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hello dr robert,

i just want you to explain clearly to me on masturbation, i want to know what stimulates it, how harmful it is, how helpful it is, does not having sexual intercourse for a long period of time have anything to do with it? if yes will it stop if the person starts having sex again?.

Doctor please i am the one in question here. At times i feel funny i easily feel this way by just looking at a nude picture. i try as much as possible to quit this thought but it just won't leave. because most people especially in our local churches say it bad to fondle oneself so because of this whenever i do i have this guilt so strong that i wont be comfortable at all. so i will want to know if it's natural.

if its because i have not had intercourse for 2 years now is it harmful to masturbate?

please doctor i need your help. truthly speaking i feel good after it because i have never felt the way i feel when having the real sexual intercourse the way i feel when i masturbate but i want to do what is right.


waiting for your reply,


ask dr-robert ask psychologist todos santos ask psychologist dr robert saltzman

Dear Glory--

Many, if not most, people masturbate, or, if they are not currently masturbating, certainly have indulged in masturbation at one time or another. In my opinion, this is not harmful at all, and may even be a healthy way of experiencing ones own particular sexuality, as long as the masturbation does not take over to the extent that it substitutes completely for what could be social experiences with others. In other words, if you enjoy masturbation, go ahead and try to enjoy it without guilt, but do also keep on the lookout for another person who could be a friend and sexual partner too.

I understand that you find masturbation more pleasurable than intercourse, but I wonder if you might not be happier overall if you had the possibility of both. After all, a sex partner can be a friend too, whereas your hand, although it may provide a pleasant touch, cannot be there for you when you need another's friendship: the joy of shared experience and someone to listen when you really need to be heard. And, masturbation, which you now enjoy solo, can also be a part of shared sex with another person. In fact, many women find sexual intercourse best if they stimulate themselves while enjoying the rest of it. And this is fine too. In my view, anything you enjoy in bed is OK as long as both parties consent to it--both, of course, also being old enough to consent--and if no one else is injured as a result.

As I see it, very little truth of any kind comes out of churches, local or global. How could it? The central business of churches, religious guidance, is based on the mass delusion that the church knows what "God" wants. But how can anyone possibly know what "God" wants or doesn't want? To repeat: how can any human person possibly know what "God" wants or doesn't want?

And is it not the height of egotism for one human being to imagine that he or she knows the rules of the universe (if there even are such rules) and so can explain them to others? What nonsense!

And, if there really is a God who hears prayers and answers questions by speaking to my small, still self, why would I not want to find Him/Her myself, apart from what anyone else might believe? Why would I not want to find out for myself what "God" thinks is right and wrong? Maybe nothing.

Certainly, the idea that "God" disapproves of masturbation is ridiculous, and I would not even listen to anyone who talks that way.

Be well.

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page last modified August 13, 2006

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