Table of contents
Masturbation or onanism is a very common sexual practice in our population (both in men and women), which begins before or during adolescence and offers many benefits: immunological, stress reduction, self-knowledge...
However, its excessive practice can be harmful, since it can sometimes become obsessive behavior and trigger an addiction to masturbation or compulsive masturbation.
Today, despite having undergone a great social evolution, masturbation is still a taboo subject, and therefore young people hardly have access to good sex education to know their bodies, know what masturbation is and how to perform it responsibly.
This, added to the only example they have of sex: porn creates a situation of ignorance about sexuality and, therefore, about masturbation.
Paradoxically, one of the most important and useful ways to learn about one's own sexuality is through masturbation, since it helps to get to know one's own body and identify the tastes, limitations, and preferences of each person, in order to be able to more responsible and satisfactory sexual practices for all parties.
When is masturbation considered an addiction?
The excessive practice of onanism is found in 30-75% of patients with hypersexuality, so it is seen as a symptom of this disorder.
Hypersexuality is characterized by a prolonged, frequent and intense dedication to sexual fantasies and behaviors that, in addition to causing suffering to the person, affects many areas of life: social events, work, family, self-esteem, etc.
It is important to know that compulsive masturbation cannot be measured according to the number of times the practice is performed since it depends on numerous factors (sex, age, culture, sexual appetite, sentimental situation, mood, etc.).
Being a behavioral addiction, it shares characteristics with other similar addictions:
- The compulsive need to masturbate: the individual constantly feels a great need to masturbate, even without having received an exciting stimulus.
- If the individual does not satisfy his desire, the withdrawal syndrome appears as malaise, nervousness, anxiety, anger, etc.
- Gradually, the need to masturbate increases, taking up a large part of your day.
- Other life activities are displaced: work, studies, family, friends, hobbies, leisure activities, etc.
- The person is unable to control it, despite knowing the danger and having suffered the consequences of addiction. Masturbation becomes uncontrollable, coming to perform this practice in unusual or correct situations.
In addition, addiction can be detected by the consequences of their compulsive behavior:
- By not being able to control compulsive behavior, the person has low self-esteem that affects other areas of his life.
- Alterations in sexual practices: as masturbation is the main sexual behavior, the rest of sexual practices are left aside, including those with other people.
- Erection problems or inability to reach orgasm.
- Problematic sexual practices: People addicted to masturbation frequently turn to pornography to obtain increasingly 'gratifying' or 'intense' stimuli, since it is increasingly difficult to achieve an erection or orgasm. This can influence sexual practices with other people, since pornography is taken as the only example of sexual relations.
How to overcome masturbation addiction
Compulsive masturbation is a behavioral addiction, so the treatment is similar to other behavioral addictions: individual therapy is combined with group therapy. First, the history of the person is assessed, and then the personalized work plan is established.
In addition, it is important to offer good sexual education during treatment, since in this way the person will acquire the necessary knowledge to carry out safe and satisfactory sexual practices.
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