What is masturbation?

Masturbation is the act of sexually arousing yourself by touching your genitals. Both men and women masturbate, using their hands or other objects, such as sex toys. You can also masturbate your partner or practice mutual masturbation, during which you masturbate your partner, and he or she masturbates you. 

Masturbation in men

Masturbation in men involves the sexual stimulation of the penis, testicles, shaft, and perineum. However, masturbation is a personal matter. How a person masturbates depends on what part of their body they find erogenous. For some, it might be the nipples, lips, or ears. Others require prostate massage to reach an orgasm. Whatever the case, masturbation is whichever personal ritual sexually arouses an individual.

Masturbation in women

Most women manually stimulate their clitoris while masturbating. However, women have a variety of orgasms depending on the part of the body stimulated. Other women prefer vaginal orgasm. Therefore, they masturbate through fingering or with the help of a sex toy. A combination of the clitoris and vagina stimulation is also a popular technique. Finally, anal stimulation or playing with erogenous zones might also be part of the masturbation ritual in women. 

Is it normal to masturbate?

Masturbating is normal. It gives you pleasure and helps you explore your body, learn what you like and what you don't, and boost your confidence. Masturbation can help women understand what they need to reach an orgasm. As mentioned previously, some women prefer the clitoris, others the vagina, and others both. Anal stimulation might also be a plus for both sexes. Men can learn how to control their orgasms through masturbation. Apart from all its health benefits, masturbation can also relieve stress. 

Health benefits of masturbation

  • Better sleep quality
  • Better concentration
  • Better mood
  • Less menstrual cramps
  • Pain relief

Is it safe to masturbate?

Overall, masturbation is safe when you do it on your own. However, mutual masturbation does carry some risks. You might get pregnant if your partner has sperm on his finger and fingers you. Similarly, you might get an STD if you don't practice masturbation safely, such as cleaning your fingers of sex toys. 

Masturbation and STDs

If you touch somebody else's genitals and he or she has an STD, you might transfer it to yourself while masturbating if you don't clean your hands. Infected genital fluids are the ones carrying the sexually transmitted pathogen. Another way to get an STD while masturbating is when sharing the same sex toys during mutual masturbation with your partner. Therefore, it is essential to wash a sex toy after every use. Adding a condom is also very important in preventing the transmission of STDs. Also, there is a risk you might injure yourself during masturbation, making it easier for some STDs to spread through mutual masturbation or masturbation with infected objects, such as sex toys. 

Masturbating while on treatment for an STD

If you masturbate while having a bacterial STD, there is not any profound reason to stop. However, if you are using sex toys, make sure you do it safely. Clean them or use condoms to avoid reinfecting yourself with the same pathogen. For STDs that spread through skin-to-skin contact, things are a bit different. For instance, herpes, a viral STD, spreads through skin-to-skin contact. If you have active herpes infection and you masturbate at the same time, you might spread the disease to other parts of your body. Also, you might trap some STDs under your nails and spread it to your partner. As a general rule, systemically treating an STD makes it safer to masturbate. Using topical treatments makes it less safe for you to masturbate. 

Is it safe to masturbate if I have HIV or hepatitis?

You can't reinfect your body with HIV or hepatitis viruses because these two stay in your body forever, once acquired. Therefore, it is safe to masturbate having any of these two STDs. However, since you can transmit both diseases with your genital fluids, make sure you protect your environment from disease exposure. To do that, always clean after you masturbate, wherever that might take place.  

What should I do to make masturbation safer?

The first thing to do to make masturbation safer is to make sure you don't have an STD. Most STIs are asymptomatic, and infected individuals are not aware of their infection until they find out on a routine test, or when the disease becomes advanced. To make sure you don't have an STD, you can get tested with an STD rapid kit test. We offer STD rapid kit tests for seven of the most common STDs:

 

Washing your hands before and after masturbation is also essential. Cleaning your hands will make masturbation a safer experience. Make sure your partner does the same in case of mutual masturbation. Don't forget to keep your nails short and clean. Some STDs stay under the nails, making it possible to spread them to yourself or others. Finally, if you notice anything abnormal in your genitals while masturbating, make sure you wash your hands and avoid touching that area. 

What shouldn't I do while masturbating?

While masturbating, make sure you keep your hands in your genitals or erogenous zones. Avoid contact with your eyes. They can serve as a point of entry for various pathogens. Also, never share the same sex toys without cleaning them or without putting a condom on them. Finally, make sure you don't masturbate with dirty hands. Do not reuse the same sex toys without disinfecting them properly. 

Is it safe to masturbate too much?

As mentioned previously, it is safe to masturbate if you follow specific hygienic rules. However, too much masturbation might produce local edema on your genitals. You might feel like your genitals are sore. If you masturbate too much and something feels unpleasant, stop doing it and consult your doctor. Also, when masturbation is painful, it might be a sign of an STD. Get tested for the most common ones with an STD rapid kit test.