Female Masturbation Statistics [2023]: How Often Do Women REALLY Masturbate?

We reveal all female masturbation statistics compiled from the US and various parts of the globe. It seems women still have a lot of catching up to do. Read on:

Masturbation is normal. But it’s still considered a taboo topic for women. That’s why it seems women “don’t” masturbate.

Female masturbation is real. 

It’s just not as talked about because some women lie about it as they feel ashamed to admit or talk openly about it. At the same time, some women don’t masturbate because they feel ashamed or they simply don’t know how (again, because it’s not as talked about).

It’s time to start self-exploration and solo sexual pleasure for women.

Top Female Masturbation Statistics You Should Know

  • Men (73.8%) masturbate (or, at least, reveal to masturbate) more than women (48.1%).
  • On average, women started masturbating at the age of 14.
  • Younger women (aged 25-29) masturbate more than older women (aged 60-69), at 72% and 47%, respectively.
  • 21.8% of women reveal never masturbating in their entire life.
  • 4 out of 10 women prefer masturbation over sex.

Nature of Female Masturbation

Let’s start with the basics. How do experts define female masturbation?

A sexual response cycle of desireexcitementorgasm, and resolution.

A sexual activity that puts a woman in tune with their desires so they get to know their body, ultimately making sex—solo or with a partner—better.

Sources: National Library of Medicine, WebMD

Global Scale of Female Masturbation

Women might not talk about masturbating as often and as loudly as men, but women from around the world HAVE masturbated at some point in their lives.

British women revealed they had masturbated at some point in their lives:


French women reported masturbating:

18 to 19
20 to 24

German women masturbated at least once in their life:

Number of Women
Number of Women

Portuguese women indicated they had masturbated at some point in their lives:

Number of Women
Number of Women

The frequency of how often women masturbate varies from each country as well.

425 German women reported masturbating:

2 to 3 times a week
once a week

3,687 Portuguese women:

Female respondents revealed they masturbated within the past month.

Female participants shared they had masturbated recently within the previous 4 weeks.

410 Croatian young women aged from 18 to 25 years old.

Croatian women reported masturbating a few times a year or less frequently.

That said, some women share that they have never masturbated:

Female participants reported that they never masturbated.

Sources: CORE, National Library of Medicine, ResearchGate, National Library of Medicine, ResearchGate

Do Women Masturbate?

Men are more vocal and honest when asked if they masturbate. But that doesn’t mean women don’t. Women are just more reserved about it, and they even go as far as lying. But women masturbate as well.

Revealed they masturbated in their lifetime:


22% of women revealed lying when asked if they masturbate.

Some of the reasons women lied are embarrassment and fear of being judged by their family, friends, or partner.

Survey out of 1,200 Americans called The United State(s):

Women find masturbation more pleasurable than having sex with a partner.

Source: TENGA

How Does Female Masturbation Feel?

Female masturbation feels different from woman to woman.

  • Stimulating erogenous zones like the clitoris and/or vagina can feel good for women, which may lead them to orgasm. During orgasm, vaginal muscles contract and cause intense feelings of pleasure.
  • An aroused woman gets “wet” as vaginal fluid increases in the vagina (the body’s way to prepare for penetration, biologically). She may reach orgasm at her maximum arousal.

Sources: Center for Young Women’s Health, BodyTalk

How Often Do Women Masturbate?

Various factors affect the frequency of how often women masturbate. There’s neither too seldom nor too often. 

Look at these stats if you’re wondering:

At least once every 3 months for more than half of American women aged 18-49 surveyed.

According to a 2011 survey of US representative samples of adolescents aged 14 to 17 years old, wherein 406 of the respondents are female:

few times a year
At least twice a week
Had masturbated within the previous month.
NEVER masturbated in their lifetime.

According to a 2017 cross-sectional US survey of 2,021 adults (1,046 are women).

Twice a week for an average of 13 minutes each session for women aged 18 to 72.

According to a survey of 979 participants from Clickworker from ages 18 to 72:


Sources: The Kinsey Institute, JAMA Network, National Library of Medicine, OnlineDoctor

Do Married Women Masturbate?

Masturbating is a solo activity, so some might assume that people in a relationship and married no longer do it. Well, that’s not necessarily the case, according to the stats below.

  • Masturbation can be an enjoyable activity—shared or solo—for some married couples. Some people also report that they find it arousing if they know their partner is masturbating.

That said, being sexually content and having sex (or NOT having sex, rather) are some factors that affect masturbation for married women.

People who are sexually content within their relationship were less likely to masturbate in the last 2 weeks.
Women who are sexually content but reported no sex in the last 2 weeks are more likely to masturbate.
Same sexually content women (having sex 4 or more times) reported masturbating.

According to a 2017 study of American adults ages 18 to 60, with 7,468 men and 8,090 women.

Sources: VeryWell Mind, National Library of Medicine

What Percentage of Women Masturbate?

Women masturbate, yes. But the frequency and the group of women who do it varies.

One of the most compelling factors is AGE.

So let’s look at it by age groups who reported masturbating:

Percentage of Women
18-19 years old
25-29 years old
60-69 years old

That’s understandable.

Women in their twenties are more open to exploring self-pleasure and their sexualities. This is also the age where they are no longer trapped in the throes of school, exams, and roommates. It’s awkward to use a vibrator when your roommate is sleeping in the bed right across from you.

As teenagers, it’s also the time when curiosity flares up. That’s why female masturbation activity increased as a woman ages at a rate of:

14 years old
17 years old

According to a study sample of adolescents aged 14 to 17 years, where 406 of the participants are female.

Sources: Health, JAMA Network

Difficulties in Women Masturbation

Women can rage from sexually-frustrated to just-don’t-care when it comes to masturbation. It’s not a straightforward activity for many women, so there are difficulties surrounding it.

For example, women don’t masturbate when they don’t find as much pleasure from it. Plain and simple.

Women enjoy orgasmic pleasure more during partnered sex than solo sex, according to women who both masturbated and had partnered sex.

But (!) that MOSTLY applies to women who have no trouble climaxing.

From the same study, women who find it hard to orgasm view masturbation as equally or more satisfying than partnered sex.

That’s interesting, and you can easily figure out why. If a woman finds it hard to orgasm alone, it would be even more difficult to climax when doing it with another person.

But for women who can orgasm without much difficulty, they will find partnered sex more satisfying as they know their bodies and what they like. So, they can enjoy sex better with a partner.

Then again, the social norms of masturbation being “taboo” for women is one of the biggest factors why women hesitate to do it.

Most women are still struggling with viewing masturbation as something “normal.”

Sources: National Library of Medicine, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Can Masturbation Replace Sex With A Partner for Women?

One can’t replace the other. And it shouldn’t! In fact, they co-exist. Each one makes the other better.

With masturbation, you can discover what you like and don’t like. By knowing this, partnered sex becomes more pleasurable.

Some women might prefer masturbation over partnered sex for various reasons.

Women prefer to masturbate if emotional connection is lacking or missing.

According to a 2021 study of 5,000 US singles aged from 18 to 98:

Four out of ten women prefer masturbation over sex.

75% of women don’t orgasm from intercourse ALONE—meaning, there’s no help from sex toys, hands, or tongue.

But if a partner isn’t present, well, there’s really not much choice but to explore masturbation. And that’s how the pandemic opened the door to female masturbation for many women.

One out of every three singles learned how to pleasure themselves.

Sources: Well+Good, Singles in America, Adam and Eve, ABC News

How Are Women Masturbating?

There are many ways to masturbate for a person with a vagina.

For many women, they masturbate by:

Clitoral stimulation for the majority of the female respondents.

Vaginal stimulation for half of the female respondents.

According to a study, these are the most common ways women masturbate:

Clitoral Masturbation
Stimulating the clitoris using the fingers or sex toys like a vibrator. This orgasm feels like a tingly sensation on the skin and brain.
Vaginal Masturbation
A solo sex where the vagina is penetrated by a finger or sex toy. The orgasm feels deeper in the body with a throbbing sensation in the vaginal muscles.
Anal Masturbation
Stimulating or penetrating the anus using a finger or sex toy. During orgasm, you can feel the contractions around the anal sphincter and a feeling of needing to pee.
Combination of Clitoral, Vaginal and/or Anal Masturbation
Stimulating the clitoris, vagina, and/or anus at the same time. This orgasm may feel more explosive and convulsing. Some women may also experience ejaculating.
Erogenous Zones
It’s also possible to orgasm by stimulating erogenous zones like the nipples, ears, neck, lower back, and more, depending on the woman. 

Sources: ScienceDirect, Healthline

Methods of Female Masturbation

How do women masturbate? With their hands or with a sex toy?

Women are more than twice likely to own a sex toy than men.

Women use while masturbating:

Use their hands.
Use sex toys.

How do women get turned on when masturbating?

Watch porn videos
Fantasize about their significant other
Read erotica
Fantasize about a stranger
Fantasize about a friend
Fantasize about an ex
Watch a porn live stream

Sources: TENGA, OnlineDoctor

Male vs. Female Masturbation

The masturbation gap between men and women is REAL.

Masturbation gap internationally.
Masturbation gap in the US.

On average, women masturbate 49 times a year while men masturbate 154 times a year.

US representatives (414 men, 406 women) aged 14-17 years old:


Men also masturbate more frequently than women.

According to a 2011 survey of US representatives (414 men, 406 women) aged 14-17 years:

Male participants reported masturbating at least twice A WEEK.
Female participants reported masturbating a few times PER YEAR.

Sources: Womanizer, JAMA Network


Studies and stats show female masturbation is common for women. Today, women are still exploring their sexuality using sex toys such as sex machines and even the best thrusting vibrating dildos.

Still, there should be more discussion and exploration about it to make it more accessible for a larger group of vagina-owners.

Aliyah Moore

Aliyah Moore

Aliyah Moore (she/her) is our resident sex expert at SexualAlpha. She’s a certified sex therapist with a Ph.D. in Gender & Sexuality Studies. Aliyah is a proud Black, bi-sexual femme passionate about empowering minority voices to embrace their sexuality and identity. She loves to write about everything sexual wellness and gives no-nonsense sex and relationship advice.

Got Questions? Ping me on Twitter.