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Sexual desire and pleasure spans a lifetime; it is not uncommon for people to masturbate from their teens into late adulthood. 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 and don’t like.
There are many ways to masturbate and what works for one person may not work for another. How you masturbate may depend on your emotional needs and physical situation. For example, people who struggle with self-esteem or body image may avoid certain ways of touching themselves for sexual pleasure.
Some common questions about masturbation
Can I masturbate too much?
There is no physical or emotional harm that can come with masturbating a lot. As with anything, if it starts interfering with getting other things done in life, you might have to look at it – but that kind of balance is up to each person to figure out!
Is there a “wrong” way to masturbate?
Not if it feels good and you’re not doing anything illegal.
What if my genitals get irritated or damaged?
You can try a different technique or add some lubrication.
What about masturbating with someone else?
Some people enjoy it, while others may be uncomfortable with it. Talk about it with your partner(s) to figure out what is going to work best for you.
What about fantasizing about “taboo” sex while masturbating?
Sometimes people fantasize about sex they wouldn’t normally have while they’re masturbating. It’s important to be able to tell the difference between fantasy and reality, and ensure that your “real world” sex is done with mutual respect and consent.
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.
For cisgender women
For transgender women
For cisgender men
Jackinworld - Male masturbation resources
For transgender men
For people who require mobility supports
Disabilities Health Research Network - PleasureABLE: a sexual device manual for persons with disabilities