Female Masturbation/masturbation

Hello Ashley,

I'm asking you this question because I noticed you mention in your profile about siblings, parents, and masturbation and all that.

I'm 14 years old, and share a room with my younger sister who just turned six. For the last couple of years, I've noticed that my sister sometimes masturbates on her bed, underneath her blanket. She used to just do it a few times a week, but now almost every night, and almost every weekend morning or morning where there is no school.

I know she doesn't know that what she is doing is called "masturbating" and she probably doesn't know that everybody does it and that it's normal. It just feels good to her so she likes to do it before going to sleep.

It doesn't bother me that she does it. I just think she might be scared or ashamed of it. We both have different bed times because of our age difference and such, so she might be in her bed doing this, and then I might come in, and she'll quickly freeze, and look tense and worried. (She looks like she does whenever she does something wrong and knows we've caught her.) Then she slowly moves her hands away from between her legs, and rolls over and looks more normal. But if I walk out of the room, she goes back to masturbating again, but stops and freezes as soon as I walk back in. And she will often wait for me to go asleep, and then stay up yet, until she believes that I am completely and perfectly sound asleep, and then go back to her masturbating. Of course, I can't see her with the lights out, and blanket over her, but I can hear her breathing, and the bouncing rhythms of her bed. And thing is, if I were to all of a sudden show that I'm awake not asleep, she will quickly stop doing this until she believes I am asleep again.

On non-school days, If I wake up and leave the room to take a shower, she'll often start masturbating, but when I come back in the room, she'll quickly stop, like she does at night when I enter her room, and then she'll resume when I leave and finally get out of bed herself later.

I guess what I want to know is how to handle this, if anything even does need to be done. I don't believe a six year old needs to be taught or shown about masturbation, but if they have accidentally discovered it and are doing it, they shouldn't have to feel guilty or bad about it and should just be left comfortable about it.

I suppose I want her to know that what she is doing underneath the covers on her bed is okay, and normal, and isn't bad, so long as it stays under her blanket, and not done everywhere and anywhere, not done in front of other people, but if she wants to do this thing under her blanket at bedtime or when waking up, it's okay to do even if I happen to be in her room. She doesn't have to be ashamed and think she has to hide it completely from me. It's probably better for her to not have to stop masturbating each time I am looking or in the room, but that she can just keep doing it all in one sitting till she is done and then go to bed, not feel like she has to wait for me to be in bed and wait even longer for me to be sound asleep.

I don't think that I myself would become open about my masturbation, I do it in the shower or bath where I am completely alone; I don't think I'd feel comfortable masturbating in front of my sister, me being older than her and such, but I think it's okay if she can feel comfortable in front of me.  

Is there anything I should say to her to help this situation out? Or should I just leave it? I want her to know just enough, to feel okay and not ashamed, but also not get totally consumed and excited about it.

Any advice you might have would be very appreciated.


Hi Rochelle!
You're a very good big sister for making sure you approach this the right way. Your little sister is lucky to have you!
It's definitely normal that she gets pleasure from it, and it's wonderful she's expressing herself in this way, and that she feels comfortable with her body.
I would definitely mention it in a non-chalant way. The way she reacts now when you come back in the room is indicative of a fear that she is misbehaving, or that she will be punished for doing it. It's terrible she needs to live with this fear. She should be able to enjoy the feelings she gets from touching herself without that cloud hanging over her. You're her big sister so it's up to you to help her see that it's OK. I wouldn't let her know that you know she's been doing it, that will make her feel caught. Instead, I would bring it up as though you're giving her advice for the near future. Tell her that when you were her age you started to feel good down there and that it's OK if she wants to touch herself when you're in the room, just to make sure that she keeps it to the bedroom.
If you can't spit those words out (it can be tough to talk about) the other avenue you have is to do it with her in the room, so she knows it's OK. I know you said you didn't know if you could do that, but it might be easier then talking about it.
I masturbated with my sisters, and my daughter does it in front of me. It's nice to have at least someone in the world you can be your true self with at all times; and if you can work up the courage to be that person for your sister, you will always be close. I will also say that once the nerves are gone, it will make it feel even better knowing someone else is in the room with you, or doing it too. ;)
-Revision: Making public so others may benefit. No personal identifying information included. Thank you.

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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