A service provided by the BC Centre for Disease Control

A-Z topics

You are here

Masturbation

Masturbation is a safe and normal sexual experience in which a person stimulates themselves for sexual pleasure. Masturbation can involve exploring different body parts, sex toys and techniques.

For many people, sexual desire and pleasure is experienced throughout the lifetime; it is not uncommon for people to masturbate at any age. Your sexual desires may also change over time, and masturbation is a great way to explore different kinds of sexual stimulation and learn about what you like. How you masturbate is a personal preference based on what feels right for you. 

Some common questions about masturbation

Can I masturbate too much?
There is no physical or emotional harm to masturbating a lot. As with anything, if you feel that something is interfering with other aspects of your life, you may consider making changes.

Is there a “wrong” way to masturbate?
Not if it feels good and you’re not doing anything illegal, or harming others.

What if my genitals get irritated or damaged?
You can try a different technique, taking a break, or add some lubrication.

What about masturbating with someone else?
Some people enjoy masturbating while their partners watch or masturbate as well. It can also be a way to show your partners what you like. Not everyone is comfortable masturbating with partners so talk to your partners about your personal preferences.

What about fantasizing about “taboo” sex while masturbating?
Sometimes people fantasize about sex they wouldn’t normally have while they’re masturbating. It is not wrong to have taboo fantasies, but it is important that “real world” sexual experiences are mutually respectful and consensual.

Why is there stigma around masturbation?
It’s true that there can be a lot of shame around masturbation and words for masturbation are sometimes used in an insulting way.  Other kinds of sex also suffer from this and it is often because of religious or cultural traditions or taboos.

Resources

Scarleteen – Going Solo: The Basics of Masturbation

Was this page helpful? Please tell us why