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Masturbation is a totally normal part of being a human being. Learn about what masturbation is, who does it and how to know if it’s becoming a problem.

This can help if:

  • you want to learn about masturbation
  • you feel guilty about masturbating
  • you’re worried that masturbation is becoming a problem.
Boy with bed sheets pulled over face

What is masturbation?

‘Masturbation’ simply means stimulating the genitals, or other areas of your body, for pleasure.

Many young people feel guilty about masturbating, often due to religious or cultural beliefs. But masturbation is actually healthy and normal.

Masturbation can help you:

  • get to know your body and what feels good
  • release sexual tension
  • relax and help you fall asleep
  • improve your mood
  • relieve menstrual cramps.

It’s also free from the risk of pregnancy and STIs.

Who masturbates?

A recent study showed that 72% of Aussie men and 42% of Aussie women masturbated in the past year. And there isn’t just one type of person who masturbates. People of all different ages, backgrounds and sexual preferences do it.

Masturbation among women is increasingly common. While there used to be a bit of shame and secrecy around female sexuality, not anymore. Girl power has come into full force!

Of course, masturbation isn’t compulsory and you aren’t abnormal if you don’t want to play with yourself. Some people don’t have any desire to masturbate, and that’s totally fine as well.

Can masturbation become a problem?

If you masturbate all the time and it gets in the way of other things you enjoy, like hanging out with friends, then try easing off a bit. Or if you use dangerous objects that could hurt you or someone else, then you may need to consider other methods. Try experimenting with a range of different textures and techniques that don’t cause injury.

If you’re still worried, speak to a doctor or counsellor. And don’t be embarrassed. They’ve heard (and seen) it all before!

What can I do now?