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October 19, 2018 - Welcome Guest!

Advice » Sexpertise

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Can a woman masturbate too much (or otherwise over stimulate) and 'desensitize' her clitoris, making orgasm harder and more difficult to achieve? Sometimes when I'm bored or can't sleep, I masturbate even though I'm not totally 'in the mood'. Needless to say my clitoris gets a workout and sometimes feels kind of numb or unresponsive.

Can I be overdoing it and lessening my chances for powerful or frequent orgasms when my partner is around? Should I resist masturbating when my body and mind isn't really begging for it?

Ginny (27 year-old woman)


If we rub any part of our body for too long it will become numb, but feeling returns without any permanent loss. So, my answer is no, you cannot make your clitoris permanently numb by rubbing it too much or too hard. Any numbness will be temporary and I would expect it to go numb if you are rubbing without first feeling a sexual need.

Certainly if caressing your clitoris is relaxing or soothing, continue to do so. Be gentle with yourself and use a little artificial lubricant (something safe and water-soluble like K-Y or Astroglide). Just quit rubbing when you feel yourself growing numb. You'll do no permanent damage, so don't worry, and don't worry about this getting in the way of intense orgasms with your partner.

Bob Birch

Robert W. Birch, Ph.D., is a retired sex therapist, now identifying himself as a sexologist and adult sexuality educator. He now devotes his time to writing educational and self-help books for adults.

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