Male Masturbation

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Masturbation is the self-stimulation of the genitals with a hand, sex toy, vibrator, or other object for sexual pleasure. Masturbation can be done alone (solo masturbation) or at the same time as a partner (mutual masturbation). Masturbation is a common and healthy activity that most individuals with penises do regularly throughout their lifetimes. A 2017 study of individuals in the United States revealed that between 80-94% of adult individuals with penises have masturbated at least once in their lifetime, with 44% masturbating twice a week.1 Masturbation is recommended by sexologists because it can benefit one’s sexual and overall health. The practice can improve body image and genital familiarity, which may allow individuals to have more satisfying solo and partnered sexual experiences. Regular masturbation in the adolescent years is indicative of positive sexual development, and during adult years, it indicates normative sexual functioning and sexual self-efficiency.1 

Though masturbation is a healthy, common activity, it is something that should be done in a private space for a few reasons. First, it is not socially acceptable to masturbate in public. Additionally, masturbating in a private, safe, and comfortable setting allows an individual to take their time without the risk of interruption, and this can make the experience relaxing and enjoyable, and therefore more pleasurable. If an individual chooses to masturbate with or in front of a partner, they must have the partner’s consent before doing so.

Masturbation is a great way for individuals to gain a better understanding of their body and its functioning. Having a good understanding of one’s anatomy can also make solo and partnered sexual behavior more satisfying. Therefore, we would next like to share a brief overview of the anatomy of the male genitalia. 

Anatomy

The penis is part of the external male genitalia. While the entire penis is sexually sensitive, certain areas are more sensitive than others. 

The glans of the penis, commonly referred to as the “head” of the penis, is the rounded cone-shaped structure at the tip of the penis. It contains about 4,000 nerve endings and is highly sensitive to the touch. The foreskin is the thin flap of skin that completely covers the glans of the penis in individuals who are uncircumsized (circumcision is a surgery involving the removal of the foreskin). When an individual is aroused and the penis is erect, the foreskin typically pulls back to expose the glans.2

The frenulum is the small strip of skin that runs from the glans to the shaft of the penis, and it is considered the penis’ most sensitive region. While many individuals find stimulation of the frenulum intensely pleasurable, others may find the feeling to be uncomfortable because the region is so sensitive. This also depends on the intensity and duration of the stimulation.2 

The shaft of the penis is the longer, cylindrical part of the penis that connects the glans to the base. The shaft contains the corpora cavernosa and corpus spongiosum, which fill up with blood when the penis develops an erection. Many individuals choose to stroke the shaft of the penis while masturbating.2 

The scrotum is the loose sac of skin that hangs below the penis and holds both of the testes. This region is another highly erogenous zone. Similarly to the frenulum, some individuals may find direct stimulation of the testes to be too intense and uncomfortable rather than pleasurable. They may prefer indirect stimulation of the testicles by cupping the scrotum with a hand and gently moving the fingers.2 

An often-overlooked erogenous region is the anal region. Many individuals enjoy stimulation of the prostate gland, which is located two to four inches inside the rectum and is sometimes referred to as the “male g-spot.” Repeated stimulation of the prostate gland can lead to orgasm, and therefore some individuals may choose to masturbate by stimulating the prostate gland.2 

Once an individual understands their anatomy and discovers what feels best for them, they may be able to better enjoy the many benefits of masturbation and orgasm. 

Methods of Masturbation

Individuals with penises masturbate for many reasons and may use several different methods to masturbate. A few common purposes of masturbation include sexual pleasure, self-exploration, stress relief, and for a partner’s arousal. Individuals can use their fingers, hands, everyday objects, and sex toys to stimulate one or more areas of the genital region during masturbation. Which method an individual uses is up to personal preference there is no right or wrong way to masturbate. The following is an outline of several common methods of masturbation for individuals with penises.3

Manual Stimulation 

Manual stimulation refers to the use of one’s hands and fingers to stimulate the genitals. Individuals with penises may grasp the bottom of the shaft (the base of the penis) and move their hand gently up and down to stimulate their penis. Manual stimulation can cause quick arousal in individuals with penises, prompting blood flow to their genital area and causing an erection. Continued manual stimulation is an effective way for many individuals with penises to reach orgasm and to ejaculate. Individuals with penises may experiment with different speeds and amounts of pressure to find what feels best for them. When an individual finds an ideal speed and pressure, they can consistently use that technique to reach orgasm. 

There are variations that individuals can try when manually stimulating their penises. Individuals with uncircumcised penises may pull their foreskin down in order to increase stimulation. Other individuals may masturbate by gripping the penis with their palms and with their thumb pointing towards them. In order to increase sexual pleasure, some individuals may gently massage, pull or hold their testicles while they masturbate. Additionally, some individuals use a water-based lubricant to decrease friction and maximize pleasure. Individuals should not use soap as a lubricant, as soap may dry out the skin of the penis

Masturbation Sleeves

In addition to manually stimulating their genitals, individuals can use sex toys to stimulate their genitals when masturbating. Penile sleeves are popular sex toys for individuals with penises. A sleeve is a sex toy variety that is made to look and feel like either a vagina, anus, or mouth. A well-known brand of penile sleeves is “Fleshlight,” and sleeves are often referred to as such. Individuals with penises may use a sleeve by inserting their penis into the opening and moving the toy up and down to simulate oral, vaginal, or anal sex. Individuals may prefer a sleeve instead of manual stimulation because the sleeve is designed to feel like the orifice it resembles, and it may therefore be a better replacement for partnered sexual interaction than manual stimulation. When using a sleeve, it is recommended to warm it up with warm water and to use water-based lubricant to increase pleasure and more accurately replicate the sensation of partnered sexual interaction. After using a sleeve or other toy, individuals must clean the toy according to the toy’s instructions. 

Dolls

Some individuals with penises prefer to masturbate using life-like dolls that are designed for

Masturbation is the self-stimulation of the genitals with a hand, sex toy, vibrator, or other object for sexual pleasure. Masturbation can be done alone (solo masturbation) or at the same time as a partner (mutual masturbation). Masturbation is a common and healthy activity that most individuals with penises do regularly throughout their lifetimes. A 2017 study of individuals in the United States revealed that between 80-94% of adult individuals with penises have masturbated at least once in their lifetime, with 44% masturbating twice a week.1 Masturbation is recommended by sexologists because it can benefit one’s sexual and overall health. The practice can improve body image and genital familiarity, which may allow individuals to have more satisfying solo and partnered sexual experiences. Regular masturbation in the adolescent years is indicative of positive sexual development, and during adult years, it indicates normative sexual functioning and sexual self-efficiency.1 

Though masturbation is a healthy, common activity, it is something that should be done in a private space for a few reasons. First, it is not socially acceptable to masturbate in public. Additionally, masturbating in a private, safe, and comfortable setting allows an individual to take their time without the risk of interruption, and this can make the experience relaxing and enjoyable, and therefore more pleasurable. If an individual chooses to masturbate with or in front of a partner, they must have the partner’s consent before doing so.

Masturbation is a great way for individuals to gain a better understanding of their body and its functioning. Having a good understanding of one’s anatomy can also make solo and partnered sexual behavior more satisfying. Therefore, we would next like to share a brief overview of the anatomy of the male genitalia. 

Other Sex Toys

In addition to sleeves and sex dolls, there are hundreds of other sex toys that are available for individuals to purchase and use during solo and partnered sexual activity. Though the most popular method of masturbation for individuals with penises is stimulation of the penis, some people choose to stimulate other sexually sensitive regions, such as the anal region and prostate gland. To do this, they may use a dildo or vibrator to penetrate or stimulate the anal nerves and prostate gland, instead of or in addition to stimulation of the penis. Many individuals prefer to use water-based lubricants with sex toys in order to increase comfort and pleasure. We would like to reemphasize that when using any sex toy, it is necessary to properly clean the toy after each use.

Mutual Masturbation

Some individuals choose to masturbate with their partner in an activity called mutual masturbation, in which at least two people stimulate each other’s genitals. Mutual masturbation is a good way for partners to experience pleasure together. When engaging in mutual masturbation, partners should communicate with one another openly and honestly about what they find pleasurable. A common position for mutual masturbation involves the partners laying side by side or facing each other while manually stimulating each other. In addition, some individuals find it arousing to watch their partner masturbate and may engage in mutual masturbation by stimulating their own genitals while watching their partner do the same.

Pornography

Many individuals require an outside source of arousal while masturbating. Some methods of arousal include fantasizing, viewing erotic images, and watching pornography. Pornography is the purposeful exhibition of sexual subject matter, typically in the form of pictures and videos, for the purpose of sexual arousal. Some individuals choose to watch pornography while masturbating or engaging in partnered sexual activity to enhance their arousal and their sexual experiences. Viewing pornography while with a partner is a behavior that both partners must agree to participate in beforehand.

There is a wide variety of genres of pornography. Common categories involve different sex positions, sexual acts, and fetishes. Pornographic videos and photos are often accessed on the internet. Some pornographic websites are free, while others require a subscription.

Pornographic videos often depict unrealistic examples of sex and involve actors who do not accurately depict the average individual. Actors in pornography are often photo-shopped, highly sexualized, and not representative of real people. If an individual chooses to watch porn, they should understand that pornographic videos are fictionalized, and they should not try to emulate unrealistic features that they may see in pornography in their own sex lives. Watching pornography is not a proper substitute for comprehensive sex education.

While watching pornography is acceptable and common, one should avoid watching child pornography. Any involvement in child pornography is extremely illegal in the United States. 

Pregnancy

Solo masturbation poses no risk of impregnating an individual with a uterus. Fantasizing about an individual or participating in mutual masturbation will not lead to that individual becoming pregnant. The only way an individual with a uterus may become pregnant is if semen enters their vagina

Concluding Remarks

Masturbation is a fun, natural, and healthy activity that can benefit one’s own self-esteem and sexual functioning, and it can increase comfort and pleasure during sex with a partner(s) as well. Individuals may explore different methods of arousal and masturbation to find the method that is most pleasurable for them. As long as individuals masturbate in a private, comfortable space, masturbating regularly is part of a normal and healthy sex life. 

 

References

  1. Haus, Katherine. “Feelin’ Myself: The Sexual Double Standard and Perceived Sexualities of Hypothetical Men and Women engaging in Masturbation.” University of Minnesota, 2018. 
  2. LeVay, Simon, Janice I. Baldwin, and John D. Baldwin. Discovering Human Sexuality. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates, 2009. Print.
  3. Ramanathan, V., Sitharthan, G., Pepper, K., & Wylie, K. (2014). Masturbatory behavior and feelings: An exploratory study of indian immigrant men in australia. International Journal of Sexual Health, 26(1), 25-40.

Last Updated: 16 February 2021