Updated: Jul 21, 2021
Answering the Most Common Questions about Masturbation
May is masturbation month and here at UNGIRL, we are masturbation obsessed! We love masturbation and see it as the foundation for a healthy and pleasurable relationship with sex, plus we love it as a tool for self-discovery and body confidence.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths about masturbation and we are committed to clearing up any questions or misunderstandings people have about it, so we've answered a few of the most commonly asked questions about masturbation.
Do Women Masturbate Too?
Although female masturbation is still a big taboo in our society, many women and people with vaginas masturbate, and more and more are starting to! Women have the same desire for sexual pleasure as men do, and people with vaginas have so many ways to masturbate and orgasm, including up to 31 erogenous zones on the female body. This just shows that women (and those born with vaginas) are designed to enjoy sexual pleasure, so if you have a desire or curiosity to masturbate, go for it!
Does Masturbation Break Your Virginity?
If you're worried about breaking your hymen, or not being a virgin from masturbating, don't be.
Virginity, (although it doesn't really mean anything), usually refers to the first time you have sex with a partner, and masturbation, even penetration with a finger or toy, is not included in that. Letting go of the worries of virginity is part of letting go of sexual shame, and the more you work on that, the more enjoyable it will be.
In addition, the hymen is actually quite stretchy. It can break from sports activities and sometimes from insertion, but if you are very relaxed and your vagina is ready to let something in, your hymen is unlikely to break from using a finger to touch yourself.
Is masturbation bad for health?
Despite so many myths about masturbation causing blindness, hair loss, and general ill-health, masturbation is not dangerous. Masturbation is actually incredibly good for our health! It releases stress, it is good for our heart health, it releases endorphins into our body which makes us feel great, and it can reduce pain, especially period cramps. Masturbation is also the safest form of sex. As long as you clean your hands and any toys you use, it's very hygienic and you get to spend quality time getting to know and love your body. I personally recommend masturbation as part of a healthy lifestyle!
How many times a week is healthy?
There are no specific right and wrong numbers when it comes to masturbation. Some may want to do it every day, even multiple times a day and some might not want to do it at all. It's personal to you and unless it's distracting you from your work, family, and responsibilities, it's not something you need to worry about. Naturally, people will have periods of time where they will want to do it more and sometimes less, just listen to your body.
How do I get over the feeling that masturbating is wrong? Especially as a religious person.
This is a really important question, so thank you for asking! Shame and guilt around sexuality and in particular, masturbation, is unfortunately very common and can take a long time to overcome, so be patient with yourself, but you've already taken the first step by asking the question and realising that you don't need to feel this way.
Shame is something we learn, and it's also something we can unlearn. You get to make the decision about what you want to believe and what you think is right, so try to surround yourself with people that have the same beliefs as you - perhaps the ungirl community?
Secondly, try to limit the people in your life that make you feel ashamed. Set boundaries for how much they get to know about your life. I know it's not always possible to completely shut out our parents, but we can decide to keep some things private from them if it causes too much pain for them to be involved in.
Lastly, read, learn and inform yourself with sex-positive books and resources. Watch tv shows like 'Sex Education' or 'Sex and Love Around the World', or check out some of the books on our reading list here.
Joining a sex-positive community online makes a huge difference as you get to surround yourself with a diverse group of people with the common goal of de-stigmatizing sex. Join us on Instagram or if you'd like more community interaction, join our membership and attend our events.
Do Women Watch Porn and is it okay to Masturbate to?
Although more men watch porn than women, many women do watch porn and now more and more women are getting into the production and making of porn, as we are unhappy with the mainstream porn industry. There are more options for ethical porn, with a greater diversity of performers and more realistic bodies, plus safe and respectful working conditions for the actors, but if you are opposed to watching porn altogether, you can use something like erotic stories for mental stimulation.
People have been creating and enjoying erotica for a long time and there's nothing inherently wrong with it. Some people actually really enjoy creating it and as long as everyone's an adult and has given consent, been given respect, and are treated well, porn and erotica can be enjoyed without guilt.
We have a guide to erotica and ethical porn so you can find out more places to them.
What's the best position to be in when you're starting to masturbate?
When you're just starting out, one of the easiest ways to masturbate is humping or grinding on something like a pillow or soft toy. It's an underrated form of masturbation but one that many people can do fairly easily and reach orgasm. Find something that you can use to squeeze between your thighs and slowly begin to move your hips and pelvis back and forth. The pressure hits your clitoris and the nerves that spread over the vulva, including the pubic mound.
How to masturbate without a vibrator?
There are lots of ways to masturbate without a sex toy. You can grind on a pillow, like I mentioned in the last answer, you can use your thighs to squeeze and put pressure on your vulva or you can use your fingers. It might take some time to get skilled in how to pleasure yourself with your fingers but once you know, it can be amazing! We've released parts 1+2 of our masturbation guide for our membership and we go further into the techniques of masturbating without a sex toy. If you're interested to read it, click here.
Whenever I masturbate, I'm unable to reach orgasm. I don't know why?
Good question, but first i'd like to ask if you orgasm during partnered sex? If you can orgasm with a partner, but not solo, it might be that you need to figure out how to turn yourself on more. With a partner, you may be used to being turned on by the situation of being with someone, so being alone can be something that you have to think about differently in order to become mentally stimulated.
You may also need to spend longer learning how to physically pleasure yourself. Luckily there are so many techniques and toys, that you can recreate many of the sensations you can experience with a partner.
1. working on your mental stimulation by finding more things that turn you on, maybe read some erotica or watch some porn.
2. Try some new techniques with your fingers, use lubricant, and try a new toy.
3. Don't worry about orgasm, it can take time to learn how to self-pleasure and if you're feeling stressed or pressured to orgasm, it will become even harder.
How long should it take to orgasm? I feel like I take so long!
Lots of people worry that they take too long to orgasm, which usually can increase the length of time even more, as stress or worries preoccupy the mind and inhibit pleasure, so the first thing to do, is trying to not think about it.
Secondly, many people with vaginas need more than 20 minutes to orgasm, which can feel like a long time if you're focusing on it, but it can actually be a really great thing. Needing longer to orgasm means you can explore more sexual experiences, you can spend longer getting to know your body, you can connect with a partner more before you orgasm. Orgasms are not the only goal of sex and if you rush to have one, you often miss out on a lot of wonderful experiences, so start to see this as a good thing and enjoy the full experience, not just the climax.
Should you clean your vulva after masturbating?
You should always aim to pee after masturbating, as there's a small possibility of dirt or bacteria coming in through your hand or toy. Peeing usually cleans the area well enough but if you feel more comfortable, you can lightly wash the vulva with some water, but try to pee first as this is the thing that will flush out bacteria that gets close to the urethra.
Use some water and a little body-safe soap to wash your sex toys too, and if they're not waterproof, use a wet towel to thoroughly wipe it clean.