What Happens When You Masturbate For the First Time?

At TENGA we have done a lot of research on masturbation. The vast majority of information comes from our own yearly TENGA Global Self-Pleasure Report, which led to us writing articles on what the average masturbation session looks like both in the US and globally. We asked our followers on Twitter to let us know what their first time masturbating was like to see if there is a ‘normal’ experience that can be expected. The answer is, of course, no. There is no ‘normal/average’ first time masturbating. 

We've split our findings for the numbers and anecdotes - this post will cover the stories and you can read the hard facts here. The samples below are from our followers on TENGA Twitter who largely identify as male with penises and so the responses are taken from their experiences. Read on to find out more.


What motivated people try masturbating for the first time?


We asked our followers “What made you try masturbating for the first time?” and there was a definite trend within the answers. We received replies like: 

  • “Having an erection when I thought about my crush in school at that time.”
  • “Heard a lot of people talking about how great it felt, so I got curious and tried it myself.”
  • “Hustler magazine photos.”

It seems that these are the three main motivators for most. Watching or seeing pornographic material, being curious from seeing or hearing about it from others and dealing with the feelings that came along with their first erections. Others simply said that it felt good to touch their genitals and learned as they went from there.

Did people know about how to masturbate before they tried?


Our next question asked “Did you have any idea how to masturbate before your first time and if so, how?” and surprisingly over half of the respondents said ‘no’. Most of our participants had no idea how to masturbate before their first try. Out of those who did, the following were mentioned as sources of information:

  • “Pornography”
  • “Movies”
  • “A little bit thanks to internet, but not much.”

These answers are a little less surprising. Pop culture whether it is through pornography, movies or the internet often ends up teaching and informing children and teens about sex and masturbation earlier than sex education nowadays for better or worse.

Should there be more information via Sex Education about masturbation?


Speaking of sex education, we asked our followers “If given the chance, would you have liked more information from Sex Education before your first time masturbating?”. The answer seemed to be an overwhelming yes, with those surveyed commenting:

  • “Yes, proper technique would have been nice.”
  • “Yes, I come from a country that has no Sex Education. I'm over 20 years old and still don't know basic knowledge. I have to google search from time to time to know how my body actually works. I hope someday my country will stop being afraid of telling children that masturbation exists and there is nothing wrong in it.”
  • “Yes!! In fact, I wished I had a better sex education in general. A lot of things I did not find out until college!”

Others had more of a mixed view on the benefits of sex education vs. real-world experience.

  • “Yes and no. Would've been nice to know the basics and some crucial tips that would prevent injury (i.e., to not overdue(sic) it). On the other hand, learning for myself has been an enjoyable experience that I still I'm in the process of, and I dont like the idea of some teacher awkwardly and explicitly telling me how sex works.”
  • “I'm not sure. Everything went well enough so I don't know if more information would have been useful.”“I think everyone should "learn" the general masturbating in Sex Education but nothing but that. Experiencing the first time masturbating by yourself is important to learn more about yourself, that is at least what I think.”

Interestingly, some people viewed self-discovery as more important than sex education. Whether this is due to the general feeling that sex education nowadays is lacking or just the method of teaching is unclear. If you’re interested, can read more about the history of sex education here.

Interesting first-time experiences.

Finally, we asked our followers “Any interesting experiences about your first time you'd like to share?” and received some mixed anecdotal responses:

  • “Well I was so young, I didn't know anything about sex. The towel felt good in between my legs so I rubbed until orgasm. It was so intense, I could not move. I literally thought I paralyzed myself.”
  • “In the early days of dial up internet- I learnt about it through (very slow to load) porn!”
  • “It scared me shitless and I frantically cleaned everything up, vowing to "never do that again!"

A lot of the replies revolved around the surprise of the result of masturbating for the first time, whether that was the sensation, or ejaculating for the first time. It seems that almost everyone surveyed was surprised by the intensity of their first time masturbating.

Is there any ‘normal/average’ first time masturbating experience?

Although there are common threads throughout most of the questions asked, as with our more fact-based first time masturbating article, it seems that the experience was different for everyone in one way or another. While there are more common stories surrounding masturbating for the first time, levels of sex education and discovering masturbation for the first time, our followers all eventually discovered the pleasure of self-pleasure! You can read more about the numbers and figures behind peoples first time masturbating here

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