An Asexual’s Guide To … Masturbation

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What is masturbation?

Masturbation is the self-stimulation of the genitals, typically to orgasm.

Less scientific, please?

Masturbation is touching yourself downstairs in a way that causes your body to respond.  It’s also known as “jacking off”, “jilling off”, “playing with yourself”, and roughly three hundred thousand other euphemisms.  In most cases, but not all, the intent is to make yourself feel good down there.

Commonly, masturbation involves using your hand to make a repetitive rubbing or stroking motion on your clitoris or penis.  Usually, this is done for several minutes until orgasm occurs.  However, masturbation techniques and outcomes are widely varied. Sometimes people rub against an object of some sort.  Sometimes people use items called “sex toys”, which are designed for use with the genitals during masturbation.  Sometimes people don’t have an orgasm while they masturbate.  There’s no “One True Way™” to masturbate.

Why would I do that?

Well, for many people, masturbation feels good, and that’s enough of a reason for them.

But that’s not the only reason people have for masturbating.  Some people do it to help them fall asleep.  Some people do it to relieve headaches or cramps.  Some people do it because their body tells them to.  Some people do it because their partners enjoy watching.  Some people do it because they’re bored.  Some people do it because they want to know what it’s like.  And that’s just a small subset of the reasons that people masturbate.

Should I masturbate?

If you want to, go ahead.  If you don’t want to, don’t.  If you’re on the fence, maybe give it a try. It’s your body, you decide.  Don’t let anyone talk you into it or force you to do anything you’re not comfortable with doing.  If you try it out and don’t care for it, you’re free to stop.

Does it always feel good?

For many people, it usually does, but not always.  Most people who masturbate have, at one time or another, had bland or unsatisfying orgasms.  Some people rarely, if ever get any pleasure from it.  In some cases, the situation you’re in may make it difficult to get any pleasure from it.  Maybe you’re too preoccupied by something else, and your mind’s just not in it.  In other cases, it may be a matter of technique.  Maybe you’re just not doing it quite the right way, and if you tried a different method, it might feel a lot better.  And in rare cases, there is a medical condition that prevents it from feeling good.  One such condition is sexual anhedonia, which is the inability to feel pleasure from sexual activities.  Talk to a doctor if you think you might have that and you feel that it’s a problem.

Masturbation should never hurt, so if it does hurt, you should probably stop and change what you’re doing. (Unless that’s what you’re into…  But that discussion is outside of the scope of this guide.)

Does masturbating mean I’m not asexual?

Masturbation, at its core, is a physical act which has nothing to do with sexual attraction.  Although many people use it as an outlet for their sexual attraction, masturbating does not actually require sexual attraction in any way.

Masturbating does not make you less ace.

Masturbating does not make you a bad ace.

No matter how you masturbate, whether you use anatomically correct toys, whether you do something that simulates or resembles partnered sex in some way, whether or not you enjoy it, and no matter what body parts you choose to involve nor how you choose to involve them, none of it will ever make you straight or gay or whatever or ever mean you’re not asexual.  Just because you’re not attracted to anyone doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to take care of yourself.

So, to put it simply and directly:  Whether or not you masturbate has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not you’re asexual.

I keep hearing other aces say they do it to “scratch an itch”, but I do it because it feels good.  Does this mean I’m not asexual?

Again:  Whether or not you masturbate has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not you’re asexual.  This also goes for why you masturbate.

Many asexuals who masturbate say they do it because it feels good.  There is nothing un-asexual about masturbating strictly for pleasure.

I’ve never done it before.  How do I get started?

First, it’s okay to not know how and want a few tips.  After all, we didn’t come with owner’s manuals, and it’s not all that apparent what to do or what’ll happen if you do it.  Some people accidentally discover it out of the blue, some people figure it out by piecing together clues, while others learn from someone or somewhere.

One of the most important things to remember when you’re first trying to masturbate is that you shouldn’t go into it with expectations that are unreachable.  If you’re expecting that you’ll have a flawless performance and end up with a mindblowing orgasm that leaves you unable to move from its power, then you’re going to be disappointed.  The first time you try to masturbate, you’re not going to have a mindblowing orgasm.  You probably won’t have an orgasm at all.  This doesn’t mean you’re broken and it doesn’t mean that you can’t ever have an orgasm.  More than likely, it just means that you don’t know what you’re doing, and that’s okay.  So don’t get discouraged.  If you get discouraged, you’re going to start to think that you can never have an orgasm, and having negative thoughts like that going in are going to kill your chances.

Masturbation is a skill.  It’s something you have to learn and practice to get good at.  It’s not some innate instinct that you’re supposed to be born knowing exactly how to do it perfectly.  It takes patience and persistence to get right.  It’s a bit like throwing a ball.  If you’d never thrown a ball before, and I handed you one and asked you to toss it through a hoop on the other side of the room, chances are, you’d miss spectacularly.  The timing, the force, the motion, it’d all be wrong.  But you’d try again and again, and eventually, you’d throw it through the hoop.  Might just be a stroke of luck, but the ball went through the hoop, so yay!  Then, the next ten times in a row, you miss.  But over time, you figure out what it takes, and soon enough, you’re hitting the hoop more often than you miss.  So don’t worry if you don’t get it right away.  The key is to keep trying and don’t give up just because it doesn’t work the first few times.  Don’t be afraid to fail, because failure is how you learn what doesn’t work.  I probably tried unsuccessfully for months before I had an orgasm.  I knew it could be done, I’d heard it was worth it, but I just couldn’t figure out exactly the right motions to perform.  (This was before the days where I could have just done a search for “How do I masturbate?” and gotten an answer in thirty seconds.)

So, start out by just experimenting.  Touch yourself various ways in different places and see what works and what doesn’t.  If you find something that sorta works, build off of that.  Try something close to it: A little faster, a little slower, a little harder, a little lighter, half an inch to the left…  Focus on arousal first.  Don’t even necessarily try for an orgasm at first, just try to find out what gets your motor running.  Even if you have specific and explicit how-to instructions, there’s a very good chance that some part of them won’t work as described, and that you’ll have to go off script.  Approach it with curiosity and follow it where it leads you.

Remember that an orgasm won’t come instantly.  It’ll take a while.  Even if you know exactly what to do, it’ll still take a while.  And if you’re still figuring things out, it might take a long time.  So be patient.  That’s probably why I was unsuccessful for so long.  I would only try for a minute or so during a shower and give up when I didn’t get anywhere.  Eventually, I must’ve hit the right spot and it felt good enough to keep going for a while longer, and that’s when I had my first orgasm.

Try not to think of masturbation as some sort of substitute for partnered sex, because it’s not.  A lot of people do think of it that way, and so a lot of people try to masturbate in a way that simulates intercourse with another person.  You don’t have to do it that way.  In fact, it’s often better if you don’t do it that way.

You may have heard of the G-Spot or the prostate or some other feature or trick that’s supposedly the source of unending ecstasy.  Understandably, you might want to go straight for the big prize and skip all that other diddling about.  No matter how enticing, that would likely prove futile.  That would be like trying to win the Super Bowl even though you’ve never touched a football.  You’re probably just going to end up frustrated and disappointed if you try to do too much, too soon.  Take your time.  Practice.  Gradually work up to attempting that sort of thing, if you even feel the need to try it at all.  If you don’t enjoy basic masturbation, then prostate stimulation or a G-Spot orgasm or whatever other super-duper special technique that’s out there probably isn’t going to change your mind.

And finally, don’t be afraid of a little “help”.  There’s nothing wrong with using toys to help you get there.  Some people try everything under the sun and don’t get anywhere, but as soon as they feel the little bzzzzt of a vibrator downstairs, everything changes.  Sometimes, people need something extra to reach orgasm and can’t get anywhere without one.  Other times, they’ll learn how to masturbate using a toy, and take those learnings and find a way that works using only their hands.

Is there anything I should do to prepare before I masturbate?

First, you’ll want to have some idea of what you’re going to do.  You might be able to figure it out through trial and error, but it’s likely going to be more productive if you have a general idea of where the important bits are and how to use them.  The information in this post series will hopefully put you on the right track.

Next, you’ll probably want to set aside some time to experiment.  It’s probably best if you won’t be interrupted and are free to spend as much time as you need on it.  Many people masturbate just before going to sleep for the night.

Find someplace comfortable.  A comfy chair, a nice couch, your bed, in the bath or the shower.  Someplace where you can spend some time and not be distracted by your environment.  A hard chair in a cold, noisy room would probably not be a good choice if you can avoid it.

Lock your door.  Being interrupted in the middle of playtime has a way of making you lose interest.

Have a towel or some tissues handy.  Depending on what you do, how you do it, and how your body responds, masturbation can get a bit messy.  It’s better to be prepared where you are, than to try to get to the nearest sink when you’re done.

You may want to obtain some sort of lube before you begin.  Since many masturbation methods involve the repeated rubbing of a small area of skin, attempting it without lubrication can often lead to irritation of fairly sensitive body parts.  Lube specifically designed for sexual activity (Usually referred to as “personal lubricant” and found in the drugstore next to the condoms and pregnancy tests) is typically best.  Other lubricants may stain fabric, dry out your skin, or contain ingredients that could potentially cause infections in particularly unwanted places.  Saliva can also work if nothing else is available.  When aroused, both the penis and the vagina may produce lubricating fluids, so your body may produce enough on its own, without any artificial additions.  On the other hand, you may not need lubrication at all.  (Note that water is not a lube.  While it makes floors slippery, it won’t make your genitals slippery.)

How, specifically,  do I do it?

There are detailed guides located here:

An Asexual’s Guide To … Female Masturbation  (For most women, most girls, and anyone else who happens to have a clitoris.)

An Asexual’s Guide To … Male Masturbation  (For most men, most boys, and anyone else who happens to have a penis.)

I’m afraid I don’t have a guide for intersex people or people who have transitioned.  When I was preparing this series, I tried to research those topics, but did not find much information.  If anyone has any good resources, please let me know about them.  Until then, it’s possible that some of the information in the posts above might prove useful.

Can I learn what to do by watching porn?

Watching porn to learn about sexual activities in any way is a bit like watching the WWE to learn how to wrestle.  What you’re seeing are scripted, choreographed performances.  Some people think it’s entertaining, sure, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  On rare occasions, there might actually be something accurate and useful.  But it’s not a documentary.  It’s not a how-to.  Most of what’s done is done because it plays well on camera, not because it’s particularly effective.

Is it a problem if I don’t masturbate?

No, not at all.  In the past fifty years, there have been exactly zero cases of people who were killed by an unresolved build-up of genital energy.  You’re not going to get painfully clogged up downstairs if you don’t test the release valve at least once a month.  You’re not going to get progressively more and more horny every day until you eventually your life is taken over by a crotchmonster begging for attention.  Even the purported health benefits of masturbation or orgasms are miniscule in the big picture.

Masturbation is not required to live a happy, healthy life.

I don’t want/like to masturbate.  Is there something wrong with me?

No, there is nothing wrong with you.  Masturbation is, for the most part, a recreational activity, and like any other recreational activity, it has fans and it has its detractors.  It’s essentially like playing video games or going fishing or building seismometers in your dining room for the fun of it.  Not everyone wants to take part in every recreational activity that’s out there.  No one would ever say “You can’t be human if you don’t build a seismometer in your dining room!”  It’s okay to not want to masturbate, same as it’s okay to not want to go fishing.

Any reason you have for not wanting to masturbate or not liking to masturbate is a valid one, and no one has the right to tell you otherwise.  It’s okay not to masturbate.  You’re not less of a person, you’re not broken, you’re not “missing out”, you’re not any of the things people might say.  If you don’t want to, you don’t want to.  If you don’t like it, you don’t like it.  It’s your decision and yours alone.

After all, masturbation is essentially the act of putting your hand down by where you pee and waggling it about repetitively for a few minutes in an attempt to cause muscle spasms and fluid discharge.  It’s perfectly acceptable to not be interested in taking part.

I don’t like to masturbate, but I feel like I have to.

Why do you feel like you have to?  If it’s because of societal pressure, because “everyone masturbates” or something like that, well, the hell with societal pressure.  If you don’t like it, don’t give a damn what anyone else thinks, and just don’t do it.  You never, ever have to masturbate if you don’t want to.

If you feel like you have to because you’ve got an overactive libido that just won’t shut up until you do, then you can actively try to resist it.  Distract yourself.  Do something that takes a lot of concentration.  Get out of the house, so you won’t have a place to do it.  Avoid things that make you think about masturbating or are erotic in some way.  Remember that physical arousal does not require your attention.  Wear clothes that make access difficult.  Just don’t give in.  While it may feel strong in the moment, your libido will typically die down if you don’t pay attention to it.  You won’t suffer any physical damage if the urges aren’t followed.

If you feel like you have to because you’ll have wet dreams if you don’t, know that masturbation isn’t necessarily going to prevent them.  In some cases, masturbating will cause your body to produce more sperm, thereby making it more likely that you’ll have a wet dream if you don’t take care of yourself within a couple of days.  If you don’t ejaculate regularly, the sperm production may slow down and the wet dreams might dry up.  Also, past the hormone soup of the early teen years, nocturnal emissions typically become less and less frequent.  You may not have them as often as you used to when you started masturbating to prevent them.  And consider if it’s even worth the effort.  Is preventing an occasional wet spot in your undies in the morning worth doing something you hate every couple of days?

Then again, while there’s nothing wrong with not liking to masturbate, you can still try to dive into understanding why you don’t like it, and see if there’s any way to change that.  If you don’t like it because you feel shame or guilt or it makes you feel dirty, then know that there’s nothing wrong with it.  If you don’t like it because you’re repulsed by your genitals, then you might want to consider looking into exposure therapy to try to overcome the aversion.  If you don’t like it because you simply don’t get anything from it, then you can try a different technique and see if the situation improves.  But remember, you don’t have to like it, and you shouldn’t feel like you should do any of those things if you don’t want to do them.

Will I break myself if I masturbate?

Not unless you do it wrong.

You won’t turn into a sex-obsessed freak, you won’t change your sexual orientation, you won’t wear out your genitals, and you won’t use up your precious bodily fluids.

As far as physical damage goes, as long as you’re careful, you’re probably fine.  You may encounter some soreness initially, either on your genitals from rubbing too hard or for too long, or in your hand or wrist from the repetitive motion.  You can generally prevent the genital soreness by using lube, and the hand soreness by using a different hand position or simply by getting used to it.  More serious injuries, like vaginal tears or a sprained penis, are rare and are often the result of something you’d probably think would be a bad idea before you did it.  So, if you think it’s a bad idea, don’t do it!

Can I masturbate too much?

Under typical circumstances, no.  After you have an orgasm, you’ll typically lose interest in having another for a while.  Also, it’s typically more difficult to have another orgasm for some time.  In this way, your body is somewhat self-regulating.

However, if you ever get sore, it might be time to take a rest.  You don’t want to rub yourself raw.  Come back later and try again.

How long does it take?

Typically anywhere from a couple of seconds to a couple of hours.  There’s no set time for how long you should masturbate, and there’s no way to know how long it will take you to reach orgasm.  Every time is different.  Sometimes people will race straight to the finish and be done in a minute or two, while other times people will take their time and enjoy every moment.  Sometimes you may be very aroused and come almost as soon as you start, while other times you may try your best for half an hour and just can’t get yourself there.  In the average case, people tend to take between five and twenty minutes to reach orgasm while masturbating.  However, there’s nothing wrong if you’re faster or slower than that.

I want it to be faster.  What do I do?

In many cases, stronger stimulation will get you to orgasm faster.  Increase the pressure and speed of the stimulation as you masturbate.  Using a toy, such as a vibrator or sleeve may also help.  And finally, in many cases, something like porn or erotic literature may speed things along.

I want it to last longer.  What do I do?

Learn your body’s cues.  If you learn how to tell when you’re approaching the point of no return just before an orgasm, then you’ll be able to slow down or stop for a moment before you get there.  This pause will back you away from the edge of the orgasm.  After the pause, you can continue stimulation for a while before you get back to the edge.  You can repeat this process for as long as you want.  When you’re ready to have an orgasm, just keep stimulating yourself and you’ll get there.

It’s so boring!  What do I do?

Well, if you find it boring and you don’t feel a need to do it or don’t like doing it, then the easiest way to alleviate the boredom is to stop masturbating.  You don’t have to do it, and if you don’t get anything out of it, why bother?

On the other hand, if you do get something out of it or feel that you physically have to do it, there are a couple of things you can try.  Switching up your technique may work.  Maybe masturbation’s boring because you’ve gotten used to what you do, or what you do just isn’t all that exciting.  Try a different position, different hand, or include something you typically don’t include.  You can also try multitasking.  Do something else at the same time that you’re masturbating, like read a book or watch TV or whatever.  Eventually, you’ll reach a point where it’s a quick trip to the orgasm, if that’s where you’re headed.  At that point, concentrate and get it over with, then continue with whatever you were doing.

I live with other people.  What should I do about that?

If you’re living with a romantic and/or sexual partner, or someone similar to that, then in most cases, you can include them.  You can let them watch, invite them to join, ask them to help, or just let them know what you’re planning on doing.  For the most part, they’re not going to mind, and, particularly in the case of a non-asexual sexual partner, there’s a good chance that they’re going to be thrilled at the chance to watch or help out.

If you’re living with roommates or your family, you’re probably not going to go around broadcasting what you’re doing.  If you have your own room, then you can probably lock the door (or just close it, if you trust no one will barge in), and have at it.  If you’re worried about the potential for noise, then playing some music or turning on the TV will typically cover for that.  If you share a room, you might be able to get away with doing it under the covers at night, if you’re careful enough.  You can also wait until everyone else leaves and you’re sure they’ll be gone long enough for you to finish.

In any case, masturbating in the bathroom or shower is always an option.  You’ll usually be able to have unquestioned privacy there, and, unless you spend an hour or two, most of the time no one will comment about how long you were in there.  Plus it’s easier to clean up afterwards.  In the shower, there’s the added benefit of the sound of the water to cover any sounds you might make.

Do I have to have an orgasm when I masturbate?

No, there is no reason you have to reach orgasm when you masturbate.  While that is the goal of many people when they do it, there’s no requirement that you have an orgasm during masturbation.  If you’re fine stopping without one, then go right ahead.  You won’t harm yourself if you don’t have an orgasm.  Any effects of arousal will likely quickly fade away.

There are many reasons to masturbate without reaching orgasm.  You can experience some of the pleasure, but skip most of the mess.  You might find the act of masturbation enjoyable, but dislike the sensation of orgasm.  And in some cases, not having an orgasm for a while may make the one you eventually have somewhat stronger.  And that’s just a few of the possibilities.  There are countless others.

I never have an orgasm when I masturbate.  Is that a problem?

I don’t know.  Is that a problem for you?

There’s no inherent physical problem that will be caused if you masturbate but don’t reach orgasm.  It’s not going to cause any damage.

So, it all depends on what you want.  If you want to have an orgasm when you masturbate, but can’t, then yes, that could be considered a problem.  If you’ve tried all manner of various techniques and methods and still nothing works, then you might want to talk to a doctor, in case there’s a treatable underlying physical or mental cause.

On the other hand, if it doesn’t bother you that you don’t have an orgasm when you masturbate, then no, it’s not a problem.  Don’t worry about how other people expect you should feel, and concentrate on how you actually feel.  If you’re just fine masturbating without orgasms, then it’s not an issue at all.

What if I don’t like fluids?  What should I do?

There are some specific techniques to be found in the how-to posts, but in general, it’s possible to masturbate without coming into contact with any kinds of fluids.  Some basic ways are to do it fully clothed, to use toys, or to do it in the shower where any fluids produced are immediately washed down the drain.

What if I don’t like touching my genitals?  What should I do?

There are some specific techniques to be found in the how-to posts, but in general, it’s possible to masturbate without having to touch your genitals directly.  Two common ways are to leave your clothes on or to use toys.

What if I don’t like being naked?  What should I do?

Nudity is not required in order to masturbate.  The how-to posts have a few techniques for doing it while partially or fully clothed.  Many people, even ones who don’t mind being nude, will sometimes masturbate with some clothing on, whether for comfort or convenience.  Masturbating under the covers in bed is another option, if that would make you feel less exposed.  You can also try masturbating while bathing, since you would probably be naked then anyway.

What should I think about when I masturbate?  Do I have to fantasize or think about sex?

You can think about anything you want.  Sexual fantasies are not required.  Many people will claim that you can’t masturbate unless you fantasize or think sexual thoughts about someone else, but that is flatly inaccurate.  It was years after I’d started masturbating that I realized that other people fantasized while doing it, because I never had.  And after I found out, I gave it a try, but it never worked for me.  I just found it distracting.

Some asexual people do fantasize, but it’s often thoughts of other people having sex, or of a featureless person doing sexual things to them.  It’s not really about attraction, more about the sexual actions that they’re imagining.  Of course, some asexual people don’t really think about anything in particular.  Simply thinking about something while masturbating does not automatically make it sexual.

Do I have to be aroused before I masturbate?

No.  Many people will decide to masturbate even when they’re not aroused, and have to get themselves aroused in order to be able to masturbate.  For some people, they have a routine, where they’ll masturbate before bed or in the shower or whatever, simply because they want to, not in response to any sort of bodily reaction.

Do I have to masturbate if I become aroused?

No, spontaneous arousal, if it happens, is just your body preparing for what it thinks is potential sexual activity, it’s not a demand that you engage in sexual activity.  If you ignore it, it’ll usually die down and go away.

Do I have to wait for my libido to act up before I masturbate?

No.  While your libido might encourage you to masturbate, there’s no reason you can’t masturbate any time you want, even if your libido isn’t active.  You might have to work a bit harder to get your body in gear, but it’s possible.  Many people have a masturbation routine, where they’ll masturbate whether or not their body is asking for it.  And some people who don’t even have a libido to speak of will masturbate.

Do I have to masturbate if my libido acts up?

Not if you don’t want to.  While your libido might be constantly nagging you to do something, it is possible to tell it no and not give in.  You won’t suffer any physical harm if you resist the libido’s call, and in most cases, it’ll give up and go away after a while.

What if I only masturbate when my libido acts up?

That’s perfectly fine.  You should never feel like you have to masturbate more often than you feel like you need to, just because other people do it more often.

Think of it like running.  There are some people who run several times a day, because they think it’s fun.  There are other people who only run when they have to, like when they need to catch a bus.  And some people will never run, no matter what.

What are sex toys?

Masturbation toys, also called sex toys, are a way to enhance or alter your masturbation experience.  You can use them in addition to or in place of another masturbation technique.   There are countless types of toys, designed to stimulate pretty much any part of your body in pretty much anyway imaginable (and quite a few unimaginable ways, too…).  Some common types are vibrators, sleeves, dildos, and rings.

Toys range from featureless to anatomically accurate.  In many cases, the anatomical accuracy is just for looks, and has little to do with the effectiveness of the toy.  If you’re not a fan of interacting with plastic or rubber simulated genitalia, there’s a good bet you can find an equivalent toy that looks less real.

Toys also range in quality from cheaply made pieces of junk to quality instruments that’ll last for years.  Unfortunately, price is not necessarily an indicator of quality.  Sometimes a cheap vibrator will faithfully buzz for years, while one that costs ten times as much will give out on its second go.  Check reviews or recommendations first, or limit your purchase to a price you wouldn’t mind throwing away if it’s no good.

Many sex toy shops are not particularly ace friendly.  Not to mention the general embarrassment and fear that many people, including non-asexual people, have about steping into one.  I’d simply recommend buying online.  Web stores like and have a fairly decent selection of toys and ship in boxes that don’t draw attention.

I’ll talk about common toys and how they’re used in another post, since their use is pretty specific to the body part they’re used on.

Can asexual people use toys?

Absolutely!  There’s nothing that prohibits an asexual from using a toy to masturbate with, even a toy that’s anatomically shaped.

Am I too young to masturbate?

No, there is no lower age limit.  Some of the bits and pieces might not be in final working order yet, but nothing bad will happen if you start using them before they’re fully baked.

Am I too old to masturbate?

No, there is no upper age limit.  Many people keep going at it well into the senior home.  There’s a weird perception that masturbation is only for teenagers, but that’s simply not true.  It’s also never too late to start.  While many people first masturbate in their early teen years, during puberty, it’s not unheard of for someone to just be starting out in their thirties, forties, even seventies and older!

I feel dirty or shameful or embarrassed when I masturbate.

Feelings like this are often the result of being fed nonsense about how masturbation is for losers who can’t get laid or being told that masturbation is dangerous or being told that masturbation is a pathetic replacement for “real” sex or being told that masturbation is an immature activity.  It’s none of those things.   It’s the result of the same sorts of outdated and misguided thinking that brought us graham crackers, corn flakes, and routine non-religious circumcision as ways to prevent masturbation.  (Seriously.  Look it up.)  From personal experience, I can tell you none of those work.

For asexuals who masturbate, there’s the added confusion of performing a “sexual” act while being asexual.  Sometimes, people will think “I shouldn’t be doing this, because I’m asexual.”  Other times, people will be told that they can’t be asexual because they masturbate.  These sorts of things can lead to shame and doubt.

Shame and doubt and embarrassment and feeling dirty are not healthy.  Masturbation is a perfectly natural thing to do.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with it.  You shouldn’t feel dirty or embarrassed.  You shouldn’t let it make you doubt your asexuality.  It doesn’t matter why you masturbate, whether you’re doing it because it feels good for you or you’re doing it because your libido was nagging you or you’re doing it on a whim to see what it’s like or you’re doing it for whatever other reasons you have, you shouldn’t feel bad about it.

I’m repulsed.  What do I do?

If you’re repulsed and know that you wouldn’t like masturbating, then don’t do it.  You don’t have to try it out, you don’t have to do it because someone says that you should, you don’t have to do it because you feel like everyone else is doing it.  Don’t do it and don’t worry about it.  It’s nobody’s business but your own.

Think of it this way:  I don’t like Thai food.  Being around it, smelling it, even just thinking about it is repulsive to me.  I’ve never actually tried it, but I know that I would hate it and I have no interest in ever experiencing it first hand.  And I’m fine with that.  No amount of people saying “But it’s awesome!  It’s the best thing ever!” is going to change my mind. I don’t have a problem if you like it, just keep it away from me.  Your relationship with masturbation can be like my relationship with Thai food.  There’s nothing wrong with that.

It is possible that you may want to masturbate or feel that you have to even though you’re repulsed.  There are a number of techniques (detailed in other posts) for masturbating without direct genital contact.  You may find that these work and minimize the repulsion that you feel.  You can also try to work toward overcoming repulsion.  Often, repulsion stems from feeling that the genitals are icky and dirty. Tackling that feeling is a good place to start.  True, there’s a lot of stuff that can be dirty down below, but basic hygiene will generally take care of it.  In most cases, after you’ve bathed, there’s nothing particularly “dirty” about that region.  Even so, the sense that they’re icky may remain.  One way to try to overcome this sense of ickiness is to prove to yourself that nothing bad will happen to you if you touch down there, and that it’s very easy to clean your hands afterward.  I’d recommend doing this while you bathe, so that if you’re overcome by the ick factor, you can easily stop and clean off your hand:  Without a sponge or washcloth or a handful of soap lather or anything else, reach down and touch that area.  Hold your hand there for a while, but don’t do anything else.  Repeat this exercise every time you bathe for a while.  Hopefully you will become less and less nervous or repulsed by doing so, because you know that it’s safe.  This is called exposure therapy, and is how people are treated for anything from fear of spiders to fear of heights to compulsive hand washing.  As you become more and more comfortable, try doing more and more. Start trying to stimulate yourself, maybe start performing the exercise when you’re not in the shower.  Go slowly in this process, take your time.  There’s no time limit and you can take as long as you need to take to get there.  Eventually, you may be able to fully masturbate without overpowering repulsion.  (Then again, it may not work at all.  Remember, I’m not a psychologist or doctor or anything like that, I’m just someone with a website, so there’s a good chance that I have no idea what I’m talking about.)

I’m asexual, but I have a non-asexual partner.  I don’t like sex, but I do masturbate.  Is this okay?

Of course it’s okay.  No one, not even your partner, should ever coerce you into having sex you don’t want.  And it’s fine to masturbate and not have sex with your partner.  Although they typically involve the same body parts, they’re very different activities, and there’s no requirement that you do one if you do the other.  You do not owe your partner an orgasm, even if you have them on your own.

What are Kegels?  What’s the PC muscle?

Kegels are an exercise of the PC muscle which can potentially lead to stronger orgasms.  The PC muscle is the muscle used to control urination, so if you want to figure out what muscles they are, the next time you pee, stop yourself in the middle.  The muscles you squeezed are your PC muscles.  (PC is an abbreviation of something that’s too long, too difficult to spell, and too irrelevant to mention here.  Pretty much everyone just calls them the PC muscles.)

To perform a Kegel exercise, tense and relax the PC muscle repeatedly, sometimes keeping it tensed it for a few seconds.  You can do this at any time you want and as often as you want.  Like any exercise, to gain any benefit from it, you can’t just do it once every month or so.  If you plan to perform Kegel exercises, try to do them for several minutes at least a couple of times a week.  (Note that other than the initial test to find the right muscles, you don’t have to and probably don’t want to perform these exercises while you’re urinating.)  Kegels work by strengthening the PC muscle, which is one of the primary muscles involved in orgasm.  You can also contract these muscles during masturbation for added sensation.

Although typically mentioned as a vaginal strengthening technique, Kegel exercises can also be performed if you have a penis, where they may lead to stronger erections and may help prevent premature ejaculation.

For some people, regular Kegel exercise can turn an orgasm from a ho-hum somewhat dull experience into something that’s intensely pleasurable on many levels.  For other people, they have very little effect at all.  If you don’t get much out of masturbation, you might want to try performing them and see if they help, but don’t fret if they don’t do much for you.

I’ve heard that everyone masturbates.  Is that true?

I’m assuming you’re referring to that silly “99% of people masturbate and 1% of people are liars” thing?  Well, it’s just plain wrong.  Not everyone masturbates.  Some people never have, and others used to, but don’t anymore.  You don’t have to masturbate, and there’s nothing wrong with you if you don’t.  Don’t let anyone use a phony statistic like this to push you into doing anything you don’t want to do.

I don’t feel like I’m as good at it as other people are.

Are you getting out of it what you want to get out of it?  That’s all you should be concerned about.  Don’t worry about what other people are doing or how they’re doing it.  No one’s keeping score, it’s not a competition.  Masturbation is about you and what you want and what’s right for you, it’s not about expectations, it’s not about an endless quest to be better, it’s not about how well you perform.  If what you’re doing is right for you, that’s all that matters.  (Even if what’s right for you is not doing it at all.)

Masturbation is a unique, personal experience.  There are no universals.  Nothing is guaranteed to work for everyone.  Something that works for 90% of people might not work for you, but you might find something else that only works for 3% of people that’s really effective for you.  You shouldn’t worry if you don’t find vaginal penetration or prostate stimulation appealing.  You shouldn’t worry about frequency or how long it takes.  There are huge variations from person to person.  Even if you took exactly what works for someone else and transferred it to you, there’s a good chance it won’t work on you as well.

There doesn’t have to be a goal or a time limit. You don’t have to have a mind-blowing, earth-shattering orgasm every time out.  Often, the orgasm you have is good enough.  And if you’re fine without an orgasm, that’s fine, too. A two-minute race to the finish is just as valid as spending an hour and a half idly rubbing yourself in a half-aroused state.  You shouldn’t feel like you have to live up to someone else’s expectations or try some wild trick that people say is amazing, just because they claim “everyone’s doing it”.

Is sex better than masturbation?

Not necessarily.  Any kind of sexual activity, whether partnered or alone, can be good or bad, depending on the circumstances.  You can’t really say that one is “better” than another.  Some people will say that their strongest orgasms come by their own hand, while others will say that orgasms are more powerful with the touch of another.  Some people prefer the closeness of a partner, while others prefer the pleasure feedback loop of masturbation.  Some people consider both equally unpleasant.  Some people like both, in different ways.  It all boils down to personal preference.

Masturbating isn’t inherently “worse” than having partnered sex.  Masturbation’s not second-class sex or a substitute for the “real thing”.  They’re very different experiences, even though they share the same body parts.

It’s sort of like comparing Yellowstone and Yosemite.  Some people like the geysers of Yellowstone, some people like the granite cliffs of Yosemite, some people think they’re both majestic and awesome, and some people don’t care for either one and would rather go to Vegas.  You can’t definitively say that one is better than the other, you can only say that they’re different.

Do sex and masturbation feel any different?

Of course they feel different, but again, that doesn’t necessarily mean that one is better than the other.

Physically, there’s contact with another body.  That leads to sensations of pressure and warmth in places that usually don’t feel pressure or warmth during masturbation.  Your partner will often be more unpredictable than you are with yourself.  They may touch areas or do things that you typically wouldn’t do, or may not even be physically capable of doing yourself.

Emotionally, there’s the presence of another person.  You’re involved in some fairly private interactions with them when you’re having sex.  You’re letting them touch areas of your body that you don’t let most people even see, let alone have contact with.  On the flipside, they’re allowing you to do the same with them.  You’re exposed to their reactions all throughout the process.  All of these are things that aren’t present during solo masturbation.

As far as orgasm, both masturbation and partnered sex are capable of producing mind-blowing stunners or disappointing misses.  There’s no guarantee that an orgasm with someone else is going to be better than one you have on your own.

[Up to Main]

23 thoughts on “An Asexual’s Guide To … Masturbation

  1. one of best descriptions / information I have come across. Wish lot many people read about this…. The best part is the decision given…. upto the individual….

  2. This is a great guide. I like that it lets you make your own choices. I’m still not sure I ever want to masturbate but I still learnt a lot from this. Thank you so much.

  3. I had identified as pansexual up until pretty recently when I realized that I wasn’t actually attracted to people. I’d been able to force myself to simulate attraction but it wasn’t attraction. Now I’m realizing that I’m panromantic and somewhere on the asexuality spectrum. However, I was feeling a whole lot of doubt because even though porn and sex with other people doesn’t turn me on, I’ve been masturbating for a very long time now. This was the main reason why I was so sure that I couldn’t be asexual or even on the spectrum.
    Thank you for making this and allowing me to accept myself.(And sorry for my life story, I felt like I needed to tell someone other than my bff)

  4. Thank you so very much!
    For a while i’ve been doubting wether or not i’m really asexual, since i’m not attracted to other people in any way, og like the idea of intercourse, but still masturbate.
    This doubt has also made me feel really down recently, since i just want to fit in somewhere, but thanks to you, i’ve finally found that place, and can accept myself a bit more.
    Once again, thank you so very much!!!

  5. Thank you so much for writing this. Every time I’ve tried to inform myself on the topic, I’ve mainly come across articles that go on and on about pleasure and fantasies and porn, and that stuff scares me away immediately. Reading this one, though, I felt like someone finally understood me. c: I’m mostly distressed because I’ve never had an orgasm in my life (I’m 18), and I want to know what this mystical hyped-up thing feels like, but everything I’ve read assures me that I will NEVER have one if I’m not comfortable touching myself. But… I don’t… want to masturbate? I just want to have one with my boyfriend. I feel safe with him. So it’s really reassuring to read an article written for asexual people like me. Thank you.

  6. While this post helped some im sill kind of confused. I feel like some of the things said were true for me but…ok, um, I feel attracted to people movies stories and I do feel something wen I touch my clit but other than that ifeel NOTHING when I masturbate. So what does that make me, is there something wrong? I feel like I need some advice.

  7. Ahh so I’ve been masturbating for threeish years and I’ve still yet to have an orgasm. It’s really super frustrating and I don’t even tend to get pleasure when touching myself? I like to think that having a partner may help but I don’t think I’m emotionaly (or legally) ready. I’m also not really at the age where I feel comfortable admiting to a doctor that I’m even trying, let alone not succeeding.

  8. Hey.
    I am new here, i have a question regarding sexuality that maybe everyone here can help me answer.

    Your story was very good. However, I myself, have never touched myself with my hands or toys. At a young age I began relieving my Taint instead. I have always masterbaited this way and for the longest time, I never knew that there was enough way to satisfy yourself. I am perfectly intact down in my Vagina, which I have been told is rather odd. Most the times I get turned on during stress also. If that makes any sense?

    I am very innocent in most parts, and refused numerous times in the past to foreplay in any uncomfortable games. however while I am a virgin, i have for the sake of my partners and to quench my own curiousties have attempted to do Blow Jobs and Kissing, etc in the past. I always would seem to disconnect shortly after, no matter what they did to me. The thought of Sex digusts and at times fasnicates me at the same time. I yearn to expierment in a non sexual way, Bondage with a comptiable partner.

    I find myself unattracted to having sexual intercourse with anyone, yet I do have fantasies that I do believe turn me on. Curoustiy is number 1 in my mind no matter what I do. When I watch Porn, i only get turn on with very detailed and long pronounced Bondage/deadly perils occur. If I see any Male/Female Private Parts or sexual scenes I shudder in digust, i think their or other ways to expiernce love than by having sex.

    All and all, I am confused. I do think about Sex, but when anything outside of my head appears, i instantously recoil back. Being Tied up, is about the only time I get wet, but I feel i only yearn for this as a experiment, because I crave nothing else from my partner after. I don’t want to be kissed, or touched really. I mean once in a while is fine, but too much makes me uninterested.

    I, for the longest time consdiered myself Bi. I find men attractive, but its a very slim population same thing goes for women. I sometime imagine myself, fooling around with the select few, but i don’t really imagine them naked. More often they are in my fanasties than anything else. I am not sure what I want, as I write this my heart feels like it is in my throat. I am curious, but is that really all it is?

    The question is, do you think from what I’ve described to you, puts me more under the Asexual Sexuality Genre? I know you aren’t a doctor, but I would like your advice. Cause, I really don’t what to do.


    • There are Grey areas in asexuality. I suggest looking up Grey asexual. Try doing some more research. I am asexual, but I’m aromatic. That means I don’t desire any romantic relationships either. You have a lot more experience than me, but you may be Grey ace.

  9. i think i have a strong libido but every time i get in the mood the moment i try to do something down there i immediately lose interest. also in order for me to be sexually curious with a partner i have to anonymize them in order to feel anything, granted im still a virgin because i dont wish to have sex yet as well as having little experience to begin with. But whenever an opportunity presents itself with someone i have had absolutely no sexual attraction towards them. in some cases i felt so sexually repulsed to the point of nausea, this has happened more than once. I like knowing others find me attractive but dont like the results of that, i.e. romantic and sexual interest. i often fantasize about sex and enjoy creating scenarios and characters with emotional relationships and i love romance in literature and other media but have never been in love myself and consider romantic interests to be a hassle. it feels as though these seem great to have in my mind but in reality i would rather be without. the companionship seems nice. Im twenty and the few times ive tried to touch myself, like before, i get immediately disinterested when i try to do something about the built up desire. ive always touched myself through some layer of clothing because i was a little scared and timid about touching just skin. the first time, and so far only time, i did so without clothing and inserted a finger my first thought was “oh, it is soft”. nothing else. maybe i need more practice idk but ive been trying to touch myself intermittently through underwear for years and have never felt anything but a little uncomfortable, the arousal before immediately extinguishing. so ive come to think im probably on the ace spectrum if not explicitly so and may even be aro, but am unsure because of my intense feelings of arousal and love of romantic lit and media, even though once these things present themselves in the real world i have nothing but disinterest for them. sorry for the long tmi post but its something ive wanted to get out there for awhile, please let me know what you think, its much appreciated.

    • sorry but i forgot some things. i find men and women physically attractive and can see why others may feel a certain way but again ive never been sexually or romantically attracted to anyone, granted im still young. but when i do imagine scenarios about either one they tend to be hetero-based, although the idea of a same sex relationship doesnt bother me, love is love. and when i do imagine these scenarios they are with subjects i have created, and although they may have physical and personality characteristics i find myself drawn to, i dont imagine a particular person(s), it just feels weird and gross.

  10. I’m asexual, masturbate and have 2 kids. So is my partner. And he masturbates too. We had sex because we wanted children. We masturbate because we love to orgasm. Alone. At our own pace.

  11. Thank you for this!
    I’m not asexual, I think, but I found this helpful. I often think about sex and I masturbate sometimes (rarely), but I never get aroused or wet. I don’t really have the patience to masturbate for long though, at most five minutes and therefore I’ve never gotten an orgasm. I would like to, I just don’t have the patience.
    So thank you, I really thought I was alone.

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