Guess what? It won’t send you blind after all.
New US research suggests the guilt and stigma around masturbation is (finally) lessening.
Masturbation is now regarded as something most of us do, that’s not just harmless but has multiple health benefits.
Despite solo sex being the norm, most us still do it in private and tend not to discuss it around the water cooler at work.
Exact figures of how often and how we conduct our solo sex sessions are surprisingly sparse.
Which is why I was fascinated by this research (conducted by Bespoke Surgical) of more than 1000 American adults of various sexual orientations, experience, relationship status and genders.
Here’s what it uncovered.
How often do we masturbate?
On average, straight Americans masturbate 12 times a month with homosexuals doing it around 14.2 times per month.
Men masturbate almost twice as much as women: 14.8 times a month compared with 7.8 times a month.
Single people masturbate more than those in a relationship: 16 per month, compared to 11 times per month.
What do we think about while doing it?
In our celebrity obsessed culture, it comes as no surprise to find the most common fantasy we have while masturbating involved celebrities.
Thirty four percent of people fantasised about doing the dirty with someone famous. Nipping at their heels were fantasies about an ex: 33 per cent fantasised about sex with an ex while having sex with themselves.
How about this though: 33 per cent masturbate while fantasising about a friend!
Porn stars kept 28.8 per cent of the respondents busy and 18 per cent thought about work mates.
Twenty five percent of people ONLY fantasise about their current romantic partner.
How we felt about masturbating growing up
I found this result encouraging.
While 31.6 per cent of Americans said they grew up thinking it was shameful, 31.3 percent of those surveyed thought masturbating was healthy and natural and twenty eight per cent were neutral or had no strong perception about solo sex.
Not ideal, sure, but a step in the right direction.
How we feel after masturbating
In a word – great!
Thirty four percent reported feeling relaxed and ready to sleep, 24 percent were in a better mood or feeling good, 10 per cent felt energised and eight per cent empowered.
A tiny seven percent of people felt guilty or ashamed.
Who uses sex toys while masturbating?
Having two sex toy ranges with Lovehoney, I was super keen to see the results of this category…but turns out this statistic is meaningless because it didn’t break down into gender.
Most men don’t use a toy during solo sex but lots of women do (a sizeable proportion only orgasm with a vibrator).
The survey reported that 49 per cent of people never use toys when masturbating but it doesn’t tell us much without knowing who was doing the masturbating.
Eleven per cent did say they used toys about 75 per cent of time. Fairly safe to assume, I’d say, that these were women.
Things we do while masturbating
A while back, we found out that one in ten people check their phone DURING sex.
Turns out a lot of people don’t put it down at all.
Thirty six per cent have texted or sexted with someone while having solo sex, 34 per cent have done it while on a audio call and 31 per cent during a video call.
But I thought everyone watched porn while masturbating?
So did I!
But turns out only one in four people in the US watch porn every time they masturbate.
(I’m with you: I’d have thought at least half of all people do.)
One quirky result that made me smile – seems our penchant for watching porn that’s the opposite to our usual sexuality continues.
We know straight women watch both lesbian and gay male porn. Turns out 18 per cent of homosexuals primarily watch straight porn when masturbating.
You’ll find tips on how to make your solo sex session hotter here.