Masturbation is the act of stimulating one's own genitals for sexual pleasure. Typically it is a solitary activity, but it can be conducted with others present or assisting ("mutual masturbation").
Masturbation is a healthy part of a normal sex life, and large majorities of both men and women masturbate, despite stigmas that may exist around the practice. According to the Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, "It is considered abnormal only when it inhibits partner-oriented behavior, is done in public, or is sufficiently compulsive to cause distress."
Anecdotal evidence suggests that using an excessively tight grip when masturbating the penis can desensitize the sexual organ, potentially leading to sexual dysfunction in regards to actual sexual intercourse (death grip syndrome), since a mouth, vagina, or anus can't produce the same pressure as a hand.
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