masturbation: sexuoerotic genital self-stimulation by pressure or touch, self-stimulation, usually though not necessarily climaxing in orgasm [from Latin, manus, hand + st[u]parare, to deflower, ravish, fornicate, or to engage in adultery, incest, or rape]. From its Latin derivation, the literal meaning of masturbation is to use the genitalia to ravish or rape the hand. etymologically, hand-rape, the manual practice of erotic self-stimulation, formerly stigmatized as a crime against nature. Today it is considered normal and healthy and is not limited to either the hands or the self. It includes digital stimulation of the genitalia of a partner as well as of oneself. See also secret vice; autoeroticism.

Dictionary of Sexology Project: Main Index