How Many & How Often Do People in the World Masturbate? (New 2024 Statistics)

Masturbation may be taboo, but research can give us insights into how, when, where, and how many people do it worldwide. 

How Many & How Often Do People Masturbate? (Editor’s Picks)

  • 78% of people around the globe masturbate. 
  • On average, women masturbate 49 times per year, and men masturbate 154 times. 
  • Men masturbate 68% more than women. 
  • 5% of people masturbate almost every day. 
  • Most women who masturbate (91.5%) still do so, even if they are married or in a relationship. 
  • 67% of heterosexual men in relationships still masturbate. 
  • 72% of women and 84% of men ages 25-29 masturbate – that is more than any other age group.

Source: TENGA, TENGA, Womanizer, Statista, Journal of Sexual Medicine, Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy

How Often Do People Masturbate and for How Long?

How Often Do People Masturbate

Many people (especially adolescents) worry about how often they masturbate – is it too much or not enough? 

Here is data on what is average and how to address any concerns you might have.

Of people who masturbate:

  • 34.3% of people have not masturbated in the past year. 
  • 21.1% masturbated a few times in the past year. 
  • 8% masturbated once a month. 
  • 14.6% masturbated a few times a month. 
  • 6.5% masturbated once a week.
  • 10.2% masturbated 2-3 times per week.
  • 5% masturbate almost every day.

On average, men masturbate 154 times per year, and women masturbate 49 times per year – that means men masturbate over 3 times as much as women. 

On average, men and women spend almost the same amount of time masturbating. Women take 13 minutes to masturbate, and men take 14 minutes.

That said, there are some pretty wild masturbation records:

  • The world masturbation record for orgasms is 134 orgasms in one hour. A woman in California holds it.
  • Masanobu Sato holds the record for the most extended masturbation session – 9 hours and 58 minutes. 
  • It is usual for people to masturbate, and several factors affect frequency. Unless you are hurting yourself, there are no real health risks to masturbation. It even has benefits like:
    • Improved confidence and sleep
    • Stress relief
    • Reduced risk of prostate cancer
    • Period cramp relief
    • Can help men last longer in bed
    • Can increase happiness by releasing dopamine and oxytocin
    • Can increase estrogen, leading to healthier skin and hair
    • Can increase libido
    • Can improve cognitive function, and
    • Can teach you about your sexuality and what turns you on.
  • However, excessive masturbation can cause problems like:
    • Desensitization
    • Problems with your partner
    • Issues with work and relationships

It is also normal not to masturbate often or at all. Here are some reasons that may happen:

  • Nearly 1 in 3 women and 1 in 10 men have been victims of physical or sexual violence. Sexual trauma can make someone avoid sexual activity. 
  • Some women believe they are supposed to be less sexual than men. 
  • Sexual stigma and slut-shaming
  • Some men choose not to masturbate to improve their testosterone.  
  • Low libido

Source: Archives of Sexual Behavior, OnlineDoctor, VICE, Womanizer, MindBodyGreen, Socioaffective Neuroscience and Psychology, The Journals of Gerontology, CDC, NYMag, WomensHealth

Who Masturbates More? Frequency by Age

Here is a breakdown of how often men and women masturbate by age group:

Male Masturbation Frequency

Not in the past year
A few times per year to monthly
A few times per month to weekly
2-3 times per week
More than 4 times per week

Female Masturbation Frequency

Not in the past year
A few times per year – monthly
A few times per month – weekly
2-3 times per week
More than 4 times per week

As the data shows, men typically start masturbating earlier and much more frequently than women.

  • Most men start masturbating from ages 12-13, while most women start from ages 13-14.
  • 20% of women say they did not start masturbating until their early twenties. 
  • Most people masturbate less as they get older. 
  • The average woman masturbates 68% less than the average man. 

Source: We-Vibe, National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine, The Journal of Sex Research, GHC Health

What Percentage of People Masturbate?

Almost everyone masturbates. Here are the numbers:

  • 78% of people around the globe masturbate. 
  • 84% of Russian men and 71% of women have masturbated. 
  • 98% of Brazilian men and 83% of women have masturbated – both percentages are higher than in any other country. 
  • 92% of American men and 76% of women have masturbated. 
  • 91% of Indian men and 55% of women have masturbated. 
  • 96% of South Korean men have masturbated, but only 56% of women have. This is the largest masturbation gender disparity (40%) documented so far.

When we break down the numbers by country, it is interesting to consider cultural factors. While high percentages of men masturbate in every country, the numbers for women vary drastically. 

This is likely because some cultures make women feel ashamed or embarrassed to masturbate and, therefore, less likely to try it – or to admit it on a survey even if they have tried it. 

This makes it easy to hypothesize that masturbation percentages are higher than the data shows.


Do Married People Masturbate?

Masturbation meets different sexual needs than partnered sex, so it is no surprise that married people masturbate about as often as anyone else. 

Research suggests that masturbation complements sex for women. This means that women masturbate when they are satisfied with their sex life.

  • Happily-married women are more likely to masturbate than women unhappy with their relationships. 
  • 91.5% of women who masturbate still do so when they have a partner or spouse.
  • As many as 76% of married women masturbate. 

For men, on the other hand (no pun intended), masturbation is often compensatory. This means that men masturbate more when they are having less sex. 

  • 67% of heterosexual men in a relationship masturbate at least once per week. 
  • Men who have more partnered sex are less likely to masturbate.

This does not necessarily mean that a man who masturbates is unhappy with his sex life; instead, he is likely to masturbate more if he is unhappy with it. 

Source: Journal of Sexual Medicine, Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, Allohealth

Why Do People Masturbate?

Most people masturbate for pleasure, but there are a host of other reasons, too. 

For the most part, men and women masturbate for the same reasons (pleasure, arousal, stress relief, etc.)

Men, however, are much more likely than women to masturbate if they want more sex (31.6% vs 19.8%). They are also more likely to masturbate for sexual fantasies they cannot act out in real life. 

Women (12.5%) are more likely than men (7.4%) to masturbate to explore their sexuality. 


  • “I find it pleasurable” – 65.6%
  • “If I am feeling horny” – 54.3%
  • “To relieve stress” – 36.7%
  • “If I want to relax” – 26.6%
  • “To help me fall asleep” – 21.4%
  • “If I am not getting as much sex as I want” – 31.6%
  • “I enjoy my fantasies during masturbation” – 27.6%
  • “Out of sexual frustration” – 16.9%
  • “To explore my sexuality” – 7.4%


  • “I find it pleasurable” – 63.6%
  • “If I am feeling horny” – 49%
  • “To relieve stress” – 36.2%
  • “If I want to relax” – 25.8%
  • “To help me fall asleep” – 25.7%
  • “If I am not getting as much sex as I want” – 19.8%
  • “I enjoy my fantasies during masturbation” – 16.6%
  • “Out of sexual frustration” – 13.9%
  • “To explore my sexuality” – 12.5%

Psychological factors also influence masturbation. ADHD can cause increased sexual desire and masturbation frequency.

Masturbation releases dopamine; this can make you want to masturbate even if you are not aroused. 

Some conditions like Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Bipolar Disorder, or Pick’s Disease make people more prone to compulsive sexual behavior, including masturbation. 

Source: Archives of Sexual Behavior, Frontiers in Psychiatry, Healthline, MedicalNewsToday 

Normal Masturbation Frequency

Masturbation is healthy, but it is important not to get carried away. Here is what experts say about frequency:

  • The average male should masturbate 21 times per month to reduce the risk of prostate cancer by 31%
  • The average female should masturbate at least once a week and around their menstrual cycle.
  • Alternatively, some men retain semen to increase their testosterone. Many follow the following ancient Taoist masturbation equation:
    • (Age – 7)/4 = X days between ejaculations.
    • This means, for example, that a 17-year-old should masturbate about every 2.5 days. 

Source: Harvard Health, DailyMail, Dave Asprey

Where and When Do People Masturbate?

While most people simply masturbate in their bedrooms, others find more exotic places to do the deed. 

  • 80% of people prefer to masturbate in their bedroom.
  • 31% prefer the shower or bathroom. 
  • 6% of men report masturbating at work.
  • 82% of people masturbate more in the winter. 
  • 19% of women have masturbated in their car. 
  • 53% of people say their imagination is enough for masturbation. 
  • 23% of men say the couch is their favorite place to masturbate.
  • Roughly a quarter of women prefer to masturbate in the afternoon.

Source: We-Vibe

What Do People Masturbate to?

Though many people use their imaginations, porn gives us unique insights into what people are into sexually. 

  • As of 2022, the top 5 porn categories people masturbate to are:
    • 1. Lesbian
    • 2. Ebony
    • 3. Japanese
    • 4. Threesome
    • 5. Anal
  • This data changes by region:
    • Ebony is #1 in the US and most of Africa.
    • Transgender is #1 in Brazil.
    • MILF is #1 in Iran.

Source: Pornhub

How Do People Masturbate?

There is no right or wrong way to masturbate.

  • 60% of women and 90% of men masturbate with only their hands. 
  • Men and women enjoy the following turn-ons:


  • 67% watch porn.
  • 6% fantasize about their partner. 
  • 5% read erotic literature. 
  • 3% fantasize about a stranger.
  • 7% fantasize about a friend.
  • 5% watch live-stream porn
  • 2% fantasize about an ex. 


  • 60% of women masturbate with their hands, while 40% use toys. 
  • 38% watch porn.
  • 14% fantasize about their partner. 
  • 14% read erotic literature. 
  • 12% fantasize about a stranger.
  • 6% fantasize about a friend.
  • 2% watch live-stream porn
  • 3% fantasize about an ex. 

Men and women masturbate differently.

  • Types of female masturbation:
    • Clitoral – using the finger, vibrator, or other toys to stimulate the clitoris.
    • Vaginal – penetrating the vagina with fingers or a toy
    • Anal- penetrating the anus with fingers or a toy
    • Erogenous zones – touching, squeezing, or pinching the inner thigh, nipples, neck, ears, or other areas to increase arousal. 
    • Combination – Many women combine methods to achieve greater pleasure. 
  • Male masturbation:
    • Most men simply rub their penis until they have an orgasm and ejaculate semen. 
    • Some men also stimulate their anus with a penetrative toy. 
    • Men may also use a vibrator or other toy to stimulate their penis or other erogenous zones. 

Source: We-Vibe, Journal of Sexual Medicine, Statista, OnlineDoctor, Healthline, TENGA, Havering

Masturbation is common for both men and women, though most people are uncomfortable admitting it. 

Despite the taboo, it is a healthy and normal sexual activity for adolescents and adults. 

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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