Did you know that May is International Masturbation Month?
To mark the occasion, the results of a massive global survey on self-pleasuring have been released and shed some insight on masturbation and attitudes toward masculinity around the world, offering a few specific details on the habits of gay people.
Tenga, a sexual health and wellness company providing innovative and diverse sexual products, conducted the survey, which they claim is the “world’s largest” on masturbation, of more than 13,000 respondents aged 13-74 in 18 countries.
In addition to revealing global trends in getting oneself off, the survey wanted to figure out how traditional values regarding masculinity prevent men from leading more fulfilling sexual lives and relationships. It therefore sought to identify men who “feel more”, that is, “prioritize connections to others and are able to express themselves without judgment.”
Tenga’s full U.S. report, on its survey of just over 1,000 Americans, can be found here.
Here are a few details we’ve culled from their vast set of responses:
SEXUAL ORIENTATION: Americans who identify as gay or bisexual are 12% more likely to have masturbated as those who aren’t. 95% of gay or bisexual people say they’ve masturbated as compared to 83% of heterosexuals. Globally, gay and bisexual individuals are 23 percent more likely to masturbate weekly than heterosexual individuals.
OPENNESS: Gay people are far more likelier to have talked to a friend or partner about masturbation than straight people. 76% of gay or bisexual people say they have talked to a friend or partner about it, as opposed to 42% of heterosexuals. The majority of men aren’t comfortable talking about masturbation and most say it’s because it’s a “private matter.”
GEOGRAPHY: If you live in the Northeast, you’re slightly more open with others about your masturbation habits. Masturbatory activity is equal across all regions of the U.S, as is the use of sex toys. 78% of adults in the world masturbate. 92% of American men masturbate, a lower percentage than that of Brazil, Mexico, South Korea, UK, Japan, Australia, France, or Germany.
REASON:. Most men masturbate to achieve sexual pleasure or relieve tension or stress. Fewer masturbate because it helps them sleep, because they’re bored, or because they can’t find anyone to have sex with. Men who masturbate more frequently feel more confident about their body. They also tend to work out more, but that may be due to age difference.
FREQUENCY: 39% of Americans masturbate weekly. The average age at which they start is 15. Men who are 18-34 masturbate an average of 5.3 times a week, men who are 35-54 masturbate an average of 3.8 times per week, and men who are 55+ masturbate an average of 4.4 times per week.
GENDER DIFFERENCES: Men (92%) are more likely to have masturbated than women (76%) and do it far more frequently. Men get themselves off on average 4.8 times a week.
AGE. 57% of Millennials (18-24) masturbate weekly, more than any other age group.
PERCEPTIONS: Younger people think the overall population masturbates more than older people do. 69% of men believe that masturbation does not have an effect on the health of their sperm. Nearly half, 48%, of all Americans think it impacts brain function. Overall in the US, people are most satisfied with the quality and frequency of their orgasms, although they rank emotional connections with their partners and the quality of intercourse as the most important aspects of their sex life.
PORN: Men are far more likely than women to watch porn when they masturbate while women use their imagination.
SEX TOYS. Men who are open to owning sex toys report higher levels of satisfaction with quality and frequency of masturbation vs. men who are not open (88% vs 62%). Men who have used sex toys report being more satisfied with their sex life across all metrics, but especially when looking at quality (82% vs 55%) and frequency (78% vs. 55%) of masturbation. 53% of American men are open to using a sex toy on himself and 71% are open to using one on his partner.
POLITICS: Those who identify as liberals are more likely (89%) to say they’ve masturbated than conservatives (82%), and to have talked with others about it. Liberals are also more likely to have used sex toys.
How often do you masturbate? Please let us know in the comments.
Body Conscious: Gay Men’s Health, Sex, and Self is a new regular twice-monthly feature from Towleroad covering the unique issues gay men face with regard to physical and mental fitness.
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