First of all, I hope this question does not get banned due to inappropriate content. It that is the case, I’d be glad to know how I can reformulate the question in order to stay within the rules.

Now, as I got into a discussion about sex, I got curious about this one thing:

There is an active form for to masturbate, which of course is that very form (I masturbate, you masturbate, he/she masturbates. . . .).

But since there are passive forms for

  • to shoot → to get shot
  • to wash → to get washed
  • to rob → to get robbed
  • . . . .

what about

  • to masturbate → to be masturbated?

It doesn’t actually matter if you use the word masturbate, wank, fap, or whatever words you know. What I mean is, I cannot remember ever having read or heard a passive form for to masturbate. But what do you call a “handjob” if you intend to use the word masturbate?

What would an author write, if he wanted to write something like:

She went down with her hand and started. . . .

And again, if this should be inappropriate, please let me know if/how I reformulate this question to stay within the rules.

  • Good point. There are actually quite a few instances of she masturbated him in Google Books, but it sounds a bit weird to me. "She tossed him off" worked for me, but that corresponds to "I tossed myself off", so it's not even a directly replaceable verb (people don't usually say "I masturbated myself", presumably because the "reflexive" sense is implicit). Commented Jun 28, 2014 at 15:45
  • The problem here is to do with intransitive verbs, which do not have passive forms. You also cannot say *I am listened, *it was happened, *she was lied. The first and the third can be fixed with the preposition to, but the results shall not be true passives of to listen and to lie.
    – Anonym
    Commented Jun 28, 2014 at 15:58
  • 1
    But I can say "I am listened to", "It is rumoured", can't I? Is there a rule how to distingish intransitive verbs, anyway? Or is it like "If it sounds strange, it's intransitive..."?
    – Stacky
    Commented Jun 28, 2014 at 16:08
  • 2
    This question should not be answered by anyone named 'FumbleFingers'...dot dot dot...
    – Mou某
    Commented Jun 28, 2014 at 16:13
  • @Stacky You can say I am listened to because it is the passive of the transitive phrasal verb to listen to, not of to listen; there is no passive for I listened, only for I listened to (something/someone).
    – Anonym
    Commented Jun 28, 2014 at 21:09

2 Answers 2


As others have said, the form you're looking for is "to be masturbated".

(Grumble deleted; I grant it was offtopic.)


Masturbating is by definition something you do to yourself, so no. When someone is a passive object of that action, you use a different word: to be fingered, to get a handjob, to be fondled...

Although some synonyms for masturbate are used in both contexts: people can jerk off and get jerked off

  • Hmm... ok. Strange though that "to jerk off" can be used passively as "she jerks him off", while "to toss off" used passively as "she tosses him off" sounds somehow strange to me.
    – Stacky
    Commented Jun 28, 2014 at 16:15
  • No, the passive of "to jerk off" is "to be jerked off." You you are (in the above comment) talking about transitive usages, not passive constructions. Commented Jun 28, 2014 at 16:56
  • Worth noting that in 1974 the average (mans) weekly wage was only £40.
    – Frank
    Commented Jun 28, 2014 at 18:02
  • 1
    What @Frank said. I do quite like one of OED's citations for the earlier mastupration - 1723 Onania (ed. 8) 122, I would not be thought from hence that Mastupration is allowable, whilst the End is otherwise attainable. And no - I'm sure that writer would not have been thinking of getting his end away (not in so many words, anyway! :) Commented Jun 28, 2014 at 18:40
  • 2
    The very fact that the phrase mutual masturbation gets nearly a million Google hits should really (inaccurate a measure as Google hit counts are) be enough to dispel the misapprehension that “masturbating is by definition something you do to yourself”. Commented Jun 28, 2014 at 21:55

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