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Masturbation in middle and late adulthood: its relationship to orgasm


The relation of masturbation to orgasmic facility and orgasm satisfaction in the sexual relationships context was examined in elderly population. This cross-sectional study included 546 Spanish heterosexual adults aged 50–83 years. They completed a Socio-Demographic Questionnaire, and scales to assess negative attitude towards masturbation, solitary sexual desire, subjective orgasm experience in the solitary masturbation context and orgasmic facility and orgasm satisfaction in sexual relationships. Significant differences were observed on all the masturbation-related indicators between men and women. For men, a regression model was obtained in which age (β = 0.15), current masturbation frequency (β = 0.18) and negative attitude towards masturbation (β = 0.17) explained 8% of the difficulty in orgasmic facility, and another in which age (β = 0.14) and negative attitude towards masturbation (β = 0.13) explained 8% of orgasm satisfaction. For women, two regression models were obtained, in which the Affective dimension of the subjective orgasm experience in masturbation explained 11% of orgasmic facility (β = −0.22) and 15% of orgasm satisfaction (β = −0.33) in sexual relationships. Significant differences in the intensity of the subjective orgasmic masturbation experience were observed between elderly people with and without difficulties in orgasmic facility and orgasm satisfaction in sexual relationships.

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Fig. 1: Comparisons between people without and with difficulties in orgasmic facility and orgasm satisfaction in terms of subjective orgasm experience, respectively.

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Data availability

The data presented in this study are available on request from the corresponding author. The data are not publicly available due to privacy.


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Research funded by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities of Spain through the Research Project RTI2018-093317-B-I00 and the Bursary FPU16/04429 and FPU18/03102 for University Professor Training.

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Authors and Affiliations



Conceptualization, JCS; methodology, JCS, JS, OC, and AÁ-M; formal analysis, JCS, OC, AÁ-M.; investigation, JCS, JS, OC, and AÁ-M; writing—original draft preparation, JCS, JS, OC, and AÁ-M; writing—review and editing, JCS, JS, OC, and AÁ-M; and funding acquisition, JCS.

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Correspondence to Juan Carlos Sierra.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of Human Research of the University of Granada.

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Sierra, J.C., Santamaría, J., Cervilla, O. et al. Masturbation in middle and late adulthood: its relationship to orgasm. Int J Impot Res 35, 114–120 (2023).

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