Ever heard of the saying, “Too much of a good thing?” It applies to ice cream, alcohol and a million other things. But does it also apply to one of the safest sexual activities around? Can you really masturbate too much?

It's a complicated question with a complicated answer. After all, self love is a very personal thing. One person's “Just right” is another person's “Give me more!” or “Whoa, back off, I'm overwhelmed.” So first, let's just get this out of the way: There's no magic number when it comes to masturbation, sexual encounters, or orgasms. Each and every person needs to figure out what's best for them, and what makes them feel good in a holistic sense. And, for the most part, masturbation makes people feel good. Great, even. That said, there are a few cases when it might pay to take a step back and evaluate why you're getting yourself off - and whether it's making you feel good.

Masturbation Myths - Busted!

Whether or not there's such a thing as too much masturbation, plenty of myths exist to make you think there is:

  • Masturbation doesn't make you blind or give you hairy palms. (Sure, most of us figured this out during high school, but I figured I should throw it out there.)
  • Excessive masturbation does not cause erectile dysfunction. (Although what can happen - to men or women - is that you become so used to your own stimulation that you may find you have problems having an orgasm any other way.)
  • Masturbation isn't just for single, lonely adults with zero prospects of finding “The One” or even “The One Right Now.” Your masturbation habit, no matter how often you do it, doesn't mean you're desperate or a loser.
To put a finer point on it, masturbation isn't dangerous, dirty or any of the sex negative things you may have heard growing up. It's healthy and it's normal. That said, there are some instances when you can get too much of a good thing.

4 Signs Your Habits May Not Be Healthy

OK, so no hairy palms, sight deficiencies, or erectile dysfunction - masturbate away. There's nothing to fear, right? For most of us, whatever our number, we're probably fine. However, there are a few cases when you might need to reassess your habits. Even if you don't decide to cut back, you should think about what these signs mean for you, your sexual and emotional health, and the health of your relationships.

You can't stop thinking about it - or stop
When thoughts about anything, even masturbation, border on the obsessive and compulsive, it's not healthy. Loss of control over yourself points to a more serious issue that needs to be addressed.

You masturbate to the point of pain
No, I'm not referring to my fellow masochists or kinksters who do it because of the pain. Instead, if you masturbate so much you've caused chafing, irritation, or sensitivity that doesn't dissipate quickly, it might be time to cut back. This type of chafing can actually reduce the sensitivity of your genitals (temporarily), which can compound the problem.

Your relationships and job are affected
When you use anything - eating, shopping, masturbation - as a replacement for living your life, yes, you're probably doing too much of it. Masturbation is a lot of things. It's a way to relieve stress, a quick(er) path to an orgasm, and better than an Ambien. Yet, when the rest of your life is affected by your wanking habit, you may need to re-evaluate whether you're expressing yourself sexually - or using pleasure as an escape from things you should be dealing with.

You'd rather masturbate than be with your partner
If you prefer a little time with your hand over time with your partner, masturbation may not be the real issue here. Maybe it's an escape from dealing with the stress in your relationship. Maybe your partner no longer turns you on or gets you off. In that case, masturbation may not be the culprit, but a sign of a troubled relationship. Or, maybe there's nothing wrong in the relationship, and masturbation is the problem. Only you can decide that, but if you find masturbation preferable to intimacy with your partner, it's definitely a sign of something.

Like anything we love to do, it's possible to have too much of a good thing. Masturbation won't affect your health in a bad way, and in many cases, it's good for you. But when your jilling/jacking habit gets in the way of the people and other things you love to do or you feel out of control, you may be masturbating too much. Be Goldilocks. Find the amount of masturbation that's “just right” for you.