Young women's version of this guide
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Jeans zipper on whiteMasturbation, or rubbing your genitals, is a natural way to learn about your body and what feels sexually satisfying. Lots of guys masturbate, and others don’t. It’s up to you to decide what’s best for you. Read on for more information about masturbation.

Is masturbation normal?

Yes. Masturbation is a normal activity. Contrary to any myths you may have heard, masturbation will not cause you to go blind, grow hair on your palms, or cause you to become infertile.

Is masturbation OK?

Different religions and different families have different views on masturbation. From a medical standpoint, masturbation is normal. Depending on what religion you practice or beliefs your have, you’ll have to decide what’s right for you.

Can masturbation be harmful to me?

Provided that you’re masturbating in a private place, and that you’re not irritating your genitals, masturbation isn’t a harmful activity. If you ever feel pain in your genitals while masturbating, it’s a good idea to talk with your health care provider and make sure that everything is okay.

How do I know if I masturbate too much?

If you’re worried about whether you masturbate too much, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you ever miss school or work because you’re masturbating?
  • Is masturbation constantly on your mind?
  • Does masturbation get in the way of your daily activities (such as doing homework, going to sports practice, etc.)?
  • Do you skip hanging out with friends or engaging in social activities because you’re at home masturbating?

If you’ve answered yes to one or more of these questions, you may be spending too much time masturbating. It’s a good idea to talk with your health care provider or a mental health professional such as counselor or therapist.

How can I stop or cut down on masturbation?

If you feel like you’re spending too much time masturbating and you want to cut down, there are many other activities you can do instead. What are your interests? Do you like to play sports, play an instrument, or do you enjoy writing? Your school will likely have teams or clubs that you can join and spend time with others who share your interests. It’s also important to keep up with friendships and relationships with others.

Will masturbation affect my sex life?

As long as you’re not more interested in masturbation than in spending time with your partner, masturbation should not have any negative effect on your sex life. Some couples even practice mutual masturbation – or stimulating each other’s genitals – as an alternative to sexual intercourse and a way to prevent unwanted pregnancy.