Masturbation is a natural activity that many people enjoy. It can help people discover their sexual preferences, learn about their body, and provide themselves with pleasure.

Some people may have heard that masturbating before sex can desensitize the penis and make males “last longer.” However, there is no scientific proof of this.

It may work for some people, however, and there are plenty of anecdotal claims to support this.

Masturbating before sex can also be enjoyable foreplay. It may help a person become both physically and mentally turned on before sex. Some people believe that masturbating with another person can help them feel more open and connected to their partner.

In this article, learn about the benefits of masturbating before sex for males and females, as well as some of the things to be aware of.

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Many males choose to masturbate before sex because they feel that it can help prolong the duration of sex. However, there are some things to consider.

Sexual dysfunctions

Sexual dysfunctions are common among males.

As a study in the journal Fertility and Sterility notes, ejaculatory dysfunctions are one of the most common types of sexual dysfunction. These types of dysfunctions include premature ejaculation, no ejaculation, or other problems surrounding ejaculation and orgasm.

Many people are familiar with the claim that masturbating before sex can help a male “last longer” during the act of sexual intercourse itself.

There may be a few reasons for this. Much of the issue may be psychological. For example, a person may feel pent up or have unreleased sexual tension. This may cause them to have hurried sex, wherein the person may focus on releasing this tension in the form of an orgasm.

By masturbating beforehand, the person can release that built up sexual energy and then feel that they can focus more on enjoying the entire sexual act, rather than just the orgasm.

Refractory period

A phenomenon called the refractory period may help support this idea. The refractory period is the recovery time a person has to go through after an orgasm before they can orgasm again.

Following an orgasm, males usually cannot have another orgasm right away. Their penis will become flaccid and lose its ability to stay erect. The penis can also be very sensitive to touch after orgasm, causing pain and throbbing if the person or their partner continues with stimulation.

As a study in the journal BJU Internationalnotes, this is partly because the body releases more of the hormone prolactin after orgasm. This hormone seems to block off the sexual pleasure a person can feel during the refractory period.

Because of this, some people think that masturbation can desensitize them to the pleasure of sexual intercourse.

In reality, the refractory period is typically short — though it can vary. As the International Society for Sexual Medicine note, the refractory period of younger males is usually only a few minutes. However, older men may need 12–24 hours to recover. After this, they can achieve erections and have orgasms again.

Everyone is different. Some males do feel that it is harder to have a second orgasm than the first one, and they may last much longer during sex because of this.

For older males who experience refractory periods that last hours, masturbating before sex may help prevent them from having an orgasm during sexual intercourse. This may allow them to enjoy much longer periods of sexual intercourse.

This may make masturbating before sex beneficial for some males who tend to experience early ejaculation.

Other issues

For males who experience softer erections or who find it difficult to achieve an erection, masturbating before sex may make it even more challenging to get a second erection in time for intercourse.

People who find it difficult to get or maintain an erection may want to avoid masturbating before sex.

Masturbating before sex may also be a good way for females to reduce tension and find release before the act of sex.

Some females also experience a refractory period after orgasm. However, females have a slightly different experience to males.

Most males can only have one orgasm before their refractory period, and they experience a long refractory period.

Females, on the other hand, tend to experience much shorter refractory periods. During these short phases, the vagina and clitoris may still be very sensitive, and the person may not enjoy stimulation.

However, this phase tends to end quickly. This is why it is not uncommon for females to experience multiple orgasms per sexual encounter.

Some may experience a longer refractory period than others, and they may feel less sexual desire during this time. In these cases, masturbating before sex may not be a good idea, as it may reduce how much a person wants to have sex.

Masturbating before sex does have some additional benefits for both males and females, though each person may experience them in different way.

We cover some of these benefits in the sections below:

Stress or tension relief

Pleasuring oneself before a sexual encounter may help reduce stress, as the brain releases feel-good endorphins after orgasm. This may be helpful for people who are nervous around their partner or who experience sex anxiety.

Masturbating before sex may also help remove any tension from the situation, as a person no longer feels that they have to orgasm to enjoy themselves sexually.

This may be beneficial for both partners, as the sex may become more about the act itself rather than simply orgasm.

Comfort and avoiding premature ejaculation

In males who experience premature ejaculation, masturbation before sex may help them last longer, as it may take them longer to reach their second orgasm. This is not a guarantee, however.

Those who masturbate before sex may also feel greater relaxation and less tension about the act of sex itself.

For females, the vagina may also be more lubricated following sufficient arousal, making sex a more enjoyable experience.

Intimacy and achieving orgasm

Masturbating before sexual intercourse may also help some people achieve orgasm.

People who find it difficult to climax from sexual stimulation may find that masturbation warms them up to sexual intercourse. This may make it more enjoyable or make it easier for them to orgasm.

Masturbating with a partner before sex can also bring two people closer together.

For many people, masturbation is something done alone. However, masturbating with a partner is very intimate, and it allows each person to understand what stimulates their partner.

Although there is no scientific evidence to prove that masturbation before sex will make a person last longer in bed, it may work for some people.

Masturbation before sex also has other benefits, such as reducing stress and sexual tension. Doing it with a partner can also be a form of foreplay.

At the same time, it may not be a good idea for males who experience erectile dysfunction, as it may make achieving and maintaining a strong erection more difficult.

The best way to find out the benefits of masturbating before sex is to try it. Everyone’s sexual needs are different. Learning how to explore these sexual needs both alone and with a partner may help lead to a more enriching sexual experience.