i can't masturbate the conventional way - expert advice from BISH

I Can’t Masturbate the Conventional Way

Advice for someone who wants to masturbate the conventional way, but also why they should be careful about where they get their sex advice from.

I can’t Masturbate the Conventional way after quitting Prone Masturbation…. Hello. I am 16 years old and I recently quit Prone Masturbation and am sure not to indulge in it again as I thing it’s a more harmful way of masturbation and would lead to ejaculation problems during real sex. So for the past 2 weeks I have been on NoFap. Since the last 2 days I have tried Masturbation by hand and I did get pleasure from it but I never achieved Orgasm and Ejaculation. PS: My Glans are hypersensitive


Great question, thanks for asking it here. It’s fine to masturbate however you like. The way you masturbate might be one of the things you could consider if you were having sexual problems with a partner. But if you’re not, you could just enjoy solo sex (and I have some tips for you on how to do that).

What does the research say?

As I say at my article about Prone Masturbation, there’s some research (not a lot) which suggests that if someone is having problems having sex with someone, that one of the things they could consider is how they masturbate. In this academic article about delayed ejaculation, they also talk about the many other things that we need to consider. What we’ve been taught, our feelings, the relationship, fear of pregnancy, pressure to perform etc. 

Another recent research paper (by one of the same authors and colleagues) points out that people experience fewer sexual problems for solo sex than they do when they have sex with someone. They make three really good points about solo sex vs sex with someone. 

First, having sex with someone might make the problem seem worse because there’s another person there. So we might get performance anxiety, or worry about what they might think, or we really want to please them, or it’s too much (or too little) stimulation. Second, we can control how quickly we may or may not want to ejaculate or orgasm during solo sex. Third, if we experience problems with ejaculation during solo sex we might not be that bothered about it. 

So do you see how comparing what happens in solo sex to what might happen in sex with someone is different? They are both ‘real sex’, but they are very very different kinds of sex. There’s also a lot more going on in sex with someone than sex by yourself. The sensations, thoughts, sounds, sights, smells, desires, feelings, and how we are affected are all very different and often very intense. It’s an assemblage of things. 

If you want to learn some more about this try my Teach Yourself Sex Ed course. It’s the best thing I’ve done and, like everything here, is free. 

This is one of the leading sex and relationships education websites and I need your support to keep it free and ad free. Find out how you can support what I’m doing here.

Here’s some great advice

I don’t think that you need to stop prone masturbation if you don’t want to, which I’ve explained here. However, if you want to, here’s some more advice. If you’re going to learn any new way of masturbating (for example, using a different hand, or a different angle, or a new toy) it’s going to feel different. So you have to relearn your body a bit. When we do solo sex in a particular way it’s easy to get into a ‘script’ of how we ‘should’ do it. Like there’s a road-map to ejaculation (or orgasm) and we always have to go that way. 

So instead of that, try not ejaculating (or having an orgasm, remember they are different). It’s great that you can feel pleasure from the new ways that you have been masturbating, so make more pleasure your goal. So for the next few times you masturbate just try to pay attention to how much you are enjoying it rather than make your body do something. We enjoy things more if we are in our bodies, noticing how they feel, rather than in our heads judging, or watching, our bodies. Maybe tune into a fantasy you’re having too. After a while you might start experiencing orgasms, or ejaculation, or both. But if not, and you’re enjoying yourself, what’s the problem if you don’t?

Also, if your glans are hypersensitive, you could try using some lubricant of some kind. Or instead of touching it directly try to masturbate with the foreskin or any skin you have beneath the glans (if you’ve been circumcised). There’s more information about penises here.

If you have a sexual problem with someone

If you end up experiencing some kind of difficulty when you have sex with someone, then yes how you masturbate might be something that you can consider. However, the much more important thing to do is to be able to communicate with your partner about what works for you both. We all want different things from sex, both with someone and by ourselves. What works for one person definitely does not work for all people. Sex is something that we co-create, so any problems that come up will have solutions that we can also find with someone else. This creative process of making things happen with another person is what sex is. Sex isn’t one person doing sex at another person, it’s what people do together. 

Be careful where you get your sex ed from

Lastly I think we need to talk about where you’ve been getting your sex education from. I don’t like to talk shit about other people but I would suggest that you don’t get your sex ed from No Fap. I can’t really say why, but the Wikipedia entry for No Fap summarises them pretty well.*

It’s hard to get (or find) good quality sex ed. What most people get in school is pretty rubbish. It’s also hard to know where to find the good stuff online. People mostly find this website from googling. You can find out more about me and my experience and qualifications at my about me page.

Anyway, hope that was helpful!

*If you want to learn more about this stuff here’s a really good article by Scott Burnett. Here’s another one by Marlene Hartmann. There’s an excellent book called Fantasy, Online Misogyny and the Manosphere by Jacob Johannsen. I also did a podcast with Scott and Jacob about their work.

Please leave a (nice) comment below if you like or ask me a question here.

© Justin Hancock, 2024 Find out more about me and BISH here.

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I’ve been a sex and relationships educator since 1999 (with a background in youth and community work). In that time I’ve taught and given advice about sex and relationships with thousands of young people in person and millions online. I’ve worked with many charities, local governments, schools and youth organisations facilitating training and workshops. My two books, Enjoy Sex (How, When, and If You Want To) and Can We Talk About Consent? are widely available around the world. I’ve been on the telly and the radio and have written articles for newspapers and magazines. I’m also a member of the World Association for Sexual Health. Read more about me and BISH here. Find out about my other work here Justin Hancock

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12 thoughts on “I Can’t Masturbate the Conventional Way

  1. Bish….. I want to tell you that i am a 17 year old boy and I have a girlfriend that was feeling a little “Excitement” then she told she want to have sex with me i felt bored so i acepted and i put a condom on and when i put it in she was in insane pain but i knew what to do by your article or whatever you call it it said if your partner is in pain just stop the sex i stopped but she was still in pain and please reply as soon as possible beacouase i am scared if something happens to her….

      1. hello justin. u just got pranked i am 21 years old and none of what i said has happened.
        ps: I am very very very very sorry i was just bored so i pranked u.

        1. That’s okay 🙂 I read all the other comments you made and I found them very funny. The bit when you pretended to be your dad was especially funny. I pre-moderate all comments, so that’s why only these comments are showing up. Sorry about that. And yes it is funny that my name has the word COCK in it. I’m laughing right now about it. Justin Hancock.

          1. plus why people stopped commenting much like the newest comment is 2 years ago or 3
            ps i use kindle because i am grounded and i cant use google and youtube or any device at all

  2. Hello bish…This comment isn’t related to this topic..But I would like to ask about is my girlfriend pregnant..I’m a 16 year old boy..I ejaculated on her mouth and then we decided to try to put the tip in….I’m not sure if it got in or not..I’m really worried that she might be pregnant…Please answer ASAP!!!

  3. Justin,

    You’re all wet. You don’t know anything about prone masturbation and the harm it can do. I’m guessing you’ve never done it, even once. And the reason you”ve never done it even once and aren’t going to try it tonight is because you can masturbate conventionally. You enjoy masturbating conventionally and have no reason to do it prone and probably think it sounds uncomfortable. Well, it is. I know because I used to do it. I did it that way because I didn’t know how to do it the conventional way. I knew within a few months of starting that the way I did it wasn’t how other guys did it. But I didn’t seek help until I became sexually active with a girl and wasn’t successful. It was only then that I found out that prone masturbation was the cause of my sexual dysfunction.

    Prone masturbation is a proven cause of sexual dysfunction in males. Every researcher who has studied prone masturbation has spoken unfavorably of it. This includes some of the giants of sex research, including Alfred C. Kinsey, Bernie Zilbergeld, and William Hartmann. Many scholarly articles have been published elucidating the dangers of prone masturbation. I particularly encourage you to read an article by Bronner and Ben-Zion in the Journal of Sexual Medicine from 2014. These articles make it clear that prone masturbation is a cause of delayed ejaculation and erectile dysfunction in men. A new article in the Journal of Sexual Medicine just last month by Tobu and Noguchi makes the case that prone masturbation is also a cause of premature ejaculation.

    No argument can be made that prone masturbation is not harmful or that it is the same as conventional masturbation. The problems of retarded ejaculation and erectile dysfunction are very rare in younger males. The rate at which these problems occur in males with a history of prone means that it is statistically outside the possibility of chance that these problems are unrelated to prone.

    I don’t expect you to read scholarly articles or understand anything about statistics. Your modus operandi seems to be to tell people that whatever they are doing sexually is just fine no matter what consequences they are suffering. So I don’t expect you to read Kinsey or Zilbergeld or Hartmann or even to know who those people are. I suspect your sexual health reading list is more along the lines of Shere Hite and The Playboy Advisor. You know, people who avoid using multi-syllable words like prestidigitation and quotidian. And why bother to learn anything about sexual health and sexual dysfunction when the only lesson you have to share is if-it-feels-good-do-it.

    1. Thanks for your feedback, duly noted. I’m sorry about your experience with prone masturbation. I linked to scholarly articles in the article and also linked to another article of mine where I explain complex theory too (post-humanism, intra-action, and assemblages). I guess we have fundamentally different views about sex.

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