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As young people grow up and become more interested in sex, they might want to masturbate. This is often called “wanking”. 

If a person masturbates in a way that is healthy, safe and private, it can help them learn about their body and their sexual feelings.  


Think about when and why you masturbate. For example, if you do it to make yourself feel better when you are angry or sad, it may not be helpful for you. 


Ask yourself, is this safe for you? For example, if you masturbate so often that it causes you physical pain, this might be unsafe. 


Are you sure that there is no one nearby who might see or hear you? For example, if you’re masturbating in:

  • public places (like a park)
  • shared spaces at home (like the living room)
  • places where others are nearby (like a toilet cubicle)

this is probably unsafe and could upset other people.

Some young people feel embarrassed or ashamed about masturbating. Or they might be worried because they don’t want to masturbate. 

Just like with anything else you do, it’s important for you to make your own decision about this. If you feel like you want to masturbate, then think about how you can do it in a healthy, safe and private way. 

And if you don’t want to masturbate, that’s okay too.

Another misunderstanding that some people have about masturbation is that you have to watch porn to masturbate. This is not true. You can masturbate in a safe and fun way without pornography – and you might even learn more about yourself if you masturbate without using it.

If you do watch pornography, make sure what you’re looking at is legal. Visit the pornography section of our website to learn more.


Learn about what pornography is and how it can affect you.

Read more

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