The sex survey: One in four men masturbate every day

Almost half of sexually active men do it more than once a week, compared with a quarter of women

Almost half of the sexually active men who responded to The Irish Times sex survey masturbate more than once a week. Photograph: Thinkstock/Getty Images

Almost half of the sexually active men who responded to The Irish Times sex survey masturbate more than once a week. Photograph: Thinkstock/Getty Images

 

Men masturbate more than women, with one in four male respondents to The Irish Times sex survey saying they do it every day, compared with 5 per cent of females.

Almost half of sexually active men who responded masturbate more than once a week, compared with a quarter of women.

“My understanding is that it is more acceptable for men to do so,” says sexologist Emily Power Smith. “Women are still very embarrassed to admit that they do and are less likely even to know it’s an option when growing up.”

Psychotherapist Trish Murphy suggests that “masturbation for women could possibly be included in sex education to promote a sense of right to pleasure.”

Both men and women consider masturbation to be the solution to not having enough sex, yet ironically women who masturbate tend to have higher sex drives than women who don’t. So there is a pay-off in a committed relationship of engaging in “regular self-love”, Murphy says.

In addition, nine out of 10 people who responded to the survey say they masturbate alone.

According to Brendan Madden, a psychotherapist, “Sexual stimulation and release are clearly more important for men than women. This ties in with other results of the survey that indicate men rate sexual encounters as highly enjoyable and important. And it ties in with a wide range of sex surveys around the world.”

The Irish Times sex survey was conducted on irishtimes.com over the course of a week in June 2015. A total of 12,639 participants completed the survey (a 71 per cent completion rate), with 12,134 responses used in the follow-up analysis. Over 500 responses were excluded, the vast majority because the participant was under the age of 17 (below the required age to take part) or where it was obvious that false information had been provided. Click here to view the full results, with interactive graphics.

The survey was carried out among self-selecting individuals. It is not a weighted survey and does not purport to be accurately representative of the wider population, biased as it is towards certain age groups (over two-thirds of those who took the survey were between the age of 24 and 50) and towards those who are more sexually active. Therefore all results should be seen as indicative rather than definitive.

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