I love masturbating, and there's a good chance that you probably enjoy pleasuring yourself, too. In fact 4 out of 10 women prefer masturbating to sex. I know— really. I'm not sure I would go that far, but I certainly prefer it to... well pretty much anything that isn't sex. And why wouldn’t you? It's absolutely amazing. Masturbation benefits are endless: it’s good for you, it teaches you about your body, and it feels incredible. Plus it’s maybe the only thing I do that relieves stress better than Barry’s Bootcamp. The problem is I've gotten into a bit of a masturbation rut. The same porn, the same technique, the same toy, the same setting, the same ..everything. I've just gotten a little complacent and, dare I say, boring when it comes to my alone time. So I think it's time to up my masturbation game. And we could all use a little bit of an upgrade sometimes, right? It can’t be just me.
Here are some of the best ways to really kick your masturbation habits up a notch. From the technique you use to your surroundings, there are lots of ways to improve your self-love time, because that's what you deserve.
1. Give Yourself An Anatomy Lesson First
Maybe you get it from a textbook. Maybe from the internet. Maybe from a TV show. But one of the most fascinating and effective tools for learning how to please your body is learning, well... about your body. It's not one that has come naturally to me— I am still not a hundred percent sure how my vagina works, but I'm learning. And it's not just about the vagina. Yes, the clit rock and you should know how to find your G-spot, but look at the erogenous zones, there are some you may not know about or are neglecting. I'm all about the nipples, and had completely forgotten about that when it came to self-pleasure. Now I'm back in the game. Give your favorites some attention.
2. Take Your Time
This is a mistake I'm really guilty of— just going for it. There's a lot of advice on the internet about setting the mood with some candles and a bath or nice music, but my masturbation session usually starts with me sweatily tripping out of my workout shorts with my sneakers on and ends with my sports bra half on, because I thought I'd fit in a quicky before my shower. It's pretty much the opposite of what you should be trying. Emily Morse, sexologist and host of the podcast Sex with Emily points out to Shape magazine that "orgasm builds from arousal, not the other way around". So the best way to get aroused? Sex Coach Amy Levine of Ignite Your Please says "Seduce yourself", according to Women's Health. Whatever makes you feel sexy, be sure to make time for it. Also a longer arousal period I find normally leads to stronger orgasms, so why not?
It doesn't matter if you have a boyfriend or wife or any significant sexual partner. Masturbation is not a time to feel guilty, it's a time to live out your fantasy. If that involves your significant other, great! If not, also great! Dr Timaree Schmit tells Women's Health "Envision a situation that turns you on, and let it fully develop. Never judge yourself or say you should be thinking about something or someone differently. There's no so-called thought police." I know sometimes it can feel weird when all of a sudden that one guy who fell into in the cafeteria but never spoke to and the woman you buy froyo from start doing it all over brain, but let it happen. I don't judge!
4. Porn? Maybe.
A lot of women watch porn, and are into some hardcore stuff. I am happy to admit I am 100 percent into porn. So much so that I actually think I should go on a bit of a porn detox. If you've never watched it before, give it a go and see if it's your thing— but don't feel bad if it isn't. If you're like me and you tend to watch it all the time, it might be time to unplug and get back to basics. It's easy to get desensitized and when I went back to masturbating it for a bit I was surprised (embarrassed?) at how frustrating I found masturbating without it. But luckily that passed quickly. Sometimes we just need a reset button.
5. Don't Be Scared of Toys and Lube
Again, it's something you should be able to go without, but at the same time I highly recommend everyone try it once. Even if you're someone who doesn't normally need lube, it can still be extra fun to play with it. And my rabbit is basically my boyfriend except I, you know, love it. If a rabbit isn't your thing there are tons of sex toy options out there. Although full disclosure the first time I used one I finished in like 14 seconds so be ready that that can happen.
6. Assume The Positions
When I first started masturbating I was way more adventurous. I was like a horny teenage couple doing it everywhere, but instead I was just a horny teenage me doing it everywhere. But now my masturbation habits have gotten depressingly monotonous. But you're better than I am, I can feel it. So mix it up: try lying on your back, side, even doggy style. Morse recommends lying on your stomach and using your body weight to have an orgasm.
7. Practice Makes Perfect
OK, it's true and in a way more fun way than your ballet instructor used to use it. The best way to pleasure yourself is to masturbate frequently and learn what you like. Trial and error will teach you things like how you get the strongest orgasms, or what gets you there quickest, and all of this is great for improve your masturbation (and sex) life. You make time for exercise and mental health, why not some sexual satisfaction upkeep? It's the most fun.
Images: Mateus Lunardi Dutra; Giphy (7)
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