Masturbation refers to sexual stimulation of a person's genitals, often to the point of orgasm. The stimulation can be performed manually, by other types of bodily contact (short of sexual intercourse), by use of objects or tools, or by some combination of these methods. Self masturbation is a common form of autoeroticism, and masturbation with a partner (mutual masturbation) is also common.
Men and women have techniques and characteristics in common, but also have specific preferences in the ways they like to masturbate or be masturbated. Studies have found that masturbation is frequent in humans of both sexes and all ages, although there is variation. Various medical and psychological benefits have been attributed to a healthy attitude to sex in general and to masturbation in particular, and no causal relationship is known between normal masturbation and any form of mental or physical disorder. Acts of masturbation have been celebrated in art worldwide since prehistory and, while there was a time in the late 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries when it was subject to medical censure and social conservatism, today it is again considered a normal part of healthy life.