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Solo play is a natural and normal part of self-exploration and sex. While some enjoy masturbating more often, our solo sessions significantly reduce as we get older, according to new research. However, 70% of Americans masturbate at least once per month, so researchers explored the main reasons why we opt for some quality ‘me-time’.

To find out how masturbation makes Americans feel, 2,000 sexually active people were surveyed. The findings suggest that 2 in 3 Americans masturbate at least once per month with the third masturbating several times a week. Men are twice as likely to masturbate more than once a day compared to women, while 1 in 2 singletons masturbate several times a week compared to a third of those in new and long-term relationships.

Reasons behind masturbation

The main reason behind a menage-a-Moi is relaxation, with 52% of respondents choosing this reason. This is followed by an increased sexual drive for 38% and having better orgasms for 33% of survey respondents. The release of endorphins that happens when we masturbate can not only ease stress but can help our mental health, too, by boosting our mood. This was backed by findings, which suggest that 29% of people masturbate because it helps with mental health. When asked how masturbation makes us feel, 51% said ‘happy’ and 41% said ‘more content’.

Masturbation and sex toys

While 1 in 2 Americans use sex toys to masturbate, there is still 26% of those who don’t use sex toys. This may be because people prefer to use a good old-fashioned hand or are unaware of just how big the exciting world of sex toys for masturbation is. This emphasizes the importance of normalizing conversations about masturbation and sex toys so that more people are aware of them and can give them a go.

While many people are open about their self-love escapades, for some, masturbation can be shrouded in shame and embarrassment. Hence, many people have secret spots for keeping sex toys including their underwear drawer (55%), followed by a shoebox (36%) and inside gloves (31%).

Who do we talk to about masturbation?

When it comes to talking about masturbation, most Americans are open about having a sex toy with 2 in 3 people telling their partners about them. Also, seeing their friends’ sex toys wouldn’t bother a quarter of respondents while 24% would laugh it off and make a jokey comment about it. If the roles were reversed and friends spotted their sex toys, 29% of Americans would make a joke out of it, while 22% would feel embarrassed.

Dr. Megan Fleming, a Sex and Relationship Therapist from New York City discussed

research findings. Dr. Megan said: “During this time, we are under an immense amount of stress and many of us have even more responsibilities related to work, family, and just life itself. It’s important to prioritize time for self-care and pleasure. Masturbation is the ultimate self-care. It gives pleasure, regulates mood, and relieves stress.”

On the topic of masturbation, Dr. Megan encourages her clients to mix things up and add some flavor to their repertoire: “vanilla and chocolate ice cream are great by why not try rocky road or mint chip” meaning “go ahead and experiment with different toys, textures and more.”

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