Masturbation is something that most people at least consider doing, whether they end up doing it or not. It’s common to feel guilty about this, as though you’re doing something wrong —but why? Where does that feeling come from? In this post, we will explore the idea of guilt after masturbation and why it makes sense to let it go and move on with your life.
How guilt works?
Sexual feelings and masturbation are natural, but many people feel guilty afterward. In a survey of more than 1,300 respondents in the United States, 53 percent reported feeling guilty about masturbating.
The reasons for sexual guilt varied: Some people report feeling guilty about masturbating to pornography or being unfaithful during masturbation (regardless of what they’re watching), while others feel bad because they think it’s immoral to engage in sex without another person present.
As much as they can be motivating, guilt-inducing thoughts (e.g., My friends and family would be disappointed if they knew I was doing that) can also leave you paralyzed by indecision.
How guilt hurts us?
When we feel guilty, we’re actually hurting ourselves. When we experience guilt after masturbation or sex, it sends a message to our brain that what we did was wrong or immoral.
Each time you experience guilt in response to a pleasurable activity, your brain becomes trained to connect pleasure with negative feelings, which can negatively impact your ability to feel pleasure in other aspects of life as well
. If you’re feeling shame about engaging in pleasurable activities, try challenging yourself and asking yourself how you really feel about it—it may not be quite as bad as you think!
How we can stop feeling so guilty?
If you’re feeling guilty after masturbation, it’s not just because of social constructs. It also has to do with our own psychological distress—specifically, some of our deepest fears and emotions as human beings.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t ways we can stop feeling bad about pleasuring ourselves. The way to move past feelings of guilt is actually fairly straightforward, Decide what’s right for you, communicate what your needs are to other people in your life, and make time for self-care. If you’re having trouble with any of these things (or know someone who does), read on.
Many men and women feel some level of guilt after masturbating or engaging in sexual activities, often referring to it as an addiction. A recent study suggests that males and females may experience similar amounts of psychological distress after masturbation, although females may feel guiltier than their male counterparts.
Before you judge yourself too harshly, consider what researchers found: Both men and women are equally likely to report feeling guilty after self-pleasuring. Men were more likely to report feeling distressed after masturbating compared with women, however.
It seems there is a double standard when it comes to public perception of female sexuality versus male sexuality; if you’re a man who uses his right hand for pleasure regularly, congratulations — you’re still well within your rights!
According to research from St. Louis University, guilt after masturbation is caused by negative feelings about masturbation.
In fact, 25 percent of men and 40 percent of women experienced guilt or shame following a session of self-pleasure, according to a study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 18 percent said they felt guilty only during masturbation—but not with a partner—while 10 percent said they felt bad about their masturbation habits no matter what.
Who Experiences This Problem?
It’s important to understand that masturbation is normal and healthy behaviour. It’s common for both men and women to experience psychological distress after masturbating, however it’s important to recognize that these feelings don’t have a basis in reality.
Simply put, if you aren’t causing harm or distress to yourself or others, there isn’t any reason for you feel guilty about your masturbation habits—or any other aspect of your sexuality for that matter!
You View Masturbation As “Wrong” Or “Dirty” In Some Way
You’ve been conditioned to view self-pleasure (masturbation) as wrong or dirty by a society that prides itself on shaming sexuality. The truth is masturbation has nothing at all to do with morality; it’s about personal pleasure.
It feels great and no one can tell you otherwise; we all have our own individual experiences. We live in a society where people are taught from birth that sex is dirty (remember when you learned about periods in health class?) and that masturbation must be avoided at all costs, simply because there are people who believe sex should only exist for procreation.
However, every action does not have an opposite reaction and punishing yourself for having an orgasm does not make any sense—especially since orgasms have tons of awesome health benefits!