Advice for someone who has hurt themselves masturbating with an electric toothbrush

I’ve hurt myself masturbating

A reader has hurt themself masturbating with an electric toothbrush. Advice from Dr Ranj on the injury and from me on DIY sex toys.

Never done one of these before but im going to try it and see what the response is. I’m a 15 year old girl and masturbate regularly using various objects (making sure they are clean& fit for purpose). I have once bleed a little through vaginal penetration but that is not what I’m worried about. I used an old electric tooth brush to masturbate my clit which felt real good. Then i orgasmed and lost control of myself a bit and the brush slipped and kinda cut my vagina which is now ever so slightly bleeding and is super painful. what do i do?!

Hi. Thanks for your question.

Your Injury

I thought I’d better ask Dr Ranj (a very cool guy and an NHS doctor as well as being on the telly box) he says.

“she is unlikely to have caused a significant injury, but the vaginal area is very sensitive and therefore even small cuts can be quite painful. Fortunately, they tend to heal up without any problems. However, if the bleeding persists or she develops signs of potential infection (e.g. unusual discharge, swelling of the tissues, or feeling unwell) then she should see her doctor for a check.”

In the meantime you might need to lay off masturbating for a few days. If it’s still concerning you (it’s been a couple of days since you sent your question) then please see a doc. You can either see your family GP (without your parents finding out) or you can go to your local sexual health service. There will probably be a young person’s clinic near you (if you’re in the UK).

Your DIY Sex Toys

You’ve found out the hard way that you have to be very very careful if you are using objects that aren’t objects as sex toys. Actual sex toys are smooth and soft and are easy to clean (both before and after use). Using objects such as electronic toothbrushes can damage your delicate bits and also cause infections.

If do want to use something other than your hands then you should use a proper sex toy.

Buying an Actual Sex Toy

It’s not easy for 15 year olds to get hold of them even though there aren’t any regulations in the UK for under 18s buying sex toys.

You will probably not be allowed into a sex shop such as Ann Summers because they have porn (and you’re not allowed to look at that). Maybe you can buy one online from shops such as Bondara or Lovehoney but you have to have a credit card and pretend to be over 18.

You could try getting a ‘sexual massager’ from a chemists like Boots. They’re near the condoms and pregnancy testing kits – they cost from around £10, It’s up to the assistants whether they think you are old enough to buy one. Some massagers (called ‘wands’) are designed to be used on your back or shoulders can work for stimulation of the outside of the genitals too (they are very powerful though).

Get Some Help Getting One

You could try talking to a parent/carer/older friend to help you get one. Parents are often a lot cooler about this kind of thing than we think. Okay they might be a bit surprised at first, but then they might think “well, this way she’s not hurting her bits and it’s good that she’s exploring her body by herself first. Also, I won’t have to hide my electric toothbrush.”

Though it depends, some parents may freak out – you know your parents/carers better than I do. I’ve got some tips on who to talk to about sex and how.

Make Your DIY Toys Safer

If you are determined to carry on with the electric toothbrush (when you’ve healed up) then you need to make it safer. Cover up any sharp edges with something like a sock. Or you could put the whole thing inside a pillow and put it between your legs. Or pad it with cotton wool and cover it with a condom or cling film. You could also place a condom or some cling film over your lips. Also only use it on the outside, don’t insert it inside the vagina or anus.

You Could Use Your – Ya Know – Hands?

Touching yourself with other parts of your body (like your fingers, hands, wrists, thighs (rub them together)) can feel great. Sure your body doesn’t vibrate like an electric toothbrush or a massager but you are less likely to cause yourself damage. Also touching yourself means you can feel how aroused you are and it can help you to be more aware of what’s going on for you. If you haven’t tried this yet, I think this is the way to go. Totally your call though.

Touching yourself in new and exciting ways doesn’t have to mean more and harder stimulation. Sometimes less is more, particularly with masturbation. Try noticing what it’s like to touch yourself lightly, in different areas altogether or even not at all.

Hope that helps and I hope that the pain goes away soon.

Also try this guide to DIY Sex Toys from Scarleteen but please do be very very careful.

© Justin Hancock, 2021.

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Justin Hancock has been a trained sex and relationships educator since 1999. In that time he’s taught and given advice about sex and relationships with thousands of young people in person and millions online. Find out more about Justin here

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