For men with poor memory, a somewhat frightening urban legend may have you wondering whether you’re causing the problem yourself! The “fact” that masturbation causes memory loss has been repeated for years. It seems totally unbelievable, but is there any truth to this at all? How did people arrive at this odd conclusion? What is the effect of masturbation on memory, if any?
For what is essentially a universal human pastime, it would be highly concerning to think we’ve been causing self-sabotage this entire time. If you think you may be suffering from self-induced memory loss by your own hands, pun intended, read on.
The Effect of Masturbation on Memory
Masturbation is an entirely normal and healthy activity, but there are reasons why certain individuals would want to keep people from practicing it. Whether these reasons are religious, well-meaning, or intended to cause panic, they are nevertheless present.
The act has been performed since the dawn of man, we even have ancient artworks from cultures around the world which depict it. If it had any true memory-affecting properties, we would likely know about it. However, perhaps they slipped under the radar, or have actually been known all along.
Can jerking off cause memory loss? There are a host of reasons why a man would choose not to masturbate, as he may wish to conserve his energy and get laid, or he might choose to go right on ahead. Let’s look at the health negatives and positives so you can make an informed decision. It’ll come in handy.
Does masturbation cause memory loss?
Does jerking off cause memory loss in men and women? There is no direct link between masturbation and memory loss. It is a complete myth created by fear-mongers and perpetuated by the ill-informed. Masturbation can have both negative and positive effects on an individual, but memory loss is most certainly not one of them.
If masturbation caused memory loss, that could be a huge issue. Imagine how many men would have forgotten to meet up with their beautiful date they have scheduled for the night!
Whether gradually, short term, or in the long term, there are no negative effects caused by masturbation on the memory. However, that does not mean there are no negative mental effects at all, too much of anything is usually a bad thing.
The negative mental effects of masturbation
Masturbation can cause feelings of shame and sadness, especially when the viewer has watched some less-than-vanilla material. There is a bit of a backward mentality at play here however, as oftentimes it is not the material itself causing the sadness, but the shame we believe we are meant to feel due to societal pressures.
Shame and sadness may be more of a result of how you believe you should react, as opposed to masturbation itself. This may vary between individuals but is likely to be especially true for those from highly conservative backgrounds and nations.
Masturbation has also been blamed for causing depression, due to the high number of depressed men who masturbate frequently. However, cause and effect have been switched around here, as in reality, depressed men are far more likely to masturbate more often.
This makes sense, as depression can turn individuals into recluses, and make sex much less likely. Masturbation in this mindset can be unhealthy in that it keeps these people from leaving the house and seeking pleasure.
Many of these depressed men experienced sexual dysfunctions, which could cause heightened depression and sadness. Erectile dysfunction is, of course, very distressing to men. Failure to achieve erections during masturbation can cause feelings of shame and worthlessness.
Masturbation can cause single individuals to have a greater awareness of their singleness, in turn causing sadness. A common theme seems to be the exasperation of existing problems, however, nothing can directly be correlated with masturbation. If there is one thing we know for sure, “can masturbation cause memory loss?”, definitely not.
There is actually a lot of good that masturbation can do for you.
It’s crucial not to develop an addiction to masturbation, however, as the flood of dopamine and oxytocin can become addicting, almost like a drug. When masturbation starts to get in the way of life and has actual real-world consequences, you may very well be addicted. It also should not be used as a coping mechanism.
The positive mental effects of masturbation
Masturbation has a whole host of positive effects that can improve a man's or woman’s life.
These positive effects are often overlooked by individuals whose faith or culture has forced them to shun masturbation and see it as a dirty act.
Masturbation can help couples become closer, and it’s a great way to get a sexy start and build tension with your hookup. It can also build your self-esteem and help with your bodily image, as you become more familiar and confident with the shape and look of your intimate areas. You’ll develop a greater understanding of what it is you like sexually, and how others can please you too. It’s great for healthy sexual development in young adulthood.
Masturbation is most often used to relieve stress, and it’s very effective. Orgasm causes a flurry of chemicals in your brain which has a relaxing effect, which can make you happier. This can vary however, some individuals may feel guilt as previously mentioned. The answer really isn’t black and white, and some individuals may refrain from masturbation due to associations they have with it. The healthiest option is to go for what provides you with the most mental comfort and relief, whether that be to limit masturbation or forgo it.
Orgasms from masturbation can be more psychologically intense, and allow young men and women to discover what they like without fear of expectations from others. In terms of other positive mental benefits, masturbation can also be used in sex therapy. Those who have suffered sexual trauma may be able to lessen symptoms through specialized therapy.
This can make sex much more enjoyable for couples, as the partner who may have been sexually abused is able to open up sexually and begin to enjoy the experience more. This can have profound effects, and make a relationship far healthier in the long run.
The physical effects of masturbation
We’ve addressed the mental effects of masturbation, and its lack of memory-reducing capability. However, the act also has some physical effects too. Masturbation is a process that involves a lot of areas of your body, spanning almost the entire body. It makes sense that it would have large physical implications.
Masturbation can help you sleep better, mostly due to the cocktail of chemicals that your brain releases after the process. They don’t specifically make you sleepy, but many find that it greatly assists them, as these chemicals have a stress relieving effect.
In the case of women, masturbation can relieve menstrual cramping and muscle tension. This can make the irritating process easier, and momentarily take your mind off of your situation. Masturbation seems to be able to prevent ED in men, in a case of “use it or lose it”. By getting frequent erections, the pelvic floor muscles are kept strong and able to maintain firm erections.
According to Jennifer Landa, M.D. - a specialist in hormones, masturbation can actually boost your immune system too.
Why do people believe masturbation causes memory loss?
Some individuals, especially in the “NoFap” community, are adamant that masturbation causes brain fog, difficulties focusing, and memory loss. They also maintain that it can cause erectile dysfunction, depression, and general weakness.
There is no evidence to support these claims at all, however, individuals that partake in “NoFap” seem to believe they are benefiting. Whether these are genuine improvements, or simply the result of the placebo effect, is tough to call. However, the community is fairly large and many of its members report similar findings.
Highly conservative and religious individuals may also view masturbation as a sin, or ungodly, making them biased when it comes to the information they spout. They may cite studies that used inaccurate means to reach their conclusions or use certain individuals to skew results.
In some corners of social media, masturbation is also seen as weak. Men with a toxic view of manhood may spout that real men should relieve themselves with the aid of a woman and that using one's hand is for those without drive, and those who require instant satisfaction.
Having sex with a real human being is definitely healthy, and should not be entirely substituted. However, masturbation is healthy, with the added benefit that it is risk-of-disease free. There are many kinds of individuals that needlessly look down on masturbation, and it’s important to be cautious of the “information” they spread.
The harm of pornography
Does masturbation cause memory loss, no, but something associated with masturbation can definitely harm you. Watching porn could actually be shrinking a part of your brain associated with pleasure, making it harder for you to appreciate and enjoy smaller things in life.
In other words, the depression associated with masturbation could actually be a result of frequent pornography consumption. Men who watch porn are also more likely to experience shifts in sexual interest and have unrealistic views about how sex should be performed.
Pornography also affects the way men view women. Young men with no sexual experience may shape their ideals and view of a perfect woman around the women depicted in porn, who are hypersexualized and create unrealistic expectations of real women. This hurts both men and women, as the men also compare themselves to pornographic male actors, who are using a wide variety of camera tricks to seem more impressive. For men concerned about the effect of masturbation on memory, perhaps it would be wise to also consider the effects of porn on their worldview.
Some men have even described needing to resort to more extreme porn in order to achieve an erection, sometimes even viewing porn that does not align with their sexuality.
The Bottom Line: Can Masturbation Cause Memory Loss?
As far as the scientific community is concerned, the consensus about the effect of masturbation on memory is that no correlation actually exists. You are free to masturbate as you like without fear of forgetting anything. However, there are a wide array of things that can occur due to masturbation, which may be positive or negative.
If you feel you have issues with your memory, then you should visit a specialist. You could also play some memory games, a fun one might be to start getting a ton of hookups, masturbating together, and seeing how much detail you can remember the night after!