HealthyStrokes.com
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Female masturbation

This page is for questions from females about masturbation and other issues related to sexuality. A few rare questions from males about the female experience are also posted here.

Many older questions from female readers have been moved to one of these topic pages:


New survey for females!

Attention women!

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Questions from female readers

These questions and answers pertain specifically to the experience of female masturbation. Of course, a lot of the questions on the main masturbation page, although posed by males, can address the experience of both genders. Answers marked with have been critically reviewed by an anonymous female correspondent.

I'm 16 and female and I really love masturbating. I want to talk about it with my best friend who's a guy, but I don't know how to bring it up. What suggestions do you have?

Why do you want to talk about it with him? Are you interested in him being more than just a friend? There is a good chance he would think you're signalling that you're interested in being sexual with him. If you've talked about other sexual things with him before now, you ought to be able to talk about masturbating. If you haven't talked about sexual things before, then masturbating is a bad choice for your first conversation about sex. And if you really do want to signal that you're interested in him sexually, then just dropping into conversation, "I really love masturbating" is apt to do the job.

Does internal masturbation destroy the hymen? I want to keep mine intact but I have been doing internal in the past 2 days so could you tell me what to do so that it remains intact and tight? (age 15)

Internal masturbation will tend to erode the hymen rather quickly, but after only two days, you are apt to be fairly close to intact. Most girls who want to keep their hymens intact masturbate externally.

Is it normal to have a spanking fetish at my age? Will my boyfriend think I'm weird if I ask him to spank me? (age 15)

A spanking fetish is fairly common, and there is a good chance your boyfriend is aware of this. A person's age doesn't matter, because people are apt to have the same fetishes throughout their lives.

How does a guy feel about a girl not taking a shower the night she sleeps over after they have sex? Do you think a girl should shower after each time she has intercourse in the same day maybe 2 hours apart? (age 18)

I find it hard to believe that guys your age would be particular about that. If it was really critical to him that she shower, he would probably suggest showering together. I don't think very many people shower after each act of intercourse.

I think I have sexsomnia. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and my fingers are rubbing my clitoris. Not that I mind; I just don't want people to see. (age 20)

Sexsomnia (performing sex acts while sleeping) is a newly-recognized condition. If it bothers you, then wearing more clothes to bed is apt to help. Instead of being embarrassed that people see, you can get them to help you by waking you up when they see you masturbating in your sleep.

You have been very helpful to me over the years. I've started having a major libido problem. I pretty much have none suddenly, and it is super unusual for me. My boyfriend is thinking I've lost interest in him and that's not at all true. I'm still a virgin. I just don't get aroused anymore by anything. It's been this way for about a month now. I'm not on any medication, and nothing has changed. I have some new stressful situations in my life but it's never bothered me in this way. Any advice at all on this would be very much appreciated. (age 18)

A month is a long time to go without being aroused. You might consider talking to a mental health professional about how the stresses in your life are affecting your sexual appetite. Most women are aroused by the touch of a partner. It would probably help you get aroused if your boyfriend could touch you in a non-sexual manner (e.g., back rub) for 20-30 minutes to put you in a relaxed frame of mind before attempting sexual touch.

If I were to shave around my privates, would a doctor ask and find it strange? (age 14)

Lots of females remove hair these days, so I highly doubt a doctor would think it's strange. What reason would the doctor possibly have to ask you about it?

Sometimes I have days that all I want to do is masturbate. Is this normal? (female, age 13)

Yes, that is very normal. Maybe you'll even have a day where that's all you do. That's normal too.

Could bike riding be causing me damage? I've always had a very high libido; I started masturbating at about 6 years of age and I masturbate at least once a day. I also bike ride for about 30 minutes every day without biking shorts, and I've noticed that once I come back, I am extremely horny but not really in a good way. It hurts a little. When I masturbate to see if that will get it to go away, the only way I can come is if I use a lot more force than I usually have to use and a lot more direct contact. It usually goes away after about 3-4 hours. (age 14)

It might be that the bicycle seat is irritating your private parts and making you feel like you're aroused, even though you're not. It's kind of like how your nipples can get irritated from the clothes you're wearing. I would suggest wearing heavier fabric while biking or perhaps getting a different seat.

It takes me 17-20 minutes to orgasm while masturbating. I have been masturbating for about 10 months but I have only been using my hands for about 4 months. I used the shower head until I read HealthyStrokes.com. Do you have any tips on how to orgasm quicker? (age 13)

17-20 minutes is not so long. You are pretty new to masturbating by hand. No doubt you've learned that it's important to be both relaxed and focused when trying to have an orgasm. Having an assurance of privacy also helps, so you might find it worthwhile to get a lock on your door.

I've been masturbating since I was about 8. What will happen if my mom finds out? Do you think she will freak? (age 11)

Most moms are understanding. I can't say that yours won't freak, but there's nothing you can do about it if she does. You're not going to stop masturbating just because she freaks, are you? If she isn't understanding at first, I think she will be soon.

If I put my boyfriend's semen on my vagina without any close contact with his penis, am I still considered a virgin? (age 24)

Yes. There are even female virgins who have given birth from artificial insemination. Only having sex can make you no longer a virgin.

Is it possible for a female to have wet dreams or some equivalent? I've woken up in the middle of an orgasm, after having dreams of a sexual nature. (age 18)

The question of whether females ejaculate is an unresolved one. Obviously, if females don't ejaculate, then they can't have wet dreams. It's very possible for women to have sexual dreams and to become aroused as a result of them. Some females even claim to have orgasms in their dreams, which would obviously be an equivalent of the male wet dream. Some females (and males) also masturbate in their sleep, but this is a completely different process from having wet dreams.

I've been masturbating since I was in 2nd grade. My sister who is a year younger and I would do it together. Recently she asked if I still did, and I said no. Whenever we fight, she said that she will tell my parents that I masturbate. I'm scared because I don't want to get caught masturbating. It would be embarrassing. I would love to have a vibrator. One girl who posted on here got one from her mom! I'm jealous! (age 14)

Your message doesn't make a whole lot of sense. People don't just quit masturbating. Telling your sister you don't do it anymore is downright silly. She will not tell your parents because you could tell them she does it too. Anyway, your parents probably expect that you masturbate at your ages. Why don't you be the older one and just laugh at your sister the next time she says that. If you talk to your mom about getting a vibrator, you won't have to worry about your sister threatening to tell anymore.

I have discovered masturbating since I was 8 and from then on I have been masturbating every day. I masturbate before I sleep because it helps me get to sleep. I used to masturbate face-up on the bed but then I found it more comfortable in the prone position. It's more comfortable and I reach orgasm much more quickly. When I masturbate in the supine position I take much longer to reach orgasm. What should I do? (age 14)

Masturbating in the prone position, which is referred to on this site as Traumatic Masturbatory Syndrome, or TMS, has been shown to be a cause of sexual dysfunction in males. There is some evidence that females who masturbate this way have a more difficult time reaching orgasm in intercourse too. I would advise you to explore more of the supine position. There is a lot more you can do with your body when you're not on top of your hands and your genitals.

The other day I masturbated with the end of a makeup brush (cleaned it first) but a day or two later my vagina begin to have an overflow of white, thick, unscented vaginal discharge. When I looked in between my legs, the white discharge was all over. Is this bad?? Will I be OK? (age 17)

I suspect it was a reaction to the makeup. Even if you thought you cleaned it, there was probably still some left on the brush. I would avoid using that brush in the future. If the discharge doesn't clear up in a few days, I would suggest seeing a doctor.

I really like masturbating, but I don't think my boyfriend wants me to. What can I do? (age 14)

I suggest you keep masturbating. It's the healthiest thing to do sexually at your age. You also aren't even sure your boyfriend disapproves. And even if he does, who cares? It's your body. Anyway, according to average rates of masturbation, he probably masturbates more than you do.

Another woman at my office frequently makes references to masturbating and having sex in casual conversations at the office. We are both straight so I know she isn't doing it because she's interested in me. I just get really uncomfortable when she says something like, "That movie got me so hot, I almost blew a fuse with my vibrator." I enjoy talking with her about other stuff, but not this. What can I do? (age 26)

She ought to have some idea that sexual conversations are out of bounds in a workplace. I would suggest telling her you don't like sex talk at the office. After you do that, start a conversation about something else so she knows you only want to cut off the sex talk. If she persists, then you would be justified in talking to your supervisor or human resources about sexual harrassment.

I like writing erotica into my stories, specifically lesbian scenes. I'm entirely sure I'm bisexual, so yes, this stuff is a complete turn on. Is it odd or weird for me to want to pleasure myself, reading my own erotica instead of somebody else's? (age 14)

No, not at all. Obviously you're more turned on by your own fantasies than anyone else's. I think it's fun and healthy to write your own, and good writing practice too.

When I have friends over, we talk about sex and masturbation. I kinda feel awkward about this because I have never masturbated before. Would it be OK for me to ask them to demonstrate? How does a girl masturbate with a vibrator? (age 14)

I suspect your friends would be more comfortable if you asked them to tell you instead of show you. Most girls apply the vibrator to the area around the clitoris. It's better if you try using your hands first.

There is this guy I really like, but he's a junior in high school. He told me that he likes me back so we talk all the time. We were playing twenty questions and he asked if I masturbated so I said yes and now he tries to get me to describe it to him. I've noticed that all guys are like that and much more open about masturbation than I am. Is it just a girl thing or is there something wrong with me for being too closed off? (age 13)

My first thought is that he's three to four years older than you across a serious age plateau. If you were 18 and he were 21 or 22, I wouldn't be mentioning this, but there's a big difference between 13 and 16 or 17. I don't think males are particularly more open about masturbation than females. In fact, from my experience and the mail I get, it definitely seems that females in the teens (and older) talk among themselves about sex and masturbation more than males do. I think the reason he's more open about it is because he's three or four years older. I would be more comfortable if he would do that kind of questioning with girls his own age. And I think you would be more comfortable with a boy your age too.

About 4 months ago my boyfriend got his tip inside me (which hurt really bad). He thinks he ejaculated inside me but he can't remember. I've had my period for 7 years, and I have never had it every month until that day. Could I possibly be pregnant? I think you can be pregnant and still have your period. Each time I have my period the past few months, it has been harder than it ever was and my cramps have been so bad I can't walk. (age 17)

Those are questions for a doctor. They can do a pregnancy test and address your painful periods. You really ought to get a pregnancy test. You can start with a home pregnancy test from the store, but my first thought is that if you're having regular periods, then you're not pregnant.

I've masturbated before I even knew it. I want to try a vibrator and a dildo. But a vibrator more just because it feels better when my clitoris vibrates. I want to ask my sister who's 20 but I don't know how to tell her. Do you know how I could tell her? I don't want her to think that I'm gross. (age 11)

Your sister won't think you're gross. She will probably be delighted that you want her to help you. Why not just tell her you'd like her advice about touching yourself. I recommend against a vibrator or a dildo at your age, but you probably knew that.

I've been with my current boyfriend for 2 months. We have sex about twice a week. It's always his idea to do it. If it weren't for him asking for it, it probably wouldn't happen much. Is that normal at my age? I masturbate almost every day because I almost prefer doing it alone. I don't think he's doing anything wrong. It's just easier to make myself orgasm. Why do I have such a low desire to have sex? It was like this with my other boyfriends as well. (age 20)

It's possible your daily masturbating is killing off your desire for intercourse. I usually tell males your age to abstain from masturbating for anywhere from two to seven days before having intercourse, depending on the trouble they're having. According to a survey of over 3000 females by HealthyStrokes.com in 2007-08, the average female in the 18-22 group (inclusive) masturbates 16.6 times per month, or about every other day. Among females in that age group not currently sexually active, it was about the same. However, females in your age group having 10 orgasms a month with partners only masturbate 14.8 times per month. This suggests that females reduce their masturbatory frequency when they're having about as much intercourse as you. It would be worth cutting back and seeing if you enjoy the sex more.

I'm 16 years old and I masturbate almost every other day. Is that too much? I am also a virgin and I was wondering if masturbating to orgasm will affect orgasms when I start having sex?

Masturbating to orgasm is good practice for sex. According to a survey of over 3000 females by HealthyStrokes.com in 2007-08, which included 257 current 16 year olds, the average girl your age masturbates 23.7 times per month, or about three days out of four. The median is 18 times a month, which is a little more than once every other day. I don't think what you're doing is too much.

I have had some truly amazing experiences with masturbation. When I first started, I can honestly say it was SO good, almost unimaginable to me even though I have experienced it. However, for the past few years, my orgasm has become simply a build up and release of tension (albeit sometimes a big release) rather than having real pleasure. I obviously still get something from masturbation because I still do it, and yes, a release is good, but it's not the same, and it's been like this for about the last five of the seven years that I have masturbated. I relax and I usually fully embrace it and enjoy the feelings I get throughout the act - from the start to orgasm. Is there anything that I can do to help myself here? I feel like I've trained my body and muscles to orgasm this way now and that it's so well practiced it will be hard to change! Your wisdom on this would be appreciated! (age 21)

It's good that you've had amazing experiences, but it's important to learn that not every masturbation is going to be amazing. Some of them are just going to be quotidian, especially for someone who does it daily. Most people say that their orgasms are better when they haven't had one for a while, about three days. However, most people would rather have a bunch of ordinary orgasms instead of one special one. You might experiment with the timing of your masturbation sessions and see if it makes a difference.

What is the best approach in asking my partner if this is his style of masturbation? Then to address a possible change of habit in order to improve our sex lives. We have been intimate for several years and it is very difficult for him to climax. Many times he would give up. The ratio of him reaching orgasm is about 1 in 5 tries. At times I believed it was due to alcohol but he still has problems the next day. I feel badly that I can't make him orgasm regularly. I love him and want him to be able to enjoy our intimate times together. So, how may I broach this possible TMS issue?

I suspect he may have TMS because of the way I can feel him stimulating himself to get arousal; many times he will lie on top of me (fully clothed) to get aroused. Thank you for your sincere effort in responding in advance.

TMS is not the only cause of orgasmic troubles. The alcohol might also be a factor, but even very heavy drinkers reach orgasm more than 20 percent of the time they have sex. If you want to know how he masturbates, you can either 1) ask; or 2) suggest masturbating together. Have you ever seen him stroke his penis manually? That is how nearly all males masturbate and also how most males touch themselves when they want a firmer erection before intercourse. If you never see him do that, then it is an additional piece of information that suggests he masturbates prone or in some other atypical fashion. If you can confirm that he masturbates prone (or another atypical way), then you can direct him to HealthyStrokes.com and let him know about the hazards. However, he is the only one who can decide to change.

If a woman is raped, would she still be able to reach orgasm? (age 19)

Some women have had orgasms from rape, but that doesn't make it any less of a crime.

I love masturbating and try to do it at least three times a week to help relieve stress. I only do it when I'm home alone because I don't want to get caught. How can I continue masturbating when I'm not home alone without being in fear of getting caught? (age 14)

As you get older and more experienced, you will be less self-conscious about masturbating. Basically, when your desire to masturbate exceeds your fear of being caught, you will have less trouble doing it even when other people are home.

I've heard that when women live in the same environment together for a while they end up having synchronized periods. Is this true? And how come this happens? (male, age 15)

Yes, it's called the McClintock effect. It was first reported in 1971. It won't necessarily happen to every set of women living together, but it happens to enough of them that we can believe it's real. Scientists are less sure why it happens, but the theory with the most support is that the first woman to menstruate puts out a scent that the others recognize (perhaps subconsciously), and it causes them to menstruate too.

What is the avarage for a 12 year old girl to masturbate? I masturbate twice a day (sometimes more) and it seems I am constantly horny, but when I reach orgasm, I don't stop. I keep going until I have about 4 orgasms. I think I am not normal and it's worrying me. (age 12)

According to a survey of over 3000 females by HealthyStrokes.com in 2007-08, the average 12-year-old girl masturbates 33.3 times per month, or just over once a day. 16.5 percent of 12-year-old girls masturbate 50 times a month or more. It is good to be multi-orgasmic. Many females can do this, but not very many males can. You are doing just fine.

I am 12 and I masturbate on average once a day. When I masturbate, my vagina starts to hurt and I have to stop! Do you have any advice?

Find out what you are doing that makes it hurt. I suggest using less force or not touching the area that winds up hurting. Perhaps you can find some other way to masturbate that doesn't hurt.

Your site is an answer to a prayer! I love it. I'm a virgin and I started masturbating around 2 months ago. Lately I've been thinking of a guy friend. Is this normal? I really like him. (age 17)

Yes, that is very normal. I hope you get to know him better.

What's your position on girls/women using electric toothbrushes for clitoral stimulation? I usually masturbate with my hands, but when I really want a good orgasm, I use an electric toothbrush. (I only use it for masturbating.)

It's too bad you only use it to masturbate, because electric toothbrushes are good for keeping your teeth clean and healthy. It's good that you usually masturbate with your hands. I don't think occasional electric vibration is bad for you.

I can't remember how old I was when I started masturbating. Maybe I was 5? It's always been externally though. I masturbate regularly, maybe once a day. I lost my virginity over the summer, and I am sexually active. I have never had an internal orgasm, and I love sex, but I'm afraid my constant masturbation is somehow taking away from the pleasure I should have in sex. My boyfriend is a very sexual person and is not used to not pleasing a woman. I'm not sure what I should do? (age 16)

You ought not expect great things in bed from a boyfriend your age, but if they are to happen, they will start with you telling him what you want. Most sexually active young people also masturbate frequently. You need not give it up altogether, but I suggest abstaining for 3-5 days before your next intercourse and see if it makes a difference. As you get more experienced with intercourse, you can reduce the interval.

I have recently noticed two thin pink pieces of flesh hanging out of my vagina. I think these are pieces of torn hymen, but I'm not sure. I lost my virginity about 5 months ago and have been sexually active ever since. What is this? (age 19)

The most likely scenario is that they are hymen remnants. Do they have any sensation?

I have never done masturbation before and I never feel like doing it even at my age. I only rarely feel aroused. Is this a problem? What should I do because I feel like I should be masturbating by now? (age 20)

I would encourage you to try masturbating. There's a very good chance you will enjoy it. I suggest you start by reading my page about masturbating for young females.

In a previous answer you said, "it's best if you can teach yourself to orgasm without increasing speed and pressure." Why? I'm asking because my boyfriend (who is 21) asks me to do this during manual intercourse. I just want to make sure that it's not bad for him. Is it? (age 20)

Many males (and females) increase their speed and pressure as they near orgasm. It's fairly normal and not bad. However, in an ideal world, you wouldn't have to do that. It's always best if you can cause an orgasm with only a minimal amount of force. I think you should keep stroking your boyfriend the way he asks you.

When I first started masturbating, I found it highly beneficial, but lately when I try, I don't get aroused. Why is this, and how can I get aroused by masturbation again? (age 17)

I think you're making the problem worse than it is. Just wait until you're aroused by something, and then you'll find masturbation to be exciting and beneficial.

I like to masturbate a lot. I found it difficult to get through a school day without masturbating, so I started putting an egg vibrator in the crotch of my panties and the battery pack in the waistband when I dress in the morning. Now, I can go to the restroom and have a quick orgasm when I need one. Do you think there is anything wrong with this practice? (age 16)

I advise against the use of vibrators at your age. You say you masturbate a lot, so I'm guessing you don't use a vibrator every time. Nearly all students -- male and female -- can get through the school day without an orgasm, so your statement really makes me believe you're masturbating compulsively. If you think it's a problem, you might want to talk to a mental health practitioner about it.

Follow-up from another reader: I know how she's feeling because sometimes I need to pleasure myself in school too (to deal with all the stress), but I can't imagine using a vibrator to do it because they make so much noise. I just adjourn to the girls' room and pleasure myself in a stall. It only takes a few minutes and I don't make so much noise that anyone could figure out what was going on. (age 16)

I didn't know there was so much masturbating going on in the high schools. I didn't masturbate at school until I was in graduate school and had a private office.

I have masturbated ever since I can remember. Every time, I reach a climax after a couple of minutes and then usually I stop because the urge has gone. This climax isn't particularly dramatic or intense like some people describe theirs to be. Is this a proper orgasm or is there something I'm missing? (age 19)

I would suggest continuing to masturbate after you think the urge has gone and see if you can bring yourself back to a second (or third or fourth) climax. You might like what happens.

When I get turned on, I feel really warm, tingly, and wet down there. However, sometimes I notice in sexual situations I'll get really wet, but I won't have any of the other feelings. Is this my body physically getting turned on still just not as much as the other times with the other warm and tingly feelings? When I'm really turned on, I feel a rush and almost a pulsing feeling. Thank you for your site; it's answered many of my questions and those of my friends. (age 20)

Not all arousals are equal. Sometimes you can get completely turned on and other times only enough to help yourself along or to get started. The important thing is to relax and not be worried about what is or is not happening. With practice, you can learn how to increase your sexual response the way you want it to.

Someone on this site said she could orgasm without touching herself. Is this true? I don't know how that could happen. I have had a go at it but I just can't do it. (age 12)

Yes, I have quoted people saying that, but I don't know if they're telling the truth or not. If they are, they might be one in a million, or at least one in ten thousand. I would urge you to forget about it and instead work on learning how to use the right touch to bring yourself to orgasm. That's what nearly all women (and men) do.

Since I have been reading HealthyStrokes, I have learned to masturbate, and now it is one of my favorite things to do! Thank you so much for helping me learn to masturbate. I will always love you for it!!! (age 15)


I had a really nice time masturbating the other night, but about a half hour after I finished, I threw up. Did masturbating make me vomit? (age 13)

No. Don't worry about that.

I usually masturbate with running water, something I have done for many years. When I started it, I didn't have a boyfriend and I didn't know that isn't a good way to masturbate. Now when I have sexual experiences with men, I usually don't enjoy sex. What can I do? Is it possible to have orgasms with men if I have had frequent masturbation with water? I don't want to tell my doctor because I feel very dirty about it. (age 19)

It is certainly possible to overcome your problem with time and patience. You should start by deciding to quit masturbating with running water. As you get more used to masturbating by hand, you are likely to achieve greater sexual response with partners too. Also, keep in mind that you can enjoy sex even if you don't have an orgasm.

This site is great! I find that I achieve more pleasurable orgasms if I masturbate standing up. I also orgasm sooner. I can still achieve orgasm in the usual position on my back. Is this unusual? (age 16)

Not very many females masturbate standing up, but there is no problem with it. I've heard of males doing it standing when they're trying to masturbate in a semi-private place (e.g., a bathroom stall).

I've always used a vibrator when masturbating, but when I use a toothbrush internally and the vibrator externally together, when I orgasm I can't really feel anything and it doesn't really feel that good. I find that I can't orgasm when I use anything internally but only externally. Is there anything I can do to fix my problems? (age 15)

You report that using two vibrators causes you to lack sensitivity. Why not give up both vibrators and learn how good you can make yourself feel using only your hands?

Immediately after I orgasm, I have no interest to try for another one. My sexual desire/horniness is completely drained. Is there an area or something I can do to rev myself up to go for another orgasm? (age 18)

It's pretty normal to stop after only one orgasm, but people who are multi-orgasmic will often keep going. If you can find some way to restrain your orgasm so that it isn't completely draining, then I think you'll be on the road to multiple orgasms.

I've been masturbating for 3 months. I tried a banana as a dildo. When I got up the next day, my whole area was sore. Did I do something wrong? The banana eventually split and I got some in my vagina. Is that going to hurt it? (age 20)

I'm just thinking about what it would be like to tell people I know a woman who made a banana split in her vagina! If it hurts, you used too much force. Work at using a level of force that doesn't make you hurt the next day. (Same rule for lifting heavy objects...) Getting banana in your vagina could cause a yeast infection, but that's by no means certain.

When I masturbate with my hands, I play with my clitoris. I barely touch it, but when I go faster, it feels like an extreme itch is being scratched. My back gets bent in and my whole body moves, but I can never reach orgasm. Why? (age 18)

I'm inclined to believe that when your back gets bent and your whole body moves, that's either an orgasm or at least the start of one. Keep up what you're doing at that point and see where it leads. Congratulations on harnessing the power of your clitoris.

I've read about a disease called yeast infection. Is it common? Is it actually caused by yeast? How do you get yeast into your vagina? Is yeast infection an STD? (age 11)

A yeast infection is about as common as a cold. Most women will have a few in their lives. The vagina naturally contains yeast. A yeast infection is an overgrowth of yeast, often caused by some external chemical getting into the vagina. On this site, I often urge females to avoid masturbating with foods containing sugar, because these can cause yeast infections. A yeast infection is not ordinarily considered an STD, but women who have sex with other women can pass yeast infections to each other by some ways of having sex.

I am a virgin, and I never have had anyone sexually pleasure me before. I have been curious about masturbation and have tried a few times, but it literally lasts 5 minutes. When I try to go a size up, I just can't do it! It's not that it hurts but it just doesn't do it for me, and I'm worried that sex later in life will be a horrific experience and fail completely. I've tried small, to medium at most, each a different technique. I am scared. Please help? (age 16)

You give the impression that you expect instant results. Masturbation is very pleasurable, but not every female enjoys it the first few times, and many, many females don't have orgasms from it until they've been doing it for years. It's the same way with intercourse. In order to succeed at female sexuality, you need to be patient and give your body a chance to acclimate to what is happening. You say you've masturbated "a few times"; the average girl your age who answered my survey masturbates four times a week. If going up a size doesn't hurt, you're ahead of a lot of women. Give the new size a chance before deciding it doesn't work for you. Five minutes is not such a bad time. According to a survey of over 3000 females by HealthyStrokes.com in 2007-08, 18 percent of females claimed to take five minutes to masturbate to orgasm. It was the second most popular answer.

I really want to insert fingers, but it burns. Is it normal? What should I do? (age 17)

Your fingers should not burn. More likely, you have something on your fingers that is making that happen. Try washing your hands thoroughly before masturbating. If the problem persists, it might be that the soap you're using is at fault. Try a different soap or washing without soap.

Today my friend looked up porn on my laptop as a joke. Does this mean that she wanted us to watch it and masturbate together or does this just mean that she was having a joke? (age 15)

You said it was a joke. You're safer assuming it was a joke than assuming she wants to masturbate together.

Why is it better to fantasize than to look at pictures while masturbating? (age 13)

Fantasizing is a sexual skill. Looking at a picture isn't. Fantasizing requires making your brain work. The brain is the most important organ for sex. Looking at a picture is using a shortcut that doesn't require you to think. It contains someone else's sexual fantasy pre-dispensed for you. When you fantasize, you learn all kinds of thoughts that can lead you to orgasm. You can call on those later. It's the difference between learning to do your own schoolwork and copying the answers out of a book.

The other night, I dreamed one of my female friends fingered me to orgasm. I also remember getting an orgasm in my sleep. This is by far the most aroused I have ever been with fantasizing/dreaming about a girl. I get very horny when it comes to guys. Do you think its possible I'm bi? (age 20)

Certainly it's possible, but you shouldn't give much weight to something that happens in a dream. If you really had an orgasm in your sleep, congratulations. It doesn't happen to very many, especially at your age.

My boyfriend and I have been having sex for some time... he told me last night I was the best he has ever had and that I seem like an expert, but he is the first guy I've been with. Is it bad that he thinks of me like that? He is also very supportive of my attraction to women. (age 16)

He meant it as a compliment, but you seem to feel taken aback because it was an explicit comparison to other females. I think you should just take it as a compliment and hope that in time he outgrows the need to tell you things like that.

After several years of masturbation, I've never been satisfied with my ability to orgasm. Lately I've been having dreams that lead to orgasms in my sleep that are much more intense than anything I've been able to do while awake. What can I do to bring this ability to my life when awake? (age 20)

Use the dreams to help you understand what erotic thoughts to pursue. They're just dreams, but maybe you can react to something you first experienced in a dream. You can enjoy your orgasms more when you're relaxed and not trying to bring about a particular kind of orgasm.

My laptop broke down and my older brother's friend took it home to fix it. I watch a lot of porn! He has to look through all my files and I'm scared he'll tell my parents. I know my parents won't be cool with it. What should I do? (age 14)

I don't think he'll tell your parents. You are worrying over nothing.

I've never reached orgasm. My boyfriend has tried and tried. He has brought other girls to orgasm before. Is there something wrong with me? (age 16)

It is easier to learn to orgasm by masturbating. Once you are experienced bringing yourself to orgasm, you will have an easier time showing your boyfriend what to do.

I've recently been trying masturbation, and the other day I had my first orgasm within a few minutes. It wasn't as powerful as some described here, but it scared me. I didn't cry out or shake, but it was so sudden and it was such a strange feeling that I've been afraid to try it again. Is it common to be startled and nervous about an orgasm? Should I try it again? Is it something you get used to? (age 16)

Yes, I definitely think you should try it again. And again and again. I've never thought of it as an acquired taste. Most people enjoy orgasm so much the first time that they can't wait to do it again. Now that you've done it once and know what happens, you have less reason to be nervous.

A couple of months ago, there was this guy who was five years older than mewho was trying to get me to have sex with him. He's in jail for what he was saying to me to other girls, but he was saying things that made me feel really good. We ended up having phone sex (which I regret deeply), and it's making me think about my current boyfriend in a more sexual way. I don't want to do anything with him! What should I do? (age 13)

Five years is not a large age difference for adults, but when one is 13 and one is 18, that's a huge difference. I suspect he's not in jail for talking but for actually doing something sexual. After your recent experience, you would be better off not having a boyfriend at all for a while. Just take some time away from relationships and the sexual temptation they're bringing to figure out what your priorities are.

Recently, my younger sister who is 18 divulged to me that she was curious about what an erect penis looks like. I skirted the question. I am married and watch pornography with my husband and I almost want to just tell her to look it up on her computer. I think she is scared of getting a computer virus, and I am a little worried that if she does start looking at things she may become addicted. I didn't start watching porn until I was married and I don't know if it would have been healthy if I had started earlier. What do you think I should do? (age 20)

This is the kind of question I usually get from siblings who are 13 and 11. Your sister is an adult and she can make adult choices. You would not be corrupting her by showing her something on the Internet that answers her questions. There are plenty of places on the Internet that offer tasteful photos, videos, and illustrations for sex-education purposes. The illustrations here on HealthyStrokes.com are certainly in that category.

I have been masturbating for years with a pillow and it never satisfies me. I am multi-orgasmic, but this is a problem because once I start masturbating, I feel irritable because no amount of orgasms is ever enough. It keeps me up at night and I'll just be having great urges to have sex. What can I do about it? (age 16)

For starters, I advise against masturbating with a pillow. Perhaps learning to use your own hand is what you need to feel satisfied. If you really can't be satisfied even with multiple orgasms, then perhaps you could use professional help or at least a support group.

I'm still a virgin, but I've masturbated since I was 13. I think now I'm ready to have sex, but I'm worried I won't be tight, especially because my boyfriend is looking forward to not having sex with someone without a hymen. Do you think mine would be gone by now? And are Kegel exercises the only thing I can do to help? (age 15)

You used three negatives in that sentence, so I can only guess what you meant. Kegel exercises are always a good idea. I doubt that your boyfriend would complain about your vagina.

I've just recently started rubbing a wide tooth comb on my clitoris, for "fake vibrations." Is this a form of TMS? (age 17)

No.

Follow-up from another reader: I thought I'd try it out, but now I'm worried that it might cause me problems having orgasms during sex. Are you sure it won't cause TMS? (age 15)

TMS is masturbating in the prone (face-down) position. Masturbating with a comb is not a typical way of masturbating, but I've never heard of it causing problems, and it certainly isn't TMS.

My brother and I were home from college. Poking around the cabinets, we found my dad's Cialis. Laughing, I dared my brother to take one. He did. He kept saying it wasn't working. Then a few hours later, he said it did. He had a massive erection. He said it was so stiff and massive. He said he had masturbated and it still didn't go down. Could this have hurt him? I sort of feel guilty. (age 20)

An erection that lasts five hours or more can cause damage to the penis. It is a condition called priapism. Most males masturbate or have intercourse in order to get the erection down. If it doesn't work, they should get to an emergency room. The greater danger was that your brother had a medical condition that a physician would have taken into account before prescribing Cialis. I don't think you showed proper respect to either your father or brother.

My best friend and I have always been very open with each other about our masturbation, and we both enjoy it very much. About six months ago, she got a genital piercing, and now she says it's the greatest thing she ever did, because it makes masturbation much more pleasurable. She's encouraging me to have one, but I'm not sure. What do you think? (age 17)

If you're not sure, then I don't know how you could be comfortable with some person who isn't even a doctor using a sharp instrument to make a hole in your genitals.

My boyfriend is 31 years old. He has been abstinent for the last 15 years. During that time he would masturbate at least once every other day, sometimes more. During intercourse he has difficulty keeping an erection. As soon as he inserts his penis he loses the erection. We tried at least 10 times in one setting, and his penis would not stay hard. It will quickly get hard again but once inside he loses it again. What is your recommendation to fix this problem? Is it a medical concern and he should see a doctor, or is he just used to masturbating and needs to refrain for a while?

I would suggest he abstain from masturbating for 5-7 days before your next attempt at intercourse. If that doesn't work, it would be useful to get an erection drug from his doctor. He probably won't need it permanently but it would be good to let him complete intercourse with you.

I just started going out with this guy that I have liked for a really long time. At first I was happy about it but then we started holding hands and getting more physical and I really don't like that. I've had a crush on him forever, so I don't know why I'm suddenly not physically attracted to him and don't want to do things like hold hands. I feel like I have some sort of mental block about being physical. How can I get over this? (age 16)

You don't say whether you've done physical things with other guys. If not, then you're just inexperienced and need to take time to get accustomed to being up close and personal with a guy. If you have, then maybe your body or subconscious or something is telling you that this guy isn't right for you.

I am a straight female. Sometimes I enjoy watching almost every type of porn, including gay porn (male on male AND girl on girl). Is this normal? (age 15)

A lot of people your age are curious about various kinds of sex and watch different pictorial representations of it. Just remember that porn isn't real.

When my boyfriend and I make out, sometimes he puts the head of his penis inside of my vagina, and I never saw any blood come out and he moves it very slowly. Am I still a virgin? (age 21)

If you've had any part of a penis inside your vagina, you are not a virgin.

Recently I started getting these really intense throbbing/pressure headaches after I orgasm. It just started happening a few weeks ago. The pain is intense and it's really scary. Should I be worried? What is causing this and how do I make it stop? (age 16)

Those are orgasm headaches. Both males and females have them occasionally. I don't have a page about them specifically on HealthyStrokes.com, so I suggest doing a search on that term.

I have been going out with my boyfriend for almost two years now and we have sex about once a week. We both live at our respective parents' houses so it is hard to have sex. When he is over at my house, he says he gets turned on when other people are in the house. Personally I don't like to have sex when my whole family is around; it turns me off.

Lately I have been picturing/thinking about having sex with other men. I would never act on my thoughts. Could you give me any thoughts on what I should do because if I had it my way I would want to have sex at least 3 times a week. (age 22)

Perhaps you could figure out your families' schedules so you could pick a time and place in advance to have sex that is to your liking. If you really want to experience sex with other men, then it would be a good idea to tell your boyfriend you don't want to be exclusive. The downside is that you might want him all to yourself again but find that he's moved on to other women in that same time.

One of my guy friends smelled another friend's shirt and told him that he needed to masturbate. The other friend agreed. Can you smell some special smell when someone hasn't masturbated? If so,how long does it take to develop that smell? (age 17)

They were putting you and each other on. Anyway, at your age, males need to masturbate almost constantly, so they weren't technically lying.

It doesn't feel good when I touch myself. My clitoris isn't very sensitive for some reason or another, so I don't get much out of touching it. Fingering myself either hurts or doesn't feel like anything at all. I'm a virgin, so I don't know if I can orgasm during sex or not. What is wrong with me? (age 18)

I think you just need practice. Not all females instantly like the feeling of touching themselves. Fingering yourself will hurt less as your practice it. If you do both regularly, within a few months something will feel just right and you will start to enjoy it more.

When I was a little girl, I started masturbating face down and I've always masturbated that way. If I try to masturbate in the traditional way, I don't feel much of anything at all. I'm a virgin, and I'm scared that when I start having sex, I won't be able to enjoy it. I read somewhere that guys can retrain themselves to masturbate the conventional way, and they can fix the problem. Can this problem be corrected in females too? (age 18)

Yes. The masturbatory retraining program that I provide on this site (see the main page) works for both males and females. You might also consider joining the online support group for females.

I have only ever masturbated lying down on my back. I know lying on my stomach is bad, but what can you suggest that will give me some variety? (age 19)

Lots of females (and males) find it's an intense sensation to masturbate while kneeling. You might try that on something soft like a bed and see how you like it.

I get extremely turned on by these questions and answers. Is this normal? (age 13)

I've heard that from time to time. Getting turned on is a good thing. It's good if many things turn you on.

I recently overheard my daughter talking to a friend about HealthyStrokes.com. Concerned that it might contain inappropriate material, I visited and spent some time here. I believe the advice given is quite commonsense and worthwhile, and this is an excellent service for young people. Since most of your readers are young, I hope they don't get the impression that masturbation is something that they will, or should outgrow. Believe me, with a husband and three school-age children, with the shopping, cooking, cleaning, sports, and scouting, if I didn't take time several times a week to have a hot bath, unplug the phone, put on some soft music and unhide my vibrator and baby oil, my family would have committed me to an asylum years ago. (age 36)

Thanks for your approval. I note in both the Young Man's Guide and the Young Woman's Guide that people typically masturbate for the rest of their lives whether or not they also have sex with partners.

When I'm masturbating, I only feel slight pleasure for at the most 5 seconds. Am I really having an orgasm? (age 13)

It could be an orgasm. More likely it's the start of one. Keep working at it. You're doing well for your age.

I blush really badly when I'm around older, attractive looking men. It totally embarrasses me! Is that normal? (age 20)

I don't think it means there's anything wrong with you. You might just need to spend more time around men and become more comfortable with them. I always like when younger women blush around me!

I'm really tight down there and I wonder if I'll ever be able to have sex. Can I do something about it? Should I get a vibrator? (I want one, and I've been masturbating for a long time.) (age 16)

Of course you'll be able to have sex. PC muscle (Kegel) exercises are apt to help you feel more comfortable with your vagina. If you want a vibrator, I suspect you'll get one sooner or later, but I advise against using it all the time.

I've been masturbating for a long time and I'm wondering if the fact that I masturbate internally means that I won't have too much trouble during intercourse. I still stimulate my clitoris but when I'm about to come, I move toward the opening of my vagina. I reach orgasm both ways but vaginal feels better. Also, I feel that I am more turned on than the average female. I masturbate at least once daily or whenever I can and I think about sex A LOT. Is there something wrong with me? I'm also a virgin. (age 20)

I didn't notice anything wrong with that. You are orgasmically versatile, which will serve you well when you have sex.

Are there still 34 year old virgins? How can I see my hymen? I've only been using large Playtex tampons. (age 34)

According to a survey of over 3000 females in 2007-08 by HealthyStrokes.com, 5.3 percent of those age 34 and older are still virgins. You ought to be able to see your hymen with a large mirror.

Recently I've been talking to a boy online and I told him that I've been masturbating since I was 10 and now he wants me to masturbate thinking of him 3 times a day. Is it healthy to masturbate so much? (age 12)

There's nothing wrong with masturbating three times a day (at least not at your age), but I think it would be better if you really wanted to do it and not because someone online told you to. Be careful what you tell strangers online.

I am happily married and wondering what percentage of women my age masturbate. I do it about once a week with a vibrator. They sell them at chain drugstores now, so that must mean a lot of women are doing it. (age 55)

According to a survey of over 3000 females by HealthyStrokes.com in 2007-08, of women in their 50s, all but one of 56 claims to currently masturbate. The average 50-something woman masturbates 12.8 times per month.

When I masturbate, I mostly lie on my back. I rub my clitoris and make it feel really good. I also do some vaginal masturbating too, but I can't seem to orgasm masturbating vaginally. What is wrong? Is this going to affect me trying to have an orgasm when I decide to have sex? (age 17)

There is no bad kind of orgasm. If you like vaginal better than clitoral, it's compelely up to you. I think with some more practice you will be able to orgasm vaginally. I think you are getting some good practice for sex.

I'm bisexual. I've had sex with 3 girls. The last person I had sex with was just a hook up and there was no relationship, Sex for just sex isn't a problem for me. Why am I so hesitant about having sex with a guy? Even guys whom I'm attracted to, I'm very nervous about having sex with. I've never done anything more than kiss guys. What's going on? Sex with girls can be very meaningful to me or just sex, but I'm almost afraid to have sex with a guy. (age 18)

You are still pretty young. For a lot of people, the idea of sex with a male takes getting used to. It's a good idea to wait until you're comfortable with it before having sex.

My boyfriend and I have a very satisfying sex life except for one thing: When he masturbates, his strokes are really, really fast. I can't move my arm, mouth, or body that fast, and so when we have intercourse and he is ready to climax, he pulls out and strokes himself to orgasm. I've only been able to make him ejaculate without his help twice. It puts a damper on my self-esteem because I feel like I can't please him. Is there anything he can do? (age 19)

You ought not feel lessened self-esteem because none of it is your fault. A jackhammer-like stroke is bad for training a man to have orgasm in intercourse. The best masturbation is accomplished with as little force as necessary. It would be good if your boyfriend could work at using less force. It might be necessary for him to abstain from orgasm for up to a week at a time to allow him to learn to masturbate with less force. The masturbatory retraining steps on the main page would be useful to him. Of course, he has to be the one who wants to change.

Is it possible for my boyfriend to know that I am not a virgin when we have sex? The first time I had sex I didn't bleed or anything. Is that normal? (age 17)

A lot of females don't bleed the first time. I highly doubt your boyfriend could feel the difference, if such a thing is even possible. I think the only way he'll know you aren't a virgin is if you tell him.

I live with my mom, new step-dad, two older sisters, and twin younger brothers. I have found since I moved in with my new family I have become far more aroused and am aroused a lot easier. Could that be because I haven't been sexually active in 3 months? Why am I attracted to men ages 18-35? Is that bad? Would it be healthy for me to find time to hide away and masturbate? Would that ease my sexual urges? (age 16)

Your mom remarrying has changed your life. That and the new living situation might affect your sexual urges. That isn't necessarily a bad thing. Being more aroused and more easily is usually a good thing too. I doubt that 3 months without sex would make such a difference, especially at your age. Being attracted to 18 year olds is pretty normal for your age, but being attracted to 35 year olds is rare, not that it's necessarily bad. It would be a very good idea to wait until you're 18 to act on your sexual urges with anyone older than 20. I think masturbating would do a lot to resolve your sexual urges. I suggest taking more time to think things over.

I have developed a black spot on my abdomen below my breasts. Is it because of masturbation? I started masturbating when I was 10. (age 15)

I don't know how masturbating could cause such a spot. A change in color on the skin can be a warning sign of cancer. It would be a good idea to see a doctor about that right away. I doubt he/she will ask or that you need volunteer that you masturbate.

You've said prostate stimulation is not a good choice to make. When my boyfriend and I have intercourse, I occasionally apply a minuscule amount of pressure to his perineum with my knuckles, and he says the orgasm is amazing. Am I risking causing harm to him? I will stop if I am. (age 17)

It must be pretty hard to judge what a minuscule amount of force is when you're in the middle of an orgasm. There is nothing wrong with gentle touching of the perineum -- but you want to avoid blocking his ejaculation. By the way, what you describe will not stimulate the prostate; the prostate can only be stimulated through the rectum.

First of all, your web site is fantastic. Do many people come to HealthyStrokes.com just to read the stories? Some of them are highly erotic, entertaining, and a few are even very well written. Story web sites are all full of cliched stories, but I've much preferred recently the realistic stories on HealthyStrokes.com. Am I the only one? (age 19)

I certainly hope you're not the only one! I think most people come here to read the answers to the factual questions. Those pages are more popular than the pages that are more story-oriented (dorm masturbation, getting caught masturbating, wet dreams, etc.). I'm glad not everyone who visits HealthyStrokes.com posts a story or a question; anywhere from 2,000-5,000 people visit the site every day. (There was a 13,000 visitor day last month!) But I really wish more of them were like you! Thanks for reading, and please tell me how I can make your visits more enjoyable.

I have a friend/roommate who is a virgin like me and says it's weird to masturbate on your own and will only let her boyfriend do it to her. I only started masturbating at 17 and I've never had a boyfriend. Is she right? Should I just wait until I find a boyfriend? (age 19)

I don't think she's right at all. Sex experts are almost unanimous in agreeing that masturbation is not only good practice for sexual intercourse but very healthy in itself. Anyway, if someone else is doing it, it's not masturbation; it's manual intercourse. So by definition, masturbating is only done on yourself. Keep up the good stuff!

I always lie down in my room masturbating every evening with the door closed. I can't lock it because whenever my dad finds it locked, he gets suspicious. Whenever my dad comes in, I manage to stop quickly before he sees me. He doesn't know that I masturbate. I thought I would try it since I didn't believe orgasms were true. Now I do it every night and occasionally on evenings. Am I too young to do this, and am I getting addicted to masturbating? (age 11)

You're definitely not too young, and I wouldn't worry about getting addicted. Lots of young people do it a lot when they first discover it, but eventually they drop down to about once a day, sometimes more. Congratulations on getting cured of your disbelief about orgasms.

I masturbate 10-15 times a day. My friend and I always talk about sex and this kind of thing, and she says that masturbating 10-15 times a day is not normal. Is she right? Am I masturbating too much? (age 15)

I agree with your friend. According to a survey of over 3,000 females by HealthyStrokes.com in 2007-08, the average girl your age masturbates 22 times per month. Only one female in the entire survey claimed to masturbate as often as you do.

Is it OK to not have had a boyfriend or to have even kiseed a guy by the time you're 16? (age 16)

Certainly it's OK. Many females haven't done either of those things at age 16, and some decide to never do them in their lives. Don't feel out of place. A large share of your classmates have the same experience you do.

I must have the hairiest pubis in the school. I want to shave it because it interferes with masturbating, but I'm afraid if I do and let it grow back out, it will just come in thicker and coarser. What do you think? (age 15)

If it interferes with masturbating, then you ought to do something about it. Keep in mind you don't have to shave it completely; you can trim it to reduce the bulk and that wouldn't affect the growth at the root.

I have a question about my boyfriend, age 19. A while ago we noticed a very small bump underneath his penis at the base but above his testicals. It feels like it's right under the skin, it's not red, but it used to be pea sized and now it's more like peanut M&M and he says it hurts a little now. He's not really interested in going to the doctor, and I've come here for help so much it was the next best thing I could think of. I love your web site so much. I was hoping to get your opinion on what it could be. (age 19)

An unusual growth should always be examined by a doctor. Especially since his is getting bigger. Strange as it sounds, the pain is a good sign because that means it's less likely to be cancerous. The most likely scenario is that it's a skin irritation or infection. If he really refuses to go to a doctor, then I suggest he soap the area thoroughly while showering for several weeks to see if it can be reduced.

I have a chronic vaginal pain disorder called vulvodynia, which is complicated by vaginismus, which I developed as a result of so many years of pain upon insertion of anything. I have been masturbating since I was nine, and I can climax from both external and internal stimulation. One finger inside me is fine, and sometimes I can manage two, but it burns a little. Any more than that is impossible though, and penis-in-vagina sex is out of the question.

Do you believe that there are men out there that will be interested in having a relationship with me despite my limitations? I feel like I'll be alone forever because sex is so important for men and although I am capable of performing other sexual acts, vaginal sex is not something I can ever give them. Do you think it will be impossible for me to find someone accepting of this? How do I approach this issue? If a guy were to ask me out, when would be the appropriate time to tell him about this problem? I don't want to seem presumptuous by telling him immediately, but I don't want him to feel led on or like I've wasted his time by my waiting too long to tell him. (age 20)

Those are difficult questions. Surely there are some men out there who would be interested in you, but if you advertise your condition upfront, then I would be afraid you'd attract a particularly unstable subset of sexually unhealthy men. Certainly there's no reason to tell a man at the point he asks you out -- but if you get to the point on a date where physical intimacy commences, it would be honest to tell him you won't be able to have sex with him tonight and maybe never. My real question for you, is why are you giving up at age 20? You can't have seen very many professionals about this problem. I would suggest getting to know a sex therapist who's experienced in this problem. I know there are online support groups for women with vaginismus and vulvodynia. Why not get involved in one of them and expand your horizons?

Follow-up: I suppose I have given up because I feel as though it's unlikely I'm ever going to receive the help that I need. I live in Britain, and there is only one hospital in my city, with only one sexual health clinic. And there was a waiting list to even be seen by a gynecologist -- I had to wait over a year for a consultation. And before that, none of the doctors I saw even believed I had a legitimate condition even though I insisted somthing was wrong. They told me that I was just tense, and that it was my fault for tightening and they refused to help me. The gynecologist I'm with now still doesn't fully believe that I have vulvodynia, even though my case screams that I do, just because I didn't pass one silly little test that I've read about online and that isn't even conclusive. There are so many gynecologists who are not as familiar with this condition as they should be, and it means that getting help is very difficult for me. So I can't imagine ever being able to have sex, given that two fingers hurts so much. I feel very let down my the medical community and don't know what more I can do to make myself heard and receive proper treatment.

You have to be more proactive than that. If your local doctor is clueless, then travel to London or some other large city. I suggest starting here: http://www.vaginismus-awareness-network.org/

Follow-up: You say that like it's an easy thing to do. Do you know how much it costs to travel to a city like London? I'm an unemployed student. Even if I could afford the journey, it would cost a lot to see a private specialist, and any doctor other than that will only see you if you are referred through your GP. I haven't been simply sitting at home all these years, wallowing in self pity and refusing to try anything to help myself. You have no idea the lengths I've gone to. Please don't imply that I am only in this horrible situation because I simply haven't tried hard enough. The fact is, it's unlikely that I will ever be cured, which means no sex. And because this is a major possibility, I wanted a man's opinion on the matter. That is all.

I think you can drive to London or Glasgow from the farthest point in Britain in less than six hours. I live in a country a lot bigger than yours and understand traveling afield when in need of help. Again I suggest getting involved in a support group at Vaginismus Awareness Network. Maybe there is someone working on it closer than you think. Maybe there is a doctor looking for patients for a study and you'd be perfect. Surely you would find a lot of women who have gone through the same thing and have advice. You are awfully young to be writing like you've given up. Perhaps you could find another woman in the support group who lives near you and would be willing to travel with you to visit a doctor who believes in vulvodynia. Help Is on the Way!

Follow-up from a male reader: Dont feel discouraged by the thought you will never get a man because of a physical inability to have sex. Unlike the stereotype men seem to have that we want sex and only sex from a significant other, the reality is that while men do have a high sex drive (especially in the early twenties) most men are mature enough to want a relationship and a partner to be there for them. Personally, if a woman in my life broke this sort of news to me, I would be concerned about her and do all I could to help her. (age 21)


1) How can I stroke myself better? 2) What percentage of girls my age masturbate? 3) How is masturbating healthy? 4) Is it safe to use lotion as a lube? (age 13)

According to a survey by HealthyStrokes.com in 2007-08, 97 percent of 13-year-old girls have masturbated. The majority of 13 year old females masturbate between 10 and 30 times a month. Lotion needs some caution. It is OK on the outside of the body but caution should be exercised if the lotion is going inside. You would be safer with something made especially for sex, like Astroglide or K-Y Liquid. I think you'll have to figure out for yourself how to stroke better. Find out what you like.

My little brother almost caught me masturbating and since then when I hear noises I stop or wait until they're asleep. If he catches me, what should I do? (age 14)

There's a good chance your little brother is already masturbating too, and if he isn't, he will be soon. You could set a good example by not worrying so much about being discovered, and if you are, it's more likely that the person who did will be in the wrong.

Why do girls get a tingly feeling or sensation down there such as the vagina? (age 22)

When a man or woman is sexually aroused, they tend to feel it most in their private parts -- the penis for males and the vagina for females. Oftentimes the feeling radiates outward from those parts (especially when one of them has an orgasm) but the center of it, where most of the feeling is happening is in those parts. The tingly feeling is where it starts.

I masturbate frequently and it feels good but I have never orgasmed. I want to have sex with my boyfriend but how do I explain this to him? I don't want him to feel bad if he can't make me orgasm because even I haven't been able to. (age 18)

You can enjoy intercourse without having an orgasm. You don't need to tell your boyfriend in advance that you've never had an orgasm. It is unlikely he will be able to make you orgasm in the context of your first intercourse, and you might be making him self-conscious by doing so. Instead, just enjoy it and work at being orgasmic later. It's possible you'll learn some things about yourself by having sex that will let you reach orgasm on your own or with a partner.

When I stretch my labia to see my vaginal opening, it looks like I have an imperforate hymen. Does this mean I need surgery? I am scared of touching it and want to masturbate internally but this is stopping me. (age 14)

An imperforate hymen is extremely unlikely. Even if you had one, you could break it on your own without surgery. There is no reason to be afraid to touch it. Most girls get more resistance from their vaginal wall muscles than their hymens the first time something goes into the vagina.

I masturbate every night (sometimes even two or three times a day total if I am extra horny) because it helps me sleep really well and I love to do it since I have a lot of sexual urges. I have not actually been caught, but I move around a lot when things start to feel really good. I have an old bed and it makes noise when I am going at it. I also like to moan and make noise, but I try to be quiet about it. Do you think people in the house know what is going on or am I just being paranoid? (age 17)

I doubt that anyone is paying much attention to your bed noises, and I also doubt they would conclude that you are masturbating if they did hear it. Moaning is a different deal. People will notice that. Be glad people in your house respect your privacy. They probably masturbate too.

I'm a virgin, and worried that when I first have sex it'll be really awkward/painful, as I can only seem to orgasm when masturbating in a certain way, in a certain position (flat on my back), and because I've been doing this regularly for over 2 years, I won't be able to be stimulated in other ways. I'm also concerned that I can only fit one finger inside myself, even when wet. What's the best way to fit more in there without hurting myself? (age 17)

You're really too worked up about a problem you don't have. When the time comes to be sexually active, then you will find out if you can accommodate a partner easily or only with difficulty. Practice makes perfect. Don't expect to be perfect right away. Having an orgasm in sex is not the same as having one masturbating. You shouldn't decide in advance that you will have orgasmic trouble.

Can a girl still have her period if she has an imperforate hymen? Can I see my hymen with a mirror or is it something only a doctor can see? (age 18)

It is extremely unlikely that you have an imperforate hymen. Menstrual flow might not be able to get around it, so a girl with an imperforate hymen would probably notice with her first or second period. You ought to be able to see your hymen with a mirror or perhaps a speculum and a mirror.

I have been masturbating for a long time for the most part externally with the crotch area of tight bathing suits lying on my back. It works much better and safer and I don't make too much of a mess. Do you think that would be the best start for younger girls who want to experiment? (age 27)

No, I don't. It is better if you can loosen clothing rather than learn to masturbate through a tight bathing suit. I encourage girls to become more familiar with their bodies and that usually means being free to touch.

Is it normal that I'm afraid to have sex? I've had sex before (three partners) but all of them were one-time things because I'm so uncomfortable with the idea. I also masturbate semi-regularly with my hands both externally and internally. Yet, I have never had an orgasm and I am worried about it. I also feel guilty afterward. (age 16)

I don't think you're really afraid to have sex, since at your young age, you've already had three partners. I think what you need is to find a regular boyfriend that you can be comfortable with in all kinds of situations. Then I don't think you'll be afraid; you'll want to have sex with him. It is also not unusual to feel guilty about masturbating and not have orgasms at your age. Just keep practicing and don't be obsessed about either guilt or having an orgasm. Just enjoy what you're doing and you'll get more used to the idea of masturbating (less guilty) and more likely to have an orgasm. All in good time.

I rarely masturbate but every time I do, I don't enjoy it much and soon get tired. How exactly should I do it to make myself enjoy it? (age 22)

The whole idea of "making yourself" enjoy it is wrong. You should just be "letting yourself" enjoy it. If you don't feel like masturbating at a particular time, then don't. Wait until the feeling is right and you feel like you could benefit from a gentle hand on or inside your privates. That's when you will discover feelings that will make you enjoy masturbating.

I have been sexually active for 2 years now, but I don't know if I've ever had an orgasm. I have felt a release of tension in my body once or twice during sex where I suddenly have no energy anymore, but I never felt overwhelmed or anything psychological. Is that an orgasm? Are there different kinds of orgasms? (age 20)

I don't think the suddenly running out of energy is an orgasm. It is easier to have an orgasm masturbating than in intercourse, so if you want to practice having an orgasm, you would have a better chance on your own. Masters and Johnson said there is only one kind of orgasm, but many women disagree. Many women say an orgasm is different whether it originates in the clitoris or the vagina or is brought on by sex or masturbating.

My boyfriend is 17. His brother married my mom recently, and now he is considered my uncle, but we were dating before that. Is it weird that me and my uncle have sex regularly? (age 16)

Your boyfriend's brother is now your stepfather, but your boyfriend is not your uncle, step or otherwise.

I want to try masturbating with other females, but none of my friends ever talk about masturbating or about sex. I have a boyfriend, but I just want to explore and try new things. What should I do? (age 18)

I think you should start by being honest with your boyfriend about wanting to experiment sexually. He would naturally consider it cheating. I also don't think it is a good idea to try to be sexual with your friends. You might find ways to connect socially with lesbian or bisexual women and see if they have any advice on finding the kind of relationship you desire.

I have masturbated using the end of a pen, but it didn't do anything. So I used a marker, and it felt better, but still not very good. So I tried a carrot and it was much, much better. But still, should I use a bigger object? They feel better the bigger they are. (age 18)

You know what you like better than I do. Just make sure to clean these objects before and after using them, and watch out for anything that causes pain.

Last year, my boyfriend and I were touching each other. He was touching my clitoris through my pants and it felt really good. We were unfortunatly forced to break up shortly after because we were caught in the act by his mom. Ever since then, my clitoris has been very sensitive. Is this normal? Also, when I masturbate I tend to think of him. I still haven't gotten over him yet. Is this OK? (age 15)

The event should not have made your clitoris particularly sensitive. It might be that's just the way it is. Most girls masturbate by rubbing the area around the clitoris rather than the organ itself. You might have an easier time getting over him if you thought about somebody else at least some of the time.

My brother just walked in on me masturbating. He just said "oh" and walked out. It was obvious he knew what I was doing as he could hear the vibrator between my legs. How do I address this situation? I'm mortified to leave my room now!

You don't say how old either of you are, but it's very likely he masturbates too. I don't think he's going to say anything to you or anyone else. He might be just as embarrassed as you are. I think when you emerge from your room, you'll find that everything is normal.

My first (and only) sexual experience was with a girl at the the age of 14. She was my friend and still is but now when I masturbate I think of her. When I watch porn, I like girl on girl, but I also like just heterosexual porn. Does this mean I'm a lesbian or is it just because she's the only one I've been with? We made an agreement that when I was 18 we would do more, but I wanna do it now. Should I tell her or wait!? (age 16)

Since the agreement pertained to when you were 18 rather than both of you, I'm guessing she's the older one. I'm not sure why the agreement is relevant unless she's much older and worried about statutory rape charges. I don't see how the agreement precludes you telling her what you want before you're 18. I would suggest getting some more experience (not necessarily sexual) with both males and females and see where your feelings lead you. You might find that this one experience is clouding your judgment about how you feel about both males and females.

What is a vagina supposed to smell like? Mine smells like change, like a penny or a dime. But when I'm on my period it can get a fishy smell. (age 13)

Now you've got my readers sniffing their change! What you describe is pretty normal; a vagina might have no discernible odor at all except when a female has her period. It's good to get used to whatever odor it has at your age, so if you ever get an infection or other cause of a different smell, you will be able to notice the difference.

I'm a twin which means I share my room with my twin sister and we have bunk beds. At night I like to masturbate but the bed is broken and makes tons of noise whenever I move. Do you think she knows what I'm doing? (age 16)

Would you know what she is doing if she were doing what you're doing?

I'm 15 and my boyfriend is 19, and I feel uncomfortable when I think about having sex with him. We haven't done anything yet but I hope to in the future and we are both virgins. Are there any possible answers on how to feel comfortable about sex? Or will time be our answer?

The only answer I have for now is that if you feel uncomfortable when you think about having sex, you would be even more uncomfortable doing anything sexual with him. Also, your age difference is such that he could go to jail for statutory rape, depending on the laws of your state. Time is your best answer.

Is it bad that I masturbate while fantasizing about my teacher who is 41? I had a dream with him in it and it made my night complete after a masturbatory session. Great site! (age 16)

I don't think it's bad, but I'm curious how you know your teacher's exact age.

Follow-up: Why do you think it is odd that I know my teacher's exact age? He told me and I was surprised as he looks a lot younger.

I didn't know very many of my teachers' exact ages, and I do what I can to keep my students from finding out mine.

I have never touched myself or ever desired to and the thought of sex is scary and embarrassing. Why do girls younger than me want to have sex? Is it strange to want things like holding hands with someone I like instead of sexual relationships? (age 15)

It's not at all strange. It's a lot better if you start off by holding hands and seeing if it leads to sexual things than by starting with a sexual relationship and seeing if it wants to make you hold hands. Some girls just get at the point where they are interested in sex earlier than others. If you ever want sex to be less scary and embarrassing, it would be a good idea to understand why most people touch themselves sexually on a regular basis.

I like to think of turtles while I masturbate. Is this OK? (age 14)

What you think about is up to you, but a girl I knew was deeply attached to her pet turtle. They were even married on facebook. Then she found out the turtle was female and they had a facebook divorce. Happily, she now has a male human boyfriend.

I masturbate almost every day, but sometimes when I fantasize or just watch a movie and see someone who's hot, I get a really strange feeling and then my vagina feels REALLY hot. Why does this keep happening? (age 15)

It's normal sexual arousal. Be glad you have it. Also, be glad that, unlike me, your private parts are on the inside of your body.

I haven't masturbated in nearly two weeks. But for the past few days, I have been getting really wet for no reason, just suddenly wet. Why is that? And what should I do? (age 20)

Wetness is a sign of sexual arousal, but you seem to not be sexually aroused and are reporting this as random wetness. You mention masturbating, as if to suggest not having done it lately as a cause. I would suggest you follow that line of thinking and masturbate and see if it makes a difference. If masturbating puts a stop to the random wetness, then I think it means regular masturbation is the solution.

Follow-up: I hadn't felt in the mood to masturbate in a while, and the wetness kept happening. I did what you said (I masturbated) and it actually worked -- no more random wetness. Why do you think I had random wetness?

Your Bartholin's glands (that produce vaginal lubrication) might have been overflowing, and masturbating stimulated them.

I masturbate EXTERNALLY with a pillow while lying on my back. Is this safe? (age 13)

Certainly safer than lying prone, but it would be safer still to use your hands.

Do I have TMS because I rub my vulva on the bed? Could you help me? (age 15)

Traumatic Masturbatory Syndrome (TMS), the act of masturbating in the prone position by thrusting one's genitals into or against an object, has been documented as a cause of sexual dysfunction in males. There is some evidence that it is also a cause of sexual dysfunction in females. All you have to do to get over TMS is to give it up and learn to masturbate with your hand or hands while lying on your back. This is how most girls masturbate.

I was wearing leggings out the other day. As they are tight I go without underwear. When I realized it was really warm out, I quickly put on a skirt. My dad was driving me. I noticed he was staring. My skirt had slid up a bit and he could see my vulva. To be honest, I liked that he was looking at me and got turned on. I didn't do anything to fix my skirt. I even turned a bit and opened my legs some, so he could see more. I can't believe he didn't say anything. It was so hot. Is it normal to get aroused by these things? (age 16)

Be careful. When you realized he was staring, you didn't cover up; you exposed more. That makes you an exhibitionist. This is confirmed by your getting aroused by the exchange. You could get into serious trouble with the law or school authorities for doing that in public. I think you were both wrong. Your dad should have ignored it or told you to cover up, and you should have kept him from looking. Most girls would be horrified that their dad saw their private parts and not be aroused by it. (See my page about being caught masturbating.)

I've been masturbating externally for about 5 years and I'm scared that my vagina will be affected. (age 16)

Masturbating externally (rubbing your clitoris) will not affect your vagina.

I masturbate 2-3 times a day. No matter what I do I cannotbring myself to an orgasm. I read that 10-15% of women can't orgasm. Could there be something wrong with me? (age 13)

You are young and learning. Be patient. At the rate you're going, I suspect you'll be orgasming within a few years.

I love your site! I'm a virgin and last night I decided to try internal masturbation and I'm wondering how I would know if I broke my hymen. There was no blood last night but I noticed a little this morning. How can I check? (age 19)

You would probably need at least one mirror, maybe two. If you could spread your legs apart in front of a wall mirror, you would probably be able to see your hymen.

Just wanted to say that I just found your site and wanted to say how wonderful it was. I love that there is a place for young people to find information that they may have a hard time asking their parents. So from one of those people that masturbated at a young age, thank you! (age 23)


I was alone at work the other day, and for some reason I started to get wet. Before I knew it, I was masturbating at my desk with my pants down at my heels. It felt so good but unfortunately my boss walked in on me. He said he was very disappointed and suspended me for "the foreseeable future." I'm so upset at his reaction. What can I say to persuade him to change his mind? (age 27)

Tell him you'll file an unemployment claim if he doesn't reinstate you. He might have a hard time proving that masturbating in an empty office constitutes misconduct. Then the company would be liable for your unemployment compensation.

Is it bad to masturbate more than once every day? (age 14)

No, and most people who do it say it's good.

I usually masturbate in one way (I never orgasmed that way), but I tried something different last night. I put a finger on either side of the top of my clitoris, and rubbed while fantasizing. After a while, I started to shake, and my heart started beating really fast, like when I'm scared. I didn't stop because I didn't want the feeling to go away, even though it didn't feel exactly good, but then it stopped on it's own. Was this an orgasm? (age 13)

I think it was the start of one. Keep working at it. You'll have no doubt when you really orgasm.

Even though I sometimes feel aroused, I have never masturbated before, I've never had sex, and I've never really had a desire to do either. Is something wrong with me? Should I start masturbating? (age 19)

I would hesitate to say something's wrong with you, but most women your age masturbate frequently. When you feel aroused, give it a try. You might want to read my Young Woman's Guide to Masturbation.

I'm very new to this site, but I have already learned so much from it! I feel really gross when I masturbate, and I hate the feeling of the vagina. So I have a strange method of masturbating. I sit down, and push down on my bladder. Is this harmful? (age 16)

I think it is harmful. It is probably bad for your bladder, and it is an atypical method of masturbating that will not serve you well in the long run. You don't have to touch your vagina; most girls your age masturbate by stroking the clitoris. More specifically, they stroke the area around the clitoris and the clitoral hood. Soon your enjoyment of it will outweigh the grossness.

There is this guy I know, who I am not attracted to, but I think he has a crush on me. He's 13, and I prefer older guys. I have been having dreams that we are dating or that he's coming onto me, kissing my neck and such. They are freaky. Why am I having them? (age 16)

Probably no particular reason. People have lots of dreams they wouldn't want to see come true. I think it's a good idea for you to not date 13 year old boys.

My friend recently asked me if I masturbated, which I have. Then she asked if I could show her how it's done, because she hasn't tried before. What should I do? I'm not uncomfortable showing her. (age 17)

If you're not uncomfortable, then why do you ask? I think you're at least a little uncomfortable. If you're uncomfortable showing her (i.e., masturbating in front of her), then you should just tell her what to do or maybe refer her to an appropriate video.

I have masturbated internally for years. Recently I went to the gyno and the guy asked if I was sexually active, and I said no. Then he asked how often I masturbated, to which I replied nervously, "about four times a week." After the exam, he said, in front of my mom, that I use smaller objects for masturbation. I was mortified. My mom hasn't said anything about it, but I know she wants to. What should I do? (age 15)

I think you should confront him about invading your privacy and (if you're in the U.S.) make reference to HIPAA. If you don't want to discuss it with your mom, then don't. It's your business, not hers. She probably understands and was mortified along with you.

What percentage of teenage males and what percentage of teenage females have watched porn or watch it regularly? (age 14)

A survey of over 8000 males by HealthyStrokes.com in 2007 and of 3000 females in 2007-08 asked how often do you use pictures while masturbating? These are the results from respondents aged 13-19, inclusive:
Males Females
Almost always 31% 8%
Most of the time 32% 8%
Sometimes 24% 45%
Rarely 7% 21%
Never 6% 17%
Number of respondents 3988 1593

I have a best friend that I have been very, very close with for three years now. We have almost everything in common, but I feel that if she knew I masturbated she would be freaked out because she often shows disgust or confusion at masturbation jokes or mentions that come up. Is there a way to tell if she does without asking? Is it likely she doesn't? (age 14)

Not all best friends have to discuss masturbating. She might or might not. I think you should respect her privacy. She might want to talk about it in a few more years. Keep in mind that she might show disgust or confusion in order to keep from discussing it.

I started masturbating when I was 11. I did it with the bathtub faucet and then graduated to my hand. I have recently restarted masturbating by just rubbing my clitoris and I can only go for a few minutes before I have to climax and then I get sensitive. I don't think I'm orgasming. What does that mean? (age 16)

It means you are sexually responsive, which is a good thing. When you get sensitive, try to find ways of stimulating yourself that don't irritate you. For example, touch the area around the clitoris (labia, mons) instead of the clitoris itself. Resume touching the clitoris when you think it will be less sensitive.

I am bi, the proof being that I like a certain boy and his sister (yes, I am fully aware that this is in no way normal and somewhat sick). This boy and I have been playing Truth or Dare in a sort of twisted way for a while now. Recently, he has asked me to play this game on video chat. I am scared to say no because I like this boy and I'm not fully comfortable with him seeing me naked, but at the same time I'm scared to say yes because I know that this will end badly and I am likely to lose a good friend. What should I do? (age 12)

You should say no because you you're not fully comfortable with him seeing you naked and because you know if you say yes it will end badly. I don't accept your proof that you are bi. Give it more time and see if you have interest in any males besides this boy and any females besides his sister.

Is it normal to be sore after external masturbation? (age 14)

No. You're probably using too much force. See what a lighter touch will do for you.

Does internal masturbation help you in the future during sex? If you were to practice with internal masturbation, would you achieve an orgasm quicker during sex than if you have practiced external? (age 19)

That is a tough question. According to a survey of over 3000 females by HealthyStrokes.com in 2007-08, the percentage who have achieved orgasm in intercourse is very similar whether they have (72%) or have not (71%) masturbated externally. However, the rate of orgasm in intercourse is higher among those who have masturbated internally (74%) than those who have not (62%). It also doesn't make much difference if we restrict the question to those under 21. A higher rate of orgasm in intercourse is found among those who masturbate internally only with fingers (71%) than those who only masturbate with objects (63%), however females who masturbate internally with both have the highest rate of all (76%). This means that females who masturbate internally are more likely to have orgasms in intercourse, but it doesn't mean that masturbating internally is the cause.

I've been masturbating for a few years now. My sister, who is 2 years older, said she knows I "play with" myself. I find it really embarrassing. She holds it against me too. Every time she brings it up, she uses a way of talking that demeans me. She tells me it's disgusting. I'm not sure if she's ever masturbated. Do you think that could be why she says its disgusting?

I'm a very developed reader. I'm way over my grade level and tend to read murder/mystery adult novels and most of the time when I read them I become horny. I don't understand that. Do you think that's wrong? I don't think it's exactly right.

I also think older guys are attractive. And I don't mean 1-5 years older. I mean old enough to be my dad. I don't understand this either. Can you help me understand why I have an attraction to much older guys?

I love your site! I've been too shy to ask someone sexual questions. HealthyStrokes.com is absolutely wonderful! Where did you come up with the idea of making HealthyStrokes.com? (age 12)

The theme running through your message is a greater maturity on your part, in sexual development, reading material, and attraction to adult men. Your sister ought to know by her age that masturbation is normal and healthy. If she really doesn't, maybe you can help her learn. It could be she is demeaning you for masturbating because of her own guilt about masturbating, or maybe she is jealous that you are so comfortable with it. In any case, don't let her misinformed or malicious feelings spoil your own enjoyment.

We are all aroused by different things. There is nothing wrong with getting turned on by a murder mystery, but don't let it be your only source of arousal. Try to find other things that turn you on.

I hope you won't ignore boys your age because they're not old enough to be your dad. It would be completely inappropriate for you to date men that age until you're 18. At your age, it would even raise suspicions for you to date someone three years older. Since your only option for the next five years is to be with guys your own age (or so), why not find out some things you can like about them. Some of them make good companions for movies, skating, hanging out, etc.

I started HealthyStrokes.com to promote understanding of Traumatic Masturbatory Syndrome (TMS) and eventually added more pages about other topics.

Follow-up: I got wet when a male told me I seemed 21. Why is that? I've been asked out by a guy my age. I like him but I'm a little nervous around him. He talks about how good it feels to masturbate and what he does when he masturbates. You've written that some people bring up masturbation to see if the other person responds by sharing about their own masturbating. I wonder if this is what he is trying to do?

You no doubt found his comment appealing. I would caution you that the girls I knew at 13 who acted 21 are as a group less happy today than the girls who acted their age. If you like the guy, go out with him, but please tell him you don't want to hear about his masturbating if it makes you uncomfortable. If you think he is trying to coax you into sharing details about your own masturbating, then don't reward him by doing so. Just repeat that you don't want to discuss it. He should understand, and if he doesn't, move on to the next guy.

I love reading the stories on your site because they get me kinda horny. I've been masturbating for about a year now, and I do it a least once a week, but although it feels really good, I've never had a orgasm. I think sometimes I get really close, because my clitoris gets really sensitive, I get really wet, and it feels amazing, but then it dies down.

The times when I've been really close, I've had a little lipstick container, a little bit bigger than my finger (I've tried other stuff, but this one is best.) up there and I move it in and out really fast, while using two fingers on either side of my clit. It feels so good I usually moan and move around, but then I get kind of distracted or scared that somebody is going come in, even though it's usually late at night. It's getting really frustrating that I can't orgasm. Do you have any tips? (age 13)

It's not at all unusual that you haven't had an orgasm at your age. Many females much older than you are still trying. It would help if you could pre-empt those distractions. Arrange for more privacy, either by getting a lock on your door or by convincing yourself that no one is going to barge in. If those are not satisfactory, then try sometime when you're home alone. When you get close, just keep at it as long as you can. Once you get over that hurdle, you'll be very glad you did.

I hardly ever masturbate because it doesn't turn me on. I can do it during phone sex but I have to do it internally because I don't get anything when I touch my clit. Is it normal to not feel anything when I touch my clit? Am I maybe doing it wrong? It honestly makes me uncomfortable when I try and get nothing. I can masturbate to orgasm when I hit my G-spot. I'm happy I found this site. (age 20)

Most females masturbate externally first and then start masturbating internally. It isn't a problem if you are doing it in a different order. Most females enjoy touching the clitoris, but maybe yours is sensitive. I would suggest touching the area around it and avoiding direct contact with the clitoris.

I have had persistent sexual arousal syndrome since I was young. It gets very bad whenever I am stressed and if I am extremely anxious, I continuously orgasm, sometimes all day. Once a teacher shouted at me and I had multiple orgasms on the spot. I feel out of control and dirty. What can I do to stop it? (age 23)

I suggest finding an online support group for persistent sexual arousal syndrome. Perhaps you could also seek professional help in person. I'm sorry I don't have anything more specific to recommend.

I think I read somewhere on your site (which is amazing by the way) that semen does not stay fresh for very long. I'm wondering if I could freeze my boyfriend's semen, and when I have enough, use it as lube. (age 16)

I don't think that's at all a good idea. Semen doesn't make very good lube anyway.

I went on vacation with my brother at my grandparents' house. He is 19. One night, we were going for a swim. I dared him to skinny dip. So we did. It was fun and exciting. We hung in the shallow end and talked a lot. I asked if I could see him, as I have never seen a penis. He sat on the edge of the pool, so I could examine him. I ended up showing him my breasts too. I was very turned on and he was too. I even saw his erection. I know we crossed a line, but I have been masturbating about it ever since. Will this ruin our relationship? (age 18)

I doubt it will ruin your relationship, but it is something you have to think about now, and I suspect he does too. If you were merely curious, there are males your own age everywhere you look who would be willing to show you their penises and probably do lots more with them. Encounters like those wouldn't give you the guilt feelings you're having now. Yes, you definitely crossed a line.

Lately I've been really curious to see a man masturbate. I have wanted to look it up and see a video or something. What should I do? (age 18)

I think you should look it up and see a video or something.

I'm 14 and I just started masturbating. It feels really good but I'm not sure if I've had an orgasm. When I'm masturbating, my vagina relaxes and flexes kind of like the Kegel exercises and my breathing gets more difficult. My legs barely shake too. Is it an orgasm?

If it isn't, you're right on the edge of one. I would say to masturbate fast and furiously when you get those symptoms for at least 5 minutes and see what happens.

I am female, but almost all my friends are male, and I spend a lot of time around guys in completely unromantic, non-sexual ways. A lot of the guys will talk about sex around me (though I rarely participate in the conversation). Guys never seem to see me as more then a friend. Even though my male friends never behave in an overtly sexual manner toward me, do you think it's likely that they may think of me sexually? Does having a lot of male friends tend to scare other guys away? (age 15)

I think it does. Guys who are interested in you will frequently see you with your male friends, and they are apt to incorrectly assume that one of those guys is your boyfriend. I made the same mistake in college, at least once. There was this hot girl in one of my classes, and every day I saw her sitting with this other guy, whom I assumed was her boyfriend. Years later I ran into her on campus, and she was surprised I remembered her from that class. I asked about the guy she was always sitting with, and not only was he not her boyfriend, she didn't even remember his name. She seemed upset that I had mistaken him for that. So I blew it twice. Anyway -- don't give that mistaken impression. As to your other question, there's a very high probability that at least some of those guys have sexual thoughts about you.

Should I start seeing a gynecologist because I masturbate regularly even though I'm not sexually active? (age 15)

It would be a good idea if you started going to a gynecologist sometime in the next few years, but you definitely don't have to see one just because you masturbate regularly.

I've tried masturbation a lot, by both rubbing the clitoris and inserting small objects into my vagina. It usually feels somewhat pleasurable, but it's not even close to being as good as most people seem to describe. Sometimes I rub my clitoris for almost an hour and feel almost nothing, even if I was really turned on by something. Is there something wrong with me? (age 15)

No, I just think you're pre-orgasmic. A lot of females your age have trouble finding that first orgasm. Once they get it, the subsequent ones are a lot easier to bring on. Just keep working at it. But there's no need to go as long as an hour. That is apt to be fatiguing. Just do what feels good and eventually you will have an orgasm.

One of my female friends said she masturbates by using the the brush of an electronic toothbrush against her clitoris. Is this safe? (age 15)

A lot of females masturbate with toothbrushes. I think it is better to use your hands, but the toothbrush will not cause damage.

Follow-up: Great news. The toothbrush worked. I had a tingly good feeling for about 5 or so seconds. I think it was an orgasm. So I guess I had my first supine orgasm and it was better than prone. Thank you for your time and help.


I've talked to many of my friends and even my godmother, and they all said all girls bleed after having their hymen popped. I didn't bleed. Does that mean I didnt get it popped? Sex doesn't hurt at all. That's why I'm confused. (age 17)

Not every girl will bleed when she breaks her hymen. Most girls erode their hymens slowly and don't have one spectacular moment of "popping." Some hymens don't have a lot of blood vessels in them. If you are at the point that sex doesn't hurt at all, your hymen is long gone. Don't be confused. It sounds like the whole process was easier for you than for those others you talked to.

I masturbate late at night in bed. I feel SO weird about it. I just started like a week ago. I want to stop because I just feel weird doing it. I only masturbate around 5 times a week. It doesn't interfere with my social life or anything and no one knows. I do not stick any objects up my vagina; I just rub and massage my clitoris. Am I a freak? Should I stop? It just feels SO good. Help! (age 12)

You are doing well and don't need help. You only started a week ago and you're already doing it five times a week? That's great. And best of all, you're already reading HealthyStrokes.com. Good for you.

After I have an orgasm, I try to rub more but it is sore. Is that bad? (age 16)

No, that is very normal. For a male, that's how it always is. Just relax and enjoy your orgasm and the feeling afterward.

Is it wrong for a 15 year old girl to fantasize about sex, but have no real urge to actually follow through with it? Most girls I know have already had sex. Almost all the men I seem to be attracted to are very sexually experienced. Most of them want to have sex ASAP, and dump me as soon as they realize it isn't going to happen. What should I do to avoid guys like this? Are most teenage boys the same way? I really like a guy, but he comes from a VERY conservative and religious background, similar to me. He is 16. What are the chances he also masturbates and/or would not look down upon me for doing so? What is the probability that with this background, he has already had sex? (age 15)

I would bet most girls you know haven't had sex. It is certainly not wrong to fantasize about it and want to abstain from intercourse. You mention being attracted to men. Adult men are apt to be more sexually experienced than boys your age. Not all teenage boys are only interested in sex. You might start by finding ones who are interested in something else (sports, games, music) and going from there. You seem to have found a guy who is at least interested in religion. I think there is at least a 99 percent chance that he masturbates. I doubt he would look down on you for masturbating. If he is very religious at 16, it is unlikely he has had sex.

I have masturbated and felt guilty a lot because of it. No other friends have talked about masturbation or having done it and a lot of other sites have said only older teens and adults have masturbated. HealthyStrokes.com has taught me that other girls my age do it too and made me feel better about myself. Thank you. (age 14)


I've been going out with my boyfriend for 5 months and we haven't gone past making out. Anytime he tries to touch me anywhere I tell him not to. I don't know why but I'm just really uncomfortable with him touching me. I don't even really like kissing him. A lot of the time I don't feel very attracted to him, but I like him a lot as a person and I care about him and enjoy having him as a boyfriend, but I just don't like doing anything sexual with him. He is my first serious boyfriend and I can tell that this frustrates him, and I'm afraid he'll just leave me for someone else. What should I do? (age 17)

I think he should leave you for someone else, and you should be the one to encourage it. You obviously don't belong together. You've been keeping him busy dating only you for five months when you have no interest in bringing the relationship to some other level. You and he should both be dating other people; perhaps you'll find someone whom you'll like kissing.

When I masturbate I get an orgasm, but when I have sex I cannot always get one. I've been sexually active since I was 15 but I never had an orgasm coitally untill October 2010. Can you tell me what my sex partner and I doing wrong? (age 22)

I hesitate to call it wrong. You obviously are aware of your sexual response and are able to bring it along during masturbation but for some reason you won't or can't in intercourse. Many females are not able to masturbate to orgasm, and even more never have orgasm in intercourse, so you are ahead of them. I would suggest that your partner try bringing you to orgasm orally or manually before he mounts you. You would probably enjoy vaginal intercourse more if you have it after you just had an orgasm. Don't worry about having a second one. Experiencing orgasm in those second-round encounters will make you more adapted to reaching orgasm in the first round.

I always attract the guys that only ask me out so they can have sex with me. I have a few tricks to find out if they just want to have sex, but when I notice that they only want sex and nothing more I already like them and I don't cut them off. What do you think I should do? (age 16)

You shouldn't be having sex with anyone until you can figure it out. At the very least, don't do anything sexual or even physically romantic on the first date. Then at least you will have eliminated the guys who won't wait for the second date. On the second date, perhaps agree to some minor kissing and non-sexual contact, but don't do anything involving either of your genitals. Then when you go out for the third date, you will have identified the males who are willing to have two sexless dates with you and take a chance on having a third. At this point you should have an easier time deciding who you want to go out with.

Follow-up from another reader: Your advice to that girl about waiting to the third date to know which guys only want sex is ridiculous. You can't tell a young girl when to start kissing a guy and when to do more. Your answer should have been -- do nothing that you don't want to do. If you're not ready to kiss a guy, don't kiss him. If a guy likes you and respects you, he won't pressure you to do anything sexual. THAT'S how you know. Move at your own pace, and if you aren't ready to have sex yet, say so. It'll become pretty clear which ones are nudging you in the wrong direction, and which ones are willing to wait with you. (age 21)


My best friend has recently begun being sexually active and every time after she has sex she is stressed because her period is late. Can you still get pregnant even though you wear a condom? (age 16)

Yes, condoms have a failure rate of at least three percent. Three percent of women who use condoms for regular sex for a year will get pregnant.

Can I get pregnant if he just put the tip of his penis inside of me? I guess this means I'm not a virgin anymore, but can I still have my hymen intact and get pregnant? (age 18)

You're right about not being a virgin anymore. If all he put in is the tip of his penis, your hymen is probably unchanged. There is an extremely low chance of getting pregnant from that. I advise wearing a condom.

My boyfriend is dying to have vaginal sex, but I'm not letting his penis anywhere near my vagina, even with a condom. But I will let him rub the head of his penis in my navel until he ejaculates, and he seems to be happy with this. However, I started to wonder if this could lead to some sort of sexual dysfunction for him? (age 17)

It's good that you're thinking about your boyfriend's sexual health. I doubt he's doing it often enough that it would cause a sexual dysfunction, and he likely already knows the conventional way to masturbate. That he can ejaculate merely by rubbing in your navel suggests that he is in good shape sexually and will be just fine when you finally let him in.

I would just like to thank you for your extremely informative site. I am a Christian and I have been consumed with guilt since I started masturbating at about age 11. I tried to stop but since I am a sexual being, this proved nearly impossible. Your site has helped me to realize that masturbation is totally normal even for women, and it has freed me to explore my own body with peace of mind. (age 24)


I've been in a lesbian relationship for a year. My partner has become dominant; she ties my hands and feet and spanks me like a bad little girl. Then she masturbates while I'm still tied up. When does a little kinky get too kinky? (age 20)

When stuff you don't consent to is happening.

According to my doctor, girls should start to go for check-ups like the Pap smear when they are sexually active. If you masturbate sometimes but have never had sexual intercourse, does that make you sexually active? I am too shy to ask him, but am concerned about things like cancer. (age 20)

Masturbating does not make you sexually active. You should not be afraid to ask your doctor. He has a lot more sexual experience than you and has masturbated a lot more. He will answer your questions about cancer and your health and keep your reports confidential.

When I masturbate, I like to fantasize about girls and watch lesbian porn. Am I lesbian? I've kissed a girl before and it felt right, but when I kissed a boy, it didn't feel right. I haven't told anyone that I think I am lesbian, and I want to know if I am and how I would tell my family & friends that I am! (age 14)

You might be a lesbian, and you might not. I suggest you keep gathering information like you have been and keep in mind there is a range of sexual preferences. It would probably be good to talk about it with close friends. When you are ready to tell your family and friends, you might find books and videos on the subject.

When I masturbate, I usually wind up imagining a BDSM scene, with me being dominated and held down and slightly hurt (though in the fantasy, I am completely consenting). Is this normal? (age 14)

Yes, that is a common female fantasy.

I've had about three orgasms from being stressed out by finals and things of that matter -- those felt AWESOME and I wish I could get those more often! However, you say orgasms are best when you're relaxed. Why isn't this the case for the three that came from stressful situations and me making no masturbatory touches whatsoever? (age 20)

In general, masturbation is more satisfactory when you're relaxed, but that doesn't mean you can't have a memorable orgasm when you're not relaxed. You might be interested to learn that professors also get stressed and masturbate during finals week, or maybe while grading.

Follow up: I actually don't make any contact -- the orgasms just happen when I'm really stressed out, which is usually during finals week. Why are the orgasms better when I'm completely stressed and not even touching myself?

I don't know, but you might just enjoy them while they're happening. Your classmates don't need to know why you're suddenly relaxed and smiling.

I just found your site and realized that I have TMS. I started masturbating years ago by thrusting against a pillow then also began masturbating prone. However, for the last three years or so, I masturbate prone because I can't stimulate myself any other way; as I approach my climax, I switch to masturbating supine and climax supine. Do I have TMS? If yes, then how do I cure it? As of now, I can't stimulate myself supine. (age 18)

Yes, you have TMS. Many males and females who masturbate prone flip over to their backs and then orgasm the way you do. The way to get over prone masturbation is to take a week or two off from orgasm and then masturbate supine. You can do it. You will like it a lot better.

I enjoy playing with my nipples before and during masturbation. I have found that if my nipples are slightly sore, they are more sensitive. I wear clothespins on my nipples for about an hour, then I masturbate to wonderful orgasms. Can this do long term damage to my nipples? Should I discontinue this and just get my nipples pierced? (age 17)

I can't imagine having a sensitive body part pierced. I don't have any specific information about the clothespin thing, but I think you are better off enjoying your own touch. See how sensitive your breasts can be even without clothespins.

I have been masturbating in the TMS fashion since I was very young. I have attempted recently to try other positions but have not achieved orgasm from them, and I have returned to masturbating prone. Have you heard of any women being able to overcome TMS? If so, what do you recommend for success? I hope that I am not too accustomed to this method that I am completely incapable of achieving orgasm any other way. (age 19)

I hope you're not either. Many women have given up prone masturbation and learned to masturbate supine. Just follow the cure regimen on the main page about prone masturbation. There is a support group for women who masturbate prone on Yahoo groups. It has been inactive lately, but you might find women who share your experience there.

When I massage my clitoris, I get a tingly feeling that washes over my whole body, and I get all hot/cold, and it feels SO good. But at the same time, it kind of tickles, so I stop. Why am I having this problem? (age 16)

It's not a problem. It's an orgasm. Eventually private parts get too sensitive to allow more orgasms. Enjoy them while they last, and work on having multiple orgasms. Many females are able to get more than one out before the sensitive feeling kicks in.

I seem to have an unusually large clitoris. It's about the size of the last joint of my little finger. When I get sexually aroused, I can actually take it between my thumb and forefinger and masturbate like a boy. How rare is this condition, and will it lead to problems later on? (age 16)

I've never heard of problems from an outsized clitoris. You don't even know for sure that you have one. I suspect if you asked your doctor or nurse, they would tell you yours is normal size. Even if it isn't, there's nothing you can do about it. You seem to enjoy your clitoris, which would be my advice anyway. Oh, and boys don't masturbate the way you describe.

I love your web site! I started using my hairbrush handle as a toy 8 months ago and then stopped 2 months ago because my family was moving and there wasn't enough privacy. I tried using it again recently and it hurt and when I was done, it was covered in blood and my vagina was in a lot of pain. Could you tell me why? (age 14)

I suspect it's because you used too much force. I recommend using the lesser pressure of your hands instead of a hard hairbrush handle.

My partner masturbates prone and we have intercourse daily but I have to help him reach orgasm manually. We are trying for a baby so he ejaculates inside my vagina at the last minute, sort of reverse withdrawal method, but with no success so far. Is this a common problem with TMS? Could it be affecting our ability to get pregnant? (age 37)

The most common problem of males who masturbate prone is an inability to reach orgasm in intercourse. If he can't ejaculate inside your vagina, it is unlikely he will be able to impregnate you. I suggest he get over TMS, but of course, he is the only one who can change.

Can masturbation over/through the underwear hurt me in any way? (age 18)

It is not a typical way to masturbate. It is better if you don't do it that way.

I'm in a long term relationship with a wonderful man who had the misfortune of learning to masturbate in the prone position. In fact, I don't really know if I would call it masturbation because he usually waited until he had a wet dream instead of doing it himself. He sees masturbation as something shameful, and the few times he did masturbate, it was in the prone position. He said he tried using his hand before but said it just didn't feel that good. When we first began having sex, the only problem he experienced was anorgasmia. He stopped masturbating/having wet dreams once we began having regular intercourse, and I think intercourse helped cure him of the problems of TMS. But now that we have to live in different cities, we can't have sex that often, and he knows he's going to need to masturbate again. He was extremely sexually repressed when we met and he is way too shy to talk about this stuff even with a medical professional. I do my best to be supportive and comforting, but I fear it's not enough. Do you have any words of advice that I can give him? Maybe a book that would be helpful? (age 22)

The way I see it, he has two problems: prone masturbation, and a refusal to accept masturbation as normal, healthy, and fun, and even necessary to male sexual health. Unfortunately, he has to be the one to want to change. I suggest you have him read HealthyStrokes.com and possibly join the online support group. He doesn't have to post; he can just read messages (like most of our group members).

I don't masturbate that much but every time I do, I get bloated the next day and sometimes my period is delayed for a couple of days. Is that normal? (age 21)

Irregular periods are often normal at your age. If you masturbated more often, you would understand that it doesn't cause bloating or delayed periods.

I masturbate daily using my hand. I lie on my back and masturbate externally. The past couple of nights, after I masturbated, I would feel kind of a pinching on my clit. It was uncomfortable and whenever I would squeeze my legs together I would feel the pinching pain again. Sometimes it would happen randomly and not after I masturbated. Any help? I'm worried. (age 13)

It would probably help to get up after masturbating and do some stretching. You might have used your muscles in a particular way, and getting up and moving around would put them back to normal.

Does a penis have to go into you fully and break your hymen for you to no longer be a virgin or if a bit of it goes into you (just the head of the penis), are you considered not a virgin anymore? I've heard different thoughts on this and I'd like to know which one is correct. (age 14)

If any part of the penile head passes between your labia, you are no longer a virgin.
Follow-up: But the labia are separate from the vaginal entrance. This would mean that if a guy just rubs against you, but doesn't penetrate you at all, you have lost your virginity. I'm not sure that can be true. Is it?

If any part of the penis is not visible because the labia are in the way, penetration has occurred. To answer your original question, no, a penis does not have to go all the way into your vagina for you -- and him -- to no longer be virgins.
Follow-up: I've never heard this before and it must be false. Surely penetration has only occurred when the vagina itself has been penetrated.

It is obvious to me that something has crossed your labia, but you are in denial that you are no longer a virgin. The standard I used is what they use in many places for deciding if penetration has occurred in rape.

I'm 13 and I masturbate twice a day. Will I be barren because of masturbating a lot of time?

Masturbation does not affect your fertility.

My boyfriend masturbates prone and thinks he is feeling effects of TMS. What can I do to help him so we can have sex and he can masturbate conventionally without clenching his butt and thighs in order to ejaculate? (age 21)

Your boyfriend has to want to change. You can help him by not agitating him sexually when he is abstaining from sex and masturbation for a week or two while he works to learn conventional masturbation and then for another month while he works on practicing conventional masturbation.

I am in love with Michael Jackson and I think from 1987 to 1997 he was soooooooo sexy and sometimes when I get horny thinking of him, I want to masturbate, but I feel awkward and don't and the feeling passes. Is it normal to masturbate to the thought of a celeb? Is it normal to feel weird about it? (age 12)

I hate to tell you that Jacko is dead. I wish you would be in love with someone you could actually be with instead of a dead celebrity whom you admit stopped being sexy before you were born. It is very normal to masturbate to thoughts of celebrities and photos and videos of celebrities. Some people feel weird about it, but most get over the feeling quickly and realize that the celebrity will never know them or what they were doing.

I've been doing it for about a year now, mostly at night or when I'm home alone. I keep my door locked because my mom is VERY religious. She used to ask me if I have ever done it before about every few months, but since I've actually started, her questions have completely stopped. I try to be quiet, but do you think she knows? (age 14)

What struck me most about your message is that you never mentioned the thing you started doing. You will never accept masturbation as normal, healthy, and fun if you can't say the word. Your mom knows that most girls your age are starting to masturbate, and she probably suspects you of doing it too. If you can't talk about it and she can't talk about it, it would be best to leave the topic alone.

When I think about masturbating, I feel scared and I don't want to do it, but I learned that my friends do. Am I weird for being scared to do it? (age 15)

No, I don't think you're weird. But masturbating is nothing to be scared of. If you tried it, you would like it and want to do it more.

Is it normal to masturbate on your back, fully-clothed, while holding onto your belt loops and grinding against your pants? I've tried other methods to bring me to release, but I have found none to be effective. What do you suggest I do? (age 15)

The method you describe is atypical and will not serve you well in terms of making you able to reach orgasm with a partner, which I hope you will do someday (not soon). I would suggest you take a week or two off from your current method and then relax and work at having an orgasm using only your hands.

I am a virgin and my boyfriend and I have been planning the day when we first have sex. I feel that I'm ready to progress in our relationship and take things to the next level (physically), but I'm worried about once we finally do the deed. I'm not sure if I should try to loosen my body for his sake so it could be more pleasurable for him. Is it more pleasurable for a man to be with a women who has a tighter vagina or a looser one? I'm really nervous, please help! (age 17)

If you're nervous, then maybe you shouldn't be planning to have sex. I promise that your boyfriend will not complain about your vagina. There is very little variation among vaginas, and I doubt your boyfriend could even tell the difference. You are worried about something unimportant. If you are going to have sex, spend more time worrying about how you will prevent pregnancy and STDs.

I masturbate in the shower while sitting down and I run the water on my clit, and i always reach an orgasm, but sometimes it takes long to reach it. I also masturbate to my boyfriend (lives in different country than me) over Skype in my room with my fingers. I have an 11 year old sister that always is barging into my room trying to see what im doing! But I don't have a bedroom door to lock and keep her out. I have masturbated without my sister coming in, but it is really risky and I don't want my mom to find out from my sister. What can I do to keep my sister out of my room? Will I be able to reach orgasm without water when I'm older? (age 13)

You probably won't like this answer, but it would solve your privacy problem to tell your mom that you've started masturbating and don't want your little sister to see. Then she would get you a lock for your door and you wouldn't have to worry about your sister tattling. As an alternative, tell her you want more privacy from your sister barging in and don't mention masturbating. The best way to be able to masturbate to orgasm without running water is to quit that practice now and work on reaching orgasm by hand.

I've had a crush on the boy next door for a long time, but he's never paid much attention to me. Last Saturday, I was sunbathing in the backyard, and he appeared at his window and I could see he was naked from the waist up, and he was perhaps totally naked. When he saw that I saw him, I think he started stroking his penis, but he disappeared after a few moments. I went inside and tried to forget it, but after a while, I got so horny that I had to get alone and masturbate. Since then I have masturbated several times a day. How do I let him know that I would like to watch him masturbate again, and maybe do it together? (age 14)

It would be better if you forgot the whole thing. You don't know for sure that he was either naked or masturbating. Lots of boys roam around the house topless. Next time you sunbathe, if he sees you, wave to him and ask him to come outside. Maybe that will lead to a conversation, but don't assume anything about him masturbating.

I am really close with my best friend and we share masturbation stories. She has been shaving her privates since she turned 14, and has suggested several times that I try it, but I am comfortable with hair. Lately, she has suggested shaving again, and volunteered to do it for me. I'm beginning to think that she's really suggesting we have lesbian sex. How do you feel about this? (age 16)

I doubt she's suggesting lesbian sex. Just tell her firmly you aren't interested in shaving your privates, either by yourself or with her help.

I started masturbating about a year ago and I'm trying to stop. I know that it is perfectly normal to masturbate but I hate the guilt that follows. I'm not happy with what I'm doing and I really want to stop. Please offer some tips to help my issue. (age 14)

I suggest working harder at accepting masturbation as normal, healthy, and fun. You say you know it's normal, but you're not living as if it's normal.

What is it with all this nipple playing? I've seen questions on your site from both men and women; now my boyfriend is doing it. We were having good old-fashioned sex, and he started begging me to pinch his nipples; when I did, he took his penis out and stroked it until he ejaculated in my pubic hair. At least he used my vibe to finish what he started. What's the connection between nipples and a penis or a clitoris? (age 20)

Nipple play is a fun and harmless form of foreplay. Nipples are an erogenous zone. You don't have to let someone touch your nipples, but there is no harm in touching someone else's nipples if that's what they want. However, nipple play is not a substitute for sex, so what your boyfriend did is not normal. You would be justified in telling him that he ruined the fun you were having during old-fashioned sex.

Will masturbating cause my period to be floody? (age 24)

No.

My only way of masturbating has been going under the shower head. I have been having sex for about 2 years now and I have never been able to orgasm from anything other than a vibrator/shower head. Can I get back my ability to orgasm by stopping this? (age 18)

I think it would be good for you to give up masturbating with the shower head. After about a week, you should try masturbating by hand. When you get that to work for you, you can hope to be more orgasmic in intercourse.

I felt my vagina for the first time today. I found my hymen and my opening, but when I put in one finger I felt this cartilage-like membrane. I can feel it's still there when I push down. Could I have a subseptate hymen? (age 13)

It's possible but not very likely. You would have an easier time understanding your hymen if you looked at it with mirrors instead of merely felt it.

My boyfriend and I have been in a relationship for over 2 years. We started seeing one another when he was 17 and I was 20. Our intimacy has been perfect until recently when he moved away to college and our contact level is less frequent to only seeing one another 1 to 2 times a month. In the beginning of our relationship, he was able to get erections without any effort at all and having the ability to have sex 3 or more consecutive times. Now that he is 19 going on 20, he has trouble having sex multiple times in one night. He is physically in the best shape of his life, plays college football and eats right. He feel like his testosterone levels may be off due to muscle training over the summer and taking protein shakes and/or supplements. Any sort of information or ideas to correct will help. (age 23)

I don't think I'd be doing my job if I didn't raise the possibility, could he be sexually active with other women at school? A male doesn't simply go from being able to have sex three times a night to once overnight, especially when he's in the best shape of his life. If you're certain he's monogamous, then it might just be the stress of being in college and playing football that's taking a toll on his libido. It's probably nothing to worry about.

I've been masturbating for most of my life and I would do it once a day, twice at the most. But in the past year I've been masturbating up to 7 times a day for an extended period of time and I just never feel satisfied. Is there something wrong with me? (age 16)

It could be stress, or it could be a condition called persistent sexual arousal syndrome (PSAS). I suggest you read about that on the Internet and see if it sounds anything like you.

I would like to know if my habits in bed are actually harmful to me. Every time I reach my orgasm I muffle my voice the first few seconds but then I can't help but hold my breath afterward. Is this dangerous? I try to remember to breathe but I'm so caught up in the moment that I think breathing would just ruin it. (age 18)

When you need to breathe, you will breathe. Don't worry about that.

I am not a virgin since I have had penis penetration 4 times. We still haven't broken the hymen. We have been trying to break it so we both have pleasure from intercourse. It hurts really bad and sometimes I even start to cry in pain. I know it's never been broken because I can feel it when I try to insert tampons. My mom says the reason I can't wear tampons is because I have an extra thick hymen. Could that be the issue? Any ideas on how to break it with less pain and maybe different positions? Any help would be great. (age 17)

If your mom thinks you have a sclerotic hymen, then maybe you do. A doctor could remove it surgically. It would be worth doing in your case.

Is it wrong that the only way I can really get turned on is by watching two guys have sex? (age 14)

It is not wrong, but it would be better if you got turned on more conventionally. You can't expect to see two men have sex very often, but if you got turned on by seeing a man shirtless, then you would be a lot better off.

I just started masturbating about two weeks ago and every time I masturbate, I get an orgasm. I've read that for some women its hard for them to get an orgasm and I was wondering if when I let a man have intercourse with my virginal vagina, will I be able to get more pleasure? Your site is great by the way. (age 14)

If you're already orgasmic at 14, it points to you being very sexually responsive and having many orgasms with males when that time comes a few years from now.

I've been shaving since age 15. When I tried it, I enjoyed masturbation much more without hair. I've been considering laser hair removal because regular shaving is tedious. My mom is OK with this. She thinks I'm mature enough to make the decision and will allow me to use my part-time job money for the treatments. My only reluctance is that I've never had a steady boyfriend and don't know how boys feel about this. Have you ever done a survey asking boys if they prefer girls with hair or bare? (age 17)

Pubic hair styles follow trends. Right now only a minority of females keep theirs natural and about a third go completely bare. Males at this moment, in informal surveys I've seen (not conducted myself) prefer the prevailing style of shaven females. However, before you go for a permanent solution, please consider 1) styles change; 2) your preference may change; 3) despite what any survey shows about a majority of males preferring, you could wind up with a partner who has a definite preference for natural. I have a feeling you're sexually inexperienced. You might hold off on laser treatment until you've gotten some sexual experience of your own or at least discussed it with some sexually experienced males. Males who prefer natural hair on females usually mention that unshaven hair is soft while shaven hair is sharp and prickly. Professional wax treatments would let you go bare for longer than shaving but would not be permanent, irreversible changes.

I experienced my first orgasm via masturbation when I was seven but didn't start puberty until I was 11. When I told one of my ex-boyfriends, he freaked out and said "that's disgusting" and said he started when he was 14. I told another boyfriend and he said he didn't care but I could tell he was taken aback. He was cooler about it and said he started around 11. I didn't know exactly what I was doing when I first did it. I realized that rubbing part of my vulva created a sensation and it went from there. I experienced a climax and I've masturbated on average about twice a month ever since. Is it really that unusual? Do girls start earlier than guys? (age 22)

Your experience is not especially unusual, but the graph below will help explain some of the differences between males and females. Note that before puberty, hardly any males have masturbated. At age 11, more than three times as many females have masturbated compared to males. At puberty, male masturbation suddenly and dramatically shoots up to nearly 100 percent while female masturbation increases at a slower rate and levels off at about 95 percent. That is to say, females start masturbating over a much longer period of time than males, 76 percent of whom start at age 11-14, inclusive. Also, twice a month is a common frequency for females but an extremely low frequency for males, most of whom masturbate daily at your age. Since your boyfriends probably haven't studied this in detail and are only generalizing from their own experience, perhaps it is better if you don't share it with them.

You seem to know far more about masturbation than you do about sexual intercourse. Is there any reason for that? (female, age 16+)

You imply that I'm lacking in knowledge about intercourse, which isn't a fair charge. This site is focused on masturbation, so naturally I get more questions about it than I do about intercourse. I've studied masturbation more intensely than I have intercourse and done more research of my own into it. I have no doubt that I know more about intercourse than the average person.

How many girls/women use or look at porn to masturbate? (age 26)

According to a survey of over 3000 females by HealthyStrokes.com in 2007-08, 8 percent of females almost always use pictures to help them masturbate, and an additional 7 percent use them most of the time. 45 percent use them some of the time, 22 percent use them rarely, and 18 percent they never use pictures when they masturbate. This compares to 29 percent of males who use them almost always, 31 percent most of the time, 26 percent some of the time, 8 percent rarely, and 5 percent never.

I'm 13 and I want to start masturbating because I'm always wanting to have intercourse. I have researched it and I am ready, but I don't know where or when is the right time and place to masturbate. Can you give me some techniques that will help me to reach climax and get an orgasm?

Your energy seems to be misplaced. Masturbating is a good thing, but doing it because you're desiring intercourse seems like the wrong reason. If you were really ready, you wouldn't be asking me where or when to do it. Most people masturbate for the first time spontaneously, when the feeling hits them, instead of planning a time and place. Most people do it at bedtime in their beds, but this doesn't have to be a prescription. Why not try it yourself and see how it goes and then research HealthyStrokes.com and perhaps other places to find out how to make it better.

I have been masturbating since I was 4 and until recently didn't know what it actually was. I'm proud that I have never been caught by anyone but am paranoid about it recently. My family doesn't like it when we lock doors, and I hate doing it in the bathroom. Where is the best place to do it? (age 13)

If you hate doing it in the bathroom, then the best place is obviously in bed. I suggest locking the door anyway. Then you will have much less to be paranoid about.

I came across HealthyStrokes.com today and found many things that surprised me. I thought I was one of the only people my age who masturbates! Last year my friend and I masturbated for each other at a sleepover. I masturbate a couple times a week, but I feel guilty. I have tried to stop but I can't. I have never found anyone to talk to about these things. PLEASE HELP! (age 13)

Now that you've found this site, you know you're not alone and have very little reason to feel guilty. Why don't you talk to your friend who you masturbated with last year? You know she masturbates too and perhaps also wants someone to talk to.

Last night I was masturbating, but in the morning after I woke up, my mom came in and said that it smelled weird in my room. Are people able to smell if you masturbated? (age 16)

I very much doubt that anything could be smelled after the whole night. Don't worry about that. It wouldn't hurt to open a window in your room occasionally.

Could you tell me the percentage for those who masturbate at my age? (age 13)

According to a survey of over 3000 females by HealthyStrokes.com in 2007-08, 58 percent of adult females started masturbating by their 13th birthdays and another 10.5 percent started at age 13. So about two thirds of girls your age are masturbating.

During masturbation if a girl's clitoris is torn, is she still a virgin? (age 21)

I think you mean the hymen. A clitoris being torn would be pretty painful, so be glad it doesn't really happen while masturbating. Masturbating, even if it tears the hymen, does not make a girl not a virgin. She has to have sex with a partner to lose her virginity.

One of my male friends has this "game" that we do over texts. We ask each other questions. They tend to get personal, talking about masturbation and sex and such, and I'm really not comfortable with it. What should I do? (age 14)

Then don't play that game. He won't if you won't.

I have been masturbating for years now, and it seems that I really enjoy fantasizing about boys being intimate with boys. I have other fantasies, such as me seducing my older brother's friends. Are either of those fantasies normal? (age 15)

Yes, those are both common fantasies. Please research the age of consent in your state before actually seducing your brother's friends, as opposed to merely thinking about it.

Happy Christmas, Mr. HealthyStrokes! (age 23)

Why, thank you! Happy Christmas to you too!

I want guys to touch my butt but they're all too shy to do it! Ive accidentally touched guys' butts and I wish they would touch mine. Is this weird? (age 12)

It's not as weird as it is just plain dangerous. You're below the age of consent, and males could get in trouble with the law if they touched your butt, even if you gave permission. You could also get in trouble with the law for touching guys' butts, especially if they didn't give permission, so I advise you to stop all this nonsense until you're able to be in a consensual relationship with a male, hopefully not for years.

I started masturbating a few weeks ago but very rarely, whenever I do it isn't a very pleasant feeling really, it probably tickles a little for about a minute, is this normal? And how long should I masturbate for? (age 12)

Give yourself more time. A few weeks isn't very long to learn to do something well. You should expect to masturbate for 15-30 minutes before you get any extremely nice feelings out of it.

Is it OK that I think about masturbating with a girl while I am masturbating? I get really turned on and I am able to reach an orgasm faster. (age 14)

That is a common fantasy for both males and females. Of course, it is always a good idea to have more than one thing to fantasize about.

I just wanted to take the time to answer a question I've read on your site. The question is: Can women really orgasm without touching themselves, and without manual stimulation. I might be the anamoly, but I truly can orgasm this way, it is just not as powerful as when I am actually stimulated by touch. (age 19) The only real requirement to mentally induce an orgasm is that you just be aroused, and you must be very relaxed. Hope that helps.

Are you male? If so, I feel really uncomfortable reading this now. If you are male, do you judge us and such? (age 13)

I am male and always have been and always will be. Don't be uncomfortable. Tens of thousands of your sisters have read my site. I don't think I'm particularly judgmental, but some people disagree.

I've recently been having really erotic dreams about two of my female friends. They're 41 and 26 and we're actually pretty close. I don't think I'm a lesbian but I still don't know why I've been dreaming like this. When I wake up I'm really wet and I'm sure I had an orgasm. I've even woken up masturbating. I know this isn't exactly right but is it normal? What can I do about it? I travel a lot with them and usually have to share a hotel room with them. I'd be mortified if they found out. (age 13)

Erotic dreams are normal at your age, even about your friends. Keep in mind that your friends are twice and three times your age, so they probably think of themselves more like aunts to you. I don't know how to control what you dream about, but just remember that most dreams are just random images floating through your head. They don't necessarily mean anything.

I started masturbating about three years ago. I started orgasming about two years ago, but only from rubbing my clit outside my panties. The feelings I get are much too strong when I take my panties off and I haven't been able to have much luck with penetration. I really want to be able to orgasm without wearing panties so that I can have sex normally though! How can I do this? (age 16)

Stimulating your clitoris through your panties is a lot like stimulating your clitoral hood and shaft naked. I suggest you work on masturbating without the panties, but avoid touching your clitoral head, which is the most sensitive part. Work on the hood and shaft, and if that's still too much, just stimulate your labia minora and see if your clitoral region gets less sensitive after a few minutes.

I masturbate externally. I really want to try internal but I'm abnormally tight and even one finger hurts! I can't even wear slim fit tampons. Are there any techniques to loosen myself so I can wear a tampon and masturbate internally? (age 14)

Most girls are older than you before they masturbate internally. If you really want to, I think you're going to have to endure the hurt that one finger causes before it will feel good.

My blabbermouth 10 year old stepsister caught me humping my pillow 2 months ago. So far it's cost me 4 DVDs and my best 2 CDs. My family's super religious so its not a cool subject to talk about. Maybe there is nothing I can do except hope she's been doing it too. Most of my allowance goes to keeping her mouth shut! (age 15)

You are a fool if you are letting a 10-year-old extort you. Anyone who pays off an extortionist only reaps more extortion. Just tell her you're not going to give her anything else for her silence and call her bluff. If she tells anyone, she's the one who's going to look silly.

I don't enjoy masturbation. Is this weird? (age 15)

Yes. Nearly everyone regards masturbating and orgasm as two of the most fun experiences they've ever had. If you don't, then it points to you doing something wrong. Just relax and enjoy yourself.

I have never once in my life masturbated with my fingers. I have had countless orgasms though. The way I reach orgasm is that while in the supine position I fantasize about something that arouses me, and then I squeeze my legs together until I orgasm. When I orgasm, I feel it all over my body and not just my pelvic region. I've researched online, and no one seems to have anything on being able to climax without digital stimulation. I feel kind of weird sometimes because I orgasm on my thoughts alone. I've tried to do it the regular way in the past, but it felt like when you try to tickle yourself. I get kind of disgusted by the thought of touching myself for sexual pleasure. I'm still a virgin, and I wonder how this could affect me once I'm in a sexual relationship. Does this mean that I've never truly masturbated? (age 26)

You have indeed masturbated. Masturbation is stimulation of one's own genitals in order to increase sexual arousal. The rhythmic squeezing of the legs is a familiar method of female masturbation, and as you know, it causes your vulva to be stimulated. I'm surprised you weren't able to find anything about it in your online research. Your main problem is that you regard masturbation as disgusting. Masturbating is normal, healthy, and fun, and good for your sexual health. You can only improve your prospects for satisfaction in a sexual relationship by getting better at masturbating. I suggest you give tickling yourself another try.

I have been masturbating for almost three years and have tried many diffrent methods but I just can't seem to orgasm. I recently got an electric toothbrush and by using it on my clit, in less than a minute my vagina starts throbbing and my abdomen feels tight. Is that an orgasm? (age 14)

I think it is. Congratulations! Now work on doing with your hands what the vibrator is doing.

I know your views on porn, but is it OK to use it to learn sexual techniques in the bedroom? I think "the night" for me and my boyfriend is coming, and since I'm a virgin, I figured I'd watch it so I'd know what to do. Is this normal or at least OK? (age 17)

Porn isn't real. If you want to see what sex is really like, I suggest renting or buying some sex instruction videos. Keep in mind that most females (and males) do fine on "the night" without needing to watch any videos beforehand. You will probably be fine and only get better with practice.

Every time I masturbate I get all hot and sweaty. Is this normal? (age 13)

Yes, very.

Yesterday I was on the phone with my boyfriend. He talked me into having phone sex with him, and I agreed because I thought my mom was asleep. Today, she just said "I heard you last night." I've avoided her since. Do you think she knows I was having phone sex? Or does she think I was just masturbating? What should I do? (age 15)

I think you just act normal around your mom. Maybe all she heard was that you were on the phone. She didn't say anything about phone sex or masturbating.

I've been feeling horny for a very long time and I have never resorted to masturbation. I do not feel comfortable using my hands and I am scared to. I often have sexual fantasies in my head that only leave me horny. What other methods can I use to stop myself from feeling horny? (age 16)

Masturbation is the most popular because it's the best for you. You ought to accept masturbation as normal, healthy, and fun. In a few years from now, you'll be able to have sex with partners, but that brings with it risks that masturbating doesn't have.

I know a 16 year old guy and we started talking about masturbation. I told him that I wanted to give him a hand job and that I would have sex with him but the next day I said that I didn't want to anymore. Now it has been a about a month and I really want to have oral and sometimes I don't, but now we aren't friends as we were before because now it is awkward, and I think I made him excited and then mad. Should I tell him that I want to do sexual stuff with him? Because sometimes I want to and other times I don't. (age 13)

You should absolutely not do anything sexual with anyone until you're 16. And even then, check the laws in your state to see if it would be statutory rape. You're very mixed up and shouldn't be doing sexual things until you're old enough and know what you want.

I ride my horse every day, so my clitoris is very insensitive. When I masturbate, my arms and fingers start hurting before I can orgasm. Are there any ways to fix this? (age 14)

I would suggest getting in better shape and wearing some extra padding over your clitoris to keep it from getting desensitized by the horse ride. Your horse teacher could probably give you some tips on arm and finger exercises that would not leave you overexerted after a ride.

I am often turned on by the thought of oral sex but I don't know how to stimulate the feeling of oral sex while masturbating. Please help me because I like that feeling but can't copy it! (age 16)

I can't either, and I'd make a fortune if I could. Surely someone's invented a sex toy that comes close.

I'm 30 and still a virgin. Since age 16, I've been having doubts about my sexual orientation. I have OCD and one of its classical symptoms is doubts about sexual orientation, but there are a few other issues. I recently started dating a guy 8 years my junior, we're often engaging in foreplay and petting but have not had penetration yet. I am not aroused by his penis. He's handsome, but his skin is very soft, and he doesn't have a lot of body hair. Sometimes I even think there's something girl-like about his look - which turns me off. I'm very confused. Are these just obsessions or is there anything wrong with me sexually? What can I do to lead a normal healthy heterosexual relationship? Thanks in advance.

Most of what you wrote is beyond the scope of my site and would be better for you to discuss with a competent mental health professional who is experienced with OCD and sexual orientation issues. It's unusual for a woman your age to date someone so much younger. Since your complaints about him center on his physical form, you might find that men closer to your own age look more masculine and have more body hair. My first tip to leading a normal, healthy heterosexual relationship is don't be so picky about your boyfriend's physique. I expect that trying sex with him would lead you to have fewer doubts about your sexual orientation.

I am a virgin. I have been masturbating for years now using water from a shower spray (mainly into the upper part of my private area) or very rarely rubbing or massaging my private area. I have never inserted anything into my vagina. I want to know if my hymen is still intact. (age 31)

From your experience, it well could be, but not very many women have intact hymens at your age.

After the first time I masturbated, I felt guilty. Not for religious reasons, but because I had to pleasure myself. A guy didn't do it for me. I think sexual actions should be reserved for love. Did I miss out because I didn't have these first feelings of sexual pleasure with someone else? I'm a virgin, but I still have sexual desires, and when I first addressed them, I was happy to explore my body and it felt really good (although I didn't orgasm, but I think I was pretty close). I have tried to masturbate again, but I haven't felt nearly as good as I did the first time, and I'd like to experience it again, but I'm also conflicted. Do you have any tips to make it more enjoyable and shame-free? (age 16)

Yes, my web site is full of them. I wish you would read all of the female pages here at HealthyStrokes.com (and maybe some of the male pages too.) You didn't miss anything. Most females have their first orgasms alone, and most masturbate before they have sex with partners. Very few females have never masturbated by the first time they have intercourse. You would do well if you thought of masturbation as different from intercourse, not inferior to it.

How can I prevent a smell from my vagina after I masturbate? Do I have to take a shower every time I masturbate?

Don't worry about that. No one can smell when you've been masturbating. If it really bothers you, just wash your hands thoroughly afterward.

Can a doctor tell that you have masturbated or masturbate? I'm 15 now and I used to masturbate a lot in the past year but now I don't masturbate as much as I used to. I only masturbate externally.

A doctor could probably only guess by looking. If you only masturbate externally, you aren't leaving physical signs the way you do if you masturbate internally. As you get older, not only are doctors more likely to assume you masturbate, but you are apt to be less worried about someone figuring out you masturbate. I think you should keep doing what you were doing before, and like it.

Is it normal to masturbate and reach the peak after only 40 seconds? (age 14)

No. Most females take more than 10 minutes to reach orgasm. I think you're mistaking something else for the peak. Just relax and enjoy what you're doing and don't be in a rush.

When masturbating I tend to use my hands and a somewhat dildo shaped bottle (solid plastic). But I never seem to be able to get more than 4 inches in? There seems to be a barrier. I can push a few fingers deeper past it but nothing thicker. Is this a certain part of the vagina and this is completely normal? (age 13)

You have reached your cervix. That is the barrier. Perhaps spend a few minutes looking at the anatomy diagrams on HealthyStrokes.com.

Is it normal for a girl my age to watch lesbian porn and masturbate? Does this mean I'm a lesbian? Also, is it good to masturbate every night? (age 12)

It certainly doesn't mean you're a lesbian because you look at lesbian porn. By the way, those women aren't really lesbians. They're just pretending for the camera. That's what porn is. Pretend. I don't know how many girls your age look at lesbian porn, but it must be more than ever before, because of the availability of porn over the Internet. I think you're better off exercising your imagination instead of looking at pictures. And it is very good to masturbate every night! Most boys your age who've started masturbating do it daily, and so do many girls.

My longtime partner and I have frequent sex and he masturbates regularly and he still has nocturnal emissions at the age of 34 and 8 months. They aren't at any regular interval and generally occur about 2 days after ejaculation. He was worried that this wasn't normal and has now been reassured thanks to your site. (age 32)

It's unusual for his age and experience, but it doesn't mean anything is wrong with him. Most males thing wet dreams are fun, and I constantly hear from males who've never had one and think they're missing something important.

I have been masturbating for almost two months now but I have only done external masturbation. Is this OK? I don't like to do internal masturbation. (age 14)

It's much more than OK. Most females don't start masturbating internally until they have been masturbating externally for several years. Maybe in a few years you'll try it again and like it. In the meantime, feel free to enjoy external masturbation.

I want to orgasm with my hands!!! But I can't. The only thing I can do with my hands is just get wet. The only way I can orgasm is by rubbing a wide tooth comb (flat way) on my clitoris as fast as I can with some steady pressure. It's effective, but I want to be able to orgasm with my hands. I've been masturbating for about 2 1/2 years now. (age 19)

I recommend taking some time off from masturbating, perhaps up to two weeks. If you go that long without an orgasm, it will be easier to masturbate to orgasm by hand. When you try, just relax and get yourself wet and then keep doing what you did to get wet. Put your mind in a sexually stimulating place. Don't obsess about having an orgasm. Just do what feels good and an orgasm will happen when it's ready. The 1-2 weeks of waiting will help.

I'd like to break my hymen/loosen myself before my first time having sex to avoid pain, get used to it, and have an enjoyable first experience. I feel uncomfortable discussing things with my stepparents. I want to know if bananas are safe to put in my vagina. (age 15)

Yes, bananas are safe, but they can split and get fruit in your vagina, which can lead to a yeast infection. If you must use a banana, a green one is better because it is less likely to split. Most females prefer cucumbers.

I love how funny and sarcastic you are when answering a lot of the questions. It makes it much easier to ask! Great site! (age 21)

I don't think I'm sarcastic very often. I mostly give straightforward answers without a lot of nonsense.

Has anyone done a study or survey to determine if breast size is related to nipple sensitivity? My little A-cups are quite sensitive. I enjoy going to class without a bra in a starched cotton blouse. Having my nipples rubbed by the material really gets me in the mood for some great masturbation when I get home. (age 19)

I don't know of any study like that. I imagine it would be hard to measure sensitivity, since a female self-reporting wouldn't have anything to compare it with. There are other ways of having your nipples rubbed, you know. Perhaps seeing your sexy A-cups under your blouse with no bra is driving your male classmates to do the same thing you do when you get home. Maybe someone could think of a way so that neither of you would masturbate after class.

I have never had sex (never manual intercourse either), never internally masturbated, had a vaginal exam or used a tampon. I'm about to have a pelvic exam. Will the doctor break my hymen to do the exam? Do I even have one, still? (age 21)

I can't tell in e-mail if you still have a hymen, but that's a good question to ask the doctor when you have your pelvic exam. Doctors who encounter unbroken hymens are generally careful about not breaking them to do the exam. It would be a good idea to ask at the beginning of the exam so the doctor knows you want to stay intact.

Sometimes after I orgasm my ears ring for a minute or two. Is this tinnitus, and should I go to a doctor? (age 15)

Tinnitus is usually only annoying, but sometimes it is a sign of a more serious problem. I would have an audiological screening and perhaps a follow-up with an ENT doctor to rule out a problem. I've never heard of tinnitus being connected to orgasm, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen. It might be because you are especially relaxed after a nice orgasm and are more aware of sounds.

I was eating dinner with my mom and her friends at a restaurant when they started talking about getting caught having sex and masturbating. I masturbate and I'm OK with it and think it's normal but hearing my mom talk about getting caught made me uncomfortable. What should I do if this happens again. (age 15)

Just say you're uncomfortable with the subject and offer to change it.

I am still a virgin. I find I'm more turned on by sight of female body than male. When I masturbate or even when my boyfriend gives me oral stimulation, the thought (mental image) of a female body arouses me much more than the sight/thought of naked male body. Am I normal? I only have heterosexual fantasies, and I want to have a relationship with a man. It's just mental arousal. Is it normal for a heterosexual woman, or if I have any bisexual tendencies, how do I get rid of them? (age 30)

Lots of heterosexuals occasionally fantasize about the same sex. For a lot of them, it's about wanting to have the body of the person they're fantasizing about. Some straight people also have fantasies of homosexual sex. I think you would learn more about your sexuality by losing your virginity and seeing how you like heterosexual sex.

Is masturbating externally with a pillow normal? I basically think it would just be like dry humping, but I'm not sure. Also, when I masturbate is it normal that I get turned on by the thoughts of giving oral but not recieving oral? (age 12)

I advise against all forms of prone masturbation. It is better if you can learn to use your hands than hump a pillow. You are pretty young and can't have learned much about oral sex. So I don't know if it is or isn't normal that you have those thoughts. It's perfectly OK if you get to be a sexually experienced female and decide you only want to participate in oral sex one way.

I have been masturbating prone for as long as I can remember, and never found any problems with it. I can still orgasm in other positions, like on my back or sitting. I've also never seen prone masturbation mentioned on any other site or as a cause of anorgasmia. If it isn't affecting me like you've said, do I still have Traumatic Masturbatory Syndrome? (age 14)

Although it's been as long as you can remember, you are still at the start of your sexual life. You can't judge that prone masturbation isn't affecting you any more than a smoker your age can claim that smoking is OK for their health because it hasn't caused them cancer, emphysema, or heart disease. If you search the Internet, you can find some other sites that discuss prone masturbation. I'm assuming you're a virgin, so you don't know at this moment if you will have orgasms in intercourse readily. I would advise you to give up prone masturbation because of the documented harm it does to males and the suggested pattern that females who masturbate supine with their hands have the best chances of orgasm in intercourse.

Last night I slept over at my neighbor's. I heard them having sex, or at least doing something sexual. It really freaked me out. The mom is really nice, but what creeped me out most is that she was talking really dirty. I wasn't even eavesdropping and their three teenagers were in the house. It's kind of hard for me to look at her now, but I don't think she knew I heard her. What are some good ways to just forget this even happened? (age 13)

Try singing a song in your head to distract yourself. The song "It's a Small World" from Disney amusement parks seems to work well. It's a small, small world. And it's not unusual for people to talk dirty as a way of getting aroused. I'm sure your friend and her family are normal, and you will understand some day too.

What does a vaginal orgasm feel like? I don't think I've ever had one, and I've never really worried about it because I could always have one from clitoral stimulation. But my boyfriend and I have just started having sex for the first time ever. How do I know? I've tried researching it, but I can't find anything that describes what I feel. Sometimes I get a really deep ache almost, it sounds unpleasant but it's really not. Is that my climax? (age 20)

A vaginal orgasm and a clitoral one feel the same. They are just triggered by different ways. If you're used to having orgasms by clitoral stimulation, you can try masturbating while you're having sex. It's easier if you have small hands or use an intercourse position that allows you (or your partner) to easily put a hand on your clitoris. It's good news if you're developing the ability to reach orgasms by vaginal stimulation. Just keep up what you're doing.

My mare gets very anxious and mean when she's in heat. The vet actually suggested I stick my fist in her vagina and work it in and out. Since she was looking to be pregnant he said that this would make her assume that she soon would be and therefore her bad behavior would go away. My instructor and barn owner also said this was a good idea. So one day, even though it completely grossed me out, I stayed late and did it. The bad behavior has completely gone away. But I feel REALLY guilty for doing it! Are there any ways for me to feel less guilty? I know they weren't just saying it to get a laugh. (age 14)

And I have to wonder if you're asking me just for a laugh. Just think of it as maintenance on the animal. It really wasn't sexual from your end. And get a long rubber glove.

Is it OK to use my saliva as lube? Does masturbating this way make it feel similar to oral sex? (age 15)

It is very OK to use saliva and most people do at one time or another. However, it will not feel any more like oral sex than masturbating with motor oil will make you feel like you're winning the Indy 500. (P.S. Don't masturbate with motor oil.)

I have noticed that the new questions pages have not been updated lately. I am just writing to say that I hope all is well with you and that nothing is wrong. Keep up the awesome work! The sexually frustrated people of the world depend upon you! And indirectly perhaps even the continuation of our species. Take care! (age 17)

Thanks for thinking of me. I've been busy with other work and didn't update HealthyStrokes.com for a few weeks. I will make a point of updating more frequently in the next month or so.

Your site has really helped me. I have been in a panic lately because my mom told me she needed to take me to the gyno for an exam in case I have some type of cyst that messes with periods. My terror is that I used to masturbate with large objects before I knew it would harm me. I'm almost positive that I broke my hyman years ago. Lately I noticed a white bump beside my vagina and wondered if my masturbating caused it, but I don't want to tell my mom in fear she'd take me to the doctor. I have a fear of doctors. (age 17)

There is no reason to be afraid of the doctor. You are almost an adult, and the gyno knows that nearly all girls your age masturbate often. Many of them use objects. She probably won't even ask about that. If she asks if you've been sexually active, answer truthfully. If you really want to be brave, say "no, but occasionally I masturbate with large objects."

HealthyStrokes.com is really helpful! I masturbated once a day for the past year and now I do it twice a day. Is this normal? (age 20)

Yes. Strange as it seems, as teen males get older, their masturbatory frequency drops, but as teen females get older, their frequency increases. It's good that you enjoy it.

I am in a relationship for the last 5 years, and we are abstaining from sex until marriage. I have never masturbated, and I have never felt like doing it. I know all guys masturbate with varying frequencies, and most girls do too. I am worried that there may be something wrong with me. Almost all my close friends are male, so I am unable to take the opinion of a female friend. I have confided in a couple of my male friends about this. I am worried if it is normal behavior to never masturbate or to even feel the urge to masturbate? (age 25)

Some females claim to have never masturbated or wanted to, even at your age. Are you claiming you have never felt sexual arousal? If so, that is a problem that should be addressed with a doctor. You would most likely feel sexual arousal as a warm or moist feeling in your vagina while kissing or otherwise being close to your boyfriend. Many females, when they get this feeling, seek to masturbate or have their partner stimulate them sexually. If you want to try masturbating sometime, when you have that feeling is the best time.

Last night I was externally masturbating a lot, about 4 times, and this morning my clitoris is sore and I have a constant feeling of needing to urinate even when I couldn't. I drank a lot of water and washed down there but there's still a dull ache. Am I OK? Is there anything I can do to alleviate the pain? (age 15)

You apparently have clitoritis -- inflammation of the clitoris -- from masturbating frequently last night. Both males and females can overstrain their private parts through sexual activity. The best way to prevent it is to use a water-based lube like K-Y Liquid or Astroglide while masturbating. If it really hurts, treat it like you would a headache.

I started masturbating not too long ago and whenever I finish I feel a strange tight, pulselike feeling in my pelvis, and my stomach feels unsettled. I was wondering if this is normal because I'm new to this. I'm not sure I've ever had an orgasm. (age 16)

I think you're having unrelieved sexual congestion, suggesting that you're quitting when you're on the verge of having an orgasm. When that happens, keep masturbating for a while longer and see if it leads to the unmistakable feeling of orgasm. I think you will like masturbating a lot better when you can have orgasms.

I dreamed I was a man receiving oral sex. It felt as If I was actually receiving oral sex. I felt pleasure from it but I never orgasmed. I've had other dreams with the same theme. I've also had a dream I don't remember what gender I was or what sexual act was going on but I do remember having an orgasm and it felt real like I was masturbating. Could this be because I used to watch porn of gay male oral sex? I've quit using porn and now rely on my fantasies. (age 15)

Dream interpretation is not my area, but sometimes dreams don't mean anything. I think most people would enjoy having dreams like that and think they're fun.

I have never masturbated and never felt the need to. I have never gotten wet, ever. I do get turned on, but only around a certain time of the month. What is wrong with me? (age 21)

I think you need to try harder in that department. When you get turned on, try masturbating, and see if it makes you wet. If so, then keep at it. The fact that you are reading a masturbation web site makes me think you want to try.

I masturbate a couple of times a week, but I can never have an orgasm with just internal stimulation (like a toothbrush). I always have to use external stimulation to orgasm. I'm a virgin and I'm worried that I won't be able to orgasm when I'm with a man. Is this normal and do you have any advice? (age 16)

If you can orgasm, you're doing better than a lot of girls your age. Most younger females learn to reach orgasm through external masturbation, and they only start masturbating internally later. It is perfectly normal that you are experiencing it that way, and it does not mean you won't be able to reach orgasm in sex.

I'm not sure if I ever have had a real orgasm. I have never had an internal orgasm. I think I can have one rubbing my clitoris, but I have to do that very intensely and I have to tense up my buttocks - sometimes my whole body while doing that. I have a boyfriend and while we have sexual intercourse, I need to stimulate myself the way I do when I masturbate. Have I done something wrong? (age 28)

Your experience is a typical one for females. Most can have clitoral orgasms more readily than vaginal orgasms. It is also a very usual thing for females to have to masturbate during intercourse in order to have an orgasm. I don't think you've done anything wrong.

My mom is very religious, and I am wondering if she caught me masturbating, would she freak? When we had the sex talk, she made it clear she didn't want me involved with that until I was "of age." Should I keep on masturbating? (age 16)

Yes, I think you should. Your mom didn't specifically say anything about masturbating, and even if she did, I don't think you'd stop. There's nothing she can do about it if she finds out you masturbate. Just keep up what you're doing and enjoy it.

I'm a new reader and I've read several times that you discourage masturbating with a pillow. I was wondering why and is it bad that that's the only way I can orgasm? I've been masturbating since I was 8 and I just started trying to use my fingers and it never seems to be as intense as it is with a pillow. Any suggestions on how to get better with my fingers? (age 16)

Prone masturbation, also known as Traumatic Masturbatory Syndrome, is a documented cause of sexual dysfunctions in males. Some evidence suggests it's bad for female sexuality too. I advise you to take a break from masturbating for about a week or so, after which it will be easier for you to masturbate using only your hands.

I started masturbating recently, and I find it weird but is it really normal for a girl doing that? I thought only boys could masturbate. (age 14)

You thought wrong. Males and females of all ages can masturbate. At your age, almost all boys do it, but a high and growing percentage of females do it too. By age 18, all males and more than three fourths of females will be masturbating regularly.

Two weeks ago, I had sexual intercourse in a very sandy spot and sand got everywhere. Since then my smell down there has been different, grosser, it seems. My partner just got tested for STDs before we had sex and he was totally clean. So why has my smell changed? Could I have gotten something from the sand? (age 16)

I've never heard of that happening before, but it's not impossible. Many females douche their vaginas when they're unsatisfied with the smell.

Everyone says that masturbation doesn't affect one's menstrual period, but it has to because I've been masturbating for a long time. At the beginning I would do it maybe once a week and then I began to do it more and more, like 3-4 times a day. Then I began to miss my period the more often I did it! Most will say that it's normal for girls my age to have irregularity, but trust me when I say I am very regular. So why doesn't my period come when I masturbate excessively if it supposedly doesn't affect the period at all? A lot of other girls say it happens to them too. (age 16)

I've never had a menstrual period, so I rely on what medical science has to say about this. Medical science says that masturbation will not affect menstruation. You are correct that it is normal for you to have irregular periods at your age. Some females never develop regular periods. Masturbating "excessively," as you put it, will not make your period come sooner, so masturbate that often only if you're really enjoying it.

Whenever I'm masturbating, I do it externally. However, when I get close to reaching an orgasm, the feelings are too intense and I feel like I'm being tickled. I'm relaxed, lying on my back, and playing music. What do I do? (age 15)

I think you mean you're listening to music and not playing music. If the feeling is too intense, don't touch your clitoris directly. Find a place to touch (e.g., clitoral hood, labia minora) that feels good but doesn't feel so intense that it hurts.

How can I give myself a full body orgasm? (age 15)

If you're already having orgasms, just relax your whole body and let the feeling of the orgasm flow all over. Don't let it be felt only in your privates; let the feeling radiate all over your body.

I identify as lesbian, but sometimes I involve men in my fantasies or have fantasies about two men together, not involving me. The idea of having sex with a man in real life disgusts me. Does this have any significance? (age 17)

Lots of people of various rigid sexual preferences have feelings like that. It doesn't necessarily mean they claim a preference that is less rigid than they believe.

My mom came home from the grocery store and I told her that I needed to talk to her. I told her that I knew what masturbation was, and she said, "Uh, OK?" She asked if I masturbated (I started a few days after I found HealthyStrokes.com, like a week ago.) I told her that I did and she said that it was OK, and that a lot of people do it, and she told me that she has done it on occasion. So now, we have a more open relationship and she told me that I could come to her with any questions.(age 12)

Good, but I would have liked it better if she had not asked you if you masturbate and had not volunteered that she does it too.

I have a spanking fetish. I like to fantasize that I'm sexually involved with an older man, and when I don't please him correctly, he turns me over and removes my pants and underwear and paddles my bare butt. Am I the only one? (age 18)

Not at all. Spanking is a common fetish and paraphilia. Anyway, you're not actively engaged in spanking, only fantasizing about it. Doing it is also common.

I have been masturbating for almost 3 years now and I want to tell my boyfriend. But I'm not sure how to tell him without getting completely embarrassed. I'm afraid he'll laugh at me. I've heard rumors from his mom and his sister that he masturbates too and I saw his face getting red. When I asked him about it months later, he said he didn't and they were lying and he said it with a straight face. I'm not sure if he does it or not but I feel that the time is right to tell him and stop keeping this secret from him because we've been going out for eleven months now and I believe that being truthful to your partner is good in a relationship and this is my biggest secret and I feel that I need to tell him. How should I tell him? (age 13)

You are very young for such deep sharing. Your boyfriend is shy about masturbating. Either he does it and he lies by saying he's not doing it, or he doesn't do it and people lie about him by saying he does. Either way, masturbating is causing cognitive dissonance for him. I'm not sure whether announcing to him that you masturbate and enjoy it would make his situation better or worse. I would give this more time to heal. If you must tell him, don't expect him to be too enthusiastic about it right away, but he might warm to your declaration later.

After I masturbate to the point of orgasm, I find white discharge on my underwear. What is this? (age 14)

It is your vaginal lubrication having flowed out of your body and dried on your underwear.

I masturbate pretty often (1-2/day) and have been for 6-7 years. Typically when I masturbate I stimulate my clitoris only with a vibrator and don't stimulate myself internally since it's too much work. I always reach orgasm no problem. I've been sexually active with a male for the past 6 months and it's impossible for me to orgasm unless I stimulate my clitoris and using my hands or his is often too difficult. The only way I can orgasm is by including my vibrator during sex and as you can imagine, this makes things very difficult. Any advice on how to ditch the vibe during sex and still be able to orgasm? Or are there other ways to stimulate the clitoris? (age 19)

A: Most females aren't able to have orgasms vaginally only six months after starting sex, so I don't think you're in such bad shape. It would be easier for you if you learned how to masturbate to orgasm vaginally. (However, not all women can do this.) If you really have to stimulate yourself manually during intercourse, it is easier if you use a position that doesn't interfere with your or your partner's pleasure. This can be more readily accomplished using woman on top or rear entry instead of man on top.

I have been humping my bed at a very young age because this was when I discovered it. Every time I do, I get this tingly feeling where I feel the need to go faster which only lasts for about 5 seconds. All that's left is usually clear, sticky discharge when I stop. Is this masturbation? (age 15)

Yes, you are masturbating. Good for you. However, you are masturbating in the prone position, which is a cause of sexual dysfunctions in males and has been suggested as cause of sexual dysfunctions in females. I suggest you stop humping the bed and learn to masturbate with your hands the way most females do.

Some days,I feel really horny - like I have 2 or 3 days of constant thinking about having sex. Is this normal? (age 16)

Yes, that's normal, especially at your age. There also might be days at a time when you don't think about sex at all. That's normal too.

Lately my friend and I are getting really close and he shows me his muscular body and I get aroused every time. We also discussed if we should have sex as we like each other physically. Like friends with benefits, though. We love each other like brother and sister! I am so confused! Please help! (age 16)

If you start having sex, you will need to stop thinking of yourselves as sister and brother. You will be lovers. If he arouses you, then you'll like sex with him, and if you're talking about having sex, then he'll like sex with you. I don't see a bad side to this, but please take precautions against pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. I am curious, though, why you want to be "friends with benefits" instead of a couple.

What about my faith in God and masturbation?

Masturbation is a gift from God. I suggest reading my page about masturbation for Christians.

My boyfriend and I have been sexually active for a long time now. Something he wants to do is watch me masturbate. He's not pressuring me into it, but I know it's something he'd enjoy and it's something I want to do as well. The only problem is that I am extremely self-conscious and so the idea of it makes me nervous. He's seen me have an orgasm before, but it's just him watching me do it rather than him being the one to do it. I completely trust my boyfriend and he tells me all the time that he thinks I'm beautiful and that he loves my body and all sorts of other things that I'm self-conscious about, yet I still can't get rid of those feelings. This is something that I want to try and I think it will help me be more confident in bed and outside of bed as well by seeing him get turned on just by watching me. How would you suggest I get past my nervousness and insecurities so I can try this without feeling embarrassed/scared/jittery? (age 19)

I think you're thinking about it too much. You both want to do it, and there's nothing wrong with doing it, so just do it sometime when you're feeling good and enjoy it. Afterward you'll both be very aroused so you can have some exciting sexual intercourse. In some ways, masturbating is more private than sexual intercourse. Many married people have never masturbated in front of their spouses.

My boyfriend (age 25) takes 20-30 minutes to ejaculate/orgasm after penetration. He doesn't orgasm through oral stimulation (I generally get tired and give up), although he says he enjoys it when it's happening and it sounds like he does too. Is it delayed ejaculation? Is it me? What can I do to make it better for him? (age 25)

25 minutes isn't so long. That might not be delayed ejaculation. However, some of the time, at least, sex should take less than 25 minutes. You might ask him if he always takes that long to ejaculate during intercourse. I think it is very unlikely that you're the cause of his problem. Don't worry about that. You might tell him that taking a long time to orgasm is often a consequence of masturbating in the prone position or using a lot of force while masturbating. In the meantime, let him know you're enjoying sex with him, and if 25 minutes is too long, tell him you'd like to stop near that point and add some personal lubrication. Sex is no fun when it hurts.

I've been masturbating for around 6 years and I have quite a large bone underneath my clitoris until it reaches my vaginal opening. Is this normal? It makes it difficult to reach down to stimulate the inside of my vagina. I haven't noticed this on other females in porn; normally their opening is right under their clit. Is there something wrong with me? (age 15)

That's your pubic bone. I doubt there's anything wrong with you. Only a doctor could say for sure. Many females have trouble reaching inside the vagina. It's also often difficult for a male who's trying to touch a woman's vagina. Be sure to ask your doctor at your next exam. I would also encourage you to discuss this with friends. You ought not rely on what you see in porn.

I have just started masturbating. The start is always good. I do it by flicking the point above my vaginal opening. But during the end all the feeling goes off, and I feel nothing. I cannot reach my orgasm. What should I do? (age 14)

Be patient. You're new to masturbating. Just relax and enjoy what you can do. Don't focus too heavily on having an orgasm. It might happen when you least expect it.

In the past three months, every time I see a good looking female I get horny but I'm not really sure if I'm bisexual or a lesbian. How can I resolve this problem? (age 13)

It might not be a problem. You're young and learning. Take some time to figure out who turns you on: men, women, boys, girls, sunbathers, teachers, joggers, accountants...

Congratulations on such a great site. I wish I'd known about it before! I have been sexually active for 3 years now and I am still with the same person I lost my virginity to. Since we have only been with one another, we don't have any other experiences. Sex is great, but when he wants to stimulate me manually, it doesn't feel the same way it does when I do it myself. I have tried telling him where and how it feels best, but I still don't feel as good, although I do enjoy it in the rare cases when he gets it right. Is there some way I could help him? (age 20)

It will probably never feel as good when he touches you as when you masturbate. When you masturbate, you are in control of everything: where you touch, when you touch, how fast you touch, how hard you touch, and so on. What he does can only approximate what you want. Also, there is nothing wrong with masturbating in front of your partner. Many people find it exciting. If he's giving you manual intercourse and you know it won't get you anywhere, take over yourself. You'll be glad you did, and probably he will too.

I'm a girl and I think it would be great fun to have a penis. I'm jealous of guys. (age 15)

Sometimes the grass is greener on the other side. I've heard over the years from many males who are jealous over females having more places to masturbate and being able to use varied toys and things. Nearly all males find their penises a great source of fun and pleasure, but all males are sometimes embarrassed that others can see their erections and some males are often embarrassed about that. Females never have to worry that someone can see when they are aroused. Since it is doubtful you will ever have a penis, I encourage you to enjoy your own parts and not be jealous. And don't forget you can give birth.

Follow-up from another reader: Females often worry that someone can see our erect nipples.

Good point. However, this can easily be fixed by wearing a more opaque covering over your nipples.

I'm 16 and I like to masturbate on the school bus. I usually hold my coat over my lap and reach my hand inside and rub my clitoris. I can easily keep it hidden until the moment of orgasm when I have to pretend to sneeze to hide my bodily movements and facial contortion.

I advise strongly against masturbating on the school bus. All of the boys and most of the girls your age masturbate and they will be able to recognize it. Someone could tell and you could get into big trouble, especially if younger children ride that bus.

Does kissing someone while they are asleep count as rape or molestation? (age 15)

It depends where you kiss them. On private parts, yes, that is sexual assault. On the face, I doubt it.

When I masturbate, I reach this point where something feels like, well a tingling sensation running down my stomach and to my vulva. And when it happens, I lock up and get this shuddering, wave of pleasure type feeling. Then I shudder a lot and twitch, then my muscles "down there" contract a lot. I don't know if it was an orgasm or a climax or what. I'm not very detailed on these things. By the way, when I masturbate, I usually get that feeling then let it subside then start again and repeat this action 2-4 times and I'm wondering, am I overdoing it? Is this bad? Please help! (age 14)

Yes, those are orgasms, and no, I don't think you're overdoing it. When something hurts or no longer feels good, you will stop. Kind of like swimming.

I met a guy who's 19 and I feel I'm ready to have sex but what's a safe way since it'd be my first time? I've masturbated externally and internally but I'm wondering if there's anything else. (age 15)

You are what is known as "jailbait" to a 19-year-old. In most places, the age of consent is 16 or 18. In some places, it's a crime even for a 16-year-old to have sex with a female under 16. In other places, it's OK for a 15-year-old to have sex with a 16 or 17-year-old but not an 18-year-old. Check the law in your area before you have sex. You could wind up getting your boyfriend in jail. For best results, wait until you're older.

I'm 15 and I don't think I've even hit puberty yet. I don't have any hair around my privates, my breasts have yet to grow and I haven't even had my period yet. A lot of my friends are already much taller and more feminine looking than me and it's really embarrassing. Is there something wrong with me? Can I somehow accelerate puberty? (age 15)

I suggest seeing a doctor. I tell young people to wait until they're 15 before questioning whether they have a hormonal problem. You're 15 so the time is ripe to see a doctor. The doctor will check your hormones and let you know if everything is on track.

When I orgasmed the other day, blood came out. Is that normal? I have been masturbating for two years and this has never happened. (age 13)

Orgasms don't cause blood to come. What were you doing to make yourself orgasm? If you stuck anything inside you, it could cause bleeding. It happens occasionally during sex and masturbation to a lot of females.

I want to tell a boy who I have a crush on that I masturbate thinking about him. Should I tell him? (age 13)

I think that's a really bad idea. Why don't you tell him you think he's kind of cute and that you'd like to get to know him better.

Thank you so much for helping me with this web site! When I masturbate externally and reach orgasm, my vagina starts to really hurt and I have to stop and wait a little while (2-4 minutes) before I can masturbate again. It feels normal but is it really normal? (age 12)

If you're questioning whether it's normal, I don't know how you can assert that it feels normal. Masturbating externally means stimulating your clitoris and other privates outside your vagina. It should not make your vagina (an internal organ not visible) hurt at all. I suggest familiarizing yourself more thoroughly with the names of your private parts and better describing what you're doing and what is hurting.

When I masturbate I always lock my door so I can't get caught. But my dad and mom asked me why I locked it. I didn't know what to say. Do I lie or just say the truth? That would be awkward I guess. Have you any good excuses for locking my door or do I just need to wait when I'm home alone? (age 18)

You are an adult and get to masturbate when you want to in your private space without interference from anyone. The most obvious answer is that you want privacy. You might also say that you worry about home invaders or your little brother bursting through the door and scaring you. You could also point out that you just reflexively lock your door when you enter the room because it's a safety measure.

My labia minora are just so extremely huge (a thumb-length). My sisters and mother think it's weird and unusual. Could it come from masturbating too much? I've always had huge ones but I also have been masturbating a lot since I was little. So I don't really know. What's the cause? (age 18)

Some people have big ears, some have big noses, you have big labia. It's not something to be ashamed of or even very unusual. Masturbating will not make a difference. Just enjoy the body you have. I wish your sisters and mother wouldn't be judgmental.

I think I can reach orgasm within 10 minutes and sometimes faster if I don't try to keep the feeling or stop myself. But I'm not sure if it's actually an orgasm since you said most females take 10+ minutes. What I think is an orgasm for me, is when a (sometimes) strong tingly feeling washes through my whole body. It doesn't last for long, and once its over I don't feel horny anymore and generally don't want to masturbate anymore either. Also, my clit becomes a lot more sensitive and I usually don't feel like moaning or anything. Is this an orgasm? (age 15)

Yes, that is an orgasm. Congratulations! The 10 minutes is only a guideline. It is not true in every case. You are in good sexual shape if you can reach orgasms easily, and now that you know what it is, you can work on enjoying them more as they wash through your body.

My boyfriend and I recently had sex for the first time. We were both virgins and it was quite a pleasurable experience. I found that hearing him moan was really hot. Is it normal to become so turned on by hearing him moan? (age 16)

I see nothing abnormal about it at all. Instead of telling me, you should tell him what turns you on.

I lost my virginity to my previous boyfriend and we were having sex for almost a year. I have never orgasmed during sex, only through masturbation. Could there be a problem or is there a simple explanation? (age 16)

Most females have an easier time reaching orgasm through masturbation than intercourse. You are also fairly inexperienced. I would suggest getting to know yourself better in masturbation and then showing your partner what will help you have an orgasm.

I come from a more conservative culture and I've only begun to try masturbating very recently. I tried it once, kneeling on the floor with only my head and arm face-down on the bed. Does this count as prone masturbation? I used to refrain from physical pleasure so I feel more secure and less embarrassing to have something covering my face/eyes. (age 22)

Males and females of all races and religions masturbate. There is nothing wrong with masturbating, and most of the people in your culture masturbate too. What you are doing is not prone masturbation, but it is also not a very good position to learn about your sexuality. I suggest lying face up on your bed and letting your hand go where it feels good. Most women start masturbating by stimulating the clitoris and labia minora.

I find I can only gain pleasure through masturbating with my left hand even though I am right handed. What could cause this? (age 18)

I don't know, but you have a lot of company. About 20 percent of people masturbate with their non-dominant hand. If you want to learn to masturbate right-handed, I suggest you abstain for a week and then give it a try. You might still like your left hand better.

I have only been able to enjoy masturbation while kneeling down, and I use a narrow object like a sterilized pencil to slip between my labia. why might this be? I don't feel pleasure in any other position or with larger objects or my fingers. (age 19)

You seem to have become habituated to a particular way of masturbating. I would suggest abstaining from masturbating for a week and then see if you can reach orgasm by masturbating with your fingers. Women have lots of ways they can masturbate. There is no reason to become dependent on such a narrow way of reaching orgasm.

I like to masturbate a lot, and sometimes I really get the urge to masturbate while at school and it's really distracting. I had a test one day and I wanted to focus so I masturbated in the locker room while it was empty. Is this normal? (age 13)

You'd be surprised how many people have masturbated at school. I hear about this more from boys, but there are also girls masturbating in the bathrooms and locker rooms. It's a great way to reduce stress, that's for sure, but I always advise against masturbating in public.

Is it normal to masturbate every day - once or even twice? I've only been doing it for two days, but I'm finding it very pleasurable and actually look forward to masturbating at night. (age 20)

Yes, it's very normal to masturbate daily at your age. It's also common for people who've just started masturbating it to do it more than once a day. But the novelty tends to wear off and people drift down to about once a day. Congratulations on developing such a fun and rewarding activity!

When I am at full arousal, my outer genitalia are very sensitive. Is this considered normal, and how would I go about getting used to the sensitivity? (age 14)

Yes, it is normal for your genitalia to be very sensitive, especially at the point of orgasm; however, most females would say it is the inner labia and clitoris that become sensitive and not the outer labia. Practice makes perfect. Just find the places that are sensitive to the touch and avoid them at that moment. Most people figure this out pretty quickly.

I can become aroused, but touching myself feels neither good nor bad. It just feels like I have my hand on my clit/vulva/vagina/breast. Is this normal? (age 14)

You are giving up pretty easily. When you aroused, it should feel extra good to touch those places. Take your time and use a gentle touch and figure out what feels good for you.

For the past few months I have been masturbating with a marker and I was rough this time and now it feels weird. I live with grandparents but I am too afraid to talk with them about things like this. (age 12)

It would better if you could use your hands instead of a marker. Just stay away from the sore area for a few days until it feels better. After a few days of not masturbating, it will be easier for you to masturbate with your hands.

How can I keep from being nervous about losing my virginity? Is it common for women (and men) to be nervous? I don't plan on losing my virginity for a while, and I'd like to wait until I'm married. Whenever I think about losing it, though, I get really nervous. (age 15)

Yes, lots of males and females are nervous when it comes to losing their virginity. It's OK if you want to wait longer. Eventually you will be less nervous and more excited about the thought of having sex.

When I masturbate, I rub around and on my clitoris. It feels good, then really good, then I seem to set off reflexes and can't go on without sort of spasming, though it still feels good. Is this normal? (age 14)

That is an orgasm. Congratulations! Now work at enjoying it.

Earlier today I gave my boyfriend manual intercourse and oral intercourse and I think I got some of his semen on my hands. Then about 15 minutes later I masturbated by rubbing my clitoris with my left hand. Is there a chance I could get pregnant? (age 15)

Sperm could not live on your hand for 15 minutes. It is always a good idea for a female to wash her hands when she has semen on them. Although you did not ask, I find it disappointing that your boyfriend did not satisfy you after all you did for him today.

My brother who is 16 asked my parents if he could go camping with our neighbor girl, who is also 16. Both sets of parents agreed only if her brother and I (we are both 17) went too. We are all friendly. That night one thing led to another and there was a lot of sex. I got turned on watching my brother have sex with the girl, and her brother and I had sex in front of them. The weird thing is we were all totally exposed during this and I greatly enjoyed watching my brother and knowing he could see me. (age 17)

Next time your parents should insist on adult chaperones.

What does it mean when my vagina throbs after I masturbate? (age 16)

I think it wants more.

What are some ways to have a really intense orgasm while masturbating? (age 16)

I suggest reading the female pages on HealthyStrokes.com for ideas like that. Getting to know your body and what you like to do is the best.

I have probably been masturbating since I was about 13. I do it somewhat often but I don't think I have actually had an orgasm before. How do I know if I'm having one or have had one before? (age 16)

Orgasms start with a feeling of contractions in the genital area and an intense feeling that can spread throughout the body. Most people feel an urge to yell or moan when they have an orgasm (often muffled by a pillow). The feeling is kind of like jumping dry into a cold pool. It's an all-over body shock. You'll know when you have one.

If I masturbate by putting a hairbrush into my vagina several times every day, is my hymen broken? I told my boyfriend that I'm a virgin, so will he think I'm not a virgin if my hymen is broken? (age 16)

If you have had daily experience masturbating with a brush, there is probably not much left of your hymen. If you have not had sexual intercourse, then you are still a virgin. Most boyfriends don't know a hymen from the stretch wrap on a package of pork chops, so he will only know what you tell him.

Is it dangerous to use a food item to masturbate with? Like a banana or a cucumber? If so, how could I get a hold of a sex toy like a vibrator or a dildo without my parents finding out? (age 16)

Cucumbers are not dangerous. I suggest washing them before and after your session. Bananas have the potential to split open, and they don't wash as easily as cucumbers. Most females do best masturbating with their hands.

I used to masturbate a lot, but now I am finding it harder and harder to get horny. I can only do it by watching porn on my grandparents' computer - ours doesnt work - and watching adult TV, but there is no sex involved, which is what makes me wet. Please help, I want to get back into masturbation! (age 16)

It is not good to be dependent on porn. I tell males this all the time. Some females get dependent on it too. Just work at using the power of your own mind to help you reach orgasm. Fantasy is very powerful. You will be better off if you don't need to use computer or video porn.

Lately I've been masturbating with a handheld vibrating massager. I rub it up and down against my clitoris and start to feel warm sensations throughout my abdomen. But when things start to get really intense, I lose the good feeling and my clitoris becomes too sensitive to keep going. What can I do to keep going and reach orgasm? (age 15)

If the clitoris is too sensitive to touch, then work on the area around it, like the clitoral hood, but if that's too sensitive too, then just keep stimulating your labia and work on staying aroused.

I masturbate several times a day, every day. Is this OK? Sometimes I orgasm and other times not. Will I be able to go into a shop and buy a dildo and lubricant? (age 13)

It is perfectly fine if you masturbate frequently. Most stores will not sell sex toys to minors, but they are not age restricted like alcohol, so some will. Lube is available in all drug and discount stores (Target, etc.).

When a boy reaches orgasm and semen squirts out of his penis, what does he feel? Does the end of the penis tickle or the whole penis or his testicles or what? (age 15)

Some of the orgasmic feelings in a male are similar to those of a female. Both feel contractions inside their genital region. In the male case at least, the contractions are serving to expel semen from his body. Overall, there is a feeling of pleasurable agony that can be felt throughout the body. Both males and females have an urge to scream or moan at this point, and when masturbating they often muffle it with a pillow. Males definitely feel the semen squirt out. Some males learn to control their ejaculations so they can make it squirt with more force. When masturbating, most males worry where their semen will go so they have to take steps to control it at the point of orgasm, either by containing it or directing it to ejaculate onto a particular area (the abdomen, usually) so that it will be easy to clean up. The male can feel the pleasure of orgasm in his whole penis. After ejaculating, the head of the penis gets too sensitive to be touched, so the male stops having intercourse or masturbating at that point. His erection goes down immediately after ejaculation. The testes are quite busy in the period leading up to ejaculation, and the scrotum is often a secondary focus of a male's attention during masturbation. One of the fascinating things about the penis (and its analogue, the clitoris) is that it can stand to be stroked very forcefully one minute, then deliver amazing pleasure, and then become too sensitive for even the slightest touch.

I'm an honors student and I consider masturbation a stress reliever. I was wondering if it was actually a proven stress reliever for girls around my age? (age 14)

Masturbation is a proven stress reliever for girls and boys your age, and for men and women of all ages. It's free and it's fun.

I only masturbate externally, and the few times I have put my finger inside, it's really easy to get two fingers in. But when I put in a tampon, it is uncomfortable when I am wearing it and it hurts to take it out. What should I do? (age 14)

Most girls start by masturbating externally (clitorally) and only take up internal (vaginal) masturbation later. Younger females also tend to like menstrual pads better than tampons. There is nothing wrong with you.

I've been masturbating since age 13. I really feel the need for masturbation. Do you lose your virginity if you masturbate? (age 15)

No. The only way to lose your virginity is to have sex with another person. You cannot lose your virginity by masturbating.

Sometimes when I masturbate I realize hours later that there is a clear mucus-like substance on my privates. It scared me because I thought I had an STD, but I've never had sex. Do you know why that happens or what it is and how to get rid of it? I want to have sex, but this is worrying me. (age 15)

Many females release a fluid when they are sexually aroused and/or have an orgasm. If it isn't very large, it might not settle on your private parts until later. It is normal and a sign of healthy sexual functioning. You might never get rid of it.

What would you say is the youngest age that stimulation of the clitoris is pleasurable for girls? I'm just curious. (age 15)

Baby girls have been known to stimulate their clitorises and enjoy it. On my page for parents, you can find reports of girls touching their private parts as young as 2. I suspect those girls are deriving some kind of pleasure from it, although it obviously isn't the same as the masturbation that begins in adolescence. It might even be stronger than what males feel by touching. Although males roundly masturbate more often than females in every culture and society, from birth to age 12 there are more females than males masturbating.

Is there something wrong if I am wet too often or get wet too much at one time? Does vaginal lubrication have a distinct smell? (age 14)

There is a rare condition called persistent sexual arousal syndrome. It is unlikely you would have it at your age. Many people say that vaginal fluid has a smell, but others claim they can't smell it.

The area below my clitoris has a purpleish tint. I think it's embarrassing and want to get rid of it. Is it normal? Is there anything that will make it go away? I started noticing it when I started masturbating three years ago. If I stop masturbating, will it go away? (age 16)

There is nothing you can do about the color of your genitals. I get the same questions from males. Some notice that their penile head (glans) is pink, others find it is purple or something in between. The color is not caused by masturbating. I find it strangely poignant that you dislike the color so much that you suggest giving up masturbation to change it. Genitals come in a mix of colors, and probably no one has noticed besides you.

I really wanna pose for Playboy when I am old enough. My friend told me that guys use them for masturbating. I want to know if that is true. My older brother has a bunch of Playboys but I can't imagine him masturbating with them. (age 15)

I hope you think about posing nude for a long time before you are old enough. Your friend is absolutely right; males buy nude magazines to help them masturbate. That is what they are for. Your older brother is one of them. Any male who has a bunch of Playboys uses them to help him masturbate.

I was looking at HealthyStrokes.com and decided I was going to masturbate. I lay on my back and started rubbing my clitoris. I rubbed faster and my legs began to shake and there were stars in the corners of my vision and all I could feel was pure pleasure. Did I finally reach orgasm? (age 13)

Yes. Congratulations!

I'm afraid of how painful sex will be the first time. I refuse to even stick tampons inside me yet. I know I'm young but not that young. I'm really sick of constantly using pads because of how uncomfortable they are. And sometimes they leak. Very annoying. (age 14)

You don't have to use tampons to have sex, but if you're afraid of inserting anything into your vagina, you are not ready to have sex. Many girls use tampons because they want to practice inserting something, and other girls insert fingers and objects into the vagina in order to masturbate.

Can you still masturbate while on your period or will something happen? (age 13)

Yes, you can, and many females do to help relieve menstrual pain.

My hymen is still intact but slowly eroding, and when I try to masturbate internally, I don't feel any pleasure. Is this normal? Is it because of my hymen? (age 17)

Your hymen will not interfere with your sexual pleasure. Most females start masturbating externally and don't start masturbating internally until later. It is not surprising that you don't enjoy internal masturbation at first. Give it a little longer.

I love masturbating! Sometimes in the morning I feel really horny so I feel like masturbating but the thing is my brother and sister are around (we all share a room) and I don't know how to masturbate with them knowing. (age 12)

Either make plans to have the room to yourself, masturbate someplace private (like the bathroom), or let them know that they might occasionally see you masturbating.

I am a virgin but is it normal that I think about sex ALL the time? It's like an everyday thing. I began to masturbate a month ago for the first time but I feel awkward when other people talk about it. (age 17)

That is all normal. All young people think about sex daily. It is normal to masturbate and also to feel awkward listening to other people talk about it. It's a good sign of adjustment if you can join such a conversation, but there's certainly nothing wrong if you don't want to.

I have never bled after sex. Is it normal to not bleed after sex? Does this mean I have not broken my hymen?

If you are sexually experienced, it is extremely unlikely that your hymen is unbroken. In fact, you might have only tiny hymen fragments left.

I lost my virginity at 14 and I've only been able to have an orgasm with my husband a few times. I get horny now but I don't get wet. I'm fine alone and masturbating but when it comes to sex I want it and we do things but I don't know why I don't get wet. I get so frustrated with it I just tell him no all the time.

It's good that you get wet when masturbating. I think it's a matter of your partner taking more time to help you get turned on before he mounts you. It might also help for you to start out a sexual session by masturbating until you get wet enough for comfortable intercourse.

What is the youngest age that a female starts to masturbate? (age 17)

There is no minimum age. I have known women to claim to have started at 3. Between birth and age 12, there are more girls masturbating than boys. That is the only time in life where that is true.

I started masturbating when I was 11. I got a computer a couple of years ago and my mom would occasionally borrow it. I liked to watch porn on this semi-sketchy web site while my hands gently stroked my clitoris. One day maybe two years ago, my mom was using it and came over to me. She said something along the lines of, "You can't watch this stuff, if the porn stars are too young we could all get arrested." I asked her not to tell my dad and she said OK. I was incredibly embarrassed and tried to stop masturbating for a while. Of course, I couldn't resist temptation and then started visiting some web sites. I now have my own computer and visit sites, but I'm incredibly paranoid that my dad will somehow check my history remotely and see the fetish porn that I've been looking at. He's very good with computers. Anyway, what should I do? (age 15).

I don't think your dad will do anything about it even if he finds out, and I don't think you will stop masturbating, so what really is the issue? Your mom was correct to tell you not to browse what might be child pornography. She is cool about your masturbating and your dad will be too.

Is it normal that after masturbating for 5 minutes my body already gets all hot and sweaty? (age 15)

Yes, it is. Masturbating is good exercise. It helps to use air conditioning, open window, less clothing, etc.

I started masturbating a few months ago over webcam for my boyfriend. But I am unable to have an orgasm, I also feel really guilty about it afterward. Is something wrong with me? (age 15)

I understand why you feel guilty. Masturbating is usually done in private. I think you would have an easier time learning to have an orgasm if you weren't being watched. I suggest practicing in private. I also think it's a very bad idea to masturbate or be naked on webcam. You never know who is watching or if the intended recipient is logging the video feed somehow.

I recently started masturbating but I can only do it in the privacy of the bathroom. I'll take my computer and play music so my family thinks I'm just listening to music when I'm actually watching porn. I like lesbian porn. I like the idea of sex with boys and have never thought about touching or having sex with a girl but I still like lesbian porn more. Does this question my sexual orientation? Should I be concerned? (age 13)

You are pretty young and new to masturbation. I think you would be better off doing it in bed and not worrying so much about your family. Your chances of being discovered are rather small, and most girls report that their family members are OK with masturbating. I discourage porn use at your age when it's better for you to be developing your own imagination and figure out what you like and don't like that way. I think you will have a better idea what your orientation is when you're about 16.

I started masturbating two years ago. But I don't want to do it anymore. Is it possible to stop masturbating completely and how? (age 23)

If you were male, I would say no, but many females report masturbating only rarely or not at all. If you really want to stop, all you have to do is stop. If you find you can't stop, then I think you don't really want to stop masturbating. Masturbation is normal, healthy, and fun, and it would be better if you accepted it and enjoyed it.

When I masturbate I like to look at pictures of my boyfriend. Is this OK? (age 13)

I suspect you mean regular pictures and not porn. I discourage porn use at your age, but I don't see anything wrong with looking at clothed photos.

I have been married for over 25 years now. I have never masturbated and my source of orgasm is my sex with my husband. I am keen to know how to masturbate because my husband says it will relax me and help me enjoy sex more. What can you suggest for women of my age? (age 51)

It ought to be easier for you to reach orgasm with your hands than for the typical female who writes me because you've been successful in reaching orgasm in intercourse. I suggest touching the parts you find most arousing sometime when you have an hour or so to relax and masturbate. Don't focus on having an orgasm right away; work at finding out how you like to touch yourself.

It was on this day that I first masturbated. Have you ever heard of anyone celebrating their masturbaversary? What should I do to celebrate? (male, age 19)

No, I never have. I think the most important thing is that you remember the date. That means it's significant to you. Maybe knowing that is all the celebration you need.

I've been masturbating for as long as I can remember and I've always thought that I was weird because I started so young. Reading these have made me feel better about it and have made me more comfortable with masturbating now. It's good to know that I'm not the only teenage girl who loves to masturbate. (age 14)


I hate everything about being a girl. I want to get a sex change when I'm older and for now I almost always pack my pants and wear a breast binder. I'm still attracted to guys exclusively and want nothing to do with anything female. Any tips or advice on what to do? (age 13)

Your complaint is beyond the scope of my knowledge, so I very strongly suggest you talk to a mental health professional about it. There are plenty of sex therapists who specialize in gender identity issues. I should like to point out that you've only experienced a small slice of what being female past puberty is like.

I've had sex for the first time with my boyfriend and it felt amazing. I have been masturbating for a long time. But now when I try to masturbate, it feels uncomfortable. I try hard to reach that peak, and occasionally I feel close but I never quite reach it on my own anymore. What's going on? Is there something wrong with me? (age 17)

I think you're just finding out that intercourse and masturbation are not the same thing. Most younger females masturbate by stimulating the clitoris, whereas most stimulation in intercourse comes from the vagina. If you've been masturbating clitorally, you might benefit by learning vaginal masturbation, which would stimulate you more in the way you're now experiencing in intercourse. Many females learn to stimulate themselves both ways at once.

I recently tried masturbating by rubbing my clitoris with my ring finger. It was good, but I also found it boring. Am I doing something wrong? Or was I not doing it long enough? I only did it for about a minute. (age 14)

A minute is not very long to decide something is boring. If you really want to experiment with different fingers, you would be better off giving each of them more of an audition than that.

I am not a virgin and I masturbate regularly. Whenever I have sex, it extremely hurts for the first little while, and I recently bought a dildo which I have the same problem with. It is to the point where I can't really use it at all because it hurts so bad. Any idea on what could be the problem? My doctor told me that nothing down there looks abnormal for someone who has been sexually active before. (age 18)

I suspect you're using too much force. With a dildo the pressure you're putting on yourself is concentrated and multiplied. It isn't unusual that sex is hurting the first few times you've tried it. I recommend stopping the dildo for now and working on feelings you enjoy with your hands.

I love this site. Any of the questions I had have been asked and answered but are you a boy or girl and how do you keep up with all the questions? If you're a guy then how do you know so much? And the other way around. You don't sound old but.

I am a man and I keep up with the questions by only updating HealthyStrokes.com a few times a month. I have been studying sexuality since before my own puberty, and that was not recently. I have a Ph.D. in a field unrelated to sexuality.

I masturbate to orgasm for a few minutes every day by rubbing my clitoris with petroleum jelly on it. It's addicting, but I feel the pleasure best when I need just one or two more strokes to come. Is this strange? When I feel my vagina contracting (which, if I'm not mistaken, is my orgasm), I only feel tired and sad that the pleasure has passed. Also, I put my middle finger in my vagina when I'm masturbating sometimes, and the warm, wet muscles feel interesting, but I don't get any pleasure out of it, and I'm not quite sure if I'm supposed to finger differently. Am I? (age 17)

Everything you said is normal, healthy, and fun. Orgasm doesn't last forever. It definitely wouldn't be fun if it did. The stage of sexual response you refer to that feels best is called plateau. As you get more experienced with recognizing your body feelings, you can make plateau last longer. There is no particular way to masturbate vaginally; you can experiment with more or different fingers, or objects. It's all up to you.

What should you do when you want to stop masturbating? (age 15)

I tell males they'll probably never be able to stop masturbating. Females often can, but the real question is why you want to. Masturbation is not harmful, and it is in fact normal, healthy, and fun. Many females report that masturbating keeps them from premature sexual experimentation and that it relieves menstrual cramps. If you really want to quit, try cutting down to once a week for a few months and then decide if you really want to quit.

Can external masturbation break the hymen? If yes, how do you understand if it has already been broken or not? (age 15)

I don't think external masturbation can break the hymen, but I have heard from many females that their hymens got broken somehow even though they only ever masturbated externally. The hymen is not designed to last forever and can be stretched or torn through a variety of activities that are not sexual. The best way to understand your hymen is to get a doctor to describe it to you; you might also be able to see it using one or more mirrors.

I started masturbating a few months ago, and I've been doing it in the shower. I spread my legs and let the water run on my clitoris, but I remove a clitoral hub a bit, so the clit is fully uncovered, and the water runs directly on it. So, after doing it really often for some time I've noticed I don't get big orgasms like I used to. For example, I feel like Im going to cum and it feels like it's going to be so intense and then I get a poor orgasm and I don't know why is that. I've read women can numb their nerves temporarily sometimes. So my question is, have I maybe done that? And could that affect my sexual life in the future? (age 15)

Females who masturbate with only the gentle touch of their hands have an easier time reaching orgasm in intercourse than females who masturbate prone, with running water, or with vibrators. It is amazing that you think you've got fatigue after only a few months; but I won't say it's not possible. It is extremely unlikely you've caused permanent damage, but I would recommend giving up the shower and only masturbating with your hands.

I like to masturbate but I can't orgasm and then I just get bored and give up. Is that normal? Afterward, I don't feel good. I get cramps and sometimes I get an upset stomach. Is this normal? If I have sex everything is fine, no cramps and no upset stomach. (age 26)

Not every masturbatory session ends in orgasm. Sometimes a person just can't get over the top. Masturbating doesn't cause upset stomachs, but both males and females can have cramps and other bad feelings (it's called "blue balls" in males) from unresolved sexual arousal. The usual solution is to wait a little while and then masturbate to orgasm. If you still can't reach orgasm, try doing some exercise or take a bath. Sometimes those can relieve those uncomfortable feelings.

I'm quite new to masturbation and I really cannot find any positions that feel good or make me have any sort of orgasms and it hurts. Any tips? (age 12)

Please start with my Young Woman's Guide to Masturbation and then read the other female pages on the site. I think you'll have it down in a few more months.

I feel like I have large libia minora. They really bother me and I feel like they're not normal. I'm scared of what guys might think when about it when I have sex. (age 14)

Labia come in variations just like other body parts. You could ask a doctor or health professional, but she would almost certainly tell you that yours are normal. No man has ever rejected a woman because of her labia. Guys won't even see them until you get to know them well (I hope).

When I masturbate, I always do it to porn. I just recently have started to orgasm.. But I can't orgasm without the porn. Is that a bad thing? Also, I notice that my vulva gets a little swollen after having an orgasm. Is that normal? (age 13)

You are pretty young to be claiming a dependence on porn. You have only started to orgasm recently, so I doubt you have much practice in masturbating without porn. Keep working at it. Using porn will only make it worse. Exercise your imagination. The swelling is normal and very temporary.

I've been masturbating since I was a kid, but I don't remember when or how I learned how to do it. The earliest memory I have is one when I was 6, and by that time, I already knew that I was used to it. I still didn't know the concept of sex, but I only knew that I shouldn't let anyone see me when I was doing it. Is it possible that I was taught/molested when I was younger, but my mind blocked it out due to possible traumatic experiences with it? (age 14)

It's possible but that's far from the only possibility. Most children engage in touching their private parts and some learn to masturbate before they're old enough to remember. Parents usually just tell them to do it in private. If you really want to know, asking a parent might help answer your question.

I have my own bedroom but I will have to sleep in my parents' room for 8 nights because someone is coming to our house and will be staying in my bedroom. I masturbate and I don't think I will be able to abstain for 8 days! Sometimes I need to do it randomly, like in the afternoon, but I don't want my parents to know. What can I do? (female, age 15)

Can you get back your own bedroom for moments at a time? That would be the easiest solution. And are your parents home in the afternoon? If not, you could certainly do it in their bedroom. Do you have siblings whose bedrooms are available? Could you use the bathroom? It seems like there are a lot of possibilities. I hope you find a solution. Please let us know how it went!

Follow-up: It went surprisingly OK. Luckily I didn't get the urge much at all and when I did, I just masturbated when they were downstairs. Phew!

Yippee!

I recently bought myself a vibrator online. My boyfriend is very intimidated by it, and he feels like I might replace him with the toy. What should I do? (age 16)

It's your toy and what you do with it is your private business. If you don't know that, then you're probably too young to be having sex.

I have not tried masturbating. However my sexual arousal is incredibly limited. When I was younger, I used to masturbate by squeezing a pillow between my legs. As a result, my arousal has really diminished. What is this called and and will I ever experience arousal again? (age 18)

Your question is contradictory since you say you have not tried masturbation but used to masturbate with a pillow. I think you mean you have not masturbated with your hands. I would suggest doing that. Don't be discouraged if you don't have orgasms at first. I doubt you did any damage by squeezing the pillow when you were younger.

My hymen does not match any of the pictures in the hymen gallery. My hymen covers virtually my entire vaginal opening. It is impossible for me to get in a tampon or masturbate.

You describe an imperforate hymen. It seems unlikely you have one, since the doctors check for an imperforate hymen at birth, and any doctor or nurse who's looked in your vagina since then would have noticed. An imperforate hymen can easily be removed by a doctor. Also, most females start masturbating by stimulating the clitoris. You ought to be able to do that no matter the state of your hymen.

I really like to masturbate but I'm not sure how much I should be doing it. (age 14)

There is no particular frequency you should or should not masturbate. Many girls your age masturbate several times a week, some not even once a month. It's completely up to you.

I share my bedroom with my older sister. She is 18 and constantly masturbating. She also slips from under the sheets to be more comfortable, and she masturbates sitting on edge of the bed. She thinks I am asleep but I am not. I have also seen her insert a small sex aid. I hear her moan all the time & it's interfering with me from having my own masturbation time. I cannot get the image of her doing it out of my head and then I cannot get my own release. Please help. (age 15)

I think you ought to start by reading my page about masturbating in college dorms. Your sister must know that you know she masturbates, so I don't think it would be as difficult to discuss as you imagine. See how other females and males have dealt with this and find a strategy that will work for you. It might be a matter of asking her to masturbate in the bathroom or some other private space when you're in the bedroom.

What happens if you masturbate excessively? Does it make it hard for you to remember or hard for you to concentrate? (age 16)

Masturbation is normal, healthy, and fun. It does not disaffect your brain. If anything, smarter people masturbate more often than dumber people. Masturbating does not keep someone from remembering or from being smart. A boy or girl knows they're masturbating too much when their private parts hurt.

I have masturbated regularly for some years now and have recently started to have sex. I'm able to have an orgasm each time whether masturbating or having sex. Although I have an orgasm when having sex, I keep wanting to go back for more and more, but after the third or fourth time my boyfriend is tired and says he can't. What do I do? Is something wrong with me? Am I addicted to sex? (age 17)

You are not an addict. You simply want more and longer sex than your boyfriend does. Couples of all ages have to deal with their different needs for sex. Three or four orgasms is pretty good. Many females your age are envious. I would suggest masturbating if you still want orgasms at the point your boyfriend is tired. Or perhaps you could have several sexual sessions instead of one extended one with many orgasms. There are a lot of ways to work that problem out.

I don't use the shower head to masturbate, but to rinse the soap away when I'm done. Will it erode my hymen? I'd prefer my doctor not to ask questions because it would make me really uncomfortable. (age 17)

Doctors ask questions not to make you comfortable or uncomfortable but to learn things that will help them keep you healthy. Using the shower head to rinse soap away will not erode your hymen.

I'm spending summer in another place and my boyfriend and I are having phone sex. We did it twice, and when I feel the urge to do phone, he says he will only call me when I send him nude photos. He already has naked photos of me, but why does he ask for more? Is moaning sexy when on phone? (age 20)

Phone sex can be a lot of fun, but only if you're comfortable with it. He can probably get gigabytes of nude photos and doesn't need any of you. Many people find moaning sexy. Since you've done it twice, you ought to have some idea.

I like to be spanked hard on my bottom with no underwear and it makes me horny. I like it when my mom or dad use a hair brush or a slipper. I even get horny when I see my sisters get pulled over mom's lap and are spanked with pants down. Is it wrong when I masturbate afterward in my room, because it feels soooooo good. My friend and I spank each other bare. Is this OK at my age? (age 13)

Leaving aside the question of whether spanking is ever a good thing, a child should definitely not be spanked past the age where he or she wants privacy in the bathroom, while bathing, etc. You are definitely too old to be spanked, and your sisters should not be spanked in front of you. It is not wrong to masturbate, and whatever you fantasize about is up to you. I suspect that you are going to have a spanking fetish for a long time.

My boyfriend wants to have sex but I don't think I'm ready so I started masturbating to see what it would feel like and it hurts but I don't know if it will feel that way during sex. (age 16)

If you don't feel ready, then you're not. Masturbating will make you more comfortable with your body, and maybe in a year or two you will feel ready for sex.

I love your site! I have been masturbating for about a year now but have not yet had an orgasm. I saw your explanation of one and was wondering if it hurt. Thank you so much for your help. (age 15)

Orgasms feel very good. They don't hurt. Don't worry that you will hurt if you have one. You will enjoy them very much and want to have more.

I find that I'm rarely ever horny. Is this normal for girls my age? (age 14)

Yes, it is normal to feel aroused only rarely at your age. You don't have to wait until you're naturally aroused. Many times people get themselves aroused when they don't feel so naturally.

Do you think it is wrong to masturbate in public toilets? I have done this before beacause I was on holiday and I had to share a room with my younger sister so there was no opportunity for privacy. (age 15)

I don't think it's wrong, but you can get in trouble if someone can see what you're doing. I think it would be better to ask your sister if you can have privacy in the room occasionally. If she's old enough, you can even tell her why. Maybe she masturbates too and would be relieved if you brought it up. You might find some answers reading my pages about being caught masturbating and masturbating in college dorms.

When I masturbate I orgasm really fast. Afterward I'll feel fine for a couple minutes then the pit of my stomach starts to hurt. Is this normal? Or does thing mean that I'm doing something wrong? (age 15)

Masturbating doesn't make your stomach hurt, but it certainly won't do any harm to take longer to reach orgasm. When you feel like you're getting close, slow down or even stop for a minute or two. Work at prolonging the pleasant feelings.

I have had some strange dreams where I am masturbating with my sister who is a year younger than me. It is not a subject we have ever discussed, or one that I want to discuss with her. Luckily, the way I view her has not been affected at all by these dreams. I rarely masturbate, and I have never done so with anyone else. What can these dreams possibly mean? Is there anything I can do to stop having them? (age 15)

Dreams are just random thoughts passing through your head. They don't have to mean anything. I would not worry about them. However, I am wondering if masturbating more often would make them go away. It couldn't hurt.

Often when I masturbate I imagine rape scenarios because they turn me on. I would never want to be raped in real life and I think it's really horrible but imagining it makes me really horny. Is this normal or unhealthy? Should I stop? (age 16)

It's normal and healthy and a common female fantasy. Whatever you fantasize about is up to you.

Sometimes my friends and I (both guys and girls) play a game sort of like truth or dare in which we ask normal or sexual questions like whether or not you've masturbated, watched porn, who would you have sex with, etc. It's mostly very silly and entertaining but I was wondering if there is anything I shouldn't say or reveal in front of the guys? (age 16)

Can you trust your friends (guys and girls) to respect your privacy?

I'm a Christian and I get these urges to touch myself or I have pressure in my vagina and I don't understand why. I was wondering if that was OK. (age 16)

Masturbating is normal, healthy, and fun, and people of all religions do it. If you're feeling pressure in your genitals, masturbating is often the best way to relieve it. Please read my page for Christians.

I read your pages about men not masturbating face down on a bed because it is damaging potentially to their penises and makes sex harder.

I've been masturbating occasionally since I was about 13. I've tried not to do it too much, but I do if I can't stand not to do it any more, and I can only enjoy it if I am kneeling with my head in a pillow and using my right thumb under me. My knees are against the mattress, and my left elbow and my head, but nothing else Is this damaging for girls too? Will it mean I can't enjoy having sex?

I'm getting married in 3 weeks time and I've not had any sort of sex before, just touching above my waist and mid-thigh downward. We're not having sex until after we marry and now I'm worried I'll disappoint my husband when do have sex. My future husband wants to wait until we're married as well, but he's very fired up about it now it's close and was talking recently about how he wants to spend "our entire two weeks after marriage inside me," and if I don't enjoy it because of the way I've masturbated, he's going to be really unhappy with me. I already feel nervous when he talks about sex so enthusiastically because I'm worried that going from never having had sex to him wanting it all the time is going to feel weird. I do want to be with him, but I guess it's normal to feel a bit apprehensive as well?

I can't talk to him about it because he asked me a while ago if I ever masturbated and I said I didn't, because I was embarrassed about it, and he says he likes the idea that no one's every touched me there, even myself, so I can't tell him now I lied about it. (age 19)

I'm not sure you have a problem. Masturbating prone has been implicated in sexual problems in females too, but the way you describe is fairly mild. And you seem not to have done it very much. I would encourage you to look forward to the honeymoon very much. Don't be disappointed if you don't enjoy intercourse immediately. Lots of women don't. Many women don't have orgasms in intercourse until they've been having it for a long time. It's about practice. Your masturbatory style might not even be important. Congratulations on the wedding and a blissful honeymoon!

I've heard that many girls, including me, enjoy running water on our clitorises. But I've also heard that having water go inside of your vagina could cause an infection. What do you think? (age 14)

The danger is not an infection. The danger is that you will get habituated to the strong pressure of the water faucet and not be able to enjoy the pleasure of your own touch or that of a partner. It's better to masturbate by hand.

You say in many places on this wonderful web site that males who are virgins into their early 20s and beyond tend to develop issues when learning partnered sexuality. Is there a similar issue with females of a similar age?

What resources are available for a person who is extremely touch sensitive (and not in a good way) when beginning partnered sexual behaviors? I was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome at age 14 and, though I am 21 now, I have not yet been put in a position to share in partnered sexual behaviors; I am worried that my issues with being touched might limit or block altogether my ability to have many (if not all) kinds of sex, and I would like to work on this issue before I have a partner to worry about. Thanks so much for having this web site! (female, age 21)

Sexual performance is a more important factor for males than females, because males are expected to initiate relationships and to become aroused easily and to reach orgasm 100 percent of the time in intercourse, according to Eva Margolies, author of Undressing the American Male. For these reasons, she says, late virginity is a more serious issue for males than females.

I would suggest working with a therapist experienced in dealing with touch sensitivity. There will be no partnered sexuality unless you let your partner touch you.

I masturbate and I have always felt ashamed of it. But I just cannot stop. I am worried about the urges I get out of nowhere. I want to stop or at least cut down. I masturbate at least 2-4 times a day. Please help? (age 12)

The first thing is to accept masturbation as normal, healthy, and fun. Once you do that, you will be less bothered by your urges and not ashamed of it. Most young people start off by masturbating very often and then slow down to about once a day, often within a year or so. I don't think you have anything to worry about.

Often I get the urge to masturbate at really random and awkward times, like when I'm around a friend's house or somewhere in public. It's really annoying. I can't concentrate and I even contemplate going somewhere private-ish and masturbating there. What can I do when I get the urge? (age 15)

I advise against masturbating anywhere that isn't completely private. You could get in trouble with the law and perhaps alienate your friends. Doing something physical to take your mind off your genitals is a strategy used by many males and females. If you could briefly do some calisthenics or even pick up boxes, that might help.

Since I was about six, I get a tingly feeling in my genitals whenever something irritates or frustrates me, like a noise I found annoying such as someone excessively coughing or breathing heavily. When I was younger I thought I just needed to urinate so I'd go to the toilet and it would sort of help. Is this normal and how can I get it to stop? (age 15)

You might have the beginnings of something called persistent sexual arousal syndrome. It is good if you are aroused by a lot of things, but it is not good if you're getting aroused when you don't want to by purely non-sexual stimuli. Figuring out strategies for ignoring those irritations would be good.

Why do I feel like urinating when I get aroused? (age 12)

You are young and haven't learned how those feelings connect. You will understand the feeling better in a year or so. I always advise people to urinate before sexual activity (including masturbation) so they don't have to worry about the need arising during a session.

My girlfriend and I were talking and she told me she wanted to have sex soon. I love her and I want my first time having lesbian sex to be with her but I'm not sure I'm ready to have sex yet. I don't want her to be mad at me, because I really love her. How should I tell her I'm not sure I'm ready to have sex yet? (age 19)

I think telling her the way you told me would be just fine. Don't be too surprised if she wants to pursue other women while she waits for you to decide you're ready.

I masturbate by repeatedly pressing my finger down on my clit and I always orgasm but I tried putting the end of my toothbrush in my vagina and I thrust it in and out but I didn't feel pleasure or orgasm. Does this mean I won't be able able to orgasm when I have sexual intercourse with a guy?

Not at all. A penis is much longer and wider than a toothbrush, and it is warm and soft, and a male moves it on his own. That is a completely different feeling than inserting a small, hard piece of plastic into your vagina. Congratulations on being able to masturbate to orgasm. That will serve you well when you start having sex with partners.

I have been masturbating for 3 years now and have regular external orgasms. I have been getting bored lately by just stimulating my clit. I have tried internal masturbation with different numbers of fingers but I can never feel anything. It doesn't hurt; I just don't feel good. Could you give me some tips please? (age 14)

Congratulations on being orgasmic with external masturbation. Many females have not yet tried internal masturbation at your age. It is not at all surprising that you're not enjoying it. Keep up with the clitoral masturbation and revisit vaginal masturbation from time to time when you're feeling especially aroused. Eventually you will start to enjoy it.

I have never had a boyfriend and I really really want to be in a relationship, but I'm worried that guys will only want to be in a relationship for sexual reasons. Do you have any insight as to what guys my age are generally interested in in the relationship department? (age 16)

Guys your age who want a girlfriend generally want one for both companionship and sex. You should start by getting to know a guy in non-sexual ways by spending time together and deciding that you want to go out together. If you're happy with that, sex can come later. By getting to know the guy first, you're helping screen out ones who are only interested in sex.

Whenever my boyfriend fingers me, I don't find it enjoyable at all and it sometimes even burns. His hands are always clean and I'm always extremely wet. We really want to move forward and eventually have sexual intercourse, but internal penetration is just not enjoyable. Is there anything I can to fix this? Am I always going to have this issue? Until recently every time I used a tampon, my muscles would tighten and it would hurt. (age 16)

It is good news that you're now able to insert tampons. Work at consciously relaxing your vaginal wall muscles. They are what are keeping you from inserting anything. It will get easier with practice. It might be easier for you to practice when you're alone instead of when your boyfriend is furiously trying to insert his fingers into your vagina. Practice with your own fingers or some small, smooth objects.

When I was 10 and at my grandparents' house, I was reading an article in a woman's magazine about a girl being sexually abused. Reading it gave me a really tingly feeling in my genitals. I didn't know what was going on but I knew it was embarrassing so I went to the toilet and looked at my private parts in the mirror to see if there was anything wrong with me. Is that abnormal? (age 15)

Lots of females are aroused by the thought of sexual assault even though they wouldn't want to be sexually assaulted. Your getting aroused by the article is completely normal.

What percentage of girls my age masturbate? Do adult women do it more than teenage girls? (age 15)

According to a survey of over 3000 females by HealthyStrokes.com in 2007-08, which asked the age at first masturbation, among women 21 and older, 81 percent had started masturbating at or by age 15. The peak frequency of masturbation is in the teen years, but more women are masturbating by adulthood.

I have masturbated for 2 days (once a day) but I can't seem to reach an orgasm no matter what position I'm in. Am I missing something? How often should I masturbate? (age 17)

You seem kind of impatient, expecting to have an orgasm after only two days of masturbating. Be patient and do what feels good. Don't be obsessed about having an orgasm. Just enjoy what you're doing, and you might have an orgasm when you least expect it.

Every time I shave my pubic hair these itchy red bumps come up. What should I do? (age 13)

Let it grow? No one would expect you to shave at your age.

I'm a 23-year-old virgin; my boyfriend of several months has been experimenting for the past decade. Although we masturbate together, he respects my decision to not have intercourse yet. Recently he told me that it would be "hot" to get me turned on and watch another man have intercourse with me. He has also told me that he wants me to watch him have sex with another woman. I used to think this type of thing was just fantasies, but the other day while we were masturbating (video sex really), he broached the subject again and before long he was calling another woman to see if she wanted to come over and have sex with him. Fortunately for me, she was busy. He assures me that nothing will happen between him and another woman unless I am present and I believe him, but this behavior in general is strange to me. Is it normal? Is it something I should be concerned about? I have made my insecurities and concerns known and have tried to educate myself on this topic. Is there anything else I should do?

Fantasies are one thing, but actually calling someone else up for a threesome is something completely different. There is nothing normal at all about that. For most people, sex is private and monogamous. It would not surprise me even a little if your boyfriend is being unfaithful to you. I suggest leaving this boyfriend behind and finding someone who truly respects your decision to have no intercourse until marriage.

My friend and I were listening to loud music and all of a sudden she asked me what masturbation was. We did a search and it came up with HealthyStrokes.com. My friend and I are very open about things. I tell her everything, but there is one secret I don't feel comfortable sharing with her. I don't think she will react well. The secret is that I masturbate. {I feel fine saying my secret here because I'm anonymous.} What should I do? (age 13)

If you're not comfortable telling her, then don't tell her. Many friends never share that they masturbate. You don't have to either.

I noticed the other day that my boyfriend had a small cut on his penis. He said he ripped his skin while masturbating. Is this common or even possible? (age 17)

Any skin can be ripped or cut. Skin that is, for most teen males, the subject of a vigorous daily handling, is especially likely to suffer. About half of males report that this has happened to them, according to a survey of over 4000 males by HealthyStrokes.com.

I try to masturbate sometimes, and I use some of the stuff I read on HealthyStrokes.com as a guide. My older sister keeps telling me to think about boys and getting a boyfriend, but whenever I think about one when I'm trying to masturbate, I feel really gross and not tingly at all. But when I think about random things, I can get an orgasm. Is that weird? (age 12)

It's nice that you can and your older sister can discuss masturbating. Whatever you fantasize about is up to you. Perhaps thinking about specific boys -- it sounds like you're thinking of ones you know -- is making you self-conscious. Maybe fantasizing about celebrity boys, men in ads, etc., would be less troublesome.

I started doing research on masturbation after a conversation I had with a friend. We were talking about things we could do to lose weight and she said something about how sex was good exercise and supposed to burn lots of calories. I am abstinent, but I got to thinking, there is one sexual activity I could do by myself. After looking around the Internet, HealthyStrokes.com seems like one of the most reliable ones, so I thought I'd ask some questions. How many calories does masturbating burn? How long should it take a girl to have an orgasm masturbating? How do I know when I'm aroused? What does it feel like? It's easier for males to tell when you are aroused because you have an erection. I've read that all guys masturbate, especially boys my age, and that they get lots of random erections all day long too. So now I can't stop thinking about different guys at my school and just random guys getting erections and masturbating. Every day I think about it. I like thinking about it. Is that weird? (age 17)

It is estimated we burn 6 to 7 calories per minute during sexual activity. Probably not enough that you would lose weight by doing it. It takes females a lot of patience and practice to have their first orgasm, but after they have figured out how, most can masturbate to orgasm in 20 minutes. Most females are aware that they're producing vaginal lubrication when they're aroused. When they're aroused, people also get the urge to have sex or masturbate. You are correct; boys your age get an erection about every 90-120 minutes, which last 20 minutes each. It is something they just get used to. Keep an eye out for guys walking around school holding a jacket or notebook strategically in front of their penis. Thinking about males having erections is not at all weird. Here's something to think about: When you're in class, one in five of the boys have an erection at any given moment. And more than one in five masturbate as soon as they get home.

I am religious and extra-marital sex is off the table for me; but in the last couple years I lost 70 pounds; I got rather overweight at the end of college. I started to feel horny a lot of the time. I have no boyfriend and haven't kissed a guy in over 11 years. I started masturbating a month and a half ago, but I feel incredibly self-conscious, so touching myself makes me feel nothing. Sometimes I get so sexually frustrated that I literally feel like I'm choking on the tension. With a massaging shower head or a body massager, I get incredibly tense (in a kind of nice way) and my body might jerk every now and then (like hitting your knee to test your reflexes) but nothing's happening. I just feel more tense and frustrated. I realize that some of this is psychological (guilt and whatnot) and some of it is awkwardness (I feel like an idiot for not knowing what the heck I'm doing) and some of it is circumstantial (I live with my sister and parents, who would not approve, so I don't get much opportunity). I feel that I can't keep choking down all this tension. (age 28)

Congratulations on your weight loss and learning to masturbate. Those are both healthy decisions. Not all people magically make themselves orgasm the first time they touch their privates, even when those privates are throbbing. I think you need to start by giving yourself permission to masturbate. Give yourself permission to enjoy it, to be awkward, if that's what it is. You don't need permission from your parents or sister. I would bet serious money that all three of them have masturbated more than you have. Learn to put your mind into a place where you feel aroused, and then find out how it feels good to touch yourself. Then you will be well on your way to relieving your tension.

I've been dating my boyfriend for a year, and the other day, we had sex for the first time in a bathroom stall. When I got home, I was really tired, my stomach hurt all day and the next morning, and my bones hurt. Does it have something to do with sex we had? (age 14)

No, I think it's because of the closeness of the moon to the earth that day.

I've read on HealthyStrokes.com that masturbation is the healthiest thing sexually at my age. Why is that? (age 15)

Masturbation helps you learn about your body and what turns you on, while not exposing you to pregnancy, contraception, and sexually transmitted diseases. Masturbating is one of the healthiest things you can do. See here.

I have a lot of male friends. We never flirt, or cross the line into something more than friendship, and I'm not very pretty. But I wonder: Do guys ever think about their platonic female friends when they masturbate? (age 16)

Yes. It happens frequently.

I share a room (and a bed most of the year) with my younger sister. My dad works at home and none of the doors have locks. The walls also let through a lot of sound. My parents have kind of set up a very casual look on privacy; for the most part, we have none. Our single bathroom has made it necessary to let a person enter the bathroom without asking while someone else is in the shower. I feel the need to masturbate multiple times a day. With so little privacy, when and how can I masturbate? (age 17)

I think the best route is to work it out with your sister. If she's past puberty, she's probably had the idea to masturbate herself and would be relieved that you would propose a solution that would let you both have privacy in the bedroom. If she's not past puberty, then I think it would be a good idea to work around her schedule.

My boyfriend has trouble getting/maintaining an erection during intercourse, and when he does get an erection, he has trouble ejaculating. We are both each other's first sexual partner, and this problem has been going on for a few months. I saw a Google search for prone masturbation when I was using his computer, and I suspect he masturbates this way. I don't know if I should bring it up or if he's already trying to resolve it, but it just seems like things are getting worse and I don't know what I can do to help. (age 17)

I would suggest telling him you know that prone masturbation causes the problems he's having -- no need to tell him how you know that -- and that you'll understand if he can't have sex with you for a few months while he works to overcome his prone masturbation.

Do vibrators affect guys like they do girls? (age 12)

No. Not very many males enjoy masturbating with vibrators. The penis responds better to vigorous stroking, while the clitoris is much smaller, and the vibration simulates gentle stroking. Also, many females develop "vibrator fatigue," being unable to reach orgasm with a partner because of getting too accustomed to vibration, but that is not a problem for males.

Is it normal to read erotic fiction while masturbating? (age 17)

Many people do, especially females.

My boyfriend asked me if I masturbate thinking about him. I do. What should I tell him? (age 14)

Your three choices are to tell the truth, lie, or avoid answering. So far you're avoiding answering. I think he would like it if you told the truth.

How can I know if my boyfriend is a virgin or not? (age 18)

You'll have to ask him and trust him to answer truthfully.

Is it bad that today when I saw my 22-year-old cousin that I got really wet? I never thought about him like that and now I'm constantly thinking of having sex with him. (age 13)

I don't think it's bad, but I don't think you should do anything sexual with him, and it would be good for you to take notice of other people that you could fantasize about.

Many times when I'm pressured, under stress, or taking a test, I squeeze my thighs together. It helps me relax for some reason. Is this masturbation? (age 15)

It's only masturbation if you're doing it to increase sexual arousal, in the direction of having an orgasm. If you're just squeezing your thighs without arousal, it's not masturbation.

I seem to have an obsession with masturbation. I can sit and do it for hours at a time, and I try to get people to discuss it with me frequently. I think it is sexy, and I think all the time about myself and others doing it. I think it is so hot when guys do it and tell me about it. How can I stop being so obsessed? (age 16)

There are other aspects of sexuality besides masturbation. I think as you get older, you'll take more of an interest in them and masturbation will drop somewhat on your list of sexual interests. What you fantasize about is up to you. But keep in mind that lots of people don't want to discuss masturbation, so you might be alienating them, depending on you're trying to get them to discuss it with you.

I have been masturbating since I was 10 or so. Even if I'm in a locked bathroom or bedroom I feel paranoid that someone is going to walk in on me. So every time I hear a noise before I get into my masturbation session, I stop. But when I hear a noise during my masturbating session, it turns me on and makes me orgasm quicker. Is this normal? Also, I get very horny when I watch girl-on-girl porn. Does this make me lesbian? But I'm not attracted to girls except for when I see a hot girl with large breasts walk by me. It really turns me on and makes me hornier than ever. When I'm done masturbating, I have a red sweaty face and the smell is bad. How can I get rid of that so no one suspects that I'm masturbating? (age 15)

Lots of people are aroused by the idea that someone will see them masturbating. That's one reason why some people have sex or masturbate outdoors. As long as you're in your private space, you shouldn't have to worry about repercussions from being seen. I think very few of the people who consume girl-on-girl porn are really lesbians. But you might want to think about how you feel about the hot girls with large breasts. If they are really who turn you on the most, then you might be lesbian. Your face getting red is called sex flush. Yes, people can figure out what you've been doing if they see you with it. Taking a few minutes for a quick shower or sponge bath will take care of the smell and give you time for the sex flush to fade.

I used to masturbate with my nipples and now they have become stiff and point out of my clothes. I can no longer wear a sleeveless top without a bra on. What do I do? This is so embarrassing. (age 20)

You have figured out a solution: Wear a bra.

My best friend thinks masturbating is really gross and she doesn't get why people do it. That really annoys me because I know it is normal and healthy. I want to explain that to her but I'm afraid she will judge me for doing it myself. What should I do? (age 15)

You can tell your friend that masturbating is normal and healthy without telling her you do it yourself. My line is that masturbation is normal, healthy, and fun, but of course, if you tell her that, then she will know that you do it too. I think you should show her my page about the health benefits of female masturbation.

Is it normal to be turned on by certain songs? (age 15)

Certainly.

I never feel the desire to masturbate and don't think about sex as much as males do. Are males' and females' sexuality wired differently? Do males get turned on easily seeing beautiful women? (age 24)

Your questions are curious. If you have no desire to masturbate, why are you reading HealthyStrokes.com? How do you know how much males think about sex? You don't say you never think about sex, so you must be thinking about it sometimes. Those are the times when it would be a good idea to try to masturbate. I think you will like it. Most experts believe the male and female experience of sexuality is different, but the sexperts most famous for studying the physiology of sex, Masters and Johnson, found much similarity in how males and females experience orgasm, suggesting that some of the wiring is different but the underlying experience is much the same. Males are very, very easily aroused by beautiful women, especially naked beautiful women.

I'm a single Christian woman. I've had a hard time getting Christian men attracted to me as more than friends. It's against the rules of my church to dress slutty or to flirt with them. How can I be sexually restrained and sexy at the same time? How can I get even one Christian guy I am interested in to be sexually interested enough in me to want to date me? (age 32)

I think you misunderstand flirting. Flirting is simply being fun and friendly. It does not mean behaving in a promiscuous manner. You can start by remembering SOFTEN. Smile, Open posture, Forward lean, Touch, Eye Contact, Nod. Perhaps you can get involved in some Christian-based singles activities.

I recently returned from band camp where for a week we were in college dorms and the guys and girls were in separate buildings. I got brought up a year early so I'm the second youngest in the band. A few times over the week, I've heard guys say things like, "So I heard when your brother hid under your bed, you were masturbating?" My question is, why are guys so much more open about it? I found it embarrassing to hear them talk about it, mostly because my roommates think it's gross so I had to go a week without masturbating. (age 13)

You were one of the youngest ones there. I suspect that means you were overhearing conversations among boys who are 2-3 years older than you. By that age, all the males know that all the males masturbate. There is nothing particularly shocking about 15-17 year old males discussing masturbation. Most of the time it takes place is in a joking kind of way. Perhaps you aren't overhearing the same conversations among females, but if you paid close attention, you'll overhear them talking about other sexual things, like penises and periods. And don't let the hangups of your camp roommates keep you from enjoying masturbation.

I am a petite virgin senior in college. I wasn't truly introduced to porn until last summer. I've masturbated about 2 or 3 times a week since I was 15.

Every night for over a month now I have been having what I can only describe as sex-nightmares. I repeatedly have the dream that males are raping me. I'm absolutely terrified. I understand that fantasies are harmless and that many people have fantasised about rape situations. It's rarely just one male, frequently it's two, and there was once a group of five!

I'm a fairly modest girl. I don't think I'll ever be comfortable putting a man's penis in my mouth, or having a man's mouth on my privates. Yet in these nightmares, these men force a variety of sex acts upon me (this is why I believe it has a connection to my introduction to pornography) not just limited to things I feel I'll ever do, but things like double penatration, S&M acts, and the most VILE thing on this earth, forcing bukkake on me.

Every night that this happens, either my roommate will wake me up for screaming -- she knows about these nightmares too -- or I'll find myself awoken. I don't find these things at all arousing. Please help. (age 22)

I had to look bukkake up to see what it is. I really think exposing yourself to porn is a bad idea. It's kind of like horror movies. Some people can laugh at them, but others find that the ideas from horror movies enter their consciousness. I don't know much about controlling dreams, but I'm aware that you can have more control over what's in your dreams if you're not in a completely dark room. A night light might put an end to your nightmares. Keeping a radio with talk or music playing might also make a difference.

I got surprised from myself starting masturbation and reaching orgasm alone. It was the first time I touched myself and I hadn't any idea to do so. I was studying and suddenly I felt I wanna touch myself. I don't like the fact that I'm still doing it for around two weeks every two days almost. What should I do? I don't want this feeling to control me each time I'm alone at home? Please tell me why I'm doing this at my age? Am I sick? (age 23)

Masturbation is normal, healthy, and fun. Lots of people accidentally discover masturbating when they are just touching themselves for what they thought were non-sexual reasons. Then the pleasant feelings of arousal start to happen and they go for it. That's what you did. Pretty soon, for most people, it's a frequent habit. That's what you did too. There is nothing wrong with masturbating frequently, even at your age. Especially at your age. You've found a new and exciting way to enjoy yourself, and that's what I think you should do. Hooray for you!

A few years back, I became really curious about sex. So when I was with my then-boyfriend, I let him lick and caress my boobs. I know he became so aroused just like me, so he volunteered to masturbate while I watched him. It was fun and exciting to watch. When he came, he asked me if I wanted to suck him and I did (although I sucked him for just about a minute). Do you think that makes me not a virgin or something less than a virgin? (age 17)

Most people would say that someone who has only done what you did is still a virgin.

My younger sister (who is 10) was using my computer to watch animals mate. I don't know whether I should have made her stop because on the one hand, I don't want her to think sex is wrong, but on the other hand, watching lots of animal porn seems kind of weird. Should I have made her stop? If yes, how do I tell her that I don't want her to anymore? (age 20)

It's your computer, so you can tell her what she can't use it for. I think you should tell her that you're available to answer any questions she has. You might also mention you've never watched videos of animals mating. (I suggest you not refer to it as "porn.")

What happens if the skin near the clitoris is starting to look bruised because of masturbation? (age 17)

I would suggest using a water-based lube while masturbating to keep the skin from getting roughed up.

I find recording myself with my cell phone while masturbating arousing. I immediately delete it afterward, and I have put a password on my applications. Is self-voyeurism normal? (age 14)

I wouldn't call it self-voyeurism. In our modern age where cameras are everywhere, easily concealable, and erasable, I have to believe what you're talking about is pretty common. However, there is a tremendous danger that the recording will slip into the wrong hands. All you have to do is make one mistake and the video will be out of your control. Once it's posted on the Internet, it might never come off. I advise you to stop making the recordings.

I'm 16 and my boyfriend and I have been dating for four years. We agreed that we don't want to have vaginal intercourse, but we've talked and he said he'd be OK with fingering me. Is that a bad thing to do? Should I let him? I know a lot of girls my age have done worse but I'm just so unsure if it's OK.

If you're not sure, then you shouldn't do it. If you're worried about virginity, consider that very few people say that fingering makes someone not a virgin. Only you can decide what's OK for yourself.

I've been masturbating for about a year, but I'm afraid my parents will find out. I used to feel like I could talk to my mom about these things, but I haven't been able to bring up the masturbation. What should I do? How can I bring it up to her? (age 16)

Masturbation is private, and most people never discuss it. Parents understand and for the most part don't want to know about their children masturbating anyway. It's just something people do and don't talk about.

I masturbate a lot, a few times a week, but sometimes my pubic hair gets in the way. I've read different articles and some say that pubic hair should be shaved and others say not to. I'm really unsure what to do. What do you suggest? (age 16)

If it's in the way, then maybe it should go. Whether you shave or don't, you will have a lot of company. But I've been writing HealthyStrokes.com for over 11 years now, and you're the first with that complaint. Perhaps there's some other reason why it's interfering. Can you be more specific about how it's in the way?

I am 16 and I haven't started my period yet? Is that normal?

Most girls have theirs by 16. I suggest seeing a doctor.

I masturbate externally and I was wondering if it's normal that when I start to rub my clit that I get sharp pains in my head that last for at least a few hours. This only started a few days ago but no one knows that I masturbate. I've also have had problems with migraines but not due to masturbation. (age 17)

Pain is not normal. Pain is a sign that something is wrong. Occasionally people get something called an orgasm headache at the point of orgasm, but that would not be the case if it happens when you start to masturbate instead of when you finish. If you are being treated for your migraines, I would suggest discussing this situation with your doctor or nurse practitioner. Don't be embarrassed to tell the doctor that you masturbate. The doctor masturbates too.

I just had my first orgasm last night. I afterward had a sharp stabbing pain in my abdomen. Is that normal? Should I be worried? Will this continue if I bring myself to another orgasm? (age 20)

That is not normal. Orgasm would not be described as a sharp stabbing pain. Congratulations on having your first orgasm! I would recommend that you continue masturbating and not worry about the pain.

Sometimes throughout my day, my clit will get this tingling sensation on and off. It happens at the most random times! It's quite annoying. But I find it arousing other times when I'm thinking of myself masturbating. Why does this happen? (age 21)

Clitoral (or penile) engorgement is a good thing. Don't be annoyed by it. You have some idea what it's like for a male, who not only experiences what you do but worries that others may notice his erection. Enjoy your clitoral tingling as much as you can, and tell yourself that when you get home, you will have a happy masturbating session.

Is it possible for me to reach my G-spot with only my fingers?

Yes, definitely.

Last night my mom was in the basement doing housework, so I decided to go on your site and masturbate. I finished and went upstairs. This morning she screamed at me for going on here. She hasn't looked me in the eye since. What should I do?

Most parents are happy that HealthyStrokes.com is here, but if your mom doesn't approve, I think you'd better do as she wishes. I think she will be looking you in the eye again before too long.

I am really afraid to have a boyfriend because I feel like I wouldn't be able to resist sexual intercourse. But I don't want to have to use dildos and stuff because I feel like that's against my religion. Also I don't think masturbating is doing it for me. What should I do? (age 15)

If you know that you wouldn't be able to resist intercourse, then I think you shouldn't be alone with boys until you're either able to resist or able to deal with the consequences of not resisting. If you don't want to be sexually active, then you should decide you're going to enjoy masturbating more.

After school volleyball, if I see a teammate naked in the locker room, I get an overwhelming desire to masturbate, and I go home and do it several times. I never get this kind of feeling around a boy. Is this telling me I am a lesbian? (age 14)

You might be a lesbian, but you might feel completely differently about both naked females and naked males in a few years. Keep your eyes and mind open.

Sometimes at any given time of the day, it feels like some guy's penis or fingers is going in and out of me and touching me while I am alone. But nobody is around, and I am wide awake. Most of the time I get super, super wet like I am actually having sex and also sharp, sensual feel-good feelings all over my vagina, body, and sometimes it feels like that. It even feels like it is pulsing through my veins and all over my body. Usually it feels like the man's penis, or hands is the one doing it which makes it somewhat enjoyable. I swear I am not crazy but I think it has to deal with the different chakra energies and how they travel from person to person. I feel like I am the only one who doesn't actually know why it happens. Is there any way that I can keep the inside of my vagina clean without sticking anything in it because I am a virgin. (age 18)

You might have persistent sexual arousal syndrome. It would be worthwhile for you to read up on that or join an online support group. I don't think you're crazy either, and I'm glad you can enjoy the feelings at least some of the time. You are a virgin but you say you know what sex feels like. I think there is some information missing here. And your vagina is essentially self-cleaning so you don't have to do anything to clean it unless there's a problem.

I go to a Catholic school 20 minutes away. Since I live in a different state, I take a "short bus" with some other kids because only a handful of us live in that area. Last week I was on the bus with just a freshman boy and the female driver when I realized he was furiously masturbating, and I could see! I usually have my music turned up and I read on the bus, so he probably thought I wouldn't notice. I'm honestly freaked out. I think it's fine to masturbate in private, but there's a serious issue with doing it in public. I heard rumors that he does it in French class, but I didn't believe it until now. Everyone I know, boys and girls, agrees that public masturbating is abnormal. What is wrong with this kid? Do you think he may grow up to be a sex offender? I'm a girl, by the way. (age 16)

How exciting that you commute to school across state lines! I think you could be a positive force in this boy's life by telling him that you saw what he was doing on the bus recently and it will be your secret, but if you see him doing it again on the bus, you will tell the principal. Then if you see him masturbating again, you will have to tell. By doing that, you will be helping him control himself and not trying to punish him.

If you have dry sex, are you still considered a virgin? (age 14)

Yes, you are a virgin if you have only dry humped.

I'm 17 and I like to torture myself while I masturbate, in a way. I can't get any toys, so I use makeshift ones like the end of a marker or toothbrush (cleaned, of course), and I like to push them into my vagina and kind of grind my hips or walk around with them in and see how long I can go before needing a release. I don't do that around other people; that's a risk I don't want to take, not even if it's just around my parents. Is this normal? Is that a sign of my being interested in some kind of BDSM stuff? I've already mastered orgasms masturbating with my fingers, so is it wrong to play with toys now?

The pleasure and pain centers in the brain are pretty close together. Lots of people are aroused by painful stimuli. Remember, if something hurts, it's bad for you. Be careful you don't hurt yourself by walking around with objects in your vagina. I suspect you might be interested in BDSM stuff in a short while.

Is it normal for me to masturbate (to climax) about three times a day? I do this externally, and when I climax I make no noise and my left leg twitches uncontrollably. Am I a sex addict or have I simply never experienced an actual climax? My orgasms tend to last about five seconds and I have vaginal contractions preceding them. Again, is that normal? Thanks for your time, love the site. (age 17)

You describe a normal orgasm. Congratulations! Your frequency is on the high end, but you could hardly be called a sex addict. To keep your leg from twitching uncontrollably, hold your legs straight in front of you.

How common is internal masturbation among women my age? (age 24)

Most girls start masturbating externally in the teen years but by your age most have either switched to masturbating internally or doing it that way in addition to clitoral masturbation. If you masturbate vaginally, you have lots of company at your age.

When I masturbate, I cannot achieve an orgasm without fantasizing about pain or humiliation. All my fantasies include some kind of degrading activity and always involve spanking. Is this OK? I've never reached an orgasm with a partner (even when they spank me), and I'm afraid I won't ever be able to. (age 18)

Whatever you fantasize about is up to you. Many females your age have not had their first orgasm yet. From what you wrote, I gather that you have orgasms when you masturbate but haven't had them with a partner yet. Most partners your age are not very experienced or adept at giving females orgasms. It is not at all surprising that you're not having orgasms in intercourse. Keep your mind on whatever turns you on and enjoy your intercourse whether or not you have an orgasm. Maybe getting your partner to talk about spanking during intercourse would make a difference. It is helpful if you find more than one fantasy item arousing. It would be a good idea to work on developing fantasies other than the ones you're having now.

I am a 19 year old female and I have never felt the urge to masturbate. Is this normal?

Yes, but it doesn't mean you will never feel that way. You owe it to yourself to give it a try. Plan to touch yourself sometime when you're in a good mood and feel like having a sexual experiment. If you have a sexual partner, he or she could be part of it too. If you go for it, the next two months could be a serious watershed moment in your life.

When I first started masturbating, I could barely get one finger in without hurting and now I can almost fit three without even hurting myself first. Is that bad?

No, it means you are getting more functional. Practice makes perfect.

Last night I felt really weird so late at night I felt the need to touch myself and I masturbated. Is that bad? I've never masturbated before and I feel ashamed that I did. (age 13)

Masturbating is normal, healthy, and fun. There is no reason to feel ashamed. See here for some reasons to feel glad.

What percentage of women masturbate at my age? Is there any necessity for women to masturbate as compared to men? (age 24)

According to a survey of over 3000 females by HealthyStrokes.com in 2007-08, which included 96 women age 24, 94 percent of them had masturbated at some point, 92 percent reported masturbating currently, an average of 15.6 times per month. Males need to ejaculate frequently to eliminate sexual fluids and keep their private parts in healthy functioning condition. For women it isn't a biological necessity but the women who do it say it's a lot of fun. See here to learn health benefits of frequent female masturbation.

I've been mastubating for a few years now and it seems like my inner labia are being damaged. They've lost a lot of the pink color and turned dark brown. Is this normal? (age 15)

It is normal for the genitals of both males and females to get darker at puberty. I doubt that you have a problem.

Why does my vagina throb sometimes after I see my boyfriend or when I'm reading erotica to masturbate? (age 15)

That is a sign of sexual arousal.

Is the clitoris more sensitive or the vagina and why? (age 21)

I am inclined to say the clitoris is more sensitive. The clitoris can only stand a certain amount and type of pressure or it will hurt and ruin a female's mood. The vagina, while also being arousable to the point of orgasm, can take much more pressure and for a longer duration.

Is it bad that I used my mom's dildo? (age 13)

I suspect you used it without asking. It would be better if you got your own and better still if you masturbated with only your hands. If you are going to keep borrowing your mom's without asking, make sure it is clean before you put it back.

I usually masturbate in the toilet by rubbing my clitoris. Do you know any other ways I can masturbate without inserting any fingers into my vagina? (age 14)

Two basic forms of female masturbation are stimulating the clitoris (external masturbation) and inserting fingers or objects into the vagina (internal masturbation). You seem to know the external method. There is no reason to only do it in the toilet. Relax and try it in bed, where most girls do it.

I have been sexually active for a few years now. But for some reason, I'm really afraid of a letting a guy perform oral sex on me. It happened once, and I liked it, but I was scared and cried. I want to get over my fear of it because I want it. (age 18)

I don't think you have anything to be afraid of. Cunnilingus carries fewer risks for the female than any other kind of intercourse. Work at being relaxed and being with a guy who makes you happy and comfortable.

I use a bottle of about 3.5 inches in circumference to masturbate. Is that OK? I lack control over my urination. Is that due to high and hard masturbation? (I am a virgin.) (age 17)

Having trouble controlling your urination is a sign that something's wrong. I would give up the bottle and see a doctor about it. Don't be embarrassed to tell the doctor that you masturbate. The doctor masturbates too. It would be a good idea to start Kegel exercises and to learn to masturbate with your hands, if you don't already.

I like this one guy at my school and I have been really into him for 5 months. But when I see naked pictures of girls, it really turns me on and I get wet. Is this normal, and if not what should I do to stop it? When I see naked pictures of guys I don't get turned on. (age 14)

That's normal. What turns people on and doesn't is very much in flux at your age. You should get to know that guy better and maybe you will get a better idea of what does and doesn't turn you on.

I always fantasize about the same boy and sometimes look at pictures of him when I masturbate. Now, whenever I'm around him, all I think about is having sex with him. We've been hanging out a lot and we've kissed a couple times and I want to bring things to the next level. How can I do this without it being awkward? (age 15)

Instead of trying to avoid awkwardness completely, you might find a way to deal with it. You should probably not being having sex until you are more sure of yourself and less worried about it being awkward.

I masturbate at least 3-4 times a week. I have never been able to have an internal orgasm but I try all the time. It seems like I only have clitoral orgasms. Does this mean something's wrong with me? Will I always be like this? (age 15)

Most females don't have vaginal orgasms until they've been having clitoral orgasms for several years, and many females never have them. Lots of girls your age have never had an orgasm at all and are very jealous of you. Since you masturbate often, simply focus on what you enjoy, and different kinds of orgasms are apt to happen when you least expect them. Trying to force one is almost sure to not help.

I have masturbated since about 12, and I had frequent orgasms with sexual partners until age 25. Then I had a partner who was very firm with oral stimulation of my clitoris, and I wonder if it desensitized me. I also started taking SSRIs which meant I took longer and harder to have oral-clitoral stimulation to orgasm, and I stopped having multiple orgasms. I have tried alternative medications with no luck. I've been single for 8 years and so I can't get into a rhythm with the occasional sex partners that I have. I masturbate with my legs tensed now and with firm stimulation that is the same every time. It's the only way I can achieve orgasm and I have not been able to with a sexual partner for many years. It upsets me a lot, turns me off sex and I know it is a downer for those I've been sexual with. Is there any way to get healthy orgasms back? (age 37)

I doubt that you were desensitized by that partner who used a lot of stimulation. You obviously are able to stimulate yourself to orgasm even with your difficulty. The SSRI trouble is most central. Instead of giving up on alternatives to the SSRI you take, ask your doctor specifically to try one or more with no or fewer sexual side effects.

If you really believe your masturbatory force is too strong, take a week or so off from masturbating and then try to see how little force you can use to produce an orgasm. Your private parts will be more receptive after about a week or so without sexual touch. And the leg tensing is very normal for both men and women.

I learned how to masturbate with a detachable shower hose two years ago, and once I got more comfortable, I would reach orgasm about 3-5 times a day. Once my house finally got a fixed shower head put in, I taught myself how to masturbate with the water stream from the faucet onto my clitoris/vulva. I now orgasm like this about 4-5 times a week and only once each masturbation session. I use porn sometimes but not always.

Recently I've tried to cut back because I'm afraid my parents will find out. I've heard many web sites say it is healthy but I've also heard that it can be very unhealthy. I'm very confused about the health aspects of this and sometimes I can get extremely agitated if I go over two weeks without an orgasm. Is this natural? (age 15)

The first thing is to decide that you don't care if your parents know you masturbate or not. Even if you know your parents don't approve (and you don't know that), you have discovered that you enjoy the pleasure of sexual touch. So you have no reason to want to give it up and every reason to want to do it more often.

The second thing is that you can only masturbate to orgasm with the strong force of the bathtub faucet. You should work at being able to masturbate in bed using only the gentle touch of your hands. I suggest taking a week off from masturbating (which shouldn't be difficult since you report sometimes going over two weeks) and then trying to reach orgasm with your hands. Once you've succeeded at that, you will have solved both of your problems.

I practice mutual masturbation with my boyfriend and have for about a year. Every time he stops my stomach starts to hurt. I've never had an orgasm from his fingering. I don't know what is happening and I don't know what to do. It might be something like blue balls for girls. What can I do to help? (age 15)

Try masturbating and see if it helps. The usual cure for blue balls in males is to masturbate. If your boyfriend isn't bringing you to orgasm, then one way to show him what to do is to masturbate in front of him.

I'm 21 and am still pre-orgasmic. I masturbate in a way that seems to be different from what I've read. I always rub myself using the back of my hand, instead of rubbing myself with my fingers. I've tried fingers but I like that with my hand I can apply a lot more pressure. I can't orgasm. It always feels good but I get tired and stop. Am I doing it wrong? I feel really embarrassed about this since I'm older than many of your questioners but I still haven't gotten the hang of it yet.

Don't be embarrassed. Many people much older than you, both men and women, are looking for masturbation advice. Overwhelmingly, females masturbate with their fingers. I would suggest you take a break from any masturbation for a week or two and then try to bring yourself to orgasm using only the gentle touch of your fingers. Don't worry if you don't have an orgasm right away; just find what feels good, and continue to practice that. You're apt to have an orgasm sometime when you're in just the right frame of mind. The excessive force of the back/heel of your hand isn't helping and might be making it more difficult.

I am 15 years old and have been masturbating since I was about 10. I have really close relationships with friends and we have talked about our masturbating experiences and techniques, and it turns out I'm the only one who hasn't been able to reach orgasm vaginally. I use my hands and am always able to reach climax by stimulating my clitoris, but it seems like using a dildo/candle/brush handle does absolutely nothing for me. Is there something wrong with me?

There is nothing wrong with you. I find it hard to believe that all of your friends have reached orgasm vaginally. Most 15 year old girls haven't. Your being able to reach orgasm clitorally is a good sign, and I suspect you will be having vaginal orgasms within a few years. If you never do, that's OK too. Keep in mind that many females your age and even older have never had an orgasm at all.

I was masturbating for the second or third time and all of a sudden everything got really tingly and I had this weird buzzing feeling from the waist down. Did I orgasm? (age 13)

Yes, I think you did. Hooray for you!

I was masturbating in the shower with water from the shower head. I was sitting in the bath and it was great, but every month I menstruate I get it less than the month before. I think that is the consequence of my masturbating. Could masturbating with the shower be a problem? (age 15)

I advise against masturbating with the shower head because it can desensitize you sexually to regular masturbation or to the sexual touch of a partner. Masturbating with (or without) the shower head will not affect your menstruation.

I masturbate at least twice a week and I have done this for like three years now. I want to stop because I just don't feel like doing it anymore but at the same time I still love doing it. I just don't know how I can stop. (age 13)

Masturbating is normal, healthy, and fun. I think you ought to spend more time thinking about how much you love doing it and less about wanting to stop.

I masturbate occasionally and I'm afraid my mom will freak if she should ever find out. What should I do if she flips? (age 13)

Not very many moms flip. You might read the page about getting caught masturbating for more ideas.

When I masturbate I don't rub the clitoris or insert any finger. The area around my sex hole is the only area that feels good. Is that normal? (age 12)

You describe your labia minora, which is an erogenous area for nearly all females. The clitoris is right at the top of the labia minora, so maybe you are stimulating it but don't realize it. I think you're doing just fine.

I am darker near my genitals. Will it affect my sex life? (age 17)

No. That is a normal change at puberty, darkening of the genitals, in both males and females. The genitals of most adults is darker than their other skin.

Why it is easier for girls to quit masturbation than boys? (male, age 25)

Masturbation is a biological necessity for males. They have to eliminate sexual fluids frequently; and masturbating is also good exercise for their genitals. It also is theorized to keep semen and sperm in fresh condition for fertilization. Females don't share these reasons for masturbating. So it is not a biological necessity for them. They mostly do it for fun. So it is not surprising that more males masturbate and masturbate more regularly. It is very difficult for a male to stop masturbating, but a female can generally do it without any problem.

I'm very sure I'm straight. I ogle good looking boys and men, and I am always looking at hot male celebrities, but I can only masturbate to pictures of naked females (preferably when they're urinating). I just can't get aroused enough by guys. I get extremely aroused by watching porn, and then the guys work just fine. Does this say something about my sexual preference? (age 15)

You have a fetish for urination which I think is called urophilia. I suspect that is connected to the arousal issues you have and therefore is not a sexual preference issue. Since seeing naked people urinating is a rare thing, I would urge you to learn to get aroused more easily by more conventional thoughts or images. Talking to a sex counselor or therapist might help.

Is it normal that I don't feel anything while masturbating? (age 14)

You are pretty young and need more practice. Just do what feels good and don't be obsessed with having an orgasm. Many younger teens just enjoy the feeling of their own sexual touch. Orgasms will come later.

I masturbated for the first time today and now I just want to keep doing it. It's like I can't stop. Is this normal? (age 17)

Yes, congratulations to you. Most females masturbate less than once a day, but a few do it that often. It's normal, healthy, and fun.

Is it normal to have white/clear liquid leak out when I'm not at all aroused? I find it in my underwear sometimes when I wake up in the morning, or I feel it in my underwear randomly during the day when I haven't been aroused. It gets uncomfortable during the day because it makes me think I may have started my period and is just uncomfortable in general. (age 17)

Yes, that can happen, and it's not a sign that anything is wrong with you. If it bothers you, many females wear a very thin pad of the sort they'd use near the end of their menstrual period.

I'm a 17 year old girl and I'm still a virgin. I've been dating this girl and she wants to have sex but I've been nervous about sex in general for a long time. Partially because of the acts of sex and partially because of my own insecurities which have now been heightened since I started masturbating. I can't pleasure myself properly so how am I supposed to know what to do with her when she's not a virgin?

If you aren't sure about having sex, then you shouldn't have it. Keep in mind there are some things you could do with your girlfriend that most people would say wouldn't make you lose your virginity but would still help you become more comfortable with being sexual with someone. If you are unable to masturbate to orgasm, perhaps your girlfriend was once in the same situation and could give you advice or show you what to do.

Sometimes at any given time of the day, it feels like some guy's penis or fingers is going in and out of me and touching me while I am alone. But nobody is around, and I am wide awake. Most of the time I get super, super wet like I am actually having sex and also sharp, sensual feel-good feelings all over my vagina, body, and sometimes it feels like that. It even feels like it is pulsing through my veins and all over my body. Usually it feels like the man's penis, or hands is the one doing it which makes it somewhat enjoyable. I swear I am not crazy but I think it has to deal with the different chakra energies and how they travel from person to person. I feel like I am the only one who doesn't actually know why it happens. Is there any way that I can keep the inside of my vagina clean without sticking anything in it because I am a virgin. (age 18)

You might have persistent sexual arousal syndrome. It would be worthwhile for you to read up on that or join an online support group. I don't think you're crazy either, and I'm glad you can enjoy the feelings at least some of the time. You are a virgin but you say you know what sex feels like. I think there is some information missing here. And your vagina is essentially self-cleaning so you don't have to do anything to clean it unless there's a problem.

When having sex, usually after the orgasm the guy thrusts into the female so is it better to stick my fingers in after an orgasm or not? (age 16)

I don't think your knowledge of sex is very good. After a male has an orgasm, he stops thrusting. When a female has an orgasm, often she enjoys the male thrusting through it. If you enjoy sticking your fingers in as or after your orgasm, then go for it.

I recently started masturbating, and I'm not sure if I have reached orgasm. I feel my genitals contracting, my back arches, and my breathing shallows, but I feel absolutely no pleasure at all. I'm not sure if I should keep stimulating myself when I'm contracting to feel the pleasure, or if this is it. I hope not. That would be a bummer. (age 18)

Yes, that is an orgasm. Congratulations on getting them right away! Keep stimulating yourself when you feel the contractions, and keep your mind on what makes you most aroused. Let the feelings of orgasm spread throughout your body.

One time I was with a guy friend, and I think he likes me. When it was hot and he was perspiring in the room, he lifted his shirt to get some air. I saw his zipper was open. Do you think he did it on purpose because we were together, or did he just forgot to zip it? (age 21)

I am very inclined to believe it was unintentional.

I am a 13 year old girl and when I masturbate I don't really have a fantasy in my head but when I orgasm I sometimes find myself the name of one of my guy friends, two guys in particular. Is this normal? What should I do? Should I tell them?

There is no reason at all to tell boys that you say their name when you have an orgasm. There is also nothing wrong with doing that. It is more common to fantasize about a particular person, but there is nothing wrong with what you're doing.

I've been trying masturbation for about a year now but nothing I do can make me orgasm. I don't have a sex toy and I've never had sex so I'm confused about why I can't orgasm. I'm frequently being interrupted by my little sisters. I put a blanket over myself so they can't see. (age 16)

There is a difference between masturbating and "trying masturbation." Think about it. I think your lack of privacy is part of it. Most people need to be able to relax and focus to have an orgasm. Worrying about your little sisters and having to hide under a blanket prevents both. Try masturbating when you have real privacy and no need to worry about someone barging in.

I've been masturbating for as long as I can remember. A year ago I started putting my fingers in my vagina and in about 5 minutes I go faster and it feels good. It only lasts for about 10 seconds. Is this an orgasm? When I masturbate, I point my toes and put my legs straight. Is that OK? I love your web site! I used to think that I was the only one who does this. (age 13)

That all sounds good. I think you're describing an orgasm. As you get more experienced, they're apt to get better. Keep at it. If nothing else, from HealthyStrokes.com you've learned that you're not the only one.

I'm a young woman who masturbates often and sometimes watches porn. This is a really difficult thing to talk about because I haven't told my friends or family I masturbate. I'm getting really tired of masturbating and I want to have the feeling of something inside me, but I want to wait because I'm not in a relationship. How do I satisfy myself without waiting for a guy? (age 21)

Most women your age have started to masturbate internally either with fingers or objects. It's not the same as a penis, but if you don't want to engage in casual sex, then you're going to have to get by with masturbating until you're in a relationship. There is no need to tell your family that you masturbate, and you only need to tell your friends if you want to discuss it with them.

You mentioned that you have a Ph.D. in a different field. Doesn't that make you a doctor of sorts? I have been waiting for about a year but I still don't see any of my previous posts on this site. Why does it take so long for them to be answered? (age 15)

Yes, I have a Ph.D., but I'm only known as Doctor in the academic world. I don't want people who read HealthyStrokes.com to think I have a professional doctoral degree in the health sciences. Please submit your questions again. They might have come in at a time when questions were getting backlogged.

Recently, after I started my period, I've begun to experiment around my pubic area. I've heard of masturbation from friends and that it feels really good. I've researched it a bit and tried it various times, but I just can't seem to get very aroused, and I have never been anywhere near orgasm. I've only tried masturbating externally, and I've tried to find my clitoris, but I couldn't find it. I'm concerned that there is something wrong with me, and I am wondering why other girls my age can masturbate, but I can't seem to do it. (age 16)

Masturbating is a skill that one can learn. It doesn't happen instantly for many people. Many males and females take time to figure out how to do it successfully. Looking at the illustrations here on HealthyStrokes.com (read the left hand menu) can help you locate your clitoris. Just relax and find touches that feel good. Don't worry about having an orgasm. It will happen when you're ready and more practiced.

My fiance wants to have sex. I want to, but I used to be a cutter (haven't cut for 11 months) and I have scars all over my upper thigh. He doesn't know and I don't want to tell him. I'm scared of what he'll think if he finds out. I know he'll have to know eventually. What should I do? (age 22)

I don't think you should have gotten engaged without sharing this information from your recent past. Having sex at this point would only complicate things. I don't think he should find out the first time he sees you naked. I think you just tell him and let the chips fall.

I'm a virgin and my only sexual experience is cyber/phone sex, which I've been doing for about 5 years with a few different people. It always takes me much longer to climax when I'm doing voice chat and someone's listening to me masturbate than when I'm just masturbating on my own. On my own I usually orgasm very quickly, often within a couple of minutes and rarely more than 5 minutes. But with an audience it typically takes closer to an hour, which is OK sometimes, but other times I get tired and/or frustrated. I think it might be that I'm a bit embarrassed about coming as quickly as I normally do and subconsciously hold back too much, or maybe I'm just shy. Anyway, do you have any ideas about how I could deal with this? (age 30)

You're making me jealous that I'm not the one on the other end! It usually takes women longer to reach orgasm than men, whether masturbating or in intercourse. I think a man would enjoy listening to you reach orgasm and then finish up rather quickly himself. The men you're talking to aren't getting you to relax and get you to orgasm the way a skillful phone partner would. Your solution is to find a phone partner who will relax you and make it a fun experience for you.

Is it normal for your legs to feel weak after orgasm? Is it normal to feel dizzy? (age 14)

Those can both happen with a satisfying orgasm. Most males (and many females) stretch out their legs while masturbating to keep leg sensations from interfering with genital sensations. If you're already lying down when you orgasm, dizziness doesn't need to be a problem.

Is it normal to urinate while masturbating? Is it a problem? (age 14)

Yes, it is a problem. Most people don't want urine anyplace but a toilet and don't want to have to deal with it while they're enjoying their sexuality. It is not normal to urinate while masturbating, but it's not unusual in a young person who hasn't quite figured out how to do it. I suggest urinating before your masturbation sessions and placing a towel underneath yourself so you don't have to worry about urine getting on anything while you learn how to keep urine from coming out. I think you will understand how not to urinate while masturbating in less than a month.

I have just started to masturbate (clitoral stimulation only). Whenever I do, I start to shake violently. It scares me. Is this orgasm? Is there any way to stop the shaking, because it interferes with the pleasurable sensation? (age 15)

Yes, that's an orgasm. Congratulations! Holding your legs as straight as you can when you're about to reach orgasm can keep the shaking under control.

I have been having sex since last summer. I have stopped because I no longer have a boyfriend. I have started masturbating with objects and as I got more into it, I got bigger objects in size and now when I look at my vagina, I can see that my opening is larger. I can easily put 3-4 fingers inside without any trouble and I'm worried that I've ruined my vagina. (age 15)

The vagina is a very stretchy organ that can accomodate a baby's head. A few fingers is not so large in size. If it bothers you, then masturbate with a smaller object (or only one or two fingers) and your vagina is apt to go back to the way it was, or close to it.

I have masturbated in the shower by using the water to get an orgasm. I recently started trying external masturbation with my fingers but when I get close it gets really hard to keep moving my hands. They sort of freeze and I don't totally orgasm. Is there something wrong?

You just need practice. It sounds like you're masturbating very furiously. See if using less force will help you get there. If you can only masturbate with a particular hand, when it gets tired, use your other arm to move that hand.

I first of all want to compliment you for the new layout of HealthyStrokes.com. I've been masturbating since I was 13. The first two times I had orgasms that were so good they were indescribable. But after that it has just been like pressure build up and release, not pleasurable at all. Am I doing something wrong? I can't seem to relax when I masturbate. HealthyStrokes.com is awesome. (age 15)

The layout of the site hasn't changed since you were five. I doubt you were reading back then. I think your first orgasms were awesome because they were your first. Since that masturbation has just become a habit, like eating. The problem might be that you can't relax. Work at relaxing before you masturbate and you are apt to enjoy it more. Also realize that not all masturbation sessions will be awesome. Some will just be a buildup and release of pressure.

On another web site, it says that if you masturbate you are still a virgin but if a guy fingers you, you are not a virgin. I don't understand why. I think you only lose your virginity if a guy's penis goes into your vagina. (age 19)

Hardly anyone thinks you can lose your virginity by being fingered. Overwhelmingly, people say you have to have vaginal or anal intercourse to lose your virginity. Masturbating does not make you lose your virginity.

How often do women my age masturbate? How often do they have sex? (age 36)

According to a survey of over 3000 females by HealthyStrokes.com in 2007-08, which included 105 women age 36-40, the average woman in that age group masturbates 17.3 times per month and the average sexually active woman in that age group has intercourse 6.1 times per month.

When I was 9 or 10, my friend came over one day. I told her about masturbation and we did it together. The next time she came over, we did it again. We are still very very close friends. We pretend that never happened. We haven't said anything about it since that last day. But I masturbate still and I don't know if she does. I feel like I have some secret I need to let someone know about. I don't think she knows that I do it but she might. I really want to ask her if she remembers that day and tell her that we should make a promise to never talk of it again. I don't know if bringing it up will destroy our friendship. We talk about a lot of stuff together. Boys, periods, bras, just not masturbation. Would it be a bad idea to ask her if she still does? Do you think showing her HealthyStrokes.com would lead to discussing it? (age 14)

You two are still friends, so I doubt your mutual masturbation had any impact. It might be you don't pretend it never happened; you just don't talk about it. It seems to be an aching need for you to talk about it. I suggest mentioning masturbation to her and seeing if you get any reaction. It could be she'd like to talk about masturbating; or maybe she won't. The conversation need not be about what you did years ago.

Is it wrong to masturbate while thinking about someone you hate? I cry feeling extremely ashamed about myself since I know I can't stomach this person and I very much want nothing to do with this person. (age 19)

Whatever you think about is up to you. Hate is a strong emotion, and this person obviously provokes a strong feeling in you. Why not turn that into a good feeling? Sexual fantasy might be just the ticket.

I masturbate about 3 times a week and I use my hands to touch my clitoris and I achieve orgasm, but when I put my fingers inside my vagina I don't feel anything. Why not? (age 13)

You are doing very well by masturbating to orgasm at your age. Many girls and even adult women older than you have trouble reaching orgasm. At your age, it is not surprising that you don't enjoy internal masturbation. Most females don't succeed at it until they have been masturbating to orgasm clitorally for several years. I suggest trying it occasionally and within a few years, you will like vaginal masturbation better than you do now.

I have had sex about 20 times and each time has been extremely painful. I would describe the pain as burning which is especially strong at the very entrance to my vagina. The only position which is not painful for me is woman on top, but even that becomes uncomfortable after 5-10 minutes. I also get the burning feeling at the vaginal entrance before and after my period. Tampon insertion was at first very painful for me as well, but I can do that now. I think that is the problem for a sex therapist, but there aren't any in my country. I will talk with my gynecologist about it, I am just curious about what you think it is. (age 20)

I think professional help would be in order. I suggest having your gynecologist rule out any condition that could cause the burning. You might also try a water-based lube. If you had a learning curve for tampons, maybe you are also having the same kind of one for intercourse. Perhaps there is a support group online for women who have painful intercourse.

The other night I had a vivid dream about my best friend, who is also a girl. In no way am I lesbian. I still like guys and am not interested in girls at all. I've been losing sleep because I'm so scared I'll have that dream again. I have been feeling guilty about it. I had never thought about her like that before, so why did that happen?! I talk in my sleep all the time. She's heard me before! I'm terrified to have her sleep over because of something that might slip out! Should I tell her about it?! I feel really ashamed and embarrassed! (age 12)

Dreams are just random thoughts that happen while you sleep. They probably don't even mean anything. You are having new and terrifying thoughts because your body and brain are changing. That doesn't mean anything has to be different between you and your friend. People who talk in their sleep rarely say anything meaningful. If she's your friend, she will understand. She probably has weird dreams too.

I masturbated not long ago and for some reason I got scared that if I had somehow accidentally gotten sperm on my hands before masturbating, I could get pregnant. Is this at all possible? (age 14)

You don't say how you could have gotten sperm on your hands. If you had been sexually stimulating a boy, or been with one when he had been masturbating, then you could get sperm on your hands, if you masturbated right away without washing your hands. But there would be no sperm on your hands otherwise. I'm thinking that you would have mentioned a boy, so that means your fear is unfounded.

I masturbate most days but I can never get more than one orgasm. How can I get more? (age 13)

Practice makes perfect. But if your body doesn't want an orgasm, then masturbating anyway will probably cause fatigue and frustration and not be very enjoyable. Most people, male and female, limit themselves to one orgasm a day. Occasionally a second one (or more) is nice, but don't expect to have them all that often.

I masturbate every day, maybe twice. I've always locked my door while I do it. But we are having work done on the house and all the doors are switched out, and I don't have a door. I keep thinking someone will come in or the people working on my house will see me! What do I do? (age 14)

I strongly suggest masturbating in the bathroom until the door is back on your bedroom, and even then, don't do it in the bedroom while the workers are around.

I reach my orgasm faster if I'm on my knees and if I thrust upward (with my fingers or an object) than if I'm lying on my back. Is this normal? (age 15)

Yes, the position in which you masturbate can make a difference. People often find their orgasms are very intense when they masturbate while kneeling because of the way their legs are immobilized.

I love to masturbate and I really want to ask my friends if they masturbate too, but I don't know how to ask them. (age 13)

Most people don't like to be asked, but if you start a conversation and mention that you masturbate, some of the others will volunteer that they do too.

I have a fantasy that's driving me crazy. I really want to watch my boyfriend masturbating. Part of the problem is we've never discussed masturbation so I don't even "officially" know that he masturbates. But I've read HealthyStrokes.com for a while and I know that he must. So how can I bring it up? Will he be mad or embarrassed if I ask him about it? And would he really masturbate for me or would he be mad and dump me if I make this request? (age 17)

I am inclined to agree that he masturbates. But there are a lot of things you didn't say. How old is he? How long have you been a couple? Are you sexually active? What sexual things have you done? These would help me judge how he would react.

Follow-up: He is also 17. We have known each other five years and have been a couple for a year and a half. We have not had sexual intercourse and we've only experimented sexually a few times. He's fingered me a few times but I've never had an orgasm that way and I've fondled his penis and gotten him nice erections but never to orgasm. It's seeing his big hard erection that makes me fantasize about seeing him masturbate. I am half crazy thinking about his hand going up and down that awesome penis!

At his age, many males are still very embarrassed about masturbating. If he is one of them, it would be counterproductive for you to ask him about it, although it is extremely unlikely he would dump you for bringing it up. If he did, then he isn't someone you need to be with anyway. Instead of asking him to masturbate or if he masturbates, could you masturbate for him? He would be greatly aroused and would probably masturbate too.

Immediately after I orgasm, I literally have no interest to try for another one. My sexual desire/horniness is completely drained. Is there something I can do to rev myself up to go for another orgasm? (age 18)

What you describe is called the refractory period. In males, it refers to the time after an orgasm when a male cannot get erect again. Most females also cannot keep going after an orgasm. I suggest waiting out the period of non-horniness and then going for it again.

How often do girls my age masturbate? (age 13)

According to a survey of over 3000 females by HealthyStrokes.com in 2007-08, which included 156 girls your age, the median girl masturbates 20 times a month.

Hi! I'm a 16 year old girl and I've been masturbating for 2 weeks. Each time I do it, after 3 or 4 minutes, I get a ticklish feeling in my belly and vulva. Then it goes away. But after a while I feel it again. Is that an orgasm?

It might be the beginnings of an orgasm. You are definitely advanced if you're getting close to orgasm after only two weeks of masturbating. Keep working at it, and try to sustain the feelings that you really like.

I masturbate by just rubbing my clit and I get orgasms out of it. But I want to finger myself to get a very complex bigger orgasm. I don't want to break my hymen or pop the cherry. So how do you masturbate? (age 12)

You are pretty impatient. At your age, a lot of girls are not even having orgasms yet. (Hey, neither are a lot of boys your age!) You are one of the lucky ones, but you want more and bigger orgasms. Be patient and when you are ready for it, you will discover the joys of internal masturbation. For most girls, that time doesn't come until 16 or so.

I really love your web site. I've been masturbating for about three years now and I have used objects but I really want a vibrator. My mom and I don't ever talk about masturbating so I don't know what to do and I can't get one on my own because I can't go to sex store and my older sister's in college so I can't really contact her to get me one. My friends and I don't really talk about it so please help! (age 12)

I don't think you should be using a vibrator at your age. Work at enjoying the gentle touch of your own hands. If you really want a vibrator, I think you will have to ask your mother or sister. If you must have one, get a cheap one that uses batteries.

Do all girls my age masturbate? How can I masturbate during my periods without creating a mess? (age 25)

Not all women your age masturbate, but the vast majority do. Putting a towel (especially a red one) underneath yourself while masturbating on your period will make you less worried about making a mess. Practice makes perfect.

Do I have to finger myself to be able to achieve orgasms? (age 13)

No. Nearly all females teach themselves to orgasm by masturbating externally, stimulating the clitoris. Vaginal masturbation (fingering) usually only happens later.

I am from a very religious culture. Keeping my hymen intact is a must or I'll be in serious trouble. But I can't quit masturbating. I make sure to masturbate only externally and to masturbate only twice a month so I won't lose my virginity. If I keep masturbating this way, will it make me lose my hymen? (age 16)

You can't lose your virginity by masturbating. The only way to lose your virginity is by having sex with another person. Masturbating externally will not damage your hymen no matter how often you do it.

I have a struggle with masturbation. My boyfriend can get me excited to where I feel a pleasurable tickly sensation but after that I have trouble going further. I have also tried masturbating at night with my own vibrator but I seem to stop at the same stage. Any advice? (age 18)

Keep your mind focused on something that turns you on and keep up the stimulation when you get to that point. I think you're very close to an orgasm. It might help to have a towel underneath your privates, because some women are inhibited because they imagine they will make a huge mess when they have an orgasm.

I masturbate occasionally. I have tried to stop. I can stop for months at a time but then I am compelled to masturbate again. I told my boyfriend about it. He said it's normal but I should not masturbate too much or I will get obsessed. Is my situation normal and is my boyfriend right? (age 18)

Masturbation is normal, healthy, and fun. Most women your age masturbate a lot more often than you do. Masturbating more often will not cause you to become obsessed. I will also speculate that your boyfriend masturbates about once a day, so he should not be lecturing you on masturbation frequency.

I have been using both the prone and the conventional way of masturbating. Will this still cause any trouble? (age 17)

I strongly advise against masturbating prone even if you are able to masturbate the conventional way. Males who masturbate prone exclusively have to abstain for about a week (sometimes more) before switching to conventional hand masturbation, but since you already can, all you need to do is resolve to give up prone forever.

I have been prone masturbating (only realizing this was a thing from HealthyStrokes.com today) since I was a girl. I have had orgasms when I first began having intercourse (around 14-16) but since then I have had great difficulty climaxing (not once in 4 years) but no problem being aroused or pleasured. I want to overcome this and your site has been amazingly reassuring that I'm not a freak, however given how long I have been doing this, what chance is there that I can overcome my prone masturbation and be able to enjoy a healthy sexual experience? (age 20)

The chances are very good. You are young and can change easily. Please see my main page about prone masturbation. It is written for males, but the same principles can help females switch to masturbating by hand. Simply abstain from masturbation and other sexual stimulation for a week or two and then it will be easier for you to masturbate by hand.

I can read erotic stories and masturbate close to orgasm for 4-5 hours before orgasming 4-5 times. Is that too much? Does my morning Adderall affect me? I do this about 3-7 times a month. (female, age 37)

Most people don't like to stay close to orgasm for that long. Males in particular find it painful to be aroused much longer than half an hour without an orgasm. If you're enjoying your extended masturbation sessions, then it's not a problem. I don't know anything about Adderall, and questions about prescriptions should be asked of your doctor or pharmacist.

I started masturbating supine by rubbing my clitoral hood when I was extremely young, before I can even remember - maybe around 5 or 6. Since I had no idea what an orgasm was, I just did it as something that felt good and would stop when I got tired. I still masturbate this way (in years of trying, I haven't been able to become aroused in any other way) but I have never once experienced an orgasm; either the sensation completely stops or my hand starts to hurt too much to keep going (and this is after I've convinced myself to "power through" a few times already). I think I might have accidentally convinced my body that the "good feeling" I experienced in childhood is as far as it goes, so it shuts off after that. Is there any way I can learn to bring myself to orgasm after years of stopping short? (age 22)

Yes. I suggest taking a few weeks off from masturbating. It will be easier to do something new sexually when you haven't done any masturbating for a while. Don't work only on your hood; your clitoral shaft will probably feel very good to touch once you are aroused. Use a gentle touch and try to have your mind very aroused when you masturbate. Practice makes perfect.

It really turns me on to hear guys talk about masturbating. I don't know why. I overheard one of my brother's friends talking about it once and I just got like the most turned on I've ever been in my life. Rarely I've heard guys at school mention masturbating and I just want to turn it into a whole conversation and ask questions! Is this wrong? What can I do to satisfy my desire to hear guys talk about how they [masturbate]? (age 16)

Most people (boys and girls) your age are very embarrassed about masturbating and wouldn't want to talk about it in a mixed group. I think you ought to refrain from bringing it up in a group. You might get known as "that girl who's obsessed with talking about masturbating." That doesn't mean you won't ever have a discussion about it with a male. You might do so one-on-one someday, particularly if you are willing to tell him about your own masturbation. Until that happens, why not read HealthyStrokes.com? We have a million words, most of which are males talking about masturbating.

Follow-up from another reader: It appears that the end of her question was edited out and replaced it with [masturbate]. May I ask what was deleted?

It was a graphic description of male masturbation that I didn't think was necessary. You have a good eye and should be the HealthyStrokes.com proofreader.

I have been using water to masturbate since I was 6 and have achieved orgasms. But now I swing my legs over the edge of my bed and put a big, hard pillow at a diagonal and hump it until I get an orgasm. I use lotion as lube. What are some good pillow or bedrooms things to masturbate with? I don't have an electric toothbrush. Also, I have been masturbating for 6 years. Why aren't my orgasms longer? Is it normal for your vagina to unintentionally clench when you orgasm? (age 13)

Yes, that is part of an orgasm. The best bedroom thing to masturbate with is your hand. You have gotten used to using a lot of force to masturbate since you were a little girl, first with running water and now humping a big, hard pillow. You would enjoy your orgasms more and be able to sustain them longer if you gave up that tremendous force and learned to masturbate with the gentle touch of your hands. Why not try taking a week or two off from masturbating and then trying a finger or two?

One day I was in my room. I had a nice funny kind of feeling on my girl bits. I don't know why. I had a skirt on so I put my hand on the outside of my underpants. I felt a little bump between those folds of skin. I slowly stroked it with my one finger through my underpants. It fell really good. My legs started jumping straight away but I didn't care. It felt too good. All of a sudden it tickled a lot. I laughed so much but I didn't want it to stop. I kept rubbing and it kept tickling and I kept laughing. Then it stopped. Why did all of this happen? I was just in my room with music and video games. What was the tickle? I really liked it.

It was probably an orgasm. If you try again, it will probably happen again just the same.

I am totally not attracted to anyone at all, guy or girl. I have no interest in sex or anything at all. Does this mean I'm asexual? (age 15)

You might be asexual because some people are, but you are also pretty young and have probably not experienced anything with males or females. I would suggest going out with a guy or two and seeing how or if you like being with him. You might feel very differently a year or two from now.

I've been masturbating for the past year. After a few minutes of stimulation, I feel this burning in my clitoris that spreads through my body. The stimulation stops exciting me and I feel a few little throbs in my genitals, and I get a general warmth throughout my body. Is this an orgasm? (age 15)

Yes, that is an orgasm. Good for you!

I have experimented touching myself on and off since I was about 10. I never gave myself enough practice to reach an orgasm. As I didn't feel anything nor did I get turned on, I gave up. I'm now almost 31 and I don't masturbate, After reading this site, I feel like I'm not normal for not doing this.

I have had many sexual partners and only one long-term relationship, and I have only ever had three guys be able to make me orgasm through fingering me. When this has happened, its explosive and I squirt and it feels AMAZING!!! With my long term partner, I would sometimes cum if I were on top but that was only sometimes and also the only way. I would have body shaking and euphoric feelings sometimes during sex or him from him touching me. Is this still having an orgasm?

I'm always shy when guys ask me what I like; I don't really know. I just wish they could learn whatever it was that those other three guys could do. I also wish I could do this myself. And believe me I have tried. I just think when I masturbate I can't get into it enough.

I am sure going to try more after reading this site, but I'm 31 and I really feel like I'm missing out. I can't believe 10-12 year olds are having a better time sexually than I am! How can I fix this? (age 31)

You report having orgasms in intercourse only when you're on top. When a woman is on top, she has the most control. So you are somehow able to pivot your organs so they receive maximum contact from your sexual partner. When masturbating, you can stimulate those same parts. Some women prefer external (clitoral) stimulation, while others prefer internal (vaginal) stimulation. I suspect that you prefer vaginal stimulation. You can pursue G-spot stimulation when masturbating privately. Just relax and find what feels good for you. Don't be obsessed with having an orgasm. There are toys that can help you reach your G Spot more easily than you can with your fingers.

If your body is shaking and you have a feeling of euphoria, then you had an orgasm, even if it wasn't as amazing as other ones you described.

When I masturbate, I tend to urinate. It's uncontrollable. And this means I have to do my masturbating at the toilet bowl. How do I stop this? (age 17)

I advise you to put down a heavy towel underneath yourself when you masturbate in bed. It will absorb any urine. You can teach yourself to keep from urinating while you masturbate in bed, which is obviously more comfortable and enjoyable than doing it on the toilet. It also helps to urinate beforehand so your bladder will be empty.

You say that although it is usually very difficult (if not impossible) for males to quit masturbating, females can quit without a problem. But I have been trying to quit masturbating for 10 years (almost since I started) and find I can never make it past a week or so. Whenever I go a few days without masturbating I start getting randomly horny all day long. My clitoris throbs and I feel like I'm going to explode. I can't think about anything but sex and it drives me crazy! If females don't really need to masturbate, why do I feel like this? (age 25)

I didn't say females can quit without a problem, and I didn't say they don't need to masturbate. I said it's generally easier for females to quit (relative to males, for whom it's somewhere between very difficult and impossible to quit masturbating). That doesn't mean any female can quit whenever she wants to; but she might only feel the urge after two weeks or a month rather than within a few days as is the case for a male. It is a biological necessity for a male to ejaculate, but this is not true for females. But that doesn't mean that individual females who have come to enjoy frequent orgasms don't get similar urges when they have gone a certain time without one.

So you enjoy masturbating and do so frequently. That's a good thing. But then I have to ask, why have you been trying to quit masturbating for 10 years? Masturbation is normal, healthy, and fun. It is good for you and your body. Please see this page for a graphic of the health benefits of female masturbation.

I am a virgin. I like men as friends and some are nice to look at, but I've never found one I wanted to date or have sex with. I masturbate 2-4 times a week, with several orgasms each time and often while enjoying gay (male/male) porn or erotica. I also fantasize a lot, but my fantasies are always about men together and I am not in them. I know this is extremely abnormal but I'm content with my sex life, I don't want kids, and I'm alright with never marrying (but the companionship would be nice). Is there some good way to seek out a man who would be alright with no intercourse? I definitely don't want to date heterosexual men; that would obviously cause problems. (age 28)

There are more forms of personal relationships available these days than was true in the past. You seem to want a gay or bisexual man for companionship (and perhaps marriage) but no sex. And you would be OK with him having sex with other men (and/or women) outside of your relationship? I think there are web sites where you could post a personals ad describing what you want and find something.

I was wondering if it's a good idea to leave a carrot in my vagina to stretch my hymen (age 14)

Hmm... I'm thinking I could ask a million people that question and not one of them would think it's a good idea.

I feel too horny when I masturbate and I think that I had an orgasm. Is this bad if my periods have not started yet? (age 13)

No, many girls start masturbating before they have their first menstruation.

I've recently started masturbating. I do external masturbation by clitoral stimulation, by rubbing the area very quickly. After about 45-60 seconds, I feel an amazing feeling, like the best feeling I've ever had, but the problem is that my arms get tired extremely quickly and I have to stop. If I continue, that feeling just goes away. My nipples didn't erect and the feeling was not strong enough to be an orgasm. But why did that amazing feeling go away? And how can I masturbate without getting tired after less than a minute? And how can I achieve an orgasm I really want one? I've never had one yet. (age 25)

You are obviously using a very fast and forceful stroke, which is both tiring your arm and bringing you close to orgasm in less than a minute. A slower and less forceful stroke will not tire your arm so fast (most males and females masturbate for 5-15 minutes before orgasm) but still let you concentrate on bringing yourself to orgasm. If you really need that jackhammer arm, then switch hands, and if necessary, use your other arm to move the hand you're used to masturbating with.

I have become a masturbation addict and did it 10 times a day for a few months and then when I had intercourse with my partner, I couldn't have an orgasm and just faked it. If I stop masturbating now,can my body become normal and can I have an orgasm?? Please help! (age 21)

10 times a day is an extreme frequency for anyone at any age. You don't need to give up masturbating, but it would be easier to have orgasms with your partner if you cut back to about once a day. If you're having trouble doing that, you might need the help of a competent sex therapist.

My boyfriend doesn't ejaculate when we have sex and he claims to masturbate a lot of times in a week! He has ejaculated into me just once. Is it normal if he doesn't ejaculate while we have sex? How can I make him ejaculate with me while having sex rather than in masturbating, because I feel he isn't satisfied by me!

Most males masturbate about once a day (sometimes more) before they become sexually active. Some guys can masturbate daily and still enjoy sex to ejaculation several times a week. But some guys find that frequent masturbation interferes with having intercourse and so cut down on their masturbating. If your boyfriend is having trouble reaching orgasm in intercourse, it would be a good idea for him to abstain from masturbating for the two days before your intercourse. You can tell him this, but it is more important that you tell him how it is affecting you. It is good that he is open about masturbating.

Dear readers: I am getting short of stories to put on the caught masturbating page. Why not go over there and share your stories or things you've done to keep from getting caught.


Tell the story of your first orgasm

Attention females!

We are doing a new page where females share the stories of their first orgasms. How long did it take? How did that first orgasm happen? By sharing your story, you can help younger females and other pre-orgasmic women have their first orgasm. Please go to the first orgasms page and share your story.


Older questions from females


This page updated December 11, 2014. The author has a large backlog of older questions that are not yet answered.


Many older questions from female readers have been moved to one of these topic pages:


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