Boys and masturbation – follow-up

Several weeks ago I wrote about what boys need to know about masturbation. One reader took exception to my statement that: “Lotion is a good idea, get yourself some or ask a parent to get you some.” Here is what he had to say:

I want to commend you for writing such an affirming piece about young men and the practice of masturbation. Our own medical community had warned that masturbation was unhealthy until the Twentieth century. There remains a stigma in our culture about masturbation today. There needs to be more information such as your entry giving an affirming message about masturbation.

Having said that I want to respectfully disagree with your recommendation of lotion for masturbation. Lotion is made to make dry skin feel moisturized. Lotion is not intended as a lubricant. Some lotions have alcohol and some of them have a very high alcohol content. Some lotions are scented and the scent left after a masturbation session may not be a scent that the user wants to linger after the session.

There are many materials that are suitable lubricants for men to use to enhance masturbating. I’ll start with mentioning the basic Astroglide water based lubricant. Astroglide also has warming and other options but those options are not necessary. The basic Astroglide liquid can be found at Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid.

There is a KY Liquid product that is as the name suggests a liquid that provides a water based lubricant that gives good results. The KY Liquid can often be found at stores such as Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid.

Target stores have a Target brand that is a water based lubricant. A consumer should look for the liquid. There is a gel in a tube but that gel is not nearly the lubricant that the liquid is.

Thanks for the clarification, and the information about resources!

About Karen Rayne

Dr. Karen Rayne has been supporting parents and families since 2007 when she received her PhD in Educational Psychology. A specialist in child wellbeing, Dr. Rayne has spent much of her career supporting parents, teachers, and other adults who care for children and teenagers.


  1. I’d like to disagree. I have been using different types of lotion for years and have never had a problem. Just get something like Vaseline Intensive Care. Suave moisture, or the store brand and you will be fine. Although lubricants are made for something such as this, their cleanup can be messy as they are often sticky, whereas lotion is absorbed. Plus it is much easier for a lot of teenagers to ask for or buy lotion than lubricants. Although many may know what they are going to really use the lotion for, it still gives them plausible deniability.

  2. Thanks for your perspective, Daniel. The plausible deniability is, by and large, why I originally suggested lotion.

    Not being a man, I have no personal experience with the issue. It would be a delight to hear what other men have to say on the topic – so speak up! Let us all know what your preferred lubricant is!

  3. I guess it still is something that a person has to be careful about so that is the reason for the deniablity. It seems kind of sad that anyone should have to have fear about it but I guess
    there are some family situations where it is considered sinful.
    If everyone in the family agrees that
    it is natural and fine to do than why not get the lubricant that you want to use?

  4. I’d have to say that’s one of the most respectful – and informative – disagreements I’ve ever seen! Excellent feedback from your reader!

  5. I understand the need for deniability as well in some instances although I agree it is sad. However the clean up statement isn’t entirely true. If your using a water based lube and not an oil based one clean up is no different than with lotion. Oil or silicone based lubes tend to require more clean up (soap and water) and may stain some clothing. Another option I didn’t see mentioned is baby oil. It may leave a spot on your clothes if you spill directly on them but it soaks into your skin like lotion and has similar lubricating effects as a standard water based lube and still gives you some of that plausible deniability.

  6. If you were to take a survey or just read through some of the countless posts on the topic at many different Internet sites, you would almost certainly find that:

    a) many boys use ordinary hand or body lotion or cream as a lube for masturbation with no ill effects
    b)many– if not most– boys are able to masturbate just fine without using any lube at all
    (I’m pretty sure most boys discover and begin masturbating without any lube, yet I don’t think most rub themselves raw.)

    Boys masturbate in many different ways. For many methods, such as the classic fist-pump motion, the use of lube is a matter of a boy’s personal preference and how sensitive he is. Other methods do require lube to be effective or avoid chafing. And there are still other methods for which lube may not only be unnecessary but undesirable or even incompatible. This is certainly the case for techniques that require a firm and steady grip on the penis, such as the “three-finger” and variations thereof. I masturbated almost exclusively with such a method for some time when I first began ejaculating and I believe this is not that uncommon.

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