You can’t do it wrong, so here’s how to get the most out (literally) doing you
The conversation around female masturbation (otherwise known as masturbation) is changing. For instance, sex toys are being made with ladies who enjoy getting off in mind (finally!). But for all of the headway that’s been made, it’d be remiss to not acknowledge the silence that still exists.
“Male masturbation is everywhere,” says Tiffany Yelverton, a Sex Educator, Sex Coach and founder of the Sexual Wellness company, Entice Me. “There’s slang for it, moms know their sons do it in the shower, fathers tell their sons about it. But women are taught that sex has consequences, like pregnancy and shame, not pleasure.” As a result, there are questions that even those of us who have embraced masturbation as part of our daily lives might have. Like, is there a wrong way to do it?
The good news is that while it’s hard to deprogram ourselves out of thinking we don’t deserve pleasure, the answer to the question of “can I do it wrong?” is a resounding “no.”
“The ‘right’ way to masturbate is whatever feels good to you,” says Jill Whitney, a marriage and family therapist in Connecticut. “That may change from day to day, and that’s fine. We all have different moods, and different kinds of touch feel better at different times.” It might seem like every woman you know has a best friend in their vibrator, but if you prefer using your hand, or a dildo, or your brain, great!
There are some things to keep in mind, though, the next time you’re having some quality sexy times with yourself. These 4 things aren’t about masturbating ‘correctly,’ but rather how you can feel even better about self-love.
Keep it clean
“Your skin, especially your sensitive lady parts can absorb toxins,” says Maureen Pollack, an Intimacy Coach and the inventor of the WaterSlyde.
Before you get started, make sure everything you’re going to use – your hands, your sex toys, whatever – is clean, and if you’re going the sex toy route, follow the instructions on how to sanitize your favorite tool.
Don’t copy what you see in porn (unless you’re into it)
Experts, such as Dr. Jess O’Reilly, sexologist at Astroglide (yes, that Astroglide), are emphatic about women learning what works for them, not what we’re told is supposed to turn us on. “There exists no universal sex education system that focuses on pleasure; accordingly, we sometimes emulate what we see in porn, which tends to be more male-centric and less focused on female pleasure,” says O’Reilly. “I’ve worked with women who have tried masturbating using only insert-based techniques (they push a toy or finger in and out and in an out…as they’ve seen in porn) to no avail; many complain that they can’t seem to reach orgasm using these techniques, so they need a reminder that there are many other pathways to orgasm (e.g. rubbing, grinding, vibrating, humping, fantasizing, pulsing — to name a few). It’s not that they’re doing it “wrong,” but simply that they need to experiment to find out what works specifically for them.
You don’t have to have an orgasm
While an orgasm might be the end game of masturbation for many, it doesn’t have to be (remember, you don’t have to do anything when masturbating but enjoy yourself). “This time is a moment just for you to be free and experience a pleasurable sensations however you see fit,” says Dr. Nikki Goldstein, a relationship expert & sexologist. “There is no right or wrong to this and it doesn’t even have to end in an orgasm to be considered finished or even masturbation. Self pleasuring is about experiencing pleasuring by your own hand no matter how, when or if the big O is there or not.” In other words, don’t stress yourself out thinking that you have to come, or making yourself feel good was a waste of time. Just have fun, no strings attached.
Stop thinking that masturbation is only for single, desperate people
Do whatever it takes to evict this notion from your mind immediately. Masturbation is for everyone, whether or not you’re in a relationship, and the idea that people who are having sex in the context of a partnership are somehow superior to you, and the sex you’re having with yourself, is just going to make you feel badly about masturbation, which is so not the point. “A lot of times when we talk about sexuality we do so in relational terms – like someone’s sex life with their partner, but each individual has their own sexuality that belongs to them,” says Shula Melamed, a Relationship and Wellness Coach based in NYC. “Another person doesn’t hold the key to all of our pleasure. Of course partnered sex is an amazing way to explore one’s sexuality but many people in relationship still masturbate. I think this stigma effects women more than men because women have been traditionally discouraged from exploring their sexuality.”
Don’t let stigma or shame take away your ability to get pleasure from your own body. You deserve it.