There seems to be a common misconception that women require a romantic setting to get off. In addition to needing a candlelit dinner and flowers to become aroused, the thinking goes, we have to draw a bath and spread rose petals on the bed before we masturbate. This notion belies the random, unconventional, and strange places where we've actually masturbated.
The truth is, there's no wrong place to masturbate (unless, perhaps, you're in public). Wherever you are, it has lots of benefits. "Get your brain on board with masturbation and your body will thank you," Emily Morse, Doctor of Human Sexuality and host of the Sex With Emily podcast, tells Bustle. "Remember that arousal starts in your head and works its way down. If your mind is good and turned on, it won’t be long until the rest of your body follows suit. To get that big sexy brain on board, start exploring your fantasies and finding new mental triggers that can fuel your self-love sessions."
And if the mood has struck you at an odd time or in an odd place? You're not alone. To prove that point, here are some of the weirdest places people have actually masturbated.
1. Randy, 33
2. Penelope, 29
"Public long-distance bus because the vibrations were great."
3. Eloise, 30
"Sat on the ridge at the top of an abandoned limestone quarry."
4. Bella, 46
"In my car, stuck in rush hour traffic."
5. JD, 47
"Bathroom of Catholic Church during mass."
6. Charlotte, 23
"An alleyway. I was at a Torture Garden event, things got pretty hot and heavy, but it's a 'No Touchy' type deal. So I went outside and took care of myself in an alleyway so I didn't spontaneously combust from being too horny (I'm 100 percent sure that's a thing)."
7. Anna, 30
"An operating theatre."
8. Sarah, 38
"Amtrak train, sitting next to someone."
9. Seth, 27
"I once masturbated in my backyard (I made sure to be discreet and out of view) in the middle of a torrential rainstorm, and it was awesome."
10. Bex, 26
"A rest stop parking lot (the road trip was getting boring)."
11. Darius, 53
"During a climb up Diamondhead in HI."
12. Lucy, 48
"The girls bathroom at college — undergrad."
13. Liz, 28
"The back row of a Megabus."
14. Susan, 46
"In the front row of a chemistry lecture class! At certain times I'm able to bring myself to orgasm just by squeezing my pelvic muscles, similar to what you would do for a Kegel exercise. I was in the mood, so I 'squeezed' under my desk and had some fun!"
15. Annelein, 24
"On a night bus to Berlin."
16. Beth, 27
17. Yan, 21
"In a Wendy’s break room while I was supposed to be reading training manuals."
18. Jason, 34
"Public toilet stall."
19. Roger, 22
"Near my dad's wealthy friend's outdoor swimming pool when I was 14."
20. Lila, 30
"Barreling down highway 81, three times."
21. Cassandra, 35
"In the bathroom, about to go on a tour of the Duluth Waterworks."
22. Hazel, 38
"Bathroom at work. I was very pregnant and well... hormones."
23. Gloria, 61
"Sitting behind the reception desk at my job (don't worry, I was alone)."
Moral of the story? There's more going on in buses, highways, and church bathrooms than you might realize. To each their own... just try not to get caught.