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Loves to masturbate, but hates to talk about it?

Although majority of people reported masturbating in their lifetime, respondents estimated prevalence to be much lower. Says Chris Donaghue, PhD: “By not discussing masturbation openly, we are missing key opportunities – to better educate on sexual health, to learn more about our preferences and needs, and to enjoy pleasurable experiences without fear of judgment or ridicule.”

Despite the fact that 88% of people – at least in the US – report masturbating, more than half cite discomfort in discussing masturbation with others, including friends, family and partners.

This was the result highlighted by the survey by TENGA Co. Ltd., United State(s) of Masturbation, which involved 1,200 Americans who were asked on their habits and attitudes surrounding masturbation.

Results indicated that although the majority of people reported masturbating in their lifetime, respondents estimated prevalence to be much lower. When asked what percentage of Americans masturbate, most guessed numbers 11% to 13% below reality, indicating low awareness of masturbation’s universality in today’s culture.

Chris Donaghue, PhD, LCSW, CST notes this underestimation may result in larger repercussions, noting, “By not discussing masturbation openly, we are missing key opportunities – to better educate on sexual health, to learn more about our preferences and needs, and to enjoy pleasurable experiences without fear of judgment or ridicule.”

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • Of people who masturbate, men report masturbating an average of 15 times per month, compared to women, who average 7-8 times per month
  • 54% of Millennials state they are comfortable discussing masturbation, compared to 45 percent of Gen Xers and 36% of Boomers, suggesting the younger generation is more comfortable with the topic
  • Americans use masturbation for a variety of reasons beyond sexual pleasure, including stress relief, release of sexual tension and to increase sexual performance
  • 29% of respondents admit lying about masturbation – common reasons include embarrassment and fear of being judged by friends, family or partners
  • Trends emerge across political affiliations – Donald Trump voters are 5% more likely to masturbate while in a relationship than Hillary Clinton voters; however, Clinton voters are 10% more likely to feel comfortable discussing masturbation with a partner compared to Trump voters

In releasing these results, TENGA hopes to elevate the conversation surrounding masturbation from secretive to celebratory, and encourages people to discuss masturbation more openly.

masturbation

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