Not very many female readers responded to the question, perhaps because extended periods without masturbation are probably more common among girls and women.]
When I was 16, I went on a family vacation to Florida for two weeks. We stayed at a little hotel on the ocean, where we all shared one room and I had no privacy. I couldn't even do it in the shower, because with five people showering in the morning, we had to be quick, and I was just too nervous. By the end of the trip I was getting some killer erections that would not go away. When we finally got home, my mom suggested the family "spend a little time apart." I immediately ran to my room and went crazy. My ejaculation was huge, and I remember it as the best orgasm of my life. I've always wanted to go that long again, but I've never have made it.
- age 24, North Dakota
Not more than a day. I have masturbated once a day for six years, and I always make sure to not to miss a day. If I don't do it before I go to bed, my mind just nags me about it, so I do it. I am sure that if I stopped for a few days, the next orgasm would be intense, but I can't stand waiting!
- age 19, California
Once, when I was 23, I felt like I was getting too excessive in my masturbating – so as an exercise in self-discipline, I went for one month without masturbating to orgasm, just to see if I could do it. To my great surprise I had only one wet dream during that time. (I always thought that I would have one every few nights if I didn't masturbate.) It was really difficult the first couple of weeks; I could almost ejaculate just by looking at my erect penis, which seemed as if it was begging me for attention! For the last two weeks I just savored the thought of the last day of the month when I was going to get off – and at that point, abstaining almost became fun. Instead of masturbating, I would just imagine the incredible, explosive orgasm I was going to have at the end of it all. (It was, too!) Since then I've never tried to go without, since I proved to myself that I could control even that strong an urge – well, for a month anyway.
- age 25, Montana
Last June and July I went on a school trip to Papua, New Guinea. I lasted the entire time without masturbating – although I had two huge wet dreams. It felt good going without for that much time, but the first day I got back, it was wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am!
- age 16, Australia
When I was a newlywed, I went without masturbating for almost a year. Neither my wife nor I had been sexually active before marriage (which I strongly encourage for many reasons), so we satisfied each other twice or more almost every day. As that pace tapered off (with fatigue and having kids), the time without masturbating ended. At one point I needed it; she was tired, so I took care of it myself.
- age 36, Texas
I tried to quit altogether once, because someone told me it was a sin. I am a Christian, and I just wanted to do the right thing. But then an older guy told me just to enjoy what God had given me – that it was a gift. That really helped me to understand. Now, when I masturbate, I really enjoy it. I understand that it doesn't have to get in the way of my faith!
- age 17, Tennessee
I think the longest was when I was 15 and went to camp. I recall worrying about not being able to masturbate for that long. I lasted only four days – I was going crazy! Although I didn't get erections very often, I couldn't think about anything but sex (which wasn't unusual in those days of my life). I would go to bed and get an erection immediately; I really wanted to take care of it, but I thought I couldn't – until one night I heard a couple of beds around me squeaking. I knew what was going on in those beds, and at that point, I couldn't have avoided masturbating, even if I'd wanted to. So I slipped out of my shorts and made some squeaks of my own. Most of the other beds (ten or twelve, I think) gave their tell-tale signs of masturbation that night, and after that, we all masturbated rather freely for the rest of camp – even in the daytime.
- age 26, Minnesota
A couple of months. Relatives came to visit, and then we left on vacation – an entire family in one motor home – so I was worried about someone seeing me masturbating and making my life a living hell. I got progressively more agitated and frustrated until, finally, we reached our grandparents' house. There wasn't enough room, so someone had to sleep out in the motor home. I volunteered and spent a nice night masturbating. I fell asleep exhausted but happy.
- age 17, Oregon (female)
Seven weeks – I actually gave it up for Lent. The first week was extremely difficult, the next week or two were okay, but the last weeks were almost unbearable. I could not stop thinking about masturbating, and I couldn't wait until Easter Monday – one guess what I did! I actually did this for several years as a personal challenge. I am glad I reached my goal, but I wonder if it was worth it. Lent is a time of sacrifice and religious contemplation, but by not masturbating, I ended up thinking more about sex than if I had just taken matters in hand once in a while. That's why I gave up my seven-week abstinence in 1997.
- age 39, New York
Just recently, when I heard that a favorite person of mine had died in a car crash, I simply was not horny anymore, and I ceased masturbating for about a week-and-a-half. My record before that was about three days. It ended when I had a little insomnia (which I believe I have found a cure for!).
- age 15, Alaska
When I was 17 I entered the Jesuits, a Roman Catholic religious community. The rule was no sex of any kind – including masturbation. The weekend before I entered, I thought, "I am never going to have sex again in my life." So I spent the whole weekend making love to myself. Every time I ejaculated, I told myself, "Remember what this feels like. You are never going to have this experience again." Although I remember incredible periods of horniness in those late teen years, I didn't masturbate for almost three years. But one day when I was 20, I had the realization I was controlling my sexual feelings by turning off almost all of the sensations of my body. I was numb. Not masturbating was true self-abuse. I decided it was time to reclaim my body. I will always remember that blissful day in my dorm room when I came alive again. I orgasmed three times in three hours. "I once was lost, but know I'm found; 'twas blind but now I see."
- age 50, California
During eight weeks of basic training in the Army, they kept us so busy and so exhausted that we'd fall into bed late at night and be asleep before we could pull up the covers. Weekends were no different. Close to the end of the training, we had an evening off, and I finally managed to release some built-up sexual tension. Whew! Never again!
- age 40, Texas
When I was a senior in high school, I had a religious experience and convinced myself I had to give up masturbating. I actually didn't masturbate for two (very long) years. I didn't even have a "wet dream" during that time. It was almost as if I became completely asexual during those two years. But the pilot light was still burning – and when I wound up with my erection in my hand one morning, I barely stopped enjoying my rediscovered friend long enough to eat or sleep for a week!
- age 36, North Carolina
I once went without masturbating for two weeks. I was at a band camp in high school and had a roommate; we were extremely busy, and I didn't have much time alone. There were no stalls in the bathrooms, and the shower was just one big room with about 20 shower heads. It wasn't so bad for the first week; we were so busy, learning our new music and the show. We worked in some form about 15 hours a day, and needless to say, we were all exhausted at the end of the day. The second week was not good. I really, really wanted to "get off," but I didn't. When I got home, the first thing I did after hugging my mom, was say, "I stink and need a shower." I spent 20 minutes masturbating in the shower. And that night, I spent another hour making up for lost time.
- age 19, Virginia
About four weeks. I felt I'd been doing it too much and just wanted to see if I could control myself. I got irritable, cranky, nervous, and couldn't concentrate on schoolwork. Finally, one morning in the shower, I decided to maybe jack it just little – but of course I couldn't stop once I got going. The orgasm felt like an explosion – it was really intense. I did it again a few minutes later, and to my amazement actually ejaculated a little more. It felt so good afterwards, though – as if my personality had returned to normal.
- age 25, California
I lasted about three weeks. My friend and I bet each other we wouldn't masturbate (like in that Seinfeld episode) – and I didn't win the bet, because I started going out with this woman, and we started doing stuff. When she masturbated me, I was like, "Man, I lost the bet."
- age 14, Colorado
Almost a year. But I met this guy I was nuts about, and he wanted to see me masturbate – so I did it for him.
- age 18, California (female)
About three weeks, before my Eagle Scout review. The Scout Handbook I started with advocated cold showers to suppress those urges boys get as they turn into men. "A Scout is Clean" was taken to mean no masturbation as well as a clean campsite. The issue of course did not come up – much to my relief.
- age 49, Michigan
Five months. My family went abroad for half a year, and I had to share a room with my sister. The only way I could masturbate at that time was by humping a pillow; I didn't want my sister to see, so I stopped. At the end of five months I couldn't stand it, so I tried to hump a pile of towels in the bathroom. I just ended up making my penis sore. I did have some nice wet dreams, though.
- age 13, Maryland
Nine days. I was too busy and couldn't find time to masturbate. I seemed to be more aggressive and nerve-wracked after the first couple of days without doing it. But on the ninth day, I did it right before my basketball game (it only took a minute). The orgasm was intense – and it was one of the best basketball games I've ever played.
- age 15, Indiana
Coincidentally, your question has come up at a time when I am close to my longest time. However, I am just about to masturbate now, and it is September 7; my last one was on August 26. In all, this is about 282 hours between sessions – although this is not my record. In 1995 I went for 312 hours between January 15 and January 28. Before that, my record was 288 hours, between March 28 and April 9, 1994. I have kept detailed records of my masturbation habits over many years so that I can provide good statistics. In each case, the period of abstinence would end with me deliberately settling down to enjoy a good session. After a very long time, however, I find that orgasms can be painful and not that good. The second one after a long abstinence can be better.
- age 44, United Kingdom
During the summer, I normally can't go one day without masturbating. Sometimes I'll do it a couple of times: in the morning, during the afternoon, and at night. The downside to this is that it isn't as good, but I just need to masturbate. During the school year, many times I'll go to bed and just crash, so I'll save it up for four or five days. That's probably the longest time I've gone without masturbating.
- age 15, New Jersey
When I was 19, I was in South America for a month during the summer. I was staying with a friend at his parents' apartment, and I didn't masturbate for the entire month. I don't know why, but I rarely if ever even thought about doing it when I was there. The morning after I got home, I was really horny, and so I masturbated. It felt like it had my first time – except I had six years of experience, so it felt even better. Unfortunately, I couldn't hold off for more than a few minutes before I ejaculated an enormous amount of semen all over my chest and stomach. For the next week or so, every time I masturbated it felt like my first time, and I had great orgasms. I don't think I could ever stop masturbating for a whole month again.
- age 23, Missouri
Twenty-one days, when I was doing my compulsory military service at age 20. The basic training started on June 10, and first leave was on July 1. There was absolutely no privacy: no doors on the bathroom and open showers, so that masturbation was just not possible. I have no recollections on how it felt, but we had training from 6 AM to 10 PM. A lot of it was outside, so there was basically no free time. Plus, I was just too exhausted.
- age 31, Finland
Eight weeks. I was 15 or so and was trying to stop. It was so hard not to masturbate; I would get erections all the time and try to resist stroking them. I did pretty well. It was difficult in the beginning, but in the middle, I had sort of gotten over it and thought it wouldn't even be an issue anymore. Then, as the weeks went on, it got more difficult again, until I started rationalizing and making up excuses for myself to touch my penis. One day I finally just went for it, and it felt so good, not having had an orgasm in eight weeks! Since then, I've mainly tried to enjoy my masturbation sessions as much as I can. Every now and then I think about quitting again, but I'm sure it will never happen!
- age 20, Maryland
When I was 12, I was worried that masturbation would screw up my menstrual period, so I went cold turkey for about a month. It was awful. I can't believe I used to think masturbation was bad for me. Now that I'm older, I know that it's the best way to relieve stress and to feel good about my body.
- age 18, Pennsylvania (female)
The longest period was about six weeks, after an operation (not to the penis). The main effect was a feeling of pressure building up at the base of the stomach, and a tendency to have wet dreams, from which I awoke quickly to prevent anything from happening. In the end, I was discharged and went home. I put out an array of pictures to look at, rubbed myself as fast as possible, and almost immediately ejaculated what seemed like a gallon of semen! The orgasm accompanying this was unbelievable. I still masturbate fairly regularly, although at my age it is very tame compared with years ago. It's a legitimate sexual activity, and I'll do it until I'm no longer able.
- age 62, United Kingdom
Somewhere around two weeks; we were on vacation and I couldn't get any privacy. It was frustrating at first, since I was used to my once-every-two-days routine, but the cravings soon went away. When I got home, oh man! There's nothing like getting back to the routine. Now I occasionally make myself not do it, just so that the next time will be that much better.
- age 17, Canada
I once went nine days without masturbating. I was almost 16 years old at the time, and I thought doing it two or three times a day was too much, so I decided to quit. I had this big idea that I was entering manhood and that real men don't masturbate. After the ninth day, I heard my older brother masturbating in his room. I couldn't hold it any longer, so I went to my room, closed the door, and had an instant erection. I ejaculated in about 30 seconds, so it wasn't very good. I did it again that night, though, and it was great – and I've been doing it ever since. Manhood can wait!
- age 17, Nevada
About one month. It was pretty easy to do – I was in jail.
- age 18, Canada
I've never managed to go more than two weeks without masturbating. A couple of months ago, I just wanted to see how much time I could spend without it – sort of a personal record. I was also curious to see what my reactions would be. Everything was fine for the first week – I found many things to keep my hands busy – but by the end of the first week, I could think only of sex, and I felt as if I was going to explode. Anyway, I managed to spend another week without masturbating. (Don't ask me how!) By the end of the second week I was so stressed that I had to do it. It was great to feel all of that tension go out!
- age 22, Spain
Last month I went on a two-and-a-half-week summer camping trip. Since I had to share a tent with one other guy, it wasn't possible to masturbate without being noticed. I went the whole time without doing it. It was the longest I had ever held out, and I was kind of proud of myself. At first, I wanted to see how long I could go without doing it – but by the end of the trip I really needed to do it. Still, I held off until I got home. When I got back, I couldn't wait anymore, so I masturbated and measured how far I ejaculated – four feet! Wowsers! Sometimes it pays to hold off.
- age 14, California
The longest amount of time would be about two weeks. It was very difficult not to masturbate when the urge would be there. It ended while I was speaking with an old girlfriend on the phone and I found myself with an erection. When I took my penis from my pants, there was semen all over the tip. It took only a few strokes and I thought I would never stop ejaculating.
- age 42, Utah
I went without masturbating for nearly six months. Some friends of mine said that masturbation would make you go to hell – that it's a disgusting habit, hairy palms, blindness, etc. All this made me feel very guilty about masturbating. It was very hard to stop, but whenever I would think about masturbating, I would feel really guilty, so I just kept busy. It sucked – the six months were pure hell! I was constantly angry and frustrated. After doing a little research, and watching an MTV Sex in the '90s episode on masturbation, I realized that all I had heard before was merely old wives' tales. The JackinWorld page was also very helpful in reassuring me that masturbation is normal and okay, and that I wasn't the only one who does it. I now masturbate two or three times a day and have experimented with many JackinWorld techniques.
- age 15, Idaho
I actually made it without masturbating for an entire two weeks one time. It was during my eighth-grade year; after a buddy caught me and made fun of me, I decided I had better stop. It was funny – when I masturbated every day, I never thought about it, but a couple of days after I stopped, it was on my mind constantly. In the morning, when I would wake with an erection, I wanted to masturbate; during school I wanted to masturbate; late at night I wanted to masturbate. But one night I was lying in bed and got an erection. I thought there would be no harm in just rubbing myself a little. I ended up doing it, and the sensation was wonderful – and the relief afterwards was incredible. After that, masturbation has been a daily event for me.
- age 19, Missouri
When I was 14, I actually went for four weeks without masturbating. I had started at age 12 and masturbated three or four times a week, but I kept thinking I was doing something really wrong. So I made the valiant effort to quit. The first week was not too bad, but the next three were wretched. Finally I was in the shower one day letting the water hit the head of my penis, and it got rock solid. After four weeks of buildup, I just had to masturbate – and that was absolutely the last time I ever tried to stop. Not long afterwards, I discovered that a lot of other guys masturbate, so I decided there was nothing to feel guilty about. I've been happily masturbating almost daily ever since.
- age 25, Indiana
Probably about two weeks; there had been a death in my family. I was about 28 years old at the time. It ended one morning when I woke up with an erection and I just started stroking. The old feelings just came back. So, I went to town. I remember doing it about five times that day. It was a lot of fun and helped me get back on track. Other than that, I've probably never gone more than a couple of days, and then it was probably because so much was going on that I didn't or couldn't find the time to do it.
- age 40, Georgia
Occasionally, about once or twice a year, I get bored with masturbating and I just don't think about it. The longest I've gone without doing it is a week. My friend said that the longest he's ever gone without doing it is about a week as well. I asked a girl I'm friends with this same question, and she said the longest she's gone without masturbating was a month. We both agreed that masturbating after a long period of abstention feels incredible – and it goes to show how important a role masturbation plays in our lives.
- age 21, Arizona