Masturbation is defined as “sexual stimulation of a person's genitals, usually to the point
of orgasm”(Is Masturbation Normal). The stimulation can be performed manually, by other types
of bodily contact (short of sexual intercourse), by use of objects or tools, or by some combination
of these methods. Self-masturbation is a common form of sexual stimulation. Masturbation with
a partner (called mutual masturbation), is also common.
Men and women have techniques and characteristics in common, but also have specific
preferences in the ways they like to masturbate or be masturbated. Studies have found that
“masturbation is frequent in humans of both sexes and all ages, although there is
variation”(Masturbation). Acts of masturbation have been celebrated in art worldwide since
prehistory. “While there was a period (ranging between the late 18th and early 20th centuries)
when it was subject to medical disapproval and social traditionalism, it is considered a normal
part of healthy life today”(Masturbation). There have been masturbation marathons and health
service slogans such as "an orgasm a day keeps the doctor away" (Is Masturbation Normal). It is
commonly mentioned in popular music as well as on television, in films and in literature.
Ways of masturbating common to members of both sexes include pressing or rubbing the
genital area, either with the fingers or against an object; and stimulating the penis or vulva with
electric vibrators. Members of both sexes may also enjoy touching, rubbing, or pinching the
nipples or other erogenous zones while masturbating. Both sexes sometimes apply lubricating
substances to intensify sensation.
Often people will call upon memories during masturbation. Masturbation activities are
often ritualized. Various charms can also play a part in the masturbation ritual. Some people get
sexual pleasure by inserting objects, such as urethral sounds, into the urethra, a practice known
as urethral play or "sounding"(Masturbation). Other objects such as ball point pens and
thermometers are sometimes used, although this practice can lead to injury and/or infection.
Some people masturbate by using machines that simulate intercourse.
Men and women “may masturbate until they are close to orgasm, stop for a while to
reduce excitement, and then resume masturbating”(Female & Male Masturbation) . They may
repeat this cycle multiple times. This "stop and go" build-up can achieve even stronger orgasms.
Rarely, people quit stimulation just before orgasm to retain the heightened energy that normally
comes down after orgasm. Doing this could lead to temporary discomfort due to pelvic
Female masturbation techniques include “a woman stroking or rubbing her vulva,
especially her clitoris, with her index and/or middle fingers”(Female & Male Masturbation).
Sometimes one or more fingers may be inserted into the vagina to repeatedly stroke its frontal
wall where the g-spot is located. Masturbation aids such as a vibrator or dildo can also be used to
stimulate the vagina and clitoris. Many women caress their breasts with the free hand.
Lubrication is sometimes used during masturbation, especially when penetration is involved, but
this is not universal and many women find their natural lubrication sufficient. Women can
sexually stimulate themselves by crossing their legs tightly and clenching the muscles in their
legs, creating pressure on the genitals.
Male masturbation techniques are influenced by a number of factors and personal