There are a lot of misconceptions about what really goes on when men and women masturbate. If someone were to believe the media about self-love, they might think men did it all the time and women hardly at all. If a woman were to masturbate, it would only be in the bathtub or with picture-perfect lingerie on.
In reality, masturbation may be far more common and casual. Beyond feeling good, masturbation may be able to prevent depression, reduce the risk of cervical and prostate cancer, and ease the pain of menstrual cramps. And, of course, there’s always the bonus of an orgasm.
To learn more, we polled over 900 Europeans and Americans about their masturbation habits. We wanted to clear the air on just how often they got down with themselves and preferred methods to set the mood and achieve orgasm. Read on to see what we learned.
All’s Fair in Love and Masturbation
According to our survey, 88 percent of women and 96 percent of men masturbated. This sexual self-gratification might not be a rare occurrence, either.
On average, women masturbated twice a week for an average of 13 minutes each session. While men had similar durations (14 minutes), they masturbated twice as often, averaging four days a week. That’s 27 hours every year spent finding new (or familiar) pleasure points for women and 46 hours for men. Studies suggest women start to masturbate later in life compared to men because their sex drives differ, and the pressure to be “more modest” could be another roadblock to sexual exploration.
If these numbers seem high for men, consider this: The National Health Services (NHS) found men who ejaculated at least 21 times a month appeared to lower their risk of prostate cancer.
A Combined Effort
Just because masturbation is often perceived as a private activity doesn’t mean it can’t include a little extra inspiration or accessory. Forty percent of women and 10 percent of men said using sex toys made for better orgasms. One survey found more than 12 percent of men and women own three sex toys each, and over 80 percent of people said these toys helped improve their sex lives overall. There are even options for couples looking to introduce sex toys into their relationship for mutual satisfaction.
Women’s turn-ons while masturbating were more adventurous as well. While more than 2 in 3 men and 38 percent of women said porn was their go-to source for stimulation, more than 10 percent of women admitted to relying on sexual fantasies about their significant other, erotic literature, or fantasies about strangers to reach moments of peak pleasure. Erotic stories may be more popular among women than men, although experts suggest anyone could benefit from reading (or writing) erotica to understand their desires and fantasies better.
The secret is out – even some of the biggest celebrities in Hollywood are opening up about their masturbation mannerisms. Even if it doesn’t come up in regular conversation very often, a majority of Europeans and Americans masturbate multiple times each week on average. While men might be participating in these self-loving sessions twice as often as women, porn was the leading turn-on for people polled regardless of gender.
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We collected 979 survey participants which included Europeans and Americans from Clickworker. 84% of our participants were European, and 16% were American. Participants ranged in age from 18 to 72, with a mean of 33.5 years and a standard deviation of 10.9. Hypotheses were not statistically tested.
The data we are presenting relies on self-report. There are many potential issues with self-reported data. These issues include, but are not limited to: selective memory, telescoping, attribution, and exaggeration.
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