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Is Masturbation Bad For You? Your Sex Questions Answered


On the back of the launch of series two of Netflix’s top-rated series ‘Sex Education’ we got the opportunity in speaking with leading men’s wellness platform Manual’s medical director, Dr. Earim Chaudry, on all thing’s sexual health.

Dr. Earim is passionate about destigmatizing the issues that society portrays as ‘taboo’ his wealth of experience and knowledge has equipped him with real insight into sexual health, which is so often shrouded with embarrassment and misinformation. Just like our favourite protagonist, Otis, Dr Earim Chaudry is keen to right a few wrongs and set the record straight!

So getting straight to the point with Dr Earim Chaudry our first question put to him was:

Is masturbation bad for you?

Going blind, growing hair on the back of your hands, becoming infertile from masturbation are all myths.

In fact, masturbation is safe and considered a normal and common part of human sexuality.

It’s usually the first sexual experience that most people have, and can be a valuable part of experimenting with what you like and don’t like.

It’s also a convenient way to fulfil sexual desires, and it’s safe from an STI and pregnancy risk point of view.

So all positive so far about masturbation. However, it’s only more recently it’s not taboo to talk more openly about it. 

There is no fixed amount of masturbation that is considered “normal”. However, masturbation can become harmful to you if you find it is interfering with your everyday life, or impacting your ability to have or want sex in a loving relationship.

This can in some people be linked to porn addiction. If you feel this is becoming a concern, it’s best to speak with your doctor. 

Why does it hurt when I have sex?

Sex should be a pleasurable experience for both people (or everyone,  if you have more!) However painful sex is quite common.

If you are experiencing pain, it can be your body’s way of telling you something isn’t quite right.

Usually, it’s a case of not enough foreplay, lack of sexual arousal or vaginal dryness.

Starting sex gently and building up is a good tip. However, there are other important causes such as infection (STI, thrush), gynaecological conditions (such as endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease).

It’s important to also know that men can also experience pain from sex. The common causes tend to be tight foreskin, thrush, tears/irritation of the penis or foreskin and STIs.

How long does sex last?

It’s important to remember that porn is NOT a documentary, so the duration of the sex in these videos are not always realistic of real life.

One study we have to estimate the average time to ejaculation in the general population involved 500 couples from around the world timing themselves having sex over a four-week period.

Someone was tasked with stopping the stopwatch…and the findings were that the average time ranged from 33 sec to 44 minutes.

This shows a huge range. The average time was 5.4 minutes. So my advice is to stop watching the clock, and ensure both you and your partner enjoy the ride – and don’t forget the merits of foreplay. 

Can premature ejaculation be controlled?

Premature ejaculation is a really common problem. It’s typically defined as a man who ejaculates too quickly for sexual satisfaction.

There is no exact duration of time for this, but usually <2-3 minutes is considered premature. In studies, the average time for ejaculation is considered to be around 5.5 minutes.

It’s important to remember if both you and your partner are sexually fulfilled, and you ejaculate <2 minutes then it’s not a problem.

It all depends on how you both feel on whether you need to take action. There are treatments ranging from topical numbing creams/spray, tablets to prolong your ejaculation reflexes to psychosexual training/counselling.

So if it’s a problem that is bothering you, see a health professional who can help you find the solution that works for you. 

What are orgasms, how do they work, and how important are they?

Orgasms, coming or reaching climax are the moment of most intense pleasure during sex.

Often with a build-up, and then a release of this pleasurable feeling. In women, orgasm usually requires clitoral stimulation to achieve.

Interestingly many women are able to achieve another orgasm shortly after the first, 70% report having multiple orgasms.

This is not something men can be expected to do. In men, this is associated with ejaculation, and then a period where it’s not possible to get an erection or ejaculate again (the refractory period).

Approx. 80% of women don’t orgasm through penetrative sex, with the vast majority needing additional clitoral stimulation.

1 in 7 women experience pain during their orgasms, and almost 3% never have had an orgasm. So my advice to men and women is don’t think there’s something wrong with you if you can’t orgasm from sex.

Porn is not real life, thrusting away like a jackhammer probably isn’t the best way.

Also remember there are plenty of ways to enjoy sex, without it having to lead to an orgasm. Foreplay is often underrated and neglected part of our “fast life” society.

Always communicate with your partner, so you share what does and doesn’t feel good for you.

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