Compulsive Masturbation Treatment

Compulsive masturbation, with or without pornography, is the most secretive and isolating form of sexual addiction. It is also the most common (in both men and women). And in recent years it is very much on the rise, thanks in large part to the tech-connect boom and the seemingly endless array of sexual stimulation it provides. For many compulsive masturbators computers, laptops, e-readers, smartphones, and other Internet accessible devices provide a safe, secretive, and reliable route to the pornography that fuels their behavior. Simply put, as accessibility to highly graphic, intensely stimulating digital imagery has increased, so too has the number of individuals compulsively masturbating to that material.

As is the case with other sexual addicts – addicts in general, for that matter – compulsive masturbators utilize sexual self-stimulation as a means of self-soothing and dissociating from uncomfortable feelings. Typically these individuals are people who struggle with underlying emotional or psychological issues such as early-life or profound adult emotional trauma, anxiety, low self-esteem, poor social skills, and depression. They learn, usually as adolescents, to use masturbation as a means of coping with stress and masking emotional pain. Eventually, masturbation becomes their primary coping mechanism – their response to any and every issue, including problems as simple and seemingly benign as boredom.

Many people who ma have a masturbation addiction compulsively do so as part of their everyday routine. These are “morning, noon, and night” people who masturbate on a relatively set schedule – when they wake up, in the shower, before they go to bed, when they’re in a particular place, when some specific “thing” happens, or when they experience a certain (usually uncomfortable) feeling. Other individuals are binge masturbators, losing themselves in sexual fantasy and self-stimulation for hours or even days at a time.

Oftentimes compulsive masturbators find themselves living a double-life, hiding their sexual behavior from family, friends, and coworkers. Sometimes they try to quit or limit their masturbation, without success. As time passes, their addictive behavior escalates; they masturbate more frequently, or for longer periods or time, or to progressively more intense or bizarre sexual content. And their compulsive masturbation continues despite negative life consequences such as:

Sadly, because many individuals view sexual self-stimulation as shameful, dirty, or sinful, those who engage in the practice compulsively are unlikely to discuss it with others – even a therapist. If and when a compulsive masturbator does seek help, he or she is unlikely to do so for his/her sexual acting out. Instead, that individual is far more likely to report anxiety, depression, feelings of loneliness and isolation, and the inability (or lack of desire) to form intimate relationships with other people. Because of this, many compulsive masturbators attend psychotherapy for extended periods without ever discussing (or even being asked about) masturbation or pornography. Thus, their core problem remains underground and untreated.

Treatment for Compulsive Masturbation

Seeking help for compulsive masturbation can feel shameful, embarrassing, and humiliating. Unfortunately, without help the behavior will not only continue, but escalate, as will the negative consequences it causes. For most compulsive masturbators, the first step on the road to healing is recognizing the problem and asking for assistance. (Like other addicts, sex addicts find lasting behavior change almost impossible to achieve without significant external support.) Typically, recovery from compulsive masturbation requires extensive counseling with a trained and licensed sexual addiction treatment specialist, coupled with or followed by group therapy and/or a 12-Step recovery program. For many, inpatient treatment or an intensive outpatient treatment program is a great way to jump-start the process.

Treatment and recovery for compulsive masturbation can be a complex process. It is essential for anyone who compulsively masturbates to get a thorough psychiatric assessment because some people’s masturbation concerns are driven by underlying issues (e.g., Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and/or Anxiety Disorders) that would require a different format for treatment. The most commonly prescribed first step in treatment involves an abstinence agreement, which is a prescribed period of no sexual activity with self or others, no viewing of pornography, no chat room visits, affairs, or related activities.

The primary goal of the sexual abstinence is to give the fear, anxiety, pain, and shame that the client has been avoiding the opportunity to surface. It is in this place of awareness that someone can often for the first time begin to glimpse the feelings, emotions, and thoughts they have sought escape by engaging in ritualized fantasy.

During this period it is important to be in therapy and 12-step or faith-based groups to get as much support as possible for any unexpected feelings that may arise. The compulsive masturbator has to be on the lookout for any other potentially additive behavior to surface, such as drug abuse, eating disorders, spending, or related, problematic distractions. Most importantly, the addict needs to have hope for a future that will include healthy intimacy and healthy sexuality. They need to see that over time they can live with dignity and self-respect.

From shame & pain to resilience & joy.

There's a better life beyond sex addiction & intimacy disorders. Specialized, gender-separate treatment in a ranch-style setting.

You are not alone. We can help.
The Ranch, Nunnelly, TN


Addiction & Intimacy Disorder Treatment for Women

  • Intimacy, relationship, trauma & addiction issues
  • All-women, master's level staff
  • Gender-separate program & residences

Repair your relationships. Rebuild your life.
The Right Step, Euless, TX

For More Information Give Us A Call
Stay Informed
Keep up to date on addiction news and behavioral health.
Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter.
Send Request
Confidential Assessment

Contact Us Today for a Confidential Assessment.Call 855-900-7357 or fill out the form below.

Sexual Addiction News

Promises Five Palms is a Florida mental health treatment center. We specialize in treating a range of mental health

Read More

Cognitive-behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy are forms of talk therapy that help you address the root causes of

Read More

The opioid crisis in America is a serious issue that needs to be addressed and talked about. When you

Read More

“Trauma is any event or experience (including witnessing) that is physically and/or psychologically overwhelming to the exposed individual.” —

Read More