TMI: People Tell Us What Masturbation Showed Them About Their Bodies


Aug 6, 2023


Image credit: Denise D'souza for The Swaddle

Welcome to TMIa monthly series that crowdsources awkward details and uncomfortable moments that come with occupying our bodies.

Despite being a normal sexual practice, masturbation’s age-old links with shame and secrecy act as barriers to discovering what it has in store for people. For many, it can be a source of pleasure they don’t get from a partner; for others, it simply serves the function of stress-relief. But really embracing masturbation as a means to getting to know our bodies and ourselves is still far from mainstream – despite the fact that it can show us far more than a sexual health class can. Whether it’s better sleep or a better mood, a self-esteem boost or better body image, there are several ways in which masturbation benefits physical and mental health. We asked people what they learned about their bodies through masturbation. Here’s what they said:

That each body is unique

“How sensitive the clit is post-orgasm — it’s almost painful to touch.”

“I learnt that I suffered from phimosis, I kept putting it off for 3 years (while being sexually active which was incredibly painful). But I finally got a circumcision last year at 19 and it has been wonderful.”

“My nipples are more sensitive than my clit or vagina.”

That (multiple) orgasms exist

“That I can actually orgasm.” 

“About orgasmic pleasure, how sexual hormones work, and what our external reproductive organs do.”

“That I can have multiple orgasms and only if I know what my body likes, I can enjoy sex!”

That sexuality is a spectrum

“That I’m into guys and I’m a trans woman.”

“That I lie in the asexuality spectrum.”

“I’m comfortable with being bi and disabled at the same time.”

That self-acceptance is key

“I fell in love with my curves and I felt sexy.”

“How good it can make me feel although most of the time I don’t feel good in my skin.”

“That it can make my skin glow!”
“I had to let go of shame and guilt to really relax and orgasm. Masturbation has led me to self acceptance.”

That arousal has many meanings

“It can be done so easily by women without even touching yourself.”

“That I don’t think I like penetration.”

“That I get aroused by kinky fantasies.”


Written By The Swaddle Team


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