Unusual masturbation techniques causing problems? (Traumatic Masturbation Syndrome)

Printer-friendly version

Prone masturbation can cause problemsUnusual or vigorous masturbation techniques can contribute to copulatory erectile dysfunction. Normal intercourse cannot match the pressure (death grip) and speed (very fast movements) employed by many desensitized men. Masturbating on the stomach (prone) can be one of the most troublesome forms of masturbation in terms of reducing sensitivity to normal intercourse.

This website www.healthystrokes.com helps men recover from prone masturbation, which they call "traumatic masturbation syndrome." The following two FAQs are from healthystrokes.com.

  • What is Traumatic Masturbatory Syndrome? Traumatic Masturbatory Syndrome (TMS) is the habit some males have of masturbating in a face-down (prone) position. Some TMS practitioners rub their penises against the mattress, pillow, or other bedding, or the floor. Some TMS practitioners lie on their stomachs and thrust into their hands.
  • What's wrong with masturbating in this fashion? Masturbating face down puts excessive pressure on the penis, and especially on the base of the penis. These sensations are not easily replicated in conventional masturbation or in sexual intercourse. This can make TMS practitioners unable to have normal sexual relations. A survey conducted for this web site revealed that males who masturbate conventionally have sex 6.6 times more often than TMS practitioners.

By the way, healthystrokes.com suggests that stopping prone masturbation for only one week will be long enough before you begin to retrain with new habits. Such advice may be fine for someone who hasn't used porn, but it is unlikely to work for heavy porn users. They need longer to "reboot" their brains. (Read warning about Healthy Strokes by forum member.)

It's important to understand that both porn and extreme masturbation techniques cause desensitization and rewiring of the brain. In other words, the brain needs time to heal and rewire to solve both problems.  See Studies linking porn use or porn/sex addiction to sexual dysfunctions, lower brain activation to sexual stimuli, and lower sexual satisfaction.

The following paragraphs are taken from this thread on prone masturbation, "Porn recovery and weird masturbation habits," from the reuniting.info forum:

I'm not sure what becomes desensitized with aggressive or vigorous masturbation methods. Is it the nerve endings in the penis, the connections in the spinal cord, or the brain itself...or all 3? Men who engage in prone masturbation have to change the way they masturbate. It's that simple.

No matter the form of masturbation, you may be overriding your brain's natural "stop doing this" mechanisms. If you need to fantasize to get an erection, your brain is saying "no." If you need a certain type of manual stimulation to masturbate, your brain is saying "no." If you need porn to masturbate, your brain is definitely saying "no." And if you have ED from excessive porn/masturbation, your brain is screaming at you "STOP!"

If you broke your leg, you brain would be screaming, in the form of pain, "Don't walk!" Only with super-human will could you overcome your body and brain's messages and put weight on your broken leg. This is what you are doing when you force masturbation. You are ignoring all the normal signals from your body and brain in order to force performance. That's a full-blown addiction, with all the associated brain changes.

The fact that you are experiencing zero libido, tells you exactly what you should be doing: nothing. No fantasy, no masturbation, no porn.

Recognize that an urge to masturbate arises from two different places:

  1. Your addiction pathways being triggered by a thought or a cue, or
  2. True libido - where you spontaneously get a full erection, and need no outside stimuli or unusual masturbation techniques to have an orgasm.

Everyone’s goal here is to move from number 1 to number 2.

The good news is that if you've been masturbating prone, you may have been watching less porn than the average guy because it's hard to watch and lie face down. You may recover more quickly (or not). Here's one guy's story:

[2 weeks] For 25 years, I was P&Ming a lot to porn - in prone position, mind you. I started this reboot because I couldn't get it up for sex - with three different women.

Maybe I'm some type of special case, but I really am not missing the P that much anymore. After only 3 days, I got "excited " when a female friend came over who I wasn't attracted to before. Now, I haven't tried sex yet but I'm getting it up a lot easier now than ever before. Women are looking more attractive to me every day. I don't know why. I'm feeling certain vibes go through my brain whenever I see a racy scene on TV.

P is great fantasy, and hey, it's nice to see things you could only imagine before. But we gotta resist it no matter what. The more we watch it, the more it really does make us push farther and farther to get an even better high - or sense of satisfaction. As crazy as this sounds, I think our bodies and mind are trying to save us by shutting down early and not preforming . What we have created with overstimulation to porn isn't natural.

I think a sign that your equipment will start to work right, is when you start to wake up with morning wood. If not full wood, at least half wood. I also believe that when you see sexual images or semi-sexual images of folks and you feel tinglings in your brain, that's a sign you must be starting too resensitize yourself to normal.

[3.5 weeks] I met a attractive woman, we clicked, got along and, well, we had intercourse. The moment was there and it happened. I had no problems whatsoever, and was surprised I was able to get to attention so fast and for so long. Didn't lose any erection or anything like that. The experience was very wonderful. I noticed without M and P I was able to preform and very well according to my female partner.

I know I'm not cured or anything and have to start over, but it's even easier starting over the second time around. This week has passed by very fast and, well, I'm enjoying life more.

I just followed the advice here, and damn it! Not only do I feel better, but I feel a lot more excited and horny. There's no way to describe how much more excited I am around women. I feel more sexual. I feel like I haven't felt since I was in high school. 2 hard weeks of no porn brought back feeling of desire for women. Not just the "She's pretty!" desire, but confidence and a little cockiness. It is worth the wait guys. It's worth the resistance and willpower to avoid P&M as much as you can.

Here's another forum member's experience (he also quotes from heathlystrokes.com):

"Traumatic Masturbatory Syndrome (TMS) is the habit some males have of masturbating in a face-down (prone) position. Some TMS practitioners rub their penises against the mattress, pillow, or other bedding, or the floor. Some TMS practitioners lie on their stomachs and thrust into their hands.

Masturbating face down puts excessive pressure on the penis, and especially on the base of the penis. These sensations are not easily replicated in conventional masturbation or in sexual intercourse. This can make TMS practitioners unable to have normal sexual relations. A survey conducted for this web site revealed that males who masturbate conventionally have sex 6.6 times more often than TMS practitioners."

Actually it's very dangerous and can have long lasting, chronic side effects. (ED, delayed orgasm, physical damage) I also used to masturbate prone, I discovered it when I began to masturbate and never used my hands until I stopped PMO.

People masturbate prone because it generates such a pressure on the penis that the stimulus is way higher, thus bigger dopamine high. It felt so good like nothing else in life I ever experienced, even drug-like.

After 5 years of doing so I could not masturbate with my hands. It simply wasn't possible. I stood in the shower and giving up after 10 minutes. I was depressed about it but never give it a second thought, had no clue was it was about.

"More than 90 percent of males learn to masturbate through self-discovery. Males who practice TMS unfortunately self-discovered an unconventional method. Males who learn to masturbate from other people invariably learn to do it the conventional way. (Most males who discover it for themselves also discover the conventional way.)"

Actually I think it's more complex. Masturbating prone is more rewarding, so depressed people with an already low-reward life can be tempted to try masturbating prone. But I don't know for sure...

However, I also self-discovered the wrong way, so I knew nothing else. But when I realized most people masturbate with their hands, I didn't like it because it wasn't rewarding, and I could only fantasize if I lay on my bed face down.

After 4-5 months without excessive masturbation I can proudly announce I regained my ability to masturbate with my hands, gently and even without fantasizing and have a good, intensive orgasm. :) Only a few weeks into it made a huge difference.

Another guy:

I haven't been on here for a while but I thought I'd let you know that I am cured and I too masturbated prone since I was young, 36 now. Read Doidge's book; it's a great primer for neuroplasticity. You may not like this but I have no idea how many days it took to get myself cured. I took some advice a while back and decided to not count the days. If you want to use "days" as a measuring stick, great. For me, just stopping all masturbation completely and looking at female images online did the trick, plus exercise and meditation. TMS is a bitch, I think it may make it more difficult to recover but it can be done. I haven't had any ED issues in long while now. Good luck guys.

Another guy:

Seriously, I did and I have... I masturbated prone from around 11 to around 14 and then made a genius switch to death grip masturbation. Had lots of cases where I either couldn't get it up because of PIED or couldn't feel anything because of the prone, death grip combo. Today I'm completely recovered. It took me a bit over one year of 60+ day Hard Mode streaks.

Basically the problem with prone and death grip masturbation is that you desensitize your hardware (compared to the software as with the case of PIED). So you want to regain your sensitivity or preferably reboot it to original levels, right?

I understand that what healthystrokes recommends is to just masturbate normally to regain sensitivity to a more "normal level" of friction.. I have two problems with that: 1.) there is no better way of regaining sensitivity as NO MASTURBATION at all and 2.) as far as rewiring yourself is concerned, normal masturbation is a weird choice for that also because, NEWS FLASH, normal masturbation doesn't feel a lot like a vagina (even if it's closer to it then fucking prone masturbation).

What I would recommend for virgins who have masturbated prone or with a death grip for a significant part of their life is to do the 90 days Hard Mode NoFap challenge to regain sensitivity and then if you don't feel comfortable rewiring yourself with a real woman for whatever reason, DON'T do it with you hand but with a vanilla textured fleshlight. I mention vanilla textured because there are fleshlights out there that stimulate your penis far more then a normal vagina would which brings you back to desensitizing yourself to a certain degree..

Why do I recommend a fleshlight? -Because if you, for whatever reason, can't rewire yourself with a real vagina than at least practice for it with the 2nd best substitute - a fleshlight.

As for myself, when I say I'm fully recovered I mean fully recovered. You mentioned that condoms should be a problem for somebody who had TMS - I can easily orgasm with a condom. Basically, my penis is extremely sensitive to a woman. There is very realistic hope for you too, I believe ;)

P.S. Also, if you want to recover FORGET about prone masturbation forever. It IS harmful and the longer you'll do it the harder it will be to recover...

Another guy:

Age 26 - Porn-induced ED cured 279 days into my reboot. "Growing up I always masturbated by rubbing by dick on the mattress lying prone, which I also learned was AWFUL for me."

Female perspective:

It works! 35-ish days of no porn and no fap, major results!

I've had a case of what I think is female death grip and porn conditioning, although not actual porn addiction. Basically, over the past few years, things have changed such that in order to get off, I needed to use my own particular masturbation technique and usually porn as well. I started dating a wonderful guy during this time, and found to my dismay that I couldn't have orgasms with him unless I did it myself, and even then, it was difficult.

A little over a month ago, I started a 30 day no fap, no porn challenge. I'm now back to having orgasms from my boyfriend, by hand. It's not completely consistent yet, but the improvement is huge. Thanks, no fap!

I found some advice from Your Brain On Porn especially helpful. l made a point of not thinking about porn while having sex with my boyfriend. I think it really helped break the conditioning around porn. In fact, I have been experimenting with masturbation again (without porn), and I find it easy to get off just from thinking about my boyfriend and the sex we have. It's been great!

Warning about Healthy Strokes from forum member:

Even if I think that the author of healthystrokes.com is an amazing person, who wants to help people get rid of that behaviour, he is also a damned stupid one. Why is that? Because he openly proclaims that 'visual aids' are not a problem at all. It is his opinion that porn is not harmful and that normal masturbation is the healthiest thing in the world. He simply doesn't seem to understand the brain changes that occur through an addiction.

I think this is most troublesome as it doesn't help to get rid of that goddamn addiction at all. It might, at best, change it in another direction. It is a good idea to tell people about healthystrokes.com. But you really should think about adding that the solution provided at that site might very well lead people into a troublesome trap. This is what happened to me:

Yourbrainonporn.com taught me that I'm an addict and that I have to stop this addiction to get a better life. The solution: Quit cold turkey from any kind of PMO. Healthystrokes.com teaches guys about the trouble of prone masturbation, but not at all about why they are having these troubles. Not a hint that they might be addicted at all.

The author's solution: Stop prone masturbation, start normal masturbation. If you can't do it, stop masturbating prone for a week or a little more, then try it the normal way. Fail? Start again. And so one goes through withdrawal again and again and again.

I was and still get stuck wondering if what is provided at yourbrainonporn is right. It makes so much sense; it simply has to work. Then again, maybe that dude from healthystrokes is totally right and I just have to relearn masturbation. Who cares if I have to jerk off while being only 50 percent erect? It will get better in time. WRONG. It doesn't. And it always ends in relapsing with prone masturbation and binging at that. Been there for myself too many times.

 That said, some guys have a lot of trouble recovering from TMS.