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Masturbation (solo-sex, wanking, playing with yourself, etc.) can be an excellent way to get to know your body and what makes you feel good sexually. Read how one young person thought they had broken their penis during masturbation…
I’m 17 and I’ve been with my girlfriend for a year, and when we first met she asked me if I ever watch porn or masturbated. I said I didn’t but sometimes I do, and I hate lying to her but I don’t want to bring it up because I don’t want to upset her. It’s not because I don’t love her but I find it helps me to relax sometimes and it doesn’t mean I don’t want to have sex with her. Anyway, I was watching porn yesterday and masturbating, and suddenly I felt a really sharp pain and when I looked down there was so much blood. I think I ripped something on my penis and I don’t know what to do so I have just left it but it’s really sore and I’m too scared to tell anyone. I don’t want to see my girlfriend until it’s better because if she knew I was masturbating she’d get upset and I don’t want to lie to her. Why has this happened and what should I do?
It sounds like you have torn the skin that joins your foreskin to the shaft of your penis. Its real name is the frenulum but people often call it the ‘banjo string’. The frenulum is quite resilient but it can tear under the pressure of rough sex or vigorous masturbation. It can be very painful and bleed a lot.
In most cases, this tear will get better without any treatment, but you should avoid all sexual activity (including solo sex) until this has fully healed. Once it has healed it is a good idea to use lube during sex and when masturbating to avoid it from tearing again.
If it doesn’t heal then you should see your GP or visit a sexual health clinic. They might say that you need to have an operation called a frenuloplasty, to lengthen the frenulum.
The strongest relationships are built on communication and trust so we would encourage you to be honest with your girlfriend about the fact that you masturbate. It’s healthy for people to masturbate when they’re in a relationship and it can enhance the sex that you have together because it means you both know what you like. Read more about masturbation.
Remember, if you are under 18 it is illegal to watch pornography. Read more about pornography and relationships.
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