Hands to yourself
Everything you need to know about masturbation.
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.