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    Here’s How To Know If You’re Masturbating Too Much

    Side effects may include orgasms, feeling awesome, and...what else?

    Welcome to the BuzzFeed Sex Q&A, where you can ask us your awkward, confusing, gross, embarrassing, or thought-provoking questions, and we'll provide answers from leading sexual health experts. Have a question about sex or sexual health? Send it to sexQs@buzzfeed.com.

    This week's question:

    Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

    Hi BuzzFeed!

    I've been told there are a lot of health benefits to masturbation, but can you overdo it? Can you "flick the bean" too often?

    Thanks!
    —K

    Hi K! Thanks for sending along your question. To help answer it, we spoke with sex therapist Madeleine Castellanos, author of Wanting to Want: What Kills Your Sex Life and How to Keep It Alive. Here's what she had to say:

    In general, masturbation is totally normal and healthy and awesome.

    But, sure, OK, you probably want to practice a little moderation.

    NBC / Via kim-jong-chill.tumblr.com

    "It's quite difficult to get to the point where you're masturbating too much," says Castellanos. "But if you have any physical damage, if you're rubbing yourself raw, using a great deal of pressure, irritating the skin or things like that, that's a clear indication that perhaps you're masturbating too much or too vigorously." So if there's any discomfort, chaffing, irritation, or pain, lay off your genitals and see if it subsides. You probably already know this, but hey, we're just covering all the bases.

    There's also a chance that you can get ~too good~ at masturbating, to the point where you're only able to orgasm that one certain way.

    If you have a penis, you also have that whole refractory period to deal with, so masturbating too much could delay your boners.

    NBC / Via fallontonight.tumblr.com

    This isn't usually a problem for younger people, but as you get older, you tend to have a longer refractory period (the time it takes to get another erection after you've already had an orgasm). The time frame totally varies from person to person and also has to do with how healthy you are, says Castellanos. So if you notice it takes you a while to get going again after you come, you probably won't want to masturbate too soon before you have sex. (Because, manners.)

    But vaginas actually don't have a refractory period, so you might feel more aroused and ready for sex after you masturbate. Vaginas FTW.

    And finally, if masturbation is interfering with your daily functioning, your relationship, or your sex life, that's a problem.

    HBO / Via hbosgirls.tumblr.com

    The whole concept of "too much" masturbation is a tricky one, because it really depends on the person. You might be able to masturbate three times a day and still have time for your job, life, and relationship. And if that's the case, rock on.

    But if you end up neglecting your responsibilities or replacing partnered sex with masturbation, that's probably a bad sign — especially if you find it hard to stop. In this case, you might need to take a look at why you're relying so heavily on masturbation and talk to your partner, a friend, or a sex therapist for help.

    Do you have a question you want answered by our sex experts? Email us at sexQs@buzzfeed.com.

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