Self-pleasure is a wonderful, wonderful thing. Whether you have a partner or not, spending some time enjoying yourself has tons of benefits. Not only does masturbation make you feel good and help relieve stress, but it also can get you in touch with the pleasure zones in your body — and lead to way more pleasurable sex with a partner. But even if we do it regularly, we can all learn how to masturbate better. Trying new things is a big part of getting to know and love your body.
A lot of great solo time tricks will parallel what you may do with a partner — this includes giving your fantasies a whirl. For instance, Astroglide's Resident Sexologist, Dr. Jess, says to change up your positions just as you would with a partner. Masturbation doesn't have to be in bed or in front of a porn movie, it can be standing, lying on your stomach, curled up on your side or hanging off the side of the bed. "You’ll find that the varied angles and pressure against different parts of your body create different sensations and you might discover new pathways to orgasm," says Dr. Jess.
Let your mind wander, says Dr. Jess. Fantasies don’t have to be about sex, per se. In fact, maybe you'll fantasize about seduction scenes or the way a partner responds to your body as opposed to the physical contact itself. In the zone? Here's some more tips from pros on how to make it the best self-date ever.
1. Make it a special occasion
Although you could use masturbation to be the quick and efficient way of getting off, the truth is that banging it out in a minute-and-a-half doesn’t create as much wonderful pleasure-inducing chemicals as a longer build-up of arousal and release. “In my book Wanting to Want: What Kills Your Sex Life and How to Keep It Alive , I encourage people to make space for the erotic in their lives – both physically and mentally. This means creating not just the space and the place, but also the sexy frame of mind that is the biggest fuel for sexual arousal,” says Dr. Madeleine Castellanos, who practices sex therapy in New York. Making it an event for yourself also teaches your brain to become excited when it sees those cues – candles, sheets, favorite lube.
Wanting to Want: What Kills Your Sex Life and How to Keep It Alive , $12, Amazon
As for creating the space: If you can’t relax, it’s tough to masturbate. So be sure you won’t be interrupted (unless getting caught or the prospect of getting caught turns you on!), says Jenny Block, author of O Wow: Discovering Your Ultimate Orgasm . Don’t be shy. We’re talking about self-love here. So light candles. Play music. Or don’t. If it rocks your boat, do it. If not, forget it.
O Wow: Discovering Your Ultimate Orgasm , $12, Amazon
2. Invite your fantasies
Engage your rich fantasy life by thinking exciting thoughts and visualizing erotic pictures while you are with your lover but keep those thoughts private, says Dr. Fran Walfish, Beverly Hills family and relationship psychotherapist, author of The Self-Aware Parent , and co-starring on Sex Box on WE tv .
The more oxygen we take in, the more our blood is oxygenated and the more we move energy through our bodies, says Dawn Serra, an erotic coach. Often times we hold our breath as things start to get intense, but if we breathe we can actually expand our awareness and increase the intensity of our pleasure.
4. Use your whole body
The entire body is capable of enjoying sexual pleasure that adds to whatever is going on in your genitals, says Castellanos. This is especially true for women who find that they can sometimes climax from kisses on the back of their neck, their ears, their breasts, their thighs, or even the inside of their elbows or knees. In fact, both women and men experience increased genital blood flow from having their nipples stimulated, says Castellanos. “Don’t just dive into your clit or your erection all at once. See what other sensations can add to your sexual arousal and blood flow,” says Castellanos. Get yourself warmed up with a combination of thoughts and overall sensations.
5. Appreciate sensitivity
Obviously, this is specifically for women, but men can learn a lesson from this as well. “The clitoris has a great deal of nerve endings packed into a small surface area, so it’s quite sensitive and should be treated as such. Too many times women will dive in with too much pressure or speed and actually numb themselves too quickly,” says Castellanos. Instead, start stroking from the outside and work your way in slowly getting closer and closer to the point of maximal sensation. Use the skin of the hood to stroke the clitoris in a circular motion from the side rather than just attacking it directly. Make sure to use a nice, thin lube like Wet Platinum or Replens Silky Smooth that can handle the friction without needing to interrupt the action for reapplication.
Wet Platinum Lubricant, $10, Amazon; Replens Silky Smooth Personal Lubricant, $17, Amazon
6. Explore your body
One of the major of benefits of masturbation, besides pleasure of course, is that we will learn their own bodies, what pleases them and be able to share this information with a partner during sexual encounters, says Emily Morse, sex expert, Bravo TV personality and host of the top-downloaded podcast “Sex With Emily”. The more you know about your own body and pleasure, the more you can share with your significant other and the better connected you’ll be to your emotional wellbeing. Pay attention to what truly feels good. Variety is the spice of your sex life and also your solo sex life so it’s always suggested to mix up how you touch yourself so you can find endless other ways to experience pleasure on your body.
7. Try toys
Toys are one of the most efficient and fun ways to mix up your masturbation, explore and discover even more erogenous zones, says Morse. Try some foreplay with yourself with a toy like the a:muse: pleasure massager that turns your finger into a textured vibrating tip so you can really start exploring your body for new sensations. For women, start by rubbing your breasts, stroking your inner thighs and running your hands over your body. Add some lubricant and rub your nipples using soft and harder strokes and pay attention to how you’re body is reacting and how it feels.
Lifestyles A:muse His and Hers Pleasure Massagers, $6, Amazon
8. Make the pleasure build
Just like when you are with a partner, the fun part is the ride, not just the arrival, or in this case, the climax, says LiveJasmin.com web cam model LittleRedBunny — a professional masturbator of sorts. Tease yourself like you would tease your partner." Make the pleasure grow and ride the edge, making the pleasure last, and not letting yourself reach climax right away. The level of satisfaction will be much greater after building up the tension, and we deserve just as much for ourselves as when we share our sexuality with another," says LittleRedBunny.
9. Leave the shame behind
If you’ve ever been told that masturbating is wrong, you’re been lied to, says Block. Masturbation is an incredibly healthy activity that is amazing for your body, mind, and spirit. So silence those voices and enjoy. It’s your body and yours alone.
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