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I am 24 years old and I have a problem with masterbating (masturbating). I would like to but I don't feel comfortable doing it. Why do I feel this way? I know masterbation (masturbation) is healthy, but I just can't seem to do it. And when I try I have trouble with pleasing myself. I have been married for 6 yrs and my husband would like me to be able to please my self occassionally. Please Help!
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Hi there.

I can clear up some issues for you.

You say you “have trouble pleasing” yourself, with orgasms, If you’re getting discouraged and stopping before you have an orgasm during self-pleasuring, perhaps you might benefit from some of the following information.

In women, the clitoris must be stimulated—either directly or indirectly—in order for orgasm to happen. The vagina, all by itself, is not all that rich with sensory nerve endings. In fact, only the first couple inches of are very sensitive, and they tend to be more responsive to direct stimulation.

A major difference between women and men is that generally, the clitoris needs constant direct or indirect stimulation, unlike the penis. For most women, orgasm results from a constant circular motion around the shaft and glans (glands) (or head) of the clitoris. Also important is that once a woman’s orgasm begins, if the stimulation is removed, the orgasm will end. In contrast, once men have that first orgasmic contraction, not even a neutron bomb will stop their orgasm!

Almost everyone feels insecure about self-pleasuring. We all want to know that what WE do is OK. If you’re holding on to some old messages that it’s somehow harmful or wrong, it might help you to know that there are no data to indicate that self-pleasuring is in any way harmful.

Here are some facts about self-pleasuring:

It’s the surest way to orgasm and the most effective way to learn about our sexual response cycle, as well as the surest way for women to learn to orgasm.

Another advantage is self-knowledge: How can you show a partner what you like if you don’t know yourself?

And the #1 reason for self-pleasuring: it’s fun!

Self-pleasuring is a part of who you are sexually—for your whole life, not just when you don’t have a partner. People self-pleasure from birth to death, when they’re alone and when they’re partnered. It’s just one of many options we have as sexual beings. It’s not better or worse than partner sex, just different—like steak is different than chicken.

Remember that all our scientific data show that the people who take responsibility for their OWN pleasure have the best sex lives and rate themselves as happiest about their sexuality.

Many of us have deep shame about our sexuality--either our overt behavior, or the more primitive urges and images left over from childhood that we've never accepted. I’m wondering if this profound sense of shame is contributing to your feelings of discomfort and distracting you from pleasure. I encourage you to read more about female sexuality and self-pleasuring. There are two books I recommend because they not only have important information, but they also contain lots of sharing by actual women about their own struggles to accept their sexual selves. Best of luck to you. Dr. J

“For Yourself: The Fulfillment of Female Sexuality” by Lonnie Barbach, Ph.D.
“The Hite Report” by Shere Hite
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