Masturbation. Solo sex. It might feel a little intimidating if it isn't something you've done before, and trust, that is OK. But if you are interested in giving it a shot, there are no hard and fast rules when learning
how to try masturbation for the first time. It's all about going at your own pace and finding out what you like!
As psychologist and sexologist
Dr. Carol Queen tells Bustle, even the word masturbation might give you some nerves, and this especially might be the case for people who have grown up in culturally conservative households.
"Masturbation gets a bad rap in some circles despite how fabulous it is!" Dr. Queen says. "But the intimidation factor is much less if you think of it as 'self-exploration' and 'self-pleasure.' And exploration is exactly where a novice masturbator should start."
Dr. Queen does say as a reminder that not everyone likes the same things, so a great reason to masturbate is to figure out some of your own specific responses. Another, of course, is self-pleasure and getting more aware of your own path to orgasm, says Dr. Queen.
Check out some tips below for trying out masturbation, and remember, this is all about you!
Set Your Intentions Before Starting.
Consider, first, why you want to try masturbation and how you feel about it currently. Is it to get to know your body better? To try to figure out solo orgasms? Whatever it is, having a little intention as you go into it is a great idea.
"You’re about to embark on a new journey that’s all for you,"
Dr. Catalina Lawsin of Psychotherapy Without Borders tells Bustle. "Identify your fears, desires and boundaries are before starting this journey."
She also says it's a great thing to recognize that you are taking time to nurture your own personal sexual wellbeing. It's a literal act of self love!
Set The Stage Comfortably And Plan For Privacy.
No shocker here, but you will want to feel safe and comfortable.
Find a comfortable place where you can lie down or sit comfortably where no one will disturb you," says Dr. Lawsin. "If you live with others, try locking the door or plan a time when you won’t be disturbed."
Pillows, blankets, lubricants and toys can also be helpful, as can candles, incense and relaxing music. These things can all add to shaping the mood.
Start Slowly And Take Your Time
Masturbation is not a race, so remember there is no hurry, this is your time to just get into your body.
"Start off slowly by first giving your body
a gentle massage where ever you feel tense," says Dr. Lawsin. "Try scanning your body from head to toe to check-in for muscle tightness or soreness. Gently massage, exhale and release this tension."
When you feel relaxed, she says, gently begin touching the outer sides of your genitals, noticing the sensations.
It Doesn't Have To Be All About Your Private Parts
But just to be clear, it is worth reiterating that the first few times you practice self-pleasure, don’t feel the need to stimulate your genitals immediately, Dr. Lawsin says. Especially if that makes you nervous!
"You can build up to touching your genitals slowly, first becoming comfortable touching the surrounding areas," she says.
This is your time for yourself, so take all the time you need.
Begin By Exploring Sensations
"As you begin to touch your genitals, start off gently and slowly," says Dr. Lawsin. "Experiment with different strokes, using different fingers and different pressure on your genitals."
Throughout, keep focusing your attention on the different sensations you're experiencing, she says, and you can even imagine what the sensation feels like (e.g. a wave crashing over, or a gentle breeze).
Beginning to pair your imagination with your pleasure practice is also a nice doorway to fantasy.
Remember You Can Explore Your Whole Body
You might be surprised what feels good on your body to touch, so exploring pressure, speed, and different body parts are all great ways to "reveal" your physical responses, says Dr. Queen.
Common areas that people enjoy touching are breasts and nipples, the belly, thighs, butt cheeks, as well as genitals, and anus.
"Some people will touch their own faces, some their own feet," says Dr. Queen. There are simply lots of parts of the body enjoy or respond erotically to touch!
Reward Yourself For Your Efforts
Reward yourself, says Dr. Lawsin. You are doing something nice for yourself.
"Once you finished your session, give yourself a treat," she says. "It doesn’t have to be anything concrete, but be sure to acknowledge and reward yourself for taking the time to self-pleasure."
It's a positive affirmation that you are doing something good for you. And again, this journey can be exciting and fun, but don't feel bad if you have nerves, shame, or discomfort attached at first. It can also help to reach out and talk to someone, or do some more research. It's all good!