Why Do I Feel Guilty After Masturbating?

Why Do I Feel Guilty After Masturbating

Masturbation is a healthy activity that can be enjoyed by people of any gender identity and with any kind of genitalia.  Studies have shown that masturbation can help relaxation, sleep, and feelings of general wellbeing.

It can also even reduce the risk of prostate cancer.  It is a normal sexual activity that most people engage in at least some of the time.  Nevertheless, some people still report feelings of guilt, shame, or self-hatred after they masturbate.

In this article, we’ll consider where these feelings come from and what can be done to stop them so that you can enjoy your sexuality to the fullest.

Who Experiences This Problem?

If you sometimes or always feel guilty after masturbating, you might be able to take some comfort in the fact that you’re not alone.

While the numbers of people who report feeling this way vary quite a lot between different cultures, it exists to some extent in all cultures, and in men as well as women.

Why Do I Feel Guilty After Masturbating?

There are several reasons why this might happen.  Many of them are complex and, moreover, interact with each other in complex ways.

This can make it difficult or even impossible to pin down one single reason why.  We’ll go through some of them here, and you might be able to see if some of them apply to you.

You View Masturbation As “Wrong” Or “Dirty” In Some Way

This is unfortunately a fairly common phenomenon.  Lots of people have the idea that there’s something wrong with masturbation itself, or that the act is somehow evil.  There’s not a single reason for this.

Sometimes it comes from cultural or religious attitudes.  Other times, it’s just an extension of the idea that sex is dirty. If you think about it, though, this makes no sense. Sex is natural and healthy. Masturbation is too.

So why would anyone object to either of them?  If it is your own religious and/or cultural attitudes that make you want to stop masturbating, naturally that’s your choice.

Understand, however, that it’s a natural human impulse and there’s nothing medically wrong with it.

Some people might feel some comfort from thinking of it this way: human beings are clearly built to feel great pleasure when their genitals are stimulated, either by themself or by another person.

Why would our bodies react this way if there were anything wrong or evil about it?

You Feel “Slutty”

Why Do I Feel Guilty After Masturbating?

Some people – women in particular – might feel that to enjoy sex or sexual activities like masturbation makes them “slutty”.  Again, though, this isn’t true.

Not only are sex and masturbation (including female masturbation) healthy and natural things to engage in, but if you’re masturbating, it only involves you!

How can enjoying your own body alone make you slutty?  That’s the thing: it can’t, and doesn’t.

It’s Tied To Other Mental Health Issues

One study conducted by Italian scientists surveyed 4211 men and found that those who admitted to having feelings of guilt after masturbation were more likely to have psychological issues.

These included depression, anxiety, and general relationship issues.  They also had higher rates of alcohol use.

This study doesn’t provide proof either that those issues are the cause of the guilt or vice versa, but the connection is something to consider if you also suffer from issues like those mentioned.

Talking to your doctor about the guilt and any other issues you feel might be a good way to get help.

You Feel Like You’re Cheating On Your Partner

If you have a partner, you might feel as though masturbating means you’re being unfaithful to them.

While all couples are different and everybody has different expectations from their significant other, it’s not usually necessary for your partner to completely abstain from masturbation.

If it’s getting in the way of the rest of your sex life, then it might be a problem.  However, most masturbation has no impact on the sexual side of your relationship.

Everybody needs time to themselves, and if masturbation is a part of that, then you don’t need to feel guilty about it.

It’s Something To Do With The Porn You’re Watching

why do i feel guilty after masturbating 2

While there’s not necessarily anything wrong with watching porn per se, some people do sometimes find that the porn they’ve just been watching seems substantially less sexy after their climax has passed.

This might especially be the case if the porn in question is degrading or abusive to the actors involved.

While it might be true that not all porn is bad, it might make you feel better to watch more “ethical” porn if you need some extra stimulation to get you off.  Either that, or use your imagination!

You’re Addicted To Masturbation

It is possible to masturbate additively or compulsively, and people in this category might experience guilt as a result.  This is one of the rare cases in which masturbation – or rather the amount of it – might be a problem.

Addiction to masturbation can mean that it starts to affect your life negatively.  For instance, you might not make good on promises or other commitments because masturbation is getting in the way.

This can contribute significantly to feelings of guilt and other negative feelings.

This might also be connected to an addiction to pornography, but it doesn’t have to be.  If you think masturbation might be starting to seriously affect your life in this way, speak to your doctor.

Final Thoughts

In summary, there are several reasons why you might feel guilty or ashamed after you masturbate.  However, the thing is that none of them are good reasons, and in fact there is no need for you to feel this way.

Masturbation is a common, natural, harmless, and even healthy thing to do.

As mentioned, it even has a range of health benefits attached to it.

The truth is that feeling guilty or ashamed because you masturbate is eventually going to do far more damage to your health than masturbation, so don’t feel as though you need to stop or punish yourself as long as masturbating isn’t having a negative impact on your personal relationships or other commitments.

About our Author Michelle Landeros, LMFT license# 115130
Author: Michelle Landeros, LMFT (license:115130)

Michelle Landeros is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist (LMFT). She is passionate about helping individuals, couples and families thrive.

Last updated: August 7, 2022