Masturbation myths

Masturbation. Wanking. Having a fiddle. Choking the chicken. Playing the clitar (our personal favourite). There are as many ways to describe getting yourself off as there are myths about it too. Most of them are utter rubbish, so The Mix is here to rub away the lies while you rub one out.

girl in bed with hands over face

You will not go blind... unless you do this.

‘It’s wrong’

No, you’re wrong. There’s nothing dodgy or immoral about a good ol’ wank. As long as you’re not hurting yourself or others then you’re good to go.

‘You’ll damage your genitals’

Um, no, unless you’re rubbing yourself with sandpaper. Your dicks and vulvas can cope with masturbation, whether that’s with your own fair hands or a vibrator. They’re made of strong stuff. HOWEVER, if wanking does hurt then maybe adjust your technique or use more lube.

‘It will ruin sex with a partner’

Nope. Sex with others and sex by yourself are different experiences and serve different purposes, so one shouldn’t affect the other. If you find you DO lose interest in sex after wanking lots then maybe you need to have a conversation with your partner and work this out. But you’re definitely allowed to have fun by yourself. Masturbation is also the best way to find out how someone else can get you off, so really it’s an education…

‘You can wank too much’ 

You can fiddle with your fanny or diddle your dick as much as you like, as long as it’s not interfering negatively on your daily life. There’s no wanking limit. You don’t have a finite number of orgasms. As long as you’re doing it in an appropriate place at an appropriate time, i.e. not at the dinner table with your gran, then you’re fine.

‘Women don’t masturbate’

This is a very big lie. Whatever gender you identify as and whatever kind of genitals you have going on down there, you can masturbate. It’s for everyone, and everyone can enjoy it if they so wish. Vulvas can be played with just as much as penises. Stop leaving them out.

‘If you’re in a relationship, you don’t need to wank’

We beg to differ. Like we said, masturbating by yourself is different to sex and you’re allowed to enjoy yourself by yourself. Even better, you can masturbate TOGETHER. Mutal masturbation might sound porn-y but it’s not. Watch your partner have a cheeky wank while you get yourself off too. Free bespoke porn! 

‘You can’t wank on your period’ 

Unless you’re in a lot of pain, your period shouldn’t stop you from doing anything. Orgasms could even help period pain. Of course, you don’t HAVE to wank on your period but you definitely CAN. Periods can make you horny so just throw a towel down and take advantage of your natural, free lube.

‘There’s a right way to do it’ 

You can watch as much porn as you like, and Google as many how-tos, but how you masturbate is totally up to you. There’s no one right method. Quit looking for the Ikea instructions. There are so many ways to get yourself off, using as many or as few sex toys as you want. Aside from making sure you know which bit is which (knowing where your clitoris is, if you have one, is a good start), just have a play around and see what feels best for you.

‘You have to watch porn to do it and porn is wrong so you’re wrong’

Whoa, slow down. You don’t have to watch porn to masturbate. You can use your imagination or, if you’re lucky, just let the feeling take you. But besides, porn isn’t inherently wrong. Yes, some porn is unhealthy but there’s some good stuff out there too. Don’t be ashamed. It doesn’t make you dirty, we promise.

‘It makes you go insane/grow hair on your palms/go blind’

Um… well… er… where did these myths come from?! … no. Just no. No.

Next Steps

  • Brook provides free sexual health and wellbeing services for young people in the UK. Brook's services include local clinics and online digital sex and relationships tool.
  • Relate is an affordable relationship and sex counselling service. 0300 100 1234
  • Do you want to understand your relationship better? Love Smart helps you work it all out.
  • Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.
  • Need help but confused where to go locally? Download our StepFinder iPhone app to find local support services quickly.

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Updated on 12-May-2017