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Issues of masturbatory privacy: Dorms and other shared living arrangements

Being in college often means living in much closer quarters than one is accustomed to in the parents' home. Many students have never shared a room at all before coming to college and being more or less randomly assigned to spend the school year with another freshman in a room which is often smaller than the bedroom at the parents' home. While this means adjusting to another person's lifestyle in many ways, the loss of privacy for masturbation is an especially jarring fact of collegiate life for many and something that more than a few think about daily.

While issues of privacy at the parental home (see the page about getting "caught") usually mean a parent or sibling didn't respect the sanctity of a closed door to one's private space, the issue of privacy in the dorm setting is tied to a lack of communication among roommates about something all of them are aware that they all practice.

Thus, the easiest solution to the problem of masturbating in the dorm is to discuss it with roommates and lay out ground rules. Unfortunately, many 18-year-olds find it hard to acknowledge out loud that they masturbate. This page discusses some approaches that people have used to bridge this communication gap, often without referring to masturbation by name.

Here are some actual questions from readers of this site and the author's replies.

I'm going to college next year, and I'm wondering what guys do in dorms to masturbate. Do they jack off quietly in bed or do they do it together at the same time? I know it probably varies from dorm to dorm, but what do most guys do? I'm going to be sharing a bathroom with several other people. Masturbating quietly in bed is hard because I'm sort of vocal when I masturbate. Thanks for your time. I appreciate your site. (age 17)

Congratulations on getting admitted to college! First the easy part: Not many do it together. Most guys in dorms and roommate situations never say a word about masturbation and have to do it surreptitiously when their roommates aren't around or learn to do it in the shower or toilet. This means they have to stop when someone comes back to the room and can't do it during sleeping hours, which is most people's favorite time to masturbate. I suspect they are less satisfied than guys who discuss the situation and lay out ground rules. Everyone would be greatly relieved if someone would say, "I propose that it be OK to masturbate whenever it is dark in this room." But these discussions need not mention masturbation specifically, and can instead refer to one roomie "wanting to be alone in the room." As Homer Simpson's college roommates advised him, hang a necktie over the doorknob if he's with a girl, or a sock if he's with a picture of a girl.

Just a comment on the college dorm thing. I went to a small religious college and there was an unwritten rule that when your roommate came back from a date, he got the room to himself for half an hour. Nobody ever said it was because of masturbation, but everyone knew it was. The girls at this college were way too straight and guys would usually be completely turned on with no relief after dates. (age 26)

Interesting concept. It sounds like the dorm administration was in on this plan at your school? I think it's universal for males to masturbate after unsatisfying dates.

My roommate and I used to never speak a word about masturbation. Recently though, we have tried doing it at the same time a couple of times - each person on his own bed concentrating on himself. The only problem so far is it seems to make going to sleep really hard now that we have it in the open. It doesn't seem to affect our friendship. Do you think this is still fairly healthy? We're both straight, of course. (age 20)

I think the only thing roommates have to acknowledge is that they all masturbate and/or "need to be alone in the room" sometimes. Doing it together or simultaneously is a level above that. I don't think it's unhealthy, however, and I think going to sleep will be the same as usual once the novelty of your joint masturbation wears off.

During freshman year, my roommate and I each walked in on the other masturbating at least once. We were both cool about it, and left each other to finish in privacy. Many other times, I heard him masturbating when he thought I was asleep. Usually, I'd wait until he was finished and went to sleep before I starting masturbating. If I had a particularly urgent need to make myself come, I just did it, and he never got uptight about it, and I'm not even sure he was aware of what I was doing. (age 23)

Obviously, it would have put no strain on your relationship if you had recognized aloud what you were doing.

As a rule, guys just wait to masturbate until their roomie is asleep. Every guy knows that they both masturbate in the room quite a bit. And unfortunately, neither of them ever says anything about it. One day I was just in utter need of relief, and I asked my roommate if he would leave me alone so I could masturbate. I was quite shocked that I had said it. I thought we both were, but he told me no problem, and even offered me one of his magazines. It was the first time I had ever used a naked picture, and I still remember it as one of my greatest orgasms ever. He always let me use his collection after that, and I bought a few that I shared with him too. I wouldn't have gotten to experience that at that point if I hadn't said anything. (age 27)

Another triumph of communication, but I don't think you needed to ask him to leave you alone so you could masturbate. As you state, everyone knows that both he and his roommate masturbate in the dorm room, so all you really had to do was ask to be alone and he would have understood what you were going to do.

Hi, great site, and what a great question. I just have a confession to make. I was never in a dorm in college, but I've occasionally stayed in them for retreats, conferences, youth hostels, etc. I would make a practice of never talking with the guys in my room or even make eye contact because I knew I was going to masturbate and I didn't want any of them confronting me about it if they heard anything. I just figured it would be harder for them to say anything if that was the first thing they had ever said to me. I also chose the bed (whenever I had a choice) based on which one had the most privacy to masturbate. (age 32)

OK, I can understand all that. Most guys don't say anything about masturbating to the one guy they live with for a whole school year in a tiny room. I think a lot of guys would think it was strange if you brought that up when it was going to be just one night. I've heard of guys enduring that kind of accomodation for weeks at a time and then masturbating often and furiously when they finally had a bedroom to themselves again.

I'm 18, and just finished my first year in college. My problem during the past year has been that I do not have the privacy I need to masturbate as often as I need, and as a result I have often felt edgy and not able to focus. I share a dorm room with another girl and can only do it in the shower or very carefully in bed at night. When living at home with my parents, I was able to do it much more freely and without concerns, as I had my own bedroom and was often home alone. During the past year, I have been waiting eagerly for the weekends that my roommate is away. I'm then often so starved that I spend most of the weekend pleasuring myself. The good thing about this is that it really feels great when I have waited so long and it is really intense.

But I really need this freedom more often, "going wild" with myself for several hours a couple of times a week in addition to more calm every-night masturbation. I have told my parents I want my own room next year but they insist, because of the additional cost, that I stay in a dorm with shared room one more year. Now during the summer, I masturbate very frequently and feel relaxed. I really think I will go crazy next year unless I can have my own room. I cannot tell my parents the reason I need my own room, and I don't know what to do.

I'm also worried that my sex drive is too strong since I like to do it so much and my vagina is often squirting when I come. This started during the past year during times when I was very excited and now the first and second orgasms almost always come with squirts. I like the feeling very much but worry that it is a sign of something being not quite normal.

Your first problem is one I have often dealt with in men. This is what I tell guys:

Most guys in dorms and roommate situations never say a word about masturbation and have to do it surreptitiously when their roommates aren't around or learn to do it in the shower or toilet. This means they have to stop when someone comes back to the room and can't do it during sleeping hours, which is most people's favorite time to masturbate. I suspect they are less satisfied than guys who discuss the situation and lay out ground rules. Everyone would be greatly relieved if someone would say, "I propose that it be OK to masturbate whenever it is dark in this room." But these discussions need not mention masturbation specifically, and can instead refer to one roomie "wanting to be alone in the room." As Homer Simpson's college roommates advised him, hang a necktie over the doorknob if he's with a girl, or a sock if he's with a picture of a girl.

There's a good chance your roommate masturbates too, and she is apt to be relieved and understanding. However, I think you have a more serious problem with your need for frequent extended masturbation sessions. No one would deny you your "every-night masturbation," something practiced by the majority of males your age and more than a few females. But "going wild" for hours several times a week points toward compulsion; it suggests that you're doing it for more than pleasure and stress relief, that you're masturbating excessively to replace something that's missing in your life. You're building your life around masturbation, and you admit that it's not good. It might be a good idea to cut back those extended sessions to fortnightly (once every two weeks). You also ought to try to get involved in more activities.

The squirting is probably nothing unhealthy. It might be the rumored female ejaculation. Most women who have this regard it as a positive thing.

Follow-up: I suppose my roommate does masturbate as well, but maybe not as much as I do. I can do it at night in the dark even when she is there, but there is no way I could do my long sessions with someone in the room, as it is just too intense, with a lot of different things I do to vary my pleasure, that I would not want anybody to see or know about. I don't know what to do now but I really look forward to the day when I can have my own room. I realize that I masturbate more than most girls and I am a little worried. However, I'm not building my life around it as I'm very active on campus, have a lot of friends (boyfriends too), and do very well in my classes. I just feel very horny every 3-4 days and need to come many times.

When I have the chance, I do it in the evening, from 10-1 or so, until I feel completely exhausted and satisfied. I'm only a little tired in the morning and it is no big deal. So when I have the chance to do it when I need to, everything is fine. It's when I have to wait a couple of weeks or so between these intense times that I start to feel edgy and then really indulge when I finally have a chance. I can then have several 2-3 hour sessions throughout the weekend, after which I can be very tired and also feel that my privates have become too swollen and sensitive. I feel very good while I'm going wild like this, but I'm worried that it is too much, and I would like to go back to my more natural pattern.

I still think you're putting much more emphasis on masturbation than you ought to. It seems to be something you spend a lot of time thinking about and wondering when you can indulge in it next. Even people who are sexually active don't have "several 2-3 hour sessions" in a single weekend. Your newest comments still lead me to believe you're being compulsive. Talking to someone at the campus mental health center might help.

I used to only masturbate when my roommate was out, and I put a chair in front of the door, not to block it, but so that when it opens, I will hear a loud bang. One time I was so caught up in what I was doing that I didn't hear her open the door or hit the chair, and I masturbate with my eyes shut so I didn't see anything either. When I finally heard her rustling in the closet, I asked how long she'd been in the room. She said, "it's OK, I do it too." I was kind of shocked but then was grateful that it was only her and she didn't have other people with her. Since that time, I've been able to do it with her in the room when we're both in bed. We've both agreed that the chair in back of the door means not to come in. (age 20)

I think your roommate handled it with grace and some maturity, but it would have been better for her to simply leave rather than get stuff from her closet while you were masturbating and thought you were alone.

I used to take trips in college with an athletic group, and we picked the room we slept in either as "wankers" or "non-wankers." It was OK to masturbate in a "wankers" room but not in a "non-wankers" room. Dividing up like that might help people who live in dorms too.

No, it wouldn't. What you're talking about is a group of people who know each other spending a night or two on the road. You couldn't divide college students that way for permanent living arrangements because all of the men and a healthy majority of the women masturbate frequently.

There was one occasion when I used the dorm bathroom early one morning and I caught a dorm mate masturbating in the urinal. I didn't say anything, but it was obvious I knew what was happening. We both laughed nervously and went about our business. I always wake up with a very full erection and there are some mornings I need to relieve the build-up of seminal fluids before I urinate, so I do understand. However, I masturbate in private, which can obviously be a touch-and-go situation in a dorm setting. (age 18)

Why would someone masturbate in a urinal when there is a stall nearby? He might have been looking for a sex partner. That would be kind of unusual in the dorm where he lives, though. Always be careful when you see men wasting time in a public bathroom. They might not be there for the same reason you are.

Here's my idea of a solution. (age 20)

Interesting! Very interesting!

I'm in college, and my roommate happens to watch porn on his computer and masturbate, with me in the room! He just pulls it out and starts doing it! The first time he did it I was so shocked I just pretended I didn't notice, but he does it a lot. Is there any way I could ask him to stop without feeling awkward? (age 18)

As you would tell any three year old, that should be done in private. Just state your position. You don't need to make a big deal about it. He ought to get the message just from you saying it once.

I live in an apartment with a roommate. We don't share the same room but often I see him masturbating because he leaves his door half-open. I am not going to deny that I masturbate, but I am cautious when I do it. I have a good relationship with him, but we never talk about this issue. That fact that he leaves his door open when he masturbates bothers me. My question to you is, is this behavior natural? Do a lot of people perform sexual activities openly, for people to see? (age 18)

Either he just doesn't care, or he wants you to see. In either case, he should not be surprised by you telling him you'd prefer he shut his door while he masturbates. You should do that if it bothers you.

I actually tried to stop masturbating when I started college and was successful for several months. Then, a few months in, I started having painful urination. I was still a virgin at that point, so I knew it wasn't an STD, and I immediately suspected something awful. It turns out that I had managed to get a prostate infection! I still don't know how that happened, but in addition to the antibiotics, the doctor advised me to begin masturbating (again) if I hadn't already, and that would help clear things out, giving my immune system a fighting chance. I was virtually forced into dealing with the situation. Our dorm had fairly private showers, with a dressing area, and an interior shower area - and I managed to get by that way until I was able to get a private room. It was a tad irritating, though, as I had to use caution to avoid making a mess. (Which was solved by ejaculating into my hand and washing it down the drain.) Fortunately, between the antibiotics and masturbating with renewed vigor, I was able to beat the infection. It took two weeks. (age 30)

You illustrate vividly the problems males can encounter when they don't ejaculate often enough. You don't mention why it was impossible to masturbate in your dorm room. Was there no time at all when you had privacy?

When I was in college I was lucky. I had the same roommates for four years. We masturbated openly. We all knew we enjoyed doing it. It was not a big deal. It was a relaxing atmosphere. We are still great friends. (age 30)

I've found out the easiest way is to tell your roommate you masturbate is to jokingly tell him that whenever he enters the room, to make sure he jiggles his keys a little before entering because you'll be pleasuring yourself. Then laugh a little and say you're only kidding.. Then, the next time you go to enter the room and you know he's in there just jiggle your keys a little before entering. Allow him a good 20-30 seconds to stop what he's doing. I lived with my best friend for an entire year, and neither of us ever admitted to masturbating, nor did we ever catch each other. Also, if you know your roommate's class schedule, it helps, so you can find a time when you know they have class. I'm an avid practitioner of masturbation, and I've never been caught by anyone, so I'm sure I could give good tips on avoiding getting caught. (age 21)

I think that's good advice. Again, these discussions need not refer to masturbation specifically but can instead refer to roommates wanting to have privacy in the room.

My floor is co-ed so it's a bit more stressful to masturbate in my room. For the most part I do it when my roommate is gone, but I used to also do it while he was sleeping. I have a feeling the girls next door have heard me doing it from outside. I sometimes turn up some music to distort the sound but other times I just phase out the worrying and regret it later. Now I hate to talk to them or walk past their room. They act respectful but still they know. (age 19)

I think you're making too big a deal out of it. They probably don't know. They might not even hear anything through walls or doors, especially if there's noise coming from their other side and above them and below them. You are probably giving a negative signal to those girls by ignoring them. Just smile and be friendly. In the unlikely event they know when you're masturbating, they probably don't think less of you because of it, and if they do, it's their problem.

My college doesn't have on campus housing but rents out apartments. I'm a girl and I have a super nice roommate. She's the sweetest person I've ever met but I'm not comfortable taking to her about masturbation. I know a lot of girls are quiet about it but I masturbate noisily. I'm very rough in what I do. It's the only way I know how to orgasm, and I don't want my roommate to know. I have waited till she leaves for the weekend but that only happens once a month if I'm lucky. I've done it once since she's been at class but there are other people outside the bedroom door and I'm paranoid they might hear me. The door doesn't lock and my roommate knocks but I'm afraid that isn't enough really and I'm embarrassed if she were to walk in on me and my vibrator. I know eventually it might happen but if you have any suggestions I'd love to hear it. I know it is recommended talking to roommates but it's something I can't bear to bring up and I wouldn't know how to start.

I think you have it pretty good, having a roommate who remembers to knock before coming into her own room. With that kind of privacy, you ought to be able to find some time during which you can masturbate. Would it work to leave your vibrator out on your bed and see if she strikes up a conversation? I think you'd enjoy your free time a lot more if you discussed this issue with your roommate. She probably would too.

If I live in a dorm in college with another guy, I'll just admit that I do it and ask him if he wouldn't mind doing it with me. (age 16)

I think that's going too far and could lead to more serious problems communicating with your roommate. All you have to do is adopt one of the approaches others have used (contained on this page) to half-jokingly let him know that he is apt to find you masturbating at some point.

It's kind of a funny story how I stumbled upon your site. I'm a college student who lives in a suite-style dorm. I finished masturbating in my room, and, not wanting to wake my roommate, I cautiously peeked out my door to see if anyone was out in the common area between my room and the bathroom. I didn't notice that one of my suitemates was on the couch, and I stepped out of my room briefly. I think he saw that I had semen on my chest and part of my penis was visible. Instantly, I found myself in a rather compromising position. I dashed back into my room, cleaned off, and tried to regain my composure. When I stepped out again, I tried to play it off like nothing had happened. Did I do the right thing? Needless to say, I was absolutely mortified in private. After reading your site, I felt much more comfortable about the situation (i.e., I no longer want to crawl into a hole and die of shame). (age 19)

I don't think you needed to say anything. I think a lot of men your age assume their roommates are masturbating whenever they're alone. If he noticed your condition at all, it only confirmed his suspicion and didn't tell him anything new.

Last weekend I toured a college that my friend goes to, and I got to stay in a dorm (not my friend's dorm though) for the weekend. The guys that lived in that dorm and I became really good friends during that time. One night they went out, but I told them I was too tired. After they left, I started to snoop a little and found their nudey mags. So one thing led to another and I found myself masturbating furiously. I was caught up in it and I didn't pay attention to where my ejaculate flew, and it landed on one of the guys' clothes laying on the floor. I didn't notice this until later when it had dried and stained. I threw the clothes into the laundry hamper and didn't tell them. I want to be honest about it, but how do I tell them that I was jerking off in their dorm? (age 18)

It is already too late to be honest. You were being dishonest when you snooped through their room and then when you covered up what you had done. There is no reason to tell them you were masturbating. They already knew or assumed that when they left you alone in the dorm room. Someone who leaves clothes laying on the floor has no reason to expect they will be clean later. I don't think any good will come of telling them now what you did.

I live in a triple, so I have 2 roommates, making it impossible for me to masturbate, almost ever. I tried to bring it up as a joke and they were both like "ewww," so I know that they don't. I just want some alone time with my vibrator, this blows! (age 18)

Hmm... I think it's easier for men because they all do. Why don't you just tell them you want some alone time, Tuesdays and Fridays from 8 to 9 or something like that.

When I had a roommate in college, I couldn't masturbate at night as often as I would have liked, but I could still manage to masturbate every day by finding times when I knew my roommate would be out of the room. If he went to take a shower, I knew I had at least 15 minutes. I knew his class schedule, so if he had class and I didn't, I could do it then. If all else failed, I'd lock the door when he was gone, masturbate, and be prepared to cover up quickly if I heard his key in the door. (age 19)

I think too many college students cope that way. Think of all the time you wasted waiting for your roommate to go someplace and how little you enjoyed masturbating by being afraid of him returning suddenly. You can bet he was going through the same thing with regard to your movements. Wouldn't it have been easier if you had agreed that it was OK to masturbate when it was dark in the room or had a way to signal when you wanted to be "alone in the room"?

When I was in college, I lived 3 years in the dorms and 1 year in a fraternity house, and I always shared a room. My first year in the dorm it was really difficult to find time to masturbate, and I would usually wait until my roommate had left the room or when I thought he was sound asleep. Sometimes I would awaken in the middle of the night so I could masturbate. The only problem for me was that I enjoyed masturbating just before going to bed because I found it helped me sleep. After a few weeks, I woke up one night and could hear my roommate masturbating in his bed. I was relieved in a way because it made me realize that he also needed to find ways to pleasure himself. I finally decided just to be an adult about it and one morning asked him if it was difficult to find time, in this roommate arrangement, to "relieve" himself. He sort of smiled at me and said yes, and asked if we could work out an arrangement. It actually felt a bit weird, but healthy, to talk about it. We finally agreed that masturbating in the evenings, after the lights were out, or in the mornings before we both got out of bed, was acceptable if we were both in the room. We also would tell each other if we were going to be away, in the shower, etc. For example, if he was going down the hall to take a shower he'd say, "you've got 15 minutes or so if you need it." We also kept each other up to date on our class schedules and agreed that during those times, when one of us was away and the room was ours, we could masturbate without fear of being interrupted. So it ended up being an OK experience and neither of us had to go without masturbating. (age 27)

What a great plan! And how lucky you were to take care of it freshman year.

Our campus has two suite-style residence halls with single occupancy rooms, one of which I've lived in. Privacy's never been an issue. (age 18)

Well, of course not. Single occupancy tenants have maximum privacy. The issue is for those who live in dorm rooms with two or more people.

No problem with my two roommates. At least one of us girls is stirring in her cookie jar every night. It's harmless and pleasant. (age 21)

Wow, I really think that's the best news I've heard today.

I recently started attending college and I live in a dorm. My roommate and I discussed masturbating about 3 days into the living arrangement. He informed me that he was cool with me masturbating and also OK with me doing it when he was in the room. This worked out great for both of us. (age 18)

I recently moved in with a new roommate who had been in the military. He served in Iraq. He is very straightforward about everything and doesn't take any guff from the loudmouth guys who live here. I don't mean he is violent or anything, but he basically shuts them up by making them know he is the alpha male or whatever. Anyway, when he moved in here, he asked me if it would be OK if he masturbated in the room after dark? I was very shocked by this question, but I said OK. Now I do it then too, and it's a lot less stressful than when I had a different roommate last semester. (age 18)

Hmm. Maybe that's the sign of an alpha male. Not afraid of his roommate knowing he masturbates. I can understand why someone who put his life on the line in Iraq would not be tolerant of some loudmouth frat boy types. I hope you keep him on your side.

Things have changed so much over the 45 years since I was at a boarding school. My dorm had 40 guys aged 14 to 18 sharing. The floors were bare wood with squeaky boards. The beds had slack iron frames and squeaky springs that rattled if you just rolled over. The matresses were straw filled and rustled at the slightest movement. Any masturbation attempt kept the whole dorm awake, and a prefect would tell you to "stop making a disturbance." If you didn't stop, there were punishments. The lavatory stalls had no doors - no privacy there! The showers were just a row of heads in a big tiled room - no privacy there either. Masturbation was never mentioned, but the whole place was clearly set up to make it as difficult as possible to find an opportunity. The result was that guys would masturbate publicly and openly, in the back of a boring Latin class. Some deliberately made holes in their trouser pockets. My way was slow and silent and with incredible control over any external signs: no facial expression or muscular spasms. (age 60)

That's a lot like basic training in the military, except they also leave the lights on in the bunk room all night (supposedly to simulate battlefield sleeping, but also to prevent masturbation). I can't imagine the compromises males made to accomodate those restrictions made them more sexually functional in any way. It's good that things have changed since then and modern males (and females) can discover their sexuality at their leisure.

I had a roommate in my first year at college. I woke up one night and could hear her masturbating. I could tell by the sounds and her heavy breathing. It turned me on and I started masturbating too. I don't know what came over me but I decided to make it obvious what I was doing. I was rubbing quickly making my own sounds and breathing loudly. She then started to make even more noise, almost panting. Within a couple of minutes she had a orgasm and let out a gasp. This set me off and I came quickly after her. She never said anything about it and neither did I. I think she enjoyed it as much as I did though! (age 21)

That's a nice story. I hope it made you less self-conscious about masturbating in that room.

When my roommate and I moved in together there was obviously tension, but as the year passed we became comfortable with each other. She came in on me masturbating once, and she laughed and let me borrow her vibrator. Now we share it! It's worked out really well! (age 19)

When I first got to college, I had to hold out for days before I could find the time or place to masturbate, which was really hard for me since I was doing it 1-2 times a day at home when I had my own room. After a month or so, I was getting even more horny so I started doing it really quietly at night when I thought he had gone to sleep. One night I guess he hadn't because as I was getting into it, he said "dude, wait till I'm asleep at least!" and started laughing. I was pretty embarrassed and said "sorry" before turning over and trying to sleep. However, a few nights later I heard him masturbating. I decided not to say anything, and for the rest of the year we would do it at night before bed, sometimes even at the same time. We never talked about it, though sometimes we talked about some hot girls we knew. So it was cool to be able to usually be able to do it when I wanted. We weren't really good friends but had a mutual understanding I guess. After all, we're both horny guys! (age 19)

That took a long time to straighten out and sounds not as satisfying as it could have been if you had said something.

I live in a shared accommodation with two guys and another girl. We started out all trying to pretend we weren't masturbating and keeping it quiet in our rooms but it just started to get absurd. Now we've got a system in place where we go to bed at different times and if you share a wall, you don't go to bed for at least 15 minutes so that we can't hear each other. Masturbation is forbidden in common areas. I need to shower in the same recess as the boys! (age 21)

How nice that you have that all worked out.

At the unlikely age of 20 1/2, in my second year at a residence hall, I masturbated to orgasm for the first time on that Tuesday night in November 1984 that President Reagan was re-elected. I became exceedingly testy with my roommate and also fairly estranged from the other students who used our bathroom because I began to masturbate frequently with conditioner in the fairly private shower stall and began to wonder if my roommate was listening to my indulging. I began to believe others were speaking behind my back and that was later confirmed. I was such a late bloomer and I had been indoctrinated at summer camp against masturbation. I was not particulary open in my communication, and the initial rapport with my roommate was lost and that year became a shambles socially and scholastically. I feel it brought on my being diagnosed with a mental illness five years later. I wish I had been much more open with my peers and risked being red-faced and worked out a schedule for masturbating in the shower. (age 42)

I find it hard to believe that masturbating was the sole cause of the decline with your roommates. It also seems kind of hard to believe that they were discussing it behind your back. Nearly all guys are embarrassed about masturbating and have no empathy with someone who makes fun of a person for masturbating. However, I think you are also right in that you suffered by not discussing sex and masturbating with someone at that age. It can be beneficial for males to have someone to talk to about that, because another person can rein in bad ideas one might have about sex and advise you that atypical sexual practices (e.g., prone masturbation) are not normal.

I've never been discovered masturbating, but I'm about to go off to college and will have a roommate and will be living in a hall surrounded by other girls my age. When is the best time to masturbate? What if I am discovered? I'm not looking forward to living with a roommate. It will feel unnatural, especially if we don't become friends. Any advice? (age 18)

It's not too unusual for first year roommates to not get along. There are lots of books and articles about getting along with roommates. They don't usually mention masturbation. This page contains a bunch of strategies for discussing masturbation so you don't have to perform the kind of secret masturbation you are asking me about. If you absolutely refuse to discuss it with your roommate, then I suggest learning her schedule to maximize your privacy. I suspect if you are discovered, she will be as embarrassed as you, and you will both be relieved that the issue is in the open. Good luck.

I was home alone one night in our dorm, and I was pounding my steak when my roommate's sister walked quietly into our shared bedroom and caught me. She was pleasantly shocked (she said) and asked if she could watch! In a matter of seconds - maybe 30 - I blew a geyser as she moaned quietly. She often comes over now and sometimes joins in! My dorm buddies tease me about the "hot brunette" who is always in our room, but I just laugh and smile! Should I tell my roommie or just enjoy the quality time with his sister? (age 22)

I don't think your roommate needs to know anything. Lots of guys date their roommate's and other friends' sisters.

When I was 18, I had just left for Marine boot camp, and in my 2nd month of training I thought that all of my unit had gone to sleep when I started to masturbate in my bunk. I was on a roll, and then my drill instructor walked in to check on us. He saw me and started to laugh and woke up all of my unit, then he took me to the side and told me that I was not alone; he had caught many other Marines doing it too. Hey, 90 days of training and no females make you desperate and horny, he said, but he was OK with it. To this day I look back and laugh about it. This is the best site I have ever visited. Thank you for all the great advice. SEMPER FI! (age 24)

So did he let you finish?

I had never masturbated and never even knew what it was until I got to college. I shared a bunk bed with a roommate. Late one night, I heard these sex sounds coming from her bed. I asked if she was OK. She stopped and said she was fine. The next day, she told me that she was masturbating. We agreed that she would have some alone time three times a week from 9-10 pm. Later, I asked her about masturbation and she told me how to do it. I will forever be grateful to her for teaching me, but how do you approach the subject with a female who doesn't even know what masturbation is? (age 30)

What a great story! I think you just be direct, and if she has questions, just answer them.

I live in the south, and talking about masturbation is taboo. I've only masturbated twice with somebody else in the room (but only after I was sure they were asleep). I'm just wondering if the other girls in the dorms do it too, or if I just have a dirty mind and a large sexual appetite. (age 20)

Yes, you can read on this page that they do. If you're really uptight about it, you don't have to talk to them about it, but I think it would be a relief to all of you if you did.

My college had a nearby park with plenty of woods. I had many nice masturbation sessions in that park! (age 32)

I recommend against masturbating in public very strongly. You could wind up with a record as a sex offender. Wouldn't it be a lot easier just to talk to your roommates about it?

When I first started college, I could never find time to masturbate. After about 2 weeks, I couldn't wait any more. So I decided just to do it that night in bed whether my roommate heard me or not. So I started doing it and he sat up in bed and asked me what I was doing. I told him and he said that he couldn't find time to do it either.

My roommate does it all the time and she wants me to do it with her. What should I do? (age 19)

Since you're not comfortable with it to say the word in your message to me, I think doing it with her would be a very bad idea. You also would not be out of line to tell her not to do it when you're around. Making agreements with roommates to respect each other's privacy can go both directions.

My boyfriend always tries to get me to masturbate while I'm on the phone with him. I try not to but his voice sounds so good. He knows that I'm a virgin and I won't have sex with him. I am really worried that my roommate will walk in on me one day. Should I work something out with her and let her know when to stay out of the room, or run the risk of her walking in on me? (age 19)

You have two issues. First, you are unhappy about your boyfriend wanting phone sex. Second, you worry that your roommate will catch you doing it. If you don't want to have phone sex, then tell your boyfriend you won't do it. If you decide to, then you need to work out how to handle it with your roommate. It would probably be more embarrassing if she walked in on you than if you were only masturbating without the phone. You would also be more distracted because of the phone and would be less likely to be aware that she was entering. It would be a good idea for you to devise some signal that lets her know you "want to be alone in the room."

I really don't find masturbating a problem. If you are good friends with your roommate, you really shouldn't feel embarrassed. If a person is scared of someone seeing their penis, then how do you change your clothes in the same room? My freshman year it was hard, but after a while my roommate and I became really good friends. (age 21)

Letting someone see you naked and letting them see you masturbate are completely different things. Masturbating has an intense stigma for some people and some men are more willing to admit to rape than masturbation. Sex scientists have often found that their subjects were willing to talk about everything except masturbation. Also, not all roommates are friends. What worked for you does not work for most who come to this page.

I often have trouble finding time to masturbate. Last semester, my roommate had his schedule hanging over his desk, and I'd use that to know when I had some time to pleasure myself. This semester, there is no schedule and we often are in class the same time. I don't have his class schedule memorized so when he leaves, I don't know if he's just going to the bathroom for a moment or class for an hour. I tried masturbating in the shower the other week, but I had trouble getting it up in that environment. Any advice? (age 19)

Ask your roommate for his schedule and provide yours as well. Tell him you need it to know when you can defrost the refrigerator. Yeah, that's it!

I masturbated all the time when my roommate was in the room. I really didn't care whether he heard me or not because I was horny. I even had sex with my girlfriend while her roommate was right across the room sleeping. I was just nasty in college, but it was worth it, and I don't regret anything. I am sure that my roommate masturbated as well. He just may have not done it in the room or in my presence, but he got to go home to his private bedroom every weekend. I was 3 hours away from home. (age 26)

I encourage people to discuss privacy issues with their roommates. I think you went too far by not caring whether what you did bothered him or not. There is more to it than merely being embarrassed or not about the possibility of being caught.

I live in a college dorm with a roomate. I know that I would masturbate more if I didn't. I am kind of a shy person so I didn't confront him about masturbation at the beginning of the year. I can hear him during the night rustling the sheets and breathing rather loudly. I want to say somthing about it but I don't know how to go about it. I'm ok with it and I know he has his needs just like me. I just think I should be able to do it as much as he does. I don't know if I should just do it regardless of him being there or what. (age 18)

You are feeling deprived because you don't get to masturbate as often as your roommate does, yet you are afraid of him finding out that you do it or at least don't want to do it in the room with him. I doubt that your roommate would say anything to you or anyone else, because he must know that you are aware when he does it, given how much noise he makes. I would suggest trying it sometime when he is there and seeing if you can enjoy it or if you're just too worried. If you can't enjoy it, then propose some arrangement that would let you have the room to yourself occasionally.

I live in a suite-style dorm and didn't get along with my random roomie anyway. I tried the whole leave the door locked and pretend I wasn't feeling well or just needed a nap and covered up quick. Unfortunately, a laptop makes noise when you close it and it is pretty obvious you weren't sleeping. One time I heard my roomie coming down the hall with some other people and just pretended I was checking my e-mail in bed. He then loudly inquired as to why I had the door locked and the lights out, using a very skeptical voice. Needless to say I was embarrassed to see the people he was broadcasting to in the hall the next day. I have learned to be somewhat honest about sexuality with the friends I've made in my co-ed hall, without geting into nasty details. And though I may ocassionally be labeled the House Perv, I take it as a joke and tell them I'm just more honest than most of the guys they know. In regard to the whole issue of asking for a single room, which I got for next semester, I told my parents that I would pay the extra $400 by getting a part-time job in fast food. This worked out well, and I got my privacy. I would also like to note that masturbation was not my sole reason for getting a single room. (age 19)

I don't think that's a very happy ending. That's like paying $5 a day to masturbate.

I only mastubated infrequently in my dorm room because I had a girlfriend with whom I was sexually active since my high school. We broke up my junior year in college. After that I masturbated a lot more, usually when my roommate was gone or late at night when I thought he was asleep. One day I was leaving our room with him and a group of his friends and he made some comment about my jacking off in front of them. I was too shocked to be embarrassed at the time and had just said "you are cold man, you are cold" and quietly left. Unbeknownst to them, I lingered outside the room to hear if anything else was said about me because I wasn't sure if he was being truthful. I heard him telling his friends in a disgusted tone that he had caught me a couple of times masturbating in my bed. He and his friends were having a good laugh at my expense. I never said anything about the incident and I never let it bother me either. What strikes me as funny (now that you got me thinking about that time) is that it didn't really deter from masturbating even when he was in the room. I would still wait until I thought he was asleep. Later in the semester he transferred to another college and I had the room to myself. (age 36)

Your roommate was very immature, and his friends were probably laughing due to their own embarrassment about masturbating and not about you. I would not be convinced that he had heard you; it would take no great brain to figure out that you masturbated in your bedroom. He might have been just trying to get a reaction from you, and you didn't give him the one he wanted. Congratulations to you!

I share a room with two other guys, and we all know that we all masturbate. What we usually do is designate a certain time: 3:00 for me, 3:45 for the next, 4:30 for the last. It's absoluely fine 99% of the time.

I would be willing to trade spontaneity for privacy.

I live in a dorm. The best way I have found to jack off is to wait until the dorm is empty due to some social function that doesn't interest me then do it in a bathroom stall or something. I will also have phone sex with my fiancee when no one else is around. It works out well.

That doesn't sound like such a good plan. How often do social functions "empty" the dorm? You would be better off finding a way to do it whenever you want, or at least several times a week.

I find time to masturbate in the shower. I find that it takes longer for you to reach an orgasm in the shower. I also masturbate while I am in the bed. I am too shy to ask my roommate if he does it or not. I am also afraid of what he might say or think. Should we set a time where we both masturbate? Should we have scheduled masturbation sessions? (age 18)

Given your shyness, I think scheduled masturbation sessions are out of the question. Why not just set up a system where one of you can be alone in the room?

My roomie has caught me looking at porn and masturbating a couple times over our three years of living together. Usually she knows to knock on my bedroom door before coming in but sometimes she forgets, in which case, I close my web browser and pull up the covers quickly and she asks whatever she came in for or she just turns around and walks out. We've never discussed it but it's never been a problem. Freshman year was worse though because we only had one room, all common space, but I just did it in the shower then. Not as fun but better than nothing. (age 21)

Thanks for sharing.

I just moved into a dorm. I have a room to myself but it's very small and I can hear a lot of what happens in my neigbors' rooms. I'm terrified that they might be able to hear me if I use my vibrator (it's very strong and very loud). Also, the floor is co-ed. I don't know if I could face stepping out of my room every day afraid that I'll cross someone who'll know. Also, I'm overweight and although I'm pretty cute in my own way, I've faced a lot of abuse from people over the years. I feel that people are readier to accept sexual behavior from pretty people than from the ugly ones. If I were a size 2, everyone would think it normal and even arousing to know that I masturbate but since I'm a size 16, they might call it pathethic and gross and give me a hard time. I'm only going to be here for 4 months so I don't want to go to the trouble of finding a boyfriend (especially if I get really attached to him and then it will hurt when I have to leave). (age 22)

Be glad you have a single room. No one will be listening for your vibrator. From another room, assuming one can hear it at all, it doesn't sound much different from a shaver and is probably quieter than a blow dryer. Since no one will know specifically that you masturbate, you won't have to worry about them making judgements about your weight and sexuality. I also don't think you should reject the idea of a boyfriend out of hand.

I LOVE your site. I'm a junior in college and I have a roommate who is also a junior. I wouldn't consider myself gay, although I get aroused whenever I hear him masturbating at night. Would it be OK to masturbate secretly while he is masturbating? I don't have any problem finding time to masturbate but I get extra horny hearing him breathe hard and hearing the sound of his hand against his penis. Would I be out of line for enjoying this free show? (age 20)

Of course it would be OK. He isn't worried about masturbating with you in the room, is he? Why should you be worried about him?

A few years back when I was in college, I shared a dorm room with a girl who was up front with me that she masturbated frequently. I just shrugged it off and said it didn't bother me. She'd masturbate all the time, whether I was in the room or not. Most of the time, she'd be face down, naked and humping the bed or her pillow. Other times, she'd watch all-girl or female masturbation porn while playing with herself. Despite what I told her, I was soon pretty uncomfortable when she'd be pleasuring herself, even though I never said anything. Later, I suppose I just got used to her masturbating in front of me. Once I needed a ride and was between cars, so I just walked into our dorm room, where I found her having sex with her pillow. I asked her for a ride, and she told me, "give me a minute." And so I stood there and watched as she finished humping her pillow. And without a hint of embarrassment from either of us (even though I had just seen her make herself have an orgasm), she got dressed and gave me my ride, and then we went out to eat together. (age 28)

That is an extreme story. You would have been justified in letting her know when her behavior was obviously making you uncomfortable. Most people are horrified at the idea of someone other than a sexual partner watching them masturbate. She must have had some psychological issues.

I'm just starting college and as you can probably tell, not being able to masturbate alone is a shocker! My roommate is a junior and he is the a-hole frat boy type so he has no problems whipping out his penis and jerking off in front of me. But I can't get an erection with another guy in the room. Anything I can do to be as exhibitionistic as him? (age 18)

I wouldn't advise you to be exhibitionistic. But you should certainly feel free to masturbate at night after the lights are out. You have nothing to fear from him discovering you.

I am a freshman college student, and I must admit, I like to masturbate at night. I take it easy, so as not to make noise and wake up my roommate. Other than that, I've figured out a time when she's in class and I'm not for a couple hours when I can head back to my room for some more involved masturbation. The shower is another option, but I don't really like masturbating while standing, and it's one of those bathrooms that half a dorm floor uses, so doing anything but standing is out of the question. I don't really see any reason to mention it to her since things are working so well as they are. It may be, though, that I'm reluctant to discuss anything sexual in a personal sense because I'm bisexual and she's straight and I worry that makes her uncomfortable to begin with. She is a little uptight about some things, so that's not a stretch. (age 18)

Yes, but you might not need to be so quiet at night if you discussed it with your roommate first. She probably masturbates too and would be relieved to know you wouldn't take it as anything else.

The few times I was able to masturbate in my dorm room, my roommate was out. I found it much easier to go the the bathroom in the library or another building to masturbate. It was actually more satisfying than when in the dorm. (female, age 21)

Yes, but you were taking a chance on being caught masturbating in public. That might have provided a thrill that made the orgasm more satisfying. In the long run, you'd be better off learning to do it (to your satisfaction) in your own room.

I dorm in a triple with two roommates and we never talk about masturbating. I do it when my roommates aren't in the room or when they are both asleep if it is an "emergency." I always to do it very discreetly as I know they never notice. I only use my vibrator when they are out though because I am afraid the buzzing would wake them. Am I being kinda gross? (age 18)

I don't think you are being gross, and I think your roommates are going through the same thing. If you discussed it with them, you wouldn't have to worry so much during those emergencies.

My roommate and I do not get along. One day, I was stressed out and I masturbated with a vibrator, and usually she is gone, so I thought that she wouldn't be there. She came in and I tried to shut off the vibrator but I was fumbling with it. I'm so nervous that she might tell other people and that that everyone will know. Is it weird for girls in college to use vibrators? What if she thinks that it's so unusual that she just thinks I am a freak?

I doubt that you have anything to worry about. If you aren't friends, she probably wouldn't tell other people anything about you, and if she does, they will more likely think she is a freak for telling them that about you. It is not at all weird for you to masturbate with a vibrator.

I go to a boarding school and share a room with three other girls. I often hear them masturbating but I don't know what to say about it. Since I masturbate too, I don't want to sound hypocritical. How should I confront them? (age 15)

You can deal with it like any other noise they make that would keep you up at night. You can suggest that they either be more quiet or agree upon a period of time in which the room will be quiet. You would have more credibility with them if you started off by saying that you do it too, but I also understand why you wouldn't say that.

I share a room with two girls, and when I masturbate, I want them to watch me, and sometimes I go outside naked and masturbate hoping my neighbors will see me. I just like other people watching me. Is this wrong? Why do I like it? (age 19)

It's a fairly common female fantasy for a woman to imagine herself being watched by many anonymous men. Some sex experts think it's part of the reason why women become strippers and even cheerleaders. It's not wrong to fantasize about, but be careful about exposing yourself. That's against the law.

I had a roommate from another country my freshman year. I walked in on her masturbating with her clothes on and I was curious why so I asked. She was relieved that she wasn't in trouble and said that it against the law almost in her country for a woman to masturbate. I thought that was really sad and told her she can relax; this is America, so enjoy it! I asked her if she had ever heard of sex toys and she had not! So I showed her a web site where she could get toys or protection. I came into our room a week later and she had a bunch of toys on her bed and was going to take a shower. I guess she liked the site. She thought my advice on that and guys was straightforward and she wished her own parents had the courtesy I did! (age 22)

What a great roommate you were!

When I lived in the dorm, my roommate was very shy and often would not leave our floor for days on end, leaving me with *no* privacy, ever. I found myself driving out to the local "make-out" spot and masturbating in my car, just to get some relief. I told her I was going out on a date, and in a way, I wasn't lying. (age 28)

That was a bad situation and a bad solution. You might have asked for some time alone in the room and not had to say anything about masturbating.

I spent my first two years in college living in dormitories with one roommate and two suitemates who shared a bathroom. Both years, I approached the subject with my roommates after our housing expectations meeting and discussed the need for "personal time." If either roommate was with a companion or just needed time to herself, she put a glow-in-the dark star on the door. After walking in on the first roommate and her boyfriend, it was determined that the star should go OVER the key slot so no one could miss it. The star worked well for all of us, and with more discretion than the classic "sock on the door." Plus, it was clearly stated that the star could be used anytime the roommate needed time by herself, thus allowing conservative roommates an opportunity to make an excuse if they felt uncomfortable admitting to masturbating. One roommate regularly marked the door so she could enjoy reading her Bible in peace and quiet. ;) (age 23)

What a great story! Were the pages of the Bible stuck together? ;)

I was in my dorm room and I heard someone moaning. I got up and switched on the light and my best friend was fingering herself. Ever since then I have not talked to her. What'll I do? (age 19)

I don't think you should have to apologize since it's your room too and she was making noise. But it would probably smooth things over if you did.

Help! I'm gay, and I thought it would be hot to have a cute roommate who masturbated in the same room. I can't enjoy it because I'm scared I might get caught. My roommate is a really hot guy (older too) but we are friends now, and I don't want my sexual attraction to him to change our friendship. I don't want him to hear me masturbating while he is masturbating because he will find out I am gay. Should I leave the situation alone and only think of him as a friend? He is straight, but he isn't a homophobe. I just don't want his opinion of me to change. (age 18)

You ought to get out of that room. You are not being honest with him about being attracted to him. No one should have to live in a room with someone who is secretly interested in them sexually. His opinion will necessarily change when he starts finding out about this. When you are in a different room with a guy you are not attracted to, you should not worry about him figuring out you're gay because you masturbate. That is nonsense.

I went to military school. Masturbation was a taboo subject. We all did it and knew or at least suspected that our comrades did it as well. Our freshman year was a nightmare; for many of us it was our first time away from home. We lived in a 12-man dorm room and all showers were public. We lived, studied, and slept together. Privacy was unknown. However, our second semester bought us a transfer student whom I'll call Jamison. He was a breath of fresh life into our class and our unit. One February morning during shower call, Jamison loudly exclaimed that he respected us and appreciated us but he needed some time away from us. Since that was "not an option," he was going to fulfill his basic needs in front of us. "I am jerking off now," he loudly proclaimed. "You can watch, you can ignore me, or you can join in." Everyone was shocked. We stood in embarrassment, shock, and awe as he began to pound away. There was nothing gay about this experience but within seconds eight guys at least began a joint masturbation exercise. I learned many things that morning. 1. Masturbation was a need shared by all men, especially those of us in the 18 -22 year old range. 2. I wasn't the only guy that needed or wanted to masturbate. 3. A greater sense of camaraderie was garnered with open communication. Needless to say, dorm life changed after that. You could hear routine rustling of sheets after lights out. Usually everyone did his deed within 30 minutes of lights out. I am married now and serving in another part of the globe. I've lost touch with Jamison since graduation but I will certainly not forget him anytime soon. (age 21)

I don't think anyone else will either.

I've been living in a dorm for three years. Once my roommate walked in on me while I was masturbating and I dropped my vibrator and pretended I was putting on lotion. All the while the vibrator was still buzzing! Now I have my own room but the walls are thin. I just turn up the TV and let it rip! (age 20)

That's funny!

When I was at BYU, which is church-run (the LDS church is anti-masturbation), I would either masturbate quietly when my roommate had fallen asleep (thankfully he was a sound sleeper) or in the shower. A lot of guys there admitted they had tried it at some point and the saying around campus was, "90% of Mormon men admit they masturbate, and the other ten percent lie about it." (age 19)

But would there be a greater stigma there if you were discovered by your roommate?

I currently live in a dorm with two other roommates. We have not yet talked about masturbation, but a couple of days ago, I woke up to hear the roommate who is bunked above me masturbating. I am gay and he is straight. What he was doing was obvious because the bed was moving and I could hear him making some sounds too. I immediately became aroused and began to masturbate. I know he could hear me. It has been awkward for a couple of days now. We often joke about me being gay, and I know he is perfectly fine with it, but how can I make sure he knows I wasn't coming on to him? (age 18)

That is a difficult situation. You might not have been specifically coming on to him, but you were responding to him in a sexual way. I don't think he is "perfectly fine" with your gayness, because the jokes are about you being gay. Are the jokes ever about him being straight? He is probably doubly uncomfortable, because not only was he caught masturbating, there is the issue of whether your masturbating in response to him can be construed as being sexual. I'm not certain that talking about it at this point wouldn't make it worse. You might be better off hoping it will blow over.

I had the same roommate all during my college years. We never spoke about masturbation at first but we each knew we did it. Our dorm beds had a high headboard, so we arranged our room so that the beds were at ninety degree angles from each other. This gave us privacy at night so we could "do our thing" when we needed to. I had the bed near the wall so I would just turn on my side and masturbate into a tissue, towel, etc. as the urge hit. During our senior year we both became engaged to be married and we talked more openly about sex and how masturbation would help us last longer in bed for our partners. I also became a senior biology lab instructor that year and had the key to the lab. I would go there at night to study, but found myself masturbating often, as it was completely private in the middle of a busy campus. (age 41)

Ah, but who else had a key to that lab?

I live in a mixed student residence environment, so while we have individual rooms, I have girls in the two rooms directly below me. They have often made "grossed-out" comments about being able to hear the bedsprings of the guy in the room next to me, and also about the guy who was in my room last year. Are they trying to give me a hint that maybe I am too noisy? Also, are young American women less prudish than young Australian women? As the 5 girls I usually sit with at dinner time are all happy to talk about sexual topics, including their own sexual experiences, even what it was like when they lost their virginity, they all at least implicitly deny that they masturbate. They will freely talk about guys masturbating, and all the guys admit to each other and to the girls that they do it, but all of the girls act as though it's just gross, even those who sleep around a fair bit. Is masturbation just more common among American women, or do these girls just not want to admit it? (age 19)

I am inclined to believe that they all masturbate rather frequently if they are that outspoken about their sexual adventures in mixed company. I can't tell you for certain about the cultural difference between the USA and Australia. Since you males are all very open about masturbating with these women, you ought not worry that you are making too much noise. Go ahead and enjoy yourself.

I am a college freshman and live in a dorm. The guys I know use a joking manner to admit that they masturbate. Is this the best solution to the problem? (age 18)

It is a very good one.

My college dorm was a "mod" style building with all single units, so I had no roommate, but the building was coed with each floor having males on one side and females on the other, about 16 rooms on each side, and each side had its own common TV lounge. My room was on the inside of the building's H shape, so my window faced a few rooms on the other side about 25 feet away on the girls' side. The rooms were tiny, with a twin-sized bed against the window. I would masturbate often in my bed, and once when I came back to my room after taking a shower in the early evening, it had gotten dark. When I came into my room with my towel on, my window blinds were open and I could see the girl in the room across the way. She saw me when I turned on the lights, but I didn't make eye contact. It kind of gave me a thrill to think she was watching, so I just pretended I didn't notice and continued as if it had been private. I took off my towel and dried myself off, and she kept watching. I got really excited thinking about her watching, so I lay down on my bed and started to masturbate in full view. I climaxed quickly and just laid there for a while in a trance, then got up, cleaned myself off, and turned off the lights. Then I had a clear view back at the girl who had been watching, but she wasn't alone. Two more girls were in the window with her! Apparently, she'd called over a couple of her friends to watch when she saw what I was doing. The next day when I was visiting the TV room on the other side, the girls all giggled when I came in and asked when my next "show" would be. From that point on, I always left my window shades open. I'm sure every girl over there that was curious got to watch me masturbate at one point or another. Probably the most exciting time was when one of the girls on the other side with whom I was in an anthropology class introduced me to another classmate that didn't live in the dorm. As I shook her hand and said nice to meet you, my dormmate said that the girl I was just meeting had already watched me earlier that night. What a turn on it was to know this girl I was just meeting had already seen me in such an intimate way. (age 30)

That's quite a tale, but I don't know that it helps the problem most of my readers have in dealing with their roommates.

When I was younger, I spent a lot of time in France. I am English and was studying French at a university. In my experience, all French men about 20 masturbated once the lights went out. There was never any discussion about it, nor was there the slightest embarrassment about doing it. I stayed in many dormitories while taking courses, and even when staying with friends in their homes, they would invariably masturbate before going to sleep. On one occasion, I shared a double bed with a friend and this posed no impediment for him; he just went ahead with the business in hand. He was certainly not gay. He just ignored my presence, as if he were merely brushing his teeth, until he finished. I found the experience liberating, and of course, when in Rome, you do as the Romans do. (age 66)

I appreciate having that international perspective. I hear very little from continental Europe. The lion's share of my correspondents are in English-speaking countries, and most of the rest are in the developing world.

I understand your comment that you can't really seperate "wankers" and "non-wankers" in a dorm, but I always thought it would be helpful if they asked you to rate your level of modesty and put like people together. It would save a lot of uncomfortable situations for everybody. I am one of those who comes back from the shower, throws his towel in the hamper and picks out his clothes for the day. I had a roommate who changed IN the shower stall to avoid being seen; we were not compatible roomates. I understand being naked while changing with another guy and having him know you are masturbating is different, it my experience that the less modest a guy is around other guys, the more open he is to having a conversation about masturbating. When I was finally able to select my own roommates for an apartment, that was always something I addressed when interviewing them. I would be honest and say, "if I want a glass of water at night, I am not putting on clothes to walk to the kitchen." And I would also say, "There will be times I'm going to want to put in a movie and have a good wank. I am happy to warn you so you can stay out of the room, or you can watch the movie with me. It's your call, but it is something I will do." I found that by being honest upfront, I was able to create very comfortable living situations with guys who were more like me in their habits. (age 28)

That is good that you were able to do that by the time you had your own apartment, but keep in mind this page is mostly about college freshmen, few of whom will be that bold. I'm not convinced that sorting by level of modesty will make a huge difference for the people who are still mortified about discussing masturbation.

I would not masturbate with my old roommate when he was in the room, but now with my new roommate I masturbate before going to bed and I know he does too most of the time. We don't really talk about it at night but once in a while one of us will make a comment such as, "I slept great last night after I rubbed one out." I find that it is really a stress reliever to not have to worry about him hearing me. I can do my business and go to bed. I think that he feels the same way. (age 19)

Good for you. Have you ever noticed no one's status message on Facebook is ever "masturbating"?

I'm gay and my roommate masturbates at night while he thinks I am sleeping, but sometimes I can't sleep while he is doing it. It's like a straight guy trying to sleep while a woman was masturbating in the same room. I don't want to say anything, so while he masturbates, I move around to show that I am awake or I'll even get up to use the bathrooom. Now there is an awkward tension between us, where we don't really talk at all. It's as if I have to pretend he is not in the room. Should I say something or just ignore it and let him masturbate? (age 18)

I think you should say something. He obviously knows that you know he masturbates. It is just a matter of standing up for yourself. You don't say anything about your own masturbating. Perhaps that could be part of the conversation too. I think what you both need is a set time to be alone in the room.

My roommates knew I was masturbating whenever I would bring my laptop into our suite's common bathroom. I would never masturbate in the bedroom, only in the bathroom, and always with the computer and headphones. It seemed more considerate than doing it in the bedroom, but they would often complain and say it made them uncomfortable because the computer in the bathroom made it obvious what I was doing. I almost always need computer porn in order to masturbate. (age 23)

They ought not have complained about that. Perhaps it would have been easier for you to be discreet with magazines.

I'm a freshman in college and so far I've had two roommates. The first was evil incarnate. The current one is a Christian fundamentalist. The first one was a bad situation all around. She was incredibly cruel to me and rather immature. One day she woke up and decided to be a bitch to me. I didn't masturbate at all during that time -- but that was probably because I never felt the need to. Being around her evilness made me physically ill. Toward the beginning of the time I shared a room with her, I had an erotic dream, and when I was half awake I think I kind of rolled my hips. She saw me and made it as obvious as possible without saying anything that she was grossed out by this. After about a month or so of this, I moved to a different room. The evil one dropped out after midterms because she was failing her classes. I imagine though, that if I had stayed with this roommate and eventually needed to masturbate, that I would have started taking long showers. I probably would have started enjoying my breaks at home much more, too. It would have been interesting to tell my dad next time he calls and asks me if I'm homesick to tell him that I miss having my own room to masturbate in.

My current roommate probably believes that masturbation is a sin. Considering she all but humps her bible, I believe that masturbation is probably not a subject that we can talk about. She is also needy when it comes to people. Luckily, this neediness deflected off of me. She has some church groups that she spends time with. She also has her schedule posted on the door along with her boyfriend's schedule. So if I ever need to masturbate, all I have to do is glance at the door, check her schedule, see if I have enough time to do something without feeling rushed, and make sure the door is locked. If it's night, I'll make sure the lights are out and she's asleep before I attempt anything. I do it at my desk then, because the mini-fridge blocks my view of her and vice versa. The only bad thing about doing it at night is that she occasionally wakes up in the middle of the night and feels the need to check up on what I'm doing and stare at me. Luckily, all the times that happened, I was actually busy working on papers that I had procrastinated on. (age 19)

Those are not good situations. You haven't learned to communicate with either of them. The current roommate sounds weak, as if she wouldn't do anything to protest you doing something she didn't approve of. You would do well to make an agreement that when something particular is on the doorknob (like a scarf), the other one wants to be alone in the room. I thought about this answer for a long time because the line about your dad was so poignant.

If there is another guy in my dorm room, I find it really hard to get hard! Even if he leaves so that I can "wank," I still know he knows I'm doing it, which screws up my hard-on and then I can't masturbate anyway! What do I do? (age 21)

All of the males in your dorm masturbate quite often. His knowing you do it -- can he really be sure? -- does not tell him anything he didn't already suspect. Learn to ignore the thoughts about people who might know.

I'm going to a school camp in a few days, and I think one of the people in my dorm masturbates. What should I do if I see him doing this? (age 12)

Nothing. You don't want him saying anything if he sees you, do you? Just be cool around him.

I haven't been to college yet and won't have to for a while but my big brother was just telling me how it's like hell living in a dorm. We both used to share a room and are only two years apart so we were both comfortable with masturbating in the same room and ignoring each other (I'm happy that I've finally got a room to myself) but he shares a room with some dude who has to always be there when he wants to masturbate. Not only that, but when the guy did it, he ejaculated into one of my brother's favorite shirts. My brother said something but the guy just brushed it off. Do you have any advice for him? (age 17)

I suggest he keep complaining to the roommate and get him to cease his loutish behavior or at least spend less time in the room.

I'm a sophomore in college. I've always shared a room with my brother so I never even thought of masturbating in the room. It has always been my habit to masturbate in the shower. Second semester of freshman year, I realized my roommate did it at night a couple of times. He was a cool guy so it didn't bother me when he did it occasionally. He was exceptionally quiet about it too, which was nice of him.

This year I have a new roommate. He's very shy, religious, homophobic, possibly gay, and depressed. He takes alot of pills for depression and ADHD and for other stuff. He didn't have any friends last year or in high school from what he's told me. I tried to include him this year and get him to be more relaxed, even though I'm not the most outgoing guy either, but his shyness seems unhealthy. In the end, we really don't get along, but we put up with each other (ignore each other). He finally got too comfortable with me, and now he's started masturbating almost every night. I put up with it because I've done it a couple of times this year too, but otherwise I do it in the shower. However, I do it when he's snoring, and I'm wicked quiet by using only one finger. He uses baby shampoo, a fist, and he tries to cover it up by eating or drinking something, rattling stuff on his desk, or tossing and turning all at the same time until 4 in the morning. On top of that, even though it embarrasses him, he knows I'm awake because I've given him many hints. Right now, he's done it 4 nights in a row and I haven't gotten any sleep. I am on the verge of asking him to use the bathroom or do it during private time in the room, which he gets plenty. However, he's very argumentative about things, and like I said he's very depressed, so I don't want to make him kill himself or something. He's told me a couple times already how unhappy he is here, so I feel really awkward and uneasy about confronting him. (age 20)

You're wicked quiet? I have a hunch you're from Boston. There is nothing wrong with you asserting your desire for quiet time in the room after dark. It is his obligation to not be noisy in the room when you're trying to sleep. There is also nothing wrong with telling him you know what he's been doing four nights in a row. He is not especially trying to be discreet about it. His being depressed is not a license for him to do whatever he wants and overlook your basic rights to sleep in your own room.

I think your site is cool, but you seem to have a REAL bias against female masturbation. Sure, fewer women do it, but accusing people of needing mental help because they like to masturbate for 2 hours and just saying it's easier for men to talk about because they all do it is less than helpful. I also find it odd you think it's OK for one man to see another masturbating, but not women. (age 18)

I don't think you read the site very carefully. is obviously a pro-masturbation site for both males and females. Strangely enough, I've been accused of being biased in favor of female masturbation before, because my advice frequently consists of telling males to masturbate less and females to masturbate more. The woman who liked to regularly masturbate for two hours at a time obviously had some issues that she needed help with. I don't believe she is typical of college women. It's just a fact that it's easier to broach the subject of masturbation when you know that the other person does it than if you don't. While that makes it easier for men to talk about, it is also more likely to be an issue for men because more of them do it and do it more often. I don't know where you got the idea in the last line. I don't think anyone, male or female, should have to see or hear masturbation if it makes them uncomfortable, but if they all agree it's OK, then there is no problem.

I'm about to go to camp and will have a friend as a roommate. This friend knows I watch adult movies but thinks I don't masturbate. Since I know he masturbates, would it be OK to do this while he's in the room? (age 16)

What makes you think he thinks you don't masturbate? He knows. I promise. Even so, I wouldn't advocate doing it in front of him. Either discuss it first or only do it when you have privacy or at least when he's asleep.

I'm going abroad for a week and a half as part of my language studies and was worried about approaching my mate about masturbation. Is there any way I could avoid a confrontation with him? The fact that we often go to football games and call the ref a wanker doesn't help. (age 14)

You are worried about nothing. Take a closer look at this page.

I think that the information on this site is very helpful. I read through it before I headed to college, and it helped me out a lot. While my roommate and I had an agreement to masturbate while the other was sleeping or out of the room, I often found a good time to masturbate in the bathroom during a time when it was empty if he was in the room doing something.

There were a couple of awkward situations where my roommate would walk in on me or the other guys on the floor would comment about hearing me, even a situation where I was standing completely naked in front of an open window with a group of guys and girls from the dorm standing outside. I stressed out about these situations toward the beginning of the year, but toward the middle and end of the year, I realized it wasn't a big deal. The more you stress about things like that, the worse you feel. Once I stopped stressing, I felt much better. (age19)

Glad my site could help!

Late last night, I thought everyone in my dorm was asleep, so I started to masturbate. I was masturbating for a good half hour and started ejaculating. In the middle of my ejaculating, one of my roommates got up to use the bathroom! What do I do?

I think the best thing to do is assume that he finished masturbating a few seconds earlier than you did. Then don't worry about it.

In college, I was a particularly early morning riser and found that to my advantage when competing for the limited bathroom facilities in the morning. Almost every morning, a particular fellow dormmate would come into the bathroom sporting a raging boner that showed through his underwear. I'd always be alone at the sink shaving or brushing my teeth and would ignore him while he stepped into the shower stall to relieve his erection. We both felt completely at ease since it happened so often. One morning another student came into the bathroom, impatient to use the only good shower that the other student was already using. After being asked repeatedly to hurry up, the other student opened the shower curtain to find my buddy masturbating vigorously. To the surprise of both of us, he calmly said, "It's mine and I'll wash it as fast as I want to!" (age 47)

That's funny!

This site will be great for my kid who's going to college, if for no other reason than to reinforce what he's been told.

All of us guys masturbate. While there's no reason to force someone else to see it, once the lights are off, what each man decides to do is his. I'm glad you've made it so plain that communicating is the key.

Here are some stories from my time in the Navy. In boot camp, you tried to not make too much noise or movement, and you think you didn't, but at the same time, you could feel the bunk shaking if it was your own bunkmate, and you could hear the rustling, panting and gasping of others.

After boot camp but still in school, there were four guys assigned to a room and you often heard the same noises ... but no one discussed it much.

Move forward to shipboard life. Your bed space consisted of being packed 3 or 4 bunks high, some of which were separated from the next rack by only a sheet metal partition. When at sea, the noises of the ship concealed much, but not all noises, and in port you knew others were choking the chicken by the noises and you could feel your rack shaking if one of the others in your rack was masturbating. There was no shame. Sometimes you would even admit it with a comment like "my pillow sure had a workout last night!"

I advise all readers to stop being so stressed and self-conscious about it. Preferably keep it somewhat private - alone or in the dark, but don't worry what anyone may think or say about it. And if confronted that you masturbate, admit it with bravado: "Damn right I do!!! What's it to you?" (age 40)

Those are interesting stories. I've heard tales before about men masturbating compulsively and often onboard ships, but never with quite as much detail as you gave.

I have been masturbating for close to three years now. Before I went to college last year I decided I wanted to stop, as I didn't want to get caught. My problem is that I go to a Christian school, so it's not something we talk about, so I find it hard to ask them for help. I unsuccessfully quit last year and still continue to masturbate. But I need to stop before next year or I fear the worst from this small-town college. What can I do? (age 17)

You would be better off accepting masturbation as something normal, healthy, and fun, and something that's even necessary for males to do. If you look through, you will find a lot of testimony that supports that view. The other guys in your college all do it too, and they would not think less of you even if they did discover you doing it.

As I write this I am sitting on the couch in the dorm lounge because my summer roommate has been masturbating for over 3 1/2 hours. I fell asleep for a little bit but then woke up, and while it was kind of a turn-on at first, it got really irritating after a while. We had a big day planned for tomorrow and now I'm going to be grumpy because she kept me awake, made me feel like a perv, and then I eventually had to leave! I also gave a lot of hints, like getting up to get a drink and loudly getting my iPod but she didn't care. I feel like a hypocrite because I have been masturbating once or twice right after the lights were out myself, but I was so quiet and quick that it almost wasn't worth it.

I'm just glad that my normal school-year roommate doesn't know how to masturbate (we've talked about it a lot, and I've actually told her she should do it because it sucks that she never has) and that if she did, it wouldn't bother me because we're actually friends.

Basically, masturbation is great IF you're respectful of your roommate. (age 19)

You are sexiled. That is the dorm term for a roommate who has to leave his or her own room because another roommate is having sex in it. You are sexiled even though your roommate doesn't have a partner. You ought to tell your roommate that her domination of the private time in your room is bothering you and that some other schedule will have to be made. I've heard of arrangements being made for each roommate to have private time for a half hour each day, but that might not be satisfying to this roommate. She sounds pretty open with her masturbation. You ought not be afraid of talking about it with her.

I will be moving into my dorm on August 21st and was wondering if I could communicate with my roommate on the phone about masturbation? I know not to say that word directly but maybe as a heads-up before we actually move in together, and I could also remind him of it when we move in. Is this a good idea or should I just wait until I actually move in?

I'm just concerned because, like all humans, I get very horny at times during the day and night that I just need to masturbate and relieve myself. I am glad you have It is a very informative and great web site to know about these things. I think masturbation is also healthy and fun, I do it about 2-3 times a day (mostly because I'm bored at home, it's the summer, and I have nothing else to do).

I think you should discuss issues of privacy before it becomes a problem, but it would probably weird him out to talk about it on the phone before you meet. I am aware of the problem of having a need to relieve yourself with no privacy, and that is why this page exists. You probably won't be able to do it 2-3 times a day when you're at college.

I am about to start school and I'm going to be a freshman in college. My roommate and I know each other from high school, so we are close, but we have never discussed masturbation. We decided to bunk our beds so we could have more floor space. This seems like it can interfere with nighttime masturbation. How can we make this work? (age 18)

The best thing is to talk about it. If you're not comfortable doing that, then take a look at some of the other problems and solutions discussed on this page. You have more visual privacy in a bunk bed, but the roommate can doubtless feel the bed moving when you masturbate.

Follow-up: It has been almost a week since I have last masturbated and a week is the longest I have gone without masturbation since I started. I still feel very uncomfortable about talking about masturbation with my friend/roommate and I have trouble bringing it up. I tried masturbating the other day while my roommate was at class, but I could not get anywhere because I fear that he would get out of class early and I had no clue what I would do when I needed to ejaculate. I keep thinking that I can hold out until I go home for the weekend or something where I will get more privacy, but I am not going home for a little while so I can get used to college life. This is much more difficult because I went to an all boys high school and I have trouble keeping my eyes in their sockets when some of these girls walk by. How can I bring masturbation up with my roommate with the least amount of awkwardness? And what should I do at ejaculation to catch the mess?

Your trouble is a direct consequence of not following the advice I gave you last week. The best thing is to discuss privacy in the dorm room (you need not mention masturbation specifically), and the next best thing is to know your roommate's schedule. I suspect from your cluelessness about cleaning up that you just let the semen fly wherever it goes at home. You could do that at college too if you had privacy, or you could catch it in a cloth as you ejaculate. (Doing that would greatly detract from your orgasm.) Some guys wear condoms for just that reason.

I masturbated often in high school (two or three times a day) and thought being in the Army would hinder my pleasures. As it turned out, after I got out of basic training and was stationed at a regular post, masturbation was easy. I was just one of many healthy young men that needed relief and would masturbate in the cot after the lights went out. Moans could be heard many nights coming from the other guys. I always used a sock over my penis to increase the pleasure and then have a way to catch the semen. On occasion when I'd be in the shower alone, I'd take the opportunity to pleasure myself. I'm now 67 years old, and I still enjoy the pleasures of masturbation. When my son was 12 years old, I explained the joys of masturbation and told him it was a natural human function, and to be discreet during his sessions. I always let him know when his mother and I would be gone from the house so he'd have privacy. My son in turn passed on the same advice to his two sons who are now adults.

What a great story of Army life and tactful parenting.

I got caught masturbating today by my roommate. It was the first time I have ever been caught. I had my pants down and Google images up. I'm a sophomore, and he's a freshman, so if he rats me out to anybody, should I take it out on him? Or just brush it off? (age 20)

It would be better if you didn't say anything.

It really does seem as though you have your own issues with masturbation, and to be honest, I'm not convinced that the advice you are giving is sound. Telling people that they should be making masturbation schedules, or arranging for alone time in their rooms is simply ludicrous! And then to insist that someone has a problem because they masturbate more frequently than someone else. Your disclaimer states that this is not medical advice, so how can you possibly give a psychological explanation of a person's masturbation ritual, and tell them they are spending too much time masturbating. Quite frankly, I am offended by your web site, simply because you are in no way qualified to give this advice. I think that you have a very serious problem. (age 27)

OK. I will defer to you from now on. When a student who has just moved to a dorm wants advice on how to deal with having a roommate for the first time, I will tell them their problem is simply ludicrous.

Follow-up from another reader: That was a very immature response to the person who criticized you. What a childish comeback. I appreciate your advice on this web site, but you're supposed to act professional. (age 17)

Let me try again. I give people advice tailored to their situation. In some cases, that means asking the roommate for privacy, but if that is too difficult to ask for, then learning the other person's schedule is a good strategy. I have been studying this subject for many years and have been writing since 2002. I have read much of the key scientific research on the subject and have done survey research of my own that has been very illuminating. I know more about this than most doctors and psychologists.

Is talking about masturbation off the table when your roommate declares himself more than just a nominal Christian (though not an extremely devout one)? I was reading this page since I'll be living in a college dorm soon. I would be all for honesty and just confonting my would-be roommate about the issue if hadn't managed to find out that he might be more 'Christian' than average. It makes me think twice about bringing up the topic of masturbation. I'm worried about having to sneak around and whatnot just to get relief, and since I masturbate once a day, it'd be tough to handle suddenly having to go cold turkey. What could happen if raised the issue once we meet? (age 19)

I'm sure your roommate would be very relieved, no matter what his religion is. You ought not assume that Christians masturbate less than anyone else. Please see some of the statistics on the page derived from the surveys of this site to see that Christians masturbate about the same as other religions.

I'm in a triple this year so there are three girls in the room. As far as I know, I am the only one who masturbates. One roommate is very innocent and probably doesn't even know how to masturbate, while the other has a tendency to be extremely critical of everything I do (she said it was gross to use pads when I have my period and actually tried to convert me to using tampons instead). I've just been masturbating whenever I find myself alone in the room as it takes me less than 10 minutes to reach orgasm. I really don't think I could bring this up with either of them. Is this a good solution? (age 18)

I think you are making a mistake by assuming that your roommates don't masturbate and that one of them doesn't even know how. You probably need to assert your equality with the bossy roommate, and telling her you want more privacy in the room would be a good way to do it. If the third roommate is as inexperienced as you think, bringing up masturbation would probably be a great relief for her. I don't think your current solution is a good one, and you must not either, because you asked me for a different one.

Follow-up: I don't think you understand. In my experience, women don't talk about masturbation. I'd rather not have the bossy roommate ostracize me for the entire year because of this. How am I supposed to bring this up without sounding like a pervert?

Just tell her you'd like to arrange to be alone in the room sometime. You don't have to bring up masturbation. However, I doubt that she would ostracize you for the entire year if you did. At all-female colleges, there is usually an emphasis on women learning to be independent, and you can think of masturbation as sexual self-sufficiency.

I very much appreciate this site; it has helped me much. My roommate masturbates under a cover while he is on the phone with his girlfriend. (He is under the cover for privacy and not sleepy) He doesn't say anything about it. I don't masturbate until he's gone. Should I start doing it while he's in the room as well? Please help me. (He is kind of a thug/tough guy type, but nice. I'm in the closet bi-curious.) (age 19)

I'm having trouble understanding what your problem is. Do you want more privacy, or do you want him to stop having phone sex in front of you? Either one is something you would be justified in bringing up with him. I advise against experimenting sexually with your roommate.

My problem is that I'm gay, and I want to be open about that very soon after I meet him (probably 1-3 months before moving in). I feel like my roommate might think I'm coming onto him or just feel more uncomfortable discussing masturbation because of it, even if I try to use discreet language, and before finding this site, I would worry that maybe my thoughts about discussing it were sexually motivated. I guess it depends on the individual, but would most guys be too intimidated by my sexuality to feel comfortable discussing it and should I be more apprehensive? (age 17)

If you are gay and he is not, my guess is that he would be relieved having a discussion of masturbation in the open instead of him accidentally discovering you doing it some night or just wondering about it. If he thinks he is free to discuss it with you, he is apt to be less apprehensive about your sexuality than if he thinks he can't discuss it with you.

I do not want to talk to my roommate about masturbation. I've been abstaining from it since school started a couple of months ago and it's difficult, but probably easier for females than males. I wouldn't know. I used to do it a few times a week at home with a back massager, but I didn't bring that with me and would prefer not to. I tried once a few weeks ago when my roommate was gone and would be gone for several hours, but could not orgasm without the vibrator. I don't know if I should just stop trying, or if I should work out some other way. And please don't tell me to discuss it with my roommate. She probably does, but I'm pretty shy and talking about things like this makes me uncomfortable. (age 19, University of Oklahoma)

If you've read this site, you know that I advise against the back massager. You have abstained from orgasm for a couple of months now, which would facilitate learning to masturbate with your hands, if you had privacy in the room. I would advise you to find a time when she will be gone and you can have the room to yourself and relax while you try to focus on having an orgasm by hand.

I'm female, and I need to masturbate in order to go to sleep. I don't need to reach orgasm, but I do need to have something riding against my crotch (usually a blanket), and if it's not there, I won't sleep. Normally this isn't a problem, because I go to sleep much later than my roommate, and she doesn't see me masturbate (I hope). But now I'm going to sleep first, and I can't find a way to get that much-needed relief without her noticing. Whenever I have tried to sleep normally, I would remain awake and edgy until after she had gone to sleep (it usually takes about two hours), after which I could go to sleep in my usual manner. Should I tell her about my sleep needs, or should I try to indulge myself during other times of the day? Is there a chance that this is part of a medical disorder? (age 19)

That is very unusual. The closest I have heard is the case of someone who has to sleep days putting a pillow between the legs to make it easier to get to sleep. I doubt that your roommate would take your situation well. Could you get a prescription for a sleep aid from your student health center? What you are doing might be related to restless legs syndrome, and sleep aids are frequently prescribed for that. I don't understand how indulging yourself at other times of the day would be helpful.

I am a freshman in college and have been in school for over 2 months. At home I would masturbate around 10 times a week and in complete privacy. Depending on who is home, I would either masturbate on my bed naked and ejaculate on myself or make a quick dash for the bathroom and ejaculate standing over the toilet. I am having trouble masturbating in my dorm room. I have not discussed it with my roommate, and I would prefer not to. He is a nice guy, but he would mock me on something like this nonstop. I have tried masturbating when he is out (which is almost never) but the cleanup is a bit much and I am always afraid he will walk in on me. I have masturbated at night when he is sleeping once or twice but I think he can hear me and the feeling is just not very pleasant. I have masturbated in the shower a few times, and that is where I feel I have the most privacy here, but it's a lot of work for me. I have a lot of trouble maintaining an erection in the shower and am not sure how I want masturbate. Do you have any tips for easier shower masturbation? (age 18)

You would not need tips on shower masturbation if you could work things out with your roommate. You don't have to say anything about masturbating. He is probably as eager as you are to get alone time in the room. Just negotiate that.

First year in the dorm it was impossible to quietly get a good masturbation session. After living with my roommate for 2 months and each seeing the other sporting severe wood after reading the Internet or getting up in the mornings, we each decided to ignore the other's attempts to hide that we were jerking off and just have a laugh about it. I know other roommates do the same but it's just something that's not necessarily shared in general conversation. (age 26, University of Virginia)

I think it would be better if more guys (and ladies) stopped worrying about it and just went about it like it was a normal activity. Surely Mr. Jefferson would approve.

Just now, I used my vibrator in the shower. It was awkward because I like lying down and enjoying the feeling. But it's been a long time since I masturbated because I have a roommate. It got so bad that I had the female equivalent of a wet dream once and started to thrust my hips in my sleep. I think she was awake but because I was half asleep I didn't care and just went back to bed. (age 20, Niagara University)

If you don't care that your roommate saw you masturbate in your sleep, then why not just tell her you want some alone time in the room?

I read that most of the people would masturbate just in their beds while their roommate is asleep. That sounds like it would work, but I do not know how to masturbate in my bed. I have been masturbating for about two and a half years now and I do it about 8 times per week. I have tried to stop or at least not do it as much so I can get some control over myself, but this only works when I go on trips where I don't have my usual privacy. My usual way of masturbating is to be on my bed, look at videos on my laptop, use a dry method (like by using my soft sheets to stimulate my penis), and make a quiet dash to my bathroom (which is a few feet away), and ejaculate into the toilet. Sometimes if I am in such a mood that I want to have the video in front of me when I ejaculate, I will just have a little paper cup to ejaculate into or paper towel if I have one near by. I have tried to masturbate in the shower to see how it feels, but I do not find it very pleasant nor worth the effort. I keep everything dry and clean because I am so afraid that I will be found out by my parents. This is also why I do not buy magazines or print out pictures. I also do not use lubricant or ejaculate on myself or in my hand because I do not like the messy feeling. I know it is just another part of me, but I am a bit of a clean freak when it comes to things like that. All of that information leads back to the fact that I do not know how to masturbate fully in my bed. Do I grab a tissue right before I ejaculate or let it happen in my sheets? Should I grab a magazine or try it with my own thoughts(which I have much difficulty doing)?

My next question is about my roommate: My roommate and I have known each other for four years in high school and have become very close. Both of are are shy so we agreed it would be best for us to room for at least the first year. I know he masturbates and he knows that I masturbate. We have never talked about it or asked each other, but we just know. I am just wondering if I should bring it up. He's very accepting and a good friend, but I am not sure if I feel comfortable initiating the conversation. If someone else starts talking about it I will join in and discuss as much as I can. I love talking about masturbation and the male anatomy. (age 18)

You are desiring of learning a completely different way of masturbating. It would help if you had more privacy for that. Your roommate is the one who can give you that privacy. Perhaps you could just blurt out that you want more time alone in the room and he will say the rest. In terms of how most males masturbate, they don't go to all the trouble you do of hiding their semen. Most just let it shoot where it will and then clean up with a tissue or cloth. You don't need to worry about anyone finding your semen in your dorm room. That is your own business.

I'm headed off to college in less than a month and I was thinking of approaching my roommate concerning masturbation over the phone before we actually meet because we haven't met in person but have had several conversations getting ready for school. Is the phone idea good or should I just wait until we are living together? I could the do the phone and then follow-up with him when we move in. (age 18)

It is hard enough for roommates to talk about masturbation in person. I think there is a danger of completely weirding him out if you bring it up on the phone.

Last year I was a freshman and I would masturbate in the shower (which I didn't really like), in the bathroom, and in my bed at the beginning of the year. About a few weeks into the school year I walked in on my roommate but acted like I didn't see him but I think he knew. A little while after that I was looking at a picture of my girlfriend and masturbating in the toilet but the door didn't lock and he walked in on me. It was pretty embarrassing, mostly because I have a small penis. Later we talked about it and both agreed that we had been masturbating all along. We decided that we were both guys and had seen each other naked (we've been best friends for a long time) so we could just do it whenever but just try not to stare at the other person or tell anyone, etc. For example, one day after my last class about three I decided that I would look at porn at my desk while masturbating and he walked in and he just went into the other room like nothing happened. (I covered up when he walked in.) Do you think this is a good plan? (age 18)

Whatever works for you is a good plan, but I like the plan from the girls who agreed to knock whenever they entered the room better.

I know it's not as easy for guys, but I went home on the weekends and had my own room and privacy to relieve any necessary need. If the urge was just too much to bear, a shower was always the best alternative. I'd recommend for anyone who is overly vocal and easily embarrassed to use a CD player or radio to mask any noise you don't want someone else hearing. And, of course, if all else fails, lock the doors and practice the knock first rule. (age 23)

Your solution is too glib. Most people who have an issue about masturbating in the dorm are not inclined to cover their noise with more noise, and they are having trouble getting their roommates to practice the knock first rule. Not everyone can get home on the weekends. Some people only get home a few times a year.

My roommate came back to our dorm room intoxicated so I helped him get into his bed. I thought he was gonna sleep like a rock but after about an hour, I heard rustling noises against his sheets and I think he was masturbating. I was really turned on by the noise and eventually I started masturbating on my bed as well. I don't know if he heard it considering he was drunk but he acted a little weird since. Do you think he heard what I did and think that I did it because he was doing it? I hope he doesn't think I'm gay and starts rumors. (age 19)

If he was sober enough to masturbate, he was sober enough to hear you masturbating. He would obviously connect your masturbating to his masturbating. I think you should just forget the whole thing. If he could start rumors about you, you could start even more damaging ones about him. He was drunk and he started masturbating first.

Follow-up: I am in no position to start rumor about him masturbating because he started it first and I was the one who got turned on. Can you elaborate? Maybe I'm thinking too much about it as I am a little freaked out now. You had a point there and now I wonder how drunk he was if he could masturbate! He was really drunk when he got back though. Maybe he was out with some girl earlier that night. I'm not sure.

I wish you would forget the whole thing, but since you asked me what rumor you could start if you were so inclined, you could tell people that he came home drunk and started masturbating in front of you. Intoxication isn't a huge hindrance to erection at your age.

I live in a suite with 2 bedrooms and one bathroom. Each bedroom has a bunk bed. I was on the upper level. My roommate on the lower bunk frequently has his girlfriend stay overnight. They have sex with me in the room. I was woken up one night because our whole bed was shaking. I could still hear them after they adjourned to the bathroom. It turns me on a lot. I started to masturbate when they were having sex below me. Do you think they had the intention of having me know they were having sex? I mean it's pretty hard to not notice when it happens at least twice a week. (age 20)

They have sex without concern that you know. You ought to feel free to masturbate without worrying about them. However, I think you go too far by wondering if they flaunted it in front of you on purpose. It is more likely they just think of you as furniture.

I have a heck of a lot of trouble masturbating. I go to Madrid University in Spain. (I skipped a year of high school so am younger than most freshmen.) Our dorms are small here in Spain and the bathrooms are like portable toilets. We have public showers too. To make matters worse, we take many study trips on small boats in the Mediterranean. We sleep in bunks and there 8 people on each trip. I don't think I have the ability to be open about it because I am usually the only freshman on the boat trips and in my dorm my roommate hardly speaks English. Any suggestions? (age 17)

Don't you speak enough Spanish to communicate with your roommate? That seems very unusual. Most American students don't do foreign study until they are juniors. I am extremely suspicious that your message is fake. Anyway, all you have to ask him is that you want to be alone in the room. You don't need to say anything about masturbating. Perhaps you could pretend to do some religious ritual where you have to be left alone.

I've had the same male roommate for two years and we're both quite open about masturbation. A month into freshman year we discussed having no private time to masturbate and agreed that we were both comfortable with the other masturbating in the room, even while we were both present. From there the masturbation progressed into watching porn together while masturbating and even having different contests (who can shoot the farthest, shoot first, etc.). Recently, he has started using anal toys while masturbating. I'm not homophobic, and I don't even think he's gay, but the practice makes me uncomfortable. How do I approach him considering how relaxed our masturbation policy has been for the past two years? (age 20)

Having masturbated together and had masturbating contests ought to have made it easier for you to tell your roommate what you want. Just tell him you don't want to see him do the anal toys in front of you the same way you might tell him not to leave his overcoat on the chair, etc. And I can't resist telling you that the contests you're having bear no resemblance to any skill needed in the real world of sex and are probably even counterproductive.

I have a bunk bed at college and sleep on the top. My roommate and I are open about masturbating and switch off every other day. One day, by mistake, my semen got on the bedrail, ran down, and dripped onto him. I didn't tell him, and he didn't notice, but I'm worried that he'll notice it when he takes his shirt off, and he will get mad at me. What should I do? (age 19)

Of course, I only posted this so readers can see the fake questions I have to deal with every day.

Follow-up: It was real. Really.

He probably won't notice and will be even less likely to say anything about it.

I was spending the night at my boyfriend's dorm one night. At about 3:30 in the morning, we both woke up to loud screaming. At first, I was afraid someone was hurt, but as I became more aware, I realized that the girl in the next room was masturbating. Loudly. She had about 10 consecutive orgasms, and it kept us up for a half hour. I eventually knocked on the wall to let her know we could hear her. I didn't want to embarrass her, but I thought she needed to know that the walls just aren't that thick. Also, I wanted to go back to sleep! (age 21)

That's funny!

It is my freshman year at college and I have one roommate. At first I was embarrassed to say anything to her about masturbation. One day I walked into our room when she was masturbating. She just looked at me and I asked if I it too. I told her I did and now we're cool to do it whenever. (age 18)

This girl I like gave me head and also gave me a tug job in one of the back corners of the campus library, and just as I ejaculated, a few students saw us. Should I be embarrassed? I really wasn't but the girl was. (age 21)

This isn't really a story about masturbating in your dorm, but I included it here because you illustrate an important point that most college students eventually learn: Scandalous things happen in library stacks. Or at least they did when it was verboten to have sex in your dorm room. If I were in that situation -- and I haven't been (yet) -- I would try to preserve the woman's privacy as much as I could. I hope you made it up to her by performing a sexual favor for her in a private location.

I was in my unit one day when my roommate rushed right in the door and then closed it and locked it. I thought he was in trouble so I ignored him. We have a bunk bed near a window and I opened the window to read because I have an assignment almost due. He just closed it and shut the blind. I yelled at him. Then he started masturbating. He thought I couldn't see because I am in the top bunk, but I looked down in his bed. He stared at me and smiled. I felt so awkward. I am an avid practitioner of masturbation myself, but this is the first time seeing someone masturbate in front of me. It has made me feel attracted to him. I feel gay. Am I? And what should I do when someone does that again in front of me? I feel very horny too when I see him doing it in front of me. (age 19, University of California at Riverside)

If it bothers you, you should tell him he is not welcome to masturbate in front of you. If you are frequently attracted to other males, then you would be justified in feeling gay or at least bisexual.

I'm a sophomore at college, living with the same 3 guys that I lived with last year. At the beginning of our freshman year, we set down room guidlines, and one of them was on masturbation -- basically, no masturbating in the shower. But that's where I normally do it, so I tried not doing it there but that didn't last long. I try to just do it over the toilet when everybody's out of the room, but I still wind up doing it in the shower pretty much every night. I find the best way to do it is to just catch my semen in my hand and then wash it down the drain. The slits in the drain are pretty wide, so I haven't really ever had a problem with my semen getting all over the shower. (age 19)

You might point out that it's not a fair rule for three guys who don't masturbate in the shower to make a rule that the one guy who does can't masturbate there. Is the reason to do with wasting water instead of cleaning up? I would point out to them that when a guy masturbates over the toilet, the semen splatters into places where it is not easily spotted or cleaned up, but when it happens in the shower, the semen is easily washed away. I think the bottom line might be that those guys don't know what you're doing or not doing in the shower. Just do it and enjoy it, and leave them to wonder. Most rules are only as good as their enforcement.

When I was 17, I went to a foreign language camp, and 6 guys shared a room with bunk beds. The first few weeks were a bit awkward, but after a while, we came to an agreement -- if someone was in the bath, it was his business (bath was big enough, and wasn't shared), masturbating was a normal, healthy procedure, and it was OK to do it after lights out. Especially since our dorm was closest to the girl's dorms and we often saw girls walking around less than fully clothed, and it got most of us turned on. After a while, even the most shy of us would shout, "Guys, go to sleep. I can't wank when you're talking." (age 25)

It was good that you worked that out, but I can't imagine saying that, and I'm a fairly assertive man when it comes to masturbating.

Someone on my floor masturbated in one of our showers and forgot to clean up after himself. When I walked in to the shower afterward, it was all messy. Should I have said something to him? (age 18, Georgia Tech)

Yes, I think you should have. You should expect that your neighbors will leave the facilities as clean as they found them.

My roommate masturbates almost every morning when I'm asleep, according to him. I told him I do the same at night. I've never heard him and it's never been a problem. I just hope he is really asleep like he says he is. (age 20)

You seem to be pretty open about it. Perhaps you could tell him to alert you if he notices you start masturbating when he is awake. He probably wonders the same about you.

I think a lot of these people might benefit from directing their roommate to! (age 17)

I do too, but if you can't talk to a roommate about it, is it easier to direct them to a web site about it?

My roommate and I never addressed masturbation in our dorm. I either do it in the bathroom or late in the night when my roommate is asleep. Last week I was caught by my roommate because he arrived back at the dorm when he said he was going to stay over at his girlfriend's house one night. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to relieve myself with no worries. I got naked and sat at my desk which is next to the door. I got on my laptop and began to do the deed. As I was reaching orgasm I heard the knob of the door and quickly tried to keep him from coming in. Simultaneously I reached orgasm. The moment where you stop but it's too late to go back from ejaculation. I figured if I didn't stroke it I wouldn't shoot. But I was wrong, and I was shooting as he opened the door, and it hit the floor in front of him. I covered myself up as he walked out apologizing. Things are really awkward now and I feel so embarrassed that this happened. What should I do to make the situation better? (age 18)

That's perhaps the best description of the point of ejaculatory inevitability I've ever read. Your roommate was as embarrassed as you were. I think you could say something like, "We should make a plan so that what happened last week when you came home unexpectedly doesn't happen again."

I am a senior in high school, graduating next month. I will be attending college next year, and the subject of masturbation and dorm life has certainly crossed my mind. At my school, I will have contact information for my roommate before we actually start classes. I intend to call this person, and I think masturbation is definitely one of the things I will bring up. I think one of the most important things to remember is that 99.9% of guys masturbate, and most on a regular basis. Therefore, it's highly likely that a roommate will have the exact same concerns as you do. It's the same thing that happened when we started freshman year in high school, or started a new job with other new people. Everybody has the same questions and the same concerns. Your roommate-to-be is probably just as worried about when to "do the deed" as you are. For that reason, as awkward as it may be at first, I think it's important to discuss it early on. If it really makes people that uncomfortable (though I'm pretty open about it for the most part), they don't ever have to discuss it again. Talk about it, set ground rules, FOLLOW THEM, and everything should be just fine. (age 17)

Congratulations on graduating and on deciding to be accepting of your roommate's habits, at least in this area. However, I think it would be a bad idea to bring this up on your first call. Just wait to talk about it when you are actually living together. It need not come up the first day you are both on campus either.

I will be going to the U.S. Naval Academy next year. Will masturbating there be different from any other college? (age 17)

Life at the service academies is more regimented than anyplace else. You will have a set schedule that you will have to adhere to rigidly, and you will only be permitted in your room at certain times of the day. This means that you cannot escape to your room to have privacy, and your roommate will pretty much be around whenever you're there. However, the rooms in Bancroft Hall (where all the midshipmen live) are slightly bigger than typical dorm rooms, I think. For an idea of what life is like at the Naval Academy, you might read the book Honor Bound by Joseph Steffan.

This didn't happen at a dorm but in summer camp. At one of our first gatherings of the dozen of us who stayed in our bunkhouse, the counselor asked if anyone would object to having time set aside right after lights out where anyone could masturbate in their bunk. We were all kind of shocked by the question, and nobody objected. Then he said that he would allow that time if everyone was well behaved during the day but if we weren't, he would tell us to knock it off. I think everybody was a little less rowdy than they would have been if he hadn't made that rule. I got to masturbate every night we were there and I think most of the other guys did too! I am applying to be a counselor and think I will use the same approach on my campers. (age 17)

You sound like a happy camper! (OK, now everybody is groaning.)

I went to university in Wales, UK where it is quite rare for students to have to share a room so I did not have this problem myself. I remember receiving a packet from the university with, among other things, details on health service doctors, dentists, pamphlets on drugs, STDs, etc. Perhaps colleges should put in a paragraph suggesting that masturbation is one of the things roommates need to discuss with before moving in together. (age 29)

The reason it isn't is because drugs, STDs, eating disorders, etc., are things that the college will have to deal with through dorm administration, health service, campus security, etc. No matter how often dorm residents masturbate or how frustrated they are at not being able to masturbate, the college doesn't have to deal with it.

Before college I was in the habit of masturbating every night before going to sleep. Now that I'm older I don't feel a strong need to masturbate as often, but back then I'd get anxious and irritable if I waited a few days. I only shared a bedroom my first year of college, with a roommate I wasn't close to. It didn't help that I'm a lesbian and she was mildly uncomfortable with it. (My attempts to allay her fears by suggesting we talk about it were met with a sharp "we don't have to talk about it." Eventually I just let it go.) Our room had desks and closets built in, so our only options were to bunk our beds (which neither of us felt comfortable with) or have them side-by-side about 5 feet apart, in full view of one another. I basically coped by inferring her class schedule and returning to our room for "naps" when she was in class. Sometimes I would wait until she seemed to be asleep at night and masturbate quietly, but at times I felt we were having a standoff and willing the other to hurry up and sleep already. I occasionally noticed that she seemed to be masturbating under the covers and I'm sure she noticed me, too. I'm not sure whether I wish we'd been more open about it or not. I would have explicitly asked for her schedule if I had it to do over again. But I doubt she would have agreed to a rule that it was OK when we were both in the room with the lights out, and this way at least we both got to do it. (age 29)

I'm sorry you had to endure both the masturbation problem that is typical of people who come to this page and also your roommate's discomfort with your sexuality. If you were still in the dorm, I would tell you that while you can't make her accept your sexuality, you are within your rights to demand your share of privacy and at least as much freedom to masturbate as she has.

When I went to boarding school, I only masturbated when the room was empty or in the bathroom until my last year. That year I had a roommate whom I got to know really well, and I heard him masturbating one night, and to make a long story short, before long we would just tell the other that we were about to masturbate, go about our business, and go on with our lives. By the end of the year I was as comfortable telling him I was going to masturbate as I was telling him I was going to use the bathroom. It worked out great, and I no longer had to use my study period to do it. It was like adding extra free time to my day as I then jerked off after lights out. (age 18)

All students need more free time, yes!

I have a friend that in high school said he never masturbated when asked by a girl and I know he might have just been lying out of embarrassment but I'm not sure. Now he will be my college dorm roommate. I tried to talk to him jokingly about masturbation but he says he gets all he needs from sex. We aren't that close so he just may not be comfortable but now I'm afraid to masturbate or even let him now that I do. What should I do? (age 18)

He is lying. Don't let his anxiety about masturbating keep you from enjoying yours. Just do what you do. He is obviously more afraid of being discovered by you than you are of him.

It's my first day in college and I have a roommate. I usually am pretty forward, not shy at all. He asked if I wanted to bunk our beds to get more floor space and I said no. When he asked why, I told him that I masturbate a lot and plan on having sex with girls in my bed. He agreed with me and was totally cool about it. I recommend all guys living in dorms just be straightforward and come out and say it. It avoids awkward conversations and confrontations later and I now feel so relieved that I can masturbate and have girls over whenever I want and so can my roomie. (age 18, University of Texas)

I masturbate a lot more than most females and have most of my life. When I was younger I didn't know what I was doing but when I figured it out I started doing it more on purpose to relieve stress or those urges. My first year of college I had a totally [unfriendly] roommate. I masturbated one night when we were both in bed and I was paranoid she heard or knew even though I was careful but she had done more sexual things in there with a guy when I was there (which was super awkward too and when I confronted her, she blew it off). (age 20)

I hope venting here helps, but I have no idea why you were worried she would confront you about masturbating when she coits in the room. Good luck with a better roommate for senior year!

About a week after school started, my roommate (age 18) and a buddy of his walked in while I was masturbating. Luckily, I was still dressed and only had my pants unzipped, so I was able to disguise what I was doing. After his buddy left, I knew that I needed to talk to my roommate about the masturbation issue. I felt kind of awkward doing this, so I tried to make the situation light by laughing about it slightly and saying that when they had walked in I was "jerking off," which was probably a stupid remark for me to make, but again, I felt awkward. He looked at me like I was retarded and then went on with whatever he was doing and walked out of the room. A few minutes later when he came back I said that I wanted to be honest -- that we are both guys, so we both masturbate. He told me that he never masturbates! We ended up having this long conversation because he said that it is wrong and shameful to do this and I said that it was normal and perfectly healthy. I asked him if he ever got the urge to masturbate and he said no and that he hasn't masturbated since 10th grade. We ended the conversation with me saying that I respect his beliefs and wish that he would respect my beliefs. He seemed to hear what I was saying, but is still standing his ground. Now I feel like a complete idiot for even bringing up the subject. What do you think of this situation? (age 22, Southeastern University)

You are not an idiot. You are much older than him, by college standards, and you should be expected to take the lead on issues like this. He is still in denial about masturbating. According to a survey of over 10,000 males by in the first half of 2007, the average age at which males become less embarrassed about masturbating is 18. If anything, you helped him come to terms with his denial about masturbating. I wouldn't be surprised if he tells you that you were right within a few weeks. In any case, he should now expect that there are times when he might encounter you masturbating in the dorm room, so he now has added incentive to be more sensitive when it comes to privacy.

If you get a bunch of guys together in the first few days and do the purity test together, even the shy ones will admit almost anything, and if you add some questions yourself about masturbating when there is no privacy, it can open up some talking points and then you can get on with ignoring each other's daily jerking, like real people. (University of Waterloo)

I don't think the purity test will help. In the first place, you don't need "a bunch of guys" talking; you need the ones who live in a particular room talking to each other. Secondly, the purity test doesn't act as a leveler; it lets the sexually experienced guy (or the one who is pretending to be sexually experienced) make the other one feel inferior for masturbating. I think if I took the purity test with someone and their score was much higher than mine, I would be even more worried about masturbating in the room.

I am going away to college and I'm gonna share a room with a close friend of mine whom I've known for about 3 years. I'm worried about the masturbation arrangments. We've never talked about it directly but we both know we both do it. I hope we can each masturbate whenever we want but he's a bit uptight. Should I bring this up? (age 17)

If he's the uptight one, then you should be the one to bring it up. He will probably be relieved that you brought it up since he's certainly worrying about it too.

I'm a sophomore in college and I'm in a fraternity and we are all really open with each other about everything, about sex habits, masturbation schedules, trouble with girls, anything you can think of. I think it's great, but the problem is with my roommate. I am having a really hard time talking to him about masturbation. I know it's an important topic but I can't be as open with him as I am with my fraternity brothers, and I don't know why there's that gap that I really want to get over, but can't, even though we're really good friends. Can you help me? This is a GREAT site. I wish I had found it last year. (age 19, University of Vermont)

If you can be open with your fraternity brothers, then surely you can say the first word about masturbation with the roommate. It could be a cryptic comment of the kind frequently discussed on this page such as "we need a schedule for when we can each have privacy in the room" to something as bold as "Would you please leave me alone for half an hour so I can masturbate?" I don't know that particular words are as important as just saying something.

I have always had what I consider a fairly high libido for a girl (and I do have a fair amount of knowledge in this department, as I am a human sexuality major), masturbating at least once a day, although usually 2-3 times (and sometimes as many as 7-8) and I was slightly worried about sharing a room. Even though my roommate and I chose to be together, and I know she's just as relaxed about sexuality as I am, we've never discussed our private habits. Our schedules are quite different, and so far there hasn't been an issue, although once at bedtime I couldn't control myself and masturbated under the covers quietly without moving anything but my fingers. I've been able to pleasure myself at least twice a day since I've been here (not counting when my boyfriend is visiting). If you have a roommate who likes to masturbate openly, unless you're a total prude, try to enjoy it! Personally, I've never been in the room while my roommate is having fun, but the moans of my suite-mate and his girlfriend (our beds are essentially separated by a thin wall) are definitely a turn on! (age 17)

Getting my Ph.D. required 10 years of schooling at one college and two universities. The smallest had 2,500 students and the largest had 27,000. Over the years, I had six roommates. I heard all but one of them masturbating during the night, and I masturbated during the night with all of them in the room. To signal discreetly to your roommate that you want privacy, hang a rubber band over the doorknob or put a piece of transparent tape over the keyhole.

If you are observant as you travel around campus, you can find out of the way bathrooms that are hardly used. I always located a couple of these and visited them a couple times a week. Nothing unfavorable ever happened.

Living in apartments and staying in motels, I have heard people masturbating quite a few times. Regularly, I used to hear my upstairs neighbor use her vibrator. Listening to other people really turns me on. When I'm in the mood, I stroke along with them and try to climax when they do. Don't be embarrassed if someone hears you; they may be enjoying it!

Thank you for sharing your different perspective.

My roomate is really shy and from a small town. He's a very strict religious man. I tell a lot of penis-related jokes and he told me that he's not into that kind of humor. This was sad for me because penis jokes are what make me who I am and I love masturbating up to three times a day. I just tell him that I have to study and then masturbate in the middle of the day and he hasn't been the wiser. (University of Ottawa)

He is probably wiser than you give him credit for. There are a lot of good reasons to diversify beyond penis-based jokes. Maybe learn some light bulb jokes.

I moved into an apartment with my college roommate this past summer, as we both had jobs in the same city. To save money, we rented a 1 bedroom apartment and agreed to use the living room as a bedroom. I masturbate a lot during all times of the day, and I know he does too. We had agreed in dorms at school that we didn't care about our privacy and would just not look at each other. However, now that we have an apartment, I usually get up and go into the bedroom to masturbate. I feel weird closing the door so I don't. About 3 weeks ago, I announced I was going to go masturabte for a minute. My roomate said "go get it" and I went to the room. A few minutes into it, he appeared at the door, walked in as no big deal and got a pair of pants out of the closet. I would have felt strange hiding my masturbating, so I made some small talk and slowed the motion down. I noticed he took a glance at my erect penis and left. What worries me is it turned me on a lot that he walked in on me and I almost came at that moment. Two days later, I said I was going to masturbate and again my roomate kind of yelled into the room "you get it again." I could hear him coming my way. He walked in and said he was getting some smokes and needed the keys. I was about to explode -- and I held back. I couldn't speak, but pointed to my pants on the floor to explain the keys. He pulled the pants off the floor and was looking for the keys. He said out loud: "I told you I don't care if you want to whack it." I mumbled that I was about to ejaculate. He got the keys in a hurry and then said "well, just [do it] in front of me!" He took another moment to lean over me and peer at my open laptop screen, and said, "so what porn you using?" I looked up and before I could say anything, I couldn't hold back and started to ejaculate. He turned and walked away. As he left, he mumbled "yeah, get it."

Why do I get turned on by him now walking in on me? I even fantasize about it now. I am straight and I know he is as well. However, what makes him feel comfortable with walking in on me and is he making an excuse to walk in and watch for a brief moment? (age 24)

Since he knew you were masturbating, he should have given you extra privacy. He obviously knew he was intruding on your privacy by coming in. I can only conclude that he wanted to watch. Perhaps he resents your using his bedroom to masturbate. I think you are turned on by the memory because you think it was hot that he was watching. If it bothers you, you should say so, and you should find out if he has a problem with you masturbating in the bedroom. Most guys in your situation would use the bathroom instead, or at least lock the bedroom door.

I am in my first year and I have been living in a dorm with a roommate for a few months now. She spends a lot of time on other floors or out somewhere so I often get the room to myself, which is really nice. She is also quiet and respectful when she is here. I have been able to masturbate regularly without getting caught so far. Usually I lock the door so if I hear the key turning in the lock I can stop what I am doing. I don't know her class schedule so I take a chance that she will be gone long enough for me to do what I need to do. Usually I can tell though, if she leaves with her coat and purse and keys, she will be gone for a few hours. She also goes home on weekends sometimes because she lives only an hour from the university. I am still cautious when I masturbate when she might be returning any time. I don't take my clothes off and I always remain peripherally aware of the door. Sometimes it is stressful when there are a lot of people in the hall making noise, but when I gotta relieve myself, I'll deal with it. However I find it somewhat of a thrill, the possibility of getting caught, so I sometimes masturbate when it is risky too. I once had an orgasm when the dorm room door was open slightly and there were people talking out in the hall near my room. I sometimes watch porn with my roommate in the room. I even masturbated with her in the room once, but she was asleep and it was early morning. I was very quiet. Living so far away from my boyfriend and not getting any sex, I find myself needing to masturbate often. I average two sessions a day. It has been easy to get away with. I only wonder how other girls here are coping with privacy issues. I know the guys are more open about it and have a system. They ask for alone time, and the other guy goes and hangs in the kitchen/TV room for a bit. But for some reason the girls aren't as open about it. If I was drunk I would admit to it openly. (age 19)

Perhaps if you were more open about it, you wouldn't have to be so stressed out by monitoring the door for your roommate's return.

My roommate tends to masturbate when I go to sleep. The problem with this is not only is he masturbating with me in the room but he uses a vibrator which sometimes he puts in his anus. This is very awkward and I do not know how to approach him about doing this. I don't think he knows that I have seen him do this. It has not only caused me problems but our neighbors on my dorm floor have also complained of noise coming from our room late at night. Is there any way I can stop this without making the situation any more awkward? (age 19, University of Washington)

I would start by telling him the neighbors have complained about a buzzing noise late at night. If he asks, "have you heard it too?" then you should say yes.

I'll be starting as a freshman this fall and I've been contemplating how I'm going to drop the masturbation thing on my roommate. Because I'm GOING to do it one way or another since I've been gifted with a strong sex drive but an unwillingness to take part in sex. So masturbation is my only outlet, and I do it a lot, 3-4 times a day and until it hurts too much to do it any more on the days I feel particularly horny or have some girl-related encounter. Would it be best to lay it down just as it is "Hey listen man, I'm a guy and consequently I masturbate, however I do it A LOT. I just want to make sure you're in the know about that" or should I be more or less asking if it'd be okay? I considered the shower option but a) there's the extra effort it seems to take to masturbate in the shower and b) I've found semen and water form a rather troublesome sticky gunk that I'd rather not be cleaning up that frequently, not to mention the possibility of it sticking somewhere and me not noticing. I've tried trimming back the urge to masturbate in the past but it usually doesn't last long, and I'm worried that even if a roomy is cool with it, I may wear his nerves thin with my frequency. Do you think I should work harder at controlling the urge? (age 18)

It will be his room too, so I don't think he'd take kindly to you telling him you're going to masturbate in the room 3-4 times a day whether he likes it or not. Most roommates who negotiate the subject with each other only want to be able to do it once a day. You don't say why you don't want to have sex, even though girl-related encounters lead to some of your most furious masturbating days. I would work on that question first. Finally, you might not have as much time to masturbate as you currently do once you're in college.

My roommates and I do not talk about masturbating; however I once caught both of them masturbating each other while I was supposed to be away (turned on the light). I somehow try to include myself by masturbating at the same time so I don't feel rejected. Is it weird for three guys to give each other orgasms? (age 19, University of Manitoba)

Not if they're gay. By masturbating when they're having sex, you're not including youself. You're intruding on them. Have the same respect for them that you would have them show for you.

I love masturbating more than anything else. At campus, I have to share a room. We both agreed that we both pleasured ourselves frequently and should feel comfortable doing it. So now we just say "I want to jack off" and he is cool with me doing it, and me with him. We just get on our bunk and get on with it. Same with girls, if he walks in on me with a girl we just get over it, he pretends not to be watching! We are both straight but feel it is great that we don't care about each others' morning glories and masturbation. Other guys should just talk! (age 19, University of Texas)

I'm glad it's worked for you.

When 21, I finally moved into one of the on-campus apartments. It was a small little hole with paper-thin walls, so I would wait until my friend who is three years older than me got really drunk and then masturbate to my heart's content. One night while drunk she told me laughing that there was no amount of alcohol that would make her sleep through my masturbating and that I didn't have to get her wasted to masturbate. She said to just turn on the music very loud. I honestly thought since she was so uptight about sex and purity that she would mind, but she was absolutely cool about it even to the point of turning her own music on loud so I could masturbate. (age 21)

See what difference communication can make!

I was very worried about what to do regarding masturbation when I first entered school. My roommate and I haven't spoken about it, but things actually worked out nicely because we keep a fan on for white noise every night. The fan creates an illusion of privacy and blocks out a decent amount of noise. If you can keep fairly quiet and don't mind the sound, it's a pretty good solution. (female, age 19)

That's a good idea. You can say you want a fan without even mentioning masturbation.

I'm a girl and live in an apartment with 2 guys. I tried not to masturbate unless they were gone and one weekend they were both supposed to leave for the entire weekend so I was doing it in the living room on the couch when my roommate walked in and said his flight was canceled. I was so embarrassed until he said he was really horny all the time with me there. He hadn't masturbated in a while so we ended up having sex right there on the couch. We still sneak into each other's rooms and either have sex or masturbate together. (age 19)

I'm glad it's working out for you, but can you imagine how uncomfortable you would be if you hadn't been interested in his advances? He took a pretty big chance by making a move on you.

Last year when I was a freshman, I shared a room with a grad student who was serving as the resident advisor at the time. He walked in on me masturbating once but was cool and open about it. He was bi and had seen it all but was in a stable relationship already and had no interest in me or in making me feel uncomfortable. He said he could tell I needed to ejaculate a lot and he did too, so I shouldn't be embarrassed about it. We made one of those gentlemen's agreements. All his friends had similar agreements among themselves. Instead of sneaking around or having to stay up late until the other is asleep, we masturbated openly whenever the need arose. Just like smoking, he would always first ask if I minded him masturbating. If not, he would go to it right there and I would do the same. It was a very supportive and encouraging arrangement and we both masturbated more often because of it. Now as a sophomore, I only hope I can find a similar arrangement. (age 19, Towson University)

I would say I would agree with that arrangement if the two roomies were in the same status, but you weren't. He was a graduate student, an RA, and a lot older than you. RAs are like supervisors in the dorm setting. They have power over the residents. Supervisors aren't supposed to perform sexual acts in front of the people they supervise. He also said a lot of things that creep me out, like telling you he knows you need to ejaculate a lot. How did he know you weren't doing it in the bathroom or with a girlfriend (or boyfriend)? He seemed to put a lot of focus on finding out about your ejacuating habits and sharing his with you. That wasn't right.

I will be attending college next fall. I was wondering if it would be uncalled for to ask my roommate about masturbating together? (age 18)

Masturbating together is going well beyond merely asking for privacy so that you can masturbate by yourself. It would definitely be uncalled for before the point at which you and your roommate are friends. Some roommates never are. Whether you ever feel comfortable enough to ask your roommate that is something you will have to decide in terms of managing your relationship. Keep in mind that most college men are not interested in masturbating with other males.

My roommate and I openly discussed masturbation during the second week of school, because - thankfully - it was a topic of concern for both of us. While it was odd addressing the topic at first, we quickly came to the realization that we both expected some amount of "alone time," and our first semester schedules synced so we would each have suitable time alone. He and I frequently make jokes about it, and I'm sure if I ever needed a few minutes to myself, I could just ask. It's cool! (age 18, Syracuse University)

Masturbating in college is easy. I lived in two different fraternity houses, having changed schools. There were always used condoms and wrappers in the garbage cans and dirty magazines all over, so it was no secret. On a typical night, you'd hear anywhere from 3 to 7 couples having sex. We were always open about everything. We'd make reference to the people having sex and later we'd tell the couple we got horny and had to masturbate after listening to them go at it. We were all very comfortable having fornicated together, used the can together, showered together, and of course masturbated together. In both of the houses I lived in, we had a DVD rack of porn in the big-screen TV room and at random times of the day or night when we got bored we'd pop in a porn. We'd go about and have hands down our pants. Eventually we'd pull our pants down and masturbate to orgasm. I don't know what all the awkwardness is with some people. We didn't care because we knew we we're all heterosexual.

Masturbating in college should be no problem as long as you're open. Don't do it trying to fool your roomie at night, because then it's uncomfortable if he thinks YOU think he can't hear it. Don't make a roomie come home to a locked door. Say, "So we both need to relieve ourselves. How do you want to set this up." It's not a dirty, private thing (and I don't mean you have to do it while in the same room as one another) but you're college age, not 12. Everyone masturbates and by this age everyone is totally open about it. (age 26)

You are describing two different things. In the first paragraph, you talk about living in an "animal house" environment where there is lots of emphasis on sex, porn, multiple sex partners, and open masturbation. In the second paragraph, you talk about being in a room with one other guy. I suspect that the guys who live in the animal house are freer to have orgasms than guys who live in dorm rooms. However, this comes at a price of making men who aren't comfortable with such libertine sex unwilling to live in the house. I also have to ask, were all of the fraternity boys using the porn collection and masturbating in the TV room? I am inclined to believe that not everyone in the house was doing what you described, and some of them were doing it in the privacy of their rooms and showers and wondering when their roommates were coming back. What you say in the second paragraph is correct, but you are absolutely wrong that masturbating in college is easy and that everyone is totally open about it. The very existence of this page proves otherwise.

I share a room with two other boys around my age. We are at a boarding school that is very accepting and, as roommates, masturbation is not talked about often. We set ground rules to be quiet when masturbating, and only do it in the room if it is at night or if everyone else in the room is gone. I am bisexual, though, and sometimes when I can hear one of them masturbating in his bed, I want to include myself. Is this invasive? (age 16)

I would advise you to ignore the urge at that moment or leave the room to do it. The rule in your room is to be quiet or do it when others are gone. Masturbating in response to your roommate not only violates the rule, but it is apt to make him uncomfortable then and make you feel uncomfortable later. If you'd rather be inobtrusive, it would be better if you masturbated later.

My dorm room is a small room with two beds. The bathroom shower is all tile and completely open with the toilet and sink. My bed is only 4 feet apart from my roommate. The first day we met, I asked him straight out on how we were going to deal with bringing our girlfriends in or just to simply masturbate. That was my first concern because I need to have sexual relief often. He just said if I decided to have sex or masturbate, he would put on headphones and get on his computer or something. I said the same. The weird part was whenever I walked around shirtless or a tight shirt, he would stare at my chest and abs. He would comment on my body. Then when I got done working out with my dumbells and stuff, he would start masturbating on his bed while I was in the shower. If I masturbated or engaged with a girl he would keep peeking over at me and then start up too. After I confronted him, he said he was attracted to me. The next year I got a new roommate and everything is cool now. We have a keep it under the sheets rule and he is straight. (age 20, Ohio University)

When they discuss it, most roommates agree to give the other privacy for masturbating, not to pretend to be distracted by headphones. It was not in your interests to agree to that. Eventually you moved on. I think you have come up with a better policy with the new roommate.

I am going to college soon and will probably end up dorming with at least one other girl. I am bisexual so I'm worried about her thinking something's up if I masturbate in front of her, even if we make an arrangement. I found that most straight girls assume that just because I'm gay, I am interested in them, or that I'm trying to get with them. I know some straight girls who would act around me as if I were a male (i.e. not change in front of me, etc.) just because of that. Is it valid to worry about my roommate not liking me masturbating specifically due to my sexuality? (age 18)

Yes, I think that is something to be worried about. Most females in college don't try to masturbate openly in front of their roommates; most strive to find a time when they can masturbate alone in the room, or else they do it at night when lights are out and others are sleeping. I think you would be better off working out a plan for privacy instead of something more entangled.

I am a first year student and I live on campus. Even though I have a single room, I get extremely paranoid every time I masturbate, which is usually once every two weeks. I think that's the main reason why guys particularly want to quit. It's not only a defeat toward your sexual relationships but it makes you feel like you're the only one in your social circle who masturbates. Finally, once you masturbate, you feel as though everyone is aware that you did. Any suggestions on overcoming this paranoia? (age 18, McGill University)

I advise you to keep reading Reading it will help you accept that masturbation is normal, healthy, and fun, and even necessary for a man to do. You will learn that not only is masturbation not a defeat toward sexual relationships, but that men who are in them tend to masturbate as much or more than those who are not. Male masturbation, especially at your age, is so universal that instead of believing you're the only one who does it, you would be better off believing that you're the only one who does it as little as you do. Once every two weeks is a very low frequency. According to a survey of over 10,000 males by in the second half of 2007, which included 627 current 18-year-olds, only 4.5 percent claim to masturbate once a week or less. I think you will be a lot less paranoid if you read every day and then masturbate.

I'm a freshman, and I had a roommate during my first semester. She went home every weekend, so masturbation was no problem for me on the weekends. During the week, she knew I masturbated. She said it was something she always did in private but she didn't mind if I did it in the room. I actually got turned on when she would open the door and I'd just be lying on my bed and anyone could walk by in that second she had the door open. I live in a co-ed dorm, so guys are all around. I know guys have seen me masturbating. It's just a great turn-on. Even though neither of us mind that I do it when she is in the room, I can never seem to orgasm when she is there. I'm completely comfortable with her seeing it all, otherwise I would be more private about it. I can just never reach orgasm. Any idea why? Any advice on getting more powerful ones as well? (age 19)

I am less concerned by your inability to orgasm in front of your roommate than why you would want to masturbate in front of her at all. What you're doing is exhibitionism. This is confirmed by your enjoying random men watching you masturbate. I suspect part of the reason your roommate left after the first semester was your persistent masturbating in front of her. I suggest overcoming your need to force others to watch you masturbate before it gets you in serious trouble.

I usually didn't have much time to masturbate in the room during the weekdays when my roommate was here, so I usually waited until the weekends when he was back at home. One weekend, when I was about to ejaculate, my roommate's girlfriend came straight into the room without knocking. Luckily, with my quick reflexes, I was able to find refuge in the closet. Then I came back out from the closet as if I was tending to my clothes and that nothing had happened. (age 26)

I'm sure she saw part of that.

I was older, about 27, and I had a 19 year old roommate. I had some porn on VHS, and I had caught him at least once masturbating to one of my tapes (which was perfectly OK). One night in our bunk bed, I just said flat out, "You know, I'm really horny, and I really need to jack off - is it OK if I just go ahead and do it?" and he said, "Dude! At least go into the other room." So I did, but a couple of years later, I was on the phone with him and the guy who used to live in the room next door, and the next-door guy said, "So, is it true that you just blurted out that you needed to jack off?" and I said, "Well, of course. What's the big deal?" (age 48, Arizona State University)

Apparently it was a big enough deal to your roommate that he told at least one other guy about it. I think the age difference might have been a factor. He was probably intimidated by your age, even at a school where not everyone is 18-22.

I often masturbate, and during my freshman year I had to share a room with four other men. That was definatly a hard time for me. I was in the shower and all the roommates were gone, so I did my business and then finished my shower. It then became a habit to masturbate in the shower. Now I have become comfortable masturbating in the shower even when my roommates are there. It becomes easier to do with music playing. I also would try to get myself to bed by midnight. My roomies stayed up until about 3-5 and would hang out in the study room, not the bedroom, so I would then have the room to myself. We all know that we all masturbate, and we joke about it from time to time, but I guess I have gotten good at making sure no one will catch me. It just sucks that none of the rooms have a lock. (age 21, Central Michigan University)

It is my summer before attending college, and I am nervous about my living situation next year! My friends at home and I are open about masturbating. We talk about it often and share tips and stories and everything. I don't know how I will come off to the girl I am rooming with if I am as open to her as I am with my friends. It is hard to remember how we eased into this topic but I really hope it goes smoothly with my roommate because I am definitely going to need some alone time with my vibrator once in a while! (age 18, Louisiana State University)

Don't expect her to be as open as your friends. After all, you were friends before you started talking about masturbating. You seem to be comfortable enough with the topic that you can assert your need for privacy to her, and that's the most important thing. If you get to be friends or at least roommates who can share sex talk, then you're that much better off.

My roommate and I are naked around each other a lot. When we first moved in, I told him we needed to have an agreement. I have slept naked since I was about 10 and I didn't want to change. So we agreed that we would be naked whenever we wanted like after showers, or when we get up which includes when we are hard since I always have huge morning erections, and even if we just want to hang or whatever. It has worked out fine and it is really great not to worry about it.

I had always waited until I was sure he was asleep or when he was in class to masturbate. I think he did the same with me. Anyway, a couple of months ago, he went off to class and I stretched out on my bed for a long slow masturbation session. I was just getting into it when he walked back in the room. There was nothing I could do. I was totally naked and just froze with my fist around my boner and he just stood there by the bed and laughed. Anyway, we talked again and agreed it is OK to masturbate when the other is there. If one of us starts in, the other probably will do it too. My favorite time is when I wake up hard in the morning, so I usually just throw back the covers and lie there and stroke it slowly and he often does the same. It is really good to not hide anything and I think it has made us closer friends. (University of Washington)

I'm just a year away from going off to college and will need a game plan for doing the deed once I am living in shared housing. The problem I'm having is that I'm gay, and while I'm not really worried about having an attraction to my future roommate, I'm wondering how I should introduce the topic, and how long after we start being roommates/knowing one another. I'm very liberal about sex and would go along with any policy he wants, including masturbating together or a no-masturbating rule when the other is in the room. Would it be best to just lay down ground rules shortly after we meet and for me to tell him about my preference to avoid any issues? What if he's inherently homophobic? (age 17)

The strategies on this page will help you with that. I suggest dealing with it sooner rather than later. If he's inherently homophobic, it's better you find out early in the year. Don't be surprised if he's not as open as you and would prefer no masturbating unless you're alone in the room.

I could never get alone time to masturbate, so I would go to a tub in the community showers in the dorm, close the door, lock it and have fun. The water was loud, and I didn't have to worry about being heard, but I tried to not scream. I wouldn't let the tub fill up at all, so that way the water wouldn't interfere with my natural lubricant if I wanted to use my fingers. If I the water got in the way of my vulva being wet, I would just scoot all the way to the bottom of the tub where the faucet was and adjust the temperature and the force of the water coming out and let the water bang against my clitoris. I would lean back on my elbows and thrust my buttocks in the air against the current that was pounding down on my clitoris and play with my breasts. My roommate never knew. She just thought I was having a spa day deep conditioning my hair. (age 22)

Well, it certainly sounds like you found a nice substitute for masturbating in your bunk.

I became comfortable masturbating around my roommate within the first month or two living together. We were around each other so much we were eventually comfortable with all bodily functions and nudity. If somebody masturbated to ejaculation, there was no discomfort. This made it easier to have sex in the room. I guess I'm really liberal with masturbation. (age 25, Arizona State University)

Perhaps others can learn from your example.

Laying ground rules is definately a great idea, but guys have been doing this for generations without saying a word to each other. I only spent one semester in dorms, when I was 22, and I never said a word about it to my roommate. But I still got to masturbate every day at least once. I would often masturbate at night, but that didn't stop me from doing it in the morning when I knew he was just on the other side of the room. I assumed he was asleep. That changed when I woke up early one Saturday morning and saw him going at it. For some reason, I was bothered by him masturbating when I was there, but looking back, I may well have given him a show without realizing it at some point. The point is, I shouldn't have cared. All I had to do was roll over and let him have fun, and I never had to say a thing. Masturbation happens. Just roll with it. You'll figure it out. Don't get uptight. (age 32)

I'm glad you're cool with what happened, but the whole point of this page is to assuage people who aren't. You were older than usual by the time you lived in a dorm, so you were apt to be more sexually experienced and sexually confident than men and women who come to college at age 18 having only lived and masturbated in their private bedroom at their parents' house. While you and your roommate never discussed what happened, the key thing is you didn't think you had to arrange for private time in the room before you could masturbate. Most people who ask me for advice want privacy to masturbate; they don't want to just do it with their roommate lying there.

I was masturbating on my bed. In my room at my boarding school, we all share porn and lube. My roomie was doing it at the same time but I can't see him from my bed. Another guy walked in and saw both of us. How can I explain that it is not gay? (age 16)

Why don't you just tell him what you told me?

I was in the shower and they were all full and a friend asked me to hurry up so I said wait or join me in the shower and he did. We were both there and we talked about masturbating and we decided to do it there and then watching each other. We just stood next to each other and did it. What do you think? (age 18)

It seems to have solved your immediate problem. One of you might want to do it again and the other might not. I hope you'll both be OK if that happens.

I'm a freshman at college and I'm in a 4 bedroom single dorm. I usually masturbate 1-3 times every 2-3 days. Even though I'm in a single dorm, I can hear just about every little sound from my suitemate's room. I thought I could do it when he was out because there's an empty room in between us. Then we got our fourth roommate after I had planned to go ahead with the plan in secrecy, so that's ruined. I'm really shy and down here masturbation is a pretty taboo topic so I don't think I can go to my roommates and discuss times and things like that with them. I keep getting hornier when I don't satisfy my needs. (age 18)

Most of the people who write to this page live in double rooms. They have a roommate in the bunk above or below them or in an adjacent bed within touching distance of theirs. You have a private bedroom. Most of the people who have an issue with masturbating in their dorm room envy you tremendously. You don't have to talk about it with your suitemates. You don't even have to acknowledge doing it. There will be noises coming from all four of your rooms that may or may not be masturbation. Don't worry about the noises coming from the other three rooms and don't worry that the others are paying attention to noises coming from your room.

My roommate is very sheltered. I am not shy, but not comfortable talking to him about this. He already gave me the sex talk about how I shouldn't be masturbating in the room at all. He is very religious and frowns upon anything that is not natural to himself. He is never out of the room when I am here. What do I do? What do you think about masturbating in the shower? (age 18, Wartburg College)

It is your room as well as his, and it is not within his power to ban masturbating in the room. Make sure you stand your ground on that one. I don't believe him if he says he doesn't masturbate there. You would also be within your rights to ask him to leave you alone in the room from time to time. Ask him to hang out in the TV room or some other lounge for an hour or so. Since you have already discussed masturbation, you ought to not have much trouble bringing it up again. And if you can masturbate in the shower, great. It might be the simplest solution to all of this.

My friend sent you a question for this page, but he signed it with the name of our rival school. (age 20)

Yes, I figured stuff like that would happen when I added that box to the form.

During my freshman year, I would masturbate every night on the top bunk as my roommate slept. I would sleep naked and ejaculate discreetly. We joked about masturbating with random jokes but I never once found out if he did it. Meanwhile, I was doing it minimum once a day and up to 4 times a day. It was fun knowing he was below me and I wish he would masturbate too. (age 19)

He must have needed more privacy than you to masturbate. It's good that it was never an issue between the two of you.

I'm entering university next year and I'm concerned about masturbation. I just see it as a thing guys do. Is this something I should tell my roommate when I first meet him? Should I describe my personal preferences, "Hey, I always wake up with morning wood and I like to masturbate in the morning." Or should I just wait until one of us gets caught to approach the issue? Should I just avoid doing it in the room and take care of it in the shower, or would other guys find it offensive to know I'm masturbating in the communal showers. I'm debating just going to a restroom and 'bating in a stall or urinal. (age 17)

You seem to be awfully worried about something that's almost a year off. I don't think you need to talk to your roommate about it when you first meet him, but it would be a good idea to talk about shortly after you start living together. Having such a discussion would keep you from needing to pursue some of the alternate solutions you propose.

I started masturbating in the middle of my senior year one weekend when my parents went away. I was too embarrassed to buy a vibrator so I started using an electric toothbrush (very carefully). I'm paranoid about people hearing so I do anything I can to cover it up. I usually blast music, turn on fans, and do it under my covers. I only masturbate when I know I have adequate time to do it without my roommate being around which is only when she is at class and I'm not. I never get to masturbate on weekends because I go out at night. Is it normal for me to skip out on going out about once a month to "get some alone time"? (Boston University)

It would be better if you could work it out with your roommate so you could get alone time all the time. She does it too, you know. She might even be doing it with you in the room.

My best friend and I are going to be rooming together next fall. Is it OK for us to masturbate openly together in our room? We have casually done it a couple of times before. (male, age 17)

It is up to the people living in a dorm room to decide what is OK in there. If you and your roommate both agree to masturbate openly, then no one else can say differently.

Would my masturbating wake my roomie up? I usually do it when she's not around, but I prefer to do it before I go to bed, and she goes to bed at least an hour before me. (age 20)

If you do it quietly, then I suspect it would not wake her up. But you are the expert on how soundly she sleeps.

My roommate doesn't leave the room often, other than when she has class (we have very similar schedules), so I rarely get to masturbate the way I'd like to. I can usually get in a 10 minute quickie, but I crave those satisfying 30-60 minute masturbating sessions and having multiple orgasms. Any suggestions to indirectly get her to leave the room for an hour? She is a random roommate and we are not close so I am not comfortable bringing up masturbating. (age 19)

Then ask her for "alone time in the room." You don't have to tell her what you'll be doing during your "alone time." This page has a lot of different suggestions. One student even told her roommate she wants to be alone to read her bible.

I really want to try a vibrator but I'm afraid other people on the floor would hear. Do you think loud music would cover it up?

It might, but you would attract less attention to yourself with a vibrator than by playing loud music.

Is it possible to get an orgasm without touching myself at all? I prefer to masturbate before bed, but my roommate is in the room, and she is a very light sleeper.

It is possible but not very likely. Only about one woman in 500 can have an orgasm only through fantasy. (The other 499 women and all of the males are very envious.) If you're not willing to masturbate while she's sleeping lightly, I suggest practicing some of the alternatives discussed on this page.

Recently I visited my cousin's college overnight as a prospective student. We'd gone out dancing that night, and her roommate had brought a boy back. My cousin and I got kicked out of the room for a while, and when her roommate and the boy finished up, we came back in and everyone promptly said goodnight. My cousin and her roommate seemed to fall asleep very quickly, but the day's excitement made it very difficult for me to sleep. I began to masturbate -- not even because I was aroused -- but just because I wanted to blow off some steam. I was very careful and admittedly didn't get into it very much. Toward my climax I may have let out a soft moan or two, but nothing more. I orgasmed twice and was having a much easier time falling asleep.

About ten minutes later my cousin's roommate quietly got out of bed. She opened up one of her cabinets and retrieved something and then climbed back into bed. I was mortified that she may have seen me but considering she hadn't said anything, I thought I was in the clear. A few more minutes passed, and I could tell my cousin's roommate was doing something restless in her bed, so I tried to block her out as best I could. Then, just as suddenly as before, I heard a faint buzzing noise, I quietly checked to see if it was my cell phone vibrating, but I'd powered down my phone for the evening. My cousin's roommate began making little pleasant squeaks, and then it hit me, she was masturbating! She had retrieved her vibrator from the cabinet. Then I was even more afraid. I lay there awkwardly for what had to have been ten minutes at least. I listened to her finish up; she sounded like she'd had a very enjoyable climax -- and then she returned the toy to its hiding place. When she hopped down from the bed, she was close to my head and without thinking, I instinctively flinched. She made a slight gasp and said my name and asked if I was still awake. I replied honestly, so she asked me if I had known that she was awake too. I responded honestly. She was very apologetic and explained that she thought that I was fast asleep and practically begged me that I not tell my cousin. I told her that she should tell my cousin herself if she doesn't already know that she is pleasuring herself in the dead of night.

I told her that a few summers ago, my cousin and I had a very mature conversation about boys, sex, and eventually masturbation. The roommate was appalled. She said that in the year plus that they'd been rooming together, they've never discussed masturbation. I assured her that my cousin probably does it in the room too sometimes. A minor slip of the tongue caused me to tell her that I do it too. I said that I wouldn't rat her out if she didn't rat me out. She said that the whole reason she had decided to masturbate was because she'd woken up for a glass of water and had noticed that I was masturbating. She admitted that it was very arousing, even after only just having sex herself a few minutes earlier.

After we said goodnight, she noticeably tilted her face away from my direction this time, so I did the same, facing my sleeping cousin just in case either of us felt the urge again that night. The next morning, my cousin pulled me aside at breakfast and told me that she'd been awake for most of the time and was very glad that it didn't cause an awkward situation. She also told me that in college, it is pretty common to catch other people masturbating. She said that one of the girls down the hall from her does it in the public shower frequently around lunchtime when the residence hall is largely deserted, and she said that she knows that her boyfriend does it all the time and she walked in on him doing it at home. Although the school is not my first choice, at least I know that if I end up there next year, there are plenty of people who are open to masturbation! (age 18)

Wow, I don't think I've ever gotten a story as detailed about getting caught masturbating. How interesting that two people masturbated separately within a few minutes of each other and were each discovered by the other and a third person. It's perfectly OK to masturbate in a dorm room after the lights are out, even if you're only visiting. The only thing I didn't agree with is how you betrayed your cousin's confidence. You told on her to placate someone you only met that day. I'm sure you'll do well in college, but keep in mind we don't go there just to masturbate and have sex; we study and learn too.

I stay in a 4-bunk room (2 bunks on each side of the room) with a small partition in the middle of the room (it's only 4 feet in height). I sleep on the lower bunk and my friend sleeps on the upper one. We are quite open about masturbation and other stuff. However, the other two guys in the room are not so open about anything, so I feel kinda threatened to do anything with them in the room. Any suggestions? (age 19)

I would suggest talking about it. You and your friend could present a united front. If you really can't talk about it, then just do as you like after the lights go out. I doubt the other side will complain.

I do not masturbate, nor do I know if my roommate does, but I have been feeling lots of tension in my studying and I don't know how to deal with it. I feel that masturbation is not wrong but I feel very timid about the act, just thinking about masturbating makes me feel very nervous and very guilty. Now with all this stress in college, I have no clue how to go about anything. I have never masturbated, nor had a wet dream. I feel that masturbation is the only release. I am afraid of becoming addicted. I have never tried it. Even thinking about makes me feel even more guilty. (age 18)

You deny ever having masturbated three times in your message. You also say that masturbation is the only release and is not wrong (even though just thinking about it makes you feel guilty.) I think you're in denial. I think you masturbate quite often. Try working on feeling less guilty and less timid about it. Recognize that masturbation is normal, healthy, fun, and necessary for a male to do.

It is so annoying! Every time I masturbate in my dorm room, my roommate comes in right before I orgasm. I'm not sure if she knows or not because she usually walks in like it's no big deal, and I always have music on which covers the sound of my vibrator. It's usually in the middle of the day and I'm under my covers pretending to nap. So here are my problems: A) I don't know if she knows or not and B) If she does know then she doesn't give me time to finish. She simply walks in the room with very little warning. I don't think she knows because she is never awkward about it. Should I talk to her about it? I'm pretty sure she doesn't masturbate because she takes really fast showers, goes to bed before me, and her bed is never messy.

You are making a lot of assumptions about your roommate that could be cleared up by talking to her. She is probably aware that you masturbate, but I find it unlikely that she is timing her entrances to your room in order to disrupt specific acts of masturbation. It might work if you could arrange with her that you could each put a marker of some kind (like a rubber band) on the doorknob when you want to be alone in the room. You could also have a rule that you have to knock (and wait for a response) before opening the room. You could also be wrong about your assumptions about her not masturbating. Even if she doesn't masturbate, it's likely she'd agree to let you have private time in the room.

My roommate and I have been best friends for a while. He's caught me masturbating before, but we just kind of acted like nothing happened. Now that we share a room, I thought it would be even more awkward. It was at first, but a little bit into my first semester, we talked about it. It's still kind of an awkward subject, obviously, but we both know that it happens. We're even helping each other to quit masturbating. I suggest anyone who's feeling awkward just come right out and talk to your roommate about it. (age 19, University of Nevada, Reno)

I think your advice is mostly good, except helping each other quit masturbating. Masturbating is normal, healthy, and fun, and even necessary for a male to do.

During my freshman year I was doing a paint gun war with some friends from around the dorm. After we got back to the dorm I wanted to take a shower to clean up and warm up. The showers were four to a bathroom and were separate stalls with about a 7 foot high partition between them. I was in a hot shower for a long while and I started getting horny. A few minutes later I was leaning back against the wall with my hands lubed up with conditioner (which works great without any stinging). I was really having a good one and enjoying myself until I looked up and saw a close friend looking over the wall watching me, at which point I ejaculated. I was kind of annoyed and weirded out. After that we just joked around about it and kidded each other when we knew the other one had had alone time in their dorm rooms. It really is not a big deal unless someone expresses a strong opposition to it. (age 40)

I think his spying on you is a bigger deal. If he were really a close friend, he would have respected your privacy.

Last semester, I moved in on campus. My roommate was a total opposite of me: He was circumcised and wore boxers. I am uncut and wear white briefs. Neither of us was particularly shy about walking around naked or in our underwear. One day, during the second week of class, I came back to our room, and he hadn't come back yet. I stripped down naked and went and took my shower, locking the door as I left. I came back to the room about 20 minutes later, and, largely out of habit, tried the doorknob to see if it was unlocked. It was. I walked into the room, not thinking anything about it, to find my roommate in nothing but socks and a t-shirt masturbating, in a meditation pose. His eyes were shut. I personally didn't care, and went about my business of hanging my towel up, putting away my shower shoes, etc. As I got a pair of underwear out of my dresser drawer, I heard him gasp quietly, and the distinctive rhythmic squeak of his mattress springs ceased. He blurted out an apology, and I turned around to see him, red faced, dripping precum, hand still on his erect penis. I just shrugged and stated that I didn't care, it didn't bother me. I slipped my briefs up, and sat down on my bed and told him I really didn't care, but if he wanted me to go somewhere else, I would. He relaxed and stated that he didn't think that would be fair, and asked if he could continue. I said he could and then asked if he would mind if I did the same. He said he didn't mind. I started to masturbate as if nothing was wrong. He found it quite odd that I didn't take my penis out of my underwear, and thought it even weirder that I just climaxed in my underwear as well. (Is it healthy to do this? I always masturbate that way.) Anyway, for the rest of the semester, we had a policy of masturbating openly.

Despite the fact that he was straight and I am bisexual, he and I quite frequently bonded while masturbating (eventually it was our after shower before bed ritual that we shared EVERY night). We are closer now than ever. This isn't as rare a scenario as it may seem to be, I am sure, and if the opportunity arises with your roommate to be this open, I say take it. Nothing unhealthy about it. (southern U.S., age 19)

I'm glad it worked for you and your roommate, but I argue that most males (and females) would not be receptive to the open masturbation policy that you had. That doesn't mean it shouldn't ever be proposed; only that most people want privacy for masturbating, not an audience. I also don't think it's healthy to masturbate through your underwear. Try experiencing the liberation of taking your briefs down or even off.

I live in a single on a co-ed floor, and I'm not too noisy when I do my business, so I'm not too concerned about getting caught. However, the person living next door tends to masturbate at least loudly enough to be heard through the wall. Her other neighbor has told me that he can hear her too. I want to let her know so that she can spare herself future embarrassment, but it's awkward to bring up because I'll have to tell her out of nowhere that I've been listening to her masturbate for the last six months, but also because I've been planning to ask her out for a while, and a conversation about her masturbatory habits would probably kill any hope I have of dating her. I thought about feigning ignorance and just telling her that I can hear sounds through our wall, but either way, she'll eventually realize that I've heard her during private moments. What should I do? (age 20)

This ought not be a question. It should obviously be a higher priority for you to get her to go out with you than to let her know you can hear her masturbating. So work on that one. If you start going out with her, and you really insist on telling her, maybe you could just let her know that you heard noise from her room a few minutes ago and wondered if she was OK. (A better outcome would be she finds enough sexual pleasure with you that she doesn't masturbate as much or loudly as she used to.) If she doesn't want to go out with you, then I suspect you'll become indifferent to her possible embarrassment. I also find it interesting that you referred to her activity using forms of the word "masturbate" three times, but when it came to yourself, you euphemized it to "do my business." I think this difference in language means you would have a hard time discussing masturbation with someone.

I am finishing up my sophomore year in Syracuse (Brrr!), but I come from Boston, so when I first enrolled, I was REALLY worried about the anonymous roommate situation, with my personal time for masturbation, but also my sex life with my at-the-time long distance boyfriend, and that anxiety was made doubly worse when I learned that I would be living in a "forced triple" (sleeping three girls in a room that is designed for two). We began speaking with one another privately via Facebook. After a few days of discussing favorite movies and who would bring what, one of these strangers, Gina, straight out asked, "what's going to be the masturbating policy or the shower?" I felt a wave of emotions: excitement, anxiety, awkwardness, and surprise. This was the first time the conversation stagnated, where someone didn't post right back immediately, so I became pretty nervous. I left for the beach and wasn't around a computer for the whole day and was even more freaked out to return to my computer to see that there were still no replies. However, Gina sent a separate, private message to just me apologizing for "freaking me out" or "offending me." I messaged her back immediately saying that I hadn't been offended in the least and was actually wondering similar things. She proceeded to inform me that Sara (the 3rd member) had also been too nervous to post but had carried out an entire separate conversation with her, so as not to disturb my sensibilities.

We quickly rejoined the group chat, got past the subject of masturbation and sex quickly and realized that we were all going to be great friends. I continued to talk to them daily until the day we all finally moved in. After everyone's parents were gone, we decided to visit the nearest adult store so that we could all invest in a water-proof toy (we agreed any and all play in the bathroom was fair game except during pre-breakfast hygiene hours). Only Gina and I were 18, but no one checked our IDs. So while many of our cohort were making customizable white boards for their dorm room doors, my two new roommates and I were dropping nearly $100 combined total on various toys which have since been put to some very good use. Gina and I are roommates again this year, in a standard double, so we don't have a private bathroom. Thankully, Sara is an RA in our old building, so she gets all the privacy she wants. Gina and Sara became two of my closest friends on the planet, and being as open as possible about this stuff has made it all the better.

While Sara always remained more demure than Gina or me and would ONLY ever masturbate in the shower, by second semester, Gina and I were open enough that we scheduled free time during one of Sara's classes where we'd each get up to a half hour of time in the bedroom privately and then switch to get a half hour in the bathroom. When Gina took a boyfriend late in the year this messed things up a little, but it was an almost flawless system. This year, without the luxury of the private shower, we have a system in place where Tuesday nights she gets the room for two hours, Thursday nights I get the room for two hours, and any other night when we feel like masturbating as long as the other isn't trying to study, we'll just do it in the room while the other goes about their business. (Obviously though, it's pretty hard to stay focused on anything but your own sexual needs when someone is masturbating only a few feet away from you, so we usually try to schedule it in.) Overall, it's a wonderful relationship and I wish more people could be as lucky as we three were. (age 19)

As you know from reading this page, not many are. Thanks for sharing the details of your multi-year adventure. I took the train through Syracuse last Tuesday night and I was wondering what that racket was.

I'll be starting at Tulane in the fall. From your experience, is masturbation discussion less taboo in the North than it is in the South? My school's gonna have a lot of kids from the Northeast, so I was just curious to know if you think that masturbation would be easier to discuss or not. (age 18)

Tulane is in New Orleans, so I marvel at the idea that you think it's dominated by students from the Northeast. I've never asked a survey question specifically on that point, but I have asked how embarrassed people are about masturbation. The regional differences between the Northeast, the Midwest, and the South are pretty small. Males in the West are slightly more likely to be always or mostly embarrassed by masturbating at your age and less likely to be rarely or never embarrassed. Also, if asked by another person if they masturbate, 68 percent of 18 and 19 year old males in the Northeast and Midwest will admit it, compared with 73 percent in the South and 65 percent in the West. Only nine percent in the Northeast, 12 percent in the Midwest, 13 percent in the South, and 14 percent in the West will falsely deny it. (All of them admit they masturbate in the anonymous surveys on I don't think you should expect that where your roommate came from will make a difference.

One day I was masturbating when my roommate came in. We both stared at each other. When I masturbate, I like to take my pants off, so I did, and I thought that she was going to be creeped out about it. Instead she joined me. I felt kind of weird. What should I do? (age 19)

You could have asked for privacy. That's all you needed to say. She shouldn't have joined you without asking.

I'm a pretty open guy about everything. I'm an MBA student. I shared an apartment with three other guys. One was a total frat-like party boy named Kris, Michael who was decent and fun and Alec who didn't talk much. We had two sets of bunkbeds and Alec would sleep in his and be quiet and keep to himself. Kris would get very obnoxious. I don't masturbate in the shower because I can't get it up when wet. I had trouble masturbating in bed because the rocking made noise and Kris would make fun of me the next morning and not let it go. I soon caught Kris masturbating on the top bunk to pictures on his phone. Eventually I joined Kris a few times. I'm not gay but the few times we masturbated in the same room was awesome. He would even have sex in front of me unless his girl objected. But when I brought a girl over he refused to leave. When I got my alone time on the bed, he walked in making fun and a big deal. Or he would whip it out and start going at it while I was doing homework. He would shoot anywhere not caring where it landed, pretty disgusting. I got a new roommate to replace Alec, Joseph, and I just told him, "I NEED TO RELIEVE SOME STRESS" and Joe laughed and said GO FOR IT. Doing it alone is better but it's great that I have mates who don't mind. I find that when I do it alone, even though it feels more comfortable, I tend to want to jack off again the same day, but when I do it with one of the guys in the room, I could go maybe two weeks without wanting to. We aren't gay. Even though I'm single right now, I don't consider myself gay. I had a gay roommate once. I thought I could masturbate around him in the same room, but I couldn't get hard.

The best way to do things is mutual respect. I say get to know your mates. I will not relieve stress tonight. I'll be saving it for another week. (age 23, College Station, Texas)

I think you have a whole bunch of issues with sexual identity, masturbating, and just getting along with your roommates. You might want to talk to a counselor to work through some of them. You obviously have trouble asserting yourself with Kris. People who are as inconsiderate and slovenly as him expect to be told off. That you refuse to do so even though he repeatedly and frequently intrudes upon your most private moments speaks volumes. You repeatedly say you aren't gay. Why? I can't remember the last time I've told anyone I'm not gay. How do you know you're not going to have stress to relieve tonight? Most males your age masturbate daily without regard to stress or anything else. I suggest you think about these things and talk to someone about them.

I'm just about to start my second year of college. My roommate and I have kind of an unspoken deal. We both know that we masturbate but we never say anything to the other about it. At night sometimes I can hear him masturbating and I'm sure he can hear me. (age 20)

That isn't exactly a deal, is it? Maybe you would each enjoy masturbating more if you talked about it.

My roommate left a copy of his schedule up on his white board, and I did the same. This was our secret way of saying, "Here are the times when you'll be alone. Use them how you wish." I turn up the T.V., pull out some tissues, and take care of business. Though we never explicitly talked about what we were doing, we both knew what was happening. And that was fine. (age 20)

I live in a two-bedroom apartment with three other guys. A few weeks ago, I woke up with pretty stiff morning wood. My roommate had already left the room to take a shower, so I thought I had plenty of time to masturbate. Right when I was about to climax, though, the door opened. I whipped around to find my roommate in the doorway and wound up ejaculating in plain view of him.

He was very understanding about it, but I was completely mortified and barely spoke to him for a pretty long while. Finally, a few days ago, he referred me to this site. Perhaps I'm a bad person for thinking so, but it's relieving to know that there's a whole category full of people here with situations similar to mine. Thank you for hosting these stories! I really feel better about the incident now, and I hope my story might do the same for some future reader! (age 21)

A few nights ago, I heard my roommate moan and turned to look and see what was happening. His sheets were moving, and I could hear him breathing heavily, so I can only assume that he was masturbating. I understand his need to do so, but I felt uncomfortable with him doing it while I was in the room. However, if I asked him about it, I know he would deny doing it. Should I ask him anyway so he at least knows that I know? (age 19)

You're making this very complicated. He masturbated with you in the room, so he knows you know he masturbates. Anyway, he is an adult male, so you could have guessed he masturbates just from knowing that. (Same about you.) The only question is, will you ask him not to do it when you're in the room, because it makes you uncomfortable. I have a feeling you won't.

I'm shocked that this subject is such a big deal in the 21st century. In 1969, I shared a dorm room at University of Michigan with a guy. He was handsome, outgoing and had a motorcycle. I was shy and chubby, but I had a sly sense of humor. We were both straight. We became friends almost immediately. We slept in bunk beds; I had the upper. One night after lights out, he says to me, "Do you ever jack off?" I said that I did. He went on to say, "No way I can get to sleep without jacking off first. Instead of taking turns in the room or going to the john, why don't we just do it at the same time?" This seemed to me a perfectly logical solution. From then on, it was lights out, penises out, "good night." Nobody thought twice about smoking dope in the dorm rooms -- no big deal. I just would have thought that by now the level of prudery would have diminished! (age 59)

Nice story, but I don't think there's a dorm room in the country you can still smoke in.

I am very fortunate. My roomie & I are very comfortable in our room. It happened when I mentioned to him that I sleep in my underwear & he said no problem, he did too. When the time came to go to bed, we discovered we both wear the same brand & similar colored/striped lo-rise briefs. From then on we changed in front of each other. We are very open minded & talk about everything, even admitting to hearing each other "racing the gear shift" when the other we were asleep. We have no qualms about racing whenever the urge occurs. We share the latest girlie mags. We even had a shoot off contest. I won. We will give each other privacy, when requested. We are really good friends! (age 21)

I agree that you are fortunate. But did you really win the contest? I think you might have lost. In the real world, there is no prize for reaching orgasm the fastest.

I am kinda lucky. I have a single room to myself. But unfortunately the walls are thin so people can hear EVERYTHING! One thing I would suggest for girls is to masturbate with their hands. It is much quieter. I do this and have never even worried about people hearing me. If you are still worried, a fan always helps cover noises. (age 18, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth)

Single rooms are rare. I doubt people can hear as much as you imagine. Just enjoy yourself and don't worry what they hear.

I drunkenly read my roommate's diary while she went away and she wrote that she can hear me "fingering myself at night," which she doesn't really like. I was mortified, and now I'm panicking as to how much she hears as I haven't told anyone I masturbate. We share a room and our beds are near each other, but I thought I was being really quiet. Maybe she hears my bed creak? (age 19)

Maybe being mortified is your just dessert for reading your roommate's diary. What I learned from reading your message is that you enjoy masturbating, while your roommate is hung up about it. I would suggest you continue enjoying it. If you want to smooth things over with your roommate, ask her if it bothers her that you masturbate at night. Maybe she has constructive suggestions. At least it would let her know you're comfortable about it.

Frankly, I don't see what the big whoop is all about. Unless it's dragged out into a major event, masturbating only takes a few minutes and something roommates just deal with as an unspoken understanding. I don't see why it needs to be discussed openly.

Me and the dude I live with are both sports jocks and comfortable with our bodies. Sure, we both masturbate whenever the need arises, but never openly. It's always after the homework is done and the lights are out, privately under the covers in bed. To save the sheets, both of us routinely shoot off inside our briefs, with no issues for streamers flying in unpredictable directions. Besides, it only takes my roomie 5 minutes or so to reach orgasm in his tighty whities and other than a few pants and breathing noises, most of the time I don't even notice. I think he feels the same way. It's no big deal. It strikes me you are making something normal into an unjustified awkward situation. (age 19, University of Michigan)

You and "the dude" don't discuss masturbation openly, but you masturbate openly even though you claim otherwise. Masturbating openly is one solution; discussing it can lead to others. Most people prefer to masturbate privately rather than openly. Most don't want their roommate knowing the details of where the ejaculate goes or how long it takes to get to orgasm.

My roommate and I are hardly ever in the room at the same time, so I find it quite easy to masturbate whenever I feel like it. When I started college last fall, I thought that it would be hard to masturbate. But it is easy. (age 18, Eastern Connecticut State University)

Good for you. But what happens if next semester you have a roommate who spends more time in the room? It would be good if you came up with a strategy for dealing with that.

Before going to college, I masturbated at least once a day and after moving to my dorm, I could not. I talked to a close male friend, and he lets me come over to his place. He has his own room, and he lets me masturbate in privacy while he watches TV. This has really worked out for us, and it is a great way to get privacy. (female, age 19)

The most intriguing thing in your post is "for us." In what way has this worked out for him? I think you want the two of you to become a couple. Are you? If not, then how is having a man you have the hots for knowing you're masturbating in his room an improvement over your roommate knowing?

I am a second year college student living in the dorms. I had a roommate last year and have one currently; however, I feel as though the lack of privacy has impacted my libido, and I am becoming worried. At home I would masturbate before sleep and would have amazing orgasms and felt very content and got those after-orgasm feelings of well-being that helped me sleep. Now that I am living with a roommate, I am unable to do this. I know that masturbation is a normal thing for guys, but the lack of personal space or being in an area with other guys psychologically makes it very difficult for me to feel emotionally connected to any fantasies I am trying to imagine or just to let loose. Just the fact that other guys are around completely turns me off. I started masturbating when my roommate went to sleep and in the shower, but just being in an area where there are other guys in a place where there is no personal space or privacy in a place where I feel like I have a time limit before having to stop or when the roommate will return makes me feel unable to make the emotional connection, and, consequently, whenever I masturbate now I feel emotionally disconnected and it feels really mechanical and the orgasms aren't satisfying, because I need a release, but I cannot escape to an environment where I feel safe or comfortable.

My roommate masturbates, and we have talked about it. Now I am afraid that since this has been happening for a year and a half I will be unable to return to the way I used to be and I do not know how to return my lost sexual appetite. I feel that I have mentally lost the good feelings that I would feel in masturbation and instead associated it with anxiety and it being just a "quick fix" or just forcing myself to in order to just have a release because of this, academic pressure, and a really bad breakup I had just as I started schooling. If I quit masturbating for an extended period of time (4 months) until I have my own room to begin repairing my sexuality and cultivating fantasies again, would it be detrimental to my libido? (age 19)

Not all sex and not all masturbation is superb; most of it is only average; some of it is lacking. You describe a time in your past when you could frequently experience superb masturbation. You are currently in a time of your life when masturbation is lacking. You are immature by not being able to handle your situation. You seem babyish by threatening to quit masturbating altogether for the rest of the school year. It's like threatening to quit eating if you can't have your favorite food. I think you should grow up and accept your situation and have a semi-satisfying orgasm every night at bedtime.

I live in a quad with three other girls, and there is NEVER alone time. I masturbate in the shower, and sometimes I can hear other girls masturbating too. It's the best solution, and the adjustable shower-heads rock! (age 18)

I share a bedroom in a flat with a very good friend of mine. We both masturbate and we both like doing it before we go to bed. But we also need videos. Lately he just gets up and brings his iPhone into the washroom, watches a video and goes at it. I can usually hear the videos. It doesn't bother me at all and I do it sometimes, too. We've never discussed this as I think he and I would both find it awkward. We talk about girls sometimes, but nothing more detailed. My issue is this: I don't like doing it in the washroom. It is fairly uncomfortable and I would rather watch my video and masturbate in bed. But I think he might be against that, even though we both know that we like doing it before getting into bed. How could I bring this up in conversation? Just say, "I'm tired of masturbating in the washroom. Aren't you too?" (age 21, University of Ottawa)

Since he's a good friend, I guess that's as good as anything to say, but instead of telling him you know he's masturbating, which might make him defensive, you could just talk about yourself and ask, "Would you agree to a rule that it's OK to masturbate in here at bedtime?"

Masturbation hasn't been a problem much in my dorm room in the past, since my roommate was very open about it. She brought up the subject of needing time alone in the room in the first week. She masturbated for about an hour around 3-5 days a week, and she also had her boyfriend over regularly to help her with her studies and other needs. I masturbate much less, about once a week, and I am still a virgin, so I have no need for the "study sessions," but I've always been happy to let her have her time to herself, since I spend very little time in the dorm anyway.

Next semester I'm studying abroad, and will not have her as a roommate. It's a traditional Arab country, where such a practice may be severely looked down upon. I don't want to miss a chance to practice my Arabic (I'm good at learning languages), but I'm very worried about masturbating in such a traditional culture. (age 18)

If you can do it privately in bed, I doubt that you'll have to worry. The only person who could conceivably object is your roommate. Why don't you take the same approach with her that your roommate did with you and negotiate alone time in the room?

A friend of mine attended a college that allowed "gender neutral housing" (a female and a male can be roommates). She decided it wouldn't be a problem because we have a lot of male friends and have occasionally spent the night at their houses and nothing happened, so she should be able to live with one for a while. She apparently didn't consider masturbation habits when making her decision. She had to change her room a few months in because she was hearing him make noises at night that she was sure were masturbation, and she was creeped out by it.

I know three of the colleges I've been accepted to have the "gender neutral housing" option. Is there any way I can avoid this problem if my roommate is also a guy? Preferably a way without bringing up or hinting at the subject of masturbation when speaking to a member of the opposite sex. (age 18)

Don't worry. "Gender neutral housing" is not forced upon anyone. It is a way of making comfortable those who don't like traditional notions of gender. Your roommate will not be male unless you choose "gender neutral housing" as an option, and even then, your chances are only 50-50. To answer your larger question, no one will stand to be told they can't masturbate in their dorm room; the only area for negotiation is when. You can peruse some of the strategies other people have talked about on this page, but if you're not comfortable with your roommate masturbating while (he thinks) you're asleep, you will have to bring it up directly.

Our platoon sergeant in formation told us that when we needed privacy to use the hot lockers. It was understood by all and respected by all. Living in tight close quarters, privacy is a luxury. And did we ever keep those hot lockers ship shape! (age 19, U.S. Army)

You're lucky to have a cool NCO.

I'm gay, and I have almost every intention of coming out while in college. I've only met my roommate over Facebook, but from what I read through his profile, I'm not sure how he'll feel about both masturbation and/or my being gay. (age 18)

Coming out is beyond my expertise, but I'm sure there are plenty of web resources about how to deal with roommates as you do it. Talking about masturbation and how to plan for it in the dorm room should be no more difficult than it is for other males. Gays, straights, in-betweens, not-sures all have to deal with this issue.

I was assigned a random roommate this year. We got along nicely, but he was shy and reserved. Turns out he lived a very sheltered life and had really strict parents. I am very laid back. At first, he looked away when I changed in and out of my clothes before and after a shower. He would change inside the bathroom to avoid being seen. At night, he would change into a t-shirt and pajama pants. I sleep naked or in underwear. Being respectful, I waited until he had gone to sleep to masturbate; I just can't do it in the bathroom! He never said anything was bothering him, so I continued. Over the next few weeks, he was more relaxed. He started changing out in the open, instead of in the small bathroom.

One day, I came back from class feeling sexually excited, and I knew he wouldn't be in the room. I started masturbating. Then he returned early. He caught me whacking it. As we had seen each other naked before, I was not embarrassed. He, however, blushed and walked out. Later that night, I masturbating successfully before bed. That night, I woke up to the sound of him masturbating. He heard me moving and stopped. I said, "Dude, don't worry. We all jack off. Have fun." Then I went back to sleep.

The next day, we talked about seeing each other naked and masturbating. He was really talkative, even with how he was raised. We agreed to give each other privacy when asked for or when it was wanted by the other, but we were both comfortable staying in the room. So, now we give each other privacy when wanted alone or with a girlfriend; sometimes one of us masturbates while the other studies or watches TV, and occasionally, we even jack off simultaneously. It's made us closer friends and it's not uncomfortable at all. He's even started sleeping naked. (age 18, Arizona State University)

Hey, good deal. Sleeping in full dress can be a pain in Tempe most of the year.

I was terrified to have a roommate, because I love my privacy. I met her and several weeks into college, I was really good at hiding my daily masturbation sessions. Once or twice a day I would do it in the shower. I was crushed not to be able to use my object, particially because it's hard to use it in the tiny bathroom. So one day I was alone in my room, because she said she was going to eat. I lay under my covers and stuck the object in myself, enjoying the moment a whole lot, when she walked in and saw me. I gasped and froze. She laughed and said it was perfectly fine. She saw my object and told me that mine was bigger than hers, and we talked about them. She told me that I could do it any time, even when she's in the room. She as glad to know I do it, because she was tired of hiding it. (age 19)

Another happy ending.

First of all, is fantastic, and I have a somewhat unrelated question: Do many people come here just to read the stories? Some of them are highly erotic, entertaining, and a few even very well written. Erotic story web sites are all full of cliched stories, but I've much preferred recently to pleasure myself to the realistic stories on your site. Am I the only one? (female, age 19)

I know you're not the only one, and thanks for enjoying I do my best to keep fake stories off of the site (or sometimes when I include one, I also put up commentary by myself and others pointing out how fake it is.)

When I got to college last fall, I was really shy. I had never been naked around other guys before and no one had ever seen me with an erection. The first day in the dorm, my new roommate said that he had slept naked since he was 10 years old and I would just have to get used to it. That night before bed he also fastened one of those pull up bars onto the closet door frame. Then he stripped naked and did some pull-ups that way and then hopped into bed. I was sure I would get a hard on if I stripped naked so I got into bed with my boxers on. The next morning when the alarm went off, he hopped out of bed fully hard and stretched. Then he went over to the bar and did a bunch of pull ups with his boner waving around the whole time. The next night, I went to bed naked too. In the morning he was up first and he stood there and said, "OK, time to show it all roomie." I turned beet red because I was fully hard too but after he coaxed me a little, I finally got up and let him see it. Since then we have gotten very comfortable being naked around each other and even sometimes when someone else is in the room. We are naked before and after showering and before bed and sometimes we even hang out naked after we get up if we don't have to go to class or after a shower. I suppose half the time one or both of us is naked in the room. I am really glad he taught me how to get over my shyness. (age 18, University of Washington).

I think I would have liked that better if you had chosen to get naked on your own instead of your roommate making you show him your privates, but it seems to be working out for you. Conspicuous by its absence in your posting was any mention of masturbation.

I went on vacation in Europe with my friend and we shared a bedroom to save money. One night I woke up to the sound of my friend masturbating in the bed beside me. He stopped once he heard me waking up though. It made me feel a bit uncomfortable and then after a week of neither of us masturbating, I was getting desperate. We are good friends and since I knew he masturbated too, I decided to say something. I just joked about really needing to have an orgasm, and he said the same. We ended up agreeing that it was OK to masturbate in bed when the lights were off. The next night we both masturbated as soon as we got into bed. It worked well as we each got to masturbate without having to worry about the other person and we carried on for the rest of the holiday with this arrangement. We are still good friends so it just proves that using a joke to introduce something really can work. (age 19)

I never doubted it.

My roommate often brings himself to orgasm in bed at night and wakes me up. When he does I feel uncomfortable and try to stay still and pretend I'm still sleeping. I don't really have a problem with him jerking but I'm not sure if I should just tell him I'm awake or not as it's hard to stay really still if he's masturbating for a while. Also, sometimes when he wakes me up, I'm horny too but don't want to start masturbating in case he thinks I'm doing it because he is. I'm not even sure he knows I wake up or not. (age 19)

I would start by letting him know that his stirring at night is disturbing your sleep and that he might not have as much privacy as he thinks he does. Then negotiate times when each of you can be alone in the room. He is apt to be very grateful to you for making the suggestion so he doesn't have to lose sleep waiting for you to be asleep.

I go to an all boys' school. I have a friend that is with me and our parents decided that we should room together. It's big, and it has its own bathroom. One time I entered the room and saw him masturbating. I tried to leave, but he called me and he said it was OK and that we could masturbate at the same time if I wanted. Part of me wants to and part doesn't. What should I do? (age 14)

If all of you doesn't want to, then none of you should. Be glad your friend and roommate is cool about it. Now you don't have to worry if he accidentally discovers you.

I will be going to college soon and I am very excited. The only thing I am nervous about is sharing a room because of the whole masturbation thing. I am very open with masturbating and think it is healthy and normal. Yet, I don't like to step on other people's toes with my opinions. I am gay and will be moving in with a straight guy. I don't think he will be homophobic, but it still is a touchy subject with straight guys. How should I go about bring up the situation without making him feel awkward? I feel like I would make him feel weird if I even address the issue. Also, how long should I wait before talking about something like that? (age 17)

As you probably know from reading this page, I urge just talking about it, and if that's too painful, just ask him if you could negotiate private time in the room for each of you. It is not essential to mention masturbation.

My roommate and I have an unspoken agreement about masturbation. We just do it at night after we go to bed but we never talk about it. Last Saturday he came back from party really late and really drunk, got undressed and lay in bed and started to masturbate with his reading light on. He didn't know I was awake. He passed out before he was finished. I got up to turn off his light. He was snoring and I tried to wake him up but he wouldn't wake up. Then I reached for the light and brushed against him and he woke up just then and was surprised and embarrassed to be lying there with his naked penis and reading material in view. What should I do? (age 20)

He probably doesn't remember. If he does, just tell him you wanted the light out so you could sleep. Also, I suggest turning your unspoken agreement into a spoken one.

My freshman year at college is a living hell. I have a large penis and waking up with an erection that won't go away is an everyday occurrence. After about two weeks, the guys in my hall nicknamed me "Boner" because my roommate ratted me out. Now I've been approached by a couple guys who said that they want to see my erection. I want to get out of this dorm and move to another, but this is a small college. I also want a private room, but that is only an option for seniors. Any advice on how to stop my "morning glory"? Would masturbating more in private help stop morning erections? I frequently masturbate in the shower in the morning. (age 19)

I really think you need to grow up more. Morning erections are normal and healthy. Erections are never bad. Someday you will no longer have morning erections, and you will miss them. Masturbating more often will not bring fewer morning erections. Your penis is yours, and no one has the right to see it erect. Just tell those guys no, with increasing impoliteness. Many males would enjoy having a reputation for a large penis, but if you don't like it, then ask others not to call you that, with increasing impoliteness. I think you should stand your ground and get past this without changing dorms.

My roommate caught me masturbating. He didn't see it perfectly clearly but he understood what was going on, and he told a few friends who told it to another friend. What's the best choice in this situation? I don't think I can trust them much and I wouldn't like people to know about that. Should I confront him and tell him that it was not cool to tell somebody about it? (age 21)

How do you know he told? I would think of someone as a real loser if he said that about his roommate. Of course you masturbate! You're a normal, healthy adult male. There's nothing weird about that at all. What's weird is that someone is telling you about his roommate doing it. I don't think you need to say anything to anyone.

My friend's room is just under mine and sometimes he happens to hear what I am watching. Once he even came to my room when I barely put my pants up. I was mortified and he saw the big bulge. But he is cool with that, and he knows that I masturbate quite often. I know he does it quite often too, in the bathroom or his room. I think it's totally OK too since we all are men. I also have been caught numerous times by my father, in very different places, but he was always cool with it and pretended he didn't see. (age 22)

I think you have some issue about this but don't want to say what it is. If you and your friend are each aware of and cool of each other's masturbation frequency, then why be mortified when he interrupted your session?

I am worried about masturbating when I go off to college because it's a Christian school. I am a Christian too but I don't see anything wrong with masturbating as long as you don't fantasize (for sin purposes). How will I deal with this with my future roommate since I like to use a vibrator? (female, age 17)

All of the men and most of the women at your Christian school will be masturbating frequently. Nearly all of them will fantasize. If you don't want to masturbate with your roommate in the room (with or without a vibrator), you will have to figure out when you will have the room to yourself. The strategies on this page will help you with that.

I finished my freshman year about a couple months ago and never shared a room before. It was important to me to learn how to masturbate in the shower (fantasizing) or in the stall. The best time to use the stall is at night, when everyone is sleeping. No one will think twice. One helpful hint I recommend to incoming freshman is to start practicing masturbating without porn. There will be times when you need to masturbate, but can't use your computer. (age 19)

This is why I discourage teen males from using porn. You should learn to masturbate using only your imagination. That you recommend practicing using your imagination at age 18 suggests a serious problem.

In my freshman year, I was put into a freshman dorm like most freshmen, Annapolis Hall. I was put with a real tough jock I'll call Jon, who made it known he hated gays. I feared him since I was bi but had not told anyone there yet. I made it a point to bring over a girl after a party and have sex with her so he would not suspect, and of course for the pleasure of it also.

I couldn't masturbate often like I was used to and was getting erections a lot. I was too scared to masturbate regularly in bed -- I managed to do it quietly a few times each week at great effort not to wake him. I was scared of getting an erection in the communal shower if other guys entered. It had happened before and I managed to maneuver to a toilet stall until they were gone.

Once I awoke and saw Jon masturbating across from me. The image was very clear because he had a flashlight on himself. I was so aroused, my head was going to explode. After I was sure he was asleep, I masturbated too and made a tremendous mess because I had no paper towels ready.

I talked with our RA who was an older graduate student, but cool and easy to talk to. I confessed I was bi and about my fear. He assured me masturbation was normal, natural, necessary and healthy. He told me stories of other freshmen he and the other RAs had counseled and how they coped. I was not alone. He said the number of masturbation-related issues had increased every year that he was there. It used to never be raised to an RA whereas now it's commonplace for freshmen to talk about it with them and seek their counsel. Also, it used to be just a night thing whereas now they hear of worries and conflicts at noon and all hours. Many students now are trying to accommodate not a once a day need but a two or three a day need among roommates.

The RA had worked with a professor who had finished a study he told me about on this and and found that each new freshman class reported masturbating more than the previous for each of the last 10 years. This is why there are more of these problems. (age 30, Frostburg State)

I would like to see that study, but I tend to disbelieve that students are masturbating any more or less from year to year.

Years ago I lived in a suite dorm. We had two bedrooms and an adjoining bathroom. I had a roommate and two suite mates. The first week there was a dorm floor meeting that went over all of the rules and policies. We had a male RA who was studying to be a doctor on our floor and a female RA on the floor below. Right at the end of the meeting the guys from the floor below came up and the girls from our floor went to the floor below. He went over specific rules about sexual harrassment and other topics. Then he flat out said, "When you get back to your rooms you need to have a open and frank discussion with your roommate and suitemates about masturbation. Every one of you will need to masturbate sometime during the semester. You decide what is right for you." We went back to our rooms and it was a little awkward at first. We decided right there that as long as just the four of us were in the rooms we would masturbate as needed. No one said anything if you masturbated 1 or 4 times a day. I openly masturbated in front of my roommate, and he did the same. Never a problem. My advice is to make that something you talk about your first week. (age 48)

It's good to talk about it, but I don't think it's necessary to masturbate openly. You could have arranged for some other policy, especially in a suite-style dorm.

I am a freshman in college this year and I have a roommate for the first time. I considered bringing masturbation up to him during the first 2-3 weeks because formerly I masturbated every night before going to sleep. However, I found he is so shy he won't hardly change clothes with me in the room. He is a good friend and I don't want to make him feel awkward. How should I approach this? (age 18)

You don't need to discuss masturbation specifically. You could just tell him you want to arrange to have private time in the room and that you will accommodate him the same way.

This is a situation that has been experienced by all guys going to college and having a roommate that they just met when they got to school. I was in college in the late 60's/early 70's and we faced the same situation. My college roommate and I never met till the first day of school and wound up rooming together for all 4 years of our college life. Since we were both only children, we were used to being able to do what we wanted in the confines of our own rooms. The first few weeks we were both frustrated, I'm sure with the entire situation. I remember the first time that I heard him masturbating, which was the 3rd week we were together. I was so turned on and got so hard that I slowly masturbated with him. I'm sure he heard me as I heard him, but nothing was said at the time.

About the 2nd month of school, he walked in on me in full stroke. I had no time to stop as I was orgasming at the time. He just stood there watching me. When I finished, he apologized, but said it was time we talked. We agreed on masturbating whenever we felt like it, whether or not the other was in the room, masturbating, studying, or just trying to fall asleep. He was totally straight and I unknown to him was bi. I thought that he enjoyed watching me as much as I him, and we never touched each other or felt guilty. My advice to my sons when they went to school was to arrange things that way and communicate when the time was right. (age 60, University of Iowa)

When I was 18 and started college I (a male) and three female friends from high school rented an apartment. It had three bedrooms so I took one, and one girl took another, and 2 girls shared a room. Their bedrooms were on either side of my bedroom, so I could hear everything that went on, and they could all hear everything that went on in my room. After spending one night and realizing that we had almost no privacy, I just came out and said that we all masturbate and that we will be able to hear each other, and nobody needs to say anything or be embarrassed, and everybody just shrugged and said OK. Now that we have been together five years, we really don't care anymore. We just kind of do it freely; they have walked in on me, and I have walked in on them. And I have to admit listening to the girls masturbate is so hot.

I recently realized that other masturbating around me REALLY turns me on, although I am not a homosexual I do consider myself bi-curious, and my question to you would be say, I have a roommate who is completely open about masturbation. It's pretty much one of those things like, "hey, I'm going to go to the shower," "OK, that's cool, I'mma go fap," my question would be, would it be possible to convert my homosexual roomate?

Convert him from homosexual to what? I don't think I understand. Why don't you just accept your roommate and not try to convert him.

My sophomore year, I shared a room with 2 other guys. One was very odd and didn't socialize, but the other one had a cute girlfriend who was spending the night most nights within a few weeks. As a night owl, I was often up late and would regularly masturbate after everyone was asleep, or so I thought.

Just before graduation. I was out at a bar, and I ran into my old roommate's girl. I knew they had broken up, and I started to talk to her and she drunkenly confessed that she used to wake up in the middle of the night and listen to me jerk off. She said that when she knew her ex was passed out drunk, she would often play with herself while listening and watching, if there was enough light to see me. She also said that she could tell that I had a much bigger penis than her ex, who was the only guy she had ever been with at that time. I told her that I always checked her out in the t shirts and boxers she slept in and sometimes fantasized about her when I jerked off to this day. We went back to my place and ended up spending the whole weekend in bed together screwing our brains out. Thanks, masturbation, for creating the perfect setup for sex! (age 33, University of Wisconsin, Whitewater)

Nice. That isn't the first time we've had a story that wild posted by someone in Wisconsin.

I go to boarding school and I share a room with 4 other boys my age. I'm bisexual and want to masturbate but at the same time I don't in case I get caught. What should I do? (age 16)

You could do whatever you've been doing up until now, but I suspect that isn't satisfying to you. You could make a plan with the other boys for a time when each of you could masturbate in the room. Or you could masturbate surreptitiously whenever you want and take a chance that someone will discover you; you can bet that whoever that is is someone who also masturbates very often.

I don't see what being bisexual has to do with this. Your problem is one held by all who live in common rooms, heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual.

I live with two friends in a room. We are friends since the first year of university and at the third we started living together, so we have a good level of confidence. We have talked about the masturbation theme and we all know we do it with some frequency and we decided that that's a thing that happens and that should not be completely planned, so we decided it is OK to masturbate at night in bed if we are sure the others are sleeping. The only problem by now is that one of the guys is kind of noisy while wanking, and can wake you up, so you hear the friction with the sheets, and him making noises, and when he ejaculates he make the noises you make when having sex, more or less. For me, I am hard to wake up at night so this has not been a problem, but the other guy told me a few days ago about this, and he told me that he wakes up almost every time the other guy wanks. So we would like to talk to him, but we don't want him to be repressed or something, considering that he doesn't have a girlfriend and isn't having sex with any girl. (age 22, Universidad de Concepción)

If the one guy is noisy, then your policy of masturbating when the others are asleep is not a good one. So you don't need to simply talk to him, you need to make a new policy. All three of you should come up with a solution together. How about setting aside some time for him to masturbate before bed? Maybe you and the other guy could arrange to be out of the room for a few minutes.

I'm going into college next year and most likely, I'll be dorming. I'm a girl and I masturbate to gay porn/fanfiction so I'm just wondering how exactly to get private time without making it awkward? I'm not the type to speak outright and say I want the room for 30 minutes (and I feel it might be harder to orgasm if I know someone else knows). (age 17)

Read the strategies on this page. Your roommate will also want private time. You can arrange for it without mentioning masturbation or porn or anything. Your roommate will be glad you brought it up.

I'll be going to a one week training program for college and was wondering how I would be able to discreetly set up a deal with my roommate about masturbation. (age 18)

I don't think most people make an arrangement for a one week residency, but you would probably enjoy yourself more if you did. Anyway, talking with your training roommate would be good practice for talking about it with your college roommate.

I have a room adjacent to a girl and I walked in on her masturbating. She was moaning and she saw me and smiled with a horny smile. I got an erection. I masturbate over this furiously and think about seeing her naked on her bed rubbing herself. What do I do? Is this normal? (age 20)

If she got a horny smile when you caught her, she probably enjoyed the experience and she probably likes you. Why don't you ask her out instead of going at it furiously and alone?

I just went through college orientation. I start in about a month and a half and already have my roommate and housing assignments all sorted out. I've told my roommate that I'm gay and he's told me there's no problem.

I have one big issue. My roommate is pretty hot. This makes things much much much more difficult for me, especially when I will eventually have to bring up the masturbation topic, and even afterward I'm afraid of situations where I see him naked and get aroused (much to my forseeable embarrassment, and more importantly him getting creeped out by it) or something of that nature. I'm really stuck and don't know what to do. I feel as though telling him something along the lines of "Hey, I think you're really good looking, I'm pretty jealous" in a joking manner would clear up most of that and prevent me from coming off as trying to hit on him or something like that. But even knowing that, I'm still nervous and don't know what to do.

After reading, I've found that a lot of the things I was planning on doing (such as bringing up the masturbation topic over the phone) are actually not such good ideas and should be done in person. Given how much you've helped others I hope you could give me some advice on this.

I'm also having trouble figuring out what would be the best and least awkward way of starting the masturbation conversation. Judging from what I've read here, most guys would be relieved at me being the one to initiate it - and having only talked to my roommate via text messaging I can't really say much, but I hope as he seemed pretty understanding and open when I was telling him I was gay. I don't the conversation to be sparked by one of us hearing the other masturbating or having to bring it up because of built up stress or something like that. So I was hoping that a few days into living together, I'd bring it up and sort it out before any of that happens.

I think the most helpful piece of information I can use in my situation that I've gotten here is knowing that my roommate masturbates just as often as I masturbate. I've also had a pretty in-depth talk with a friend from high school about masturbation and sexual activity before. It was really honest and I learned a lot about both myself and him and other guys my age. (age 17)

Could you ask to change rooms? I can't believe it would be good for either you or him to be living with someone you think of as "hot." Maybe living in a larger room with more guys would be a solution. Also, you don't have to talk about masturbation specifically. Maybe after a few days of living together, you will notice there are wide periods of time that you will have the room to yourself. If not, just ask for "private time." Your roommate will be eager to have it too.

In our dorm, the director always tries for a sophomore share to a room with a freshman, with the idea that the sophomore helps the freshman with lots of college stuff, like classes, and also convivence. So this year I am a sophomore and there was a vacancy in my room that was filled by a freshman. As I had the same concerns about masturbating in dorms as almost all guys must have, I knew I had to handle this. So in the first week, I realized that he was a cool guy, so I told him I was going to give him a copy of my schedule so in that way he could know the times I won't be in the room for him to do whatever he wanted, and asked if he could give me also a copy of his own schedule. It was not necessary to say the main concern was how to masturbate in the dorm.

A few times I heard him in the night, and I think maybe he heard sometimes too, but as we have plenty of alone time this has never been a problem. I just wanted to share how I managed this thing with my roommate. I must to admit I am lucky with this guy respecting our tacit pact, because other sophomores in the dorm in spite of also sharing the schedules must deal with the noisiest night wankers ever! (age 22)

Every generation of college students thinks the new generation is noisier...

I thought that my roommate was asleep so I was masturbating, like I have a few nights since being here. But tonight, I don't know if she was asleep. I was in the middle and she started talking to me about something unimportant, about how to wash a costume shirt. I don't know how long she was awake, if she heard or saw or anything. I obviously stopped masturbating right away, but I don't know if she knows. Should I just completely ignore it and hope she had no clue what I was doing under the covers? I was being pretty quiet, but I don't know. She is very sheltered and religious so there's like a 1/10 chance she has masturbated before, so it's not a situation where I know she is experienced masturbating. (age 18)

I think you ought to find a way to enjoy masturbating in your room. That's what this whole page is about. It would be easier for both of you if you discussed it. Also, you should not assume that someone who is religious doesn't masturbate. She might be a lot more experienced than you are.

I live in a dorm, with three other females in my room, with an enclosed toilet and shower. I spend most of my time out with friends or participating in some activity, so I cannot take advantage of my roommates not being there. Even on the occasions when I stay inside, I always fear that they may come in. I prefer to be completely nude when I masturbate, and it would be very uncomfortable if I had to hide under the blanket while they were inside, since I would feel extremely self-conscious about whether or not they could tell what I am doing. We are not very comfortable around each other and though I found no problem with this when I temporarily slept in another room with other girls during break, we are not even comfortable with undressing around each other, though such practises are commonplace in this dorm.

I feel like approaching this subject with them would further alienate them from me, since we barely trust each other enough to keep our lockers unlocked and they appear more close-minded than I. While I'm sure that a couple of them masturbate when they go home, one of them is not allowed to leave because she is a minor, though she may enjoy my absence during the day or her boyfriend.

I am unable to orgasm or even get fully aroused in the shower, and the toilet is unnattractive and a turn-off. There is not enough room in the bathroom for other options there. In addition, I dislike going home, and even when I do, I share a room with my sister, and a bathroom that both her and my little brother seem to want to be in much too often.

I occasionally touch myself in bed during the night, but I can't do as much as I'd like under the covers without possibly awaking or alerting my room mates. I've tried to cover all bases so perhaps you might see a solution. How can I pleasure myself and release my sexual tensions in my dorm, since I am a virgin trying to stay that way with a body trying not to.

I understand your frustration, but like you say, your roommates are in the same boat. So it is to your advantage to negotiate private time for everyone in the room. Necessity is the mother of invention, so maybe now is a good time to learn to masturbate in the shower. Maybe you could get yourself aroused in the privacy of your bed and then go to the bathroom for the heavy stroking part?

I've been knowingly masturbating since I was about 9, always with my hands, but this year before I went to college I decided to try objects also, and it's all been great. My roommates and I get along really well, and we talk about most stuff, but we hadn't really talked about masturbating until one night my roommate just kind of brought it up out of the blue, and she carried on for about a half hour about how disgusting and unnecessary it was, but she never asked me for my opinion. It was really hurtful, but obviously she didn't know I masturbate, so I don't know what to do now. I always wait until I am by myself and make sure the doors are locked and everything, but I'm still nervous. What if she finds my vibrator or something? What will she think? (age 19)

Who cares what she thinks? You have been masturbating for more than half of your life, and you enjoy it ("It's all been great.") You roommate is the one who has an issue with it. Who cares if she finds the vibrator? If she tries to start another lecture against masturbation, you can just tell her you don't want to hear it. Don't let her hangups affect your enjoyment.

I live in a college dorm with a roommate. I don't know if she pleasures herself too or not. I also have the embarrassing problem of extremely heavy breathing when I do. (age 18)

This is one reason why it's easier for men, because they all know that all of them do. I notice that you never use the word masturbate. You can discuss this with your roommate without using the word. Just tell her you'd like to arrange for private time in the room.

I was always intimidated by college dorms and showers, so when I was a freshman and discovered that all the men's dorm showers were one big tiled room, I was pretty nervous. I had never used the group showers in high school -- just too insecure. But one guy would leave his dorm room and walk the long hallway to the bathroom every morning with a raging boner! I figured if he could show up in the common bathroom with his morning wood, then if I popped a boner in the shower it would be no big deal. And sure enough I did. Being naked in front of other guys was a nerve-inducing novelty for me at 17, but I got used to it. After a few weeks, I would masturbate in the toilet stall before my shower, to be sure I didn't get too excited in the shower, where it would be really obvious. I think I was pretty discreet. My sophomore year I had a job that required me to be at work at 5:30, so I had the gang shower all to myself all year! That was the best year because I could masturbate every morning in the shower with no audience. You could always hear the heavy metal doors to the bathroom opening in plenty of time before anyone would enter the shower itself, so I never got caught. I knew other guys were doing it too, but we never talked about it, and as long as guys cleaned up their mess afterward, it wasn't a problem. Finding semen on the toilet seat, sink or wall is not cool! (Central Pennsylvania College)

I am a soldier in the US Army and my barracks at the time were three-man rooms, with a shared bathroom. While it would have been easy for me to go to the bathroom at night and masturbate, I have always prefered to cum while lying in bed and instantly falling asleep from the rush of endorphins. It was easy for me to do so, because I had the room to myself. So when I finally got a roommate, another private, it was really important this didn't change for me. I was sure he wouldn't care. So I told him, "Hey, I like to masturbate at night. Not trying to be freaky or sexual or anything its just what i've been doing since i was a kid. Helps me sleep better." He laughed and said thank you for being honest and that it was cool as long as I didn't make loud noises. So that night, sure enough I masturbated, and he knew what I was doing and we were cool about it. Though he was much more secretive about his masturbation, usually locking himself in our latrine for an hour blasting music with the sink running, I could always tell he was masturbating too because for some odd reason he would never flush his ejaculate down the toilet. It never made us awkward around each other or treat each other differently. It's natural, it's healthy. I also started a trend of guys masturbating back in basic training too. Guys were terrified because there weren't any girls around. So I asked them, were there girls around when you first started masturbating at age 12? They asked me if I masturbated. I told them every night. Everyone became less uptight about it after that. (age 20)

Cool story with the roommate, but please don't take credit for starting a trend of guys masturbating in BT.

My freshman year of college I lived with two other girls so I was really worried about pleasuring myself in the room. I was too timid to say anything to them because I wasn't as close to them as they were to each other. It got so awkward for me that I just made up in my mind that I would move back home since I don't live too far away. I told my parents I wanted to "save them money." But now I'm a junior and I really miss being on campus. I'm thinking about moving in with a friend but I don't want to run into the same problem. We're close but not that close! And I don't think she masturbates. I just don't want to make things weird between us. How can I handle this in the most casual way? (age 19)

How sad that being unable to talk about masturbating drove you away from campus! As has been stated on this page many times, you can start a discussion about having private time in your room without specifically discussing masturbation. If you move in with your friend, just ask her what are some times each week when you can have the room to yourself, and what are some times each week when she can have the room to herself.

Is it wrong that I get turned on in college and just have to go and masturbate in the toilets? Do others do the same? (female, age 18)

Yes, lots and lots of others. It is not a bit wrong, but you shouldn't have to hide in the bathroom. Please study this page for alternatives.

My dorm is similar to an apartment setup, and there are four of us in our apartment. The problem is that we all have to share one bedroom. Luckily, two of my roommates are very nice and respectful, but one of them is awful. I walked in on her and her boyfriend having sex twice, and one of my other roommates walked in on them. They were both naked, and even though I basically left as soon as I walked in, they didn't seem uncomfortable at all. But I was! Her boyfriend creeps the rest of us out, and it bothers me that they didn't make any effort to lock the door or prevent anyone from coming in. How do I approach this with her? Her boyfriend has his own apartment, but they're always copulating at our place, and since there are three more of us roommates, there's almost never a time when someone doesn't have to be going into our room to get something, study, etc. (By the way, I appreciate your site a lot!) (age 18)

The four of you get to make the rules for the bedroom. But keep in mind that if you make a no-sex rule for them, it will also apply to the three of you.

One time when I was in the military, my teammate and I went on a business trip. We shared a hotel room and I guess we were both horny that night because we decided to watch some porn while lying in our separate beds. We got aroused and started masturbating. At first we pretended not to notice the other one. Finally he said, "if it doesn't bother you I'm just gonna take care of myself" to which I replied, "I'm glad you said something because I didn't know how much longer I could hold off." At first we were doing it under the blankets so he couldn't see my penis and I couldn't see his. I couldn't hold it any longer and told him that I couldn't masturbate underneath the blankets and if he minded if I pulled the blankets off. He said no. Then we each finished. He and I had no inclination for sex with each other. We just needed relief. (age 46)

I'm in my second year at college and am living in a 6 person, apartment style dorm. I'm finding the need to masturbate, a lot more than ever before. I find it difficult to get through the week without masturbating one to three times a day. Is this normal? Why do I have such a strong need?

The other weekend my roommates and I got back from a party. None of us were able to find a girl to hang out and have sex with for the night, so we just hung out in the common room talking. The topic of masturbation came up. I found out that I masturbated the second most out of the six guys. The topic of nudity in the dorm room came up. One roommate likes to just freely be nude whenever possible, and he asked us if we'd mind. Most of us said we didn't. Is this normal for roommates to deal with/talk about or do around each other?

Through out the past week and this weekend, we've all decided that it's cool if you're just going to chill in the dorm room nude, as long as you let everyone know through a text message (in case your friends are coming back to the room, etc.) that you were naked. One roommate has been undressing in the common room as soon as he walks in the door from class. I find that we all watch him as he does this.

I am interested to know if this is a strange activity to do in our dorm. No one is masturbating in front of others, we're just hanging out in the buff. If we are all OK with this, will it be a problem? (age 19)

There is nothing at all unusual about masturbating more than usual when you get to college. You're probably under a lot more stress than you were in high school, with classes and exams and future plans. Be glad you have roommates that you can discuss sexual matters with and make plans together for use of the dorm room. By reading this page, you can certainly understand that not all college men and women have it as easy as you do. I don't see a problem with the nudity policy you have for the dorm room, since everyone agrees to it. I assume someone will speak up when they have decided that they have had enough nudity.

The way that I look at the whole masturbation situation in college is we're all adults. My roommate and I both masturbate in our room at night sometimes. It's not something that we shout out to one another or to other people. We just both know that it happens and don't see any reason to make it awkward. I've woken up many times in the past and heard heavy breathing and felt the bunk bed shaking. I'm not weirded out by it. I'm comfortable with my sexuality and he's comfortable with his. In my college experience, I've encountered a lot worse than that. It's only weird if you make it weird. (age 21, somewhere in Michigan)

I'm a high school senior, and I've got a few concerns about the whole dorm situation when I ship off to university next year. I masturbate daily, and I've been sleeping nude since I was in the 10th grade. Not only that, I tend to stay nude in my room for a lot of the day, usually in the mornings before class, and after dinner in the evening. I've read plenty of your tips on this page about dorm masturbation, and it's great, thanks! I'd also like to point out that I'm straight, and very confident in my sexuality.

My biggest concern about the whole rooming situation is how do I let my new roomie know that not only do I masturbate and want some arrangement as to how we would do so, but I also sleep nude? Would it even be wise to see if he's OK with prolonged nudity like I mentioned above? I'm open to any arrangement about masturbation and the nudity situation, but how do I not weird him out about it all? (age 17)

There are a lot of ways to discuss masturbation. They are covered on this page. I suggest you approach the part about nudity by asking him how he feels about nudity and what times of day it would be OK for you to be nude in the dorm room instead of simply declaring that you are going to be nude in the room whenever you feel like it and he has to lump it. Keep in mind he's probably going to want to have visitors, including female ones, in the room, and he will want to not find you naked every time he brings them to the room.

My freshman year, I lived in a dorm with one roommate. I had a tremendous sex drive and had to masturbate once or twice a day. I had the top bunk and always masturbated very quietly before we got up or after we went to bed. Being on the top bunk, I had to be sure not to shake my bed or he might know what I was doing. After a semester of this, I couldn't take it anymore. One night I was very tensed up and had a tremendous urge to masturbate. I got down from my bunk and told him that I really had to masturbate. I didn't give him a chance to respond and sat down in the chair and did it. He said that was cool as he did it also. After that, if we needed to do it, we would, and and we would just not pay any attention. Now I know the best way to deal with it is to discuss it early on and establish what is acceptable and not. (age 28, Florida State University)

I'll be a freshman in college next year. When I masturbate in my dorm, what do I do to clean my hands? I wash my hands a few times after masturbating (I'm a bit OCD) and my dorm will have a bathroom in the hallway instead of in the room. How do I get to the bathroom to wash my hands without touching anything? (age 18)

I have never had that question before. Most males and females who are entering college are wondering how they will get privacy to masturbate when having a roommate for the first time. Switching to a water-based lube will help, and you might also keep an old shirt handy for wiping your hands on. Also, a lot of dorm rooms have sinks even though they don't have any other plumbing fixtures.

I like to J/O while looking down from my bunk bed at the girls on the path below. Can they see me masturbating? (age 19)

If you can see out, they can see in.

It took until spring semester of my junior year, but I was finally caught by my roommate last night. I was going at it with my vibrator pretty hard and I heard my roommate stick her key in the lock but I was at a place where I just didn't want to stop. She came in and saw everything and said "oh..." and then left very quietly. As soon as she was gone, I exploded in the most furious orgasm ever. When she came back, I asked if she was having a good night and she just nodded. It's a thrill to know I can masturbate and not worry if she knows. (age 20)

What a memorable night. I think it would have been better if you had arranged in advance to signal that you wanted to be left alone by putting a hair tie on the doorknob. Now that the encounter is fresh in your roommate's mind, why not suggest that for both your benefit?

I share a dorm with a very good friend. In general terms, masturbation is not an issue for us. Some nights I hear him and if he is too noisy I just ask him to be more quiet, and vice versa, so that's fine. One day I came back to the dorm to pick up a book that I needed for studying. I knocked the door of the room as usual, and I heard nothing. So I entered the room, and I saw my roommate naked, at full masturbation, as if the next day the world would explode. He was watching porn with headphones on. He didn't see me so I immediately closed the door, and I waited 15 minutes while talking to other guys. Then I came back to the dorm and knocked louder and he still didn't answer, so I opened the door and this time he was doing it at a very funny position. I could not help laughing!! He didn't hear me so I threw him my keys, and he was so shocked when saw me there that he fell from the bed with his laptop. I got my book and left. I couldn't look him in the eyes without laughing for two months. I have not said a word about that in the dorm house. So my advice: If you share a room and plan to wank watching porn at a time when it is possible that someone could walk in, don't use headphones at full volume! Excellent website!!! (age 23, UPLA)

That's good advice and a funny story, but don't be so quick to laugh at him.

During my freshman year I had a VERY religious roommate. The first time I got dressed in front of him he actually got angry with me because I took my underwear off and that was a sin. That year I stuck to masturbating in the showers. My sophomore year, I asked to be moved to another room and ended up sharing with another sophomore who had transferred from another college and was an ROTC Marine. He turned out to be a great roommate and we roomed together until graduation and still are good friends. There was never any discussion between us about having girlfriends over or masturbating in the room; things just sort of happened and became an unspoken agreement.

About our second week rooming together, one night about a half hour after we had gone to bed, I heard his sheets rustle excessively and then for the next five or so minutes, a very quiet "fap fap fap" sound, followed by a sigh, more sheets rustling, then quiet. The next night, it was the same, just about a half hour after the lights went out. It didn't take long for me to realize that this was going to be a nightly ritual for him. I think it was about two weeks later that I decided I would also masturbate and beat him to the punch, quietly masturbating only 15 minutes after the lights went out. About a half hour later I heard him go at it. A couple of days later (not a word ever spoken between us), we just stopped being so quiet about it and just did it. Soon after that, and I was the first to make this move, I pulled back the sheets and did my thing, wiped up with the t-shirt I had been wearing that day, then got up and threw the t-shirt in my dirty clothes bag and climbed back into bed. Soon, he was doing the same and some nights we would even do it together. Lights always out, never a word spoken. During mid-terms that first semester, I came back from the library late one night and found him sitting at his desk nude and masturbating to porn. He immediately stopped, said sorry and was about ready to get up and throw on his boxers and I answered, "no problem, I don't mind. You can keep doing it if you want," and he did. That was the ONLY time in the three years I roomed with him that we even came close to talking about it. In those three years, he walked in on me probably 6-7 times and I walked in on him probably 20 times. We just ignored each other and carried on. (age 25, University of Michigan)

I'm glad it worked out well, but I think you would have had an easier time with the first roommate and been interrupted less/interrupted the second roommate less if you had talked about it and made some sort of plan for not wanting to be disturbed. Religious guys masturbate too, about the same frequency as anyone else.

I discovered a couple of weeks ago and find it very informative and well-written. My roommate occasionally masturbates in front of me with my permission (we agree it's OK). After he shoots, he eats his semen. Is this normal for most guys? (age 25)

Yes. About half of males have eaten their semen at least once, and 11 percent use it as their regular way of cleaning up after masturbating.

I had a really strange situation. The summer of my junior year, I attended a summer school program in Vienna. We were told that we would be boarded in local apartments or in rooms in local houses with one other student and were informed prior to arrival who it would be. I knew my roommate-to-be only because he was a guy in one of my classes. The summer school session was six weeks long. The house where we were put was a 20 minute subway ride from the university. When we arrived, we found out that we would not only be sharing a room -- we would be sharing a BED! The landlord was under the mistaken belief that he would be housing a married couple for six weeks. There were two issues here: I slept in the nude and I masturbated every night before going to sleep.

Arrangements were made with the landlord to have the double bed removed and single beds put in, but it would be a week before that would happen. That first night, when I disrobed and climbed into my side of the bed, my roommate just looked at me and said "You're kidding? You're climbing into bed naked with me?" (he was just wearing Y-fronts) to which I replied that I had been sleeping in the buff for ages and that I was not trying to "come on to him." He was clearly uncomfortable, but said he was OK with it. Of course, there was no way I was going to even attempt to masturbate. Five days later, we went out to a bar and I practically had to carry him home. When we got home, I disrobed and climbed into bed while he was in the bathroom. He came out, took off all his clothes and in a very slurred voice said, "I'm gonna sleep naked too!" He climbed into bed and said that he knows I want to fool around with him "and thats just fine cuz I wanna fool around with you too." I just laughed and said "just get to sleep" but he kept egging me on until I finally relented and told him that if he wanted to masturbate with me I was fine with that. So, we masturbated right in the same bed, covers pulled down and lights on. Five minutes in, he started to slow down. A couple minutes later, he stopped and passed out cold. I finished myself off, cleaned up, turned off the lights and went to sleep. Two nights later we finally got the separate beds and I was able to masturbate nightly with the covers over myself after I heard him doze off. He never even remembered coming home from the bar that night. (age 30, University of Vienna)

That's funny, but you should have worn clothing to bed when your bedmate was uncomfortable with your nudity. He might not have really wanted to fool around with you but was just acting crazy due to alcohol.

I am going to college and living in a dorm for the first time. Do you think it's OK to talk with my 28-year-old male cousin about masturbation? I don't feel comfortable talking to anyone else about it. I am going to have a roommate. (age 21)

I think it's great if you can talk to your cousin about masturbation. But it would help you get privacy in your dorm room if you talked to your roommate about privacy (and perhaps masturbation).

Until recently everything was fine with my roommate. We never said anything, but I made a point for him to know my schedule and for me to know his. That way I masturbated when he had class, and I just assumed he did the same. Lately, he has been going through a depressive period and barely leaves the room at all, even to go to class. I'm at a loss for what to do here. Obviously I need my release but I can't just ask him to leave in his state. I can't even do it when he's sleeping because I'm loud and we're bunked, so I might wake him up. Do you have any ideas? Thanks for the site by the way! (age 18)

Point out that lately he has been getting plenty of privacy in the room while you have none. Ask him if he would mind going to the TV lounge or dining hall or someplace so you can have the room to yourself for an hour. You need not mention masturbating specifically, but it is also OK if you do.

I circumvented the whole year-long awkwardness phase by just coming out and saying something. A few hours after my roommate and I had moved into our room, as we were unboxing our stuff and getting ready to sleep, I tacked my calendar and schedule to the wall. Pointing to them I said, "If you want to masturbate in here, please do it while I'm not here." He didn't say anything, but the next day his schedule was up on the wall opposite mine. (age 23)

It doesn't need to be a whole year of awkwardness, and someone doesn't need to broach the subject as abruptly as you did either. But I'm glad it worked for you.

I think this site is great. It's amazing how many people have positive stories of being able to work out masturbating while their roommate is in the room, and even doing it at the same time, and even sometimes getting turned on by it. I only ever shared apartments during university, not rooms, but definitely masturbated to the point of being heard by apartment-mates, I'm sure. But nobody ever said anything. I also have a friend who, during college and after, would sometimes be in a situation in which he was just wearing underwear or shorts around me (after sports or when it's really hot), and would play with himself a little. I actually wish I had asked him if it was OK if I did it too. I think a fair number of people are curious about this sort of thing. I'm glad to see the Internet is finally helping roommates be relaxed about. (age 39)

I think you might have embarrassed your friend by asking. He was probably not masturbating (trying to increase his sexual arousal) but merely touching his penis and scrotum through his underwear. A lot of males do that non-sexually.

When I was in college I had a very open relationship with my freshman/sophomore roommate. We were really good friends with a lot in common. Masturbation really never came up. I knew that he would do it when he thought that I was asleep; he wasn't quiet. One night I was lying in bed waiting for signs of my roomie to be asleep. The coast seemed clear so I started and got a little noisy. The next thing I know he's awake and he asked if I mind if he masturbated too. Of course I didn't. (age 41)

Sometimes when I masturbate it's really intense, and I get to breathing really hard and moan and whine. Do the others here who've said they masturbate with roommates present have the same experience? (age 39)

When people are trying to surreptitiously masturbate, they try to be much quieter than they would be if they were alone. I suspect that those who masturbate with their roommate's permission are also quieter than they would be alone.

I'm in my second year at university. The first night my roommate moved in, I told him I did it, and I knew he did. We have a rule that if one needs to do it to ask the other if they need to use the bathroom first because "I need alone time" and then just go in there alone knowing that is our time. It started that way but like most guys, we like to do it at bedtime and in bed so we just have the lights off or just TV on and are in our given beds and under at least a sheet and it's sort of obvious if one or the other is doing it but not a problem really. It's actually kind of funny because one night I knew he was really horny coming back from a party and when he did it he couldn't help it but moaned at at climax time. We laughed about it the next day. (age 19)

That's a good job of communicating with your roommate, but I can't help but think you have some kind of issue because you never said what you were talking about in your message. The word you left out is not a dirty word.

When I was in Iraq we had a big open barracks room. I spread out the porn I had collected (videos and movie files) and we'd all gather around to watch it. We had porta johns that were the only source of privacy and I'd go in there with my GameBoy (it had a movie player attachment) and pleasure myself to my heart's content. The porta johns were really clean, and I found some that were hardly ever used right behind where we slept, so it worked out perfectly. Toward the end of the deployment, I just took my laptop in there. I had to use headphones, but videos are the best! (It's been a while since I've masturbated to stills.) Almost nobody cared and I'm sure other people did it too, but I was still discreet. (age 22)

Thanks for your service!

I never masturbated that much until I got to college, probably only once or twice a week. When I moved into the dorm after about a week, my roommate woke me up one night while he was masturbating, and I said, "dude, can't you be quieter?" He finished and asked me if I ever did it and I told him not that much. He asked if I minded that he did it and I told him I didn't. When I lived at home, I shared a room with my younger brother, who masturbated frequently. My roommate started masturbating every night the second he got in bed so he wouldn't wake me up. I got in the habit of masturbating when he did so now I do it daily. (age 20, Eastern Michigan University)

Your message shows that good results can be obtained for both roommates even when the discussion starts with a complaint.

Tomorrow is going to be my first day in college in 33 years! I am excited but I still masturbate. You say to tell my roommate that I masturbate but should I? At my age is it normal to say that? Will they be offended or even appalled by that? (age 54)

I don't know your roommate, so I don't know what will offend or appall him. I have never told anyone to tell their roommate that they masturbate. I encourage roommates to work out schedules so that everyone in the room can have private time in the room. Discussing privacy in the room need not mention masturbation, but I suspect a roommate would be more relieved than offended if you brought it up. Good luck in school!

When living in the dorm, it is only possible to masturbate when both my roommates are away. However, I can only masturbate with my clothes on, in case someone suddenly comes in. At home, I always strip naked before I masturbate. Is it OK? (age 21)

It doesn't sound OK to me. No guy wants to masturbate with his clothes on, terrified that someone will come in. You would enjoy it a lot more if you three roommates all agreed that each of you could have private time in the room or at least a way to signal that you don't want to be disturbed. Like Homer Simpson's roommates told him, put a tie on the doorknob if you want to be alone with a girl, or a sock if you want to be alone with a picture of a girl.

I start college in the fall and will have a roommate I have never met. I sleep in my underwear (tighty whities) and every morning I wake up with an erection that sometimes doesn't go away until after I get up. I'm worried that my roommate will make fun of me. Is there a way to make this stop? (age 18, future Grinnell College alumnus)

Erections are good! They are to be celebrated and enjoyed. They are not to be wished away. Your roommate will be having erections too, and he will not make fun of you for having them. To ease your immediate anticipated discomfort, I suggest keeping a pair of heavy shorts handy to your bed so you can slip them on before getting up in the morning.

I'm living in a dorm at a university in California, two to a room. It's an all-male floor because I barely got in (lottery) and it was either that or nothing at all. There's joking about masturbating but it's frowned upon to be too obvious about it. I either wait until my roomie's asleep or I masturbate in the showers (our side of the hall has open gang type showers like locker rooms but the other wing has individual stalls with walls so you either take your chances like a daredevil or you walk clear across the dorm while the other guys snicker if they see you going to their showers because they know why you are). My roomie thought I was asleep when I wasn't but I ignored him.

College is actually more conservative than high school. During middle and high school it was not uncommon all to have wank contests or races or how-fars or just doing it in front of each other. It wasn't that big of a deal. But maybe it's because everyone is from everywhere around here, so different cultural standards, etc.

I really like your site. I wish I'd found it years ago when I thought wanking was twisted, perverted and unhealthy. Good job! (age 18)

Thanks for sharing your dorm culture. You're a masturbatory ethnographer!

I am starting my senior year this week and it will be my fourth year in the same dorm room with the same roommate. Our college is Christian and very conservative and guys just don't talk about things like masturbating or sex but I guess I lucked out with my roommate because both of us come from families in the medical profession. His dad is a doctor and my mom is a nurse. We both were taught about sex at a young age and were taught that masturbating is perfectly normal. We never talked about masturbating in our room until last year after he found and we had a good laugh reading some of the stories about masturbating in dorm rooms. I knew that he masturbated at night in bed and he knew that I did too. We joked about each other masturbating but that was it. A couple of nights after we talked about masturbating and read the stories on your site, we each masturbated for the first time with the lights on. Later, we both decided that was awkward but fun. Now we are a little more open about talking about masturbating and aren't so secretive about doing it in bed after the lights go out. I just wanted to thank you for your great site. It should be a required course to graduate college! (age 21, Hope College)

I think you'll do well after you graduate!

I didn't live in a dorm when I was in college but my best friend did. I lived at home with my family. My friend told me how there was tension in the dorm about guys masturbating. I said, "Dude, that's so cool. You've gone on to another dimension and I'm still living like it's high school." He kind of chuckled but said, yeah, part of becoming an adult is negotiating with roommates about stuff like this. I think he was cool for talking to his roommates about it and you're cool for having a site about it. (age 23)

Why thank you!

I'm in a Christian sorority and at home I masturbate 2-6 times a day. I know it's a lot, and it's a problem, but I just get really horny. While I'm living with my sorority sisters, I dont know what to do. (age 18)

I really don't think you can expect to masturbate that often in a shared living situation. But I think you could wangle one session per day at least if you negotiated with your roommates about having privacy in the room. I agree that your frequency is extreme and it's something you should work on. Now that school is starting is a good time to make other changes in your life.

I live in a dorm and I do it at night after my roommate sleeps. I know he doesn't do it since I always sleep after and wake up before him. Masturbation is taboo here in Singapore. There is one incident where someone walked in when this guy did it and it became a bad rumor in the dorm. I'm amazed that other guys' dorms are more open about this issue (probably because we Asians are less liberal about this kind of thing?) That's cool. I don't know what to do if I ever get caught. (age 18)

I have no doubt that your roommate masturbates. He's just pretty good at keeping it from you. Why don't you read my page about being caught masturbating now so you'll be prepared if it happens?

My first year in the dorms was both scary and exciting. My roommate and I got along really well, mainly because we could talk about anything and we felt comfortable about it. The first time masturbation came up was when we were both watching a movie that showed a sexual scene. To be silly I began innocently touching myself trying to copy what was happening in the movie. She also began to touch herself and one thing led to another. We got into our separate beds and each masturbated for real. The next day we talked about it and we agreed it was OK to masturbate while the other was in the room. After we masturbated several different times in the same room, we began to masturbate without the sheets covering us so we could see each other masturbate. The first few times we masturbated we could only hear the other, but actually seeing her masturbate was a whole new turn-on. We do it about once a week. We are both straight but feel a whole new sensation when we masturbate together. (age 19, University of Wisconsin)

Wow, and except for once, I never even watched a movie with my roommates!

I stay with a friend of mine in his dorm on occasion and after he and I and his roommate all lie down for the night, the roommate often starts masturbating. Sometimes right after going to bed, sometimes in the wee hours of the morning, and sometimes in the morning. He's done it sometimes after I use the bathroom in the early morning hours, knowing I'm awake as I'll get up a couple times, lie back down, and he immediately starts. It makes me sick because he obviously does this all the time and seemingly does it especially when my friend and I are both there rather than when we're out. It seems like he gets something from doing it while we're present, and he does it more and more frequently and openly when we're there. How can he be approached by my friend who's nervous to bring it up? (age 23)

You can speak up too, even though you're only a guest in the room. Your friend would probably be grateful if you did. You have nothing to risk, since the roommate is obviously aware that you both know that he masturbates. He and your friend will have to agree to what the policy is for the room, and you will have to live with that policy.

I don't masturbate frequently but sometimes I feel the urge. I've just started college and now live in a dorm. A roommate and I share a bedroom. I'm wondering how can I masturbate safely. It would be easier to solve the problem if we were guys because masturbation is very normal among guys and very well accepted by other guys. But I don't think it's that acceptable among girls. I'm not even sure if my roommate knows about masturbation. She (and other friends) show absolutely no sign that they masturbate. What can I do when I feel an urge next time? (age 18)

Just arrange with your roommate so that you can each have private time in the room. You need not mention masturbation specifically. There's a very good chance that your roommate masturbates herself, and even if she doesn't, she certainly knows what masturbation is.

I've just started Uni (in Australia) and am loving it! Initially the nights were a problem as I share with another guy. I told him the other day that I was going out for a bit and left. After I'd gotten down the street I realized I'd left my wallet back in the room. Not thinking, I walked straight in and found my roomie sprawled on the couch well into a masturbation session! I froze at first, then just walked into the bedroom chuckling. It was awkward at first but I waited till he cleaned up and then went back out and chatted a bit. It really pays to be honest and get to know that side of your roomies! As we found out we are both exhibitionists and now have no problem sitting in the living room watching porn together while stroking. Best advice: be honest, try and find out commonalities and be comfortable with your roomie. Discussing things are much better and working out a plan is the best way to go! Thanks for the site; it's very helpful. (age 18)

I have bad ADHD and live with two other girls in a special unit. I can't get to sleep without tiring myself out. We live in a small room so I can't run and jump around like I normally do. I asked my roomies what they do if they have lots of energy and they said they masturbate so I did. It helped me get to sleep. (age 16)


I live in a dorm and masturbate in the bathroom. On one occasion my friends were home so I locked myself in and masturbated in front of the PC. Some girls living next door came in from the balcony (this was a common practice)and saw me and were shocked. I decided to break the silence so I acted cool, continued doing it, and said "like you don't do it?" They looked at each other and started laughing. There were no tense situations after that. They were surprised to see I'm not ashamed of masturbating (I was but I didn`t let them know) and I marked them that they were childishly ashamed of something that is perfectly normal. (age 22)

I agree that you are very cool. I would not want to live in a dorm where girls or anyone else could let themselves in via the balcony.

When I began college, I had been masturbating for six years, since I was 12. I knew my high school friends were also masturbating. My roommate was a stranger. In time we grew to be great friends. We each masturbated when the other was in class. After the first semester we began talking more openly about sex. I admitted to him that I masturbated and he admitted that he did too. We discussed masturbation at length. We both agreed that it was normal, natural, and enjoyable and everybody does it. After that, my roommate and I had masturbation sessions together. We didn't touch the other, we each took care of our own body. We were roommates for three years. We are still good friends to this day. Many of our friends also masturbated in college and freely admitted it. When I finished my junior year, my roommate graduated and I moved in with my best friend. I knew he masturbated and he knew I did. We were cool about it. We masturbated in private but also together. No problem ever arose. He is my still best friend now. We shared an apartment for six years until he got married, and I was best man at his wedding. After you get to know your roommate, bring up the subject and discuss it and if need be set some ground rules. It will solve problems before they happen and clear the air between you. College should be an enjoyable and fun experience and masturbation is part of it. (age 40)

I started visiting your site before I got to college. My friends and I realized that wanking in dorms could be an issue, because of the loss of privacy. Reading some of the questions of guys (and girls) here, I learned that this subject is a real issue.

When I was freshman and lived in a dorm, I shared the room with a sophomore guy. This guy was so cool that he almost gave me his schedule so I knew exactly when I was going to be alone in the room, so I could wank or whatever, and most weekends he traveled to his girlfriend's house, so I had a lot of privacy and did not have to struggle with being caught.

However, this year, I was caught in a very embarassing way. The bath here is like those in gyms, a bathroom with two shower rooms (four showers each) and a large dressing room. One morning I woke up late, so when I went to shower I noticed I was the last guy. I decided to masturbate in the shower. Another guy came in and saw me wanking. I blurted out, "hey, dude, I'm not wanking," but the guy said, "hey, easy, man, I'll just go to the other shower." I stopped wanking and finished the shower. Then I was drying in the dressing room, thinking about going away as fast as I can, still totally ashamed. The other guy also came out to get dressed. I didn't said a word. He felt the tension and he said, "hey dude, don't worry, I will not say a word." So we had a little chat and then departed.

One day in a barbecue that we did with all the guys in the dorm, one guy started making a joke about wanking in the shower and being caught, then most of the guys admitted that at least once, others on a regular basis, had wanked in the showers. I felt confident enough to tell my story about having been caught and the guy who caught me made a joke about me being frozen in the dressing room. So masturbating was really not an issue. (age 21, Universidad de Playa Ancha)

As a guy, I know it will sound weird, but I enjoy masturbating while I sit on a dildo. It is so hard to do while living in a dorm. With the guys I live with, regular masturbating is acceptable, but I don't think they would go for a guy masturbating using a dildo. I fear getting walked in on so I go to my car (windows very tinted) and do it with the dildo there. I hate it but I can't think of any other place to do it. Is this common or am I an unusual type guy?

I have never heard of that, so I don't think it is very common. However, many males use sex toys when they masturbate, and it would certainly compound the embarrassment of being caught masturbating if one were using one. Basically, the point of discussing it with roommates is so you can arrange for private time in your room to masturbate. Masturbating in your car is very dangerous, especially on a college campus. And you hate it anyway, so why not arrange with your roommates a way to get privacy in your dorm room to have some alone time with your dildo?

I think your site gives good advice and I'd just like to share my experience. I went on vacation in Europe with my friend and we shared a bedroom to save money. One night I woke up to the sound of my friend masturbating in the bed beside me. He stopped once he heard me waking up though. It made me feel uncomfortable and then after a week of neither of us masturbating, I was getting desperate. We are good friends and since I knew he masturbated too, I decided to say something. I just joked about really needing to rub one off and he said the same. We ended up agreeing that it was OK to masturbate in bed when the lights were off. The next night we both masturbated as soon as we got into bed. It worked well as we both got to masturbate without having to worry about the other person and we carried on for the rest of the holiday with this arrangement. We are still good friends so it just proves that using a joke to introduce something really does work. (age 21)

Ah, but would you have made that joke if you had not woken up and caught him masturbating?

Thanks a lot for this site. I'm 18, almost 19. I go to college. has opened my eyes to a lot of things. I tried masturbating prone but I didn't like it. As a teen, it is a comfort to know that a lot of other guys masturbate and the net makes it easier for embarrassed guys and girls to find answers to questions.

When I masturbate to pictures, I would rather see one girl masturbating or two girls going at it, kissing and touching kinda thing. Is it wrong for me to want to see two girls together rather then a guy and a girl?

I also find myself working really late in a studio getting projects done. Sometimes I take a break and go to the bathroom and while I'm in there I will masturbate but I feel guilty afterward. I have started to wait until I get back to the dorm and masturbate in the shower but I want your take on it.

Finally, I have a friend who is a girl and she doesn't live in a dorm. She shares an apartment with her brother. She asked him where guys masturbate in the dorm, and he told her in the room or in the bathroom or in the shower. She told me this and I was wondering if girls do it in the same places and why she told me she had asked her brother that.

Many, many males are aroused by pictures of females masturbating solo or engaging in sex play with another female. It is not at all wrong for you to be aroused by that. I would urge caution when it comes to masturbating in the bathroom at work. Is it a private bathroom with a lock? If the only privacy is a bathroom stall, then you don't know how quickly someone could burst in and what they could see. For best results, wait until you get back to the dorm. The places your friend's brother said that men masturbate are the same places that women masturbate. Maybe she wants to be more than just a friend and she brought up masturbating as a way of getting you turned on to her.

Your site is named which is good, yet many of your replies carry a distinct air of shame about masturbation, advising correspondents that they should close the doors or make certain that their roommate is not present. If people don't develop shame in the first place or get over their shame about this extremely common practice, these steps are not necessary. Shame should be used by a society to discourage bad behavior, but masturbating is not bad behavior.

I used to share an apartment with a guy who would watch gay porn on his big screen TV in the living room, and he would sometimes go at it for a few hours as a form of recreation and ultimately release. Since we had a clothing-optional apartment, I never wore clothes and whenever I was masturbating in my room, I'd leave the door open. We both knew it and had each seen the other. In one case I went out in the living room to enjoy what was playing on the screen with him.

It is contradictory for you to encourage people to masturbate because it is healthy and then turn around and suggest that they adopt behaviors that project a shameful feeling about it. Things that viscerally drive us to seek out privacy have arisen out of self-protection. American society is so uptight about things that should be celebrated and make us more open individuals while it promotes behaviors that tear us down.

I have no shame about masturbation, and I don't want anyone else to have it either. I frequently declare that masturbation is normal, healthy, and fun. Masturbation is also a very private thing. Nearly everyone wants to have their orgasms in private. Not only because they don't want to be seen, but because they strategically don't want others to know of their sexual habits. According to evolutionary theorists Bellis & Baker, when a male masturbates, he is not planning to have sex with a female in the next few days. Therefore, if a competing male sees him masturbate or knows he is masturbating, he will think "Aha! That guy is not having sex with the girl I've seen him with lately. I will get her to have sex with me."

Even if you disbelieve the Bellis/Baker theory of sperm competition, you should have no trouble understanding that 99 1/2 percent of college students want privacy for masturbating, and of them, 90 percent will abstain from masturbating rather than do so without suitable privacy. That you used to live in a clothing-optional apartment where group masturbation took place in public areas of the apartment tells us more about you than my urging people to seek privacy for masturbation tells about me.

I took your advice and found out my roommate's schedule and made time to masturbate when he was away. Then earlier this semester, he got an infection (not a contagious or STD kind) and had to spend most of a week resting in our room. I didn't have the room to myself for very long, and even when I did (his meals & bathroom visits), I didn't know when he was going to be back. So I went without masturbating for the first part of the week. Then I think it was Thursday I was just in agony for not having masturbated since the weekend, so I went and did it in the shower. I was wound up and had an especially nice orgasm and I involuntarily kind of shrieked. I had never masturbated in a shower before, and it felt kind of different standing and everything. Just as I came (and shrieked) another guy came into the bathroom. He couldn't see me but I was terrified because I knew he heard. I exited the shower and said, "The water just went cold." He kind of lamely nodded like he didn't know what to say. (age 19)

I think you thought fast on your feet. But even if your roommate is spending almost all his time in the room, you could still ask how long he's going to be out.

I live with a girl that I don't think ever masturbates. I asked her about getting private time in the room and she didn't even look up from her phone to tell me she doesn't care about private time in the room. I said that I do and she says to just let her know when I want privacy and she'll go elsewhere. Now I feel guilty if I ask her to leave because I'm not doing the same for her, and I also feel resentful because I have to ask her when I want privacy every time instead of just having it at some certain time. What should I do? (age 18)

Now that you've said you don't think your roommate masturbates, you'll probably walk in on her tomorrow sprawled out naked with a vibrator, flavored lube, and naked images glowing on her phone! There is no reason to be guilty, because she already said she doesn't need private time. If you would rather have scheduled private time (Monday & Wednesday 8-9 PM or something like that), then arrange it with her. From what you say, she doesn't seem so tough to deal with.

It is now holiday break at my school and I want to thank you for helping me get through my first semester of dorm living. I would have had a tougher time without your advice. Merry Christmas! (age 18)

And Merry Christmas to you too! I hope you will continue to read in the new year.

I enjoyed masturbating regularly through high school. I had to cut back when I went to college - a lot. My preference was to take my time and masturbate slowly. All of this enjoyment was suddenly limited at school. I also enjoyed sleeping nude but slept in my underwear at school. I had very few wet dreams before college because I was masturbating regularly. Then I had a wet dream about a month after going off to college and having gone the whole month without enjoying an orgasm. I ejaculated inside my underwear and waited for my roommate to leave before getting up to change.

Some of the guys in our dorm would comment about masturbation but my roommate declared that he did not masturbate. My roommate and I had gone to the same high school and had agreed to live as roommates in college. I knew him well but I was not sure why he would be anti-masturbation. We sometimes double dated together in high school. I would always masturbate at home after a date and I thought he was doing the same thing. Also, we were used to being in the shower room after gym class, and the dorm shower was just a large shower room where we bathed in front of one another. He did not have anything to be ashamed of; his penis was bigger than mine when soft. I always wondered why he found masturbation unpleasant.

One afternoon it had been warm outside. My roommate took a shower and was lying on his bed in only a towel studying when I left to go to the library. I came back a few hours later and he was still on the bed wearing only a towel and reading. He felt embarrassed and had to explain that he had not gotten dressed yet. I did not care. I pointed out that there was nothing wrong with being nude when it was just the two roommates in the room. He agreed. As a sort of joke, I suggested that late in the evening we undress and talk naked with the light off. To my surprise, we ended up talking naked, me sitting in the chair at my desk and him sitting on his bed. We found out that we both preferred sleeping nude and agreed to sleep like this from now on. I brought up the next question - what do we do if we wake up with an erection? We agreed that it would not be a problem if it happened. Finally, I brought up the topic of masturbation and admitted that I enjoyed it regularly. To my surprise, he was not put off. I suggested that we give each other two hours to have the room for our private use. I did not ask what his aversion was to masturbation. He agreed to the arrangement.

After this talk, we each slept nude and were completely comfortable reserving the room for our private use. When one of us would wake up with a morning erection, the other was ready to go down the hall and take a shower while the other could have privacy to enjoy himself. (Illinois State University)

I'm not sure I believe all of your story, and I really doubt your roommate didn't masturbate. If true, your story illustrates how you can gain privacy for masturbating (or anything else) by discussing it with your roommate.

Just before Christmas break, I was masturbating in my room for the thousandth time worried my roommate was going to walk in. (OK, so I'm only a sophomore so I exaggerate. I can't have masturbated more than 500 times since I've been at college.) Suddenly I decided I enjoy masturbating more than I fear my roommate knowing I do. In the first place, if he doesn't actually know that I masturbate, he can guess. In the second place, if he knows, how is that any different than if he doesn't know? It's not like he is going to tell anyone. So by worrying constantly about my roommate, I'm only reducing my own pleasure and not making a difference to anyone else. So as soon as he came back, I told him that I was going to start putting a hair tie on the doorknob when I didn't want to disturbed and I hoped he would respect that and I would do the same for him. He said, "yeah, that would be great." I'm hoping to have more and better masturbating sessions in the spring semester. (age 19, University of Guelph)

Good going. I like the way you succinctly formed that argument. I am going to remember your words and share them with others.

I was reading your dorm page before going to college; however, communicating with a roommate isn't always as easy as it looks here. My roommate was sort of depressive. He didn't go out much, and we didn't talk much. At night he stayed up much later than I did and sometimes he would masturbate and I was OK with it. I would wake up a lot earlier than him and I'm almost certain he saw me masturbating some mornings but he never mentioned it. Now that I live alone, it doesn't seem like a big deal anymore. I wish one of us would have brought up the privacy issue, but having a complicated roommate can complicate even the simplest discussions. (age 20, American University)

I think you reached an unspoken agreement that you would masturbate in the morning and he would masturbate at night. Your different sleep schedules worked out for you.

I am not cool talking to my roommate about masturbation or even privacy. I just want to masturbate often and not have anyone know I am doing it. My roommate and I don't squabble often but we are not exactly friends. Nobody knows I masturbate and I don't know why he should be the first one who knows. So my question for you is how can I get some privacy for masturbating without having to talk to my roommate about it? (age 18)

What you wrote does not seem rational to me. Here are some facts: 1) All males are masturbating by age 18. 2) Adult males know this. 3) You are age 18. 4) Therefore, everyone in your dorm knows that you masturbate. 5) You and your roommate (who already knows that you masturbate) are the only ones who can establish times of privacy in the room. 6) Therefore, refusing to talk to your roommate about privacy issues (which need not mention masturbation specifically) does nothing to keep him from knowing that you masturbate but keeps you from enjoying it fully.

College is a good time for growing up. Pretending that you don't masturbate is not even a little bit grown up.

I usually masturbate with a sex toy. I'm at the point where I'm sure my roommate knows I masturbate, and I honestly don't care that much if he walks in on me. But I don't want him to see me masturbating with a toy. What should I do? (age 19)

I don't think your situation is much different from most of the others who've written to me. If you're going to masturbate with the toy (which you usually do), you have the same anxiety about being caught by your roommate as those who merely want to masturbate and not be caught. Arranging to have privacy in the room is key. Otherwise, you're going to have to decide if the additional pleasure you get from the toy is worth the additional anxiety you have about being seen using the toy.

I often spend the night sleeping with my girlfriend in her dorm bed even though we're not having sex. I greatly enjoy being with her and making out with her for hours. We have a rule that we don't do anything involving our genitals. So we spend hours kissing and fondling above the waist. Usually after we go to sleep, her roommate comes back to the room and goes to bed. After our long makeout sessions, I always wake up extremely hard and in need of relief. I have gotten in the habit of masturbating in my girlfriend's bed while she goes down the hall for her morning shower. Sometimes her roommate is asleep while this happens and other times she is out too. I worry that she will wake up or come back to the room while I am masturbating and I will be discovered. What should I do? (age 19)

You should masturbate in the men's bathroom or better yet wait until you are back home. You are a guest in that room and probably have no right to be there when your girlfriend is not in the room. You and your girlfriend could each wind up in a lot of trouble if the roommate decided to make a complaint. You have no way of knowing if she's actually sleeping. Please fix this problem before it becomes a serious one.

I live in a 735-bed all-male dorm and I'm just wondering how much masturbating there is here every day. (age 18)

I think men who live in single-sex dorms are less likely to be sexually active than men who live in co-ed dorms, who are less likely to be sexually active than men who live off campus. I'm going to estimate that 20 percent of the men in your dorm are sexually active. Based on survey research I've done, college-age men who are sexually active masturbate about four times a week, while the ones who are not sexually active masturbate about seven times a week. Given the size of your dorm, that translates to 147 sexually active men masturbating 588 times a week and 588 men who aren't sexually active masturbating 4116 times a week. That's a grand total of 4704 masturbation sessions per week in your dorm, or 672 per day. If they were spaced evenly throughout the day and night, that would mean that in your dorm, every other minute, someone starts masturbating.

My roommate walked in on me masturbating today. I know why it happened. I was masturbating without taking as much care as I usually do because it's finals week and I just really needed to masturbate. I wanted relief from all the stress and I wanted it more than I cared about privacy. So he came in and said "sorry" and left, and I just didn't care. I just finished and enjoyed it tremendously. A few minutes later he knocked and I said to come in. I said I apologize for making him uncomfortable, but we didn't talk about it more than that. And I'm really not embarrassed about it at all. I feel like I've been acting secretly all year for nothing. (age 18)

Good for you. You learned an important lesson with a week to go in the school year and then three more years.

I wish this web site had been around when I was in college. I went through four years of college petrified of being discovered masturbating by my roommate. I only masturbated twice in my dorm in four years. I went home every weekend and made up for lost time there, masturbating 5-7 times every weekend before I had to go back to college. There was like no way to masturbate in the bathroom or shower. The shower stalls were completely open. I was always afraid my roommate would walk in unexpectedly to our dorm room. Now that I've found your site, I realize what I should have done. I should have masturbated standing up with my back to the door into our room. Then if he had come back, he would not have seen me and I could have blocked him from coming in. (age 32)

That would not be very comfortable over the long term. Since you've read my site, and wish you had had it in college, then you know that in order to maximize your comfort and orgasms, you need to arrange for privacy with your roommate. You need not specifically tell the roommate you're going to use the private time for masturbating.

I am going to college this fall and am worried about my masturbating. I have developed the habit of masturbating every night before bed. I know that in college a lot of nights girls stay up studying and I wonder if I'm going to be able to put myself to sleep in college like I do at home. I don't leave for college for over a month but I'm worrying about this every day. (age 18)

You refer to masturbating as a habit as if it's a bad thing. Masturbating is normal, healthy, and fun. It's a good habit. You will have to work out with your roommate what the schedule will be for your room and when you can each have privacy. You need not specifically discuss masturbating. Also, even if you can't always have privacy in your room, maybe you can learn to masturbate in the bathroom.

I'm going to be a freshman this fall and will live in a double dorm. I found this page really helpful but I feel my situation is unique. My roommate is one of my close friends from high school and I don't think she masturbates. I masturbate frequently and am fairly sexually active. I have a vibrator that I'm obsessed with and a long-term boyfriend that is also going to the same school. I don't want to sexile her so my boyfriend and I will probably have most of our sex in his room. But I am used to masturbating (with vibrator) at least once a day, especially in the morning. I don't know how to bring this up to her but I know she would not be OK with me doing it while she's in the room, even if she is asleep. Any advice? (age 18)

I would hardly call your situation unique. You're making a lot of assumptions here. You're assuming your friend/future roommate doesn't masturbate. How do you know? You're assuming that you and your boyfriend will be able to have most of your sex in his room. How do you know? What if his roommate situation is worse than yours? You're assuming your roommate won't be OK with you masturbating when she's in the room, even asleep. How do you know? Being friends with your roommate ought to make it easier rather than tougher to ask for private time. If you're determined to masturbate in the morning, perhaps you could arrange for her to shower or go to breakfast at that time, in exchange for your being out of the room at some other time, perhaps late at night. Or maybe you don't need to be tied down by a crack-of-dawn masturbating session and could instead figure out times in your schedule when it would make more sense.

My problem is a little different from what most people here have. My dorm has two autonomous rooms that are joined together by a common door. I share my room with one other guy; there are two guys in the other room. It is essential that we walk through each other's rooms because the front room has the only door to the outside and our room (the back room) has the only door to the bathroom. It's kind of like a dorm suite, except instead of sharing a living room, we share this walking path. In the middle of the building is a large common bathroom and the only way to and from it is through the doors that lead into each of the suites.

I get along OK with my roommate and we understand each other's needs for privacy. The thing is we don't have that much to do with the guys in the front room except we each have to walk through the others' space. It's trouble enough finding private time in the room dealing with only my roommate; it's a nightmare trying to get private time from the guys in the front room too. I can come home and find the front room empty and feel like I'm the only one in the suite, and then one of the guys will burst through the door from the bathroom.

I feel like my roommate and I have it worse than the guys in the front room since he and I only need to enter through the door to the outside through their room at fairly predictible times, whereas they are passing through our room to the bathroom at all hours of the day and night. What can I do to get more privacy for this necessary act? (age 18)

That sounds like a remarkably lousy dorm design. The architect needs to be found and fired. I think the starting point is to decide you really are a suite and that the guys in the front room are roommates too. You should all agree to knock before opening the door between the two rooms. You should also knock before coming back from the bathroom, and before coming in from the outside. The guys in the front room are in the same predicament as you are. No doubt everyone in that ill-constructed dorm is. Have you considered discussing this with others in other dorm suites? I'll bet there's a disproportionate amount of masturbating happening in the bathrooms.

I am new to living in college and I am already worried about masturbating in my dorm room. I am not as worried about my roommate seeing me as I am about people walking by in the hall. When our dorm room door is open, my bed is visible from the hall. It makes me worried when I'm trying to masturbate. What can I do? (age 18)

I'm pretty sure the only person who would ever open your door without knocking first is your roommate. Right? So she is the one who can put an end to your worries about that situation. You might make an agreement that you will each knock when you come back to your room. That way the other will have a minute to change or get decent in case she's not properly clothed or doing something she doesn't want people in the hallway to see.

I'm in college now and I'm finding I still masturbate as often as I did in high school. I imagined that I'd be having lots of sex in college. Am I in a rut? How can I get out of it? (age 18)

You're being pretty pessimistic for being in college less than a month. Give college a chance. I hope you won't be having a bunch of random sex and will instead try to get in a relationship. Meet lots of people and get to know some that you might someday be sexual with. And don't think you're getting out of masturbating that way; college men who have sex the most also masturbate the most.

I masturbate with an electric vibrator (that plugs into the wall) and I worry about the amount of noise I'm making. I have an idea that girls on the other side of the wall can hear me. What can I do to quell the noise of my very special toy? (age 20)

The problem isn't the noise of the toy but the anxiety you're feeling. All kinds of electrical appliances make noise. Even if someone in the next room can hear, how do they know it's a vibrator and not a shaver? Or a window fan? Or a fish tank? More than likely, your dorm neighbors masturbate too and would understand. And if they don't, it's their problem. Finally, I suspect you don't want to hear this, but females who masturbate with their hands are more likely to have orgasms in intercourse than those who masturbate with vibrators. Maybe this is a good time to give up the vibrator habit.

I read about the girl with the noisy vibrator, and I can relate. I don't use a vibrator (I'm a man) but I worry about the noise my bed makes when I masturbate. Every little squeak and creak bothers me. I live in a single so don't have to worry about a roommate, but I wonder what people in adjacent rooms and above me and below me can hear. It's so bad that I've thought of dismantling the bed and just putting the mattress and box spring on the floor. (age 19)

It's probably not as loud as it seems to you. Remember, you're right on the bed. Everyone else is on the other side of a wall or an even-thicker floor. With the sounds that people have going in their own rooms, it's unlikely anyone can hear. And if they can, they would not necessarily assume you're masturbating. Sometimes stretching yourself out a little differently can make a big difference in how much noise the bed makes. If putting the mattress on the floor means giving up storage space, that could be a drag in a tiny single room. Even so, I'm glad I had a waterbed when I was in college.

I shared a room with my brother's 19-year-old girlfriend while visiting him recently. Where he lives, girls aren't allowed in his room. His girlfriend walked naked in front of me at bedtime. I was wearing a shirt and panties. I woke up to the sound of moaning and I could see her bed shaking. She was naked on top of the bed and was masturbating with one hand and feeling her breasts with the other. I didn't want to watch but found I just couldn't look away. She finished and went to sleep and didn't even know I was watching. I don't know if I should say anything to her or my brother or keep quiet. I just feel like it wasn't right for her to masturbate with me in the room. (age 14)

I don't think she did anything wrong, and there's no need for you to say anything. I wouldn't have masturbated with a 14 year old in the room, but what she did is kind of typical for women her age, even when sharing a room with someone else, like a college dorm room. If it had really bothered you, you could have said something and even offered to leave the room for a few minutes. But instead of being bothered, you watched. I hope you will be more comfortable the next time it happens.

Why are all of these guys are upset about having to figure out how to masturbate in their dorm rooms? If they are worried about their roommate seeing, why don't they just go beat off in the bathroom? (age 17)

Most people, both males and females, find bed the most comfortable and enjoyable place to masturbate. For someone who is accustomed to masturbating in bed, regularly having to do so in a bathroom stall would be unenjoyable. But it might do in an emergency.

When I was a freshman, I would masturbate furtively while my roommate was out. I didn't always know exactly how long she was going to be out, and one day when we had been rooming for about six weeks, she suddenly came back in while I had my vibrator going. I was extremely surprised -- we both were -- and she quickly went back out. After that, she acted nervously around me and started telling me when she was going and for how long. After about a week of this, I just told her, "It's OK. You don't have to still be upset about that." She got a worried look and started to cry. She said that what I was doing (she never said the word) was a big mystery to her and that she had never figured it out. I told her it was OK and offered her some pointers and even said she could use my vibrator if she wanted. I don't know if she took up masturbating because she never said anything about it again but I always had all the privacy I wanted after that. (age 20)

It seems that she was more embarrassed at interrupting you than you were at being interrupted. Hooray for you, and hooray also for offering her advice.

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