Scheduling girl’s night in? Auditioning your finger puppets? Booking some DIY time? Whatever you call it, you’re definitely not alone. But how often do women masturbate, really? Well, that’s a hard one to answer.
No two sex lives are identical.
Some women masturbate multiple times a day. Some once a month. Some with toys, some without. Some with partners, some without.
And nobody is excluded.
Women who are married, single, on dating sites, mamas, older women, professionals, women in book clubs, women who run marathons for fun, women who blog, bake, or bowl — no matter who you are and what your situation is, masturbation can be a healthy part of your life.
In this article: 📝
- What do we actually mean when we talk about masturbation?
- Women and masturbation: the ins and outs
- Benefits of female masturbation
- How often do older women masturbate?
- Tips to launch your solo show
What do we actually mean when we talk about masturbation?
When we talk about masturbation, what do we even mean?
As it turns out, the definition is different depending on who you ask.
In this 2017 study, researchers found that what people actually consider masturbating varies substantially — is it touching your genitals?
Do you need to orgasm for it to qualify? Is the definition the same when you’re with a partner or on your own?
There’s definitely no absolute agreement on this.
And if we can’t agree on exactly what it is, how on earth will we know how often we do it?
So, for now, let’s assume that masturbation involves touching your own genitals, either with your hand or with a toy, with the goal of reaching orgasm — even if this doesn’t happen every time.
You can do this alone or with someone else present.
Women and masturbation: the ins and outs
And highs and lows.
As you can imagine, conducting research on masturbation is, well, hard.
Research participants have to report what they get up to alone, meaning it’s not always easy to know how accurate the data is — particularly because the topic is taboo for some.
That being said, we have learned quite a bit from masturbation studies over the years.
According to this study that surveyed 1,200 Americans, 81% of women have masturbated in their lifetime (versus 95% of men.)
And, wait for it because here comes the answer to the question in question:
On average, women masturbate about 8 times per month.
That number appears to increase in the younger generation — with millennials averaging out at fifteen times a month, compared to twelve for Gen Xers, and seven for Boomers. (That increase is across the board for both men and women.)
The same study also found that masturbation preferences seem to depend on geography. 34% of respondents from the west coast said they own a sex toy, for example.
Benefits of female masturbation
And here’s some really good news: masturbation has some major benefits.
Here’s what the National Women’s Health Network has to say.
- Relieve menstrual cramps for some women.
- Help you sleep better.
- Increase your sex drive.
- Reduce stress.
- Help you feel good about yourself.
And above all, it can feel amazing.
When you orgasm, your brain releases a surge of dopamine — a neurotransmitter affectionately known as the pleasure chemical.
But your body doesn’t stop there when it comes to the happy potions.
Oxytocin is also released when you orgasm.
Known as the love hormone, oxytocin fosters feelings of attachment and bonding. (If you’re on your own, all that love is all for you.)
And then there’s that post-masturbation glow.
That’s serotonin kicking in, putting you in a good mood and promoting feelings of relaxation.
There’s also a real sense of agency and control that can come with masturbation. You get to touch where you want to touch with as much pressure as you would like to apply.
And it gets even better. For many women, masturbation can improve their sex lives.
This recent study gave us some new insight into the possibility that the road to orgasm with a partner may be paved with previous masturbation efforts.
Basically, if you get to know your ON buttons on your own, you’ll be able to use that information when you are with someone else.
The best part is, you’ll have a lot of fun doing your research.
How often do older women masturbate?
And what happens if your solo show has had a lot of seasons?
Well, congratulations. Yep, older women masturbate too.
This Harvard review highlights two important studies about the sex drive of older people.
A 2007 study by the University of Chicago suggested that more than half of Americans continue to have sex well into their 70s.
A later study done by the University of Illinois went further, revealing that many people are having sex well into their 80s.
What’s more, almost half the women over the age of 50 in the Illinois study reported having masturbated in the last year.
How often? Unfortunately, the study didn’t capture that information.
When it comes to information on older women masturbating, we’ll have to be satisfied with the idea that the best may still be yet to come.
Tips to launch your solo show
If you’re looking for some tips to get going, here you go:
- Toys are a very welcome addition. In most cases, they can also be safely used when you’re pregnant. And if you’re new to the world of vibrators? No problem! Here’s our guide on how to use a vibrator. Have fun!
- Love your lube. Adding moisture to the mix can really help sweeten the deal.
- Invite yourself on a date. Set time aside. Wear something that makes you feel sexy. Nudity works very well too. Pull out the stops. Lighting? Check. Music? Check. Your very best fantasy? Check, check, check.
- Explore your beautiful body. Go gently and slowly. Find out your unique pleasure points. The clitoris has about 8,000 nerve endings. Just saying. And see what happens if you concentrate not only on the bottom half of your body but engage the top half too. Here’s our guide to the nipple orgasm, if you’re interested. A world of wonder awaits.
The bottom line? You get to invent this.
Masturbation can be a very pleasurable way to get to know every nook and cranny of yourself intimately.
And whether you want to explore your findings with a partner or keep your newfound knowledge all to yourself, there are many ways to put your insights to good use.
It’s also about the safest sex you can have, both in terms of STDs and preventing pregnancy.
💡 More from The 411:
17 Birth Control Methods
Vaginal Massage: Benefits and Methods
How to Spice Things Up in the Bedroom
9 Hilarious (and Outrageous!) Confessions From Women on Peanut
What is Squirting?
How to Make Your Vagina Smell Good
Having Sex on Your Period: What to Know
All You Need to Know About the Clitoral Erection
How To Have Sexual Dreams: 5 Tips
Vagina Diagram Labeled: All You Need to Know