Masturbation

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Interval training for multiple orgasms

Dear Jerky Boy,

Each of us is the only expert on ourselves. Interval training, such as described above, seemed to make sense for your friend and provide him with the results he wanted. Only YOU can tell whether this regimen will also work for you. Try it and see, and let others know your results!

Multiple orgasms for men can also be had by teaching your body to extend the period of high arousal BEFORE you ejaculate. Also called karezza, men can learn to experience peaks of pleasure without ejaculating. The way to do this is to masturbate to high arousal and then before you ejaculate, change the stimulation — switch hands, change the rhythm, the fantasy, the position, or exhale and inhale more slowly to release some muscle tension. Then when you feel the immediate pressure to ejaculate subside, bring yourself to the brink again, and then backtrack, as described.

As for your other question, force and amount of ejaculate are determined by a number of factors, including age and the length of time since the last ejaculation. So, to increase your ejaculate, you would have to wait until you got a bit older, or wait for long periods between ejaculations. However, as you probably know, if you do not ejaculate through masturbation or sex with a partner, you may have wet dreams (nocturnal emissions), since the body tends to seek its own form of release.

Have fun as you explore!

Alice

September 20, 2002

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Dear Alice, This is a response to Interval Training for Multiple Orgasms. To Jerky Boy, I'd say that trying for multiple ejaculations in a day is probably not going to do...
Dear Alice, This is a response to Interval Training for Multiple Orgasms. To Jerky Boy, I'd say that trying for multiple ejaculations in a day is probably not going to do much, except possibly make you very tired and put you off the whole idea altogether. I experienced multiple orgasms myself very recently. I didn't have them through multiple masturbations though. Instead, I took great care over the quality of attention I was giving myself. Whilst before I had tried to gain relief very quickly from a penis with very little sensitivity in it, leading to myself coming in less than 30 seconds, most of the time, I paid a little more attention to my settings. I won't go into the details, but I thought about taking it very slowly, and being kind to myself. After 25 incredible minutes, I was awarded with five consecutive orgasms. What works for your friend may not necessarily work for you. Whilst he seems masturbation crazy, and is apparently doing some serious power-jerking over there, you might benefit from just a little exploration of what you enjoy the most, and what will give you the most stimulation — conjure up a fantasy about an unusual partner, find somewhere new to touch yourself. You'll find that you'll get what you're looking for. ~Finally satisfied

Masturbation healthy?

Dear Hand boy,

Yes. Stroking the one-eyed snake, polishing your pearl, southern comfort… whatever you call it, masturbation is a healthy (and normal) sexual activity that people of any gender may enjoy. In fact, masturbation can be healthy in a number of different ways: physically, mentally, and emotionally. Masturbation can also be a healthy addition to solo, partnered, or group sexual encounters. Read on to find out why.

Masturbation is one way for you to enjoy your own body, and to give yourself sexual pleasure. It can also tune you in to your own sexual likes and dislikes. You then have the choice of sharing that information with a sexual partner(s) to enhance a sexual relationship. Mutual masturbation, when two people masturbate in front of each other, can also be arousing, and is a great alternative to intercourse without the risk of transmission of sexually transmitted diseases or risk of pregnancy.

Believe it or not, quite a lot of research has been conducted on this subject. And the overall conclusion is that masturbation is universal across nearly all cultures, and that it can have a number of healthy outcomes, such as:

  • Relieving stress and releasing tension (including the obvious, sexual tension)
  • Providing a sexual outlet for people who are not having sex with a partner (whether by choice or by circumstance)
  • Alleviating pre-menstrual symptoms in some women
  • Helping to induce sleep, or conversely, helping to start the day with an energized calm
  • Strengthening muscle tone in the genital region
  • Promoting a couples' level of sexual satisfaction in their relationship
  • Providing treatment for some types of sexual dysfunction

One study even found a correlation showing that ejaculating more often (whether through partnered sex or masturbation) led to a lower risk of prostate cancer in adult men.

In case you're curious, there is also a great deal of information about who masturbates. The short answer is people of all kinds. But to flesh it out a little more (excuse the pun):

  • Infants — while not necessarily erotic, many infants touch their genitals once they learn that the stimulation feels good.
  • Children — again, not necessarily erotic, but many children also find self-stimulation pleasurable.
  • Adolescents — perhaps the classic group associated with masturbation. Many males and females masturbate regularly in their pre-teens and teens.
  • Adults — married, partnered, or single, adults ages 18-59 are actually more likely to masturbate than adolescents. What's more, people with regular sexual partners are more likely to masturbate than singles.
  • And then there are many people, from all age groups, who rarely or never masturbate.

While masturbation itself is normal and healthy, there are times when a person might have a negative relationship with solo sex. Certain cultures or religions place such a stigma on masturbation that some people feel guilt or shame after pleasuring themselves. On a different note, a few people feel the compulsion to masturbate so often that it begins to interfere with other life events and duties, such as working or going to school. For people who are concerned about masturbation, it may be helpful to discuss any quandaries with a counselor, health care provider, religious leader, or trusted friend.

To maximize your pleasure and safety, here are some tips to consider when getting a grip on yourself:

  • If you're using any objects to help get the job done (sex toys, cucumbers, what have you), throw a condom on first — especially if that object will be shared with someone else or enter more than one orifice (use a new condom for each "destination").
  • Plenty of lube = maximum comfort (and less chafing) — water-based lube is a universally good choice. Some men prefer using lotion on their penis, however women should avoid inserting lotion, oil, petroleum jelly, and anytying oil-based, into the vagina to avoid risk of vaginitis (irritation and/or infection in the vagina).
  • Masturbate when it's enjoyable to you. If you don't feel like it, don't worry about it. If you want to do it again, go ahead.
  • Try different techniques, positions, times of day, mood music, etc. to learn more about what feels best.

People sometimes wonder if a person can masturbate "too much." To this concern, the answer is: not likely. As long as you are still able to participate in your normal daily activities, you can feel free to masturbate none, one, or multiple times per day.

Alice

Masturbation — too much of a good thing?

Dear Humble and Curious Student about Masturbation,

When you get the urge to self-indulge, feel free to go for seconds or fill 'er up as many times as you like. Masturbation habits vary tremendously from one individual to the next. There are people who never masturbate, those who masturbate two or three times in their life, those who masturbate three or more times a day, and everything in between. Many people masturbate throughout their lifetime without any side effects, other than pleasure. If masturbating isn't increasing the stress in your life (work, school, relationship, family, etc.), why not just enjoy yourself?

If you're not sure how you feel about your current masturbation practices, you may want to ask yourself a few questions. To Curious Student about Masturbation, what was your usual pattern of masturbation in the past? Did anything else in your life change two months ago? You mentioned stress. Is this stress about being in school, leaving a job, moving, or ending a relationship? To Humble, what may have sparked the recent changes in your masturbation patterns? Does masturbating get in the way of other activities or relationships in your life? Does masturbation make you feel good, bad, energized, or disconnected? There are no "right" or "wrong" answers to these questions. Rather, the key is to be honest with yourself about what works for you right now.

There are a certainly a few directions you can take at this point. One, unexpected as it may seem, is to masturbate more often and see if you feel any differently. Another is to try masturbating one or two times less per day and see how that makes you feel. How about scheduling masturbation dates? This would give you a specific time frame for the activity so that it doesn't take time away from other endeavors. Also, it would make you conscious about each time you are masturbating, what triggered the need to release, and whether or not there are discernible patterns.

You could consider changing your style of masturbation. Try using lube so your goods don't become raw or irritated. Can you find ways to try maxing out the pleasure you get from each experience with yourself, perhaps by varying speed, pressure, or alternating hands? All of this should give you more information about your needs, desires, wants, and make the masturbation experience more deliberate.

Humble, if the real issue is that you have some emotions related to not "getting it" any other way (sex, orgasm, relief, or intimacy with another person), then masturbating probably won't do the trick. Like exercise, masturbation is a great stress-reliever, but it won't help you move past bigger issues. Psychologically, there might be something you could do to become more available or more receptive to a potential partner. Don't exclude counseling as an option if you feel stressed or concerned about your relationship status. Columbia students can call x4-2878 to make an appointment at Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS).  

It seems as though a little self-reflection might go a long way in determining your self-pleasure schedule. Once you're comfortable, self-service can be a happy and healthy part of life.

Alice

Condoms for masturbation?

Dear Resourceful,

The choice of whether or not to use condoms during masturbation is dependent partly on your goal and partly on your method of masturbation. Are you using a vibrator or dildo, or are you letting your fingers do the walking? Are you looking to be neat? Getting used to how the condom feels?

For those who use vibrators and dildos to pleasure themselves, condoms can be useful. For both men and women, a condom keeps the dildo clean, which can help prevent infections when a toy is shared, or prevent re-infections in the same person (whether the infection is sexually transmitted, or simply a run-of-the-mill infection, like a yeast infection). Condom use is especially important for women who use dildos and vibrators for both anal and vaginal stimulation. Use separate condoms for each orifice, as moving directly from the anus to the vagina can introduce harmful bacteria into the vagina or urethra and lead to urinary tract infections (UTIs) or other complications (also check out Finger from anus into vagina — Okay? for more info).

If you're choosing to diddle manually, the use of condoms might be taking safer sex a little bit far -- unless you have an active infection that you want to keep covered. The main cause for concern would be the presence of HPV (human papillomavirus, a.k.a. genital warts) or herpes lesions on the genitals. It's a good idea to try to avoid touching HPV or herpes lesions until they've healed — if you do come into contact with any sores, wash your hands thoroughly post-action. Conversely, if you have a wart on your hand, you don't need to worry about passing it to your genitals; genital warts are generally caused by different strains of HPV than warts on other parts of your body.

Another possible reason for using condoms during masturbation would be to keep things neat and tidy during and after your solo-sexcapades. While condoms would work in this respect, many find that tissues, hands, bed sheets, underwear, and so on...work just as well. If you're a novice, using condoms during masturbation may help you get the hang of how to use them and how they feel — that way, during partnered sex, you'll be a prophylaxis pro.

Enjoy!

Alice

March 12, 2014

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Condoms can really make masturbation much more enjoyable. The feel of the condom rubbing against then penis is highly pleasurable. The condom can keep the penis nicely lubricated and avoid getting...
Condoms can really make masturbation much more enjoyable. The feel of the condom rubbing against then penis is highly pleasurable. The condom can keep the penis nicely lubricated and avoid getting it sore. For me, the nicest part is that when I cum, I don't have to worry about catching my semen in a Kleenex, so I can continue to concentrate on my orgasm and I usually ejaculate a few more times than I would have otherwise. Then without having to worry about a mess I can doze off in my afterglow, and dispose of the condom when I wake up.

August 8, 2013

534354
Hi Alice, my name is Josephine. I really enjoy reading this post you wrote in reference to condoms during masturbation. A lot of people still do not understand the importance of this topic especially...
Hi Alice, my name is Josephine. I really enjoy reading this post you wrote in reference to condoms during masturbation. A lot of people still do not understand the importance of this topic especially when it comes to issues such as whether or not a condom should be used with sex toys. There are many people who share toys with their sexual partners and because of this I personally feel that condoms should be used on toys each and every time unless both partners have been tested for std's. Thank you for such a great educational post.

I don't masturbate, but she does twice a day

Dear Smooth hands and 20/20 vision,

There are many myths and misconceptions about masturbation that continue to persist (see related questions below). Among them, that all men masturbate and that women don't. To give you a quick answer, both you and your partner are quite normal. Masturbation is healthy!

The decision to "get in touch with yourself" is entirely personal. While it's true that many men and women do it — or at least say they do — certainly not everyone does. Now when it comes to the frequency of watching a partner masturbate, that may be a different story. Some partners enjoy watching the other masturbate, while some consider it a very private and personal experience. What may be most important is for you and your partner to have an open and honest discussion about your masturbation views.

You might consider if this difference in "normal" approaches to masturbation is evidence of other problems in your relationship? If yes, think about the context and work on that together. If not, and it is only sexual, do you get turned on watching? Are you just objecting to the number of times, or the rigidity of having to do this? Are you totally opposed to masturbation? Could you think about mutual masturbation — where both people are together while masturbating her/himself? Are you even tempted to try masturbation in private? Is there any sort of compromise possible in this situation (i.e., you each masturbate once a day, or you agree to maintain status quo but not to pressure each other)? Or, are you just sexually incompatible? Regardless of the answers to these questions; neither of you are right nor wrong. There may simply be a difference of beliefs. In any case, communicating with your partner, establishing mutually acceptable behaviors and boundaries, along with trust and respect for each other's position is necessary to maintain a healthy relationship.

Alice

Horny all the time?

Dear Horny,

It's terrific that you're aware of your sexual desires.  Masturbating two or three times per week, having erections (even in relatively non-sexual settings), and thinking about your sexual wants and needs is quite normal. Horniness can increase or decrease when under stress, and also when inundated by stimuli, including memories or desires.

When you get erections in class, there are ways of remaining discreet. Undoubtedly you already have a few tricks that help you get through those moments. Erections are simply a reaction to a sexual signal. Often, if you think about something asexual, or something that is a total turn-off (like your next exam), you can lose your erection.

Have you thought about some healthy ways of discharging your (sexual) energy?  How about masturbating more frequently?  What about exercise?  Other forms of stress relief? Keep in mind the idea that the frequency of sexual desire can (and likely will) change a number of times during the lifespan. What you choose as a way to handle situations today may not work forever.  Be creative in expressing your desire and handling your needs.  Just by sending in the question it's safe to say that you are not repressed. 

In terms of the woman you have a crush on, try talking with her. Sometimes, by acting on your feelings you can put this looming sexual energy into perspective.  No need to feel bad, just about everyone has desires, crushes, and fantasies.  Perhaps you two have more in common than you realize.  Talking is a great first step toward exploring feelings, and may lead to a healthy and productive outlet for your sexual energy. 

Alice

Can masturbation cause gas?

Dear Arggggh,

Gas and masturbation are highly unlikely to be connected with each other. Have you tried to stop masturbating? Has the gas subsided as a result? Perhaps you could try the same experiment by increasing the times you masturbate daily. Do you notice that the gas is increasing?

From your question, it sounds as if you could be under pressure and/or stressed out. Gas and digestive upsets are common stress responses, as well as loss of concentration and lethargy. If this is the case, you can check out some stress management tips in the Emotional Health archives of Go Ask Alice!. If you are a Columbia student, you can take advantage of resources on campus, such as Stressbusters. Masturbation, itself, can be a stress reducer, as well.

On the other hand (no pun intended), are you feeling guilty about your self-pleasure? Is your body responding physiologically to your discomfort with masturbation? Masturbation is normal, natural, and healthy, yet many people feel ashamed or guilty about it. Masturbation taboos have been around and in force for decades, and even though some societies and cultures are much more open to it nowadays, for others, the taboos are still ingrained.

Some self-detective work seems to be in order here. Is there anything else that happened in your life at around the same time that you started masturbating? There's also the possibility of a medical/digestive problem. Make an appointment at Medical Services online using Open Communicator or by calling x4-2284 to have your gas checked out. If you are not at Columbia, your first step is to see your medical provider for a check-up. If you feel you need to talk with someone about your feelings around masturbation and are at Columbia, you can make an appointment at Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS).

'bye,

Alice

No privacy to masturbate

Dear Always aroused,

You clearly know what you need to function effectively. The issues seem to be logistical. You need to develop either creative ways to find privacy or creative ways to masturbate with the privacy you have.

For example, since this is such a priority, you need to find some kind of private time and private space. Some people masturbate in the shower, since that is the only place they had privacy growing up. Men sometimes soap up their penis and go to town. Some women use a mild soap on their clitoris to make it slippery, or press with their fingers without extra soap; some use the spray of the shower. Of course, if you have never masturbated standing up, this may take some adjustment, but it does add to your options.

What about going to the bathroom and closing the door for privacy? What about when you or your roommate is in the shower? It is hard to believe that there is absolutely never a time when you are in your room and your roommate isn't and you're sure s/he isn't going to come home. Did you ever have time in your room alone for private phone calls? How do you arrange them? You might say, "I need to make a private phone call tonight from 9 to 9:30 P.M. (or from 3 to 3:30 P.M.)." This gives your roommate time to plan to be invisible, and you a block of time to do your thing, although this might not work every day.

Perhaps you could run home for a "lunch break" when your roommate is away from the room. If you are worried about starting to masturbate and then hearing the key in the door, try a code, like placing something prearranged on the doorknob, i.e., a tie or a ribbon, to signal that you don't want to be disturbed. It could also be a note that says, "Do not enter till 2:30 P.M. Studying (or napping)." Your roommate may be relieved since this would give him/her permission to take time alone in the room as well.

Realistically, how much time are you actually talking about? Many men can, and do, come within two minutes of beginning to masturbate. Similarly, Alfred Kinsey found that many women orgasmed through masturbation within five minutes, a brief amount of time. While not always advocating fast orgasms, since they tend to minimize pleasure; however, what is wrong with a quickie in a pinch? You do deserve at least one orgasm a day, and, if you're creative, you can come up with a way to find the privacy to give it to yourself.

Alice

Not getting IT enough

Dear Libido-that-defies-the-confines-of-time,

Being in a relationship can be great — you have easy access to emotional and physical intimacy, a permanent date for family functions, Friday night dinners, and Saturday night movies. Other times it may not be so dreamy. In your case, it sounds like the not so great started to outweigh the great. It's mature of you to recognize your need to end it and move on. However, with the positives of ending your relationship, you may have to face the negatives such as losing your easy access to physical intimacy.

Sexual urges are completely normal and for many people, easily managed. Some may satisfy these urges by masturbating, casually hooking up with people, or seeking out more serious physical relationships. Methods of handling sky-high libido are different for everyone, though. To understand why your sex drive all of a sudden seems so uncontrollable and how you might be able to rein it back in, ask yourself a few questions: Since you seem to feel uncomfortable having sex with someone outside of a relationship, what is it about being in a relationship that makes sex acceptable? What would happen if you tried to release that tension in another way? Is your sex drive getting in the way of school, work, or other relationships?

Masturbation may be a good option for you since there's no one to "frighten away" and it certainly won't require a nine hour drive to set off the sexual fireworks. Self-pleasuring may not only help release some of your sexual tension, but it may also help you understand more about your sex drive (i.e., what lights your fuse, how often that fuse needs to be lit, etc.). However, for some people, emotional connection adds to physical chemistry in the sack. Without it, the experience may not feel as satisfying. If this is the case for you, trying a more casual relationship with someone may be another option, though it may not be right for everyone. This may not even require that the encounter turn into a serious relationship in the future. The key here is to be open with your partner. If you two are not on the same page about what you want out of your relationship with one another (whatever it turns out to be), those pyrotechnics could backfire. As with any relationship, it takes patience to find one that fits and you may have to frighten a few away before you find someone who'll stick around for the long-haul.

Learning to live without the luxuries of a committed relationship may be a big adjustment, but there are ways to deal until the next one comes along. However, if you find that you're constantly thinking about sex to the point where it is interfering with everyday life, you may want to consider talking to a health care professional. Contacting a counseling center on your campus may offer opportunities to do this. Columbia students can call Counseling and Psychological Services at x4-2284.

Overall, patience and a little "handy" work may go a long way in satisfying your insatiable sex drive.  

Alice

Masturbates=sexually active?

Dear Curious,

Alice would say that one is solitarily sexually active or sexually active with yourself. Any one else have comments?

Alice

August 3, 2001

20372

Alice,

This is a response to the question Masturbates = Sexually active? I believe that it can be argued that solo masturbation is, indeed, being sexually active....

Alice,

This is a response to the question Masturbates = Sexually active? I believe that it can be argued that solo masturbation is, indeed, being sexually active. It is so important to know that sexuality is more than just specific behaviors; it includes environment, feelings, and psychology. During solo masturbation, it is common for an individual to incorporate fantasy as a w ay of making the experience fulfilling. I would argue that this creates the same environmental, emotional, and psychological stimulus that exists in any other sexual behavior. Some people use pornographic materials to increase the pleasure. Some people even take the opportunity to use masturbation as a form of meditation, which creates an even broader definition of being sexually active. Phone-sex, cyber-sex, virtual sex, and other modern avenues of sexual expression usually include masturbation as a primary source of pleasuring. All of these examples do not, necessarily, have a partner directly in contact with the person engaging in solo masturbation, but they do have all the ingredients of sexual activity.

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