Teenage boys are often portrayed as testosterone-fueled beasts constantly masturbating. And popular gender mythos also portrays grown men as hypersexual. Meanwhile, teenage girls aren’t portrayed as being driven by the need to masturbate, and women, in general, and shown as less sexually voracious than men. But is that really accurate? Or is that a hangover of our outdated, false, and traditional notions of female sexuality? Do women masturbate as much as men?
Parity in masturbation between the sexes?
According to a new study published in the Journal of Sex Research, young men and women are comparable in the frequency with which they masturbate. The research was based on a survey of 1,452 men and 1,566 women between 18 and 22 years of age based on an honest self-report of their masturbatory habits and rituals. While the study certainly found some differences in gender, the most notable observation was that most men and women reported similar experiences with masturbation.
Approximately 98.9% of men reported having masturbated previously, and 85.5% of women reported the same. Out of those, men started masturbating at the age of 12.5 and women at the age of 13.7 on average. Men and women also came close to each other in terms of using sexual fantasies while masturbating — 95.4% for men and 86.8% for women. And in terms of orgasms, 97.6% of all men achieved orgasms, and 81.6% of all women achieved orgasms.
The study also tracked another facet of masturbation — the use of sex toys. It’s widely understood now that sex toys have numerous psychological, emotional, and physiological benefits. But until recently, it was assumed that girls and women largely depended on sex toys for orgasms, but this study showed that only 8% of women use sex toys for masturbation and 1.4% of men do the same. This indicates that a large number of women can achieve orgasms without external assistance.
The following is a summary of the study’s findings:
- Having masturbated previously: 98.9% (men) and 85.5% (women)
- Average age of masturbation: 12.5 (men) and 13.7 (women)
- Using sexual fantasies for masturbation: 95.4% (men) and 86.8% (women)
- Achieving orgasms after masturbation: 97.6% (men) and 81.6% (women)
- Using sex toys for masturbation: 1.4% (men) and 8% (women)
This study certainly shows that there’s a difference between the masturbatory habits of men and women. But the difference isn’t as dramatic as most people assume. The numbers are pretty close together, so it’s accurate to say that women masturbate almost as much as men.
It’s also worth noting that this survey’s results are based on self-reporting, so we must take into account that some men may over-report how much they masturbate, and some women may under-report how much they masturbate in keeping with societal expectations and norms.
Furthermore, this survey was based on a small section of the Swedish population, a country known for having achieved gender parity in most facets of life, including parental leave policies, global gender gap index, etc. As such, in a society where women have achieved parity in most things, it makes sense that masturbatory habits would follow suit.
How often should you masturbate?
Women can masturbate as much as they want — there are absolutely no health risks to masturbating often. And to the contrary, there are numerous mental health and emotional benefits to frequently masturbating, especially with sex toys! If you enjoy masturbating, go for it, and don’t worry about it being “too much!” And on the other hand, it’s also perfectly okay to masturbate less frequently or not at all. Do whatever feels right for your body.
If you want to develop a habit of masturbating regularly, you can start with two sessions per week of 15 to 20 minutes each. Some women also sync their masturbation habits with their menstruation cycles, allowing them to maximize the possibilities of their natural endocrine flows. Your estrogen and progesterone hormones are usually at their peak levels during the ovulation phase, so you can achieve truly amazing orgasms by masturbating within that period.
What are the benefits of regular masturbation?
Masturbation is one of the best ways to understand your sexual needs and desires. When you masturbate, you get in touch with your body and requirements without worrying about having to please someone else. So much of sex can be a performance because we’re constantly aware of the other person’s presence. But masturbation allows you to focus on no one but yourself. As such, you can take the time to explore your erogenous zones, indulge in your sexual fantasies, and play with sex toys, showerheads, and whatever else you can think of!
The following are some of the amazing benefits of masturbation:
- Boost Circulation: When you achieve an orgasm, your body increases blood circulation to deliver essential nutrients to various parts of your body. If you masturbate or have sex at least once a week, you are more likely to have regular menstruation cycles.
- Boost Reproductive System: When you masturbate, you energize your hypothalamus gland, which can regulate your emotions, appetite, mental health, and other aspects of your life, including your cervical fluid production and ovulation. As such, regular masturbation improves your reproductive system and overall quality of life.
- Clitoral Health: If you don’t stimulate your clitoris regularly, you may suffer from clitoral atrophy, a condition wherein your clitoris shrinks and seems to become smaller. Regular masturbation can ensure you have proper blood circulation in the clitoris to keep it happy!
These are just some of the most potent benefits of masturbation. But some of the other benefits include a boosted immunity, improved relationships, a more youthful appearance, and a masturbation glow that makes you radiate positivity and wellness. So, don’t worry about whether you’re masturbating more than men, less than men, too much, or too little. As long as you feel good, that’s all that matters!