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Q: I masturbate every day. Is that too much? I’m worried that masturbating and watching porn is going to hurt my sex life or cause ED.

Unless it’s causing you distress or having a negative impact on your day-to-day, it’s probably fine.

The following scenarios, for example, may be cause for concern:

  • Masturbating or using porn takes up a lot of your time and energy.
  • You feel guilty, ashamed, or upset after masturbating or using porn.
  • Your home, work, or personal life is suffering because of your habits.
  • You spend more money than you want to on sex toys, porn, or other erotic aids.

I recommend that you take a step back and explore your masturbation practice with curiosity. Reflect on what’s compelling you to masturbate or what needs you’re trying to meet — or avoid meeting — by doing so.

For example, are you afraid of being vulnerable or taking a risk by getting into the dating game? Are you turning to porn and masturbation for comfort?

Another scenario could be avoiding a difficult conversation with your partner or a fear of emotional intimacy. Are you turning to porn and masturbation out of fear of rejection or judgement?

If you’re worried about erectile dysfunction

Masturbation and porn use aren’t inherently problematic, and neither can directly cause erectile dysfunction. But your technique does make a difference.

For example, if you typically masturbate sitting down or with an extremely tight grip, you may have trouble obtaining or maintaining an erection during partnered play.

That’s because your body has been trained to respond to a seated position or “death grip,” both of which typically aren’t replicated during partnered sex.

If this becomes a problem for you and your partner, you may find it helpful to take a weeklong break from any sexual stimulation so that your body can reset.

From there, gradually ease back into it by using different techniques than before.

Got a question about sex? Send us your questions and we’ll have our expert answer them in the newsletter. What’s your question?


Dr. Janet Brito is a nationally certified Latinx sex therapist, supervisor, speaker, trainer, and author. Dr. Brito is the founder and owner of the Hawaii Center for Sexual and Relationship Health, a group practice that specializes in relationship and sex therapy, out of control sexual behavior, and gender and sexually diverse populations, and The Sexual Health School, an online training program for healthcare professionals seeking human sexuality training.

Education

  • Loyola University Chicago, BS
  • Columbia University in the City of New York, MS
  • Pacifica Graduate Institute, PhD

Certifications

  • Licensed Clinical Psychologist
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker
  • AASECT Certified Sex Supervisor
  • AASECT Certified Sex Therapist

Professional Accomplishments

Affiliations

Headshot of Janet Brito, Ph.D., LCSW, CST
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