You might have heard warnings about some of the scary side effects of masturbation. Maybe they stopped you from ever exploring this treasure trove of pleasure, and now you have trouble coming. Perhaps you masturbate so frequently that you wonder if you could be harming yourself. Discover the truth about the side effects of masturbating; it will only set you free!

side effects of masturbation

Now, there are plenty of old wives’ tales about the negative side effects of masturbation (and sex, too!). Most of these exist to shame people about their sexuality and keep them in line, which is why they came from sources such as religious leaders and parents. Those are the very people who are still issuing these sex-negative ideas, too.

You might be familiar with some of the supposed negative side effects of masturbating. They include:

  • Hairy palms
  • Shrinking genitals (for men)
  • Going blind
  • Getting addicted to masturbation or sex toys (to the extent of not being able to enjoy other partners)
  • Dying
  • Acne
  • Going sterile
  • Infertility

The list is pretty harrowing, and if these things are true, it might do you well to avoid masturbating. Fortunately, for lovers of pleasure and orgasm everywhere, every single one of these so-called cons of self-love is unproven. Yup, that’s right. It’s all a fake scare tactic!

In fact, the actual side effects of masturbation are pretty much universally positive. Read on if you want to learn more.


We’ll start off on a strong foot. This side effect of masturbation is the only one that many people think of. In fact, if there were no other benefit to rubbing one out, most people would still do it, don’t you think? Masturbating feels good and can bring you to orgasm, which feels even better.

But even if you don’t come, you can still count on..


When women come to the Bad Girls Bible because they feel frustrated about their lack of orgasms during sex, we check to see if they’ve ever had an orgasm. If the answer to that question is “No,” we send them to the bedroom, perhaps with a vibrating aid, to learn the ins and outs of their bodies.

If you haven’t been able to orgasm by yourself, then coming with a partner will be nearly impossible. Masturbation is the easier way to learn how to orgasm, how to experience different types of orgasms and even how to squirt.

Read More: How to Orgasm Every Time for Women

Once you know what you like and how your body responds, you can teach your partners. This means you can have better sex, and it’s all thanks to masturbation!


Orgasm involves the literal release of tension from your muscles, and many people find masturbation to be quite relaxing. You might find yourself less stressed as tension departs, physically and mentally. For some people, a lack of release can lead to more tension. If that sounds like you, a regular masturbation session might be just what the doctor ordered.


It’s not surprising that something so relaxing is good for sleep. Perhaps this is why so many masturbate just before sleep. Of course, bedtime means you’re already comfortably between the sheets, and what better time exists for you to flick the bean?!


Women have long relied on masturbation to relieve pain, especially from menstrual cramps. Self-love might not cure every ailment, but it may temporarily distract you from minor aches and pains.


You’re probably a woman if you’re reading this post, but it’s worth noting that several side effects of masturbation are especially good for penile and prostate health if you’re a man. Regular masturbation is associated with a decreased risk of a sickly prostate for men in their 50s [1]. Frequent orgasms clean out the pipes [2], so to speak, which is healthy. Plus, jerking off on the regular can help men decrease the likelihood of erectile dysfunction [3], which can affect men of any age but becomes more common as a man gets older.

Related: How to Give a Prostate Massage

From reading the above six pros of masturbation, you probably  you can see that no preparation is necessary because no one will see you. Of course, if you want to put on some sexy lingerie or wear your favorite perfume, feel free! Do whatever gets you in the mood.


The positive side effects of masturbation don’t mean that it’s always good all of the time. Most of the risks of masturbation come from risky decisions.


For example, if you masturbate with something that’s porous – even if it’s a sex toy made from low-quality material – you could wind up with a bacterial infection known as bacterial vaginosis. Similarly, not cleansing your sex toys properly or swapping from anal to vaginal stimulation is a bad idea.

Furthermore, you don’t want to use anything that has sharp edges or could potentially break inside you. And inserting anything anally that isn’t built with a flared base or a handle can result in an uncomfortable trip to the emergency room.

Many people experiment with homemade sex toys, but when it comes to insertion, your best bet is a quality sex toy that has been intended for this use and can be adequately cleaned. 

Even if you’re using a proper toy, thrusting too vigorously could lead to soreness and potential bleeding. To mitigate any of the risks of masturbation, listen to your body and err on the side of caution. You’ll thank us in the long run.


Another, less serious risk of masturbation is getting used to having orgasms in the same way. This can happen to both men and women. You get used to using a specific toy, a certain type of pressure or something else that you’re used to. If you can’t replicate it during sex, coming with a partner might be difficult.

You might need to take a break from that powerhouse vibrator (we’re betting you thought of the Magic Wand just reading this!) if you want to be able to orgasm from manual stimulation alone. This doesn’t mean that vibrator addiction is real; it’s just important that you keep things varied or retrain your body if you get used to coming using only one method.


While masturbating is a great way to learn to orgasm and to achieve consistent orgasms, it’s not necessarily a good thing to focus on orgasm. For some people, keeping an eye on the goal makes it harder to be in the now and enjoy pleasure. Even if you don’t come, masturbation can feel great, and the same goes for sex!

One of the reasons so many women have unsatisfying sex is because their male partners focus solely on their own orgasm (ejaculation). The guy rushes right to penetration without any warmup, which is often necessary for a woman to relax and achieve orgasm. So you can see one of the cons to being orgasm oriented all of the time.


Few people do lasting damage by masturbating, but the repetitious motion can lead to a sore arm, wrist, or hand. If you have a condition like arthritis or carpal tunnel, then masturbation can exacerbate that. For most people, taking a break is all they need. But you might consider switching things up or adding a tool to help relieve fatigue.


You’re likely to feel guilty about masturbating if you were taught that touching yourself or even sex, in general, were bad things. This can extend long into your adulthood. Some married women have never masturbated or even enjoyed sex. That’s pretty unfortunate.

Guilt can lead you to do all sorts of things. For example, you might hide that you masturbate, hide implements you use or chastise yourself after masturbating. The people who are the most hung up over masturbation aren’t even necessarily the ones that do it the most.

If you’re convinced you’re not supposed to be doing it, your guilt can develop an association that becomes a fetish (check out the big list of fetishes).  Unless you find that guilt works for you, it’s time to ditch the guilt. You’ve already seen many of the positive side effects of masturbation, and you’re an adult who can make your own decisions. For readers who especially struggle with guilt, therapy might help you move past this roadblock to truly enjoy your sexuality.

While there are plenty of positive outcomes from masturbation, the benefits of masturbation and sex do differ (find out some benefits of sex). It seems as though the physical health benefits are just better with sex, perhaps because it’s more rigorous or because of how your body chemistry responds to having a partner. That’s no reason not to enjoy a little solo play time, of course.

While we can’t promise that masturbating will turn you into a cool, confident woman, masturbation is an activity that everyone should try at least once. You might not love it, but it definitely doesn’t come with the adverse side effects that people may have warned you about in the past.

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