I can't masturbate, I'm a 19 year old female

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PleaseHelpAsap
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I can't masturbate, I'm a 19 year old female

Unread post by PleaseHelpAsap »

Recently I've started masturbating, I have never masturbated before. I decided to try because I got a long distance boyfriend a little over a year ago, and recently we've decided to try masturbating together. Unfortunately when we tried for the first time, I just didn't feel anything and the whole area just felt numb, but slowly after trying multiple times after that, I made small progress and my clit started feeling sensitive, it wasn't exactly pleasure, it was just sensitive to the touch. I'd like to mention that I have anxiety and I was pretty anxious about this after trying for the first time and it not working, but I've been working on it, trying to relax, etc. Recently it's started feeling a little good, it doesn't feel amazing but there's certainly a little tiny bit of pleasure, but that only lasts for maximum 10/15 seconds before it goes super sensitive, then turns completely numb, and after that I just can't do anything, I don't feel anything even if I give it some time and try again. Main things that have worked for me have been rubbing up and down in small motions quickly but my hands just get tired or I just go really sensitive to the point I can't touch it anymore and then it goes numb again. I don't know what else to try and any help is very greatly appreciated. I'll answer any questions! Thanks in advance.
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Re: I can't masturbate, I'm a 19 year old female

Unread post by Amanda B »

Hi PleaseHelpAsap,

I'd like to start by clarifying a few things to make sure we can best support you. It sounds like you started masturbating after getting into a relationship. Were you interested in masturbation before this relationship? Did you feel at all pressured to start masturbating in this new relationship? Or do you feel comfortable and excited to masturbate, but are just coming up against some difficulties while figuring everything out?

It makes sense to experience some challenges when trying something new. There is certainly no one-size-fits-all model when it comes to masturbation. I'd like to recommend you check out some of our best articles on this topic, including How Do You Masturbate?, Why Does Masturbation Feel Weird?, and Going Solo: The Basics of Masturbation. Let me know if anything from these articles resonates with you, and we can go from there.
PleaseHelpAsap
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Re: I can't masturbate, I'm a 19 year old female

Unread post by PleaseHelpAsap »

Were you interested in masturbating before this relationship?
No, because I didn't know much about it and never had a reason to do it
Did you feel at all pressured to start masturbating in this new relationship?
No, it was my idea to start doing it and we had both agreed at the start of the relationship that we'd talk about it before either of us tried to do it
Do you feel comfortable and excited to masturbate but are just coming up against some difficulties?
At first it was a bit difficult to get fully comfortable and excited but now I do feel excited about it, and I'm more relaxed and stuff. Yeah I am struggling with these difficulties that I don't understand
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Re: I can't masturbate, I'm a 19 year old female

Unread post by Sam W »

Hi PleaseHelpAsap,

Thank you for those extra details! When you've masturbated in the past, would you say your brain is usually pretty engaged in, and aroused by, what's going on? That could be by a fantasy, by your partner, a piece of sexual media, etc. Or do you find your mind tends to wander or moves into feeling anxious pretty quickly?
PleaseHelpAsap
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Re: I can't masturbate, I'm a 19 year old female

Unread post by PleaseHelpAsap »

Basically at the beginning when I tried for the first time, it was difficult for me to keep my mind engaged and the fantasy going, but now after trying multiple times, it's definitely gotten easier and I can focus on it for a while, it's just when I start feeling numb and it stops working I lose that feeling and sometimes I'm still turned on but I just get distracted by it not working even though I'm aroused. Usually I listen to my boyfriend masturbate, or imagine fantasies in my head.
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Re: I can't masturbate, I'm a 19 year old female

Unread post by Sam W »

Got it. So, some of this may just be about patience and learning what things do and don't keep your brain engaged or bring pleasure to your body. Masturbation varies from person to person, and some people do have to experiment a bit more to find the kinds of stimulation that feel best for their body. Too, if part of what's happening is your hand getting tired, do you think it's worth exploring if sex toys would be beneficial to you?
PleaseHelpAsap
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Re: I can't masturbate, I'm a 19 year old female

Unread post by PleaseHelpAsap »

The main problem isn't my hand getting tired, sometimes I'm able to use it for a while but I'll instantly get numb down there at a certain point.
Sam W
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Re: I can't masturbate, I'm a 19 year old female

Unread post by Sam W »

Ah, I see. That could still be an instance where a sex toy could be helpful, if only because it can introduce some new or more intense stimulation into the mix.

Up until the point when the numbness kicks in, would you say you're getting a lot of pleasure out of it? I ask because it may also help to just masturbate for as long as it feels pleasurable, and then stop once you reach that point of feeling numb or otherwise not getting much out of it, rather than trying to keep going when it doesn't feel like much.
PleaseHelpAsap
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Re: I can't masturbate, I'm a 19 year old female

Unread post by PleaseHelpAsap »

No, I barely feel any pleasure, it feels better than nothing, but I wouldn't exactly say it's intense pleasure at all. I've thought about getting a vibrator but it's not something we can afford right now.
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Re: I can't masturbate, I'm a 19 year old female

Unread post by Sam W »

Okay, with that in mind, one of my recommendations is to take some time to figure out what things bring you pleasure more generally. Those could be things that are mainly sensory, like smells, tastes, touches, etc, or they could be things that help you feel relaxed and happy mentally. I suggest that because often connecting with non-sexual pleasure can make it easier to connect with sexual pleasure, including by showing us things we could introduce into sex and masturbation to help them be more enjoyable.

If cost is an issue with sex toys, there are some ways to DIY them far more cheaply that you can check out here:
D.I.Y. Sex Toys: Self-Love Edition
PleaseHelpAsap
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Re: I can't masturbate, I'm a 19 year old female

Unread post by PleaseHelpAsap »

I've tried a couple times since I posted this and I still don't know what to do... my issue isn't that I can't get turned on or feel good, I do feel good, I can feel good for a bit, I'm not nervous at all, I'm pretty turned on and excited and I can feel pleasure. My problem is I suddenly lose that feeling and suddenly can't feel pleasure anymore, even when I stop and take a little break to start again, it doesn't work. I've even tried slowing down but after I reach that high I just can't feel it anymore, and no it's not an orgasm, I genuinely don't know what else to try. My body just reacts in a weird way, it almost feels like I'm "possessed" when I reach that point.
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Re: I can't masturbate, I'm a 19 year old female

Unread post by Sam W »

Ah, okay, thank you for clarifying. My previous answer was based on you mentioning that you barely feel ant pleasure but that it feels better than nothing. With that "possessed" feeling, does there seem to be any pattern to what sets it off, or any signs that it's about to happen? For instance, does it seem to happen once you reach a certain intensity of sensation? Does your body do anything noticeable, like tense even more, spasm, or anything like that?
PleaseHelpAsap
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Re: I can't masturbate, I'm a 19 year old female

Unread post by PleaseHelpAsap »

It usually happens when I'm about to start feeling good, and I can always tell when I'm about to feel good, like when I find the right spot or right speed to do it, but no I can't tell when it's gonna happen, it always happens when I'll reach a certain point of pleasure but I still can't tell when that is, it just happens and then I'm numb and can't do much about it. The "possessed" feeling actually happens down there, I just feel like things are moving on their own, they tense up and it feels like they're squeezing and unsqueezing.
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Re: I can't masturbate, I'm a 19 year old female

Unread post by Sam W »

Thanks for those details! You know, I think there may be a chance that what you're experiencing might be orgasm, particularly if it includes those involuntary contractions in and around the vagina. That would also explain the abruptness of the change from it feeling good to it feeling numb. You mentioned you don't don't think it's an orgasm; is there something that's missing, or something that's happening, that made you rule that out?
PleaseHelpAsap
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Re: I can't masturbate, I'm a 19 year old female

Unread post by PleaseHelpAsap »

Yeah, there's something missing, the pleasure, like yeah it feels good but like it's really nothing special, like I get more pleasure from butterflies I get in my stomach when I'm dirty talking with my boyfriend or something, it feels better than nothing but it's still not "orgasm" pleasure
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Re: I can't masturbate, I'm a 19 year old female

Unread post by Sofi »

The thing is there's not a one-size-fits-all orgasm; we all experience them differently, and it might not look or feel like it does on sexual media. Like Sam said, what you're describing certainly sounds like an orgasm, but maybe it doesn't seem like it because you had a different expectation of the amount of pleasure that should come with it. For a lot of people, an orgasm is just what you mentioned (involuntary muscle contractions, a "high" followed by numbness, and definitely the "possessed" description) but not necessarily increased pleasure during or after. The most pleasure is often right before the actual orgasm, just like you mentioned. Hearing this, do you feel like it makes more sense now?
PleaseHelpAsap
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Re: I can't masturbate, I'm a 19 year old female

Unread post by PleaseHelpAsap »

I don't get it then.. am I just not supposed to feel pleasure? I don't have crazy expectations but that doesn't feel like pleasure at all. I genuinely get more pleasure from peeing in the morning or getting butterflies than that... this doesn't feel right and I could understand if it was slight pleasure but it's barely anything.. like it's so minuscule that I might as well not masturbate because I don't get anything out of it. Is this gonna change when I have sex?
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Re: I can't masturbate, I'm a 19 year old female

Unread post by Heather »

A lot of what pleasure we feel from sexual activity -- be it alone or with a partner -- often tends to be about how into it we are: how excited, how relaxed, how open. What we're doing or not physically can often matter less when it comes to its physical impact and more when it comes to how we feel about what we're doing. Does that make sense?

So, if you're more excited about and turned on by sex with a partner, then yeah, it may well be that you feel more pleasure. But if whatever the situation, you still feel very anxious, and haven't figured out how to get your head really in the game, as it were, then no, you may not. Same goes for if you're still struggling with getting your head back into the game at times when you feeling good physically changes in some way rather than winding up frustrated and unable to kick that feeling.

But there's no "not supposed to feel pleasure" in any of this. It's just that just like with other kinds of pleasure -- like from eating or movement or being with people socially or looking at the sunset, whatever -- so much of our experience is less about what's happening externally or physically and more, or at least as much as, what's going on in our head.
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PleaseHelpAsap
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Re: I can't masturbate, I'm a 19 year old female

Unread post by PleaseHelpAsap »

Okay, do you have anything you can suggest for me to try at the moment? Should I just wait till me and my boyfriend meet up? Or is there anything I can practice in the mean time
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Re: I can't masturbate, I'm a 19 year old female

Unread post by Sam W »

If you've been feeling frustrated with how masturbation has been going, then taking a break--whether that's just for a few days or for a bit longer--might help just in terms of offering a reset.

In terms of things to introduce into masturbation in the moment, I think this is a place where giving yourself the time and space to experiment is the way to go. That could include trying new types of stimulation, new positions, even new locations (like the tub if you have one). But, as Heather mentioned, since so much of how or if we experience pleasure has to do with our brains, exploring different ways of engaging your brain is also part of the process. That could include playing around with different fantasies or trying out different kinds of sexual media to see if there are ones that just seem to really amp up the pleasure. It could also help to choose to masturbate only at times where you're feeling little to no stress, since being more relaxed overall can make that process of exploration easier.
PleaseHelpAsap
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Re: I can't masturbate, I'm a 19 year old female

Unread post by PleaseHelpAsap »

Okay, thank you, I'll trying that in the future and will let you know in the future how things go.
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Re: I can't masturbate, I'm a 19 year old female

Unread post by Heather »

One last important thing: what you do NOT want to do is to try things with masturbation in the headspace of I NEED THIS TO WORK!

In other words, when anyone goes into any kind of sex, including masturbation, focused on outcomes -- orgasm, increasing sensation or pleasure -- rather than just letting themselves have whatever experience they are having, and leading with just what feels good and letting go of what doesn't, it usually makes it much more likely that they'll just keep having the same frustrations and unsatisfying experience.

If and when people can let go of any attachment to or focus on outcomes, it's one of the most important things with sex when it comes to just having a good time and feeling satisfied with the experience.
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PleaseHelpAsap
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Re: I can't masturbate, I'm a 19 year old female

Unread post by PleaseHelpAsap »

So in the past few days I've made slow progress, I've been trying alone every now and then and it has started to feel good, it's inconsistent but I definitely feel pleasure now, but I still have that thing happening where when it starts feeling really good it'll just suddenly stop. I'm positive it's not an orgasm and my body just kinda has a small seizure if I keep touching myself after it happens.

Also I tried doing it on call with my boyfriend and this weird thing happened where my hands would go numb and tingly which made it a bit more difficult. I mentioned this to my boyfriend and he said that it also happens to him when he masturbates with me on call, but when he does it alone his hands are fine, they go numb and tingly when we are on call together, any reason why this happens?

Is there anything I can do to have an orgasm? Whenever that thing happens I can't even masturbate anymore for the entirety of the day, even though I might still be turned on.
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Re: I can't masturbate, I'm a 19 year old female

Unread post by Latha »

Hi PleaseHelpAsap,

If you don't mind, would you describe this small seizure?
they go numb and tingly when we are on call together, any reason why this happens?
Could it be that your sessions with your boyfriend are longer than your usual masturbation sessions? If they are, that could be straining your hands. How long does this numbness last? Do you think it could help to take a break and massage them a little?
PleaseHelpAsap
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Re: I can't masturbate, I'm a 19 year old female

Unread post by PleaseHelpAsap »

It happens to my boyfriend too, and his sessions are the same time as when he does them alone so I don't think it's strain. And that wasn't my main issue, it's just that I still could never finish and when I felt like I was getting close, the pleasure just stops and my body doesn't react to stimulation for the rest of the day.
Pretty much, my clit gets a bit firmer, and the whole area down there starts moving uncontrollably, if I continue touching it, it'll move more and I can't stop it, the only way it stops is when I stop touching it, then it'll take a few moments and stop, I've tried to keep going even after and I've also tried giving it a break but when it happens, it'll just stop responding completely.
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