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To Sam


hello sam, im 10 i am pretty embarrassed about the suituation im in. I masturbate. and im only 10. amd something even worse than that im desperate for a boyfriend. i have them for 3 days and then they dump me and i have something else terrible. i sort of want to be a boy sometimes. i know its bad but i do. i know this sounds weird aswell but i think if i have a penis then it will be easier to masturbate. but please dont tell my parents. thankyou

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Masturbation is normal at every age and is not something you have to be embarrassed about. Both boys and girls masturbate and people can do it as much or as little as they like. It's not harmful and it's not wrong, as long as it's private and not affecting anybody else.

I get lots of letters from people asking if masturbation is okay - whether it's wrong, whether other people do it and how old you need to be. There is no age when you have to start and there is no age you have to stop - masturbation is a part of a normal sex life for young people and adults. For someone who is 10 years old it's normal to begin to explore your sexuality as you start to go through puberty, and it's okay to feel however you feel.

A part of exploring your sexuality might be to imagine doing or saying things which you wouldn't do in real life. This is sometimes called fantasising and can be a part of masturbation. There is nothing wrong with having fantasies, though it's important to remember to separate them from real life and to try not to let them affect your actions and behaviours with other people.

It is also completely fine to think about being other genders. Sometimes this can be a part of experimenting or it might lead you to question your gender identity as you get older.There is nothing wrong with feeling this way and no one should treat you differently for having those feelings.

You should masturbate in whichever way you feel you want to - there is no right or wrong and it's not bad for your health if you do it a lot. For some people it can become a problem if they feel addicted and like they need to do it all the time. Sometimes this just goes away on its own but if you need some support with this you can always talk to a Childline counsellor - they will keep it between you and them.

I also hear a lot of people say that they are worried their parents will know they masturbate, but remember that your parents are people too. It's probable that they expect you to masturbate at some point and although you may never talk with them about it, they probably went through similar things with their parents.

I hope this has helped but if you need to talk more about how you’re feeling, you can always chat with a Childline counsellor or find out what other young people think on the message boards.

Thanks for sharing, take care,


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