How Often Do Men Masturbate? [Male Masturbation Statistics 2022]

We reveal ALL the facts and stats on how often men masturbate. We also dive deep into the benefits of male self-pleasure and whether it can replace sex.

Men masturbate. We all know it, but we never talk about it. And that’s a shame because there’s so much to talk about.

Masturbation can meet sexual needs in all kinds of situations, reduce the risk of prostate cancer, and relieve stress – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. 

In our research, we dove into the numbers on how many men masturbate, how frequently they do it, how it affects their bodies, and much more. There are even some tips on how to take the euphoria of your self-pleasure to the next level. 

Here are some highlights from our deep dive into male pleasure:

  • Americans think that only 83% of men masturbate, but in reality, 92% of men do. 
  • Masturbation does not lower testosterone levels, except in cases of extreme excess. 
  • Nearly all men masturbate, regardless of their relationship satisfaction; it has nothing to do with their partners. 
  • Masturbation won’t raise or lower your sperm count. Your body is always producing sperm, whether you let it out or not. 
  • Men masturbate an average of 14.8 times per month. 
  • Male masturbation can help a man relax, sleep, and reduce stress.
  • On average, homosexuals masturbate over 2 times more per month than heterosexuals. 

How Experts View Male Masturbation

People will say all sorts of things about masturbation, but at the end of the day, that’s why we trust the experts. So here’s what they have to say:

  • Sexuality experts and researchers agree that masturbation is completely normal and healthy behavior. (Practo Care Surgeries, unspecified)1
  • The intent of masturbation is typically to achieve orgasm – the peak sexual excitement that delivers physical and emotional sensation. (Web MD, 2021)2

The Male Sexual Response Cycle

What exactly happens to a man’s body from the moment of arousal to the post-climax tranquility? Here’s a scientific breakdown of the process:

  • These are the steps that take place in a man’s body during sexual response: (Body Talk, unspecified)3
    • Before arousal:
      • The penis is limp/flaccid.
    • During arousal:
      • Blood flows into erectile tissue, and the penis expands and hardens.
      • Testes swell, and the scrotum tightens to the body.
      • Sensitivity is heightened.
    • Plateau:
      • The penis is hard and fully erect.
      • Lubricating fluid (pre-ejaculate) is released from the tip of the penis.
    • Orgasm and ejaculation:
      • Physical stimulation of the penis can lead to orgasm – a series of contractions of the muscles at the base of the penis.
      • Ejaculation occurs – sperm and fluid are released from the urethra.
    • Resolution:
      • Blood flows away from the penis, and erection subsides.
      • Penis softens, and testes retract to normal position.
      • Refractory (resting) period occurs – meaning the penis cannot achieve another orgasm. This period may last from a couple of minutes to several hours.

Male Masturbation Statistics

Masturbation statistics can vary, as they often rely on self-reporting. That being said, here are some of the more prominent statistics on the general state of male masturbation: 

  • Americans think that only 83% of men masturbate, but in reality, 92% of men do. (PR Newswire, 2018)4
  • Only 53% of Americans think that sex toys are useful for men, but 80% of men who have used sex toys say that they improve the masturbation experience. (PR Newswire, 2018)4
  • Around a quarter of men aged 18 to 59 masturbate a few times per month to weekly: (International Society for Sexual Medicine, unspecified5
    • About 20% masturbated 2 to 3 times per week.
    • Under 20% masturbated more than 4 times a week.
    • Older men were more likely to report no masturbation in the past year.
  • For men ages 25 to 29 who masturbate: (FiveThirtyEight, 2014)6
    • 16.5% had not masturbated in the past year
    • 14.7% masturbate a few times per year to monthly
    • 25.4% masturbate a few times per month to weekly
    • 23.4% masturbate 2 to 3 times per week
    • 20.1% masturbate more than 4 times per week
  • Men masturbate an average of 4 times a week for an average duration of 14 minutes. (Online Doctor, unspecified)7

How Many Men Masturbate?

Almost all men masturbate, and that’s just counting those willing to admit it on a survey. Here’s a breakdown of masturbation by age:

  • When asked, “Have you ever masturbated?” these percentages of men said yes: (FiveThirtyEight, 2014)6
    • 14 to 15 years – 67.5%
    • 16 to 17 years – 78.9%
    • 18 to 19 years – 86.1%
    • 20 to 24 years – 91.8%
    • 25 to 29 years – 94.3%
    • 30 to 39 years – 93.4%
    • 40 to 49 years – 92%
    • 50 to 59 years – 89.2%
    • 60 to 69 years – 90.2%
    • 70+ years – 80.4%
  • When asked, “How often do you masturbate?” the following percentages of men reported the following frequencies: (FiveThirtyEight, 2014)6
    • 2 to 3 times per week:
      • 18 to 24 years – 20.8%
      • 25 to 29 years – 23.4%
      • 30 to 39 years – 20.6%
      • 40 to 49 years – 16.8%
      • 50 to 59 years – 17.5%
      • 60 to 69 years – 10.1%
      • 70+ years – 7.3%
    • More than 4 times per week:
      • 18 to 24 years – 18.8%
      • 25 to 29 years – 20.1%
      • 30 to 39 years – 13.5%
      • 40 to 49 years – 14.4%
      • 50 to 59 years – 6.4%
      • 60 to 69 years – 3.8%
      • 70+ years – 1.7%

How Often Do American Men Masturbate?

A LOT. Almost 15 times per month, to be specific. These data points also show an analysis of how many people fantasize about which things, how they enjoy porn, whether or not they use toys, and more. 

Take a look at the numbers:

  • Average frequency of masturbation per month: (Bespoke Surgical, 2019)8
    • Men – 14.8 times per month (women at 7.8)
    • Heterosexuals – 12 times per month
    • Homosexuals – 14.3 times per month
  • Here’s a list of common American sexual fantasies and the percentages of people who report masturbating to them: (Bespoke Surgical, 2019)8
    • Celebrities – 34.4%
    • Ex romantic partners – 33.6%
    • Friends – 33%
    • Pornstars – 28.8%
    • Only romantic partner – 25.4%
    • Missed connections – 21.5%
    • Co-workers – 18%
    • Teachers/Authoritative figures – 10.6%
  • Americans view masturbation in different ways, both as they grow up and after reaching climax. Here’s a breakdown:
    • Americans’ perceptions of masturbation while growing up:
      • It was shameful – 31.6%
      • It was healthy and/or natural – 31.3%
      • Neutral/ no strong perception – 28.2%
      • That it was bad or sinful – 22.4%
      • Something that only adults do – 17.7%
      • It was gross – 12%
      • Didn’t know what it was – 11%
    • How Americans feel after masturbating:
      • Relaxed and ready to sleep – 34.8%
      • In a better mood/feeling good – 24.6%
      • Energized – 10.2%
      • Empowered – 8.8%
      • Guity or ashamed – 7.8%
      • Still wanting more – 6.3%
      • Other – 2.6%
  • During masturbation, some people use sex toys, and some don’t. Here are the numbers: (Bespoke Surgical, 2019)8
    • Never uses sex toys while masturbating – 49.4%
    • Less than 25% of the time – 13.3%
    • About 75% of the time – 11.1%
    • About half of the time – 10.1%
    • About 25% of the time – 8.3%
    • Every time – 7.9%
  • The following percentages of Americans admit to doing these things while masturbating: (Bespoke Surgical, 2019)8
    • Texting or sexting – 36.1%
    • Being on a phone call – 34.1%
    • Being on a video call – 31.1%
    • Watching or interacting with a “camgirl” or “camguy” – 21.9%
  • Everyone enjoys porn differently, and these stats show how: (Bespoke Surgical, 2019)8
    • 1 in 4 people watch porn every time they masturbate.
    • Men are 1.8x more likely to watch porn every time they masturbate.
    • Virgins are 2.2x more likely to primarily watch solo performer porn. 
    • 18% of homosexuals primarily watch straight porn while masturbating.
    • 22% of women never watch porn, compared to just 6% of men. 
    • Singles are 1.3x more likely to watch porn every time they masturbate. 

Do Married Men Masturbate?

Yes, but it’s not because they aren’t sexually satisfied. These data points explain why married men still take time to pleasure themselves:

  • Nearly all men masturbate, whether they’re single or in a relationship. It doesn’t matter if their relationship is great or awful; engaging in masturbation has nothing to do with their partners. (Web MD, 2022)9
  • Masturbation does increase as sexual activity decreases. 60% of men who’ve had sex recently still report high rates of masturbation, but 79% of those who haven’t had recent sex or are sexually discontent report high rates. (Archives of Sexual Behavior, 2017)10

Can Masturbation Replace Sex for Men?

Masturbation can be useful for men who are between sexual partners or whose partners can’t be with them physically for whatever reason. 

While it doesn’t make sex obsolete, it can fill the void for a time. 

  • At times, masturbation can be a legitimate replacement for sex. For example: (Practo Care Surgeries, unspecified)1
    • If your partner has a lower sex drive, masturbation can help balance out your own. 
    • If your partner is sick
    • If your partner is pregnant
    • If your partner is not available (long-distance, travel, etc.)

Male Masturbation and Prostate Cancer Risk

Simply put, pleasuring oneself early often helps prevent prostate cancer in men. Here’s the science to prove it:

  • Having 21 or more orgasms per month can decrease a man’s risk of prostate cancer by 33%. (European Urology, 2016)11
  • Men who ejaculated over five times per week in their 20s were a third less likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. (British Journal of Urology International, 2003)12

How Can Men Maximize Pleasure During Masturbation?

For men, masturbation isn’t usually seen as an emotional or explorative self-pleasure experience. 

And for that, we’re missing out. These tips can help make your solo session more meaningful, heighten stimulation, increase sensitivity, and intensify your orgasms. 

  • Here are a few ways that men can make masturbation even better: (Healthline, 2019)13
    • Set the Mood:
      • Turn down the lights
      • Play your favorite erotic video
      • Slowly tease yourself
      • Stay relaxed and present at the moment
    • Switch Positions:
      • Break from your norm. If you’re standing, try leaning with your hips pushed out. If you’re lying down, try sitting in bed or on a chair. A solo session can even feel euphoric on all fours. 
    • Switch Hands:
      • Changing hands can cause different sensations that can intensify your orgasm. Likewise, using your non-dominant hand can widen the pleasure zone.
    • Move Your Hips:
      • Try moving your hips in a circular or back-and-forth motion – or even in a different way that feels best to you. Increasing the spread as you approach climax can electrify the experience. 
    • Try Different Strokes:
      • Try using long twisting strokes from base to tip. You can also palm and pull the head of your penis while using a full-hand grip. A little rubbing and a classic three-finger grip are other ways to increase stimulation. 
    • Don’t Forget the Prostate!
      • It can seem intimidating at first but start by gently rubbing the inside and outside of your anus, then gradually insert your finger and massage. As pleasure builds, increase the speed and motion until climax.
    • Try Edging:
      • Stroke your penis right to the edge of ejaculation, then stop completely. Slowly begin masturbating again, then pull back right before the finish line. Repeat as much as you like. 
    • Add in a Toy or Two, such as:
      • An automatic stroker
      • Fleshlights
      • Pocket strokers
      • Prostate stimulators
      • Anal beads

Is It Healthy to Hold in Semen?

When it comes to sexual satisfaction, every person is unique. Some men can’t wait to ejaculate, and others can’t stand to do it. 

Whatever your thing happens to be, it’s important to separate science from pleasure. Semen retention might feel good, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s doing anything for you. Take a look at these data points to see why:

  • Semen retention is the sexual practice of avoiding ejaculation. Some people abstain from sexual activity completely, while others find ways to orgasm without ejaculating – also known as a dry orgasm. (Mind Body Green, 2021)14
  • Semen retention is not medically-recognized as a practice. Sperm production is consistent regardless of sexual activity. Men typically release excess semen in their sleep through nocturnal emissions. (Tower Urology, 2018)15

Benefits of Masturbation

A good self-love session can help you relax and make you feel, well, good

Here’s what the research has to say about the benefits of masturbation:

  • Several studies show that self-pleasure provides mental, social, and physical health benefits: (Sutter Health, 2019)16
    • Masturbation is a healthy sexual outlet for people who abstain from sex or do not currently have sexual partners. 
    • It can provide a safer alternative to sex, helping prevent pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. 
    • Masturbation can help people relax and sleep.
    • It helps an individual become comfortable and familiar with their body. 
    • It can reduce stress.
    • It’s a healthy source of pleasurable sexual arousal. 

FAQs About Male Masturbation

All right, here’s where we cover the most frequently asked questions about male masturbation. If you heard or read something somewhere that made you terrified to masturbate, it’s most likely an unfounded rumor. 

With that in mind, here are some masturbation FAQs: 

  • Can masturbation cause premature ejaculation? (Practo Care Surgeries, unspecified)1
    • Excessive masturbation may cause nerve damage, leading to premature ejaculation or ejaculation during sleep. 
  • Can masturbation affect your sperm count? (Practo Care Surgeries, unspecified)1
    • Your body is always producing sperm, and masturbation does not change that.
    • After ejaculation, it does take time to be able to ejaculate again. This is completely normal and doesn’t mean your sperm count is depleted. 
  • Can masturbation make you thin? (Practo Care Surgeries, unspecified)1
    • Technically, it is a form of exercise, but it’s not significant. At most, excessive masturbation can cause very little weight loss. 
  • Will masturbation lower a man’s testosterone level? (Practo Care Surgeries, unspecified)1
    • No. Research shows that masturbation only has a small effect on circulating testosterone. However, moderation is important. Excessive masturbation will definitely lower testosterone. 

Conclusion

Male masturbation is a healthy and natural way to relieve stress, let sexual tension loose, and simply relax with a bit of pleasure. Nearly everyone in the world does it, regardless of race, religion, creed, or relationship status. 

While it’s widely regarded as taboo or embarrassing, it shouldn’t be. Masturbation is one of the few ways a man can truly connect with himself and his body, tend to his own desires, and explore pleasures without outside pressure. 

As with any habit, there are risks from excess and addictive behavior. That’s why it’s so critical for men to have this conversation. Opening up about masturbation can both identify risky behaviors and teach new ways to nurture and strengthen a man’s connection to his body and sexuality.


Footnotes

  1. Practo Care Surgeries, unspecified. An article on male masturbation and its various benefits and side effects.
  2. Web MD, 2021. An article medically reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD, on the characteristics of male masturbation and different myths and misconceptions.
  3. Body Talk, unspecified. An article on the physical process of masturbation in men and its effects on the body.
  4. PR Newswire, 2018. An article analyzing the results of a global 2018 survey on self-pleasure conducted by TENGA on over 13,000 adult respondents from 18 countries.
  5. International Society for Sexual Medicine, unspecified. A medically-reviewed article on masturbation frequency that uses data from a Kinsey Institute study of 5,865 individuals aged 14 to 94. 
  6. FiveThirtyEight, 2014. An article on masturbation frequency that uses data from a 2009 survey conducted by the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior.
  7. Online Doctor, unspecified. An article on self-reported masturbation statistics using a survey of 979 American and European adults.
  8. Bespoke Surgical, 2019. An article written by Dr. Evan Goldstein on masturbation frequency in the U.S. that uses data from a survey of 1,040 American adults.
  9. Web MD, 2022. An article medically reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian, MD, that analyzes some little-known aspects of male masturbation.
  10. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 2017. A study on if and how masturbation can replace sex conducted in 2017 on 7,648 men and 8,090 women aged 18 to 60.
  11. European Urology, 2016. A study on the effects of ejaculation on the risk of prostate cancer conducted by Harvard University on 31,925 men.
  12. British Journal of Urology International, 2003. A study of men over the age of 70 with prostate cancer to determine a link between sexual partners, ejaculation frequency, and their illness.
  13. Healthline, 2019. An article medically reviewed by Janet Brito, Ph.D., LCSW, CST, that explores the various ways men can increase pleasure and stimulation during masturbation.
  14. Mind Body Green, 2021. An expert-reviewed article authored by certified sex educator Suzannah Weiss that explores the practice of semen retention in men.
  15. Tower Urology, 2018. A medical article authored by Dudley S. Danoff, MD, FACS, that analyzes and exposes different myths about male sexuality.
  16. Sutter Health, 2019. An article explaining the facts about masturbation and exploring its different benefits and potential negatives.
Dainis Graveris

Dainis Graveris

Over last 4 years Dainis have helped millions of people through his advice on this site (200+ guides and 1M+ visits/monthly). His work & advice has appeared on sites like: Healthline, Vice, Cosmopolitan, Men's Health, WomensHealthMag, MindBodyGreen & more. Read More

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