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Is masturbating normal?

Masturbating is totally normal and totally healthy. Most people don’t talk about it, but almost everybody does it.

Episode 2: Sex and Masturbation | Planned Parenthood Video Episode 2: Sex and Masturbation | Planned Parenthood Video

Who masturbates? 

There’s an old joke about masturbation: “80% of people masturbate, and the other 20% are lying about it.” This isn’t a real statistic, of course (and some people truly don’t ever masturbate). But it does get to the point that most people know masturbation is common and normal — even if they don’t admit to doing it themselves.

Some people are embarrassed about masturbating because there are a lot of myths out there that masturbation is dirty or shameful. It may seem like nobody does it, because masturbating is private and people usually don’t talk about it.

But the honest truth is most people masturbate. Men masturbate. Women masturbate. Trans and genderqueer people masturbate. Straight people, gay people, and bisexual people masturbate. People of all ages masturbate. Some people masturbate a couple times a day, some only do it every once in awhile. And some people never masturbate — that’s totally okay, too. Masturbating is a personal decision; only do it if you want to.

Many people think that masturbation is only for single people or people who aren’t having sex, but that’s not true at all. Lots of people masturbate no matter what their relationship status is, for lots of different reasons. It's totally normal if your girlfriend or boyfriend masturbates (or wants to masturbate) — it doesn't mean you're not good enough, and it doesn't mean they're not into you.

Can you masturbate too much?

A lot of people worry about masturbating “too much,” but it’s totally okay to masturbate a lot – even more than once a day.

Masturbating is only a problem if it gets in the way of going to school, work, hanging out with your friends and family, and doing other activities you like. But as long as masturbation doesn't get in the way of your everyday life, you don't have to worry about doing it too much. Masturbating on the regular is totally ok.

What should I do if someone catches me masturbating?

Masturbating is private, and it can be embarrassing when someone catches you. But you know what? Chances are, they've masturbated too. So they probably know how you’re feeling and understand your embarrassment.

If someone walks in on you masturbating, you can laugh it off or make a joke to help make it less awkward. It’s also probably a good time to talk with them about privacy and personal space. Everyone deserves to feel comfortable exploring their own body in private.

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