Masturbation: It’s Healthy! It’s Safe! Plus it can Feel So Good
By Leslie Massicotte, Teens Climb High Coordinator
Myth or Fact?
Your hand will grow hairy if you masturbate.
If you masturbate regularly, a partner won’t be able to satisfy you.
People with vulvas don’t masturbate.
Masturbation causes you to go blind.
Yep, you guessed it. These are all myths. Masturbation, or touching your body for pleasure is a totally normal, safe, healthy activity. In fact, did you know there is evidence that fetuses touch their genitals while they’re still inside the uterus?
Masturbation will not cause you to go blind or get hairy. People with vulvas most certainly DO masturbate and partnered sex can still be very satisfying--sometimes even more so than for folks who have never masturbated!
In fact, there are quite a few reasons why masturbation can be really beneficial:
1. It can feel super good.
Our culture shies away from pleasure in a lot of ways. But there’s nothing wrong with wanting to feel good, especially when that makes you happy and doesn’t harm your health or anyone else’s. So treat yourself. Allow yourself to feel good, whether through masturbation or eating a piece of pizza.
2. You can get to know your body.
If we know how our bodies normally look and feel, we can more easily tell when something is wrong, like an STI or yeast infection. This is important for getting treatment quickly.
3. It’s safe!
Masturbation is a risk-free sexual activity. Unlike a bunch of other sexual activities, you’re not at risk for STIs or pregnancy if you’re masturbating. It also doesn’t put you at risk for covid!
4. You can relieve stress.
Masturbation can actually be a great way of relieving stress and allowing you to relax. This relates to #1. Allow yourself time to relax and do something for yourself.
5. You can learn what feels good so you can tell your partner.
Once you know your body and what feels good, you can share this with a sexual partner so that sex can be more satisfying for everyone!
Some people masturbate by touching their genitals. Some people masturbate by touching their bodies elsewhere. Some folks like to masturbate alone, others like to masturbate with their partner. Masturbation can look different for everyone.
There are many different views of masturbation, and masturbation is not everyone’s cup of tea. That’s ok! When thinking about masturbation (and pretty much any other sexuality issue), it’s always crucial to consider your own personal values, your community’s expectations, the facts, and your personal needs and wants. Masturbation: normal if you do it, normal if you don't.