Sex surveys have found that people of all ages, genders, and sexual orientations masturbate. Stimulating one's own genitals, often to the point of orgasm, can relieve sexual tension, reduce stress, induce pleasure, enhance sexual satisfaction with intimate partners, and promote rest and relaxation. Even young children have been known to masturbate, as they learn to explore their bodies.
Although masturbation may conflict with some religious or cultural teachings, solo sex rarely has negative consequences. Masturbating doesn’t result in pregnancy and only rarely increases the risk of an STD, usually when sexual toys or other objects are used. It is common for people to masturbate alone or in the presence of a partner. However, excessive masturbation has been associated with more serious issues. If frequent masturbation interferes with work, relationships, or other aspects of everyday life, there may be a problem that could benefit from the help of a medical or mental health professional.