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Masturbation/Changing masturbation style

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Question
Hi. I'm a 20 year old male who has never been truly able to masturbate by only using my hand. What I do is ru my penis against the smooth side of my forearm while I lie down on my side. This isn't exactly prone masturbation, which I've read is potentially harmful, but I still categorize it as such because it's better to be safe than sorry, I think. The article I read said that what needs to be done is to retrain myself to be able to masturbate with my hand. They go on to say that if it's difficult, wait about a week so that sensitivity can fully restore and one can ejaculate easier. I still haven't reached my week mark yet, but I'm just nervous that I'll try it with my hand and it won't work, especially seeing as my hands are rough and my penis isn't used to that at all. My question is mainly what techniques can I use that will help me train myself to use my hand? I feel like I'll fail if I try just my hand. And also if my old technique is as harmful as actual prone masturbation? Or is masturbating on my side definitely considered prone masturbation because I was lying down? Thanks in advance

Answer
Prone masturbation, which is masturbating by lying face down and thrusting the penis into or against something, is definitely a cause of sexual dysfunctions in males.  What you describe is something close to prone.  I would advise against it.  

Masturbating with your hand is a basic sexual skill that all males should be able to do.  If you cannot masturbate by hand, then take a week off from masturbating.  At the end of that week, your penis should be sensitive enough that you can masturbate to orgasm by hand.  More information is found at http://www.healthystrokes.com.

There is also an online support group linked to HealthyStrokes.com that is full of males who have been through the process and can help you with it.

I don't know if your technique is as bad as prone or worse; but you should be able to masturbate with your hand, and you can't.  So give up the faulty technique.

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Doug Adams, Ph.D.

Expertise

I write from the point of view that masturbation is normal, healthy, and fun, and even necessary to sexual health. I am able to answer questions in all areas of sexuality.

Experience

I am the author of the web site HealthyStrokes.com and have been answering questions about sexuality (especially masturbation) from both males and females for over 13 years.

Education/Credentials
I have a Ph.D. in a field unrelated to sexuality from one of the leading educational institutions in the world.

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