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 Drugstore.com and Amazon.com 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]

An Asexual’s Guide To … Female Masturbation

[Up to Masturbation | Main]

The techniques and details described in this post are not the only way to masturbate.  They’re not the “correct” way or the “best” way.  They may not even work for you.  They’re provided as a base upon which you can experiment and learn what works for you.

Okay, so, I’ve got a clitoris and I want to try masturbating.  How do I go about doing that?

First, note that the question said “clitoris” and not “vagina”.  This is because your clitoris is generally where the action is at.  It’s typically very difficult, if not impossible, to reach orgasm through vaginal stimulation alone.  The vagina just isn’t that sensitive.  So, if you’ve been unsuccessfully attempting to masturbate by penetrating or stimulating your vagina, and haven’t involved your clitoris at all, then stop.  Take your fingers out.  Move them to your clitoris.  Now try rubbing there for a bit.  If you give that a shot, you may find that you don’t even need to read the rest of this post.  (That’s not to say that your vagina is completely useless while you masturbate, many people do find vaginal penetration to be a useful addition while masturbating, but it almost always takes a back seat to clitoral stimulation.)

Second, if you’ve ever seen masturbation in porn, forget pretty much everything you’ve seen.  It’s probably all lying to you.  Most of the time, “female masturbation” in porn is the fictional representation of what the stereotypical horny straight dude wants to believe is masturbation.  It’s typically a carefully scripted and staged penetration-based fantasy that bears very little resemblance to how people actually masturbate.  It might be good for a show, but it’s not generally good if you’re actually looking to have an orgasm.  (Speaking of which, if the “masturbation” porn video even bothers to show an orgasm, which they rarely do, it’s almost certainly fake, too.)

In any case, the real first step is to get ready.  Find a comfortable and safe position, where you’ll have enough time to experiment and try things out without being disturbed.  This can be a bed, a chair, a bathtub, a shower, or wherever else.  Lock your door if that would make you feel more comfortable.  You may want to have a towel nearby so you can easily clean up afterward.  You might even want to sit or lie on the towel so that it’ll soak up any wetness there might be. (If you’re in the shower or tub, then it’ll all just wash down the drain, so you don’t have to worry about that.)  Finally, you may want some sort of lube to help things along.  Your vagina may end up producing enough to use on its own.  Saliva would also work  However, if you want a little artificial help, then a lube specifically designed for sexual activity (typically called “personal lubricant”) is your best bet.  Stuff like hand lotion, Vaseline, or baby oil typically have substances that could potentially lead to vaginal infections (not to mention that they’ll destroy latex condoms), so you should probably avoid them, and soap or shampoo may seem slippery, but they’ll dry you out and may irritate your sensitive bits.

Oh, and make sure your fingernails are nice and trimmed.  You don’t want to accidentally cut anything down there.

All the prerequisites are taken care of, it’s time to get down to business.  The most common and most straightforward way to masturbate is to use several fingers to rub circles on your clitoris repeatedly until orgasm.  That’s the technique I’m going to explain here.

For this to work, you’re going to need access to your clitoris.  I’d suggest taking off your pants and underwear, so it’s all out there and freely reachable.  Or if you want, you can simply reach into your underwear and do it entirely inside your pants.  Of course, it’s also possible to rub your clitoris through your clothes.  Some people prefer this way, since they find more direct clitoral stimulation to be too intense, and this method has the added benefit of keeping all the fluids away from your hands.

It’s probably going to work a lot better if you’re aroused before you start going at it full speed.  Arousal is where your clitoris fills with blood and peeks out of hiding and your vagina starts lubricating itself.  At this point, most other resources will direct you to “Think of that hot guy in accounting” in order to get aroused, but since you’re here, I’m assuming you’re ace, so that’s probably not going to work so well for you.  That means you’ll need to get one some other way.  Of course, you might already be ready from reading this far and anticipating what’s next.  Awesome, you’re ready to go!  Then again, you may already know how to get turned on, in which case, proceed.  Or, you can always wait until you become aroused naturally for some reason.

However, in many cases, you might have to help the kitten start purring when you want to use it.  Here’s a few things you might try to get you up and running.  Feel free to mix and match these techniques.  If one doesn’t work on its own, it might work with the help of another.

  • Touch or rub your vulva.  This may seem rather obvious, but it’s often effective.  Don’t just poke at it, though.  Cup your hand over the area, press against it, and start rubbing around in circular motions or side to side or front to back.
  • Caress your stomach or inner thighs.  Try focusing on other areas around your vulva.  Those regions are often fairly sensitive and may send a wake-up signal to your equipment.
  • Apply pressure to your vulva or your clitoris.  Press against it with your hand.  Tuck your leg up so that you sit in a way that your heel presses against your clitoris.  Or sit or kneel over a pillow or bunched up blanket that is pressing against you.
  • Tense or clench your genital muscles.  Try tensing the muscles that you use to hold back pee.  Clench and hold, or repeatedly tense and release.
  • Touch, rub, or pinch your nipples.  Your nipples may be a sensitive zone.  Touching them or pressing on them may trigger arousal.  Rubbing them or pinching them may also work.
  • Think about sex, look at porn, or read something erotic.  Yeah, you’re asexual, but this still may work anyway.  Don’t ask me why, I haven’t figured it out myself.
  • Use a vibrator.  If you run a vibrator near, but not necessarily directly on your clitoris, you might start to become aroused.

Okay, now that you’re ready to go, it’s time to get going.

At this point, pretty much anything that rubs around your clitoris over and over may eventually lead to an orgasm.  Some techniques are very effective, while others are a quick trip to carpal tunnel.  I’m going to describe one of the most common techniques.  Note that this is not the only way to masturbate.  There are many variations that you can do, so I’d encourage you to experiment and improvise in order to find out what works best for you.

Reach down and place a couple of fingers or the palm of your hand on your clitoris.  Press on it.  It should be enough that you can feel the pressure, but not so much that it feels like you’re going to crush your clitoris.  Start making small circles around your clitoris with your fingers and hands.  It should be a smooth, continuous motion, like a wheel going around.  Keep spinning these circles repeatedly.

You may find that your clitoris is too sensitive to be stimulated directly.  If this is the case, try rubbing the clitoral hood, instead.  The hood should slide over the head of the clitoris and provide a bit of a cushion.  If that’s still too sensitive, try applying the pressure to a wider area, or try placing a towel or blanket over your clitoris as you rub or try masturbating through your clothing.  It’s often the case that as you continue and get more into the experience, that more direct contact with your clitoris becomes tolerable, possibly even preferable.

If there’s too much friction or you want to try sliding around a bit more, try applying some lube.  Start with just a little bit, like a drop or two, because it’s always easy to add more, but harder to get rid of too much.  As I mentioned earlier, your vagina itself might be a good source for lube, otherwise saliva or an artificial personal lubricant would work.

As you continue to spin little circles, it should start to feel somewhat different downstairs.  It probably will start to feel good.  Varying the pressure you apply, the speed of the rubbing, the size of the circles, even how many fingers you’re using may all have an effect on how much pleasure you experience.  Everyone is different.  Some people like fast movement while others take it slow, but too fast may cause irritation and too slow may not be enough stimulation to keep yourself aroused.  Some prefer a lighter touch and others prefer more pressure, but too light and you won’t feel anything and too hard and it might hurt.  There’s no “perfect” speed or pressure, so you’ll have to experiment with what works best for you.

Okay, so, you’re circling round and round, and hopefully it’s starting to feel like you’re getting somewhere.  There’s a misconception that you won’t feel much of anything until all of a sudden, BOOM! Orgasm.  That’s typically not how it works.  It’ll probably start to feel good well before the orgasm, with a small surge of pleasure with every rotation.  You’ll start to get a feeling for which areas feel best, and you’ll start to focus on them.  You’ll probably start to adjust your speed and pressure to maximize the sensation.  Just keep at it like this.

Don’t worry about whether or not you have an orgasm.  You probably won’t have one the first time you masturbate.  Or first five times.  Or maybe even your first hundred.  Don’t try to force it and don’t feel discouraged if you don’t have one.  It doesn’t mean you’re broken, it doesn’t mean you’re frigid, it doesn’t mean you’re unable to have one.  More than likely, it just means you’re inexperienced.  So, just relax and keep doing what feels good and trying different things when something doesn’t feel good, and eventually, you’ll probably get there.  If it doesn’t feel like you’re getting anywhere this time, then stop for now, don’t sweat it, and try again later.

However, if it feels like you’re getting somewhere, keep going.  As you proceed, the pleasure will probably increase.  You may notice that your pulse and breathing have changed.  Muscles all over your body may start to tense up or shake involuntarily.  You may start to focus on the sensations and begin to tune the rest of the world out.  Eventually, you may feel like you’re climbing a hill or pushing against a wall, that’s there’s a sense that something is about to happen, if you can just get there.  You may even start to feel like you have to pee.  At this point, a lot of people become nervous and think that something’s wrong or that they’ve hit a dead end, so they stop masturbating.  Keep going, keep trying to get to the other side.  You may want to change the speed and pressure of your rubbing at this point.  A lot of people will go faster and press harder in an effort to get over that hill.  You’re not far off from the orgasm, so keep going.

In some cases, your vagina might pulse or twitch when you’re at this stage.  That’s not a sign that something’s wrong, it’s just your body preparing for what’s next.  This doesn’t always happen, though, so don’t worry if it doesn’t happen to you.

Eventually, all that repetitive circling you’ve been doing will pay off.  You’ll have a sensation that you’ve made it to the top of the hill and you’ll start coasting down the other side.  This is the orgasm.  Usually, there will be an intense surge of pleasure that lasts for several seconds.  Often, there will be a series of rhythmic muscular pulses in your vagina, kinda like a very strong heartbeat.  These pulses are often accompanied by a surge of pleasure.  They’re roughly a second apart at the start, but they slow down and become weaker with each passing pulse.  You can have from one to over ten of these pulses, but generally you’ll probably have somewhere between 3 and 7 of them.  In some cases, a small amount of fluid will also be expelled from the vagina.

Your first few times, an orgasm may feel more weird than good.  You’ve got muscles moving on their own in ways you’re not used to, you’ve got sensory input you’ve never had before, and maybe you even have strange liquids being expelled from your body.  You may even feel slightly nauseous.  It’s almost a guarantee that it won’t be a mind-blowing, world-shaking experience and it probably won’t be the best feeling ever.  More than likely, you’ll get used to the sensations of orgasm over time and it’ll start to feel better as you go along.

After you orgasm, you’ll probably feel deeply relaxed.  All the tension that had built up while you were climbing that hill has been released.  At the same time, it’s possible that your clitoris has become very very sensitive.  Trying to continue stimulating it can be unbearably intense.   Even a light touch might be uncomfortable.  You can let go of yourself at this point, but you may also enjoy the feeling of simply resting your hand on your vulva (without moving anything) for a while afterward.  During this time, you’ll gradually lose your arousal and clitoral erection and your heart rate and breathing will return to normal.

Most people will stop at this point.  In many cases, everything downstairs will want to take a bit of time to recharge.  In some cases, however, you may feel like continuing onto a second (and maybe even third and fourth…) orgasm.

In any case, that’s just one of many ways that you can masturbate.  As I’ve been saying all along, don’t be afraid to experiment and try other things.  You’re the only person who can know what works best for you.

tl; dr:  Spin little circles on your clit until you come.

What about the vagina?

It’s a misconception that the vagina is the primary source of sexual pleasure.  This misconception leads many people to think that they’re physically incapable of sexual pleasure and orgasm, because they don’t get much out of vaginal penetration.  When I ran a series of questionnaires to gather information for these posts, several of the responses said something similar to this:  “When I was young, I tried masturbating.  I dipped a few fingers in, didn’t feel anything, got bored and gave up.  I feel like I’m broken down there.”

It’s disheartening to see things like that.  It’s disheartening to know that things like that are not an isolated incident.  Many people feel that way.  And it’s not just some kind of sheltered asexual belief, many people who aren’t even remotely asexual think their parts don’t work because they don’t get much out of vaginal stimulation.  It’s a failure in how we talk about sexuality and bodies and how everything is arranged that leads to this.

Sure, it seems like your vagina should be the center of good feelings, given that it’s a fairly notable feature downstairs and since it plays an important role in sexual intercourse.  And so much porn is dedicated to vaginal penetration, I mean, it’s gotta be what important, right?  But in reality, it’s not all that sensitive.  The main source of pleasure is tucked away in your clitoris, that often overlooked nub at the edge of the vulva.  That’s not to say the vagina is completely numb.  Vaginal penetration can feel good, but it’s often not enough to reach orgasm.

However, it certainly can enhance the sensations while you masturbate, and there’s nothing wrong with vaginal penetration, if that’s what you want.  In some cases, while you masturbate, you might even feel an urge to have something inside you.

If you decide to explore penetration, there are a few things to keep in mind.  First, if you’re using your fingers, clip your nails!  Sharp nails and folds of skin can lead to cuts, and cuts can lead to infections, and infections never lead anywhere good.  Second, don’t put anything in there that shouldn’t go in there.  Things you might find around the house that might seem like they’d fit are probably not a good idea.  They might have hidden sharp edges or be home to all sorts of bacteria looking for a new home.  (And they might belong to someone else, which would just be rude…)  Use your fingers or something like a dildo or vibrator.  Start small, and work your way up.  It can be uncomfortable or even painful to put something in your vagina.  You don’t even need something all that big to get some added sensation, often just a couple of fingers will do.  And finally, don’t rush in!  If you try to go in before your vagina is ready, it’ll probably be an unpleasant experience.  Wait until you’re warmed up a bit and your vaginal walls have started to lubricate themselves.  If there’s not enough lubrication, some saliva or personal lubricant should help with that.

What you do once you’re in there is up to you.  You might enjoy moving your fingers (or whatever) in and out repeatedly.    How deep you go or how shallow you stay and how fast or how slow you go is entirely up to your preference.  You might just simply leave your fingers motionless and enjoy the feeling of fullness.  You might want to explore and try to find your G-spot.  (More about that later.)  Or, you might decide that penetration really isn’t your thing after all and take your fingers out and never look back.  Many people don’t get much out of vaginal penetration and don’t include it when they masturbate.

What if I don’t want to touch myself?

If you’re not a fan of direct contact with your genitals, you can try wearing a glove while you masturbate.  You can also try masturbating with clothing or something else between your hand and your vulva.  In either case, you can still use pretty much any technique as you otherwise would, including the circles method outlined above.

If that’s not your cup of tea, you can try using toys.  Many dildos and vibrators are long enough that you can stimulate your clitoris with them, but keep your hands well out of the way.

Running water is often an effective hands-free masturbation technique.  Turn on the bath faucet, adjust the temperature, then scoot up and let the water fall onto your vulva.  If you have a hand held shower head, you can use that to direct a spray of water directly at your clitoris.  And I’ve heard good things about Jacuzzi jets.

And if you don’t want to use hands at all, you can try grinding against something.  Grinding is when you press your vulva against something so that there’s pressure on your clitoris, then rock your hips back and forth to stimulate yourself.  This rocking motion should change the pressure point.  You can grind against something like a pillow or bunched up towel or blanket, or against a piece of furniture or something similar.

Sitting on a running washing machine may work.  The strong vibrations have been known to get the job done.  (The same is true of driving on a bumpy road.)

You can try simply squeezing your thighs together repeatedly, as well.  This action can stimulate your clitoris, and doesn’t require using anything else in the process.

What if I don’t like fluids?

Many of the techniques described above about masturbating without directly touching yourself can help here, as well.  They all keep your hands away from the fluids.  In particular, the techniques involving running water will do a pretty good job of washing away anything that might happen.

It’s possible to do it while wearing a pad.  The pad should catch all of the fluids since, you know, that’s kinda what they’re supposed to do.

Are the fluids harmful?

No, your vaginal lubrication is not harmful to you in any way.  It’s perfectly safe to touch it.

What about toys or other implements?

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.  Some toys won’t get you to orgasm on their own, but they can potentially increase the pleasure.  There are far too many types to talk about all of them, so I’m just going to cover a few of the common ones.

  • Vibrator:  A vibrator is wide term that encompasses any toy that vibrates.  You typically press the vibrator against your clitoris.  Some vibrators are designed for vaginal or anal penetration.  Most vibrators have adjustable speed or strength.  Many people say that they rely on the assistance of a vibrator to reach orgasm, and many people report that they did not think they could have an orgasm until they tried using a vibrator.  There are multiple types of vibrators.  Bullet vibes, where the vibrating motor is encased in a small egg are fairly popular.  Dildo vibes are the combination of a dildo and a vibrator.  The Rabbit is a type of dildo vibrator which has an arm that will stimulate your clitoris as it penetrates your vagina.  Then there’s the personal massager vibrators, which are typically larger, stronger, and are usually marketed as back massagers.  The Hitachi Magic Wand is a popular personal massager.  Some common household items with a vibrate feature can be used as a vibrator, too, such as electric toothbrushes, cell phones, and video game controllers.  Just remember that’s not their primary use and also consider that it’s probably a bit rude and icky to use one of those if anyone else might want to use it for its intended purpose.
  • Dildos:  A dildo is a generally somewhat cylindrical toy that is designed for penetration.  Sometimes a dildo may have a vibrator inside it, and sometimes a dildo might be designed to resemble a penis.  (I think technically a dildo is a featureless non-vibrating penetrative toy, a dong is a non-vibrating penetrative toy that resembles a penis, and a vibrator is any kind of toy that vibrates.  But those distinctions typically don’t matter.)  You use it by inserting it in your vagina (you may need lube), or by applying generous lube and carefully inserting it in your anus.  You may choose to move it in and out, or you may wish to simply leave it there.  Vaginal or anal stimulation rarely leads to orgasm on its own, but it often will enhance the pleasure of masturbation.  Some dildos are designed for G-spot stimulation and will have a curve or a knob that makes it easier to stimulate that area.  Some dildos have an arm or an extension that is designed to stimulate your clitoris as you use it, like the Rabbit.  In some cases, you may use a dildo strictly for clitoral stimulation by rubbing it externally, without any vaginal penetration.  (If trying one in the back door, be sure to only use toys specifically designed for anal penetration, which typically have a ridge to prevent the whole thing from going inside.  Also, take note of the size.  Many dildos are designed for vaginal penetration, so they can be fairly large and using them in your anus can be very uncomfortable and unpleasant.  Anal penetration can also be a bit messy, so be prepared to clean both the toy and yourself when you’re finished.  And, this is important, don’t use a toy vaginally after you’ve used it anally, until it’s been well cleaned, or there’s a risk you’ll transfer bacteria you don’t want living in your vagina.)
  • Handheld Shower Head:  If you have one of those detachable handheld shower heads on the end of a small hose, you can direct the spray toward your clitoris, vulva, or perineum.  Adjust the spray pattern and water temperature to find what works best.  In some cases, you may find that a direct spray at a specific spot works, while other times it may be more effective to sweep the spray across your genitals.  The handheld showerhead has the added benefit of not being seen as a sex toy, so if you’re looking for something totally discreet, this is probably your best bet.  (Sure, some toys are marketed as back massagers, but anyone who recognizes it will know you’re probably not using it for lumbar pain…)

What’s the deal with the G-Spot?

The G-Spot is a somewhat hard, ridged area along the forward vaginal wall.  In some cases, stimulating this region in the right way can lead to an intense orgasm.  Many people report that an orgasm with the involvement of the G-Spot can lead to female ejaculation.

G-Spot stimulation should be considered an “advanced technique”.  If you’re just starting out, it’s best to get a little bit more experience masturbating before trying to include the G-Spot in your play time.  Otherwise it’ll just unnecessarily complicate things.  Even if you’re a veteran, you may not find G-Spot stimulation to be worth the trouble.

To find it, insert a finger into your vagina and feel along the forward wall (the side that’s closest to your front) for an area that feels different.  It’s probably a few inches inside.  Much of the vagina is soft and smooth, but the G-spot is harder and feels bumpy or ridged.  If you’re not a fan of using a finger for vaginal penetration, there are a number of toys that are designed for G-Spot stimulation.  These toys usually have a curved shape that will press against the G-Spot when inserted, although you’ll have to rely on sensation to know you’ve found it, rather than touch.

G-Spot stimulation generally consists of rubbing while pressing against it.  G-Spot stimulation alone might not be enough for an orgasm, so you may want to use your clitoris at the same time.  As with the clitoris, the amount of pressure and the speed of rubbing will likely affect how it feels.

Not everyone responds to G-Spot stimulation in the same way.  Some people don’t see what the big deal is.  Some people find it uncomfortable to touch.  Some people may not even have a G-Spot.  (In fact, some people don’t believe it really exists at all…)  So, if you’re having trouble finding it, or you’ve found it and you’re not really impressed by what it does, don’t worry about it.

What’s the deal with female ejaculation?

First, it’s important to note that if you’ve ever seen this in a pornographic video, it’s less likely to have been an actual instance of female ejaculation and more likely to have been an instance of peeing on cue.

Ejaculation should be considered an “advanced technique”.  If you’re just starting out, it’s best to get a little bit more experience masturbating before trying to ejaculation in your play time.  Otherwise it’ll just unnecessarily complicate things.  Even if you’re a veteran, you may not find ejaculation to be worth the trouble.

Female ejaculation is where a small amount of fluid is pumped out of the urethra during orgasm.  It’s different than lubricating fluid being pushed out of the vagina by the orgasmic contractions and it’s not urine.  The ejaculation fluid is typically whitish and somewhat thick.  The most common way to cause ejaculation is to stimulate the G-spot to orgasm.

Some people say that an ejaculating orgasm is more intense or pleasurable than an orgasm without ejaculation.  Some people don’t see much difference.  Some people intentionally try to ejaculate, while for other people it just happens unintentionally during orgasms occasionally.

Ejaculating is not an easy thing to do.  There’s no 100% guaranteed trick to make it happen.  Many people try repeatedly with no luck.  It may not even be possible for some people to do.  Even people who can do it aren’t able to do it all the time.  If you try and don’t get anywhere, don’t worry about it.  It shouldn’t be something you feel like you have to be able to do.

Can I have multiple orgasms?

Possibly.  In some cases, after an orgasm, you might be able to continue stimulating yourself and have another orgasm (or two or three or …).  If your clitoris becomes hyper-sensitive following orgasm, you might have to wait a short while for the sensitivity to die down.   Strengthening your PC muscles by doing Kegel exercises might make it easier to have multiple orgasms.

Not everyone can have multiple orgasms, not everyone wants multiple orgasms, and not everyone who can have them wants to have them every time.  There’s no scorekeeping in masturbation.  If you’re fine with one orgasm, that’s great.  If you want to shoot for double digits, that’s great, too.  And if you don’t even want one, let alone more than one, even that’s great. The important thing is that you do what you want to do and not what you feel like you’re supposed to be doing or what you think other people are doing.

A lot of people wonder, “If you can have multiple orgasms, how do you know when to stop?”  The answer is that you know it’s time to stop when you don’t want to keep going.

What other things can I try?

The vulva isn’t the only body part that you can use while masturbating.  Try touching or pinching your nipples and caressing your breasts, or try rubbing your thighs, stomach, or chest.  All of those places, and more, can enhance the experience.

Some people enjoy anal stimulation.  You can try rubbing the opening, or gently push a well lubed (and well-manicured) finger inside.

What if it doesn’t feel good?

If you’re first getting started, it might not actually feel all that good.  You’ll probably have to try a couple of times before you start figure out what works for you.

If you’ve been at it for a while, but still nothing, shake up your technique a bit.  Switch hands, try using lube, try a different position, try using a toy, go faster or slower, press harder or lighter.  And remember, there’s no cookie-cutter way to masturbate.  What works for someone else might not work for you.

If you’ve tried it all and it still doesn’t feel good, then maybe it just won’t.  .  If it bothers you, you might want to consult with a doctor.  There may be a treatable medical reason for why it doesn’t feel good.  (Notably, it’s a side effect of many medications.)  However, if you’re cool with it, don’t worry about it.  You don’t have to masturbate or have orgasms to survive, so don’t worry about it.  It’s not your thing, but it doesn’t have to be your thing.

Are there any dangers or warnings I should know about?

  • This post has been written specifically about solo masturbation.  There are numerous health and safety concerns that would potentially need to be addressed if you’re doing anything I’ve mentioned here with someone else.  Most notably, there are countless disease prevention (and in some cases, pregnancy prevention) steps you would probably want to take that I have not mentioned here.
  • Make sure your vagina is adequately prepared before inserting anything.  Often, your natural wetness will be enough, but if it’s not, use an artificial lube.  If you attempt penetration without proper lubrication, you could irritate your skin and it may be uncomfortable or painful.
  • Don’t stick anything in your vagina that wasn’t meant for it and clean whatever you put in there before and after you use it.  The skin is soft and sensitive and any sharp or rough edges could cause painful and awkward cuts.  (In particular, cut your fingernails!)  And if you’re using something that’s not quite clean, then you run the risk of infection, because bacteria love the warm, moist environment.  This is why it’s a very bad idea to use anything (toy, fingers, etc.) in your vagina immediately after using it in your butt.
  • Watch what you use for lube.  Shampoo and soap might seem nice and slick, but it can severely dry out the skin or cause a rash.  They also may get into the urethra, where they’ll burn.  Hand creams and Vaseline and baby oil can all disrupt the natural cleansing action of the vagina and lead to infections.  Additionally, some creams contain a “medicated” tingling or warming feature.  It might feel good on a sore back, but the sensation could be excruciating on your genitals.  (Then again, that one’s up to individual preference…  Some people like how it feels…)  It’s best to use a personal lubricant specifically designed for genital use.
  • Inserting an object in your anus carries the risk of it getting stuck.  Save yourself an embarrassing visit to an emergency room and only use items that can’t get pulled completely inside and “lost”.  Many anal toys will have a ridge or tab to prevent them from going all the way in, or they’ll have a string attached to easy retrieval.
  • Make sure anything entering your anus is smooth and well lubed, and don’t force it in.  In particular, cut your fingernails!  A long fingernail might cut the inner lining, which can be unpleasant and runs the risk of infection.  Inadequate lubrication might cause irritation or tearing.
  • NEVER do ANYTHING that forcibly cuts off your airway while masturbating.  People have actually died from doing that.  You can hold your breath, but leave it at that.  Besides, taking long deep breaths can actually increase the sensations more than holding your breath will.
  • If it hurts, stop!  You’re probably doing something wrong.

[Up to Masturbation | Main]

An Asexual’s Guide To … Male Masturbation

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The techniques and details described in this post are not the only way to masturbate.  They’re not the “correct” way or the “best” way.  They may not even work for you.  They’re provided as a base upon which you can experiment and learn what works for you.

Okay, so, I’ve got a penis and I want to try masturbating.  How do I go about doing that?

The first step is to get ready.  Find a comfortable and safe position, where you’ll have enough time to experiment and try things out without being disturbed.  Lock your door if that would make you feel more comfortable.  You may want some sort of lube to help things along.  Pretty much anything slippery will do, but try to avoid soap or shampoo, because those have a tendency to dry out your skin or cause a burning sensation if they get in your urethra, neither of which is very fun.  Lube specifically designed for sexual activity (typically called “personal lubricant”) is your best bet, but something like hand lotion, baby oil, or Vaseline will also work.  (However, oil and latex don’t mix, so if there’s any chance that a condom and another person will be involved in your session, stick to water-based personal lubricants that are specifically made for use with condoms.  To repeat:  Do not use hand lotion, baby oil, Vaseline, or anything else like that if there’s going to be a condom involved.)  And finally, you’ll want to have a towel or some tissues nearby.  If you end up having an orgasm, you’ll probably ejaculate, and you’ll probably want to clean that up.  (Or just masturbate in the shower or bath and wash it all down the drain.)

All the prerequisites are taken care of, it’s time to get down to business.  The most common and most straightforward way to masturbate is to wrap your hand around your penis and stroke up and down repeatedly until you orgasm or decide to stop.  That’s the technique I’m going to explain here.

For this to work, you’re going to need access to your penis.  I’d suggest taking off your pants and underwear, so it’s all out there and freely reachable, and so you don’t have to worry about accidental stains on your pants when you’re done.  Of course, it’s also possible to pull your penis out through your fly, although that can sometimes lead to painful zipper bites.  Or if you want, you can simply reach into your underwear and do it entirely inside your pants, but that typically leads to restricted motion, which may make things uncomfortable and more difficult.

Now you’ll need an erection, also known as a hard-on.  This is where your penis fills with blood, becomes somewhat stiff, and tends to stand up.  At this point, most other resources will direct you to “Think of that hot girl in accounting” in order to get an erection, but since you’re here, I’m assuming you’re ace, so that’s probably not going to work so well for you.  That means you’ll need to get one some other way.  Of course, you might already have one from reading this far and anticipating what’s next.  Awesome, you’re ready to go!  Then again, you may know how to achieve erection, in which case, proceed.  Or, you can always wait until you have one naturally for some reason.  Morning wood can be used for masturbation, just like any other erection.

However, in many cases, you might have to help your little soldier stand at attention when you want to use it.  Here’s a few things you might try to get you up and running.  Feel free to mix and match these techniques.  If one doesn’t work on its own, it might work with the help of another.

  • Touch or rub your penis.  This may seem obvious, but it’s often rather effective.  Don’t just poke it with a finger or hold it like you would when you pee, but run your fingers or hand around it.  Near the head on the underside (the side that faces your balls when you’re soft) is an area that’s often more sensitive than the rest of skin.  Rubbing there in a circular motion may get you aroused.
  • Grab and pull your penis.  Don’t yank or jerk, but gently pull it outward and move it around.  Start stroking or pushing along it.
  • Move the loose skin back and forth.  Pull the skin back, then pull the skin up over the head over and over.  If you have a foreskin, pull it back all the way.  Try gently pinching, rolling, or stretching the skin.
  • Caress your stomach, inner thighs, and balls.  Try focusing on other areas around your penis.  Those regions are often fairly sensitive and may send a wake-up signal to your equipment.
  • Constrict the base of your penis for a short time.  Make a loop with your thumb and forefinger around your penis, down near where it attaches to your body.  Make the finger loop tighter. This will allow blood to enter, but make it more difficult to leave, which may result in an erection.  Toys called “cock rings” do this same thing.  Don’t stay like this for too long or hold it too tightly, or you’ll cut off circulation, which could be bad.
  • Apply pressure to your penis.  Press it against your body with your hand.  Lean against something, so that your penis is between your body and something else.  Or try laying face down, with your penis between your body and your mattress.  Make a gentle rocking motion with your hips to vary the pressure on your shaft.  You might also try crossing your legs with your penis between them.
  • Tense or clench your genital muscles.  Try tensing the muscles that you use to hold back pee.  Clench and hold, or repeatedly tense and release.  After a while, you might start to get an erection.
  • Think about sex, look at porn, or read something erotic.  Yeah, you’re asexual, but this still may work anyway.  Don’t ask me why, I haven’t figured it out myself.
  • Use a vibrator.  The little buzzing machines aren’t just for a clitoris.  A penis can be woken up by one, too.  That zone on the underside is a good place to try placing it.

By the way, you don’t actually have to have a full erection to begin masturbating.  An erection isn’t an on-off binary, where you’re either completely soft or rock hard.  There’s a huge area in between, and you can usually work with your penis even if it’s in a semi-erect state.  So, if you’re able to get yourself partially hard, but not completely there, then you’re probably far enough along to continue.  The later stimulation will likely complete the erection.  And if you start to lose the erection after you’ve started, come back to these tricks and you might be able to regain it.

Okay, so now you have an erection (Or at least enough of one) and are ready to go.

At this point, pretty much anything that slides up and down your penis over and over may eventually lead to an orgasm.  Some techniques are very effective, while others are a quick trip to rug burn.  I’m going to describe one of the most common techniques.  Note that this is not the only way to masturbate.  There are many variations that you can do, so I’d encourage you to experiment and improvise in order to find out what works best for you.

Reach down and wrap your hand (doesn’t matter which) around your erection.  Your grip should sort of be like you’re holding a cup or a refrigerator door handle.  Your thumb and forefinger should be able to completely close a loop around your penis near the head, your palm will fully contact the shaft, while the rest of the fingers will curl around as far as they can reach.  You want to hold tight enough that you can feel some pressure, but not so tight that you’re really squeezing it.  You’re not trying to pull off your penis, so you don’t need a death grip.

Start sliding your hand up and down the shaft of your penis.  It should be a smooth, continuous motion.  If you’ve ever seen the piston on an oil well or on a steam locomotive, think of the continuous back-and-forth movement of one of those.  You don’t want to “jerk” it or “yank” it, despite what the common euphemisms for masturbation imply.  Keep stroking up and down your penis repeatedly.  If you have no idea how fast to be going, try about one or two full up and down strokes per second, but don’t worry about precise timing.  Faster or slower is okay, and you’ll find the speed that works for you.

There should be some play in the skin of your shaft.  Your grip should be tight enough so that the skin moves slightly back and forth with your hand, but loose enough that it’ll slip back into position as you move.  You don’t want a grip so tight that it feels like you’re going to pull the skin off or so loose that you don’t feel the skin move at all.  If you have a foreskin, you might be able to slide that back and forth.

You do not have to move your hand along the entire length of your penis with every stroke.  The base of the shaft is less sensitive than the head, so you may not get much from stroking the base.  Then again, the head may be too sensitive to stroke, so you may want to avoid it at certain times.  You’ll probably keep your hand in contact with your penis most of the time as you stroke, instead of pulling it completely off the end with every movement.  Sometimes you might make several short strokes close to the head between strokes along the full length.

If your hand’s not sliding smoothly across the skin of your penis as you stroke, you may want to use some of that lubricant that I mentioned above.  Start with a small amount, like a drop or two.  It’s easy to add more, but harder to take it away.  You want to add enough so that you reduce friction, but not so much that you’ve completely eliminated it.  Too little and it’ll probably feel sticky, but too much and your hand will slip right off.  Make sure that the lube is spread around to all of your fingers and your palm.  If it starts to dry out, adding a little bit more or a few drops of water will usually bring it back.

As you continue to stroke, it should start to feel different downstairs.  It probably will begin to feel good.  Varying the pressure of your grip (even mid-stroke), the speed of the stroke, the angle you’re holding it, even how many fingers you’re using may all have an effect on how much pleasure you experience.  Everyone is different.  Some people like fast strokes while others take it slow, but too fast may cause irritation and too slow may not be enough stimulation to keep the erection up.  Some prefer looser grips and others prefer more pressure, but too loose and you won’t feel anything and too tight and it might hurt.  There’s no “perfect” speed or pressure, so you’ll have to experiment with what works best for you.

There are various areas of your penis that will react to stimulation differently.  The shaft is probably the least sensitive area.  On the underside of the penis, near the head, there may be a zone that is very pleasurable to stimulate.  A band of skin called the frenulum connects the shaft to the head in that area, and the frenulum can be quite sensitive, although it’s unfortunately sometimes removed during circumcision.  The head is often the most sensitive area.  Sometimes, particularly for someone who is uncircumcised, the head may even be too sensitive to stimulate directly until you reach a high enough level of arousal and your body is prepared for it.  The corona, the ridge around the base of the head can also be a highly sensitive region.

Now, you may be thinking, “If the head is so sensitive, why don’t I just spend all my time focused on that?”  Well, the answer is that it’s generally too intense to do that.  The stimulation will sort of overload your senses and it may become too much to take.  If it starts to feel too intense, back off a bit.  Slow down, loosen your grip, maybe retreat to the shaft for a while and stroke the head a bit less.

Okay, so, you’re stroking over and over, and hopefully it’s starting to feel like you’re getting somewhere.  There’s a misconception that you won’t feel much of anything until all of a sudden, BOOM! Orgasm.  That’s typically not how it works.  It’ll probably start to feel good well before the orgasm, with a small surge of pleasure with every stroke up or down.  You’ll start to get a feeling for which areas feel best, and you’ll start to focus on them.  You’ll probably start to adjust your speed and pressure to maximize the sensation.  Just keep at it like this.

Don’t worry about whether or not you have an orgasm.  You probably won’t have one the first time you masturbate.  Or first five times.  Or maybe even your first hundred.  Don’t try to force it and don’t feel discouraged if you don’t have one.  It doesn’t mean you’re broken, it doesn’t mean you’re impotent, it doesn’t mean you’re unable to have one.  More than likely, it just means you’re inexperienced.  So, just relax and keep doing what feels good and trying different things when something doesn’t feel good, and eventually, you’ll probably get there.  If it doesn’t feel like you’re getting anywhere this time, then stop for now, don’t sweat it, and try again later.

However, if it feels like you’re getting somewhere, keep going.  As you proceed, the pleasure will probably increase.  You may notice that your pulse and breathing have changed.  Muscles all over your body may start to tense up or shake involuntarily.  You may start to focus on the sensations and begin to tune the rest of the world out.  Eventually, you may feel like you’re climbing a hill or pushing against a wall, that’s there’s a sense that something is about to happen, if you can just get there.  At this point, a lot of people become nervous and think that something’s wrong or that they’ve hit a dead end, so they stop masturbating.  Keep going, keep trying to get to the other side.  You may want to change the speed and pressure of your strokes at this point.  A lot of people will go faster and grip tighter in an effort to get over that hill.  You’re not far off from the orgasm, so keep going.

In some cases, your penis might pulse or twitch when you’re at this stage.  That’s not a sign that something’s wrong, it’s just your body preparing for what’s next.  This doesn’t always happen, though, so don’t worry if it doesn’t happen to you.

Eventually, all that repetitive stroking you’ve been doing will pay off.  You’ll have a sensation that you’ve made it to the top of the hill and you’ll start coasting down the other side.  This is the orgasm.  Usually, there will be an intense surge of pleasure that lasts for several seconds.  Often, there will be a series of rhythmic muscular pulses in your penis, kinda like a very strong heartbeat.  These pulses are often accompanied by a surge of pleasure.  They’re roughly a second apart at the start, but they slow down and become weaker with each passing pulse.  You can have from one to over ten of these pulses, but generally you’ll probably have somewhere between 3 and 7 of them.

Most of the time, you’ll also ejaculate when you orgasm.  Ejaculation is when the muscular pulses pump semen through your penis, causing it to come out of the end.  Semen is a whitish (or maybe yellowish) liquid that generally contains sperm.  Sometimes, it’ll just dribble out the end, while other times it’ll squirt out with such force that it can fly several feet.  Sometimes it’s thick, while other times it’s runny.  The volume of semen, as well as the strength of the ejaculation is different for every person, every time they have one.  In many cases, if you haven’t ejaculated in a while, it’ll tend toward thicker and more volume, while if you’ve ejaculated more recently, it’ll become thinner and there will be less.  I should probably point out that although your testicles produce the sperm, they’re not really all that involved when ejaculation happens.  They don’t pump anything, and if you touch them during ejaculation, you won’t feel them moving at all.

Your first few times, an orgasm may feel more weird than good.  You’ve got muscles moving on their own in ways you’re not used to, you’ve got sensory input you’ve never had before, and you’ve probably got strange liquids being expelled from your body.  You may even feel slightly nauseous.  It’s almost a guarantee that it won’t be a mind-blowing, world-shaking experience and it probably won’t be the best feeling ever.  More than likely, you’ll get used to the sensations of orgasm over time and it’ll start to feel better as you go along.

After you orgasm, you’ll probably feel deeply relaxed.  All the tension that had built up while you were climbing that hill has been released.  At the same time, your penis has probably become very very sensitive.  Trying to continue stroking it is probably unbearably intense.   Even a light motion might be uncomfortable.  You can let go of yourself at this point, but you may also enjoy the feeling of simply holding your penis (without moving anything) for a while afterward.  During this time, you’ll gradually lose your erection and your heart rate and breathing will return to normal.

Most people will stop at this point.  Most of the time, everything downstairs will need a bit of time to recharge.  You’ll probably lose your erection and find it difficult to get another one for a period of a few minutes or up to several hours.  This is called the refractory period.

In any case, that’s just one of many ways that you can masturbate.  As I’ve been saying all along, don’t be afraid to experiment and try other things.  You’re the only person who can know what works best for you.

tl; dr:  Put your hand around your cock and stroke until you come.

What if I don’t want to touch myself?

If you’re not a fan of direct contact with your penis, then you can try wearing a rubber glove on your hand or a condom on your penis while you masturbate.  You will almost certainly need to use lube in this case, and if you go the condom route, be sure to put some both inside and outside.  This method has the benefit of being pretty much identical to the hand stroking technique outlined above.

If that’s still not your cup of tea, you can try using toys.  Many masturbation sleeves cover your penis completely, so with the exception of possibly helping your penis into the sleeve, you won’t have to touch it while you masturbate.  I’ll talk about some of them in a bit.  However, you’d have to purchase a toy, so that may not be the best solution.

Another option is to remain fully clothed and grind against something.  Grinding or humping is when you press your penis against something, then rock your hips back and forth in order to stimulate yourself.  The hip rocking motion should either move the penis or it should change the pressure point, in either case, the part of the penis that’s being stimulated will change as you rock.   Lying face down on a mattress is a common way to do this, as is grinding against a couch or other piece of furniture.  There are downsides to grinding, though.  First, since you’re probably grinding against rough clothing, you may end up irritating your penis.  Second, if you orgasm, you’re probably going to ejaculate in your underwear, which would probably get a bit messy.

What if I don’t like fluids?

Probably the best way to avoid fluids is to wear a condom while you masturbate.  They’re specifically designed to catch and contain your semen when you ejaculate, after all.  You can put one on when you first get started, wear it the whole time you’re masturbating, then take it off and throw it away when you’re done. The downside is that condoms can get expensive if you’re buying them all the time.

You can try keeping a tissue or a towel handy.  When you sense that you’re about to come, place the tissue around the head of your penis and cover your urethra and try to catch the ejaculate.

Masturbating in the shower is another good way to deal with fluids.  When you ejaculate, it goes straight down the drain, and you can immediately wash your hands.  A similar technique would be to ejaculate directly into a toilet.

Many masturbation toys will contain your semen after you ejaculate.  You simply ejaculate into the toy, then wash it out later.  These toys also contain the lubricant, leaving your hands clean and dry.  I’ll talk about them shortly.

Another option is to stop before you reach orgasm and ejaculation.  It can still be quite pleasurable.  If you learn the signals of your body, you’ll be able to tell when you’re about to reach orgasm, so you can slow down or stop for a bit then resume a while later.  This allows you to continue masturbating almost indefinitely without having an orgasm.

Are the fluids harmful?

Your own precum and your own semen are not harmful to you in any way.  It’s perfectly safe to touch them, it’s even safe to ingest them if you think you’d be into that.  Semen might start to smell bad after a while, but you’re probably going to clean up long before that happens.

What about toys or other implements?

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.  Some toys won’t get you to orgasm on their own, but they can potentially increase the pleasure.  There are far too many types to talk about all of them, so I’m just going to cover a few of the common ones.

  • Penis Sleeve:  A sleeve is a toy that encloses your penis.  You typically apply lube to the sleeve, insert your penis, grab the sleeve and stroke with it.  The sleeve usually has soft ridges or bumps or some other texture on the inside to vary and increase the stimulation.  Sometimes, sleeves are little more than a thin tube that’s open on both ends, while other times, the sleeve is made of a thicker material, or closed off on one end.  Sleeves that are large enough or that are closed on one end are often a good way to contain the ejaculation for easy cleanup. Occasionally, sleeves have an opening that resembles a body part, but the opening rarely has any practical effect on the stimulation.  Common sleeves include the Tenga brand and the Fleshlight.
  • Vibrator:  A vibrator is wide term that encompasses any toy that vibrates.  You typically press the vibrator against a sensitive spot on your penis, run it around your testicles, or, in some cases, insert it in your anus.  Most vibrators have adjustable speed or strength.  Vibrators by themselves may not get you all the way to orgasm easily, but they can be used to help with arousal or enhance the sensation of orgasm.  There are multiple types of vibrators.  Bullet vibes, where the vibrating motor is encased in a small egg are fairly popular.  Dildo vibes are the combination of a dildo and a vibrator.  Cock ring vibes are the combination of a cock ring and a bullet vibe and allow hands free stimulation of your penis.  Ring vibes that are sometimes sold with condoms are typically single use and have weak motors powered by watch batteries.  It’s possible to get stronger ring vibes which have larger vibrators attached, and which are powered by AA batteries.  Then there’s the personal massager vibrators, which are typically larger, stronger, and are usually marketed as back massagers.  The Hitachi Magic Wand is a popular personal massager.
  • Cock Rings:  A cock ring is a ring that fits around your penis (sometimes your penis and testicles), and is designed to restrict blood flow.  Restricting blood flow tends to create a stronger erection, because the blood can get in, but has a harder time getting back out.  Most of the time, cock rings are passive, you just put it on and leave it on until you’re done.  Sometimes, however, they’ll have vibrators attached, which can provide additional stimulation.  Cock rings should not be used for an extensive period of time and you should take it off immediately if it starts to hurt.  Also, remember that your penis probably will grow when you get erect, so a size that fits when you’re soft might become uncomfortably tight when you’re hard.  Don’t use a ring that you can’t cut off in an emergency, or you might be facing an embarrassing visit to the ER…
  • Dildos:  A dildo is a generally somewhat cylindrical toy that is designed for penetration.  Sometimes a dildo may have a vibrator inside it, and sometimes a dildo might be designed to resemble a penis.  You use it by applying generous lube and carefully inserting it in your anus.  You may choose to move it in and out, or you may with to simply leave it there.  Anal stimulation rarely leads to orgasm on its own, but it often will enhance the pleasure of masturbation.  Anal dildos are an effective way to stimulate your prostate.  Be sure to only use toys specifically designed for anal penetration, which typically have a ridge to prevent the whole thing from going inside and getting stuck.  Also, take note of the size.  Many dildos are designed for vaginal penetration, so they can be fairly large and using them in your anus can be very uncomfortable and unpleasant.  Anal penetration can also be a bit messy, so be prepared to clean both the toy and yourself when you’re finished.  The Aneros is a dildo that’s specifically designed for prostate stimulation.
  • Handheld Shower Head:  If you have one of those detachable handheld shower heads on the end of a small hose, you can direct the spray toward your penis, testicles, or perineum.  Adjust the spray pattern and water temperature to find what works best.  In some cases, you may find that a direct spray at a specific spot works, while other times it may be more effective to sweep the spray across your genitals.  It can be difficult to reach orgasm with only the spray from a shower head.  You may wish to direct the water at your balls while you stroke your penis.

Ejaculating seems messy.  What do I do about that?

First, it’s important to understand that there typically isn’t much fluid produced when you ejaculate, often no more than a few milliliters.  That means there isn’t too much to clean up, and it also means that it’s fairly easy to contain, if that’s what you want to do.  As I mentioned in an earlier response, you can contain it when you ejaculate by using condoms, certain toys, or by finishing into a tissue or towel, or you can simply masturbate in the shower and wash it all away.

You can also deal with it by controlling where you ejaculate.  Some people will shoot into toilet or sink when they masturbate, while others might try to aim it so that all of the semen lands on their stomach, where it’s a quick wipe to get rid of.  It’s also possible to ejaculate into your cupped hand, then wash it off from there.  Also, instead of ejaculating directly into a tissue or towel, you can place it on your stomach and chest or wherever and just ejaculate onto it.

Some of these techniques are more disruptive than the others.  If you’re lying in bed masturbating, it can be quite a shift to jump up and run to the bathroom to ejaculate when you feel orgasm coming on.  Try different methods, and you’ll find one that works well and doesn’t distract from the experience.

There are several techniques to prevent ejaculation during orgasm.  One is to apply pressure, either by squeezing very tightly around the base of the penis or by pressing hard against the perineum.  Both of these techniques will close off the urethra and not allow semen to exit through the penis, but both can also cause discomfort.  Another method is to clench and hold the muscles around the penis as tight as you can for as long as you can during orgasm  This will disrupt the ejaculatory pumping, and you may experience and orgasm without ejaculation.  (These are also some of the techniques that could lead to multiple orgasm.)  Both of these techniques are not 100% effective and take a lot of practice to get right.

If you ejaculate on something, you’ll probably want to clean it up fairly soon after you’re done.  Semen will turn dry and crusty after a while, and will probably leave a yellowish stain behind.  (So, don’t use your favorite shirt to soak it up…)

Will I always ejaculate when I masturbate?

Not necessarily.  While orgasm and ejaculation usually happen at the same time, they’re not actually the same thing.  It’s possible to have an orgasm without ejaculating.  Sometimes it just happens, where you get some sense of an orgasm happening, but nothing comes out.  Other times, you may have ejaculated so many times within a short period of time that there’s not really anything left.  And, as mentioned above, you may also be able to train yourself to have an orgasm without ejaculating.

Of course, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get anywhere close to the orgasm/ejaculation zone when you masturbate.  And even if you do, if you’re able to sense when you’re getting close, you can easily stop before you get there.

On the other hand, if you do experience orgasm when you masturbate, but you rarely or never ejaculate, you may be experiencing what’s called retrograde ejaculation, where the semen enters the bladder instead of exiting through the penis.  If that’s what’s happening, you might want to consult with a doctor about it, especially as it may point to a condition that’s more serious than simply not ejaculating when you orgasm.

If I don’t masturbate, will I explode from an unreleased buildup of semen?

No, not at all.  Semen doesn’t endlessly build up in some internal balloon until you eventually ejaculate.  If you fail to ejaculate regularly, exactly nothing happens.  Most of the time, the sperm produced will simply be reabsorbed into the body.  Occasionally, you may have a wet dream and ejaculate while you sleep.  But you’re not going to explode because there’s too much sperm in you.

Think about people who’ve had vasectomies.  A vasectomy doesn’t do anything to turn off the testicles.  They’re still there and running, constantly producing new sperm.  A vasectomy just cuts off the tubes that connected the testicles to the penis, so that the sperm has no way to get out.  People who’ve had vasectomies don’t have to go in for a sperm draining every couple of weeks.  The sperm just gets absorbed back into the body, and that’s the end of it.

People who say that they’re going to explode are just exaggerating.  They might have a high libido, they might really enjoy orgasm, but nothing physically is going to happen to them if they don’t ejaculate.

What’s the deal with the prostate?

The prostate is an organ that produces some of the ejaculatory fluids.  It’s located just behind the forward wall of your rectum.  And for some reason, despite its location, it can feel good if you stimulate it in some way.

Prostate stimulation should be considered an “advanced technique”.  If you’re just starting out, it’s best to get a little bit more experience masturbating before trying to include the prostate in your play time.  Otherwise it’ll just unnecessarily complicate things.  Even if you’re a veteran, you may not find prostate stimulation to be worth the trouble.

The prostate is not in a terribly accessible location, so stimulating it isn’t the easiest thing to do.  It can be reached by sticking a well-lubed finger in your anus.  (Be sure to clip your fingernails first!)  Go in a couple of inches, then press against the wall toward your front.  You should eventually come across a walnut-sized lump on the other side of the wall.  That lump is your prostate.  If you’re not too keen on sticking a finger up your butt, there are many toys that are specifically designed for prostate stimulation.  They typically have a curved shape that will press against the prostate when inserted.  And if you’re not a fan of anything at all going in that opening, then it’s sort of possible to stimulate the prostate from outside.  There’s a soft patch in your perineum, directly in front of your anus.  If you press there, you should be able to feel your prostate.

Prostate stimulation generally consists of rubbing it or pressing against it.  Some people claim that prostate stimulation alone can cause orgasms, orgasms without ejaculation, or ejaculation without an orgasm, but in most cases, it just tends to increase the intensity of the sensation.  It also may make it so that a much larger than usual amount of pre-ejaculatory lubricant will flow from your penis, even if you’re not doing anything to stimulate your penis.

Can I have multiple orgasms?

Maybe.  There’s a common belief that once there’s been an orgasm, the penis goes into sleep mode and can’t be used again for a while.  While that’s typically the case, it can be possible, with practice, to be able to have an orgasm, but then keep going afterward.

Multiple orgasms should be considered an “advanced technique”.  If you’re just starting out, it’s best to get a bit more experience masturbating before going for extra innings.  Otherwise it’ll just unnecessarily complicate things.  Even if you’re a veteran, you may not find going for multiple orgasms to be worth the trouble.

One technique is to prevent ejaculation when you orgasm.  This can be done by tightly squeezing the base of the penis or pushing hard against the perineum just as the orgasm starts, in order to close off the urethra.  This way may, however, be uncomfortable.  Another method is to tighten and hold the muscles you use when you pee.  As soon as the orgasm starts, stop stimulating yourself and clench those muscles and hold them as tight as you can for as long as you can.  You’ll probably need to have strong PC muscles to pull this off, so practice those Kegels!

Another technique is to completely relax and stop stimulating your penis as soon as the orgasm starts.  Completely relax and hands off.  Your penis will probably twitch and pump and you’ll likely ejaculate a little bit.

In either case, once you feel the orgasm is ending, resume stimulation.  If you’re successful, you won’t feel too sensitive or not sensitive enough.  It’ll be just right, and the stimulation will feel pretty much like it did before the orgasm.  You should be able to build it back up for another orgasm (and possibly another and another…).  You probably won’t be able to keep going forever, though.  Each successive orgasm tends to become harder to obtain.

The orgasms in a sequence of multiple orgasms are often less pleasurable than the typical single orgasm.  This is because you’re disrupting the process and making it less intense.  Unfortunately, this means that if you ever fail to ride through the orgasm and aren’t able keep going on to another one, you’ll probably only have had a relatively weak and unsatisfying orgasm, and be facing a limp penis that’s not interested in continuing.  Because of this, you’ll probably want to try to finish with an orgasm that you don’t intentionally disrupt.

If you decide to pursue multiple orgasms, be aware that it takes a lot of practice and a willingness to experience disappointment while you try to get the hang of it.  Even if you get it figured out, you may decide that it’s not worth the effort.

What other things can I try?

The penis isn’t the only body part that you can use while masturbating.  Try caressing your testicles or your perineum, try touching or pinching your nipples, try rubbing your thighs, stomach, or chest.  All of those places, and more, can enhance the experience.  In particular, don’t be afraid of your testicles.  They’re not as fragile as you might expect.  Don’t be afraid to rub, tug, or even squeeze them.  Just start gently and work up from there.

Some people enjoy anal stimulation.  You can try rubbing the opening, or gently push a well lubed (and well-manicured) finger inside.  The prostate, mentioned before, lives in that area.

You can try sitting on a rubber ball, rolled up sock, or bunched up blanket or towel in such a way that it presses gently against your perineum.  The penis extends back into the body, just above the perineum, so pressure there can work to stimulate that extension of your penis.

Try a different grip on your penis.  The “door handle” grip is just one.  You can turn that grip upside-down, so that your thumb and forefinger are on the positioned closer to the base.  You can place your fingers down the side of your penis and have the head cupped by the palm of your hand as you stroke.  You can use only fingertips.  Any way you can hold your penis is a valid way to try masturbating.

Go at it two handed.  You can stack your hands on top of one another and have an extra long stroke.  You can perform an “endless” stroke by stroking one direction with one hand, then when you reach the end, place the other hand and stroke with it, in a continuous motion.  You can stroke with one hand, and rub circles with the other.  You can place the palm of one hand over the opening in the other hand, so that a downstroke will have the head of the penis rub against the palm of the hand.  You can rub your penis between two palms.  Or you can have one hand pay attention to the shaft, while the other hand works the head.  Any way you can think of to use two hands it probably something worth experimenting with.

You can try a completely different method of masturbation, one that does not involve manual stroking.  One fairly common method is to thrust into something smooth and slippery.  The smooth and slippery object can be any number of things:  Your lubed up hand, a penis sleeve or similar toy, a condom, or even something improvised, like a plastic sandwich bag with a little bit of lube placed inside.  You can try sandwiching the object between a couple of pillows on your bed.  You might want to place a towel between the object and the pillows, in case any lube or anything else spills out.  Once you’re set up, you lie face down on top of the pillows and place your penis inside.  After you’ve adjusted everything and found a comfortable position, you can start moving your hips back and forth in order to thrust your penis in and out of the object.  This method often feels very different than masturbating by hand.  (And always, experiment with technique, speed, and pressure to discover what works best for you.)

What if it doesn’t feel good?

If you’re first getting started, it might not actually feel all that good.  You’ll probably have to try a couple of times before you start figure out what works for you.

If you’ve been at it for a while, but still nothing, shake up your technique a bit.  Switch hands, try using lube, try a different position, try using a toy, go faster or slower, relax or strengthen your grip.  In particular, try squeezing a bit when you stroke over the head of your penis, adjust your grip so that you press harder on the underside of your penis, or try tightening the loop made by your thumb and forefinger as you pass over the corona.  And remember, there’s no cookie-cutter way to masturbate.  What works for someone else might not work for you.

If you’ve tried it all and it still doesn’t feel good, then maybe it just won’t.  If it bothers you, you might want to consult with a doctor.  There may be a treatable medical reason for why it doesn’t feel good.  (Notably, it’s a side effect of many medications.)  However, if you’re cool with it, don’t worry about it.  You don’t have to masturbate or have orgasms to survive, so don’t worry about it.  It’s not your thing, but it doesn’t have to be your thing.

Are there any dangers or warnings I should know about?

  • This post has been written specifically about solo masturbation.  There are numerous health and safety concerns that would potentially need to be addressed if you’re doing anything I’ve mentioned here with someone else.  Most notably, there are countless disease prevention (and in some cases, pregnancy prevention) steps you would probably want to take that I have not mentioned here.
  • Don’t stick your penis into anything that wasn’t meant for it.  Always remember that a soft penis grows into a hard one, so something that’s easy to get into may be considerably harder to get out of.  Also, if the object is hard or rough, you could potentially cut, scrape, or otherwise injure yourself.
  • If you’re masturbating by thrusting into something, be careful not to accidentally jam your penis into something with the full force of a forward thrust.  Although there are no bones to break in your penis, it can still be severely injured by something like this.  If you slip out of whatever you’re thrusting into, carefully guide your penis back in before resuming full speed.
  • Watch what you use for lube.  Shampoo and soap might seem nice and slick, but it can severely dry out the skin or cause a rash.  They also may get into the urethra, where they’ll burn.  Some creams contain a “medicated” tingling or warming feature.  It might feel good on a sore back, but the sensation could be excruciating on your penis and testicles.  (Then again, that one’s up to individual preference…  Some people like how it feels…)
  • Inserting an object in your anus carries the risk of it getting stuck.  Save yourself an embarrassing visit to an emergency room and only use items that can’t get pulled completely inside and “lost”.  Many anal toys will have a ridge or tab to prevent them from going all the way in, or they’ll have a string attached to easy retrieval.
  • Make sure anything entering your anus is smooth and well lubed, and don’t force it in.  In particular, cut your fingernails!  A long fingernail might cut the inner lining, which can be unpleasant and runs the risk of infection.  Inadequate lubrication might cause irritation or tearing.
  • NEVER do ANYTHING that forcibly cuts off your airway while masturbating.  People have actually died from doing that.  You can hold your breath, but leave it at that.  Besides, taking long deep breaths can actually increase the sensations more than holding your breath will.
  • If it hurts, stop!  You’re probably doing something wrong.

[Up to Masturbation | Main]

Asexuality Questionnaire #8b.1: Masturbation

IMPORTANT:  If you are under 18, skip this questionnaire.  Return to the main questionnaire page and answer some others instead.

If you have not already done so, please stop off at the main questionnaire page for important information about the intent of these questionnaires.

This questionnaire is for asexuals who do not masturbate.  If you are asexual and masturbate, please head to the other questionnaire.

Thank you for your interest, but this survey is now closed!  We are no longer accepting responses at this time.  If you’re curious, here’s what the questions were:

  1. What are your thoughts about masturbation?
  2. Why don’t you masturbate?
  3. Have you masturbated or tried to masturbate in the past and stopped for some reason?  Why?
  4. If you never have, would you be willing to do so at some point in the future?
  5. Have you ever looked for information about masturbation, such as how-to guides?
This survey is currently disabled.

Asexuality Questionnaire #8a.2: Masturbation

IMPORTANT:  If you are under 18, skip this questionnaire.  Return to the main questionnaire page and answer some others instead.

If you have not already done so, please stop off at the main questionnaire page for important information about the intent of these questionnaires.

This questionnaire is for asexuals who masturbate.  If you are asexual and do not masturbate, please head to the other questionnaire.

Thank you for your interest, but this survey is now closed!  We are no longer accepting responses at this time.  If you’re curious, here’s what the questions were:

  1. How often do you do masturbate?
  2. Do you use sex toys?
  3. Have you ever looked for information about masturbation, such as how-to guides or ideas of other techniques?
  4. Do you feel that someone who masturbates is less asexual than someone who does not?  Why or why not?
  5. How do you respond to the claim that someone who masturbates can’t be asexual?
This survey is currently disabled.

Asexuality Questionnaire #8a.1: Masturbation

IMPORTANT:  If you are under 18, skip this questionnaire.  Return to the main questionnaire page and answer some others instead.

If you have not already done so, please stop off at the main questionnaire page for important information about the intent of these questionnaires.

This questionnaire is for asexuals who masturbate.  If you are asexual and do not masturbate, please head to the other questionnaire.

Thank you for your interest, but this survey is now closed!  We are no longer accepting responses at this time.  If you’re curious, here’s what the questions were:

  1. What are your thoughts about masturbation?
  2. Why do you masturbate?
  3. Do you enjoy it?
  4. What do you think of while doing masturbating?  Do you fantasize about anything?
  5. When did you start?  Why did you first masturbate?
This survey is currently disabled.

Possible Signs of Asexuality – Part 2: About Sex

This is the second post in a three part series on the possible signs of asexuality.  The items discussed here aren’t meant to be any kind of “Am I Ace?” checklist, so it’s okay if you don’t identify or agree with any of them.  They’re just experiences that I’ve seen pop up over and over when asexuals talk about their lives.

The first part in this series focused mostly inward, on thoughts you may have had about yourself and your identity.  Today is all about sex and sexual activity.  If that’s not your thing, you might want to skip today and come back for the conclusion tomorrow.

Links to the posts in this series:

You’d much rather do X than do sex.

When you think about sex, you realize that there are dozens of things you’d much rather do.  I’d rather read a book, I’d rather watch TV, I’d rather play a video game, I’d rather go to a movie, I’d rather stargaze, I’d rather walk the dog, I’d rather go shopping, I’d rather organize the books on the bookshelf by date of author’s birth, I’d rather go bird watching, I’d rather build a Lego tribute to the Prime Ministers of Canada, I’d rather work on the car, I’d rather mow the lawn, I’d rather learn Esperanto, I’d rather fly a kite, I’d rather eat cake…

Your sex dreams don’t really have sex.

I had a dream with a warning for “adult content and mature themes”.  It was about mortgage payments.  I’ve had dreams where naked women throw themselves on me, and I tell them that I’m really busy and I’m supposed to be somewhere.  I’ve had dreams where women are very obviously coming on to me, and I completely miss it.  I’ve told women in dreams to put their clothes back on, because they look cold.  It’s like the part of my brain that generates dreams didn’t get the memo that I’m asexual, so it still is sending out these prompts for sex dreams, but the rest of my brain doesn’t process them, so they always end up weird.

Many asexuals say that they’ve never had sex dreams of any kind.

You think that “sexy” clothes just look uncomfortable or cold and can’t understand why anyone would wear them.

Tight pants look like they’re going to squeeze the life out of someone, and if it’s a guy wearing them, you know he’s gotta be in pain.  Heels look like a broken ankle waiting to happen.  Shirts that expose the midriff have to be freezing in this weather.  All that lace is just going to leave a weird pattern in your skin.  Thongs seem like they’re going to cut you in half like a wire saw.

And I never got the point of make-up, either.

You don’t really fantasize.

Everyone else seems like they undress people with their eyes.

Everyone else seems like they dream about having their way with the quarterback or the head cheerleader.

Everyone else seems like they would “hit that”.

But not you.  It’s not that you won’t, because you think it’s sinful or something like that.  It’s that you don’t.  Your mind just doesn’t work that way.  It doesn’t spontaneously imagine leaping into bed with someone.  Maybe it’s even that you can’t.  Maybe you’ve tried to devise erotic fantasies and have failed.  You tried to undress someone with your eyes once, but you couldn’t even figure out how to get their bra off.  And if you can make it to the hot & heavy, rather than picturing the perfect mix of ecstasy and passion, you get bogged down in the details and distracted.  You spend so much energy trying to maintain the fantasy that you lose whatever pleasure you were hoping to get from it.

You don’t like sex.

Some asexuals don’t like sex.  They don’t want to do it, they don’t want to see it, they don’t want to hear it, they don’t want to think about it.  At the age when most people were hearing about sex and thinking “I’d like to try that”, they were thinking “You want me to do what with WHAT?  No.  Just.  No.”

While not liking sex is not the same as asexuality, many asexuals don’t like sex, and discover that they’re asexual when they’re trying to find out why they don’t like sex.

A lot of non-asexual people feel this way, too, when they first hear about sex.  Let’s face it, the whole process is a bit icky, after all.  However, for most people who feel this way, those thoughts are pushed aside once sexual attraction kicks in.  But for the aversive asexual, sexual attraction never comes along to override these feelings.

The “ick factor” isn’t the only reason people don’t like sex.  Some asexuals don’t like sex because they find it uncomfortable or boring.  There are thousands of reasons that someone might not like sex.

You like sex, but it doesn’t feel “right”.

I don’t mean this in an “Oh, it’s sinful and dirty” sense.  I mean it in the sense where something seems off, like gears with mismatched teeth or walking with gum on your shoe or using a shopping cart that always pulls to the right.  At first glance, it seems like everything’s okay, but the more you think about it, the more things feel off.

Perhaps you physically enjoy sex.  Maybe you like making your partner feel good.  There are things you might really like about sex, but at the same time, there’s something missing.  When you watch your partner’s reactions, it’s clear that there’s something there that you’re not feeling.  It’s impossible to put your finger on it, but you know there’s something there.  Some intangible spark is behind their eyes, and you’re acutely aware that spark is missing in your eyes.

This was how I felt when I had sex.  It physically felt great, but emotionally, I was not connected to the moment and to my partner.  She wanted it, she was into it, she had been craving that moment for months, while I just didn’t have any of that.

You had sex because that’s what you were “supposed to do”.

You never were really interested in having sex, you never felt a drive or biological desire to have sex, but you thought you wanted to have sex because “that’s what people do”.  Later on, you got a partner, they wanted to have sex and you went along with it because “that’s what people do”.  You kept having sex because “that’s what I’m supposed to do”.  It felt more like an obligation or a chore than the expression of love it was supposed to be.  At first, you may have even wanted the experience, but as time went on, you grew tired of it.

When you encountered the naked body of someone for the first time in a sexual situation, you looked at it like a real-life anatomy lesson, rather than an object of desire.

This one happened to me.  I was in my bedroom with my first (and so far, only) girlfriend.  Following her lead, we were fooling around a bit.  She was wearing short shorts and sitting on my bed.  She sat me down on the floor in front of her, spread open her legs, and pulled aside her shorts.

I think that most young men in this situation look upon it with unbridled glee.  It’s a milestone in their life, something they’d been working toward, often for years.  Instantly, their mind fills with ideas and opportunities and a thousand fantasies, any number of which could come true within the next five minutes.  For many men, a sight like that is like being invited into the playground of their dreams and told to run wild.

So, what went through my mind?

“Oh, so that’s how it all fits together!”

There was no explosion of sexual urges, no endless stream of desires.  I didn’t really even feel compelled to touch it.  Instead, I was busy looking over the terrain like it was a road map, full of places I’d only heard of in passing.  I wanted to identify all of the bits and pieces that I knew were supposed to be down there and see how they were all oriented relative to one another.

Needless to say, I now look at this event as one of the big red flags that should’ve clued me in that I was asexual years ago.

You focus on the motions, not emotions.

When dealing with sex and physical closeness, you put an emphasis on trying to make the right moves, like touching the right place in the right way, instead of focusing on the emotional aspects.  In some cases, the pressure you feel to push all the right buttons may make the experience highly unpleasant.

“If I try it, maybe I’ll like it.”

So, you haven’t had sex.  You’re not terribly enthusiastic about it, either.  It’s not that you’re against it, it’s just not all that interesting to you.  But everyone else seems to like it, so maybe you will too, if you just gave it a chance.  Maybe you just need to try it out and you’ll see what the fuss is about.

I call this the “Green Eggs and Ham” hypothesis:

You do not like them, so you say.  Try them!  Try them, and you may.  Try them and you may, I say.

The idea that maybe you’ll become interested in sex if you try it out is a compelling one.  The thinking goes, how can you really know if you’re not interested if you don’t give it a shot?  Well, the answer is that you really can know.  After all, you don’t actually have to hug a saguaro cactus to know that would be unpleasant.  So, if you’re certain that sex is not for you, then don’t feel pressured to prove that you don’t like it by going a few rounds.

On the other hand, if you feel this way, you’re open to the experience, and the right situation comes along, then go for it.  Maybe you’ll like it, maybe you won’t, it doesn’t really matter, either way.  I felt this about myself, and I did try having sex.  Of course, what it lead to was…

You had sex and thought “Is that it?”

That’s it? That’s all there is?

Weren’t there supposed to be fireworks and standing ovations?  Wasn’t my life supposed to be changed forever?  Wasn’t it supposed to be the single greatest experience of my entire life?

What was supposed to be so great about that?  Why do some people devote their entire lives to pursuing that?  How could that possibly be responsible for ruining the careers of so many politicians?  How could so many people consider that to be the very meaning of life?

I don’t know, I guess it was kinda fun, a little bit, sorta.  Bit boring, though, too.

I mean, seriously?  Is that really it?  What’d I miss?

Meh, whatever.

You don’t like masturbating.

Maybe you’ve tried it before, but it didn’t work out and you didn’t get anywhere.  Maybe you never saw the point.  Maybe you do it, but you look at it like any other bodily function, like a sneeze or a shiver.  Maybe you think it’s gross or disgusting or repulsive.  Maybe you do it and wish you could stop.  In any case, you don’t look at it as something pleasurable and fun.  And it’s not out of a sense of guilt or shame or anything like that.  You just genuinely don’t enjoy it.

You masturbate, what would you need anyone else for?

You might look at other people and how they talk about sex and about what person X did for them last night, and think, “Huh, I can do that by myself.  I don’t need any help.”  You’re perfectly fine taking care of yourself and really don’t mind reservations for sexual pleasure as a party of one.  When other people talk about masturbation as if it were some sort of consolation prize for a distant runner up, you’re a bit confused, because it certainly doesn’t seem like a terrible thing to you.

When you think about having sex with someone else, you may think that a second person would just get in the way and complicate things.  Maybe you’ve even had sex and didn’t think that it was really any better than what you’re capable of by yourself.

You think arousal is annoying.

Instead of looking at arousal as a sign from down below that you need to get all sexed up as soon as possible, you just find it annoying.  It’s distracting.  It’s random.  And, for some people, it literally gets in the way.  If you could shut it down, you would.  It’s never directed at anyone, you don’t really want to do anything with it, it’s just kinda there.

————

Tomorrow’s conclusion is all about other people and things.  Hope to see you there.

Links to the posts in this series:

Can Asexuals Masturbate?

For the most part, yes.  Most asexual people have working parts downstairs, and that typically means that they are capable of self-stimulation and orgasm.  There is nothing about asexuality that somehow prevents masturbation, and someone who masturbates is not somehow “disqualified” from being asexual.

Read this post for more information.

“But asexuals can’t masturbate!”

Do asexuals masturbate?

Maybe.

“Maybe” isn’t an answer.

But it’s accurate.

No, really, do they?

No. And yes. It depends on the person.

So some asexuals masturbate?

Correct. And some don’t. It’s perfectly fine either way.

Do you masturbate?

That is an extremely personal question and is quite rude to ask. Just because I’m asexual doesn’t mean that it’s somehow okay to ask me that.

But do you?

Yes. And I’m good at it, too. But if I weren’t writing a post about asexuality and masturbation, that little tidbit would be absolutely none of your damn business.

How can an asexual masturbate?

For the most part, they just kinda rub until-

No, I meant, how can someone who masturbates be considered asexual?

Simple. Masturbation has nothing to do with sexual orientation. A gay person doesn’t engage in some sort of homosexual masturbation. A straight person is still straight even if they don’t touch themselves now and then. It’s no different for asexuality.

But masturbating is a sexual act. You can’t perform sexual acts and still be asexual.

Certainly, masturbation is a sexual activity performed using sexual organs and it produces a sexual response. There’s a misconception that an asexual must be devoid of all sexual properties and sexual responses and cannot experience sexual pleasure. I used to believe that myself, in fact, before I discovered what asexuality really is. I used to think that I couldn’t be asexual because I masturbate. But not the case at all. Asexuality is all about attraction, not action, it’s an orientation, not behavior. Being asexual does not mean one cannot or does not take part in sexual activities. Being asexual means one does not experience sexual attraction. Asexual people generally can and sometimes do take part in sexual activity. Masturbation is the most common.

Why would an asexual person bother to masturbate?

  • Sometimes they do it to relax.
  • Sometimes they do it as a stress reliever.
  • Sometimes they do it because they’re bored.
  • For women, it can help with period pain.
  • For men, it can help with embarrassing issues like spontaneous erections or nocturnal emissions.
  • Sometimes they consider it a bodily function.
  • Sometimes they do it because their libido wants them to.
  • Sometimes they do it to prevent prostate cancer.
  • Sometimes they do it because it’s like “scratching an itch”.
  • Sometimes they like to perform a self-test to make sure everything is in working order.
  • Sometimes they just want to.
  • And, oh yeah, going out on a limb here, but could be because orgasms tend to feel good.

In other words, asexuals masturbate for pretty much the same reasons non-asexuals do. (Please note that this is not meant to be a complete list of possible reasons.)

So, it’s okay to be asexual and masturbate. It’s okay to like it, too. It doesn’t cancel out your asexuality, it doesn’t minimize your asexuality, it doesn’t mean you’re faking your asexuality.

How can someone who has an orgasm still claim to be asexual?

Having an orgasm does not, in any way, invalidate someone’s asexuality. An orgasm is a physical response to stimulation. It’s not related to one’s sexual orientation, it doesn’t require sexual attraction to work. To say that someone who has an orgasm can’t be asexual anymore is ridiculous. When a heterosexual has an orgasm, it’s not somehow a function of a heterosexual orientation. When a bisexual has an orgasm, it’s not a “bisexual orgasm”. So why would it be any different for an asexual? Why would the asexual orientation somehow get canceled out by an orgasm? Am I suddenly turned straight or turned gay by an orgasm? How would that happen? I wasn’t attracted to anyone before the orgasm and I’m still not afterward, so if I’m not asexual anymore, what am I?

Do asexuals enjoy orgasms?

In general, yes. I know I do.

How do asexuals masturbate?

Exactly the same way someone who isn’t asexual does, with all the variants that implies. There’s no such thing as “asexual” masturbation. We’ll use the same methods, techniques, and implements as everyone else. We’ll range in frequency from absolutely never to several times a day.

“Implements”? You mean sex toys?

Yes. Like many non-asexual people, some asexuals will use sex toys to help them get off. In fact, I probably have a larger collection of toys than most non-asexual people.

(And for the record, males can and do use sex toys, too.)

But some of these “implements” are anatomically correct. Doesn’t using them mean the person is attracted to the anatomical part it’s a facsimile of?

Absolutely not. Anatomically correct toys are designed that way because that shape is obviously quite effective at achieving the desired stimulation. Using something that works doesn’t somehow make someone less asexual. Or maybe they’re using one because they liked the color or because it was in the $5 bin. It doesn’t matter. Using sex toys of any kind, from a formless bullet vibrator up to a fully anatomically correct RealDoll does not mean someone is not asexual.

So, if you’re not attracted to people, what do you think about while you’re going at it?

Well, this is certainly different for different people, but here’s some things I think about: Furniture. Vacation plans. The weather. The day at work. Things I did with my ex-girlfriend. Politics. Things I did with myself in the past. Some TV show or movie I watched. Video game music from the 80s. However, for the most part, my thoughts are “That feels good” and “That feels even better”.

Wait… “Things I did with my ex-girlfriend”? How can you think about that and consider yourself asexual?

I can think about that because it felt good. I never found her sexually attractive. However, just because I never found her sexually attractive doesn’t mean that I didn’t find her sexually effective. When I was stimulated by her, it was extremely pleasurable and it did lead to orgasm. The memory of that sensation is extremely arousing. It’s not a memory of her body or a longing to have sex with her again. I was sort of bored when I had sex with her, even though it did feel good.

Don’t you ever fantasize?

Personally, I never really fantasize. I’ve tried, but it never works. My mind always focuses on the details and the stage direction and never on the imagining having sex part. Fantasies always seem to end up more distracting than anything. It’s so much effort to get the imaginary naked woman in the right pose and performing the right motions that the slightest stray thought would kick me out of the fantasy and force me to start over. (Not to mention that the thought of the imaginary naked woman in any pose never really did anything for me…) The one that’s come the closest to working is imagining myself demonstrating how I masturbate to someone else, which isn’t really much of a fantasy and usually just leads to me dropping the other person and going back to just thinking “That feels good”.

Some other asexuals will fantasize while masturbating. Often, they’ll describe it as imagining a sexual situation with a placeholder partner. Essentially a faceless, sometimes genderless prop that’s only there to provide an element that would be missing otherwise. For instance, they may imagine a person with a mouth performing oral sex on them. In this case, their thoughts are focused on the act itself and not any kind of attraction to the person performing the act. Sometimes the placeholder will be there to fulfill a fetish that the person finds arousing, in which case the focus is on the object of the fetish, and not the placeholder.

It always used to seem strange to me that so many people would say that you couldn’t masturbate without thinking of someone while doing it. There’s the religious thought that the reason masturbation is considered sinful is that it requires lust in the form of a fantasy, and I never understood that because I never needed lust, so why did anyone else? I would just grab it and go, without thinking about anyone. It was very mechanical. Fun, but mechanical.

How can you get aroused if you’re not thinking of someone sexually?

You don’t have to think of someone sexually in order to get aroused. You don’t have to be sexually attracted to anyone or anything in order to masturbate. You don’t have to be sexually attracted to someone to experience and enjoy an orgasm. All you have to do is touch your sensitive bits in the right way and presto! (And sometimes it doesn’t even take that much…) There’s a reward there that doesn’t require sexual attraction. I understand that, for most people, fantasy and attraction certainly helps the process, and I’m not disputing that. But it’s not a requirement.

Why would an asexual start to masturbate in the first place if they’re not turned on by someone?

Any number of reasons. Sometimes they’re told that it feels good and want to try it out. Other times their libido will kick in and downstairs will start screaming out for attention. And sometimes it’s because they think that’s what they’re supposed to do, after all, it seems like everyone else is.

In my case, in fifth grade sex ed (Which was basically nothing more than a vocabulary lesson) introduced me to the terms “masturbation” and “orgasm”. Masturbation was defined as “the self-stimulation of the genitals to orgasm” and orgasm was “an intense pleasurable sensation in the genitals”, and I eventually put the two definitions together and realized that it was something I wanted to try. I eventually managed to work out how it was done some time later.

You mentioned a libido? An asexual person can’t have a libido.

Actually, many asexuals do have a libido or a “sex drive”. They’ll have “urges” and desire sexual stimulation. But while for a non-asexual person, those urges tend to be directed toward another person, for an asexual, they’re often directionless. But that’s a topic for another post entirely…

What about porn?

What about it?

Do asexuals use porn?

You’re just asking that so you can say “Ha, gotcha!” when I answer, aren’t you?

No, not at all. Do they?

Sometimes, yes.

Ha! Gotcha! You can’t be asexual if you use porn!

I knew it…

Anyway, yes, asexuals sometimes will use porn while they masturbate. And no, it does not mean that they’re not asexual.

People who watch porn don’t necessarily find the performers sexually attractive. People who watch porn don’t always want to participate with the performers.

Consider it another way. Watching a cooking show on TV doesn’t necessarily make you want to cook whatever they’re fixing on the show, does it? You might not even like whatever it is. But it’s food, people are eating, and that makes you hungry. So you go get a bag of chips.

With porn, you might not want to do what they’re doing, you might not even like what they’re doing, but you may find it to be arousing simply because they’re aroused. You watch it and think “They seem to be enjoying what they’re doing. I have one of those, too, and I bet that feels good. Now I want to feel good.”

Enjoying porn has no bearing on your sexual orientation. Research has shown that women who are straight will often have a strong arousal response to lesbian scenes. And the very existence of the “money shot” in porn aimed at straight men should put any argument to rest. After all, if straight men didn’t find the shot of another man having an orgasm and ejaculating (Often by his own hand) to be arousing on some level, then why would it be so prevalent? It doesn’t mean that the viewer is secretly gay and repressed. It just means that they don’t necessarily have to feel sexual attraction toward something to be aroused by it.

In my case, I find most porn to be dull, uninteresting, and repetitive. I get more out of the sense that the performers are legitimately having a good time and experiencing pleasure than I do from the way they look or what they’re doing. I am very easily distracted by things in the background, like movies on a shelf or views out the window. And things like poor lighting and poor camera work will absolutely kill a scene. Sometimes I’ll watch porn for educational purposes, to see how other people do things and pick up a few tricks and techniques.

What about asexuals who don’t masturbate or don’t enjoy it?

Then they don’t masturbate or don’t enjoy it. Not every asexual has to masturbate. Not every asexual that does masturbate has to enjoy it. If you don’t masturbate, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. If it’s not your thing, don’t worry about it and don’t worry about what other people might think. It’s no one’s business but your own.

Will masturbating make someone not asexual somehow?

Masturbation isn’t suddenly going to make you not asexual anymore, so don’t feel like you have to try it to know for sure that you’re ace. I’m pretty solid evidence that no amount of masturbation is likely to change your orientation. At most, you might discover that you like the way it feels and want to keep doing it.

What about asexuals who are curious about trying it?

If you’re looking for a step-by-step instruction guide, nope, not going there. I do have some other advice, though.

First: Relax.

Second: Don’t turn it into a chore. Presumably you’re doing it because you want it to be fun. It won’t be fun if it’s a chore.

Don’t feel defeated if you don’t get anywhere your first attempt, because you probably won’t. No one does. You’re not a failure and your equipment probably isn’t defective. It’s a learned skill and takes practice. I probably had to try for months before I got anywhere. Of course, those were the days before search engines, so it was all trial and error for me. At any rate, persistence is the key. You need to find out what works for you and not be afraid to try something new. And don’t be afraid of calling in a little bit of artificial assistance. Many people, male, female, or otherwise, will use lubricants or toys to help them get off.

Don’t feel guilty, as if you’re betraying your asexuality. You’re not.

You don’t necessarily need a libido in order to become aroused. It probably helps, but it’s not required. With the right mindset and the right stimulation, you can usually wake things up downstairs. Honestly, I’m not even sure I have a libido. I rarely, if ever, feel “urges” or feel “horny”, or any of the other things people describe as a libido at work. Whenever I masturbate, I usually have to spend a bit of time getting myself ready. However, I have read things which claim that sexual activity itself in some cases may increase libido in a sort of feedback effect. The more you do, the more you want. So you may have a dormant libido that masturbation could potentially awaken.

And most of all, if you don’t like it, stop. You don’t have to do it if you don’t want to. If you’re not getting anything out of it, don’t do it and don’t worry about it.

Anything more?

I’ll just leave you with this:

If you’re asexual and you masturbate, then you’re still asexual.
If you’re asexual and you don’t masturbate, then you’re still asexual.
If you’re asexual and you masturbate to porn, then you’re still asexual.
If you’re asexual and you don’t masturbate to porn, then you’re still asexual.
If you’re asexual and you masturbate using sex toys, then you’re still asexual.
If you’re asexual and you don’t masturbate using sex toys, then you’re still asexual.
If you’re asexual and you masturbate and you like it, then you’re still asexual.
If you’re asexual and you masturbate and you don’t like it, then you’re still asexual.
If you’re asexual and you want to masturbate, but haven’t, then you’re still asexual.

(Please also see the companion post I wrote for Asexual Awareness Week, which elaborates more on my personal views on the topic, and where I stole a number of lines from:  http://www.asexualityarchive.com/aaw-day-6-masturbation/ )

Q & Ace: An Introduction to Asexuality

I wrote this a while back for my friends and family.  I sent it to them when I came out.  It’s intended to be an overview of asexuality for someone who isn’t aware of what it entails and who was a bit blindsided and confused by an announcement from someone they’ve known for years.  Hopefully it’s useful for other people, too.

So, wait, what? You’re… Huh? What’s going on again?

I’m asexual. It’s a bit like being straight except I’m not into women.

Oh, so you’re gay?

No. Asexual. I’m not into men or women.

So, you’re a woman trapped in a man’s body?

No, I’m not transgender. I’m quite comfortable with the factory original parts and don’t see any need to replace any components.

Although, some people who are trans are also asexual.  They’re not mutually exclusive.

Are you missing pieces down below?

Uh, I don’t think so. Let me check…

Hang on a sec…

Ah, found it. Nope. All present and accounted for.

So, then, you’re saying down below doesn’t work or something?

Down below works just fine. It’s just I have no desire to interface my down below with anyone else’s down below.

You can clone yourself then?

No, different meaning of the word. Although, I’d have to say that binary fission would be an awesome trick for parties.

What are you talking about, then?

Asexuality means I don’t experience sexual attraction. That’s it. While other people are on an unending quest to find someone willing to test the repetitive compressive stress tolerance limits of their furniture, I’m on an unending quest to find a complete set of game cartridges for the Nintendo Virtual Boy. I’m simply not interested in having sex, although the customs and practices can be rather intriguing from a scientific or anthropological point of view.

You don’t want sex?

Right.

What, is it against your religion?

No.

Were you abused, then?

No.

Repressed or repulsed or something?

No.

They have a pill for that, you know.

That’s not what the pill is for. The pill is for people who are ready and willing, but not able. I’m perfectly able, just not ready and willing. Saying there’s a pill that’ll fix asexuality is like saying there’s a pill that’ll fix homosexuality. I’m not going to take a pill, feel a stirring in my loins, and suddenly want to sleep with the next woman I see.

What is wrong with you? Sex is AWESOME!

You can keep your sex. Red Alarm is awesome.

More Awesome Than Sex

You should try it some time. You might like it!

“You do not like them. So you say. Try them! Try them! And you may. Try them and you may, I say!”

I did try it. I didn’t care much for it. I mean, it was okay, I guess, but nothing spectacular. Nothing close to what all of you claim. Kinda boring, actually.

Wait, you had sex? Gotcha! That means you’re not asexual!

I had sex twice. Nine years ago. Call it a youthful indiscretion or whatever. I didn’t know I was ace at the time. I thought I was straight and that sex was what I was supposed to do at some point, and she offered. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Asexuality is a sexual orientation, just like being gay or straight. Orientation is not the same as behavior. A little bit of experimentation in college doesn’t make someone gay. A lesbian who wants a child and opts for natural insemination isn’t suddenly straight. I had sex for the experience and because I thought that doing it might make my libido turn on. It didn’t.

I don’t regret it at all. In fact, I think it’s good that I did try it, otherwise I’d probably have doubts that I’m really asexual because there’d be that chance that I would like it if I just tried it.

Maybe she just wasn’t any good. If you find someone good, you’ll change your mind.

Maybe she wasn’t. I don’t know. I don’t have any other data points to compare. But that’s irrelevant. I wasn’t put off by a bad experience. I never was really all that interested in it to begin with. She could have been the most mindblowingly skilled woman on the planet and I still probably would have said “Meh”.

It’s just a phase. It’ll pass.

19 years since puberty is “just a phase”? Well, I’ll give it another 20 minutes, but that’s it!

You could be a late bloomer.

I’m 32 and I’ve never been sexually attracted to anyone, not even a naked woman standing directly in front of me with her hands on my equipment. That’s not a late bloomer. Nothing was planted in my garden.

I’m so sorry for you. It must really suck for you.

No, it’s absolutely fine, actually. I don’t want sex. It’s not like I’m yearning to get laid but can’t, leading me to be a pent up bottle of frustration and sadness. I’m not missing out on anything because I’ve never felt anything to miss out on. It would be a bit like me telling you that your life must suck because you don’t want a copy of a game like Space Squash. You’d give me a funny look and shake your head in confusion over how I could possibly think that you’d be interested in that.

But sex is awesome! Everyone wants sex!

You can’t see me, but I’m giving you a funny look and shaking my head in confusion over how you could possibly think that I’d be interested in that.

By the way, weren’t these supposed to be questions?

Oh, right. So, uh… Aren’t you just putting a fancy name on celibacy?

No, not at all. Celibacy is the condition of not having sex, while asexuality is not feeling sexual attraction toward anyone. Think of it this way: Celibacy is “I don’t have sex because _________.” As in “I don’t have sex because it’s against my religion” or “because I can’t find anyone” or “because I’m in prison”. Asexuality is “Sex? Whatever. Please pass the cake.” So yes, I am celibate, but I’m celibate because I’m ace, not because I made some life choice to never have sex or just haven’t been able to get laid and have given up trying.

Not all celibate people are asexuals, and not all asexuals are celibate.

What you’re saying is that you can’t get laid and have given up trying?

Um. No. I’ve never even bothered trying because it’s just not that interesting to me. When I did have sex, it was entirely my partner’s idea, and it took a lot of persistence on her part to get me to the point where I said yes.

That’s a bit like claiming that I’m not interested in golf because I’m no good at it. No, I’m not interested in golf because it’s golf and it’s not interesting.

(Unless it’s Golf for the Virtual Boy.  In which case I’m all there.)

Why do you hate sex?

I don’t hate sex. I just don’t care about it. As far as aces go, I’m fairly sex positive. I’m not repulsed by it and I don’t have any problem with it. In fact, I find it secretly amusing when someone thinks that I’m offended by a sexual conversation and tries to steer things in a different direction. If I seem offended, it’s probably because I’m zoning out and not paying any attention because I have nothing to add to the conversation.

In the right situation, I might even be willing to give it another go. I just don’t feel any need to find myself in the right situation.

Anyway, go forth and fornicate, just keep your damn kids off my lawn.

So you can’t fall in love?

I can and I have. It’s definitely more than a friendship, it’s just not tied to sex.

Wait, how can you fall in love and still call yourself asexual? If you fall in love, you’re straight, gay, or bi. Pick one.

Sex does not equal love. Sexual attraction does not equal love. Many people are sexually attracted to people they do not love. Many people love people they are not sexually attracted to. And clearly, many people love people they do not have sex with. Asexuality is the lack of sexual attraction, not the lack of capacity for love.

You’re just inexperienced. If you get out there and keep trying, you’ll come around.

Did you have to “get out there and keep trying” to decide you were interested in sex in the first place? And who knows, maybe you’ll really get into gay sex if you just “get out there and keep trying”. After all, how can you say you’re not gay if you haven’t tried it out?

And that wasn’t a question.

But you’re like totally socially inept. Sometimes you don’t even want to go outside if there are people on the street. Ever think that maybe you’re not asexual, but that you really just have some sort of social anxiety disorder?

I can’t imagine that my social anxiety issues would cause me not to feel attracted to anyone. It’s not a matter of just being too nervous to ask someone out on a date. If that’s all it were, I would still likely feel attracted, but be unable to approach them. On the contrary, I think asexuality and the social issues have a symbiotic relationship going on. I’m not attracted to anyone, so I never feel compelled to break out and try to talk to someone that I’m attracted to.

Then again, maybe both are caused by my deep-seated fear of having to share a closet with someone.

So, uh… Do you feel anything, uh, down there?

Of course I do. There’s nothing physically wrong with my body.

Wait a minute, how do you know that?

A: Like I said, I’ve had sex.
B: Equipment is tested regularly and has been found to be functioning within normal operating parameters.

“Tested regularly”?  So, that means you, uh…? How can you be asexual if you…  you know?

That has absolutely nothing to do with asexuality. Like I’ve said, asexuality is an orientation. It relates to who I find sexually attractive, namely, no one. You don’t need to find anyone sexually attractive for that, it’s a physical response.

Of course, that’s absolutely none of your business, but anyway…

Have you ever thought that maybe you haven’t met the right person yet?

Right, maybe I haven’t. But given that I’ve never found anyone attractive in all the years I’ve been looking and that everyone else seems to find multiple people attractive EVERY DAY, I think it’s fairly safe to say that she’s not hiding behind a tree, just waiting for me to walk by.

Why did you choose to be asexual?

It wasn’t a choice. As the song goes, “baby, I was born this way.” (Of course, the song doesn’t mention asexuality, but whatever. We’re there in spirit.)

How did you realize you were asexual?

Last year, I realized that I didn’t think about sex the same way as anyone else I’d ever met. I started to explore those feelings and came to discover that I wasn’t really interested in sex at all. And I’ve always been that way. During puberty, as a teenager, when I had a girlfriend, and now as an adult. I didn’t really understand it. There weren’t any signs that my hormones were awry and I wasn’t depressed. Perhaps most significantly, I hadn’t had sex in eight and a half years and it didn’t bother me at all. Everyone else seems like they’d go insane if they hadn’t had sex in eight and a half days.

So, I was a mystery to myself, a puzzle to be solved.

I like solving puzzles.

And so I went looking for answers. Asexuality was the one that fit the best, so I took it.

But hey, I’m a scientist. I go with the theory that fits the evidence. Right now, the evidence points toward my being ace. But in the future, I recognize that there may be some new evidence that’ll come along and disprove the theory. Should that happen, I’m willing to go where that leads.

Ace? What’s that?

Ace…xual. It beats “amoeba”.

Why are you telling me all this, anyway?

To spread awareness and hope it’ll contribute to a better understanding of asexuality. I see other aces facing ignorance and struggling with those who are unable or unwilling to understand. On top of that, asexuality is almost completely invisible. I mean, I’ve felt this way for at least 19 years, since puberty, possibly even earlier, and I didn’t even know this was an option until April.

I’ve been a supporter of gay rights for years. It would be hypocritical for me to be open in my support there, yet be completely silent about who I am, now that I know who I am.

I know that one of the greatest factors in someone being willing to accept homosexuality is to know someone who is gay. I know that if I’m open about who I am and how I feel, that all of you will gain a greater understanding of asexuality and be more willing to accept us. You won’t see asexuality as some scary alien concept. You’ll see me. (Granted, I can be a scary alien concept at times, though…)

Were you hiding all this time, then? What took you so long to come out of the closet?

I haven’t been hiding. I really just found out myself back in April. I’ve been confirming the hypothesis since then and trying to figure out how to say anything about it. And it’s not like I’ve been trying to pass or anything. Even before I made the discovery, I never went around claiming to be sexually attracted to anyone. I’m sure everyone who knows me had already figured out that there was something off here. I mean, I have this picture on my desk at the office:

(I’m not really sure aces come out of the closet, though. I think we come out of the pantry, because of the cake.)

Cake?

Yes. We have cake. That’s how we recruit people.

Recruit people?

Of course. Just like any other sexual minority, we recruit people to help carry out our sinister agenda.

Sinister agenda?

Yes. Say, would you like some cake?

 

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Some excellent resources for learning more about asexuality are the Asexual Visibility and Education Network, at http://www.asexuality.org, and the Hot Pieces of Ace YouTube channel, at http://www.youtube.com/user/HotPiecesofAce