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MASTURBATION: SEX FOR ONE
Masturbation: the act of giving yourself sexual pleasure and orgasm. 

"To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance" ~Oscar Wilde

Much of the material that you might be expecting in Partnering will be found here instead.  How come? Because your first and primary sexual relationship is with yourself. The skills and awareness you’ll gain from masturbating translate directly into partnering, forming a rich foundation for information sharing. If you omit this chapter thinking that all the juicy stuff is in Partnering, you’ll seriously miss out.  


                Masturbation is
:

*    A great way to enrich your health and well-being with limitless hours of pleasure and relaxation. 

*   A healthy activity that keeps your sexual organs fit and toned. 

*    The easiest way to learn what pleases you sensually and sexually.  

*    A joy-giving emotional outlet that Increases your self-esteem, independence, confidence, body awareness, and zest for life.

                 Masturbation is not:  

*    Deviant, abnormal or shameful in any way. 

*    Something a “decent, virtuous” person doesn’t do. 

*    A second rate form of sex that we only do until we find a partner. 

*    Something we should stop practicing when we have a sexual partner. 

*    Something we stop doing when we grow up or grow old. 

 But the good news doesn’t stop there. Masturbation also offers additional health benefits:  

*    Masturbation may relieve menstrual cramps by increasing blood flow to the pelvic area and releasing tension during orgasm. 

*  Masturbation may assist in preventing prostate cancer. Toxins build up in the urogenital tract, leading to disease—but masturbation helps flush those toxins out of the body, making men who ejaculate more than five times a week a third less likely to develop prostate cancer. Wow!

*  Masturbation may alleviate urinary tract infections by flushing out old bacteria from the cervix.

*  Masturbation may relieve Restless Leg Syndrome symptoms (RLS). Researchers estimate that 10 percent of people suffer from RLS, a neurological disorder categorized by a constant urge to move the limbs, often causing leg pain, cramps, tingling, and itching. But here’s the good news - a letter published in the medical journal Sleep Medicine reported on a patient who used sex and masturbation to relieve symptoms of RLS.

*   Masturbation may boost systemic immunity: ejaculation releases the hormone cortisol, a stress hormone that in small doses can help strengthen and maintain the immune system. In fact, a plethora of chemicals and hormones are released during masturbation that can boost the immune system, relieve pain, uplift your emotions, improve your attitude towards life, and relieve tension.

*   Masturbation may boost systemic immunity: ejaculation releases the hormone cortisol, a stress hormone that in small doses can help strengthen and maintain the immune system. In fact, a plethora of chemicals and hormones are released during masturbation that can boost the immune system, relieve pain, uplift your emotions, improve your attitude towards life, and relieve tension.  

*    Masturbation may help you fall asleep. That’s because orgasmic release can lower blood pressure and produces endorphins, chemicals responsible for helping to ease stress and increase relaxation.

You have to ask yourself: what’s not to love about masturbation?


It Begins At The Beginning
We are born pleasure seekers. Most of us discover masturbation spontaneously during childhood while exploring the inviting nooks and crannies of our bodies. It’s one of the wonderful ways our body affirms life.
 

Tragedy befalls us when we’re told by society not to ”touch ourselves down there” - that genital pleasure is wrong, bad, dirty.  Or we may be subjected to more generalized but equally damaging signals about sexuality, emotional expression and our body’s functions. All these directives, whether conveyed directly or indirectly, can cause us to suppress our natural ability or desire to masturbate.  

This loss can have life-changing consequences, because masturbation is one of the pillars of human sexual wellness. Statistically, people who masturbate from childhood are far more likely to have satisfying and well-adjusted sex throughout their lives than people who were prevented from masturbating. 

Then again, if you do practice self-love but learned to do it under uneasy conditions, you may have developed a method that is less gratifying then it could be. For many men who suffer from premature ejaculation (ejaculating before they want to), the problem originates from learning to masturbate under tense, hurried, or non-private conditions - or when they were feeling frightened or guilty. Other men simply taught themselves to ejaculate quickly without understanding how very much pleasure is gained prolonging sexual stimulation and delaying ejaculation. (See Sexual Dysfunction for an antidote: the Squeeze Technique). 

In the same vein, women who are unsure of how to enjoy their bodies on an erotic level or how to have an orgasm often lack this knowledge because they were discouraged from exploring masturbation during childhood. 

Gin: “I was a happy, touch-loving tike. I played with my body a lot - rubbing, feeling, and if possible tasting. When I was around five I started having orgasms by getting on my belly and rubbing my vulva against my plushy cushions. Yum! My parents noticed and they physically stopped me, picking me up and sternly saying “No! Bad!” I realized they were embarrassed by my actions and felt very, very hurt and ashamed. I locked the movement in my pelvis and experienced horrible feelings when I wanted to rub myself. Eventually I couldn’t masturbate at all.” 

Gin’s story of having the kibosh put on genital body pleasure by a parent or authority figure is painfully common. We are inundated with cultural signals directing us to deny pleasure and joy. The excellent news is that if your ability to masturbate was undermined during childhood, you can reclaim this empowering birthright now! It’s never too late. 


 Self-Pleasuring

Here are some suggestions for getting to know your erotic side better; what stimulates, excites, and arouses you.   

Exercise: Set the Mood

First, turn off the phone and give yourself uninterrupted time in a private room. Tell your friends, partner, and family that you need a specific amount of time all to yourself. 

Now focus on creating an erotic environment by arranging your space to please your senses. Freely embellish your erotic nest with the sensory elements you enjoy:   

*    What gives you freedom of movement and supports your physical activity most comfortably? A bed, a floor, or a table, field of grass, pool of water? Do you like lying on billowy sheets, or a rug?

*     Do you want to be surrounded by velvety darkness, or soft lighting – or perhaps full light illuminating every detail of your body? 

*    Do you relish a warm temperature, a silky cool breeze – or both, alternating? 

*    Do certain scents give you sensual pleasure? Fragrant herbs or flowers, the aroma of fresh grass, or sweet warm earth? Do certain scented oils arouse your delight - or the smell of your heated skin?  

*    Develop your erotic environment further. Are you gratified by the visual aesthetics of your erotic nest? Would it make a difference to have evocative erotic art displayed, or artful flower arrangements? Do strong or subtle paint colors on the walls affect your erotic sensibility? 

*    Do you enjoy weaving certain foods and beverages into your erotic pleasures? Place foods sensually on your tongue and savor their flavors and juices. Lick them off your body.

Try fresh ripe mangos, berries, cherries and peaches, slivers of dark chocolate with sea salt, nut butters. And don’t forget liquid refreshment; perhaps freshly squeezed juice or chilled mineral water in a lovely goblet. Keep a platter of the light finger foods you love in a mouth-watering arrangement nearby.  

*    Does music affect your mood? Music can be an entrancing lover. What musical sounds evoke different feelings in you? Do you respond to gutty blues or delicate classical poems, symphonic storms or sultry torch songs, on-fire rock n’ roll or esoteric jazz sojourns? Immerse yourself in your musical lover, abandoned to the rhythms, fantasies and emotions they arouse.  

*    Or maybe the sounds of nature strike cords in you. Does the patter of rain makes you feel cozy and intimate or the cry of seagulls makes you feel free, soaring, powerful? 

Lavish care on creating a beautiful erotic space for yourself, just as you would for a beloved partner.

Discovering Your Responses

When you’re ready, begin exploring your body with a loving, sensitive touch. Listen to your body speak.  ‘Hear’ any responses your touch elicits and respond. What part of your body calls to be touched?  

Follow your impulses and notice any changes. Does your breathing speed up or grow slower? Do you feel warmer in the parts of your body you caress? 

Drop any expectations of what you “should” be feeling and just pay attention to your sensations, however small or quiet they may seem.

TIP: EXPAND YOUR PLEASURE RANGE
Learn to extend your erotic range by repeatedly building sexual
tension and then backing off before reaching the height of erotic pleasure or orgasm. This is called “Edging”.


WOMEN
Touch your entire body creatively, intimately, passionately, lovingly. Don’t just concentrate on your genitals; caress, squeeze, massage, tease, lick your whole body from the tips of your toes to the top of your head. Try a variety of touches; light, firm, sensuous, feathery, fast, lush, tremulous. Be hot and wild; be slow and tender; be creative and free. Follow your instincts.

Kenshi: “When I learned to become pleasure -oriented I discovered untapped reservoirs of deliciousness in the most unexpected places. The back of my neck, the mound of my ass and the shivery part of my spine above it, the delicate arch of my feet, are divinity! I always thought I had to work away at my genitals, but now I actually orgasm from caressing my nipples and feet. The more I relax, the better it gets.”

Genital Stimulation 
Cup your vulva tenderly. Feel the curve of the mound and the flower of the labia. Explore the touch, scent and visual feast of your beautiful folds, textures and shapes down to the plain of your perineum. You are magnificent!
 pudenda black

The Clitoris is Queen

The clitoris is the primary female sexual organ. Dominating the vulva, it is the most nerve-rich organ in either the female or the male body. Pleasuring the clitoris is how most women reach orgasm.   

Explore touching yourself in different ways. Gently retract the hood and caress the head with a lubricated finger. Then try touching your glans through your clitoral hood, and a piece of soft material, such as silk. Does your clitoral head (glans) respond to direct skin -on- skin stimulation, or to being touched through the warm flesh of the hood? Some women find that their clitoris is too sensitive for direct skin contact and prefer either touching their head indirectly through the skin of their hood, or through a buffer, such as a soft cloth.

Pay attention to how different pressures and inflections of touch affect you. What responses do you notice? Is there a particularly sensitive spot that hungers to be touched? Does your erectile tissue get harder, hotter? Does your skin coloration grow darker? Are you responding with pelvic motions and changes in your breathing? Is your vaginal canal getting moist and secreting lubrication?

 Discover the labia, following the sensitive crura inside the Labia Majora, the tender inner lips of the Labia Minora, caressing, circling. Use different touches and rhythms, breathing and moving your pelvis in harmony with your touch. If something feels good, stay with it. There's no rush. 

Look at the lovely natural lubricant your vulva is creating to enhance sexual pleasure and ease. Feel it’s substance between your fingers and become familiar with its taste and smell. This special nectar is a unique and intimate signature of your body that is like no other.

Inner Terrain
Insert a warm, lubricated finger or a pleasure toy inside your vaginal canal. What angle of entry feels good? Feel the varied textures and shapes inside. Can you find the little bump of your cervix and the strong tissue of the clitoral bulbs? Try moving your finger up and down, in and out, or around in circling patterns. Breathe into your movements while letting your pelvis move in response to your touch. g spot


Finding the G-Spot
The G-spot, or Grafenberg spot, is a nerve bundle in the urethral sponge located about two inches inside the vagina, under the pubic bone. The easiest position to find it in is lying on your back with your legs open and bent. Gently insert one or two lubricated fingers inside the vaginal canal and press against the front wall. Feel for a spongy, slightly rough area.   

Once you’ve located the spot, try applying different caresses: a “come hither” motion with one or more fingers, the palm turned up; or gentle, direct finger thrusting, are popular ones to begin with.   

Achieving G-spot orgasms usually requires a good bit of time and a very relaxed vagina. Because of this labor-intensive propensity, a good G-spot stimulating sex toy may prove a helpful standby should your fingers get tired! Some dildos and vibrators are specifically crafted to pleasure the G-spot. 

 Different women report varying degrees of response to G-spot stimulation; some women find it extremely pleasurable, while other women have little or no reaction. Yet others find it distinctly uncomfortable. All of these responses are completely normal. Sexual growth means learning about your own preferences and desires. 

Am I Peeing when I’m G-ing?
When you’re getting close to orgasm, you may feel a sensation that makes you think you’re about to urinate. You’re not! What’s happening is that your paraurethral gland is filling with fluid, swelling the sponge of your G-spot and putting a little pressure on your bladder.

This fluid will release through your urethra, anywhere from a teaspoon to a quart of it (be prepared for a real drenching!) It is not the same composition as waste urine – but it’s certainly deliciously wet. An extra sheet will help.

Bringing Your Vaginal Muscles to the Party
Women, have you been told that vaginal sex is “done to you” by a man - that his hard, active penis enables all the beautiful sexual responses that you feel in your otherwise soft, passive vagina? Nonsense! This myth is based on misinformation about female sexuality. The vagina can grip, expel, shimmy, and contract powerfully with complete independence. The key is to activate your vaginal muscles. They need to be toned and developed like any other muscles in the body. Toning them can empower these key muscles to both significantly enhance your sexual enjoyment, and to better support your internal organs. To expand their capacities, see Pelvic Exercises.

The Vibrator Factor

You might want to explore your genitals with a good vibrator. The results can be simply fabulous. Many pre-orgasmic women have their first orgasm this way!

magic wand*  Circle around the clitoris and tease over the head. Do you notice    hot spots?

*  Does it feel better when you make direct skin contact, or when you place a piece of light material between your genitals and the vibrator?

 *  How to you respond to a G-spot dildo or vibrator?  

 See The Joys of Toys for more on these fun enhancers.  

Anal Stimulation
Try circling the anus with a lubricated finger, lightly teasing and stroking delightful sensations from this acutely sensitive erogenous zone chock full of receptive nerve endings. 

Some women find varying degrees of rectal penetration very pleasurable. If you haven’t tried it before, start by slowly inserting a single, well lubricated finger, small dildo, or small anal plug - and leave it there until your anal/rectal muscles relax around it. When you’re ready, slowly initiate different thrusting motions, working your buttock and anal muscles. If you feel comfortable with this then you may want to try gradually increasing the size of the inserted object. 

Treat your wonderful body with kindness. Never force an object into your rectum that causes pain, tearing or bleeding.   

THREE WELLNESS TIPS ABOUT ANAL PENETRATION FOR EVERY BODY:

Gently does it. The anus is not as elastic as the vagina. Adequate protection for its delicate tissues entails using a special kind of Lubrication, intentionally made thicker than its vaginal counterpart to provide extra buffering. Be sure to have some available. 

During erotic play, remember that objects inserted into the rectum can cause serious problems. Never insert an entire object into the rectum: a section of any penetrating object must remain outside the anus where it can be grasped and removed

To avoid bacterial infection, never insert an object into the anus and then into the
vagina unless you have thoroughly cleaned it.
 

MEN
 

Men - pssst! You’re more than just a penis in bed!

Yes, it’s true. Contrary to all the penile-centric hype that the mass media inundates you with you, you’re not just a thrusting penis in bed. The penis may be the primary male sexual organ, but your entire body proffers a wealth of erotic pleasures!  

Expand your sensual capacity. Touch yourself all over - creatively, intimately, passionately, lovingly. Don’t just concentrate on your penis; caress, massage, squeeze, lick, tease your feet, buttocks, armpits, throat, mouth, hair, testicles, thighs, chest, nipples, shoulders, arms, ankles, etc. Try a variety of touches; light, firm, slow, feathery, fast.  Allow your creativity to run rampant.  

Genital Stimulation
Eventually you will wander over to your genitals. Let your hand cup your testicles tenderly. Explore their gorgeous folds, textures and shapes. Feel the length of the penile shaft and the different internal shapes. If uncircumcised, gently retract the elegant folds of the hood surrounding your glans/head to admire its lovely shape.

What feels good on your penile head? Do you like touching it directly, or does touch feel better through a piece of silk or a warm wash cloth?  

jerking off penis with hand Rhythmically caress up and down the penile shaft with a lubricated hand. What kind of grip feels good: firm; a little loose; light? Try different speeds and touches; slow, fast, lush, playful. Does it feel good to lift skin over your head when your caress reaches the coronal ridge?

Notice any responses as you touch and see yourself; does your erectile tissue swell and bend? Your skin coloration deepen? Your breathing change? 

Increasing Erectile Function
Learn to prolong and intensify your erectile functioning by repeatedly building towards an orgasm and backing off. Pay attention to when your “point of no return” (PONR) is approaching, the moment when ejaculation becomes involuntary. About twenty seconds before you reach this point, place your fingers around your penis under the coronal ridge with the opposing thumb pressing underneath against the ridge, and squeeze firmly for about thirty seconds until the impulse to ejaculate subsides. Relax, do some slow breathing exercises to calm your respiration, and then begin to build sexual excitation again. 

Practice this on a regular basis and you can develop an increased ability to maintain your erection without feeling compelled to ejaculate before you want to. 

 TIP: EJACULATION DOESN'T GAURUNTEE ORGASM
Just because you’re ejaculating sperm doesn’t mean you’re having an orgasm. If you’re ejaculating without much actual pleasure you may not be having an orgasm at all. If this is this case, concentrate on repeatedly building towards orgasm and then backing off while simultaneously developing the other sensate pleasure capacities of your body. Don’t let yourself ejaculate until you’re primed for orgasm. 

lip scrunch orgasm asian man


Lavish Your Testicles with TLC
Your testicles love to be caressed, cradled, fondled and palpitated. Gently cup and squeeze the testes in their sack, feeling the two nut-shaped balls. Trace the scrotums dividing seam (the Raphe). Where do you like being touched? How do you like being handled? Do hot or cool temperatures draw an erotic response from your testicles- or a tickling vibrator?  

Try caressing your penile shaft, head, and testicles simultaneously. Are there simultaneous touches and movements that enhance your pleasure – a light circling of your testes and your anus, rhythmic squeezing of your head and your scrotal sack? 

Explore! It’s the only way to discover your pleasure thresholds. 

 prostate male sexual internal drawingAnal Stimulation

The anus is rich in pleasurable nerve endings. Try circling the anus with moist fingers, teasing sensation and relaxation from this sensitive pleasure zone.  

Some men find rectal penetration very pleasurable. If you haven’t done this before, start with a single, well - lubricated finger, small dildo or anal plug. If this feels enjoyable you can try to gradually increase the size of the object. Gently does it; the rectum is not as elastic as the vagina. It requires a special, extra-thick lubricant to protect the delicate mucosal tissue of the rectal passage. Most erotica stores carry good, water-based anal lubes. 

Always keep a hold on the base of any object you insert into the rectum so that it doesn’t become stuck inside the rectum. Properly made anal plugs are flared at the bottom to prevent this from happening. See The Joys of Toys for examples of properly shaped anal plugs. 

Finding the “Male G-Spot”
The male equivalent to the female G-spot is the prostate gland.  A chestnut shaped gland about an inch and a half in size, the prostate surrounds the urethra below the bladder. For some men, stimulation of the prostate can be extremely pleasurable.
Locating your Prostate

Relax, breath in, and let your thighs melt apart on your exhale. Gently insert a well-lubricated finger inside the rectum; what entry angle feels comfortable? Let your finger trace the natural curve of the rectum.   

Find the chestnut shaped bump of the prostate on the front of the rectal canal, about two or three inches in. Try applying a steady rhythmic pressure on this spot, much like moving a penis inside a vagina. Do this by itself, and then while you caress your penis, testicles and buttocks. Does it feel better when you touch other erogenous zones simultaneously? 

Once you’re comfortable with this, you can try also inserting different toys such as dildos, and moving your hips into different positions.


A Special Note to Intersex People
Every intersex person is physiologically different. It’s very important that you become the student of your own body and sexual functioning. Discovering who you are sexually depends on your commitment to know what your anatomy is, what your erogenous zones are, and what your needs and desires are. Seeing a specialist can provide you with useful information about your anatomy, physiology and hormones, and I recommend that you do this; but sexually only you know how you feel and what you need.

EVERY BODY!

Beyond The Genitals
It bears repeating: the whole body is a vast source of erotic pleasure, not just the genitals. We can even develop orgasm triggers in different parts of our body, which is how people with damage to their genitals and spinal cords can continue to be orgasmic.   


Connecting Erotic Points

Search out your particular erogenous zones. Try stimulating erotic points together; mouth and vaginal canal, nipples and clitoris, prostate and scrotum, feet and anus, buttocks and inner thighs. How do different combinations feel? Improvise and explore – what feels good to you? 

TIP: Learn to extend your pleasure range by building sexual tension and easing off before you reach orgasm, then building again. Breathe into it, feel when you need to ease off and when you're ready to continue building. The more you prolong pleasure and release, the more intense your orgasm.


We all have the capacity for orgasm. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll experience a life-changing, volcanic explosion when you cum; orgasms can vary a great deal in rhythm and sensation. The experience of orgasm can vary from time to time, feeling like a string of soft, subtle undulations; a wash of pleasurable tension releasing; or a strong, visceral series of core contractions radiating out through all the muscles of your body. You may be sleepy or alert afterward, feel drained and sated, or want more.  

Here are five different descriptions of orgasms:

Jamal: “There’s something very compelling and almost painfully sweet when I reach that place where I know I’m gonna cum. It’s like a pause before a storm, everything gathering, almost pulling in for the coming release like a slingshot. Then I’m hit with a sense of expelling contractions, feeling the sperm pushing out while my muscles jerk. I feel both profoundly in myself and pulled out of myself. I know I have to let myself go, my feelings, my body, everything, and I feel a little fear at the center. And then - massive pleasure and relief. My spirit skyrockets. 

Ashira: “When I’m about to climax I squeeze my nipples and that takes me over. I experience soft, light, fluttering spasms that make me think of wings beating. I feel them in my uterus and more trenchantly, in my clitoris, like a small intent drum beat echoing in my shaft and pearl. I’m very aware of being wet inside and moist outside, and the delicious feel of being slippery accentuates every sensation”.  

Lee: “Urgent demanding pussy wants to come, harder deeper dick, more more clit. Everything swells and grips: toes curls, legs flail, ass clenched, mouth like screaming, pummeled by orgasmic contractions. I make it and keep riding, more more more stronger each time. Cunt thrums, clit trumpets. Until there’s nothing left.  When it’s over - split apart and open in my vulva, vulnerable melting feeling in uterus, tears on my face”.

Pat: “It’s hard to describe the kind of trance I fall into.  I go into an altered state and ride building waves of pleasure until I fly free in ecstasy, the waves breaking, crashing, throwing me into abandon…then receding, ebbing, becoming gentle. I float on a quiet, peaceful ocean, carried and content”. 

Ann Marie: “I am blessed with so many different kinds of orgasms. Nipplegasms, laughgasms, crygasms, mouthgasms, cervicalgasms, thoughtgasms. .... I find that when I let go of a defined idea of what an orgasm is/should be then all kinds of marvelous things happen. My toes fly around like whirli-gigs, my face contorts, I shriek like a banshee – it’s great!”

Multiple Orgasms
‘Multiple orgasms’ refers to having a sequence of two or more orgasms with little or no sexual ‘rest period’. They may happen seconds or minutes apart, and feel increasingly or decreasingly intense.  

For some people multiple orgasms are the bomb, and absolutely necessary. For others, one is all they want. Is either way better? The answer is: whatever works for you. 

How do you have multiple orgasms?
Sometimes we get accustomed to stopping after one orgasm without realizing we can go further. If you cum and feel an urge for still more orgasmic release, either continue by building pleasure without backing off, or allowing only a minor dip in the intensity of your activity.

Mariko: “I hit my first climax and then keep my vibrator right there, just backing off the tiniest bit while keeping the sexual tension high, then going full out again. It’s like mining deeper for treasure; sure enough, one, two, three or more precious jewels emerge! It’s great. I don’t stop until I’m satisfied.” 

Are multiple orgasms easier for women?
The simple answer is yes, women and men do vary in this. In their Sexual Response Cycle, most men tend to need a Refractory Period after orgasm before they can physiologically build to a sexual aroused state again, whereas many women can continue having orgasms indefinitely if they choose. However, all this fluctuates from individual to individual depending on health, age, and sexual drive. Some men, especially in their youth, can have multiple orgasms while some women don’t ever have or desire more than one. 

Dildos, Vibrators, and other Delights
Many women who thought they were “non-orgasmic” have happily discovered an abundant orgasmic capacity while using a vibrator, and many men who thought they were “impotent” have joyfully experienced orgasms brought on by prostate stimulation or genital massage with a vibrating dildo. Experiment with a variety of toys and discover which ones you enjoy; they may become a regular part of your self-pleasuring. (See The Joys of Toys for more about plaything options).

Fantasy

The possibilities of fantasy are endless. This priceless ability allows us to have all kinds of fabulous erotic adventures while playing in the confines of our bedrooms. See Fantasy for ideas on how to enrich your erotic imagination.
 
Erotic master Katsushika Hokusai 's famous fantasy depiction
Smart and Safer: Gloves, Finger Cots and Condoms

Touch can be enhanced by the use of latex or rubber gloves, finger cots (finger condoms) and condoms. They feel smooth and lovely, and help protect delicate tissues from ragged fingernails, STI transmission, and bacteria. Try them with your favorite lubrication to prevent friction.  

Using them while masturbating is also a great way to become proficient in their use and so at ease when having safer partner sex. See Safer Sex for more information. 


More Ways to Masturbate
There are a largess of other pleasurable ways to masturbate for you to check out. For women, these may include squeezing your thighs together; clenching and releasing your genital muscles; sitting on an activated dryer; rubbing against a pleasurably textured towel or material; and pure fantasy. For men, these may include sitting over the motor in a bus; penetrating a plastic vagina or another kind of vaginal substitute; and fantasy. Let your creativity run free! 
 


A Final Honorable Mention: Water

A lot of us discover delicious sensations at some point during our bath when a stream of water is directed to our genitals. The faucet – a free pleasure toy! Who knew?   
 Tip: Two Important Water Don'ts 

woman in bath

*   Don’t insert a forceful stream of water into the vaginal canal. Water forced into the reproductive system can be harmful.

*   Avoid electrocution: don't use an electric vibrator in the bath or around water!

 

Women and Water
A steady stream of water focused on or around the clitoris can bring about intense pleasure and orgasm(s). Some women find it helps to hold their genitals nearly still in the stream of water, while others find that small, steady pulsing’s, or a clench/release muscle rhythm, builds the necessary stimulation for orgasm. Discover what works for you. 

Men and Water
Using a stream of water up and down the penile shaft can feel like the most delicious caress, and orgasmic ejaculation in water a unique delight. Explore and play.  

The Key: Bringing It All Together
We’ve been looking at the individual elements of self-pleasuring. Now bring all aspects of your erotic exploration together in a flexible continuum, building your erotic pleasure and relaxing it, building it and relaxing it, blending fantasy, skill, intuition, technique, toys – and whatever else works for you! Use breathing techniques to help you release your pleasure potential. Don’t just rush toward orgasm - enjoy the whole delectable process. 

 Masturbating During A Relationship
Many of us think that masturbation should be put away when we form a sexual relationship with another person. We:

a. feel guilty about having orgasms on our own instead of with our partner,

b. worry that enjoying self-pleasuring means that our sexual partnership isn’t satisfying enough, or

c. fear that our partners will feel inadequate if they know that sometimes we still want to masturbate. 

This toxic fear and guilt is thoroughly misguided.  Let it go. You do not give up the right to be sexual on your own when you become involved with another person. 

The fact is that first and foremost you’re a private person who has chosen to share your sexuality with another. This does not mean that your sexual relationship with yourself stops. It does not mean that there aren’t times when it’s preferable, necessary, and more pleasurable to enjoy your own sexuality separately. Over the course of your life and your relationships, there may be times when it’s emotionally healthier for both you and your partner to spend time being sexual by yourselves. And when one of you is feeling sexual and the other isn’t, masturbating is a perfect solution which neither of you should feel the least bit uncomfortable about. 

If this is an issue in your relationship, discuss it with your partner. Explain to them - caringly and without acrimony - that there are times when you need to masturbate, and that this doesn’t reflect negatively on your feelings for them or on the pleasure that you experience in your shared sex-life. 

Sharing How You Masturbate with a Partner
Showing you partner how you is an excellent way to teach them how to please you manually.

Loretta: “I was pretty shaky about this at first. It’s one thing when you’re both grunting and gasping at the same time. It’s another thing altogether to be seen by your lonesome. My legs shake uncontrollably, my toes curl, my face grimaces like I’m in agony – I was sure she’d be turned off or think I’m a freak of Nature. Or worse, laugh. It takes courage to expose yourself in this incredibly personal way, I tell you!”

Finally we showed each other our self-loving styles. She looked really intense and hot to me, and she kept telling me how beautiful I looked and sounded. It was a new level of togetherness, and we both got schooled about how to please each other.”                                                                    

Hank: “Empowering – that about sums up the first time I shared. Like wow, I own this. I started teaching her, encouraging her to ask questions and then she showed me what pleases her. It turned into a real information session that contributed so much to our mutual pleasure and understanding. Yeah – do it. You’ll get a lot out of it.”


Your Children Need Your Wisdom
mother and child smilin indiaYour Children Need Your Wisdom
Exploring our bodies to feel pleasure and comfort is instinctual during childhood, but many of us could use a touch of guidance to reach our fully realized sexual capacity. How we masturbate is the foundation of our sexual process and identity, and we can endow our children with information that will help them to become comfortable and adept. Many of the missteps that give rise to sexual dysfunction and misery can be averted through early education and advice.

Here are four important tactics that you can utilize to help your child find the right path: 

* Communicate a positive sense about the body and its functions, including sexual and  sensual expression. 

* Give them accurate, age appropriate information about sexual anatomy and functioning. 

* When age appropriate, provide them with information about building and prolonging sexual energy.  

* Be available to answer questions honestly in an age-appropriate fashion, if and when they arise. 

Be very careful to respect children's privacy and boundaries; a good book or pamphlet is a non-invasive way to approach this subject.  


   Healing From Damage
If you’ve been turned off to your sexuality and feel that you can’t masturbate, you are far from alone. This happens to many of us when we’ve been given sex-negative messages during childhood, experienced sexual cruelty, or endured physical or emotional sexual violence.
Learning to reconnect with yourself and experience self-pleasuring may take time and patience; you may have to grow a missing emotional limb called self-love, which can be a painful process. As you focus on developing your sexual awareness and learning how to masturbate, you may initially encounter difficult inner states: periods of feeling empty, disconnected, sad, or frustrated. Perhaps the sensations you evoke while trying to masturbate don’t really seem that pleasurable or important.  

Or you may hit a painful wall of shame, guilt, disgust, or fear. Don’t let this stop you. Be determined to give yourself this gift of self-love.  Remember, you are growing a new emotional limb, so be extravagantly nurturing and patient with your own fragility. 

Sometimes you can let go of these obstacles by using constructive tools to counter their effect, like shedding an old dried-out skin. At other times it may necessary to work through these difficult feelings in order to get to the other side where your positive feelings reside.

The Breathing, Fantasy, and Core Belief sections of this book have exercises that may help you develop useful awareness tools for coping with these roadblocks. If nothing works and you’re stuck, ask for help: talk to a counselor, sex therapist, or other qualified sexuality advisor. Sometimes an outside party can see our issues more clearly than we can and offer useful advice. 

Love Yourself
With masturbation we have a built-in goldmine of pleasure, joy, and self-affirmation. What a precious resource! Join the party – love yourself!

Resources:

Betty Dodson is the undisputed leader in the field of masturbation and sexuality. Her groundbreaking book Sex For One is an irreplaceable contribution to sexual wellness. Her intelligent, warm, articulate books, DVDs, erotic artwork, and excellent sex toys are available at: www.dodsonandross.com 

Lonnie Barbach’s book For Yourself, written for women, is a classic. www.lonniebarbach.com 

Photo credits: "Hitachi-magic-wand" by The Medical Center for Female Sexuality (MCFS). Original uploader was Jcalamity at en.wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia; transferred to Commons by User:Sreejithk2000 using CommonsHelper   Male_nude_study_cb0-0_720_960.jpg: Shiela Louise Hanson Image: "Kunisada surimono". Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kunisada_surimono.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Kunisada_surimono.jpg
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