Guilty, anxious and panicky after masturbation? Let's talk about it!

What and Why?

Feeling guilty and anxious after masturbation is a common experience for many individuals, often influenced by cultural, religious, or personal beliefs surrounding sexuality. Research suggests that younger men, in particular, may experience higher levels of anxiety associated with masturbation, especially if they feel guilt or shame afterwards. These feelings can be exacerbated by societal taboos or negative perceptions of self-pleasure.

Men who masturbate frequently may also experience higher levels of anxiety, particularly if they harbour feelings of guilt or perceive masturbation as morally wrong. These feelings of guilt and anxiety can be deeply ingrained and may stem from various sources, including upbringing, religious teachings, or societal norms.

What to do about it?

It’s essential to recognize that these feelings are valid and can have a significant impact on mental health. Seeking support from a therapist or counsellor who is knowledgeable about sexual health can be beneficial in addressing these feelings and developing a healthier relationship with masturbation and sexuality overall.

Recent Researchers

Recent research conducted by Italian scholars revealed a correlation between feelings of guilt after masturbation and heightened psychological issues, such as depression and anxiety, among men. The study, encompassing 4,211 men aged between 48 and 51, indicated that approximately 8% of the participants experienced guilt following masturbation. Each participant was required to provide insights into their masturbation habits and associated emotions. 

The findings unveiled a significant association between feelings of guilt and various psychological distress indicators, including depression and anxiety. Moreover, individuals reporting such emotions tended to encounter more sexual difficulties and conflicts within their relationships. Interestingly, these sentiments were more prevalent among men in the younger age bracket of the study group. 

Furthermore, it’s noteworthy that alcohol consumption was higher among men experiencing guilt after masturbation, adding another layer to the complex interplay between psychological well-being and sexual behaviour.


The historical taboo surrounding masturbation, perpetuated by phrases like ‘it’s a sin,’ ‘you’ll be condemned,’ or ‘it leads to insanity,’ has contributed to the persistence of guilt associated with this natural act of sexual gratification. Consequently, the recurrent echoes of such notions during the act can result in significant mental disturbances.

In conclusion, feeling guilty and anxious after masturbation is a common experience influenced by various factors such as cultural, religious, and personal beliefs. While masturbation itself is not harmful, the psychological impact can vary, and it’s essential to address these feelings in a supportive and understanding manner.


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