Female Masturbation/My Sister

QUESTION: Dear Ashley,

My younger sister, who is 12, has recently picked up masturbating. She is a very logical and school smart person, but often does not understand social things about what is inappropriate, you know.
Last summer we went on holiday to France and we were staying in a cabin in a forest. It was really really hot so our mum said me and my sister should just wear our underwear in bed.

Me and her were sharing a sort of bed you pull out from a sofa and sleeping on top of the covers. We were lying there talking, and my sister put her hand down there and started rubbing. She noticed I was watching, and then asked if I minded if she did it. I was surprised by the whole thing and didn't know what to say, so I just said yes. I had been doing it for a few years myself, but I had never imagined my sister doing it and I was really surprised by how not-shy she was about it not even covering herself with the blanket or anything.
She asked me if I did it too, I said yes, and she said she didn't mind if I did it. So I covered myself with the blanket and I did it too. I was too embarassed to do it uncovered like her, but I think that is part of her thing of not knowing what is socially appropriate and not. I didn't tell her to cover herself though because I think it's harmless and also I don't want her to feel bad about doing it at all, it's natural.

We did it for quite a long time, it was like impossible to sleep in the heat. I think it was actually a good thing that we tired ourselves out that way, then we could sleep. In the morning when I woke up she was doing it again. I didn't want to do it because I was nervous about our parents coming in and seeing us so I just read my book. But it was actually OK because when we heard our parents door open she immediately stopped rubbing and put the blanket over herself. So it's good at least that she understands about being private from our parents because that would be very awkward! They don't think it is bad or anything but it would still be very awkward.
We ended up doing it every night and quite a few mornings of that trip. I know it seems weird two sisters doing that together, but for my sister I think she thinks that it is just logical that when she gets that urge, she can just do it as we are the same age, and both girls and stuff. And I didn't want to make her feel bad or wrong about that.

But also I sometimes worry that she is going to start doing that in front of people who are going to get very uncomfortable with that or tell her it's bad or something. At the moment she shares a room with our youngest sister, who is 6. My sister told me she doesn't do it while our youngest sister is in the room which is good because that would be really inappropriate, and that at home she does it in the shower or while the room is empty. So I am glad about that.

Since we got back from that trip she has asked our parents a couple of times if she can share a room with me instead of our youngest sister. She told our parents that it was better because we were closer in age and had more common interests and she in private she told me that this way she could you know, do it in bed. I told our parents I would be OK with it. But I also feel a little bit awkward about it too. I mean I know she won't just be doing it literally all the time, and it would be fun to share a room with her because we get on well. But it also seems weird as well. What if I get older and I get uncomfortable seeing or hearing her do that? What if she gets uncomfortable with it, and then I have lost my private place to masturbate? I kind of like having my room all to myself! Also, what if a friend is sleeping over, and my sister starts to masturbate?

Is me and my sister doing that in the same room strange? If we start sharing a room together, do you think it is likely to get awkward between us after a while?
Also, do you think it would be a good idea for me to talk to my sister about her openness about masturbation. I mean it's not like a bad thing, but I think she just views that it is this fun thing that feels great, but doesn't get that other people see it as a more unusual and personal thing than that.

I know this question is very long and I went into too much detail so thanks very much for reading!
Oh and happy new year!


ANSWER: Hi Freida!!
Great questions!
So I'll start with a confession of my own. I masturbated with my sisters when I was younger! My older sister actually taught me how and I shared a room with my lil sis and taught her how and her and I did it a lot! We actually ended up doing a little more together but that's a story for a different time!
So no you are not strange for doing it in the same room! I know other girls who have done it with their sisters too!
You bring up a lot of good points about things that could cause a problem, but no where in your letter did I see you saying that you didn't want her to share your room or masturbate in your presence, so I say go for it!
I don't think it's likely to get awkward, especially if you're good at communicating, I think it will get less awkward as it goes.
You said you did it quite a lot on the trip, so that makes me think you both enjoyed it and it wasn't very awkward at all. Did you ever purposely drag it out or go for multiple orgasms with her on that trip? If so I believe you both really enjoyed it and there shouldn't be any problems continuing.
I do think if she moves into your room you want to be clear about your expectations and ask her if she has any expectations. For instance, you want to make it clear that if she ever feels uncomfortable she needs to tell you, but that you don't want to lose your place to masturbate. If she decides in the future she dosen't want you to do it around her, she needs to give you alone time in the room regularly, and you for her as well. Also, make it clear that you'd prefer that she not masturbate if you have a friend sleep over. That's really all there is to it! There's very little in the world that can't be solved by talking it out!
Let me know how it goes, I would love to get an update! And good luck!!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Ashley,

Thank for your reply and for being so open. It's interesting to know that you and your sisters did it with each other too. I thought this was not a common thing. Yes, I did drag it out on that trip and do it multiple times, and my sister was doing the same I think. It was just too hot to sleep right away. But I felt a bit strange about how open she was about it. Not just that she did it uncovered, but that she seemed care-free, like it was an innocent thing she was doing and not a sexual thing.

Like I mentioned before, she is very intelligent in some matters, but she is not the best at social type things. Our family and her friends understand that so we know that sometimes she is going to be doing strange things, but I'm afraid that her innocent attitude to masturbation might be a problem for her somehow.

There have also been a couple of other occassions that have made me a little uncomfortable. A couple of months ago me and her were watching the TV after our parents had gone to bed. She was lying against me on the couch, and she started doing it right there through her pyjamas. I didn't want to say anything because it would make her feel bad. After a while she even asked me to pause it so she could finish. It didn't completely freak me out or anything - but it makes me feel weird to have my sister be so open about that stuff right there beside me and it makes me feel guilty that she doesn't understand that what she's doing is a sexual personal thing.

I guess like you say these problems can be solved by talking about it - but it's hard to know what to say so she understands about the sexual thing, that it's not an innocent thing - that might not be something she really gets. Of course if we did share a room it would not be so weird and close, we would have separate beds and we could turn the lights off - so there is that. What we could do is maybe tell our parents we will try out the room sharing for a few nights and see what it is like. That could be okay.

Oh and is it possible to make this question private? I feel I've shared a lot of personal things and don't really want other people to see this.

Thank you again!


Hi again Freida,
Thank you for your reply!
It definitely sounds like she doesn't quite understand that it's a personal thing, and that talking with her may help. Then again she hasn't done it in front of your parents so I believe she knows, to some extent, that it is personal, and I believe she just feels a lot closer to you then other and believes it's OK to do it around you. Especially since you've done it around her too.
Does she normally rub herself on the outside of her cloths, stick her hand inside, or take her bottoms off when she's around you? I'm curious if she does it differently when she's alone.
At any rate, if you're uncomfortable you simply have to speak up, otherwise she won't know to change her behavior. if you do, just do so delicately, in a non-threatening and non-judgmental tone. Make sure to let her know that it's OK to do it around you sometimes, maybe just not all the time.
I think the idea of trying to share the room is great! It will give you a chance to see how comfortable you are with it as well!
Let me know how it goes!

I'm afraid once they are posted to the website I can't change them to private. Other then your name, no one can identify you, and there are lots of Freida's in the world so I wouldn't worry. I would love for you to email me though, if you'd like to continue talking in private. I'm at: beachbumchick1@yahoo.com.

Love always,

Female Masturbation

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Ashley Morgan


I will do my best to answer your questions about female masturbation, including what healthy masturbation is or how it can become unhealthy, when you should consider masturbating with others and when that may cross the line to sex, and how to handle masturbation in your family whether it's your parents, siblings or children


I am a Master's Student in Developmental Psychology and have focused most of my classes and research on healthy sexual development. I have helped younger siblings, friends, cousins and now my pre-teen daughter embrace masturbation and safe sexuality in a healthy and vibrant way.

Church organizations, a counseling/soup kitchen volunteer organization and several teen puberty forums where I hope to offer advice

Class-specific college writing on Developmental and Sexual health

B.A. in Psychology at an Indiana University. One year of Masters classes.

Awards and Honors
Dean's list, 8 semesters.

Past/Present Clients
Family (siblings and my daughter), friends, cousins, and those I've met online

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