This young lady knows that self-help can be a very relaxing form of therapy – and it’s completely free!

A LTHOUGH masturbation is a big no-no for many in Mzansi, SunBuzz  wants to take a closer look!

Masturbation is not a bad thing after all, according to an expert, Durex sexologist Catriona Boffard.

Catriona said masturbation is a natural part of your sexual experience.

“It helps you feel less stressed, happier, more relaxed. And it teaches you what you like and don’t like – which means you can guide your partner and be more satisfied in the bedroom,” she said.

Catriona said while men have always embraced this form of self-therapy, more and more women have joined in and are loving the experience.

“Men often touch themselves much earlier on in life and there is less shame around male masturbation than with women,” she said.

Most women are embarrassed or ashamed to touch themselves or explore their bodies. Or even to admit that they do it and like it.

“For men, sexual response is generally an automatic experience. When they feel desire they get aroused. And once aroused, if their erection is stimulated they should reach orgasm,” she said.

Catriona said most women need to touch themselves to learn what they like and what feels good for them.

A woman, who asked not to be named, agreed that although it can’t match “the real thing”, masturbation is good.

“Depending on how tired or turned on I am, I know how to have a quickie which lasts 10 minutes or have three rounds at most.

“My sexual peak happens just a week before I have my period and that’s when I have the energy to play with myself and make myself come several times,” she said.

She had her last relationship three years ago and says she now prefers masturbation, since she doesn’t have to deal with the drama of a sex partner or men who just lust over her.

“Masturbation actually gave me a power I never knew I had before I walked out of my long-term relationship.

“I now know I can satisfy myself without hassles. I mostly watch porn videos to arouse myself, or sometimes I think about an imaginary boyfriend –  and that turns me on,” she said.

Catriona said there are no dangers in masturbation unless you enjoy it more than being with your partner – for those who have partners.

“If you have a need to help yourself more than to have sex with your partner, it will be bad for the relationship and psychologically unhealthy.

“Sex gives you a different experience and also helps with intimacy, which you can’t achieve on your own if you’re in a relationship,” she said.

For parents who walk in on their boys and girls masturbating, Catriona said: “Don’t shame them, as they’re not doing anything wrong.

“You need to give permission and set boundaries such as: ‘Do it in your bedroom, alone’, or ‘No one but you are allowed to touch you’,” she said.

We have to be allowed to express and explore our sexuality and our bodies.

It’s necessary for a person to know him or herself on an intimate level.

So, don’t feel bad, because everyone does it. Don’t feel guilty either.

It’s a part of yourself that is a wonderful thing – and you can’t deny your urges or desires.

Rather play with yourself than go jumping from bed to bed and never really getting in touch with your feelings and wants and needs, or another person’s.