Is it possible for them to become aggressive when this is going on? I've only had him for a few weeks, but he was so sweet... And then he bit me. And it was only after he bit me that I noticed him doing it.
This is a pretty old thread, it's better to just ask a question in a new thread than to pull up one from several years ago.
That said, I would guess they'd be more interested in mating with the female than masturbating. Males shouldn't be housed with a female unless you're intending to breed & you are doing so properly - money for vet bills, pedigrees of both hedgehogs (and checked for genetic issues), have done plenty of research, etc.
I have to say that I am glad that I do not have a male. I deal with my birds have Fun on their perchs or my shoulder all the time I do not need a hedgehog doing it too. It is always good to know that they do in case I have come across it and wondering what in the world is going on thank you
So glad I haven't caught my boy in the act. That would be incredibly awkward....I didn't realize hedgies were so enthusiastic about this!
Just to comment on the biological side of it: I would think all mammals participate in this behavior. Chimps, rodents, etc., etc. Yes, mating is highly instinctual for breeding purposes, but they wouldn't continue to....um, practice if it were not immediately rewarding and gratifying. I don't think they understand what it is they are doing exactly they just know it's enjoyable so they do it.
Edit: didn't realize this was an ancient thread. Oopsies.