's still a lot of medical work to be done to understand why - but until then, it's safe to say that masturbation boasts some solid health benefits.
It improves heart health
The Cardiac Rehabilitation and Wellness Center at the University of California recommends that people recovering from heart conditions engage in regular sexual activity to help with heart health.
Why? Well, there are numerous reasons. Firstly, the lowering of stress and improved sleep we've already mentioned benefits heart health - but masturbation helps in another significant way too. Masturbation gets the heart pumping a little harder - in much the same way a brisk walk, swim, or cycle would. Since a heart workout like this is the goal of all cardio exercises, it's fair to say a masturbation routine will offer very similar benefits.
10 Tips to improve your masturbation experience
Now we know that masturbation offers some impressive health benefits, it's worth thinking about how to perfect your masturbation technique.
We should start by saying there's no right or wrong way to enjoy masturbation.
If the simple up-and-down motion works perfectly for you, that's great! However, if you're open to even better masturbation, the following tips will almost certainly help.
1. Plan your sessions
When it comes to great sex with a partner, planning your fun in advance can really help to build exciting sexual tension. What most guys don't realize is that solo sex is exactly the same.
We might be used to quickly enjoying ourselves in the shower or just before we sleep, but there's a lot to be said for putting some time aside, setting the mood, and building some of that sexual tension just for ourselves.
A good place to begin is by shutting out the stresses of the day. Switch your phone to silent, take a break from social media noise, and put some music on. When you've given yourself some mental space from the day, think about having a relaxing bath or shower - maybe even putting some fresh sheets on the bed.
Don't be railroaded into thinking certain things are 'masculine' or 'feminine' - if you want to kill the lights and burn some candles, then go for it.
The same things you would do for a partner to set the mood are going to push the right buttons in your brain too.
2. Use a good lube
For circumcised guys, some kind of lube is an important part of masturbating - but that doesn't mean you have to go for a supermarket-bought tub of moisturizer.
Whether you have a foreskin or not, the right lube can absolutely transform making yourself cum. Today, a massive range of specialist masturbation and sex lubes exist - and there's something for everyone.
A warming lube will completely change the sensations you get in the nerve endings of your penis. The warming sensation can make it feel like you're slipping inside someone else - rather than just enjoying your hand. Then again, spending a little bit more on silicone lube will get you an ultra-smooth and extremely long-lasting product that you can apply and enjoy for hours.
Learn more about Lubricants
Check out our curated selection of lubricant information articles and buying guides here:
3. Enjoy the right porn
Watching porn sometimes gets bad press. People say that overdoing it with video porn can stop you from enjoying sex without it. However, like all things - it can definitely be fun when enjoyed in moderation. Pornography is definitely one of those 'quality-over-quantity' things.
If you've set the scene for masturbation and you want to explore some fantasies or scenarios in private, then go for it.
You probably already know this - but not all porn is the same. For every 'pornstar' scene, there's another amateur video that'll appeal to a different taste. Rather than just looking at what's popular, dig into the different categories available and browse until you find a theme that gets your heart racing.
For adults with a balanced view of porn, it can be an amazing way to explore new themes and kinks in sex before you jump in and take part yourself.
4. Stimulate different erogenous zones
Everyone's body is different - and we all have different tastes when it comes to how we enjoy having our bodies touched. Have you ever had your nipples played with while you're having sex? Ever had your thighs tickled by a partner's hair as they gave you oral sex? What about putting some light pressure on your perineum?
This is just a tiny fraction of a huge list of sensitive areas and sensations that you might enjoy. Not sure where to begin? Don't worry - just experiment.
The term 'erogenous zones' refers to any part of the body linked to sexual pleasure. Some of the most popular erogenous zones for men include:
- Your scalp
- Your ears
- The lips and mouth
- Your inner thighs
- The frenulum (the underside of the penis - where the head meets the shaft)
- Your scrotum and testicles
- The neck
- Your nipples
- The perineum (the area of skin between your balls and your anus)
Start with light caresses and work your way up if you enjoy what you feel.
Remember, everyone's tastes are different - so take it slow and experiment with different ways to stimulate each area.
5. Take your time
Lots of guys can get from erection to ejaculation in just a matter of minutes if we really try. While there are times when this kind of 'self-quicky' is great fun, there's a lot to be said for slowing down and enjoying the process rather than rushing to the finish line.
Masturbation doesn't have to be a one-step process. You can start, stop, do it slowly, do it quickly, change positions, take a shower - whatever you want.
The beauty of going slowly is that the tension builds to create an explosive orgasm when you eventually take yourself over the edge.
6. Use sex toys
Sex toys have been an important part of female masturbation for years - but their popularity among men just hasn't been celebrated as much. Quite honestly, this is a tragedy - because there's a world of sex toys out there that will help you masturbate like you never realized was possible.
Sex toys have an almost endless range of functions, shapes, materials, and sizes. From Fleshlight-style masturbation sleeves, automatic blowjob machines, and vibrating prostate stimulators, all the way through to full-size sex dolls.
The key to finding a great sex toy is thinking about what turns you on and ignoring any preconceived notions you might have. Want a pocket pussy? Go for it. Wondering what a cock ring would feel like? Try one.
You don't have to spend a fortune either. Find a toy you like the look of and start with a cost-effective version. If it becomes your favorite way to masturbate - you can decide later if you'd like to step up to a more luxurious or function-filled toy.
7. Explore edging
If you're not familiar with edging, you could be about to learn the single-most explosive way to orgasm you could ever imagine.
Edging is the art of taking yourself as close to ejaculation as possible without actually going beyond that 'point of no return'.
When you get close, you can ease off, slow down, or stop altogether - until the ultra-sensitive feeling passes.
When it does, start again - and repeat this process for as long as you can. It's an amazing test of willpower, and the longer you hold on, the most intense the orgasm will be that you're rewarded with.
8. Add prostate play
Not sure about adding anal stimulation to your play? We strongly urge you to think again.
More and more men are realizing that prostate play isn't something that has anything to do with sexual orientation. Instead, it's an amazing way of stimulating the most sensitive parts of your body.
The pulsing feel you get when you orgasm comes from the prostate and the muscles around it contracting and relaxing quickly. You can create this very same feeling without ejaculating by directly stimulating your prostate with the right kind of toy.
The prostate is so closely linked to the male orgasm that whole body multiple orgasms can be achieved - even without stimulating your penis.
Start with a slim prostate massager or some firm anal beads and plenty of lube, then relax and give yourself plenty of time to experiment. Getting the right amount of pressure and stimulation is going to be unique to you - but when you get it right, you'll unlock more pleasure than you ever thought possible!
9. Stimulate your brain
We're conditioned into thinking that visual porn is the only kind that really counts - but this way of thinking leads many people to skip over audio erotica and ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response).
Sexy stories can be a massive turn-on - because they let your imagination run wild. You get to picture whoever you want in the different roles in the book or audiobook, and the pace of the book can really tease and increase the tension.
ASMR is a little different though. Rather than being stories, ASMR focuses on sensual sounds that trigger sexual responses in our brains.
Everyone's tastes are different - but popular sounds include heavy breathing, orgasmic groans, licking, and nibbling noises - to name just a few.
A quick online search will unlock a world of stories and ASMR noises for you to explore. As with everything - you can just have fun experimenting until you find something that pushes your buttons.
10. Try some different positions
Most of us guys have our favorite masturbation position. Sometimes, that'll be lying in bed. Other times, it'll be standing in the shower or relaxing in the bath.
Masturbating is a little like partnered sex - we might have a favorite position, but it can be fun to mix things up.
If you usually masturbate in bed, try standing - perhaps imagining a partner standing or kneeling in front of you. Then again, you might decide that kneeling down or getting on all-fours could make an exciting difference. Every time you try a new position, you're engaging different muscles and potentially getting different feelings as you play.
Again, there's no right or wrong here - just keep experimenting until you find a position that works for you.
Healthy considerations for masturbation
With the 10 tips we've listed above and all the variations possible, you're perhaps wondering if it's healthy to masturbate frequently enough to work your way through all the possibilities!
Here, we'll take a look at some health considerations that you should think about - to make sure nothing stands in the way of fantastic solo play.
How often is healthy to masturbate?
You might see figures mentioned if you look at how frequently you can or should masturbate each day, week, or month.
The truth is, there's no set figure when it comes to 'self-care'.
Often, people are worried that they masturbate too often - but again, this is subjective. If you enjoy to masturbate twice or three times daily without any impact on your wider life, then good for you.
Generally, a sex therapist would consider 'too much' masturbation to be any amount that gets in the way of you doing other things with your life. For instance, if masturbation stops you from focusing on your work, you might want to think about easing off a little.
This is probably the most relevant when it comes to balancing masturbation with a healthy sexual relationship. Sex is an important part of intimacy - so if masturbating is standing in the way of sex with your partner, you might consider cutting down and investing some of your sexual energy in partner play instead.
Practices to avoid while masturbating
The tips above will give you the impression that 'anything goes' when it comes to masturbation - but this isn't strictly true. In reality, there are some practices that can put your physical health at risk. Things to avoid include:
- Carrying on masturbating if you're already sore or have injuries like friction burns. Give yourself time to heal.
- Not using adequate lubrication when inserting or inserting yourself into toys. This can lead to injuries and burns.
- Using the wrong lube. Some things just aren't designed to be used as lube - avoid foodstuffs and anything with strong scents or chemical additives, as they could react badly with your sensitive areas.
- Homemade sex toys. Real sex toys are made of skin-friendly materials that don't harbor bacteria. Avoid food, avoid potentially sharp or unclean items, and don't even consider the vacuum. Trust us.
Hygiene tips for before and after masturbating
Like using the bathroom, masturbating is almost always going to involve touching your genitals and intimate areas. As such, making sure your hands are clean is an important part of healthy masturbation.
However, since there's no single way to masturbate, it's worth thinking about some other hygiene tips - to make sure there's no chance of bacteria being spread.
Trim and clean your nails
Your nails provide the perfect place for bacteria and dirt to hide - both of which can cause irritation if they're exposed to your sensitive areas.
Try to keep your nails short to avoid giving germs a safe haven. Get in the habit of using a firm nail brush and soap to clean under and around them too.
Clean your sex toys before and after
Sex toys are designed to come into close contact with your genitals - so it's important to make sure you clean them before and after a solo sex session.
If possible, use a dedicated sex toy cleaner. Not only will it make sure there are no bacteria present, but it's also designed to be body-safe, so there's no danger of any irritation or reaction when you play.
All finished? Give your toys another clean before they go back in your drawer. Hiding sex toys away is a good way to be discreet - but it also gives lingering germs a dark place to live.
Try to pee after you orgasm
It's often claimed that women should pee after sex to help reduce the chance of urinary tract infections (UTIs). While science says this will likely only help some women, the discomfort involved with UTIs means being careful is never a bad idea.
Since men have a longer urethra, there's actually less chance that bacteria from your genitals will reach your bladder - but it's always good to be certain.
UTIs can be extremely painful, so if you can pee shortly after you enjoy some solo play, there's no harm in doing so.
Clean before and after anal play
If you enjoy anal stimulation as part of your masturbation, it's really important to make sure you're thoroughly clean before - and again before you touch your genitals.
You probably already realize that there's potentially a lot of harmful bacteria involved when you insert anything into your anus - but in the heat of pleasure, it can be easy to forget. If you don't want to break off to have a shower, at least keep some anti-bacterial skin-safe wipes to hand to make sure everything is clean.
Male masturbation FAQs
Masturbation isn't usually something guys chat about with their friends. While this is understandable - it doesn't mean that people don't have questions!
Can you get addicted to masturbation?
There's a lot of debate in the medical world about whether or not you can be considered "addicted" to masturbation. It isn't featured in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors by the American Psychological Association (APA) so is not classed as an addictive behavior. Likewise, it isn't considered a mental health issue in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).
Instead, it's more useful to think about whether masturbation ever becomes a "compulsion". There are different scientific definitions of what compulsion is - but it's generally considered a behavior that you feel powerless to avoid.
Compulsive behavior tends to become a problem if it gets in the way of other life priorities or comes with problem feelings for you. Problem feelings and behaviors might include:
- Masturbating getting in the way of home, work, or personal life
- Canceling social events or avoiding them so you can masturbate
- Masturbating even if you don't feel aroused - or masturbating to avoid emotions like stress, anger, or sadness
- Feeling guilty about masturbating
If you feel any of these apply, it might be worth trying to cut down on how much solo play you take part in. Some people decide to seek professional help from a therapist to help them cut down. However, most people never run into these issues - so, with so many benefits, you don't need to worry about masturbation becoming a problem.
How much time does it take to restore testosterone levels after masturbation?
You may be aware of sports people avoiding masturbation or other kinds of sexual pleasure before events. They do so because there's a belief that sexual release reduces testosterone levels - but this has not been proved by science.
Testosterone is shown to increase during sexual activity - but it also falls back to normal levels after orgasm.
Some studies suggest that testosterone levels can increase if you do not masturbate for periods of time - but again, they are shown to go back to normal levels shortly after sexual activity.
All that cem for between 10%-40% of people - and is significantly impacted by various life factors - not least diet, sleep, stress, and aging. If you're concerned about your testosterone levels, it's a good idea to speak to your doctor - but it doesn't have to change your sexual habits.
Can masturbation worsen Peyronie's disease?
Unfortunately, there's a lack of in-depth medical research on Peyronie's disease. Some anecdotal evidence suggests that especially rigorous masturbation or sex can lead to the formation of scar tissue - but some early studies say the condition is likely to be hereditary.
According to a urologic surgeon with 45 years of clinical experience treating men with Peyronie's, men with the condition can "still have intercourse" - but he outlines some safety considerations. These include using adequate lubricant and avoiding bending the penis. With this in mind, it's safe to say you should follow these same guidelines when you masturbate if you want to avoid any accidental damage.
Exploring sex toys and other ways of reaching orgasm is a fantastic way to mix up your masturbation techniques too.
That said, most men find standard ways of masturbating do not cause Peyronie's to get worse.
Can masturbation make STD worse?
The answer here is generally 'no' - but it does depend a little on the symptoms you have.
According to a medically-backed Australian health campaign, masturbating while you have (or are being treated for) an STD (sexually transmitted disease) will not cause the STD to spread or worsen. However, if you're experiencing any soreness or itchiness on or around your penis as a result of the STD, you might further irritate your skin by masturbating before it is healed.
Talk to your doctor about treatment. Most STDs can be treated very quickly and will only be a minor interruption to your sexual activity. If you don't want any interruption at all, you might decide to explore other ways of masturbating as you recover - such as prostate play.
Will masturbation affect sex with a partner?
Masturbation can add to a healthy sexual relationship or take away from that relationship - it really depends on your and your circumstances.
Sometimes, masturbating can totally satisfy your sexual urges - reducing your desire to engage in intimacy with your partner.
If you find this is happening, it might be good to cut down on the amount of self-love you enjoy.
However, masturbation can be a fantastic addition to your sex life. Lots of people who experience premature ejaculation choose to masturbate to orgasm before sex so that sensitivity is reduced when they have intercourse with a partner. Mutual masturbation can be an exciting addition to sex too - as can watching each other masturbate.
Masturbating while also being in a sexual relationship is completely normal - but it's worth making sure you don't use up all your sexual energy solo, so you can keep important intimacy with your partner.
Male Masturbation Techniques: A Summary
Masturbation can be an amazing addition to anyone's sex life - and it offers a huge range of benefits that go beyond just pleasure. Masturbating is shown to reduce stress and anxiety, as well as to help with heart health, and erectile dysfunction, and help prevent prostate cancer.
While most guys already masturbate, there are plenty of new techniques to explore to spice up your play. Planning your sessions is always good - making sure you've got quality lube to hand.
You might decide to enjoy some external stimulus from pornography, adult audiobooks, and even ASMR - and taking your time when you play can result in explosive orgasms. There are also plenty of sex toys to enhance your experience - including prostate stimulators; the key to incredible full-body climaxes.
Don't be afraid to explore parts of your body that have previously been neglected - and try lots of different positions too..
When you do, you'll unlock sensations you didn't realize were possible!
Of course, masturbation is something you should enjoy in a healthy way. This means making sure you don't skip over good hygiene (no matter how turned on you are!) and don't let self-love detract from other priorities and relationships.
Don't worry though; these things are usually very easy to balance - so there's no need to hold back if you are keen to explore and enjoy some mind-blowing new experiences and intense orgasms!