Buffin’ the muffin. Saucin’ the taco. Flickin’ the bean. Whatever euphemism you know it by, we’re talking about masturbation. Masturbation is a normal, healthy part of practically every woman’s life. Our desire to feel sexual pleasure is hard-wired in our brains, and the best news is, it’s 100% normal.
Even if you know it’s normal and natural you’ve probably wondered at least once if you’re masturbating too much. That’s okay and normal, too. Most of us have seriously questioned our habits, especially during times of intense singleness or isolation.
If this sounds like one of your internal conversations, we’ve got your back. We’ll consider what’s normal, what’s not, and find out if things can go wrong when you’re paddling the pink canoe.
The fast answer to “what’s normal in terms of masturbation?” is, basically everything. Toys, no toys, hands, no hands, twice a day, twice a year; there’s absolutely no set of rules governing masturbation habits.
This seems to be, at least in most of our minds, the thing that might really set us apart from normalcy and cause us to pass into the masturbation danger zone (if there is one).
If this is you, fear not. When a group of women were polled and asked to be honest about their weekly rituals, the answers ranged from not regularly all the way to fourteen times a week. Clearly, we are unique yet unified in terms of the most intimate form of self care.
To Rabbit or not to Rabbit, that is the question. The use of vibrators and other sexually stimulating toys when masturbating is, once again, completely normal. Likewise, not wanting a battery-operated companions is also normal.
If you’ve been curious about using a toy and wondered if it was taking it a step too far, know that it’s not. However, if your hand makes you happy, there’s nothing wrong with sticking to the tried and true. In other words, do you.
Is it all clitoral stimulation for you, or do you need internal stimulation to climax? Do you explore other areas? Massage your breasts, or explore anal stimulation? Whatever you do, you’re not alone, except for maybe while you’re doing it.
While this is all normal, there’s definitely a caveat here. If you’re only masturbating and climaxing one particular way, it can condition your body that makes it difficult for you to orgasm any other way, which may make sex with a partner more challenging unless you’re willing to be specific about what you like.
Suggestion? Try climaxing by different methods of stimulation; consider it practice for the real thing.
What’s Not Normal
Still not convinced that 99.9% of masturbation is completely normal? We get it; there are always outliers. Chances are, you aren’t one of them, but there are some instances when masturbation can affect you negatively.
Is it possible to have too much of a good thing? Of course. When something good begins to interfere with everyday life, we’ve crossed the threshold into addiction.
Because masturbation is a great tension reliever, it has the potential to be abused much in the same way as chemical substances like alcohol or nicotine. Using masturbation as a method of escape from reality and life instead of just a means of self pleasure is never a good idea.
If you think you might be addicted to masturbating, you can look for certain signs. If masturbation has caused you to experience the following issues, you might be addicted.
- – Missed work, social outings, or other important events.
- – Intense isolation not related to lockdowns, sickness, or other life circumstances.
- – Distraction due to the constant desire to leave the current situation to masturbate.
- – Planning your day and schedule around times when you can masturbate.
If you’re experiencing any of these issues, you aren’t alone. It’s important to see a therapist who specializes in sex addiction. They can help you better manage the feelings you’re using masturbation to cope with.
Pain and Irritation
Ever experienced pain after a particularly lengthy self-love sesh? Pain and irritation can be common side effects from masturbation, especially if you’re not particularly gentle.
Most of the time, pain occurs because of excess pressure by your hand, or a vibrator that’s been used longer than normal. Don’t worry, the pain usually subsides within a few hours and serves as a nice reminder to go a little easier next time.
If you’re experiencing pain and don’t think you’ve been particularly rough with yourself, contact your doctor to schedule an appointment.
Pain isn’t ever normal when it comes to any kind of sex, including masturbation. If you’re in pain after masturbating your doctor can help you figure out what’s going on. It could be as simple as a small infection like bacterial vaginosis.
BV is pretty easy to treat so there’s no worries there. Your doctor can prescribe you an antibiotic for it, or you can try some home remedies too. You have options like VeeCleanse, which is a Boric Acid suppository. Doctors and women alike all agree that it’s a great and effective option for home treatment.
Other Common Vaginal Irritation Issues
Vaginal issues happen to us all. You hear that? All.
Whether you are suffering from BV, a yeast infection, or chronic UTIs, getting a “down there” diagnosis can embarrass even the most confident among us.
If your favorite self care routine has left you itchy, odorous, red, or otherwise uncomfortable, don’t fear. There are definitely things you can do. Let’s look at these irritation issues one at a time and learn how to treat them.
Yeast infections are equally as inconveniencing as BV, and the culprit is similar; an increase of bad bacteria (in this case, yeast). Yeast infections can make you incredibly uncomfortable. Symptoms of a yeast infection include:
- – Thick, cottage-cheese like discharge.
- – Itching and burning around the vulva and inside the vagina.
- – Redness and swelling.
- – Pain during intercourse.
- – Watery vaginal discharge.
If this is the first time you’ve had these symptoms, give your doctor a call (or visit) to see what’s up. It’s not always easy to tell the difference between BV and a yeast infection. Your doctor can help you figure all of that out. You can still opt to treat your yeast infection from home using Boric Acid if you choose to. It works for both BV and a yeast infection.
Blame your anatomy. The opening to your urethra is located just below your clitoris, so if you enjoy clitoral stimulation most, there’s an increased risk for bacteria to enter your urethra and cause a urinary tract infection. UTI symptoms can include:
Masturbation is normal and healthy. It can help relieve stress, make you more familiar with your body. You can even figure out what helps you climax and what doesn’t quite do the trick. If it starts to interfere with your day to day, you can get help to get back on track.
In short, just enjoy your self love habits. It’s supposed to be a fun thing you enjoy doing. That’s the entire point.
Sarah Nelson is a nurse with 15 years of experience working with a variety of patients. She has a Masters of Science in Nursing and has spent a large portion of her career working exclusively with women in an OB/GYN setting.
Nursing is a passion for Sarah but she also enjoys writing and sharing her expertise online with people who need helpful information. Treating patients well and helping them learn more about their own bodies is a key essential to a healthy lifestyle that Sarah truly believes in.