What about masturbation?

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obsessionFor more recent information on masturbation and ejaculation, see these articles:

NOTE: Today, Internet porn use is thought of as synonymous with masturbation. Yet it has very different effects on the brain than good old do-it-yourself sex without Internet porn—even though both produce endogenous neurochemical rewards.

Confusing the effects of the two is the error that today's healthcare providers continue to make, to the detriment of their patients/clients. Internet porn overrides natural satiety, as explained in Porn, Novelty and the Coolidge Effect. See What Are the Symptoms of Excessive Masturbation?

In other words, Internet porn potentially stimulates the brain far more than masturbation. With each click to a novel image, more dopamine is released, and there is no natural satiation mechanism invoked, as there is with orgasm or eating. As recounted in Porn, Novelty and the Coolidge Effect, some porn users edge for hours to remain in a dopamine-induced altered state, deliberately avoiding climax. That said, masturbation addiction would be quite rare without Internet porn. For the science behind these remarks, visit Your Brain On Porn.

If you are on your own, it is extremely unlikely that you will be able to avoid masturbation (or wet dreams) indefinitely. However, you can cut back so you don't allow it to become an obsession. Regular meditation, energy circulation, friendly interaction and breathing exercises can help balance sexual energy safely. So can heavy physical exercise, dancing, and therapeutic body work.

Finally, here's a published letter to a journal editor, which might be of interest. The author points out that the standard claims that masturbation is healthy contrast sharply with the best available empirical evidence.

It is difficult to reconcile the view that masturbation improves mood with the findings in both sexes that greater masturbation frequency is associated with more depressive symptoms (Cyranowski et al., 2004; Frohlich&Meston,  2002;Husted&Edwards, 1976), less happiness (Das, 2007), and several other indicators of poorer physical and mental health, which include anxious attachment (Costa&Brody, 2011),immature psychological defense mechanisms, greater blood pressure reactivity to stress, and dissatisfaction with one's mental health and life in general (for a review, see Brody, 2010). It is equally difficult to see how masturbation develops sexual interests,when greater masturbation frequency is so often associated with impaired sexual function in men(Brody&Costa, 2009;  Das,Parish,&Laumann, 2009; Gerressu, Mercer,Graham, Wellings,&Johnson, 2008; Lau,Wang, Cheng, & Yang, 2005; Nutter & Condron, 1985) and women (Brody &Costa, 2009; Das et al., 2009; Gerressu et al., 2008;Lau,Cheng, Wang, & Yang, 2006; Shaeer, Shaeer, & Shaeer, 2012;Weiss& Brody, 2009). Greater masturbation frequency is also associated with more dissatisfaction with relationships and less love for partners (Brody, 2010; Brody&Costa, 2009). In contrast, PVI is very consistently related to better health (Brody, 2010; Brody&Costa, 2009; Brody &Weiss, 2011; Costa & Brody, 2011, 2012), better sexual function (Brody & Costa, 2009; Brody & Weiss, 2011; Nutter&Condron, 1983, 1985;Weiss&Brody, 2009), and better intimate relationship quality (Brody, 2010; Brody&Costa, 2009; Brody &Weiss, 2011).

Moreover, although less risk of prostate cancer was associated with greater number of ejaculations (without specification of the sexual behavior) (Giles et al., 2003) [Note conflicting evidence, however: "Prostate cancer may be linked to sex hormones: Men who are more sexually active in their 20s and 30s may run a higher risk of prostate cancer, research suggests."], it is PVI frequency that is specifically associated with reduced risk, whereas masturbation frequency is more often related to increased risk (for a review on the subject, see Brody,2010). In this regard, it is interesting to note that masturbation is also associated with other problems of the prostate (higher prostate specific antigen levels and swollen or tender prostate) and,compared with the ejaculate obtained from PVI, the ejaculate obtained from masturbation has markers of poorer prostatic function and lesser elimination of waste products (Brody, 2010). The only sexual behavior consistently related to better psychological and physical health is PVI. In contrast, masturbation is frequently associated with indices of poorer health (Brody, 2010; Brody&Costa, 2009; Brody&Weiss, 2011; Costa& Brody, 2011, 2012). There are several possible psychological and physiological mechanisms, which are a likely consequence of natural selection favoring health processes as cause and/or effect of motivation to search for, and capacity to obtain and enjoy, PVI. In contrast, selection of psychobiological mechanisms rewarding motivation to masturbate is unlikely due to the severe fitness costs that would occur if it deterred one from PVI by making it irrelevant for well-being (Brody, 2010). More plausibly, masturbation represents some failure of the mechanisms of sexual drive and intimate relatedness, however common it may be, and even if not uncommonly it coexists with access to PVI. In this regard, it is noteworthy that greater masturbation frequency is associated with dissatisfaction with several aspects of life independently of PVI frequency (Brody& Costa,2009) and seems to diminish some benefits ofPVI(Brody, 2010).