Is My Clitoris Damaged from Leaning on Furniture?

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Betty Dodson

Dear Betty,

Hello! I am 23 and am concerned about my vaginal health. Since I was a little girl, and really before I can even remember, I realized that grinding on corners of furniture felt good. I did it for as long as I can remember- before I even realized what I was doing. Once I realized that I was indeed masturbating, I continued to do so in this fashion because it felt good and I could climax with all my clothes on in less than a minute.

Now, I feel that I have created a problem. Sex is great with my fiancé who I have been with for 5+ years but I am sometimes unaware if I finish; and similar issues when I've tried a normal masturbation session with my hands or a vibrator. I also cannot truly remember what my vagina looked like before I started this but both my inner and outer labia hang down (unlike some of my friends) and my hood and inner labia are always exposed while my inner labia hangs further than my outer.

I am fearful that this is from excessive (from a young age) and rough masturbation. I have not found enough studies but saw that this could have also caused Traumatic Masturbation Syndrome (TMS) and I may have damaged my nerves in my clitoris to not allow me to reach orgasm "naturally" or with a partner. I do not believe I have ever been able to reach orgasm on my back or with my hands. I've been told if I don't know then I haven't had one.

So I'm honestly torn if I've ever orgasmed at all or just have been doing it before I knew what it was. Sorry for this lengthy message, I am just very concerned and have not been able to find any research on this topic independently. I'm incredible embarrassed/ashamed and am not sure where to go for help. I'm thankful I found your website because it looks like you're helping women everyday. There needs to be more awareness on these topics! Thanks so much.


Concerned Vaginal Owner

Dear H,

This method of childhood masturbation is quite common. To begin, lets first better understand our terminology. The vagina is the birth canal and since you've only been using pressure, we are talking about your vulva with the clitoris stimulated by firm pressure only. Also quite common according to my many questioners.

Start your healing with a genital exam by using a stand alone mirror and a good light. The average vulva often has extended inner lips so there's nothing wrong with yours. It would be reassuring to view my drawings of different vulvas.

I groaned when I read your comment about "Traumatic Masturbation Syndrome (TMS)." Another worthless academic "syndrome" to further scare unsuspecting girls like yourself. Sorry kiddo, you are quite average and there is nothing seriously wrong with you other than years with a poor method of masturbating! Now you can begin to heal your sexuality by masturbating like a grownup. The information you seek is inside the website. Check out our left hand column with topics and read "Upgrading Your Masturbation Skills." You have many years of happy orgasms ahead of you.

Dr. Betty