Masturbation FAQ

Most teens don't want to talk about masturbation. Even though it might feel embarrassing to talk about it, many teens do it.

In fact, more than half of 14-year-old boys admit they've masturbated. That means at least one out of every two of your guy friends has done it -- even if they won't admit to it. (About half of the girls in your class are doing it, too.)

Here are some honest answers to questions you might have been too embarrassed to ask about masturbation.

What happens when I masturbate?

When you masturbate, you release sexual tension. You'll have what's called an ejaculation. Ejaculation is the release of semen from the penis. Semen is made up of fluid and sperm.

You may not ejaculate every time you masturbate.

Can masturbation hurt me?

Masturbation will not harm your body. Many teens have heard strange but untrue rumors about what it can do, such as:

  • You'll go blind.
  • You'll become mentally ill.
  • It will stunt your growth.
  • You'll grow hair or warts on your palms.
  • You'll never have normal sex with another person.
  • You'll run out of sperm and won't be able to have children.
  • Other people will know just by looking at you.

None of these things is true. Masturbation won't hurt you and no one will know that you're doing it unless you tell them.

About the only risk to masturbation is that it might irritate the skin of your penis. You can reduce that risk by using a lubricant such as lotion or K-Y Jelly.

Is it bad or dirty to masturbate?

Masturbation isn't bad or dirty. It's a normal part of your sexuality. You shouldn't feel any guilt or shame about doing it. Feeling guilty about masturbation can make you think badly about yourself. And that can be unhealthy.

Is it OK not to masturbate?

Whether or not you masturbate is up to you. There is nothing wrong with choosing to do it or not to do it.

Can I catch an STD if I masturbate?

You can't catch a sexually transmitted disease (STD) from masturbating. You also do not lose your virginity by masturbating.

Continued

Can I masturbate too much?

How often you masturbate is up to you.

When masturbation starts to take over your life, then it could be a problem. If you'd rather hang out at home alone and masturbate than be with your friends, then you may want to talk to a therapist or psychologist for help. If you don't know how to do this, ask your doctor, parent, or a counselor at school to help you set up an appointment.

What if I have questions about masturbation?

It can be hard to talk about masturbation. You may be embarrassed to ask your parents or even your friends about it.

Talk to a doctor or health counselor you trust. Their job is to talk to patients honestly about their bodies. They can answer any questions you may have about masturbation.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on October 22, 2017

Sources

SOURCES:

Robbins, C. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, August 2011.

University of Illinois McKinley Health Center: "Masturbation: Questions and Answers."

Massachusetts General Hospital: "Masturbation."

Rakel, R. Textbook of Family Medicine, 8th ed. Saunders Elsevier, 2011.

Planned Parenthood: "Masturbation."

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