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Party for One
5 min

You won’t stop looking-up whether it’s normal to pee after masturbating, so we brought the damn doctor back

We asked sex therapist Dr. Pega Ren to return to ‘Xtra’ to talk about one of our most popular articles ever, and why we keep asking basic questions about our bodily fluids

In my four years at Xtra magazine, I’ve covered and edited many stories—from crime to politics to arts and entertainment, and now health. And after all these years, I still can’t get over the fact that one of our top-read stories continues to be “Is it normal to pee after masturbating?

The question was answered by Xtra’s former columnist Dr. Pega Ren back in 2015. For the decade between 2005 and 2015, she answered all your burning (for real) questions about how to clean your peen, figuring out what those pesky little bumps on your dick are and dealing with blood in your cum (yikes!). She also gently guided us with her sound advice on relationship curiosities, like debunking lesbian love addiction and enjoying sex with erectile dysfunction. And yet, taking a whiz after rubbing one out is still a real concern for y’all.

So I’ve brought you a little treat: The doctor is back.

A clinical sexologist in Nelson, British Columbia, Dr. Ren is just as fun and enthusiastic as I imagined she would be. And she’s still more than happy to talk about your wanking problems (and thinks it’s “fabulous” that you’re still asking).

“I was just so taken aback by your email. I was like, ‘Oh my God, somebody still remembers me!’” she says. “I kind of chuckled and thought, ‘Isn’t that interesting?’ But you know, when I think about it, it doesn’t surprise me. We’re so uneducated about our own bodies—and particularly about our own sexual bodies—that I can understand how around really basic questions people are hungry for information.”

Dr. Pega Ren

Dr. Ren gives the example of one of her first columns (“Why are there little bumps on my penis?”) and the panic of the question writer, even though the bumps they described are completely normal. “These are adult men writing to a columnist and saying, ‘Give me information. I don’t know whether my body is okay.’ That’s a sad state of affairs,” she says. “Happily, I was there, and they knew somebody they could write to. But shouldn’t we all have that? This is my plea for better sex ed.”

Sex ed in North America is woefully inadequate, and in some places it doesn’t exist at all. It seems that’s why we still ask seemingly obvious questions about our bodies. And since you’re still asking, I asked Ren a little more about peeing after masturbating (and sex), squirting and what to do if you’re caught masturbating by family members. (I see you, poor souls stuck at home with your parents during the COVID-19 pandemic!)

“Is it normal to pee after masturbating?” is still one of our top-performing articles, even five years after you answered the question. Why do you think that people keep looking-up this question?

We worry a lot about all kinds of bodily functions. And I think it’s very natural for us to be terribly curious about how everything functions that relates to sex, primarily because we’re not grounded in comprehensive, lifelong, good, accurate sex education. So when anything happens with our bodies that involves sex, we wonder: Is it supposed to be this way? Is this “normal? And the answer is: Yes.

One of the reasons that this question might be so popular is that we spend quite a bit of time both having sex and masturbating—so it makes sense that our bladders fill during that time.

So, to set the record straight: It is normal to pee after masturbating.

Yes. You got a whole lot going on at the same time in that general area. You’ve got valves opening and closing. And a sphincter that closes off so that urine is held back in the bladder, which comes out after an ejaculation. After climax, everything relaxes and the genitals go back to the pre-arousal stage, and you may notice the bladder is feeling more full than it was before you started masturbating. So it does make sense that you have to pee. And, again, if there are no red flags about the peeing process, don’t worry about it.

Kind of sad that we’re still having to ask basic questions about our bodies, or even feel ashamed to ask them.

It sure is. We are filled with guilt, anxiety and shame about our bodies, about our sexuality. And for those of us in the LGBTQ2 community, those feelings are magnified.

The coming out process is lifelong; there’s always another closet door to kick open. And we learned very, very early that there is an otherness about us. So even when we have an opportunity as children to hear information about sexuality, quite often our eyes and ears glaze over because much of the information doesn’t apply to us. And our knowledge that we are “other,” even as kids, keeps us ignorant—not stupid—but ignorant of how we fit into a sexual world.

What about for those with vaginas? It is normal to pee after masturbating?

Yes. And for all the same reasons. We all have bladders that fill with time, as well as after arousal, regardless of what kind of bodies we have.

What about the ever-contentious squirting? There’s that moment during masturbation or sex where it’s like “I’m going to pee—and come!” What’s that about? 

Squirting is contentious even in academic circles. And there is valid, scientific, peer-reviewed research on both sides of the argument. So it’s normal to get confused about this. Quite a number of [people with vaginas] are able to release a lot of fluid when they come, and others can’t. And again, this isn’t the sexual Olympics; we don’t get points if we’re able to hit the wall on the other side of the room, we don’t gain or lose points for being better at sex. It doesn’t matter how we do it, as long as we’re having a really good time.

The point is, who cares? If you’re a squirter and it feels good, then all you really need to know is how to dress the bed. Enjoy messy sex, have a great time.

In your time as a clinical sexologist, have you gotten a lot of questions about masturbation? Could you share some of them? 

Yes—and regardless of how the questions sound, all of them are pretty much the same: Is this okay? Should I feel guilty? Can you help me not feel guilty or can you help me stop masturbating so I don’t have to feel guilty?

Nobody asks “Is masturbating going to make me go blind?” or “Is this going to hurt me in some way?” or “Am I going to hell?” anymore. We’ve advanced a little past that, but the guilt, anxiety and shame are still there. The fear is still there. And my answer is always the same for everyone: Not only will it not hurt you, there are numerous physiological advantages to masturbating. It’s good for us.

Don’t feel guilty, don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed. We’re so ready to judge ourselves and others on our sexuality. And if people hear nothing else in my answers, hear this: Pleasure matters—not guilt, not shame.

With the COVID-19 pandemic leaving a lot of folks stuck at home with family members or parents, masturbating can be quite difficult. What’s the best way to handle the situation if you’re caught masturbating by a family member? 

If a family member walks in while you’re pleasuring yourself, how about, “Excuse me, I’ll be with you in a minute.” I mean, again, the assumption is “If someone sees me masturbating, I should be ashamed.” And if you’re not, then change the conversation. You can say, “I’ll be with you in a minute.” Now, do we feel embarrassed? Yes. Because it’s ordinarily a private and personal endeavour. But we don’t need to feel shame.

Bonus round! Our team at Xtra wants you to guess which of your columns you think is the next most searched for. 

Oh, I know it was spotted dick! [Tiny bumps on my penis]

So close! That one did well, too, but it’s “There’s blood in my cum.

Right. And isn’t it interesting that, you know, these are very basic anatomy questions.

They sure are. Well thank you for helping all of us out with your columns and sound advice over the years! It lives on, especially in “Is it normal to pee after masturbating?”

Thank you! It was nice meandering down memory lane.