How to Stop Masturbating and End Masturbation Addiction

Learn how to resist the urge and quit chronic masturbation

how to stop masturbating

Masturbation is usually a normal and healthy activity. Most people begin to masturbate in their teenage years and continue to do so as adult.

Masturbation can relive stress and anxiety, help us explore our sexuality, and even protect your prostate. But, in some cases, masturbation can become compulsive.

While compulsive sexual behaviors, such as chronic masturbation are not officially considered an addiction, it can have real negative, addiction like effects on your wellbeing.

In this article we’ll talk about whether you should stop masturbating or not and give you some tools that will help you stop masturbating if you choose to do so.

Signs of addiction to masturbation

If you’re reading this article you’re probably asking yourself “should I stop masturbating?”. Well, for most people the answer is no. Masturbation is a normal activity that has positive mental and physical benefits. You should stop masturbating if it becomes a compulsive behavior that interferes with your daily life.

Here are some signs you should look out for:

  1. You skip work, school, social gathering, meeting your friends or other social activities because you prefer to masturbate
  2. Masturbation has replaced sex in your relationship
  3. You use masturbation for mood regulation (e.g. to fight off anxiety, depression, feelings of low self-esteem, etc.)
  4. You feel like you can’t control the urge and you find yourself making risky decisions like masturbating at work
  5. Masturbation is causing relationship difficulties
  6. You find yourself excessively drinking alcohol or using illegal drugs

If you experience any of these signs it’s might be the time to take control over your masturbation habits.

How to stop masturbating

Decide how much is too much

Your goal shouldn’t be to stop masturbating permanently and forever. Masturbation is normal and healthy. You should first decide how much is too much and set yourself a goal. It can be once a day or a few times a week. Remember that the goal is for masturbation to not negatively interfere with your daily life.

Be honest and acknowledge shameful feelings

The first step in dealing with a problem is acknowledging it. Do you want to stop masturbating because of feelings of guilt or shame? it’s important to acknowledge that. You might feel that masturbation is wrong or even a sin. If it’s hurting your relationships, career or interferes with your life that’s a different issue.

You’ll eventually want to get to the underlaying cause of what’s causing you to compulsively masturbate. Knowing the root cause makes quitting masturbation much easier.

Avoid porn

Porn provides a very strong sexual stimulation. It can easily trigger the urge to masturbate. If you have a collection of porn, get rid of it. Also consider installing a porn blocking software on your computer and phone. It is true that you can always remove it, but having to take the extra steps give you a few more moments the get the urge to masturbate under control. You can also consider moving your computer to a public room.

Stay busy

Try to keep yourself busy. Monitor your masturbation habits. If there are times when the urge to masturbate is greater, try to schedule activities for these times. Taking a group sports, yoga, joining a mindfulness meditation group, or whatever other activity you find interesting could help keep you distracted.

Remove triggers

Some people have triggers that give them the urge to masturbate. Others have daily masturbation routines. Try to remove these triggers. If you masturbate when you shower, consider taking cold showers. If masturbate in bed, try wearing extra layers of clothes as a barrier. Identify your triggers and habits and try replacing them.

Mindfulness meditation

There are a number of case studies that have shown that mindfulness meditation can help fight compulsive sexual behavior disorder (such as excessive masturbation). Studies also found mindfulness to help with relapse prevention.

The great thing about mindfulness is, that not only it can help you stop masturbating, but that it has also been proven to help decrease stress, anxiety and depression overall. And another great advantage is that you can easily practice it on your own at home.

Find a therapist

Look for a certified therapist. A certified sex therapist can be a psychologist, a medical doctor, a counselor or a social worker. The first thing a therapist can do is to determine if you actually masturbate too much. Some people only think they have a problem.

If you masturbate compulsively, a therapist can help you understand the underlying causes, and suggest behavior modification techniques. Different therapists use different techniques such as:

  1. Cognitive behavioral therapy
  2. Acceptance and commitment therapy
  3. 12-step-based treatment
  4. Psychotherapy
  5. Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

It’s important to speak with your therapist about his or hers approach and see if you feel comfortable with it.

You can search for a certified sex therapist at the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists website.

Medication

Although there are no drugs that were specifically approved for compulsive masturbation, a doctor as prescribe certain medications off-label to help reduce the urge to masturbate.

Limit alone time

Some people masturbate when they feel lonely or bored. Try limiting your alone time. If your friends are busy, consider doing activities outside or joining a club. Worried you’d want to masturbate? take a walk outside instead. Working from home? Try working from a shared workspace or a coffee shop.

Track your progress and keep a journal

Keep track of the number of days you avoided masturbation. Seeing results and gamifying the experience can keep you highly motivated.

Keeping a journal where you write your unwanted, intrusive thoughts and what you did to stop yourself from masturbating. Journaling can help you learn about your thinking patterns and triggers and can help you avoid them in the future.

Exercise and eat healthy

Many people masturbate for mood regulation (i.e. to reduce stress, anxiety and depression). Orgasm releases endorphins that make us more relaxed and happier. Working out also releases endorphins. This can reduce the urge to masturbate. Exercising also increase focus, gives you energy and increase motivation which can help you avoid masturbating.

Support groups

Joining a support group is great for accountability. Hearing other people talk about their experiences with masturbation addiction can help reduce to guilt and shame you feel. Online support and groups forums such as Sexual Compulsive Anonymous are also an option.

Side Effects Masturbation

Normally masturbation has no physical side affects you. But there are a few cases where excessive masturbation can lead to some sexual health problems:

  1. Delayed ejaculation – Frequent masturbation is considered to be one of the possible causes of delayed ejaculation and anorgasmia, especially in men who can ejaculate on their own but not with their partner.
  2. Premature ejaculation – If you have a habit of masturbating and ejaculating quickly this might lead to premature ejaculation. You can overcome this issue by practicing masturbation exercises that can help you unlearn this habit.
  3. Porn induced erectile dysfunction – While PIED has not be recognized as an official sexual dysfunction, many men swear that masturbation has caused them to suffer from erectile dysfunction. One explanation is that watching too much porn leads to performance anxiety. Another more controversial explanation is that porn can make you “desensitized” to “normal” sexual stimulation.
  4. Erectile dysfunction – Generally speaking, masturbating does not cause erectile dysfunction. But excessive masturbation can lead to sexual exhaustion. After ejaculation there is a time period in which erection is not physiologically possible.
  5. Guilt – some people feel great guilt and shame about masturbating. This is more common is religious people (Christians, Muslims, and Jews) who think masturbation is a sin. In these cases, it often better to accept masturbation is normal, rather than try to stop masturbating forever

In recent years, there are a lot of misconceptions about possible benefits of quitting masturbation. This reddit user for example says that a “friend of mine told me that he has stop jerking off” and since then he can “focus better” has “increase in confidence”, and is “more attractive to girls.”

The myths range from how masturbation can decrease your stamina, make you less focused, cause infertility and even give you “masturbation pimples.”

The NoFap community is one of the biggest active communities on Reddit. It’s members support each other’s masturbation withdrawal (rebooting) journeys.

It’s important to say that the claims (myths?) about the benefits of not masturbating are not supported by science.

Be patient and persistent

Quitting masturbation is not easy. It could take time. You might relapse. Don’t get discouraged! Changing habits takes time, but if you are persistent and determined it can be done!

About Dr. Michael Stokes

Mental Health Counselor and Sex Therapist

Dr. Michael Stokes is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and AASECT Certified Sex Therapist in Rhode Island and a Licensed Professional Counselor in Connecticut who has a Doctorate in Professional Counseling and Supervision.

Dr. Stokes serves as a professional consultant for the Between Us Clinic. He is available for online teletherapy sessions. He also writes and reviews professional materials and articles.

In his private clinic, Dr. Stokes enjoys working with individuals and couples of all genders and sexual orientations who need additional support. He has years of experience providing sex therapy and can treat an array of sexual and intimacy disorders.