[[Image:Initiation3.jpg|thumb|Illustration by [[Paul-Émile Bécat]] for the novel ''L'Initiation'' by [[Héléna Varley]] (1938).]]
'''Masturbation''' is the act of manually stimulating the [[genitals]] so as to achieve [[sexual]] pleasure, sexual arousal, and/or [[orgasm]]. Most often, masturbation is done by a person to himself or herself, but it is also possible to masturbate another person.
== History ==
[[File:Thumbsucker masturbator.jpg|thumb|Historical drawing of a thumb-sucking and masturbating child.]]
Some centuries ago it was common in [[Europe]] for [[parent]]s, [[nurse]]s and [[nanny|nannies]] to calm young children by playing with their genitals. This was not seen as masturbation: the children were so young that sexual thoughts were far from the mind. Today, such practice is socially unacceptable and illegal by law, as it constitutes child [[sexual abuse]].