Why do men masturbate?

Grease up and let's get to grips with this important subject.

Why do men masturbate?

Research by evolutionary biologists indicates that masturbation was a key behaviour that was embraced by the primates from which humans descend from.

The research, led by a team from the University College London and published by The Royal Society, has confirmed that masturbation was an evident behaviour at least 40 million years ago – demonstrated by evolutionary ancestors from which humans, monkeys, and apes are all descended from. Masturbation is an ancient, evolved trait that is fundamental to who we are.

The question that the researchers were trying to get to grips with is, why do we masturbate? From an evolutionary perspective, masturbation appears costly, distracting, wasteful, even risky. But is there an evolutionary reason why our passion for masturbation is something that is innately built into our genetic makeup?

To reconstruct the evolutionary history of masturbation, the research team studied publications, questionnaire responses and personal notes about masturbating primates from primatologists and zoo keepers. They then mapped the information on to primate evolutionary trees, revealing how the activity echoed back through time.

The analysis suggests that male masturbation has some link to boosting the chances of impregnating a mate. Masturbation before intercourse can increase arousal – leading to a faster release of semen, increasing the likelihood of impregnation before a sexual competitor tries to take over. Another possible evolutionary benefit of masturbation is that it helps release aged sperm, ensuring that when intercourse happens then the sperm is fresher and faster.

There was also some evidence that masturbation helped minimise the risk of sexually transmitted infections – flushing the genital tract and reducing the risk of an infection taking hold.

What doesn’t seem to have been addressed by the research is that masturbating feels good. It’s easy to imagine that there’s some evolutionary benefit from experiencing intense pleasure and releasing endorphins. There’s a lot of men who are strong advocates for the value of regular and extended periods of masturbation.

The bottom line? Man masturbate. It’s what we do. It’s part of what makes us who we are. Masturbation is something that we can proudly embrace and celebrate.

Communal Masturbation

If you're interested in experiencing some communal masturbation, check out my conversation with Ben from the JackAll bate club.

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When is International Masturbation Day?

It may not be a national holiday, but it probably should be. That’s right, International Masturbation Day is a thing, and we’re putting in daily practice to ensure that we’re always ready to celebrate.

Some people declare the entire month of May as a month of masturbation, but if you’re a purist you’ll know that 28 May is the day that the world celebrates International Masturbation Day.

Start your training now!

This is the kind of important occasion that can be celebrated as a couple, with friends, with people you don’t know, or just by yourself.

But you don’t need to limit yourself. In a world of abundance, you can make every day a masturbation milestone worth celebrating.

Masturbating is awesome.

Grease up and let’s get to grips with this important topic.

Does masturbation boost your immune system?

We’re still doing a lot of research on this subject, but there are some indications that regularly masturbating could have some benefits in boosting your immune system. Good news, right?

Sure, washing your hands is still important, but it seems clear that a lot of our problems could be solved with more masturbation.

Who said science wasn’t sexy?

How does masturbation boost your immune system?

Masturbation undoubtedly gets the blood pumping, but it also gets every part of your body fired up. Getting aroused, stimulating yourself through masturbation, and then reaching orgasm brings into play parts of your body that might otherwise be kicking back and taking a bit of a nap.

The roller-coaster of pleasure that you get from getting yourself off delivers a natural boost to your body’s cortisol levels – this helps to keep your immune system working effectively.

What other health benefits does masturbation have?

It’s not just your immune system that benefits from your regular masturbation sessions. There’s actually loads of reasons you that having a bit of quality me-time is good for your health.

Mental Health

Masturbation delivers your body a boost of endorphins through the bloodstream. These endorphins can help you to tackle depression and anxiety.

It’s also a great stress-relief strategy. If you’ve had a difficult day and finding it hard to switch off, find a quiet space and treat yourself to the ultimate relaxation technique.

Some studies have also shown that masturbation can help boost your self-esteem. The science behind that claim isn’t exactly clear, but if you’re relaxed, not feeling stressed, and you’re anxiety is under control, then it makes a fair bit of sense that you’re giving yourself the head-space to feel good about yourself.

Prostate Cancer

Masturbation stimulates your prostate gland – even if you’re not specifically targeting it with a toy or a dildo. If your prostate is active, you’re less likely to develop prostate cancer.

Blood Pressure

Embracing a bit of self-love has also been shown to help lower your blood pressure.

Honestly, it’s a total no-brainer. Schedule some regular me-time and you’ll be ready to take on the world.

Tips to make your bate sessions better

There’s not really any right or wrong way to masturbate – it’s important to find what works for you. But it never hurts to try new things and to explore ways to mix things up a bit and enhance your pleasure.

Here’s some tips you might want to consider.

Make some noise

One of the challenges of figuring out masturbation when we’re younger is that we’re often living at home and sharing a room. Because masturbation isn’t generally something that’s talked about, it’s something that we learn to do in secret, quickly, silently.

As we get older, we probably don’t need to be as quiet but it’s hard to unlearn those early behaviours.

Focus on trying to make some noise while you’re masturbating. It could just be talking to yourself, it could be breathing really loudly, it could be groaning and moaning, or just swearing lots. Try different stuff.

You might decide that you actually prefer it when you stay quiet, but adding some noise to your jack-off can be fun.

Involve every bit of your body

Again, a lot of this stems from how we learn to masturbate when we’re younger. We tend to be fairly dick-focused. Hand on hard cock, rub one out, job done.

Don’t forget that you’ve got lots of erogenous zones, and the more of them you can stimulate during your bate session then the wilder the ride.

Your nipples are an obvious starting point. Your butt is also highly sensitive. Take your time, explore your body. Maximise your pleasure.

Take it to the edge

Edging is where you take your pleasure levels almost to the point of orgasm but then you ease off and allow your body to step back from the brink.

This is the ideal thing to do if you’ve got a bit of time on your hands. You’ll not only give yourself greater pleasure over an extended period of time, but when you do eventually allow yourself to cum, it will be explosive.

Get the toys out

An old-school jack-off is you, your fist, and maybe some lubrication. That works, but there’s a huge range of toys out there to help add some spice to your bate session. Entry-level, there’s vibrators and fleshjacks and butt-plugs, but literally there’s a whole world of self-pleasure toys out there to be explored and enjoyed.

Prostate power

Get to know your prostate. Figure out where it is in your body, and then try different ways of stimulating it. Focusing on your prostate can really unlock a lot of pleasure. You want to cum? Smash your prostate a couple of times and it’s job done.

Make the time

Block out some time in your diary. Clear your schedule. Get comfortable and allow yourself to really make the most of some quality me-time. A long, leisurely wank will hit totally different to quickly rubbing one out in the shower at the gym.

Break the routines

This is sometimes referred to pattern-based behaviour. Has your masturbation fallen into some sort of routine? Think about when and how you masturbate – is it pretty much always the same?

Allow yourself to break some of those patterns. Maybe it’s masturbating at a different time of day, or maybe it’s mixing it up in some other way. If you always masturbate in the same way, it’s going to be fairly predictable. Still enjoyable, but predictable. Give your body some surprises, keep your body guessing, allow yourself to experience pleasure in new ways.


Not everyone enjoys poppers, but they can be a way of giving yourself a bit of a head-rush and really feel the waves of pleasure that an extended bate and edging session can deliver. Worth experimenting with.

Broaden your mind

The way that we’ve generally learned how to masturbate can make it quite a functional process. We’re horny, we jack-off, we cum – job done. Most of us turn to porn to help us get into the horny head-space that we’re familiar with.

Put some research into the world of sex, sexuality, and eroticism. Explore erotic art. Dive into the world of Tantra. Experiment with a bit of kink. Don’t limit yourself with what you know – open yourself to pleasure from every direction.

The language of masturbation

That’s lots of words, phrases, and euphemisms to describe the act of masturbation. Jack-off, jerk-off, wank, and bate are probably the most common, but here’s a list of some of the terms that have caught our eye.

  • Beat your meat
  • Yank your plank
  • Practice your wrist aerobics
  • Tame your dragon
  • Work-up a foamy lather
  • Ice the cake
  • Jack the beanstalk
  • Wrestle your demon
  • Whittle your stick
  • Whip the cream
  • Whack your weasel
  • Splatter your shower
  • Polish your helmet
  • Varnish your flagpole
  • Toss your yogurt
  • Tickle your pickle
  • Tend to your own affairs
  • Tame the shrew
  • Wax your paddle
  • Grease your pole
  • Take matters into your own hands
  • Strain the main vein
  • Stir the batter
  • Take some practice shots
  • Stew in your own juices
  • Fly solo
  • Shoot for the moon
  • Scratch the itch
  • Stir the secret sauce
  • Relish your hot-dog
  • Pull your own weight
  • Prime the pump
  • Star in a one-man show
  • Spread your mayo
  • Play five-on-one
  • Paint the ceiling
  • Open the flood gates
  • Make instant pudding
  • Liquidate the inventory
  • Let the cat out of the bag
  • Free willy
  • Have it your way
  • Clear your snorkel
  • Charm the snake
  • Blow your own horn
  • Adjust the antenna
  • Release the tadpoles
  • Shake hands with your best friend
  • Whack your willy
  • Pull your plonker
  • Toss your caber
  • Stroke your sausage
  • Spank the monkey
  • Choke the chicken
  • Pull a muscle
  • Five knuckle shuffle
  • Whack one off
  • Jerking the gherkin
  • Blowing your trombone
  • Busting your nuts
  • Knock one out
  • Beating your bishop
  • Wax the carrot
  • Rub one out
  • Jack the hammer
  • Polish the candlestick
  • Waxing the dolphin
  • Making cock snot


A word that you might come across in any discussion of masturbation is "fap".

"Fap" is a verb that can be used interchangeably with "masturbate".

It's an onomatopoeic word derived from the sound that's made by a guy sliding the palm of his hand up and down his cock-shaft.

Fap is a word that has emerged relatively recently. It's first use has been credited to an English translation of a scene from the Japanese manga Heartbroken Angels by Masahiko Kikuni, a series which ran from 1988–1991. Heartbroken Angels was known for its absurd situations and characters. The word "fap" appeared in a scene where God is masturbating while looking up a girl’s skirt as she climbs a ladder.

From there, fap began to appear in other manga stories and comics - always in the context of men masturbating. The word and its meaning was recorded by Urban Dictionary in 2002 and began to appear more widely across popular culture.

How to have better orgasms

We’ve been reading some fascinating research into the male orgasm.

Apparently, the average male orgasm lasts for 12.2 seconds. If you extrapolate that across the average male life-span, that means that we’re probably going to have spent about nine hours in the ecstatic throes of orgasm. Another fun fact, we’ll each produce about fifty litres of sperm. That’s a lot of cum.

According to the Kinsey Institute, most men think about sex several times a day.

Micha Schulze has written Sex Is A Head Thing! — a guide to orgasms for gay men. According to Schulze — “The biggest orgasm killers are comparing yourself to other men, a lack of communication, and stress.”

In a survey conducted by American website Queendom, 90 percent of gay men reported that they almost always reach orgasm when masturbating or having sex.

Orgasm is different from ejaculation. Ejaculation refers to the physical release of semen from your penis and urethra. Orgasm refers to that feeling of satisfaction and pleasure. Both the orgasm and ejaculation can be caused by the same physical stimulation, but they are technically separate from each other. Massaging your prostate can intensify the pleasure of your orgasm.

Experts describe the male orgasm as consisting of four distinct phases — excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution. Depending on your age and stamina, the length of these phases can vary between men.

Some doctors suggest that your orgasms can be intensified or strengthened if you exercise the pubococcygeus muscle — commonly referred to as the PC muscle. This is a hammock-like muscle that stretches from the pubic bone to the coccyx, forming the floor of the pelvic cavity and supporting the pelvic organs.

A basic exercise for your PC muscle — sometimes referred to as a kegel exercise — is to contract and hold your PC muscle for 5–20 seconds, then release them. Repeat this 10 to 20 times in a row, three to four times a day. Gradually build the number of contractions you complete and the amount of time you hold each contraction for.

Another exercise you can try is when you are urinating, use your pelvic muscles to control the urine stream — stopping and starting the flow.

You can also train yourself to have better orgasms by varying the way that you masturbate or have sex. When you’re jacking off or having sex, remember to change positions, take short breaks, and explore all of your erogenous zones. Edging, or deliberately delaying your orgasm can intensify the pleasure that your body will experience.

Trying new things when you’re masturbating or having sex can also enhance your pleasure. Try using gloves when you’re masturbating, have sex in front of a mirror or a camera, use different sensations to stimulate the body — cold ice, hot candle wax, the sting of a riding crop.

When it comes to sex, when it comes to pleasure, when it comes to having the best orgasm possible, every day is a school day.

The After Dark edition

If you want to grease up and get down to business, check out our After Dark edition.

After Dark: Masturbation
Practice makes perfect.

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