Investigating the Masturbatory Behaviours of Canadian Midlife Adults
Previous research indicates that masturbation is a common and pleasurable activity related to sexual satisfaction and sexual health outcomes (Herbenick, Reece, Sanders, Dodge, Ghassemi & Fortenberry, 2009; Phillippsohn & Hartmann, 2009; Hulburt & Whittaker, 1991; Pinkerton, Bogart, Cecil & Abramson, 2003; Shulman & Horne, 2003). This study examined masturbatory frequency, pleasure and approaches and potential impact for sexual health and satisfaction in a national sample of Canadian men (N= 1111) and women (N= 1010) aged 40-59. Gender differences in masturbation frequency and pleasure were robust: men were almost 7 times more likely than women to report masturbating 4+ times per week and women almost 2.5 times more likely than men to report no masturbation in the last year. Further, women were more likely than men to report vibrator use and report that masturbation was very pleasurable. Men who reported more frequent masturbation reported lower levels of sexual satisfaction in their relationship, whereas women’s masturbation frequency was not related to their sexual satisfaction in relationships. Men and women’s masturbation frequency was not related to sexual health. The limitations and implications of the results are discussed.