Male Masturbation/Erectile Dysfunction


QUESTION: I am 33 and I masturbated prone exclusively from age 12 to 30. I have had erectile dysfunction my whole life since my first failed attempt at sex at 16. All these years I have only been able to have sex by taking Viagra or Cialis that I buy online. This has done severe damage to my self esteem and I have had very few relationships and am afraid to date because of the embarrassment. I found at age 30 and stopped the prone and learned to masturbate correctly. However, I later started back doing some prone without realizing it. I would lay on my stomach and thrust against the mattress halfway to orgasm and then turn over and finish supine thinking that as long as I wasn't going all the way prone that it was okay. I also used a fake vagina for a while. After reading more of your site, I see that 1 second of prone is still prone and you even say that a fake vagina is a form of prone. I've decided to go strictly supine and I am seeing a urologist tomorrow to see if there is any physical problems. MY GP has done blood work and hasn't found any problem. Most doctors have told me that ED in young men is almost always psychological. I suffer from anxiety and depression which causes ED with a woman, but I can't get an erection when masturbating alone either so I think there must be more to my ED. I'm also seeking a good therapist. I'm not sure if my ED is physical, psychological, or both. I have 3 questions:          
1. There have also been times when I layed on my side and put my penis between my legs and kind of rolled my legs around on my penis. Is this also considered prone masturbation?
2. I'm considering purchasing a sex doll. Not the cheap blow up with a fake vagina insert, but the more expensive, anatomically correct kind with a vagina built in that is exactly like a real woman's vagina. I don't see how that could be considered prone or do any harm but I figured I should ask. Do you consider that to be prone or harmful in any way?
3. This ED problem has tormented me for many years and destroyed my self esteem. I want to love and be loved and have sex in a real relationship, but I'm too shy to talk to girls and even if I could I would just end up in another embarrassing situation because of ED. Do you think there is any way for me to overcome shyness and ED permanently so I can finally have a life and be happy?
Thank you for your time and the work you do.

ANSWER: Prone masturbation means to lie face down (on your stomach) and to thrust the penis into or against something, like your mattress, bedding, or hand.  It causes sexual dysfunction in most males who practice it.   The solution is to give up prone forever and learn to masturbate by hand the way nearly all men do.

1. Yes, that is bad.  You want to masturbate with your hand, not by thrusting your penis.  

2.  I am OK with fake vaginas if one uses them to stroke the penis rather than thrust into it.  I recommend for the prone males that I deal with an inexpensive stroker called the Super Head Honcho.  Do not thrust into a sex doll.  That is just another form of prone.

3.  I would suggest you continue to work with the doctor and get a prescription for a erection drug.  Do not rely on internet pharmacies.  You might not need a full Viagra pill and might be able to do just fine breaking them down into much smaller pills.

To learn more about prone masturbation and the problems it causes, see (and I know you already have.)

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for your fast response. I am on disability for mental illness(bipolar disorder) and my only insurance is Medicare, which doesn't cover ED drugs at all. My doctor wrote me a prescription for Cialis, but the pharmacy said it would cost over $200 for a 30 day supply. It seems my only option is to buy them online. From your answer, it seems you are basically saying that masturbation is fine as long as your hand is moving and not your hips(or stroking rather than thrusting). That seems counterintuitive considering that during intercourse it is the opposite. I really like the "Katie" Doll at, but I don't want to exacerbate an already huge problem. My follow up questions are:

1. Why would a sex doll be a form of prone if that is exactly the same thing you would be doing to a real woman?

2. What is the best way to overcome anxiety and painful shyness around women?

3. What do I do if after giving up prone completely I still cannot get an erection without   ED drugs?

ANSWER: I don't know anything about cutting Cialis pills down to size, but I do know that a 50 mg Viagra pill can easily be broken up and placed in capsules to yield 8 or 9 doses of about 5-7 mg each.  That might be all you need.  Find out what three pills would cost at your pharmacy.

You are correct about masturbating by stroking and not by thrusting.  For intercourse it doesn't matter because the vagina resists a lot more than an object does.  So the doll will not help and will probably make things worse.  Start by getting a Super Head Honcho from Amazon or for less than $15.

1.  A doll is not the same as a real woman.

2.  Spend more time interacting with women in non-sexual settings.  Get to know women as bridge partners, walking buddies, computer buffs, etc., and see if these women you know non-sexually would either be interested in going out with you, or fixing you up with their single friends.  Even if you don't pursue that avenue with them, just interacting with them will help.

3.  Give up prone first.  Then work on erection troubles if you still have them.  Pills are not the only solution.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for suggesting the Super Head Honcho and warning me about the doll before I go and pay $2100 for it. That would be a ridiculous price to pay for something that would potentially make the ED worse. I think you are saying the doll's vagina would not provide enough resistance and this is why it would be harmful. I will give it a try interacting with women in non-sexual settings. I think a cognitive behavioral therapist might be able to help me with this. One more quick question. You say if I still have erection issues after giving up prone, pills are not the only solution. What other solutions would you suggest?

If it is in your head, it is easier to use relaxation techniques to bring on an erection when you think you can't get one.  Remember, if you can ever get an erection at any time, you're not impotent, and you just need to worry less about not having an erection.

The trouble with the doll isn't that it provides too little resistance but too much.

Male Masturbation

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Doug Adams, Ph.D.


I write from the point of view that masturbation is normal, healthy, and fun, and even necessary to sexual health. I am able to answer questions in all areas of sexuality.


I am the author of the web site and have been answering questions about sexuality (especially masturbation) from both males and females for over 13 years.

I have a Ph.D. in a field unrelated to sexuality from one of the leading educational institutions of the world.

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