Masturbation Facts
Masturbation Facts

46 Stimulating Facts about Masturbation

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published February 15, 2018Updated September 9, 2019
  • Popular terms for masturbation include onanism, autoeroticism, solitary sex, and sex for one.[11]
  • Both humans and animals masturbate.[11]
  • The word "masturbation" derives from the Latin word mas (masculine) + turbare (move violently). A variant etymology is mans (hand) + struprum (debauch).[11]
  • Slang terms for masturbation are abundant and, for men, include wank, jerk off, assault on a friendly weapon, being your own best friend, charming the cobra, Custer's last stand, one-man show, playing the organ, punishing the bishop, and roughing up the suspect.[11]
  • For women, slang terms for masturbation include the following: a night with the girls, engaging in safe sex, manual override, parting the Red Sea, and squeezing the peach.[11]
  • Kellogg Facts
    Kellogg believed bland food would help prevent masturbation
  • Physicians purposely created Kellogg's Corn Flakes and graham crackers to be as bland as possible because they believed such food would curb the desire to masturbate.[6]
  • The first surviving description of female masturbation was written by the French author Restif de la Bretonne, quoted by Havelock Ellis in The Evolution of Modesty, 1897. Restiff describes a woman looking out of window at a young man while touching herself.[11]
  • Since prehistoric times, masturbation has been depicted in art.[11]
  • Some men and women practice "edging" during masturbation. This is when they masturbate until they nearly reach orgasm and then stop to reduce excitement and then begin again, sometimes multiple times to achieve a stronger orgasm.[1]
  • One of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, Dr. Benjamin Rush, believed that masturbation was the cause of poor eyesight, epilepsy, poor memory, and tuberculosis. Women especially would become feeble minded and more susceptible to evil if they masturbated.[6]
  • The prevalence of circumcision in the United States today is because the medical community in the past believed that circumcision would help curtail masturbation.[6]
  • According to Freud, masturbation is the "primary addiction," meaning that all other addictions merely shadow the desire for self-stimulation.[6]
  • American physicians of the early 20th century treated hysteria in women by manually stimulating their genitalia to create "hysterical paroxysms." This ultimately led to the first vibrators, which were originally steam powered.[6]
  • As late as 1972, the American Medical Association maintained that masturbation was abnormal behavior.[6]
  • Masturbation: the primary sexual activity of mankind. In the nineteenth century it was a disease; in the twentieth, it's a cure.

    - Thomas Szasz (fellow of the American Psychiatric Association)

  • Before the mid-20th century, psychologists often blamed masturbation for the development of sexual perversions and homosexuality.[6]
  • Masturbation is the most common form of human sexuality on the planet.[6]
  • Temples in India and Asia depict a myriad of sexual acts, including orgies, mastrubation, and group sex.[6]
  • Ironically, those who have the most sex tend to masturbate more. Those who have chronically low levels of sex report lower levels of masturbation and decreased levels of desire.[6]
  • Before the discovery of bacteria, physicians believed that masturbation caused STDs, such as gonorrhea and syphilis. Once physicians found effective treatments for them, medical antagonism toward masturbation steadily decreased.[6]
  • In young children, masturbation is a normal part of exploring and learning about the body.[14]
  • While masturbation is usually a normal activity, it can become a problem if it inhibits sexual activity with a partner, causes significant distress to the person, or is performed in public.[14]
  • The Bible does not mention either masturbation or self-pleasure.[12]
  • Penile Fracture Fact
    Pay attention to the road
  • Multiple men have broken their penis while masturbating while driving. The car stopped suddenly, which caused a collision between the penis and steering wheel or dashboard.[4]
  • The Catechism of the Catholic Church (paragraph 2352) lists masturbation as one of the "Offenses against Chastity."[12]
  • The makeup of semen is different depending on whether a man masturbates or has intercourse.[3]
  • Masturbating is not entirely risk free. Frequent or rough masturbation can irritate the skin, and forcefully bending an erect penis can cause a gruesome injury called penile fracture.[3]
  • One man masturbated so frequently that he created abrasions on the shaft of his penis, which then became infected. After two days of vomiting, scrotum swelling, and muscle pain, he went to the ER; doctors diagnosed him with Fournier's gangrene. The treatment: antibiotics and skin grafts to re-insulate his severely chafed penis.[4]
  • Nearly 60% of penile fractures occur while masturbating.[4]
  • Masturbating in the shower might seem safe, yet penile fractures have occurred there, presumably from slipping and hitting the wall.[4]
  • While kegels (pelvic floor exercises) help tone the vagina, masturbating also helps keep the pelvic floor strong and healthy.[9]
  • The ancient Egyptians believed that the god Atum created his children through masturbation.[2]
  • The Khajuraho Temple in India depicts both male and female masturbation.[8]
  • Khajuraho Fact
    In the Khajuraho Temple, mutual masturbation, among other sex acts, is clearly displayed

  • German philosopher Immanuel Kant considered masturbation worse than suicide, in a certain sense.[8]
  • Masturbating can improve sperm quality by emptying the penis of old sperm.[3]
  • Women with higher testosterone levels report a greater desire to masturbate but less interest in having sex with a partner.[5]
  • Some Orthodox and Hasidic Jews wear a special type of underwear that allows them to urinate without having to touch themselves, in order to avoid the temptation to masturbate.[8]
  • Greek philosopher Diogenes, who was known to masturbate in public, once quipped: "Would to heaven that by rubbing my stomach in the same fashion, I could satisfy my hunger."[8]
  • The author of the 1739 The Ladies Dispensatory argued that female masturbation was terrible because women who had learned to "pleasure themselves" were missing out on the goods of marriage.[13]
  • Masturbation can help relieve menstrual cramps.[9]
  • Masturbation Effects
    The pamphlet included letters and testimonials allegedly from young men ill and dying from the effects of compulsive masturbation
  • The first use of the word "onanism" to refer to masturbation is from a 1716 pamphlet titled "Onania; or the Heinous Sin of Self-Pollution, and All its Frightful Consequences, in both Sexes, Considered, with Spiritual and Physical Advice to Those who have already Injured themselves by this Abominable Practice."[8]
  • Founded in 1732, the Scottish gentlemen's club named "The Beggar's Benison" was devoted to the celebration of male sexuality. Masturbation was an initiation rite, and men would often masturbate in groups.[7]
  • Ancient Egyptian pharaohs would ritually masturbate into the Nile River to help ensure its fertility.[10]
  • Queen Cleopatra allegedly pleasured herself with a hollow gourd filled with buzzing bees.[8]
  • A Japanese courtesan invented Ben Wa balls, which could be placed inside the vagina to provoke a "discreet" orgasm. Some balls were hollow and contained small beads that moved around inside, creating even more sensation.[8]
  • Invented in 1831, the "Leather Jacket Corset" included a metal penis tube to prevent masturbation and "access to the testicles."[13]
  • An anti-masturbation device called "The Timely Warning" was a penis-cooling machine that used cold water to cool "the organ of generation, so that the erection subsides and no discharge occurs."[13]
  • Surprising Masturbation Facts INFOGRAPHIC
    Masturbation Infographic