is masturbation better than sex

Is Masturbation Better Than Sex?

People often worry that they find masturbation better than sex. So here’s some advice if this is something that you think about.

I think it’s fine for you to enjoy solo masturbation more than other forms of sex. You do you. I’ll explain why people might prefer it, and maybe you might think about whether this is true for you.

Sorry, Wrong Question

So first of all the question is wrong for three reasons. Sorry about that.

  1. Masturbation is sex and so if something is a thing it can’t be better than that thing. This is called philosophy.
  2. The question implies that the only kind of sex that is real sex is sex with another person, which is wrong. Solo sex is sex.
  3. It also makes out that masturbation itself isn’t sex and that only penetration is ‘real’ sex. There is no ‘real sex’, just sex.

I think that if we start to see sex as what may or may not be enjoyable to us, rather than what is ‘real’ or not, then we might find it easier to enjoy.

Is Masturbation Better Than Penetrative Sex With Another Person?

Yes. For many people masturbation, by themselves, is more enjoyable than penetrative sex with another person. It can be many people’s absolute favourite thing to do – even if they are in a sexual relationship with another person.

Since I wrote this article I’ve had a lot of people write to me saying ‘thanks for writing this, this is how I feel about masturbation and sex’.

So why do people worry about this? Well, mostly because of the above. We are still stuck with this idea that the most important reason that people have sex isn’t to enjoy it, but to have kids. This is ‘normal’ sex. This can make us feel really crap about ourselves if we have any other kind of sex, because it’s not nice not to feel normal.

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Solo Sex

Some people just prefer not to have sexual and/or romantic relationships with other people. It doesn’t mean that they don’t like sex, they just want to do it with themselves. Maybe they have had difficult relationships in the past, or just don’t really feel very connected to many people. Perhaps they’ve had sex with other people and it was crap, or non-consensual and just don’t want to go back there. There are many reasons why people just prefer to have sex with themselves – and it’s totally totally okay.

Nobody Does It Better

Even if they are interested in having sex with other people sometimes they just don’t come close to being as good as they are by themselves. It can be really difficult or take a long time to work out what kind of sex you like by yourself. Sharing that with someone else and then trying to meet their needs can be too much like hard work.

Try as they might, another person often just can’t touch you in just the right way that you want to touch yourself. Of course one answer is to masturbate next to your partner. But even then the other person might just put you off your game. So if this is you and you think you’d prefer to just do it by yourself, that’s totally fine.

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Fantasy

Some people are really into skin on skin sensations. Touching someone, being touched or touching themselves can be the biggest turn on for many people. However, for many other people this just doesn’t do it for them and instead need to/want to fantasise to enjoy sex. This could be running through a complex story in their head, or just imagining what it’s like to have sex with someone, or it could be watching porn.

This isn’t really something that many people feel okay about because it’s rarely talked about. What did you get taught about fantasies in Sex Ed? Nothing right? Nowadays people also talk about being addicted to masturbation too, which makes this worse. Also when we just talk about the problems of porn we make people feel bad about something which people may just prefer even where there is little evidence to say that porn is harmful (more on that here). Added to all the stuff above about masturbation then people can feel really bad about fantasising and masturbation.

As I say in this recent article, it’s totally okay to have fantasies and having them doesn’t mean that they are something you want to do in real life. Sometimes it’s just better or safer to masturbate by yourself whilst fantasising – so this is another reason why masturbation can be better than sex with someone.

Struggling With Masturbation?

Of course you might not always be okay with preferring masturbation to other kind of sex or sex with someone else. But before you make your mind up that this is you, I think you should think about all of the stuff you’ve been taught about masturbating (and try to forget it).

About People Not Enjoying PIV

Worried About Masturbating Too Much?

Want To Work Out What Kind of Sex You Want?

How To Enjoy Solo Sex More

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Justin Hancock has been a trained sex and relationships educator since 1999. In that time he’s taught and given advice about sex and relationships with thousands of young people in person and millions online. He’s a member of the World Association for Sexual Health. Find out more about Justin here

26 thoughts on “Is Masturbation Better Than Sex?

  1. I feel its like asking which is better food or drink because as masturbation and partner sexual activity are so different and are wonderful in different ways. True both are likely to involve orgasms but partner sex has the joy of feeling, seeing, hearing, holding a partner and experiencing a shared thing. Its erotic to have my man losing himself while up me and I love it though this bit is not about my orgasms. Being brought off by his attentions be they penile, lingual, digital or technology related is bliss and yes the excibitionist in me gets off on it. Masturbation is relaxing, super efficient in getting me to orgasm(s), and usually by self play I get stronger orgasms. I like how I set the pace, tsrgets, duration and what equipment/scene I will use when doing it. I will say though that we both masturbate alone and with each other as part of partner sex or instead of it at times and that is grest.

  2. I have been masturbating for the last 10years but when i go to sex with another partner i experience early ejaculation like after 1minute do i need to see a doctor?

  3. Your article is based on a personal opinion, which is a poor quality in an article, especially that you’re talking about scientific things in your own perspective, and that could cause misunderstanding and wrong connection to science, not to mention that what you feel will be a 100 percent different than what others feel. However, you didn’t bring up scientific studies with your opinion, which should be fine to your article, it’s just that first persob view in an article is new to me.

  4. My wife and I love to masturbate we get high and jack off for the hole weekend it’s are favorite thing to do we very rarely have penetration sex as we find we do it better are self’s

  5. Thank you for this article. I am a married man who enjoys sex a lot, but nothing gives me as much pleasure as masturbation. Now I see I am not the only one and it is perfectly normal. I think there are 2 reasons for that: (1) nothing will be more stimulating that my favourite type of porn, (2) nothing will provide better stimulation than my hand. Many people try to deny it, but that is the fact.

  6. A very well balanced article. Thankyou for putting a bit of balanced input into a fairly unbalanced world. When I read it I thought yeah that has to be right….

  7. Hi I am 27 male and was virgin till couple of months ago. I have been masturbating with porn for last 10 years and enjoyed it 3-4 times a week on average. I had sex in last 2 months with multiple partners, but didn’t feel nearly as good as masturbating myself. Each time (out of total 7) I was not able to ejaculate or even come close to orgasm inside Vagina. I feel like its mechanical and no friction and pleasure. I ended up masturbating myself or my partner help me with that after trying too hard. Now I’m really upset about my future wife and my sexual life. Is this something normal or should I see a doctor?

    1. Great question! An easier way to think about this is that masturbation is a form of sex, that you can do by yourself or with another person. So if you masturbate with your partner that totally counts as sex and if you enjoy it then that’s all fine. Try not to ‘make yourself normal’ because a) there is no normal and b) it won’t work anyway. Instead of trying to make your body ‘do’ normal things, instead just try to focus on the feelings and the sensations that you are having at the time. This way you might enjoy sex more and you may also start to experience orgasm more easily. Try reading this article How to Enjoy Sex More

  8. there is countless evidence that porn is harmful, to the extent that a study on porn’s effects on the brain now cannot be ethically carried out again due to how severe the effects turned out to be, but ok let’s spread this misinformation that watching graphic, voyeuristic depictions of (almost always) rape is normal and healthy

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