Jada Pinkett with husband, Will Smith.

When actress Jada Pinkett Smith, the wife of renowned Hollywood hunk, Will Smith, in 2018 explained that she had learned the independence and sexual pleasure felt by masturbation, jaws around the world, most likely dropped. She spoke openly on the topic with her daughter, Willow and her mother, during her Red Table Talk show. She said, from as young as the age of 17, she would give herself multiple orgasms, daily.

Jada explained that at one point however, she began questioning whether the practice could essentially have a negative effect on her life. “I actually think I went through kind of an addiction, too, with it. And then one day, I was like, ‘Enough. You’re having five orgasms a day,’” she recalled.

 

Holly Richmond, PhD, a sex therapist in Southern California, has since explained that “addiction” isn’t really the right word for what Pinkett Smith may have been experiencing. She said while it is categorically impossible to ‘use up’ one’s orgasms, solo sex sessions don’t necessarily facilitate connection with other partners. She told ‘Health’ a person can’t become addicted to self-pleasuring the way she can get addicted to drugs or alcohol. She however said that if masturbation leads to withdrawal from relationships, missing work or causing other problems in one’s day to day life, it’s probably being done too much.

Dr. Richmond noted that in addition to the negative effects of excessive masturbation on intimate relationships, work performance may also suffer. She also said physical pain such as chafing, is also possible. It was noted that using the same technique on oneself to reach orgasm over and over again can condition one’s body so that it becomes difficult to climax with a partner—since they won’t be able to replicate the exact touch and stroke one uses on oneself.

Health notes that if this is the case with you, Dr. Richmond suggests easing up on it. She however says don’t give up the practice altogether. “For women, masturbation is essential to figure out what they like, what turns them on, what makes them reach orgasm,” she says. “There could be 500 reasons women masturbate and all of those reasons are valid—but not if you do it through compulsivity.”