Q&A: Does Masturbation Cause Premature Aging?

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QUESTION: I’m a 19-year-old guy who’s been masturbating since age 15. Now I look like a 28-year-old man. Is it due to masturbation? How can I look more like my age?

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Wrinkled palm of a male's hand

Photo: timblair (flickr)

Adolescence is a time of many body changes. It is not unusual to look in the mirror one day and wonder if you look a great deal older than you are.

Fortunately, there is no truth to the rumors that masturbation causes one to get sick, go blind, grow hair on their hands, or age very quickly.

It is common for teenagers and adults to masturbate, whether they are male or female, and there is nothing about masturbating that would cause you to look much older than you are.

A Time of Many Changes

Adolescence is a time of many body changes. It is not unusual to look in the mirror one day and wonder if you look a great deal older than you are. Also, some people – due to genetics – do look older or younger than friends their same age.

Among young men, those who grow facial hair at younger ages or in greater amounts than their peers may find that they look older than their friends. Other people look older than their friends for other reasons, such as if they have spent a lot of time in the sun without wearing sunscreen, if they have smoked cigarettes or if they are losing some of their hair, which is often related to genetics.

Discuss Your Concerns

If you have concerns about your health or your appearance, discuss them with your healthcare provider. There may be little that you can do about how old you look given that much of it may be related to genetics.

However, you might also talk to your friends to see what they suggest: perhaps a new haircut or different clothes might help you to feel as though you look closer in age to your friends.

Recommended Reading

If you feel uncomfortable or guilty about having masturbated, you may find it helpful to learn more about masturbation.

The Big Book of Masturbation is a book that is filled with information about how masturbation has been described by medical doctors, psychologists, anthropologists and even writers, poets and comedians. It details the many myths about masturbation, including the now-outdated idea that masturbation could make one look older than they are.

It also identifies many of the benefits of pleasuring one’s own body, such as learning what feels good for oneself or, among men, learning to control the timing of ejaculation. There is even some research that suggests that masturbating as a young adult may be associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer later on.

If you enjoy your masturbation, you can do so knowing that it won’t make you look any older (or younger) and that it is often a pleasurable experience for many men and women throughout their lives.

Dr. Debby Herbenick (M.P.H., Ph.D.)

is a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, Associate Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and author of several books including Sex Made Easy and Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction.
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Comments

  • Dan

    my case is similar ,i'm 21 years old and some people say i look 26,28 ,30.. i 've been masturbating since 11 or younger