Masturbation

Masturbation

Masturbation is sexually stimulating our own genitals (with our fingers, hands, everyday objects or sex toys like vibrators, dildos, or butt plugs) for sexual arousal or sexual pleasure, usually to the point of orgasm, though it can also feel good without reaching orgasm. It’s a safe and healthy way of getting off, relieving sexual tension, relaxing, enjoying our own bodies, and learning about ourselves and our sexuality.

People of different ages, races, ethnicities, cultures, genders, abilities, and sexual orientations masturbate.

There is no “normal” age to start masturbating. People can start doing it at a young age. Many children masturbate, not because of sexual desire, but because it feels pleasant. If you choose not to masturbate, that’s okay too. How you express yourself sexually is up to you.

Why masturbate? Does everyone do it?

Not everyone masturbates, but most people do. Some people don’t approve of masturbation for religious or cultural reasons and for some of us, it may cause feelings of guilt, because there is so much shaming messages out there around sex and sexual pleasure. Some of us are just not into it or do not feel sexual. For most people, it is a source of pleasure.

People who do masturbate do it for lots of different reasons and there are many benefits to it: it feels great, it’s free, it reduces stress, and it helps with relaxation. Some people find it can help them fall asleep, or even helps with headaches or cramps. It also helps us learn more about how our body responds to stimulation and what types of things feel good to us. We can masturbate alone or with partners. Mutual masturbation – masturbating with partner(s) – can be a really exciting thing to do and many do it because they are turned on by it or because they don’t want or are not able to have penetrative or oral sex (due to pain, to avoid unintended pregnancy, or to have sex while treating an STI, etc.).

Staying Healthy While Masturbating: Some Tips and Tricks!

  • Never insert anything breakable (e.g. glass) inside your vagina or anus. The object could break and injure you.
  • Never insert an object that cannot be easily removed into your vagina or (even more importantly) the anus. If using a sex toy (e.g. a vibrator or dildo) for anal stimulation, choose one that is flared at the bottom (has a very wide base) for easy removal. Sex toys that don’t have a wide base can easily get “sucked” into the anal canal and can land you at the emergency room for a medically assisted removal.
  • Keep in mind that vibrators left running for extended periods of time can overheat and cause burns.
  • If you use something to lube up, avoid using soap, shampoo, oil-based lubricants, or scented creams. They may cause a reaction (e.g. a rash, dry skin) or a build-up of bacteria. If you’re using sex toys, make sure the type of lube you use matches the material of the sex toy:
  • Water-based lube works with all toys (but isn’t great in the shower or bath since it washes away quickly);
  • Silicone lube will destroy silicone toys by breaking the silicone down and makes its all messy and sticky, so make sure you use oil or water-based lube with silicone toys;
  • Oil-based lube should only be used in situations that don’t involve condoms (because the oil can break down latex).
  • Lubes come in all different flavours and with different uses – some cause a warming or tingling sensation (great for heating things up a bit), while others can cause a cooling sensation! Some are good for increasing blood flow, while others help numb the genitals slightly, which some people use to delay orgasm and have penetrative sex for longer – though it is important to be mindful to not go “rougher” because you feel less sensations as it can mean you could unknowingly injure yourself.
  • Clean your sex toys regularly, whether or not you are using them with a partner. Regular bacteria and dirt will build up and can lead to infections.