Masturbation is the self-stimulation of the genitals to achieve sexual pleasure or arousal to the point of orgasm. Masturbation generally is considered normal unless it becomes a problem by inhibiting sexual activity with a partner, done in public, or causes distress to the person masturbating.
Masturbation is the self-stimulation of the genitals to achieve sexual arousal and pleasure, usually to the point of orgasm (sexual climax).
It is commonly done by touching, stroking, or massaging the penis or clitoris until an orgasm is achieved. Some women also use stimulation of the vagina to masturbate or use “sex toys,” such as a vibrator.
- Just about everybody. Masturbation is a very common behavior, even among people who have sexual relations with a partner. In one national study, 95% of males and 89% of females reported that they have masturbated.
- Masturbation is the first sexual act experienced by most males and females.
- In young children, masturbation is a normal part of the growing child’s exploration of his or her body.
- Most people continue to masturbate in adulthood, and many do so throughout their lives.
Why Do People Masturbate?
- In addition to feeling good, masturbation is a good way of relieving the sexual tension that can build up over time, especially for people without partners or whose partners are not willing or available for sex.
- Masturbation also is a safe sexual alternative for people who wish to avoid pregnancy and the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases.
- It also is necessary when a man must give a semen sample for infertility testing or for sperm donation.
- When sexual dysfunction is present in an adult, masturbation may be prescribed by a sex therapist to allow a person to experience an orgasm (often in women) or to delay its arrival (often in men).
Medically Reviewed on 10/8/2021
Reviewed by Raya Almufti Abraham, MD on March 04, 2010