Sex coaches and therapists often get the question “does masturbation cause erectile dysfunction?” from their clients. And – “are there any easy erectile dysfunction solutions”?

The answers are not straight forward – but there are two important questions that need to be considered in the relationships between masturbation and erectile dysfunction first.

1. When You Masturbate, Are You Using Porn?

There is nothing inherently wrong with porn, and most men watch porn to masturbate. As a matter of fact, one study found that nearly 98% of men reported porn use in the last 6 month. Some studies have also shown that one potentially negative side-effect of porn is erectile dysfunction.

Porn leads to erectile dysfunction because it is like the heroin of sex. Instead of having a slow build up – and the presence of another person with whom you need to navigate a relationship – porn is a no-pressure environment. You go directly to the topics, scenes, and specific moments that turn you on the most. The arousal then becomes focused on genitals and not on a whole body physiological stimulation. By accessing these highly psychological states of arousal, you end up training your body to only be aroused by porn.

As a result, when you are with an actual partner, you may not be able to get properly aroused. You may end up with erectile dysfunction before intercourse, or you may lose your erection during intercourse.

2. How Often – and When – Are You Masturbating?

The other question around if masturbation causes erectile dysfunction centers on the frequency and place of masturbation. It is actually possible to masturbate too much to successfully engage in intercourse with a partner. You may have used up all of your sexual desire and physiological ability to get an erection by masturbating too frequently.

To figure out if masturbating is contributing to your ED, you need to know your personal refractory period. A refractory period defines how long it takes for you to get an erection again after ejaculation. For some men – and especially younger men – the refractory period can be very short. A man could ejaculate and then get another erection almost immediately. Usually, men’s refractory period gets longer as they age. Thus, your ED could be connected to masturbating, if you masturbate too closely to the time you want to have sex with your partner.

Erectile Dysfunction Solutions

There are many possible erectile dysfunction solutions if the problem is caused by frequency of masturbation.

The most obvious is simply to refrain from masturbating before having sex with a partner. If your refractory period is 24 hours, make sure you don’t masturbate the day before you plan to have sex with your partner.

Another option is to learn how to become multi-orgasmic. Many men don’t realize that ejaculation and orgasm are actually two separate functions – they don’t necessarily have to happen at the same time. It is possible (though challenging), to separate them. Ejaculation causes men to go into a refractory period, but orgasm by itself does not. If you’d like to learn how to separate orgasm and ejaculation, the second half of this teleclass talks about how to train yourself to achieve it.

It is also important to remember that it is possible to masturbate without ejaculating. You can masturbate and enjoy the sensations of being at high levels of arousal without going over the edge. If you are masturbating without porn and without ejaculating, masturbation should not cause you to have erectile dysfunction.

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Celeste Hirschman
Celeste Hirschman, MA is the Co-Creator of the Somatica® Method and Co-Founder of Somatica® Institute. She trains coaches in the Somatica® Method of Sex and Relationship Coaching. She has her own private practice in San Francisco, where she works with clients to have profoundly pleasurable and fulfilling lives. She has co-authored multiple academic articles published in peer-reviewed journals and is the co-author of two books, Cockfidence - The Definitive Guide to Being the Man You Want to Be and Driving Women Wild and Making Love Real - The Intelligent Couples Guide to Lasting Intimacy and Passion. Celeste has her MA in Human Sexuality Studies from San Francisco State University (SFSU) and her BA in Women’s Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). Celeste has taken the Hakomi Pro-Skills Training as well as multiple other trainings on sexuality and relationships. Celeste also has a Certification in Sexological Bodywork from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (IASHS).