Question: Emily (15-17) asks about masturbation:
This sounds really BAD but I found one of my mom’s vibrators, and tried it out, (it felt really good) is this wrong? am i too young?

Answer: If you’ve read the “Guys Page” on masturbation, you’ll realize that it’s not necessarily “bad” or “wrong” to masturbate. If it’s not an obsession (that is, you don’t do it constantly), then it’s basically harmless as long as you feel okay about it in your head. It’s not something to feel guilty about, although some people are. Many girls your age have experimented with it, and some even together. Now, about using your mom’s vibrator, I don’t think it’s a great idea. I know it’s your mom and everything, but it’s still possible to spread disease that way. And besides, what would your mom say to you if she found out?

Question: …and so does Sally (12-14):
When I was watching t.v. a few nights ago I realized I get a nude channel. So I was watching thinking this is sooo funny. Well I got really horny and I started masturbating. This is the first time I’ve ever tried to masturbate. It was o.k. but I didn’t feel comfortable. Is this o.k. and normal?

Answer: As I wrote above, it’s “okay” if you’re comfortable with it. It’s not something you would do if you’re uncomfortable. I also do not recommend someone your age watching adult television.

Question: ..and so does Hanna (12-14):
I heard my sisters talking about a vibrator. I am wondering if I am too young to use one.

Answer: I think so… It’s considered an “adult toy” that you won’t typically find at K-Mart. It’s also possible that you may hurt yourself with it as they’re rather large and sometimes can scratch. You may want to experiment with other, softer objects if you choose to.

Question: A concerned father asks:
My 8 year old daughter has started masturbating since we got her to stop sucking her thumb. She seems to be doing it many times a day. She even will spend long periods of time in our swimming pool against the return where the water jets out. Do you have any advice?

Answer: My first piece of advice is not to call attention to it. If she discovers that “it’s bad” to masturbate, that she surely will continue just to spite you! Also, it may cause some mental conflicts in her teen and adult years, or cause her to be confused or especially guilty over it. As you probably know, masturbation should be a private, guilt-free activity done in moderation for those who chose to masturbate.

What you want to do when you see your daughter masturbating, is to draw her attention elsewhere. If she’s in the pool hanging out by the returns, go over to her “excitedly” with a ball and encourage her to play catch with you. Don’t bring up what she’s doing, and don’t say “don’t do that” — just distract her with something more appropriate. This will especially be important if you have company over, or if you’re in public. Just don’t make her feel guilty about it for “being bad”.

Credit: J. Geoff Malta, MA, EdM, NCC Adolescent Therapist