Masturbation and the way forward (1)

AM 16 years old. I desperately need your advice. I am not living with my parents due to some circumstances.

My problem is masturbation, and I have been doing this for two or three years now. This act is affecting me seriously. All I think is sex. My concentration has dropped drastically and my academic work is suffering.

I use to be very intelligent, but not anymore. I have resorted to examination malpractices which I feel so bad about.

Please, I need your help urgently. I am ashamed of myself.

Name withheld.

Realising the fact that you need help is good. We must commend your courage for sharing your problem with us. It takes a lot of strength to summon such courage to do so, bearing in mind that masturbation is a secret habit that victims are ashamed of talking about freely.

Most teenagers, males or females, are confronted with the same challenge, but they find it difficult to open up. The reason is that at the stage of adolescence which starts from the age of 13 to 19 years young boys start going through changes in their bodies. Physically and emotionally, this is also applicable to girls as well due to the hormonal changes.

Feelings come to play when a young boy or girl starts thinking that he or she is in love with a particular girl whereas in the actual sense, it is just mere infatuation or crush. Now a child that does not understand why he or she is feeling in a certain way might go the wrong way because of lack of proper information from home to start with at an early stage.

Masturbation can be described as self-stimulation of one’s genital to the point of orgasm. This is one widespread struggle of adolescence which some see as a joke. Some silently talk about it among friends, while some are so ashamed to be related with the act.

The issue of masturbation is not only centred on males. Some females are also involved in the act as well, but the difference is that the ratio of boys that masturbate is more than the girls.

Teenage stage is a remarkable period of physical and emotional changes in a person’s life. Therefore, the sudden changes all teenagers experience often surprise and confuse them because of little or no information given. They are most times not adequately equipped to understand and tackle the sex urges as the play up which is natural due to their current stage in life.

In addressing the issue at hand which is masturbation, it will be proper for us to list out the possible reasons why teenage boys, for example, masturbate.

Physiological changes: This is as a result of the hormonal changes that take place at this period. Feelings start driving wide, so lack of the right information on how to deal with such feelings can actually lead to masturbation which, if not addressed, can affect other aspects of the person’s life.

Next is lack of proper sex education. This is a situation whereby a child is not properly informed about the changes that will occur in his body both externally and internally at a certain age, that is, what to expect and how to go about it. Once there’s a gap, the child, in the process of seeking answers or solutions, might be guided wrongly into masturbation.

However, some adults have this notion that talking to children about sexuality, sex and relationship is actually encouraging them to put the act into practice, forgetting that knowledge is power. On the other hand, some children to view any awareness of their bodies particularly sexuality as bad. This simply leaves some children unprepared for sexual urges and surges they encounter as adolescence.

Other factors are the company they keep: The type of friends they keep and what they do (peer pressure).Rumours and secrecy can also lead a teenager into the act of masturbation. Masturbation is like a drug addict hungry for his next fix when to address.

Harriet Ogbobine is a counsellor and a motivational speaker.

Send your questions and suggestions to her blog;, text messages only 08054682598 or You can follow her on twitter: @bineharrietj and instagram: harrietogbobine.

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