How Often Millennials Are Masturbating In 2018

As a sex educator, I’ve said more than once that “everyone masturbates.” And I guess I just assumed that they did; that masturbation was something that most people found their way to sooner or later. But I never had much data to back up my claim, mainly because research into people’s sexual habits is pretty thin on the ground. That’s why I’m grateful for a new survey conducted by the sex toy company TENGA that looks at people’s masturbation habits, their attitudes about sexual wellness, and perceptions of masculinity around the world. For our purposes, we’re going to look specifically at the data from the United States, which included 1,003 respondents between the ages of 18 and 74, about half of whom were male and half of whom were female.

I firmly believe that masturbation is generally healthy. It’s a great way for people to not only release sexual tension but also to learn about how their body works and what fantasies turn them on. After all, how can you expect a partner to please you if you don’t know how to please yourself? Masturbation is the first step — and an ongoing step — toward to a healthy, satisfying sex life.

So does everyone masturbate? The short answer is: No. Not everyone. But do most people masturbate? Yes. Let’s take a look at how many people overall have masturbated, how many men versus how many women, and how often millennials (like me!) masturbate, according to the TENGA 2018 Global Self-Pleasure Report.

1How Many People Have Masturbated

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First things first: How many people overall have masturbated? It’s important to point out here that the question asks how many people have tried masturbating, not how many people do masturbate. But it gives us a good idea of what percentage of people have ever given themselves some self pleasure.

The TENGA survey found that 84 percent of Americans had tried masturbating. That’s of all genders and between the ages of 18 and 74.

2How Many Men Vs. Women Have Tried Masturbating

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

Unsurprisingly, when TENGA broke down the results by gender, they found that quite a few more men than women had tried masturbating. A vast majority of men — 92 percent — have tried masturbating, while only 76 percent of women said the same.

While a later part of the survey does ask (by gender) what things have prevented people from masturbating, there’s one conspicuous option missing: Gender norms. With a gap that big between men and women, it’s not a far stretch to assume that cultural expectations that boys will masturbate but girls don’t play a role.

3How Many Millennials Masturbate

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

The percentage of people who have tried masturbating across three age groups — 18 to 34, 35 to 54, and 55+ — were all between 80 and 90 percent. The oldest group came in at 84 percent, the middle at 80 percent, and the last group — us millennials, plus some Gen Z — are at 87 percent. So it looks like us youngsters (and young-ishsters) are at least a little more down with self-pleasure than previous generations.

4How Often Millennials Masturbate

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

And now, last but not least, let’s take a look at how often millennials (and those Gen Zers) are masturbating. Of that 87 percent who masturbate, 52 percent do it at least weekly, with an average 5.3 times per week. Twenty-nine percent do it a few times a month, 7 percent a few times per year, and 12 percent “not regularly.” The multiple times per week category certainly drops as people age, with 42 percent of 35 to 54-year-olds checking that box and 26 percent of 55 plus. But interestingly enough, of those over 55 who masturbate multiple times per week, they average about 4.4 times weekly.

But there’s no amount of masturbation you “should” be doing and no amount you “shouldn’t” be doing. When it comes to making yourself come, do what feels right for your body. Always.