Hands to your­self

Ev­ery­thing you need to know about mas­tur­ba­tion.

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You might have heard peo­ple talk­ing at school about mas­tur­bat­ing, or maybe you’ve learned about it, er, in pri­vate! Though self-love is a su­per nor­mal part of life, it’s a blush-wor­thy topic, and you can’t al­ways just raise your hand and ask about it like in English class. But don’t worry, we’ve asked the ques­tions – and an­swered them – so you don’t have to.

Q: Am I weird be­cause I mas­tur­bate?

A: Mas­tur­ba­tion is so nor­mal that if you went around ask­ing your whole school, pretty much every­one would fess up to it. (Well, if they’d had a big dose of truth serum, maybe.) Not only is it a nor­mal as­pect of hu­man sex­u­al­ity, it’s also a re­ally im­por­tant part. It helps you get to know your body and find out what you’re into, so don’t ever feel bad about tak­ing your sex­u­al­ity into your own hands!

Q: …Or am I weird if I don’t?

A: Just like above, it’s also nor­mal to NOT do it. If you haven’t felt the urge to em­bark on a self-ex­plo­ration mis­sion, then don’t stress. Chances are that you will some day, but right now you just gotta do what feels right for you. Af­ter all, it’s sup­posed to be plea­sur­able, and you won’t have fun if you’re forc­ing your­self.

Q: Is there a “right” or “wrong” way to do it?

A: By def­i­ni­tion, mas­tur­ba­tion is the stim­u­la­tion of one’s gen­i­tals to achieve sex­ual plea­sure, but there are no set rules on how to go about this be­cause every­one is dif­fer­ent. The whole point of self-plea­sure means it has to feel good for you. If it hurts, try slow­ing down or a dif­fer­ent method: for ex­am­ple, you might pre­fer cli­toral (ex­ter­nal) mas­tur­ba­tion, or per­haps vagi­nal (in­ter­nal) stim­u­la­tion is what works. You won’t know un­til you ex­per­i­ment.

Hell, if it’s good enough for Harry Styles to sing about, it’s good enough for the av­er­age Joe!

Q: How do I know if I’ve had an or­gasm?

A: An or­gasm can stem from cli­toral or vagi­nal stim­u­la­tion, and might feel like an in­tense burst of plea­sure or re­lease. But don’t freak out if you don’t have an or­gasm, or don’t have one ev­ery time you mas­tur­bate. Th­ese things are not guar­an­teed, and if you don’t have an or­gasm noth­ing is wrong with you. Maybe you’re still work­ing out what is best for you – so re­lax, en­joy it and don’t put too much pres­sure on the end re­sult.

Q: Are there any bad things that can hap­pen when you do it?

A: You may have heard dif­fer­ent ru­mours fly­ing around at school – a com­mon one is that if you mas­tur­bate too much, you will go blind! It is so far from the truth it’s al­most funny, so don’t worry about your eye­sight next time your hand heads down­stairs. While you should al­ways make sure your hands and fin­ger­nails are clean, you can’t get preg­nant or catch an STI, and it won’t af­fect your pe­riod.

Q: Is there such a thing as too much mas­tur­bat­ing?

A: Once a day, twice a day, once a month… there is no “nor­mal” level of mas­tur­ba­tion. It’s all about when you get sex­ual urges and for some peo­ple that is more fre­quently than oth­ers. As long as it’s not in­ter­fer­ing with your day-to-day life, chances are you’re at a healthy level of self-plea­sure. But if you find you’re skip­ping school for a self-love day, it might be on the ex­ces­sive side.

Q: Do guys mas­tur­bate?

A: You bet. Boys have the same urges as girls – and male sex­ual urges can be even stronger, es­pe­cially dur­ing pu­berty. So there’s a good chance that all the dudes you know have played with them­selves at some point in their lives. Hell, if it’s good enough for Harry Styles to sing about, it’s good enough for the av­er­age Joe! Just be­cause it’s not widely spo­ken about, doesn’t mean it’s ab­nor­mal. In fact, it’s a re­ally healthy thing for both gen­ders to do.

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