Masturbation is a normal process for people who have begun maturing sexually or who have fully matured. It’s a great way to relieve sexual tension when you’re by yourself. Unfortunately, it’s very easy to develop an attachment to the physical feeling of masturbation. This can lead someone into a habit of compulsive masturbation.
Compulsive masturbation is different than doing it just to relieve sexual tension. In fact, it quite quickly can develop into an isolating problem that separates an individual from the true nature of their sexual desires. The nature of the problem means that it must be treated differently than other sexual addictions.
What makes compulsive masturbation different?
Compulsive masturbation can indicate a number of problems that are deeper or different than a ‘standard’ sexual addiction. This is because masturbation is generally performed alone, so the problem of compulsive masturbation is often associated with deep-seated, personal problems.
Many people – though certainly not all – are not proud of their masturbation habits, even if they don’t pose a problem. Largely as a result of religion, many people consider masturbation to be something to be ashamed of, something that makes them unclean. This makes it hard for these sorts of people to bring their problem up among others, making them less likely to seek treatment for their problem.
A lot of the time, someone who has a compulsive masturbation habit may not actually reveal their habit when they seek help. That is to say, they may seek treatment for one of the associated symptoms that emerged as a result of their masturbation – anxiety, depression, loneliness, difficulty socializing and building solid relationships – without actually revealing that they have a problem with masturbation.
This alone makes the problem very difficult to treat because many people are not willing to accept, or are ashamed to admit, that many of their problems arise as a result of masturbation.
Some people who suffer from a problem with compulsive masturbation will make the act a part of their routine everyday. These people tend to masturbate at the same, or similar times every day, as if they were on a schedule. They might do it every morning upon waking and then again every night before bed. Or perhaps when they find themselves in a certain place or situation, something triggers within them that causes them to masturbate.
Keep in mind that mastrbating in the morning everyday doesn’t necessarily indicate a problem. However if you feel that you’re not comfortable or not able to face the day if you’re, say, awakened by someone and not able to masturbate in the morning, that could be a sign of a problem.
Chronic masturbation and intimacy anorexia
Oftentimes, chronic masturbators either develop, or are trying to cover up, problems that they have with intimacy. In serious cases, intimacy issues can constitute a problem known as intimacy anorexia. The problem of compulsive masturbation is tightly linked to intimacy anorexia because a person can grow up exclusively masturbating instead of developing a healthy sex life.
The solitude of masturbation can make it very difficult for a chronic masturbator to build up a healthy relationship with intimacy, which can affect future relationships.
Binge masturbation is just like binging with anything else. It involves prolonged sessions of partaking in masturbatory acts that can end up taking hours. Some people find themselves spending entire days masturbating; others find that they will keep on doing it even after hurting themselves.
Oftentimes, binge masturbating is done by people who are using drugs. Stimulants are particularly notorious for leading to binge masturbation, in a “once you start, you can’t stop” sense. This could lead to far more serious complications, like a binge masturbation habit coupled with a drug addiction.
The technology craze
The development of new technology has negatively affected people who have masturbation problems by making it incredibly easy to access pornographic or romantic material online. In fact, the hyper-sexualization of women throughout the media has contributed massively to a rise in chronic male masturbators. It’s almost impossible to scroll through the internet without at least seeing a scantily clad woman pop up somewhere.
The ease with which someone can access this material can make it incredibly challenging for them to avoid masturbation. Someone who owns a smartphone can access pornography any time they’re alone, which could easily lead to a masturbation habit.
Fixing the problem of compulsive masturbation
To work towards healing a problem of compulsive masturbation, it’s important to understand why the condition occurs and what the underlying factors involved are. Chronic masturbators use this activity to help relax or to numb feelings that they aren’t comfortable with.
Compulsive maturbation is a sign that these people are dealing with underlying problems that they are trying to fix with masturbation. However, this is a band-aid approach that leads to much more serious problems. Chronic masturbators are often also suffering from emotional or mental problems that may have risen from traumatic experiences earlier in their lives.
Many people suffering from sexual addictions of all sorts have problems with unaddressed shame. Sexual shame is often the result of sexual trauma that has occured in someone’s past, often during childhood. These experiences are extremely uncomfortable and difficult to talk about, so they often remain unaddressed.
The best way to overcome this problem is to seek help. Unfortunately, to do that, you have to first admit that your masturbation is not just an enjoyable experience, but an uncontrollable habit. You can be sure of this if your masturbation causes depression, anxiety, problems with social or romantic relationships, deteriorating sexual intimacy, damage to your genitals, or drug use associated with masturbation.
If you don’t acknowledge the fact that your masturbation is a problem, then you won’t be able to overcome the problem. You could see a therapist for many years without seeing improvement because they would be trying to treat you for a different problem.
Get in touch with an addiction or recovery coach if you’re comfortable enough with your problem to bring it up. Or, try to find friends or family that you’re comfortable enough with to discuss the issue. That’s the first step towards getting better and restoring your sex life to a healthy balance.
Call my office at (805) 644-0461 and let’s begin facing your struggle together. You are never alone. Help is just a phone call away.