Updated: May 5
Its no unknown fact that at some point, we all have masturbated- or at least gotten the sense that touching ourselves can amount in pleasurable sensation.
Masturbation is incredibly instinctual, meaning that we can figure it out on our own without direction from others- it comes as natural as breathing, blinking, and feeling. This is why a variety of animals are known to masturbate as well- sometimes its for pleasure, and many times its to compensate for not finding a mate or combatting feelings of loneliness (sounds pretty similar to humans to me). There are account of monkeys making their own sex toys, you see your dogs aggressively hump things, and elephants routinely get themselves off when their sex hormones are high.
instinct starts young
Naturally in humans, it makes sense to think that as one of the animals on this planet that uses sex for pleasure- we may indeed discover and utilize masturbation. Clinically speaking, it is most common to associate masturbation with adolescence and puberty, but we do see through countless research that stimulating of the genitals can usually be seen by 2 months of age in babies (commonly called infant gratification disorder) and even in utero, where babies can be seen holding or playing with their genitals. Personally speaking, I wouldn’t go as far as saying that childhood masturbation is a disorder, since for the most part it is regarded as a natural behavior (but do keep in mind, it is also seen commonly in cases of sexual abuse).
The most common way that we discover masturbation is through discovering our own bodies. As children, we start to analyze our own bodies, and a huge milestone is discovering our genitals- its how we start to realize that we are different from others. In this discovery, many children start to routinely touch themselves because they realize it feels good. This can be extremely controversial for many parents depending on their views of religion, society, sexuality, etc. ; although masturbation is regarded as completely normal and it will happen. I know, I know- some of you grew up in households where masturbation was forbidden and frowned upon, but you can’t fight what nature intended!
finding out for yourself
Although my parents had educated me on what sex was and how babies were made from a very young age, there was still a gap in my understanding of pleasure and sexual stimulation- which I came to discover on my own, by yes, masturbation. I have taken this week to talk to many of my close friends about how they discovered masturbation, and the answer is all the same: We all started to have experiences that made us realize we could feel sensation in our genitals. For the majority of us, we honestly didn’t even know we were masturbating until someone actually gave us the definition or caught us: pure instinct at its finest!
Masturbatory behavior is common in both males and females. From the general consensus I got with talking to my female friends, the most common ways we discovered self stimulation came from things like riding bikes, or having a pillow in between our legs. From talking with my male friends, I see that playing with your penis was very common and through first erections, you start to catch onto the purpose of it all. Personally, I even encountered the feeling as a young child, maybe 8 or 9, when I went horseback riding for the first time, and got so freaked out I asked an adult to take me off the horse. I had no idea what was going on, and felt very curious. For some of us, we recall our parents telling they would catch us humping pillows, toys, or seeing that we would have sporadic rubbing behaviors or play with our pants.
Here are a few anon submissions on how some of us discovered masturbation:
"I started really young...I didn't even know I was masturbating, just felt good. Not sure how old though. My parents saw me one time and sat me down and I vividly remember them being like "do you know what you're doing? Why are you doing that? Does it feel good?" So embarrassed haha”
"I was humping pillows and my toys. Constantly. Lol I mean I didn’t know exactly what my vagina was I just knew it felt good”
"Um I started humping things when I was like two”
“I was 4 and discovered how good it felt to slide down the pole on the playground”
“I discovered masturbation in the 6th or 7th grade. My first “insertable” was a pencil"
“My brother had told me about it, but it wasn’t until a couple years later that I tried it and realized how wonderful it was. I had no idea my penis could have that sensation, and realized how awesome it was."
Was this out of the ordinary? Definitely not, its just a normal part of self autonomy. This video is absolutely hilarious in how women discovered masturbation, especially since we can all relate! Take a quick view.
We don’t always discover it in childhood
Although masturbation is incredibly common in childhood, it is perfectly normal to discover it in adulthood as well. This can happen just because, or can be a result of societal/ religious factors since there can be stigma and shame attached to the act of masturbation. Where I am from, it is extremely common to have sexual urges in youth, and simply not act on them due to what a families personal outlook may be on it. Its very apparent that now as adults, many of these individuals realize that they did have somewhat sexual realizations and curiosities during those times. Its also not uncommon to have sex before ever masturbating, and many find masturbation through sexual experiences as well.
To get a better understanding on masturbation in adulthood, I had a few friends write in anonymously- Take a read!
"feel like I was super vanilla with my vagina. Honestly I didn’t really masturbate until I moved out of the house. I would get turned on when I was like 12 from scenes in movies and stuff but I had no idea what was going on and why it felt like a warm glowy sensation down there. I’d get wet but thought something was wrong with me because my parents never explained really that it was as natural as a guy getting a boner so I wore pad liners a lot because I was embarrassed about being wet. Mormon family life haha. “
" Mine was in college when I was alone and single. I thought sex meant love. I didn't want to have sex with just anyone. I'm now in my twenties and realize love is a ten speed vibrator with a reusable charger. “
“Literally, Tumblr. I never really needed masturbation because I always had fuck buddies in high school so I was always satisfied. TBH I didn’t really understand how to masturbate until I saw videos on Tumblr. There first time I did it when I was 17, I came so hard I thought my soul was leaving my body”
"I didn’t masturbate until way after I had sex. For some reason I didn’t think it was okay until I was 19 or 20. But I think before that I also found sex to be kind of scary and awkward and all for a the pleasure of the dude. When I was finally confident enough to do it, I realized what clitoral stimulation was, so it opened up my sex world in general. I discovered my own anatomy and what it was capable of and sex became more intimate and exciting. “
“I didn’t masturbate until I was about age 20, and I had recently watched porn for the first time and noticed the males stroking themselves. Even though I came from an open household, I had never taken it upon myself to stroke my own penis. I can say that after trying, Im definitely a happier man”
congrats, you're normal
All these stories are so much fun, and vital for showing readers that yes- you are a normal bean and we all go through it. Like I’ve said before, the act is purely instinctual and an important part of life for many animals, including ourselves. It can be tied with normality, or can be held against you with shame- and we can all have very opposed views on it. Hell, it will take an entire blog post to go into the devices that were made to keep people from touching themselves, as well as the countless medicines and “remedies”… one that even included getting circumcised!
Keep tuning in, keep sending me your stories. Thank you so much to all who participated!