Deep Cover: Tips for Managing Anxiety or Privacy Worries When Masturbating at Home

It’s late April. I am going into my second month of quarantine.

At the start of the pandemic, I decided to come home to my family to spend the long isolation together. Though it feels better than being alone, there are certain “needs” that become difficult while cohabitating with my parents and little siblings. Personal time spent alone with my genitals and the rest of my body is very important to me. Despite my shyness and acutely awkward nature, when the light goes off, my door is locked, and I want to give myself some good and needed stress release.

Being in this situation brings me back to high school, when I was just starting to experiment with my sexuality and sexual identity. Mom and Dad being one door down can be so nerve-wracking that you can’t even occupy sexy-thoughts long enough to get aroused, let alone do something abut them.

Despite all this, I’m here to say: it’s okay! It’s not strange to want to masturbate right now, and you are entitled to your intimate time, just as much as any other time. In this article, I’ll try my best to give you some tips to stay discreet, overcome your anxiety, and experiment with your sexuality while at home, indoors and sharing space.

You won’t be randomly screaming out in ecstasy.

A friend of mine in her twenties has decided she’s not ready for a sex life yet. Despite this, every once in a while we talk about sex, because she had little other safe space to explore it and come to understand it better. I had mentioned something about it being hard to have intimate time while having housemates in college, and that I would often have to plan ahead of time to be all by myself. She said, “And I bet it’s hard because you can’t control the moaning!” 

It’s a popular misconception spread by the media and the porn industry that every sexual situation is so powerful that you can’t keep quiet. That’s just not true: we can be quiet when we need or want to be. Although it can feel good to let loose with noises, it is entirely possible to enjoy sexual activity, especially masturbation, without making any noise others can hear.

Know that you hear your voice the loudest.

Let’s not forget that you are located closest to you. When a room is dead quiet, with only the fan running, and you whisper something to yourself reaaally softly — can you hear it? Yes, you most certainly can. Especially at times when our anxiety is higher, it can feel like every little sound is as loud as a fire alarm. But, this isn’t the case. Play some music from your computer and see how soft it has to be for you not to hear it outside. I bet you it’s a lot louder than the soft grunts you may make while masturbating. Only you can probably hear very-quiet you. You can also always turn music on to give yourself more cover if you want.

Private browsing is your friend!

Okay, even though I told you not to worry, one can never be too safe from embarrassment right? The next few steps will all be tips to help you avoid an embarrassing situation, and so that you can rest at ease when you do the do.

When I was 15 years old, I read lemon fanfiction and ‘adult’ comics on my laptop, because I felt that my laptop was mine alone and that my parents weren’t interested in what was on it. For the most part, that was true. But one day when I was at school, my mom borrowed my laptop for something and decided to peep around, looking for nothing in particular. Boy, did I get an earful that day. I never left evidence like that ever again. So! Make sure if you are purusing sexual content, you turn on private browsing.

If you’ll need them, prepare your excuses waaaaaay ahead of time. 

Now that we’ve taken care of what happens if someone sees your laptop after the fact, this time let’s take care of surprises during masurbation.

If you and your parents don’t already have explicit agreements and understandings about privacy, and your parents are anything like mine, they don’t respect closed doors, and they expect you to be available whenever they need you. That’s okay. Let’s just make sure we are full of excuses when they pass through. Here were some of my go-tos in high school:

“My head is hurting so I’m trying to take a nap” 

“I didn’t get much sleep last I’m trying to stay under the covers and get some rest.” 

“I’m in a class, I can’t come to the door!” 

Pull these phrases out nonchalantly, and no one will have reason to doubt you. Hopefully, your parents allow locked doors, but I definitely know not all will. Stay under your covers with your phone or computer and no one will know the difference. Rest assured your parents don’t actually have see-through powers, or eyes in the back of their head!

Let’s use one earphone, instead of two. ;)

This is another tip I wish someone had told me when I was younger. Imagine my horror when 30 minutes into an hour-long porno, I look up and am starring my dad in the face. *shivers* Boy, I don’t even want to think about it! Keep one ear open to listen out for your parents calling for you, or any younger siblings jumping in to say hi. You’ll thank me later.

Keep some of your clothes on.

Movies and TV-dramas always portray people getting naked as the first step of having sex.

Though things can get hot and steamy, you don’t have to be naked. Even with a partner, taking off all or even most of your clothes is not particularly necessary. In this case, having your clothes on can be a form of security, because you can be 100% certain no one is going to catch you with your pants down. (Literally!) When I want to relax without the looming anxiety of someone catching me in an embarrassing situation, I wear a thin tank top (that I can feel through) and a flowy skirt or skort that I can easily reach into without undergarments.  The texture of the clothes you choose can even add pleasure to the experience.

Know your computer shortcuts! 

My final tip for preparing for dire emergency masturbation situations is knowing your computer shortcuts; specifically how to change tabs or close windows with the click of a button. I use a Macbook, where with three of four fingers you can switch the page without much sound at all. This feature gave me the confidence to do private things even in shared or public spaces. For example, I could sit by myself in the library and search for some period panties without feeling shy or scared, because I could quickly switch the screen if I needed to. This is a power you shouldn’t take lightly! It can transform the command of your time, and create a sense of safety or comfort that can allow you to get down to business without as much anxiety.

Just remember, great power comes with great responsibility. :D

All of these tips are just ways to make you feel a bit more safe and comfortable with the idea of having private time with the possibility of interruptions. None of this is to say that you will get interrupted necessarily, and chances are you won’t. Each and every one of us needs privacy and private times in our lives, whether for masturbation or anything else.

I hope you feel confident and comfortable with exercising this right, it’s your body! No one, including yourself, should ever shame you for exploring it.

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