Episode 147: Masturbation and the Science of Self-Pleasure

November 22, 2022 by Justin Lehmiller

Sex and Psychology Podcast

Episode 147: Masturbation and the Science of Self-Pleasure


We are once again in the midst of the annual abstinence challenge known as “No Nut November.” Basically, it involves men giving up ejaculation for the entire month (i.e., no “nutting” allowed). Those who partake do so for a wide variety of reasons, but they seem to be rooted in the idea that masturbation and orgasm are somehow unhealthy. So what does the research actually say? Let’s talk about it!

For today’s episode, I’ve pulled together some of my favorite clips on the history and science of self-pleasure from the archives. My guests include Dr. Eric Sprankle, Marie Aoyama from TENGA, Harvard professor Carole Hooven, urologist Joshua Gonzalez, sleep researcher Michele Lastella, and sex therapist Emily Jamea. This fascinating group of folks will answer the following questions for you:

  • How long have humans been masturbating?
  • What do humans think about when they masturbate?
  • Does abstaining from masturbation boost testosterone?
  • Can abstinence improve athletic performance?
  • Can masturbation help us fall asleep faster?
  • How can we have a healthier relationship with self-pleasure?
  • How can we get more pleasure from masturbation?

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Credits: Precision Podcasting (Podcast editing) and Shutterstock/Florian (Music). Image created with Canva; photos used with permission of guest.

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Written by

Dr. Justin Lehmiller

Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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