prone masturbation

What is prone masturbation and is it safe?

Table of contents

    What is prone masturbation?

    Prone masturbation, also known as “belly-down” or “humping” masturbation, is a particular method some people, usually young individuals, use to achieve sexual pleasure and orgasm. This habit involves lying face down on a flat surface, such as a bed, a pillow or the floor, and rubbing or thrusting the genital area against the surface to create sexual stimulation. This kind of masturbation is characterized by the person’s body position and the use of friction against the surface to achieve sexual pleasure, rather than the use of hands or other objects such as sex toys.

    What is male prone masturbation?

    Male prone masturbation is distinct from standard manual masturbation, where the individual typically uses their hand to stimulate themselves by rubbing the penis. Instead, in prone masturbation, the person lies face down with their pelvis and genitals pressed against the flat surface. They may use a rhythmic thrusting or grinding motion to create friction and stimulation of this area and therefore attain sexual pleasure and satisfaction.

    What is female prone masturbation?

    Female prone masturbation, similar to its male counterpart, is a form of self-pleasure that calls for a particular body position and stimulation strategy. In women, this kind of sexual activity, in contrast with typical female manual masturbation, generally involves using sex toys or fingers, entails lying face down on a flat surface and applying friction on the surface to produce clitorial sexual pleasure.

    What are the risks related to prone masturbation?

    Research has shown that this type of masturbation, whether performed by men or women, can pose certain risks and potential drawbacks related to both sexual and general health, such as:

    Risks of Prone Masturbation in Men:

    • Erectile Dysfunction (ED): Some men who engage in prone masturbation may develop difficulties achieving or maintaining an erection during sexual intercourse. This can be due to the fact that people who engage in such a practice get used to the unique stimulation and pressure applied during prone masturbation, which may not translate to or be reproduced well during partnered sex.
    • Premature Ejaculation (PE): Research has shown that this sexual habit can be associated with conditions like premature ejaculation in which the individual usually ejaculates sooner than planned or desired.
    • Penile desensitization and anorgasmia: This type of masturbation, with its intense pressure against the pelvis, can lead to desensitization of the genital area over time. This might result in decreased sensitivity and difficulty reaching orgasm during regular sexual activities.
    • Injuries / Traumas: The friction and pressure exerted during prone masturbation may increase the risk of injury to the genital region, such as chafing, irritation, or soreness, or even more severe injuries depending on the surface used for this practice.
    • Psychological negative effects: Some individuals may experience guilt, shame, or anxiety related to their prone masturbation habits, which can negatively impact their overall sexual well-being and self-esteem.

    Risks of Prone Masturbation in Women:

    • Reduced Clitoral Sensitivity and anorgasmia: Like in men, women who engage in prone masturbation may experience reduced sensitivity in their clitoral area over time. This can make it challenging to achieve orgasm through other methods (clitorial manual stimulation, the use of sex toys …) or during partnered sexual intercourse.
    • Difficulty Transitioning to Other Methods: As they grow accustomed to the stimulation gained from this type of sexual activity, women who primarily engage in prone masturbation may find it difficult to switch to different masturbation techniques or have sexual pleasure with a partner.
    • Pelvic Pain: The intense friction and pressure associated with prone masturbation can potentially lead to discomfort or pelvic pain for some women which can affect their sexual performance as well as their daily life activities (walking, exercising, …).
    • Psychological negative effects: As with men, women may experience psychological distress related to their prone masturbation habits, including feelings of guilt, shame, or anxiety.

    Can prone masturbation be safe?

    As with any sexual practice, prone masturbation is safe as long as it is performed in a way that doesn’t cause any physical harm or psychological suffering. However, if one decides to use this particular form of masturbation, it’s imperative to be aware of the risks and take the appropriate safety measures, such as:

    • Moderation: As with any sexual activity, moderation is key. Excessive or compulsive prone masturbation, as mentioned above, can lead to physical discomfort or potential sexual health issues, which may impact overall sexual function.
    • Comfort: While attempting any form of sexual action, comfort is crucial. Acts that are physically or mentally uncomfortable might have a negative psychological impact.
    • Hygiene: To avoid infection or irritation, it’s critical to practice basic cleanliness both before and after masturbation: ensuring that the surface being used for this activity is clean and thoroughly washing hands and genital areas.
    • Lubrication: Adequate lubrication can reduce friction and discomfort during prone masturbation, depending on the type of surface used for this practice.
    • Monitoring for Discomfort: Additionally, it’s essential to pay attention to any pain, soreness, or discomfort experienced during or after prone masturbating. If pain persists, one should think about altering their method or getting medical help.
    • Variation: People who are interested in engaging in such sexual activities ought not to employ them as their only source of sexual fulfillment.  In order to maintain a well-rounded and gratifying sexual experience, it can be useful to investigate additional masturbation methods and modes of sexual enjoyment.
    • Communication: If one is in a sexual relationship with a partner(s), open and honest communication about their sexual preferences and practices is essential to ensure both partners are comfortable and satisfied.

    It’s necessary to note that while prone masturbation can be practiced safely, some individuals may find that it leads to physical or emotional discomfort more than others. Therefore, if one is having unpleasant side effects or is worried about their sexual behavior, they might want to look into alternative ways to enjoy themselves or see a doctor or therapist for guidance.


    1. Kafkasli, A.,  Yazici, O.,  Can, U.,  Coskun, A.,  Boz, M.Y.,  Karatas, B., &  Kece, C. (2021).  Traumatic masturbation syndrome may be an important cause of erectile dysfunction in pre-mature ejaculation patients. Andrologia,  53, e14168.
    2. Ma, G., Wang, C., Chen, X., Xi, Y., Lai, Y. and Zhang, Y. (2023), Short-term effect of the prone masturbation training on premature ejaculation. UroPrecision.
    3. Can, U., Kafkasli, A., Coskun, A., Canakci, C., Dincer, E., Tuncer, M. and Karatas, B. (2023), Traumatic masturbation and erectile dysfunction: A matched case–control study. Int. J. Urol..
    4. Tobu, S., & Noguchi, M. (2022). Survey on Sexuality in Manhood in Japan Using an Internet Questionnaire. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 19(Supplement_2), S203.


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