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September 19, 2018

Can pleasuring myself ruin my sex life?

Valentine, I have a question. Can masturbation ruin my life? I feel like I cannot stop and then when I have sex with my girlfriend, I take too long to climax. I feel bad about this. What can I do?

Samson

Well Samson, pole sana. Usually I tell people not to worry too much about their masturbation habits but it seems like yours is affecting you adversely. The more you climax, then the longer it takes to ejaculate the next time you have sexual contact so if you cut down on masturbating, you will find that you can climax in a shorter time with your girlfriend.

By saying that you feel bad, I assume you mean shame and guilt which are difficult feelings to live with and you shouldn’t have to. For many reasons, be they religious or cultural, we were taught that masturbation is a bad thing to do. Termed selfish or for men who cannot find a woman, the practice was sold as shameful and those who did it hid it.

So here you are, ready to stop. I’d say start by forgiving yourself. It feels good and it is readily available. Next look at the situations when you are most likely to masturbate and avoid them — watching porn? Looking at erotic images online? A long day at work?

Replace these triggers with other activities that you enjoy or that fill your body with feel good endorphins like working out. You will fall off this wagon and that is fine. Just remember to forgive yourself Samson and keep trying.

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It recently came to my attention that a lot of people who are living with HIV avoid medication. They fear being seen by their neighbours as they collect the drugs and being branded sick, dying or promiscuous.

If you have dealt with anyone with a chronic illness, you will recognise that this is in no way unique to HIV. People dealing with diabetes, high blood pressure and all manner of conditions go through this. HIV is however different because we can spread it in our denial.

So what to do? Take your meds. Travel to a far off clinic, wear a hat to hide your face but get your medication and take it.

If you are negative, make sure that you use condoms until you are sure about your partner’s status and his or her sexual proclivities. Just a few weeks ago our High Court ruled that HIV positive people do not have to disclose their status to their sexual partners so stay safe with condoms.

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