Masturbation for Men: Tips, Benefits & Toys

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By Bobby Box

A note on language: As a sex-educator-led brand, we try to avoid using gendered language, but the demands of SEO sometimes force us to use binary terms. For more information, read our FAQ. None of the information below is gender-specific; each fact applies to any body with the mentioned parts. 

Masturbation, now a celebration of wellness and pleasure, was once considered just the opposite. In 1713, masturbation as we know it today was first introduced as a “new disease,” thereby creating a nearly universal engine for generating guilt, shame, and anxiety.

In his book, Solitary Sex: A Cultural History of Masturbation, author Thomas W. Laqueur writes that people likely masturbated prior to this moment; it was just never really spoken about because people didn’t care. (And we shouldn’t!) When male masturbation was eventually recognized and given meaning, it suddenly became seen as an unnatural act, due in large part to vague religious writings suggesting masturbation is wasteful, perverted, or low-class.

Thankfully, we’ve come a long, long way and finally see masturbation as a totally common, healthy, and empowering way to experience pleasure. This guide is here to tell you everything there is to know about male masturbation, including tips on taking your solo sessions to new, record-breaking heights.

What is male masturbation?

First things first: The best male masturbation definition is self-stimulating your genitals in a sexual way, usually to the point of reaching an orgasm. For cis men, masturbation most often involves touching and stroking the penis and is often culminated by ejaculation.

Why do men masturbate?

Regardless of gender, people tend to masturbate for the simple reason that it feels good. Most of the time, the goal is to orgasm, though some people enjoy the practice as a form of self-care, as there are many feel-good benefits of masturbating. Some people are particularly enthusiastic about edging, which is a prolonged version of masturbation where one repeatedly brings themselves to the “edge” of orgasm and denies themselves the release of climax. Those who engage in the practice say it produces a more powerful orgasm when they choose to ejaculate and that it helps build endurance in the bedroom.

How often should men masturbate?

People often worry about the frequency with which they masturbate, but the fact of the matter is, unless it’s interfering with your love, sex, professional, or social life, you can masturbate as often as you like. But if you’d like to know how often most men typically masturbate, the answer, according to a national survey of nearly 5,900 people by the Kinsey Institute of Indiana University, is a few times a week or a few times a month. About 20 percent of those surveyed masturbate two to three times per week and less than 20 percent masturbate four times per week.

Other surveys suggest this number is higher. For example, a smaller survey from Bespoke Surgical, a sexual wellness and aesthetics practice in NYC, found that men masturbate twice as often as women, averaging 14.8 times per month compared to 7.8 times per month.

Image of Cobra Libre II with man in the background

11 male masturbation tips

There is no right or wrong approach to self-pleasure, and these masturbation tips will feel a little different for everyone. Just do what feels best for you. An all-too-common problem, however, is getting stuck in a rather monotonous routine for men. Masturbation can grow dull when we employ the same strokes, access the same websites, and head to the same spot on the couch each time we want to jerk off. For this reason, we recommend you add some variety to your solo sex life, so here are some male masturbation tips to consider.

Wear a glove

Latex fetishists will know that masturbating with a glove feels better, or at least it feels different, which is always welcome when things get stale. Thin gloves, like those made of latex or nitrile, offer a different hand feel and texture when masturbating. It also makes cleanup a breeze: simply peel the glove off and trash it. Another masturbation tip: While lube is always great, it’s especially helpful with gloves, since their material can tug and cause chafing.

Switch hands

This is kind of an obvious choice, but using your nondominant hand when masturbating is a super simple way to switch things up. If you want to take things further, try sitting on your hand until it falls asleep and then using it to pleasure yourself, which gives the impression that someone else is doing it. (Real talk: You’ve probably already tried this male masturbation tip when you were younger.)

Different strokes

We all tend to develop a signature stroke when we masturbate because we’ve found which feel best and are most effective. It can be fun to break out of those habits and experiment with something new. For example: Try long, slow strokes or quick, short strokes; twist your hand in a corkscrew motion; or brush your fingertips across the head and frenulum, located just under the head on the underside of the penis. Get creative! Maybe you haven’t discovered your favorite male masturbation technique yet.

Try audio porn or erotica

Just as we recommend you switch up your strokes, try diversifying the media that you consume when you masturbate. Most opt for internet porn, but you can also listen to audio porn (try Dipsea), read erotica (like at Lush Stories), and/or use your imagination. For men, masturbation just feels better with a vivid and varied fantasy life.

Play ball

Your balls are conveniently located just below your shaft, yet they’re so often neglected. So lube up those balls and give them some love with these male masturbation tips: Tug them, brush them with your fingertips, or roll them around in the palm of your hand. Do whatever your heart desires. If you enjoy these sensations, try testicular toys like ball stretchers to take things to the next level. Word to the wise: When stimulating your balls, be gentle yet firm. Stimulation that’s too light might tickle, and if it’s too firm, it may cause pain.

Image of man with NOS product

Change the location

No, I’m not recommending you get yourself arrested by jerking off in public, but sometimes a little danger is exciting. Stand in front of your window or in a stall in a public bathroom—somewhere that there is risk, but not enough that arrest is possible. You can also just try different areas in your house to see if that offers enough variety: in the kitchen, in the shower, sitting on your countertop. Leave no room in your home unexplored.

Create the mood

You’d give your partner the same courtesy, so why don’t you romance yourself a little bit before masturbation by setting the mood? Find a comfy spot, dim the lights, light some candles—hell, pour yourself a glass of wine or a cocktail. This might be something we generally think women do, but we all know how silly it is to gender things. The reality is, we have the best sex (solo or otherwise) when we’re in a relaxed environment, so do your best to create one. Before you get started, make sure everything you need is within arm’s reach: lube, toys, porn, cum rag, you get the idea.

Don’t rush

According to a survey conducted by Pornhub and Askmen, 43 percent of men ejaculate after 10 to 15 minutes of masturbating. If they’re watching porn, this range is reduced to three to 10 minutes. The fact of the matter is, we often approach male masturbation as something to cross off the list, and rarely take the time to really enjoy ourselves. (For example, we tend to hop right into porn and jerking off instead of warming ourselves up a little first.) This does make sense, since we live busy lives and sometimes don’t have the time to dedicate to a lengthier solo session.

But try to make time, at least on occasion. Take the time to explore your body and try new things; learn what turns your crank and what doesn’t. This intel will serve to enhance your partnered sex life as well, as you will have a better understanding of your body from a pleasure perspective and will be better at communicating what you like. Approach masturbation as a form of self-care, and release the tension and stress of a long day at work.

Change up your masturbation position

Interestingly, this aforementioned research from Pornhub found that your male masturbation position can impact how long it takes to climax as well. For example, men who bent their legs and curled them toward their bums lasted longer than those who laid on their back with their legs straight. So, experiment with your male masturbation position and see what you find most enjoyable.

Try laying flat on your back, and then try hoisting up your hips with a pillow to have better access to your bum and perineum. Sit on a chair with your legs wide open, stand up and stroke in the shower, sit and stroke in the bath, or lean against a wall. Try filming yourself or watching yourself stroke in the mirror. It can be hot to be a voyeur sometimes—even of yourself.

Use a lubricant

You may not need lube for male masturbation, but there’s no doubt it enhances the overall experience. Sure, spit will make things slick for a short period of time, but lube is longer-lasting and contains the proper lubricity for a lengthier session, solo or otherwise. And though the family-size hand lotion in the bathroom is mighty convenient, lotion shouldn’t be used for lube, since many lotions contain irritants that can leave your bits red and inflamed. If you have no access to lubricant, coconut oil is a much better and body-safe alternative.

When seeking masturbation lube, know that silicone-based lubricants last longer than water-based, but these should not be used with silicone toys, as it can erode the toy material. It should also be noted that silicone lubes can cause stains, so you may want to lay down a towel before greasing up your shaft. If you’re cautious about cleanliness, water-based and hybrid lubes are less likely to cause stains.

Don’t forget your prostate

Surveys attest that prostate masturbation can produce orgasms that are stronger than those from your standard genital orgasm, with research describing them as “exceptionally pleasurable, often surpassing those obtained from penile stimulation.”

In case you’re unfamiliar, the prostate is a walnut-sized gland located roughly two to four inches inside the anal canal toward the belly button, nestled between the base of the penis and the rectum. When playing with your bum and prostate, you’re best to go small and slow. Start with lube and a finger (make sure your nails are both trimmed and filed) to rub the anus. When you’re comfortable, insert your lubed finger into your rectum. This may take time, as your sphincter muscles may resist.

Once your finger is in, curl it and feel around for something bulbous with the density of a plum. This is your prostate. If you’re not sure you’ve found it, apply more pressure: Prostate stimulation is said to feel like the beginning of an orgasm. If you feel like you have to pee, that means you’re pressing too hard.

Once you’ve found the prostate, play around with these male masturbation tips: Use the “come hither” motion, where you brush the prostate with the pads of your fingers like you’re seductively beckoning someone into your bedroom. Try lightly tapping on the gland or tracing circles around it. As you get more comfortable, try inserting more fingers or introducing toys, like DUKE, which is engineered to stimulate the prostate both internally and externally.

The prostate can be also stimulated externally through the perineum, which is the stretch of skin between your balls and bum. Feel around and apply pressure roughly halfway along the perineum, again feeling for a bulbous structure. When you’ve found it, play around with the same techniques that you might use internally.

Image of man holding Manta in shower

What are the benefits of masturbating?

Unfortunately, many of us were raised to believe masturbation is shameful or bad for us. It has been said to cause hairy palms, make you go blind, make you impotent, make you insane, and the list goes on. Of course, all of these myths have been debunked. The truth is, there are many benefits of masturbation, like relieving stress, improving your mood, and getting a better night’s sleep. This is because orgasms release oxytocin (aka “the love hormone”) and decrease levels of cortisol (aka “the stress chemical”) in the body, which make us feel more at ease and relaxed.

The benefits of masturbation also include building endurance; some penis owners find masturbating prior to sex is a great technique to help them last longer. Masturbation can also increase your libido, since we begin craving the surge of dopamine, endorphins, and oxytocin we receive when engaging in sex. It has even been suggested that masturbation can reduce the risk of prostate cancer, as research found men who ejaculated 21 times per month or more were 31 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer than those who ejaculated just four to seven times per month.

Play with toys

Research has shown us time and time again that women are much more likely to use sex toys than men. However, men’s sex toy use has been steadily increasing in the last few years, since circumstances caused by the pandemic influenced many guys to give them a shot. Men who are able to see beyond the toxic gender stereotypes that discourage them from using male toys experience a special type of pleasure. As a sex educator and writer, I’ve seen that they crave that pleasure and want to experience it again and again. What’s more, the aforementioned Pornhub study found that the men who use sex toys during masturbation climax “in a few minutes or less.”

Best male masturbation toys

After reading the above, you’re probably curious as to which male masturbation toys can enhance your next solo sesh. We’ve got you covered with some top-notch male toys.

MANTA:

MANTA may look unlike other penis toys, but it is engineered to perfection, with velvety, flexible wings that fit penises of all shapes and sizes, powered by a rapid and robust motor. These wings contain expertly designed grooves to hold lubricant in place for a smoother glide. Not only is MANTA a great tool for solo play, but it also can be used with a partner, effectively turning your penis into a vibrator. When used at the base of the penis during oral sex, it can simulate a deep-throat blowjob.

image for Manta product

COBRA LIBRE II:

COBRA LIBRE II is a penis toy that stimulates the glans, the most sensitive part of the penis, with two deep rumbling motors in a sleeve that envelops the head of the penis. It is a fantastic device for edging and can even be used for a hands-free experience. If the penis owner climaxes early or is experiencing erectile difficulties, the other partner can mount the toy and both can experience pleasure via its dual motors. During anal sex, the giver can give the receiver an awesome reach-around with the device as well. We love a multipurpose toy.

Image for Cobra Libre product

NŌS:

C-rings are designed to produce stronger, longer-lasting erections. NŌS, designed with both the wearer and their partner in mind, takes things further with pressure points designed to stimulate the sensitive veins on the shaft of the penis. The toy also has curved extensions that sit just above the penis and target the clitoris, providing a delicious rumbling sensation that both the wearer and their partner can enjoy.

Image for NOS product

Bobby Box (he/him) is a freelance sex writer and educator who’s worked as Grindr’s sex columnist and Playboy’s resident male sex writer and advisor. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter.

This post was written by a guest blogger, and all opinions and ideas expressed are that of the author. All ideas included are for educational and entertainment value, and do not constitute medical advice.