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We’ve been answering your questions for Sexual Health Awareness Month. If you missed some, catch up here.

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?


Janet Brito is an AASECT-certified sex therapist and supervisor who also has a license in clinical psychology and social work. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Minnesota, one of only a few programs in the world dedicated to sexuality training. Currently, she’s based in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is the founder of the Center for Sexual and Reproductive Health. Dr. Brito has been featured on many outlets, including O: The Oprah Magazine, HuffPost, Playboy, Women’s Health, Thrive Global, and Midweek Publications. Reach out to her through her website or on Instagram.