Masturbation is one of the most popular pastimes of people, especially men. While various surveys and studies have turned up differing results, it’s safe to say thatit is the rare male who does not engage in masturbation at least occasionally. And if website traffic statistics for porn sites are to be believed, most men masturbate with considerable frequency. And why not? Few things are as fun as masturbation or require as little equipment; basically, it can be enjoyed anytime and anywhere (although it’s best to limit that "anywhere" part to non-public places). And since men who ejaculate more often have a lowered chance of prostate cancer, there’s even a penis health benefit to the activity. But when two people are talking about masturbation, can they be sure they are using the same definition? The answer might be surprising.


Naturally, there are some instances where the definition is not really in doubt. It’s hard to believe that anyone would disagree that the following scenario doesn’t fit the definition of masturbation: A man is alone in a room with his penis exposed. He has an erection and has wrapped one of his hands around that erection so that he is gripping it fairly tightly. He moves his hand up and down the penis until he reaches a point where he ejaculates semen.

That’s a pretty classic definition, and one that would likely be universally recognized as masturbation. But suppose that scenario was changed slightly. Instead of stroking himself until he ejaculates, let’s say the man stops before achieving that release. Is it still masturbation? There are some who would argue that it’s not.

Other scenarios

Following are a number of other scenarios that some people would believe constitute masturbation, but which some others might not:

- A man has an erection. He exposes his penis, then lies face down on a bed and begins thrusting his hips back and forth against the mattress and sheets. He continues doing so, over and over, until he ejaculates.

Masturbation? Not to someone who believes that masturbation involves manual stimulation of the penis by one’s own hand or hands.

- A man has an erection but keeps it tucked inside his pants. He rubs his penis through his pants until he ejaculates.

There’s manual stimulation by hand here, but the hand isn’t actually touching the penis; it’s touching the fabric of the pants - and therefore some would disqualify it as masturbation.

- A very limber man is naked and sporting an erection. He somehow contorts his body into a twisted shape such that his head is in contact with his penis. Opening his mouth, he is able to suck on his own penis until he ejaculates.

Is autofellatio masturbation? To some yes, but to others it isn’t; it is "simply" oral sex with oneself instead of with another person.

- To bring relief to his insistent erection, a man inserts it into a tube with an opening resembling a vagina and thrusts it in and out of the tube until he achieves orgasm.

As with autofellatio, some people would argue that this kind of sex toy penetration is not masturbation; it lacks the direct application of the hand to the penis.

- Inserting and withdrawing a phallic-shaped object in his anus, a man achieves ejaculation from stimulating his prostate but not his penis.

Again, with no direct manual stimulation of the penis, this would not be considered masturbation by some.

- A woman strokes a man’s penis with her hand until he ejaculates.

To some people, masturbation is restricted one person stimulating themselves and no one else.

Whether a person considers any, some or all of the scenarios above to be a definition of masturbation, it’s worth remembering that being too enthusiastic in self-handling can lead to a raw and sore penis. Regular use of a superior penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin) can help. Choose one with moisturizing and soothing agents like Shea butter and vitamin E to help ease the soreness. And find one with L-carnitine, because rough handling often de-sensitizes the penis. L-carnitine’s neuroprotective properties can help restore lost sensation.