No privacy to masturbate

Originally Published: November 1, 1993 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: June 24, 2014
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Dear Alice,

I used to always masturbate at least once a day before I came here to Columbia. However, now that I have a roommate, I can never find time alone to masturbate. I feel a need to masturbate at least once a day, but now I can't go through with my urge every day. Thus I start thinking about masturbation during class, and it's really affecting my mind. I need to masturbate or else I can't function correctly. Please help me out. Maybe there is another means to get out my sexual urges.

-Always aroused

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