Masturbation Statistics & Facts [Research]

By Isabelle Uren / May 04, 2021

May is International Masturbation Month, and what better way to celebrate than with a lowdown of all the sexy statistics we could get our hands on?

The magic of masturbation surely deserves a whole month to celebrate its powers. Aside from the obvious, it has a whole host of benefits, including pain relief, improved sleep, stress relief, improved self-image, and more satisfying sex. I could go on, but that’s not why we are here. In honor of the wonders of self-pleasure, we’re going on a data-driven tour of the ins and outs of masturbation with the hope of opening up the discourse on masturbation, trashing masturbation taboos, and inspiring you to have your own International Masturbation Month celebration.


Key Takeaways

  • 84% of Americans have masturbated compared to 91.5% Danes and 93% of Spains
  • Men masturbate 46 hours a year; Women 27 hours a year
  • 6 out of 10 masturbate twice a week
  • 6% masturbates over 30 min
  • 45.6% use 10 min. or less per masturbation session.
  • Masturbation makes you; more confident, you sleep better and experience less stress
  • The top places to masturbate are 1) the Bathroom, 2) the Bedroom, and 3) the couch.

How common is masturbation?

  • 84% of Americans reported having masturbated before, and the survey, conducted in 2018, found that 91.5% of Danes had masturbated before.
  • Spain came out as the winner with a whopping 93% of respondents having masturbated before. Surely that’s a better title than the Eurovision contest winner! The USA also ranked highly, coming in 4th place with 84%.

What is the masturbation gap?

  • Statistics show that in general more men tend to masturbate and men tend to masturbate more often. This difference is called the masturbation gap. We found the international masturbation gap to be 68% and 60% in the USA.
  • This gender gap adds up over the year. Superdrug calculated that men masturbate for an average of 46 hours per year whereas women only clocked up an average of 27 hours.

    We say it’s high time to close that gap!
Sexus masturbation gap
Benefits of masturbation

What other masturbation gaps exist?

  • Differences in masturbation frequency don’t only exist in the gender divide. Bespoke surgical’s survey of 1040 Americans showed singles had five more solo self-pleasure sessions per month than those in a relationship and gay/and or lesbian people had 2.3 more sessions than heterosexuals.
  • Similarly, we’ve found that LGBTQIA+ respondents related more benefits to masturbation and masturbated more frequently than non-LGBTQIA+ respondents.

How often do people masturbate?

  • We’ve found that 59.2% of respondents masturbated twice a week and 19.54% twice a month.
How often do people masturbate?
Length of masturbation

How long is the average masturbation session?

  • The majority of US respondents to the survey keep it short and sweet with solo sessions under 10 minutes. Only 6% of respondents reported masturbating for over 30 minutes. We’ll take that as a sign we’re good at getting ourselves off!

Masturbation habits

  • It turns out we are creatures of habit and masturbation is no exception!

    While we love a good routine, it can also be fun to switch it up. Variety is the spice of life after all!
Masturbation habits

Attitudes about masturbation

  • We found that 53% of people have been made to feel shame related to masturbating, and 47% of people in the survey felt that discussing masturbation caused them to feel guilty. This signals we’ve still got some way to go in smashing those self-pleasure stigmas.
  • On the upside, we found that 73% agree that more open discourse around sex and masturbation would be good for society and 74% want to get rid of the taboos and stigma attached to masturbation. Something we are 100% behind!
Masturbation attitudes self care
  • A survey from Bespoke Surgical estimates that the average US citizen spends $150 – $250 a year on sex products, and Connecticut came out as the big spenders, at 36.7% higher than the average. Their 2020 survey of Google shopping data, broken down by state, found that male sex toys were the most popular in 10 states, and dildos came in a close second, winning in 9 states.

What are some of your favorite sex toys?

Google Trends data for ‘sex toys’ from February 2019 to May 2021

Sex toy interest over time

  • Last but not least here’s a little snapshot of interest in sex toys from February 2019 to now. We hope that the last little spike from May 1st, 2021 is a sign you are all out there celebrating International Masturbation in style and treating yourself to some new toys!

Reasons to fall in love with masturbation

Now you know who’s doing what and how they are doing it, we thought we’d finish off with some of the benefits of masturbation, not only in May but all year round!

1) Stress relief

As well as being a great way to get out of your head and reconnect with yourself, masturbating increases levels of dopamine and oxytocin, which are related to feeling good, and lowers the stress hormone cortisol.

2) Sleep aid

As well as relaxation promoting endorphins, the post-orgasm release of prolactin is thought to promote sleep. Making masturbation a regular nighttime ritual can also create an association that tells your brain and body that it’s time for sleep.

3) Self-Image

Showing yourself some love and learning what you like is also a great way to build a better relationship with yourself and boost your self-image.

4) Confidence boost

Use that post-orgasmic glow to boost your confidence before a job interview, presentation, or exam. Less risky and more fun than the traditional Dutch courage!

5) Pain relief

The endorphins released from masturbation are also effective pain relief and can be a great way to take the edge off a headache, or muscle aches, or reduce period cramps.

6) Exploring your pleasure

Masturbation gives you the perfect context to explore new sensations and experiences without feeling self-conscious. This can be the perfect time to explore that fantasy that’s been at the back of your mind.

7) Better sex with a partner

When you know what you like and how you like it, you are better equipped to guide your partner in how to touch you, resulting in more satisfying sex.

8) Getting over a mental block

If you are feeling stuck or have a bout of creative block, take a masturbation break to help switch up your thinking.

Sources

TENGA Self-Pleasure Report 2019

TENGA Self-Pleasure Report 2020

SEXUS Sex i Danmark Report

Bespoke Surgical Masturbation Survey

Bespoke Surgical Sex Product Spending Review

Badoo Let’s Talk About Sex: 2020

Cosmopolitan –  The 24 Best Selling Sex Toys of 2020, So Far

We-Vibe Masturbation Report

Dame Masturbation Survey