As part of genital growth, a person may feel pleasant feelings in different parts of their bodies, including their genital areas. Sometimes these feelings are considered arousal – this means the body is “excited” or “turned on” in which a lot of bodily signs may be noted.
A person may notice they are aroused when: their genital area gets tingly and the penis/clitoris may swell and harden, their heart begins to speed up, they feel warm and sweaty, fluid appears on the tip of the penis or in the vulva area of the vagina, and/or their nipples harden.
Tips for feeling comfortable about arousal:
- Realize most people, including yourself, may have these feelings. These feelings are part of you being a sexual being.
- Feel free to note how your body feels when it is aroused. You might notice these feelings occurred because of something you were thinking or doing.
- If you choose to explore self arousal or masturbation, allow yourself privacy, like alone time in your bedroom or bathroom. Also, before touching parts of your body, remember to clean your hands. To learn more about self-exploration and masturbation, explore BLOOM’s Healthy Body section.
- If you have an emission from being aroused, including an ejaculation, clean up after yourself. This may include cleaning your clothing or the space around you of any bodily fluids.
- Experiencing physical arousal or a sexual relationship with another person requires responsibility and maturity. This includes having effective communication skills, making smart decisions, making sure a person provides consent and is able to do so. Just because your genitals are maturing and becoming more adult-like, does not mean you need to use your body parts for sex. Many young people realize the responsibility behind this decision and decide to make sure they are more prepared when they reach a certain age. Talking with a trusted caregiver can help a person figure out what is best for them.