What Masturbation Does to Your Brain What Masturbation Does to Your Brain

Effects Of Masturbation On Your Brain: Pros and Cons

Masturbation is the natural way of touching and exploring our intimate parts to feel pleasure, which often includes rubbing your genitals or touching sensitive areas for pleasure and sexual arousal. However, I have noticed that there are a lot of myths revolving around it. People have their conceptions and I believe no one should force their beliefs on others. Talking about masturbation I must say, it’s still a topic of debate.

Many people don’t know exactly what happens when they masturbate, and how it affects their brain. Actually, there are pros and cons to everything. So, here I’ll tell you about masturbation and I hope this will help you clear a lot of your doubts.

So,What Happens When You Masturbate?

Masturbation or touching yourself in a certain way makes your body let out some chemicals. These chemicals make you feel good. They include:

  • Dopamine: You become happy, and it is linked to your brain’s reward system.
  • Endorphins: Make you less stressed and enhance your mood.
  • Oxytocin: Love hormone and helps with social bonding.
  • Testosterone: Released during sex to boost stamina and arousal.
  • Prolactin: Affects your mood and immune system.

When you do this touching, it releases these chemicals, and that’s why it can make you feel better both emotionally and physically.

You Must Know How Masturbation Affects Your Sexual Health and Physical Health

1. Mood Improvement

You have dopamine, endorphins, and oxytocin in your body to reduce stress and help you relax, also called “happiness hormones.” Even your bad mood can be changed by masturbating.

2. Focus and Concentration

You might have heard of “post-nut clarity,” where your brain suddenly feels focused after doing this, and many people find that masturbation helps them concentrate better, so they might do it before working, studying, or taking a test.

3. Stress and Anxiety Relief

Oxytocin, known as the “love hormone,” helps with social bonding and also relaxes you and studies suggest it regulates stress and reduces anxiety by lowering blood pressure and cortisol levels (a stress hormone).

4. Better Sleep

Many people use this to help them fall asleep, and it makes sense.

Oxytocin and endorphins are linked to relaxation, so masturbation can aid sleep, especially if stress and anxiety are keeping you awake.

5. Boost in Self-Esteem

For some, masturbation is a way of showing self-love, getting to know their body, and spending quality time alone. Enjoying your body and discovering what feels good can boost your self-esteem.

6. Better Immunity

Masturbation is also said to improve your immune system; it is due to two reasons. One is that it boosts the production of the neurotransmitters that reduce stress. Second, masturbation also raises the level of prolactin and endocannabinoids. These help regulate your immune system. 

The Icy Whiz team talked to Dr. Ketan Parmar, MD, a Psychiatrist and Mental Health Expert at ClinicSpots, about masturbation’s neurological and mental effects. Here is what he said:

Ketan Parmar
Ketan Parmar

“Masturbation leads to the release of a cocktail of neurotransmitters and hormones, including dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins, which positively affect brain function and emotions in several ways:

  • Dopamine Release: Dopamine, often called the happy hormone, is crucial in feeling pleasure and satisfaction. Its surge during masturbation is similar to the experiences during eating, exercise, or social interactions, contributing to a sense of well-being and happiness.
  • Oxytocin and Endorphins: The release of oxytocin and endorphins aids in stress relief and enhances mood, mirroring the effects observed after vigorous physical activity or heartwarming social encounters. These chemicals promote relaxation and pain relief, highlighting a shared biochemical reaction that benefits mental health across these activities.

Emotional and Cognitive Processes

  • Guilt or Shame and Their Neurological Basis: Feelings of guilt or shame after masturbation are not uncommon and have been explored through various socio-cultural and psychological influences. Neurologically, these feelings can be linked to the brain’s moral judgment and self-reflection regions, such as the prefrontal cortex.
  • Socio-cultural Influences: Deep-rooted beliefs and societal norms play a significant role in the emotional aftermath of masturbation. These feelings are often conditioned responses rather than reflections of the act’s physiological nature.
  • Psychological Impact: Persistent feelings of guilt or shame can contribute to negative impacts on mental health; some situations can cause people to feel anxious, stressed, and in some cases, depressed. Understanding and addressing these emotions’ roots are essential for fostering a healthier relationship with one’s sexuality and overall mental well-being.”

I’ll Now Explain How Frequent Masturbation Affects Your Sexual Health

Masturbating regularly, whether you’re alone or with someone, can make your sexual activity life better. Here’s how:

  • Physical Benefits– Your body needs to be physically fit; not only does masturbation make you feel better about yourself and help you relax, but it also improves your overall health and feeling good physically.
  • Healthy Sex DriveA 2022 study done in China suggests a link between masturbation and having a strong desire for sex. The study shows that using certain sex toys (like vibrators) frequently is connected to a high sex drive and positive sexual function.
  • Discovering Pleasure– When you masturbate, you learn what makes you feel good and excited. This knowledge can help you tell your partner what you enjoy when you’re together.

We Should Not Ignore the Negative Effects of Masturbation

It’s important to know that not everyone has good experiences with masturbation, in spite of the health benefits. So, I want to draw your attention to some of its other aspects too.

1. Personal Choices and Beliefs

You might be among those who don’t like this feeling, and others might have a completely different belief. It’s okay if you don’t want to masturbate. The choice is yours. If it’s hard for you and it bothers you, talking to a doctor or therapist can help.

2. Social and Spiritual Pressures

In some religions, masturbating is seen as a sin. Society can also have strong opinions, such as women shouldn’t do it. There are even false stories that can make you feel anxious or guilty, like the idea that masturbation makes you go blind or it grows hair on your hands – both are absolutely not true.

If you believe these things and still want to masturbate without feeling bad, talking to a therapist can be helpful.

3. Negative Effects on the Body

Excessive masturbation can also cause physical issues like irritated or broken skin or cramps. For some, especially those with compulsive sexual behavior or a history of abuse, it can be embarrassing or distressing.

4. Additional Problems

Apart from problems related to society and beliefs, there are health issues that can make masturbation challenging, and these include-

  • Trouble getting or keeping an erection.
  • Low interest in sexual activities.
  • Dryness in the vagina.
  • Pain during sex.
  • A rare condition is called post-orgasmic illness syndrome, where some people feel sick after ejaculating.

If things are really getting out of hand due to addiction, as it becomes like a porn addiction, I would strongly recommend you consult a doctor or medicinal professional. As masturbation could even have psychological effects on you and impact your well-being. 

It can spoil your relationship with your partner, and not just the sexual relationship but the whole sense of being together and living might feel disrupted sometimes. Do not let it come to that extent, and always seek the help of a professional when you feel things are getting out of hand. 

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In spite of positive or negative effects, I advise you to take care that you do not get addicted to masturbation as it might affect your mental health or cause some sexual dysfunction. It is a good way of stress reduction and sexual arousal, too, as scientific evidence supports. 

So, it can be suggested that as you see the masturbation benefits, it can be used occasionally for positive effects, but it should not become extreme due to the effects on the brain and other issues. Using it to enhance your relationship with your partner or sometimes for self-pleasure is always a good idea! 

Last Updated on May 21, 2024 by Pragya


Anushree Khandelwal
  1. Wow, this article was really eye-opening! I had no idea that masturbation could have such an impact on the brain. It’s fascinating to learn about the neurochemical changes and the potential benefits and drawbacks. Definitely makes me think about the importance of moderation and being mindful of how our habits can affect our mental health.

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