As your body develops you might feel like you want to explore it and touch it in new ways. Masturbating is a way of getting sexual pleasure by touching your genital area usually with your hand.

There are different ways of masturbating, although there is no 'correct' way. It's OK to masturbate in any way that feels good for you.

Boys and men often rub their penis or hold the shaft of their penis and move their hand up and down. Lots of boys like touching their testicles or anus and rectum too. Girls and women may use their fingers or hand to rub the area around their clitoris and/or their vagina. When people are masturbating they can get an intense pleasurable feeling which spreads all over their bodies, this is called an orgasm.

If any of the terms you read here are confusing you, check them out in the A to Z of Sex.

Lots of things people say about masturbation are not true. Masturbation does not cause any mental or physical harm and even if you masturbate and ejaculate many times a day, it will not affect your sex life or make you infertile.

It is important not to feel guilty or scared about masturbating because it is natural and harmless for both men and for women. It is a way of exploring your own body and can help you to find out what you like and don't like sexually.

It is fine to masturbate as often or little as you like. Some people don't masturbate at all and that's OK too.

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