Masturbation

Share this

How do you spell relief without masturbating?

Dear Reader,

Since your sexual tension may, understandably, be mixed with the emotional weight of your spouse's absences, an ongoing dialogue with him about how his time away affects you might ease some of your load. And don't wait to chat when he's home -- use the Internet as a vehicle for frequent conversations if he has easy access. If plain loneliness is part of his travel fallout, think about increasing your contact with friends, relatives, and others who may be in your same boat.

On the physical side of the divide, massage immediately comes to mind. Since longing for your husband's intimate touch is surely tied up in your sexual tension, a professional rub down might just satisfy some of your "skin hunger." No, a licensed massage therapist (LMT) won't (and shouldn't) maneuver like your Colonel, but massage therapy can serve up the right combination of touch and tension relief to get you through his tours of duty. For more info on how to find a masseur or masseuse in your area -- including ones for military wives on a budget - read Seeks massage therapist in Alice's General Health archive.

Yoga, meditation, tai chi, and other attention-focusing practices may bring you mental and physical peace, dissipating your sexual strain by releasing your bottled-up energy and directing it elsewhere. Merely relaxing and getting your mind off of, well, getting off will no doubt result from these kinds of techniques. For that matter, a hobby or volunteering could do the same. Good old-fashioned exercise is an option, too -- nothing like a hundred push-ups or a run in the park to spend the sexual energy. Even some sensual Latin, Mediterranean, or freestyle dancing in the privacy of your living room could do the trick. Alice would be A.W.O.L. if she didn't say that it's possible for all of these suggestions to produce the opposite of the desired effect, sending your urges to even higher altitudes.

If, for you, masturbation means self-stimulation that includes orgasm, then would self-stimulation that stops or pauses before climax be an option? It is possible to be satisfied sexually even if you decide to forgo the "big O." Another alternative is self-massage, using lotion or during a hot bath or steamy shower. After you've pondered or pursued these suggestions along with your own ideas, you may conclude that finding a release valve equal to private time with your husband is mission impossible. But this doesn't mean that answering and enjoying your natural desires can't be a mission accomplished.

Alice

June 15, 2007

21249

Dear Alice,

Don't forget casual touches!

If you have a group of friends that you're close to, just sharing some small touches, like hugs, handshakes, and general brushes against each...

Dear Alice,

Don't forget casual touches!

If you have a group of friends that you're close to, just sharing some small touches, like hugs, handshakes, and general brushes against each other can be a great relief. I notice that contact of any kind is desired when we're lonely, whether it's sex or just good conversation with a friend. Having a good time with friends can make you feel a lot less lonely, and sometimes help stave off that extra tension.

Bed humping = Bad habit?

Dear Anonymous,

By "bed humping," you no doubt mean masturbating with a little help from your mattress; i.e., rubbing your body/genitals against the bed, or plunging your penis (if you have one) between the mattress and box spring. You can sleep a lot easier knowing that guys and girls have been making love to their mattresses ever since they rolled off the assembly line — this is the way some experience their first orgasms. You're hard and/or randy, it's hard and ready, it's in the privacy of your bedroom, and you spend a third of your life sleeping with it. Are you abnormal? Certainly not! Do you need to introduce your form-fitting friend to anyone else? No. Will you end up marrying your mattress, giving birth to little sleeping bags, and living happily ever after without ever doing it with another human? Highly unlikely. Side effects associated with bed humping might include mattress burn and/or a restricted exit path for your ejaculate if pressure around the penis is king size. Mixing up masturbation methods increases the ways in which a person orgasms by him-/herself and/or with others. And aside from being walked in on, stains might give you guys away, but a tissue, towel, or condom can take care of this when the extra "s" is for semen.

Alice

July 9, 2012

513524
This is hilarious, but thank you so much for writing it. I thought I was alone in my oddness.
This is hilarious, but thank you so much for writing it. I thought I was alone in my oddness.

Masturbation inhibits growth?

Dear Reader,

Nope, masturbation does not stunt growth. Neither your penis or vulva, nor any other part of your body, including your height, is affected. Masturbation also does not cause blindness, hairy palms, or insanity, as some people have heard.

In fact, masturbation is normal and even healthy! While masturbation can be many different things to many different people, typically, it causes pleasurable, soothing, exciting, orgasmic, and, ultimately, relaxing sensations.

For more information on masturbation, check out the Go Ask Alice! masturbation archives.

Love,

Alice

Masturbating friends

Dear Masturbating friends,

It’s terrific that you have a friend with whom you may be yourself and explore your personal needs. Your question’s a great example of individuals being comfortable with their own sexuality. So, yes, simultaneous self-stimulation, also known as mutual masturbation, is "normal," natural, healthy, and safe whatever your sexual orientation, gender, or age.

It’s very common for someone in her or his late teens and early twenties to explore and define her or his sexual identity. This may include experimenting, either by yourself or with someone else, to discover what feels good and what doesn’t. As long as your sofa squirting doesn't surf from an occasional sideline sport to a full-time hobby that preempts work, school, exercise, dating, or any other activities from which you might benefit, playing with your remotes will likely bring you continued high ratings.

It may often seem like some moral, social, or ethical rules prohibit or shun masturbation (including the idea of touching yourself in the presence of others), but it isn’t considered abnormal, harmful or illegal as long as it’s consensual and done in a private space (i.e., someone’s home, and not a shopping mall, school, or any other public place). If those rules are followed, you may rest assured that it’s still okay to play with your friends, even if you’re not a kid anymore!

Alice

February 4, 2000

20339

Alice,

I'd like to respond to MASTURBATING FRIENDS. I too routinely masturbated in the company of friends from a young age. I thought it was normal. I stopped...

Alice,

I'd like to respond to MASTURBATING FRIENDS. I too routinely masturbated in the company of friends from a young age. I thought it was normal. I stopped when I went to college and began to wonder if it was normal and doubted myself. I masturbate a lot and so it was no wonder that in my first year my roommate caught me. Rather than being shocked, he apologized and asked that I go on as if he wasn't there. After seeing me enjoy myself, he got hard and asked if I wouldn't mind if he too masturbated. We now masturbate openly and sometimes mutually yet we are still straight.

Optimizing solo-sex

Dear Minute Waltz Boy,

You are not a Minute Boy — you are a Five Minute Man. What's wrong with that? Rather than quantifying your solo-sex as a set number of seconds, try to think about how great it makes you feel. This way, instead of worrying about a five minute countdown, you can enjoy every second of tantilizing sensation. What pleasure you'll get!

Second, it seems that those five minutes of heaven are pre-filled with anticipation and excitement. How could you expect to last any longer than that, given these parameters? Perhaps you'd like to stay in the ring for a couple of rounds. You can designate the first time to just getting your rocks off, in the best and quickest five minutes possible. Then, you can go for it again! Time number two is the time to change hands, try it with lube, change your fantasy, change your stroke, and/or change your touch points, not touching the good spots as often or as hard. Or, you can tell yourself to try to come as fast as you can and see what happens. The main point is that the more times you do it "in one sitting," the longer it usually takes to orgasm the second and third times. This goes for partner sex, too.

Last, but not least, you can try the shower, where there is more privacy. Try using soap as a lube to go to town as much as you want... minus any evidence.

Alice

Morality of masturbation

Dear Reader,

Biologically and psychologically speaking, masturbation is as right and normal as sneezing, coughing, laughing, eating, and yawning. It carries no health risks but does carry benefits. It can help alleviate insomnia, get you in touch with what turns you on sexually, and be a stress–reliever (of course, if you're worrying about the morality factor, it may not be much help with that last one).

The morality of masturbation, as it relates to your religious, cultural, or spiritual beliefs, is something you will have to decide for yourself. Many people seek the help of family, friends, books, life experience, and/or clergy or other religious leaders. You mention feeling too embarrassed to talk to your priest about it. Is there perhaps another individual you would feel more comfortable tos talk with who also shares your religious beliefs or background? The answers don't have to come today, but arriving at conclusions about sex-related matters that you can live with may be one way to say good-bye to guilt.

On guilt, psychiatrist R.D. Laing said "True guilt is guilt at the obligation one owes to oneself to be oneself. False guilt is guilt felt at not being what other people feel one ought to be or assume that one is." What do you suppose makes you feel guilty about masturbating? For many people, societal or family messages about masturbation being "wrong" or "dirty" can stick in our consciousness even when we "logically" no longer believe such declarations. Others may have had a parent "discover" them masturbating at a young age and still carry shame from a disapproving parental reaction. If your religion says masturbation is wrong, what are the reasons given? And how do those reasons sit with you?

If it turns out that nothing about masturbation seems to "rub you the wrong way," it may be worth working through the guilt so that you can continue to enjoy this pastime that is enjoyed by so many others. But if it begins to feel morally questionable to you, stopping may be the best route for you. On such decisions, Sting once said: "Let your soul be your pilot. It'll guide you well."

Alice

Beatless in Seattle: Masturbation stops when relationship begins

Dear Beatless In Seattle,

It's great that you are in a relationship in which you're sexually satisfied! Your thoughts (thanks for sharing) touch on a couple of issues. Masturbation is not mandatory — you may choose not to "beat off" while with your current girlfriend or with future partners, but doing so is not "silly" or dirty. Masturbating and being in a loving relationship are not mutually exclusive, and many people in relationships use masturbation, alone or with a partner, as a healthy release of sexual energy — just as they did when they were single.

Solo sex is not a shameful betrayal of one's partner and is not reserved for one gender. Rather, masturbation is one of the many kinds of sexual activities that people enjoy. Like intercourse, masturbation is healthy, enjoyable, and normal. Of course, if masturbation replaces sex between partners without mutual consent, or if its popularity with one partner leaves the other sexually dissatisfied, partners may need to talk about what would constitute a sexually satisfying relationship.

Guilt before, during, and/or after masturbation is not uncommon among "beaters" of all ages, and may stem from moral, religious, and/or social doctrines that disapprove of it. Breathing a huge sigh of relief when you have a new partner because it replaces a need for self-pleasuring may be problematic. After all, the frequency of sex with a partner may vary widely in cases of illness, stress, or even travel that separates partners. When a partner is not in the mood, or when your mate is "away," it doesn't mean that your dominant hand shouldn't play. As such, you may want to consider asking yourself some questions that may help you better understand why you came (pun intended) to the conclusion that you did about self-gratification:

  • What were you taught about masturbation? Who taught you about it?
  • When did you first discover masturbation?
  • How did you feel before, during, and after masturbating, i.e., guilt, excitement?
  • If applicable, how does your community (social, religious, etc.) regard masturbation?

Finally, you may want to consider discussing this issue with your girlfriend. Does she share the same beliefs about masturbation? What does she think about masturbation in a relationship? How would you (and your girlfriend) feel about including mutual masturbation during sex? Having this discussion is up to you, but you may find that discussing desires and new ways of giving pleasure may positively affect your sex life with your girlfriend.

Perhaps it would be helpful to learn more about masturbation and other ways of achieving sexual pleasure. You may want to check out the responses in the Go Ask Alice! sexuality archives (there is a section devoted to masturbation).

Remember, partner sex may rock your world, but this doesn't mean that beating off needs to take a beating…

Alice

Erection detection

Dear J,

Simply put, no. Neither your past masturbation and porn viewing, nor your refusal to sexually stimulate yourself again (despite your possible desire to do so) is directly causing your erections. Your body is paying attention to emotional and physical stimulation — and you're right, sometimes you don't even have to be consciously thinking about sex in any way for an erection to arise. This also means that getting an erection shouldn't mean to you (or your partner) that sex is your goal. Erections — frequent or few-and-far-between — mean that you're mentally and physically responsive, chock full of naturally produced, stimulating hormones, alive, and, yes, very normal! For sure, releasing your sexual energy by going back to masturbation may reduce the frequency of your erections when you are with your partner — but of course, that decision is up to you.

When, or if, you tell your partner that your hard-ons hardly mean sex, you might suggest that she take them as a compliment — evidence that you're truly happy to be with her. If you're not up for chatting about your excitements just yet, you might make them less obvious by wearing brief-style underwear that allows for preventive penis positioning. In other words, when an erection comes, your pants will bulge like an igloo, instead of a tee-pee.

Underwear monitoring, as well as suggestions to think about your school work, something sad, or another turn-off that encourages flaccidity, seem like a lot of energy to expend on something that's as natural as yawning when you're tired. Your belief that masturbation is wrong — when in or out of a relationship — may produce tension within yourself, and between you and your partner. Perhaps some of that anxiety is encouraging your immediate concerns about erection detection. To help decide potential directions for the future, you may also want to take a look at the related questions. Regardless of how you choose to proceed, remember that you're quite normal. Happy dating!

Alice

Dr. Do Diddle: Pre-med masturbation and productivity

Dear Reader,

You don't have to be a doctor to know that masturbation (whether once per week, or once per hour) does not cause memory loss, decreased brain power, fatigue, or depression — that is, unless you're doing it instead of school work, socializing, eating, sleeping, bathing, etc. Your stress about your normal masturbation pattern, combined with the energy you use "trying not to do it," might even decrease your productivity far more than playing doctor with yourself would. It would be surprising to learn that Einstein, Curie, and Spock didn't take stimulating study breaks themselves. And look what masterful work they accomplished!

Remember, energy is neither created nor destroyed. So go ahead and release that sexual energy. You might even be able to convert it into an "A" on that anatomy test!

Alice

Masturbating roommates

Dear straight,

You have strong friendships, you're in school, you're able to feel and express affection, and you can clearly consider and communicate your feelings. And sometimes you masturbate with your roommate. You're as normal as a one-dollar bill. In fact, your willingness to reach out for information is evidence that you are able to address with your concerns in a healthy way.

Are you the only straight masturbating friends on earth? Well, since this topic has been raised by plenty of past Go Ask Alice! readers, the answer is clearly NO. The fact of the matter is that masturbation is normal and healthy, whether you're next to your roommate or solo. However, considering the negative messages that many people receive about masturbation and homosexuality, your angst is understandable. It may help to consider why you are concerned about masturbating with your roommate. Could your concern stem simply from guilt you feel about masturbation itself, whether it's alone or with someone else? (The guilt issue is discussed at length in the masturbation section of the Sexual and Reproductive Health archive.) Or, are you wondering whether you might now, or later, be bi or gay? You could also be wondering what your roommate and best friend thinks of your dual diddling; have you had a chance to discuss it with him?

Keep this in mind: normal, monkey-spanking men come in all sexualities. Normal, monkey-spanking roommates also come in all sexualities. If you enjoy masturbating with your roommate, and it's not interfering with your friendship, school, or work, go ahead. If you stop enjoying sharing this type of activity, you can stop. Either choice would be normal and healthy, as long as you feel comfortable.

Alice

December 15, 2008

21501
Thanks a lot Alice.

You saved my friendship. Very recently, me and my friend were watching porn together and got so excited that we both started masturbating together. But after that, both of us...

Thanks a lot Alice.

You saved my friendship. Very recently, me and my friend were watching porn together and got so excited that we both started masturbating together. But after that, both of us were feeling guilty and out of embarrassment we were not talking to each other. After reading this article I felt a great relief and talked about it to my friend. Now both of us are back in our normal relationship. Thanks a lot once again.

March 7, 2008

21414

Thanks Alice.

I was worried about this until I read your advice. My roommate and I stopped hiding our masturbation from each other out of necessity. Our need is very big but our room is...

Thanks Alice.

I was worried about this until I read your advice. My roommate and I stopped hiding our masturbation from each other out of necessity. Our need is very big but our room is very small. We became very comfortable with it and sometimes even help each other out now. Sadly for him, he often has difficulty reaching orgasm and needs help. This has also helped me enjoy masturbating much more. I was very unsure of myself but he assured me it was very common among roommates and had nothing to do with sexual preference. I see he was correct. I thanked him for helping me see this and allow myself to enjoy it. Thank you too.

May 9, 2004

20637
Alice, on masturbating roommates: i am a nineteen-year-old male. my roomie and i masturbate each other. we have no problems. we are both str8. we are just best buds and want...
Alice, on masturbating roommates: i am a nineteen-year-old male. my roomie and i masturbate each other. we have no problems. we are both str8. we are just best buds and want to make each other feel good.

May 9, 2004

20638
Alice, In the first place, there's a lot of masturbation in college dorms all over the country, not just here. Guys who are roommates generally develop an understanding about this. My roomie and I...
Alice, In the first place, there's a lot of masturbation in college dorms all over the country, not just here. Guys who are roommates generally develop an understanding about this. My roomie and I are comfortable enough with each other so it's no big deal. We are both straight, real-guys who deal with the realities of nature together. Stuff like that is endemic on every college campus. Greg, 19

June 14, 2002

20433
I was worried and read MASTURBATING ROOMMATES and several responses. I was worried because I did this, too. I did it regularly with my bunkmate at summer camp. He was much...
I was worried and read MASTURBATING ROOMMATES and several responses. I was worried because I did this, too. I did it regularly with my bunkmate at summer camp. He was much older and knew a lot more, so he made me feel comfortable about it. But later, I felt guilty and thought it might mean I was gay or strange since I enjoyed it so much and so often initiated it. I have been doing it with a neighbor after school all this year. Knowing how common, normal, and even healthy it is has lifted my doubt and guilt. I am enjoying my need and sharing the experience with a friend of similar need. Thanks.
Syndicate content