Dear Alice,

This might seem like a strange question, but can masturbation somehow cause gas? I recently started masturbating and I think at about the same time, I started having bad gas. I know this sounds funny, but it's really annoying. My grades are slipping because I can't concentrate in class and I don't really feel like doing anything at all. Even movies are a pain. So, could masturbation somehow lead to gas problems?

Signed,

Arggggh

Dear Arggggh,

Gas and masturbation are highly unlikely to be connected with each other. Have you tried to stop masturbating? Has the gas subsided as a result? Perhaps you could try the same experiment by increasing the times you masturbate daily. Do you notice that the gas is increasing?

From your question, it sounds as if you could be under pressure and/or stressed out. Gas and digestive upsets are common stress responses, as well as loss of concentration and lethargy. If this is the case, you can check out some stress management tips in the Go Ask Alice! Stress & Anxiety archives. Masturbation, itself, can be a stress reducer, as well.

On the other hand (no pun intended), are you feeling guilty about your self-pleasure? Is your body responding physiologically to your discomfort with masturbation? Masturbation is normal, natural, and healthy, yet many people feel ashamed or guilty about it. Masturbation taboos have been around and in force for decades, and even though some societies and cultures are much more open to it nowadays, for others, the taboos are still ingrained.

Some self-detective work seems to be in order here. Is there anything else that happened in your life at around the same time that you started masturbating? There's also the possibility of a medical/digestive problem. Make an appointment with your health care provider to see if there's an underlying medical issue. If you feel you need to talk with someone about your feelings around masturbation, you can make an appointment with a mental health professional.

Alice!

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