Solo Pleasure - Yes, Masturbation
This article was fact checked by Dr. Carolin Klein, Registered Psychologist & Director of the West Coast Centre for Sex Therapy
Go ahead -find your joy! Making time to nurture yourself is so important. Just like yoga, meditation, or reading, even a bubble bath, massage, or sleeping - solo pleasure - also known as masturbation, is self-care. For whatever reason – and the reasons are a’plenty, we either don’t do ‘it’ or indulge in it often enough. If you are looking for permission to masturbate - here it is.
If you still need to hear this - we are here to make it loud and clear - it is totally normal to masturbate - whether you are sexually active with other people or not. Masturbation even has health benefits including:
- It reduces stress and anxiety. The total-body relaxation after an orgasm is a perfect way to unwind and release tension.
- It is good for your vagina. Blood flow to your genitals keeps it healthy.
- It is the safest sex possible. You know where you've been and who you've been with!
- It reduces the pain of cramps. Got your period? Masturbate.
- It help you have a better sleep.
- It gives you greater self-awareness. When you know your body and what makes it happy, you gain inner confidence.
Many times we resist self-pleasure. Although it's a natural action, even seen in utero, masturbation has seen its fair share of stigma - especially in women. When men masturbate, it is seen as a rite of passage. Historically, when women masturbate, it's been viewed as deviant or promiscuous. We are here to say a gentle "no, thank you."
Listen, we aren't sex therapists, and we can't solve years of female sexuality being heavily repressed and stigmatized. But we can be a part of the conversation - a conversation that challenges outdated misconceptions.
We also encourage women to find the time - even when we are so busy. We know that work, children, chores, Netflix, wine, dishes, and laundry (so much damn laundry) often take priority over self-care.
At Intimate Wellbeing, we think women should select the ‘delicate cycle’ in our daily life more often. Our relationship with ourselves affects every other aspect of our lives. We live and lead with the act of giving being one of our noblest traits, and somewhere in our earliest experiences, we are taught and reminded not to be selfish. As we carve our way into the world, busy’ness is professed as a badge of honour. We work hard to prove ourselves busy and accomplished.
We suggest you consider buzz’iness as your new badge of honour. If you have a pleasure device, we challenge you to strive and use it more. If you are bored with yours, try a new kind. Did you know that there are at least a dozen varieties of vibrators? There are bullets, rabbits, clits, G-spots, and wands - to name just a few. Tired of vibrating, maybe it’s time to consider the art of slow pleasure.
Becoming mindful between the sheets with yourself requires the same patience and perseverance as yoga. When Lola goes on long trail runs, she calls it meditation-in-motion. Between the sheets, she refers to her solo experience as “medibation."
Tips on Masturbation
- Know your body. Do you know all the parts of your vulva? Here's a link if you need to brush up on your anatomy. Vulva knowledge is powerful.
- Find your clitoris. Odds are it will bring you the best orgasm. 73% of us need clitoral stimulation to reach orgasm, but find all the other parts, too. Find what feels good.
- Talk to yourself. Try to rid of any thoughts of shame. There is absolutely nothing shameful about self-pleasuring, but we know it might take your brain some encouragement. Talking to a sex therapist can also be helpful.
- Set the scene. Lock the door. Turn off your phone. This is "me-time."
- Thank your body. Thank your vulva. Be kind to yourself.
- Start with non-erogenous zones. There's no rush. Touch your body where it feels nice. Get to know what makes you tick.
- Head south. Fingers are great tools. Try penetrative masturbation.
- Combine zones! Touching yourself in multiple erogenous zones, including your vagina, nipples, breasts, inner thighs, anus, and clitoris can lead to some serious pleasure. Some women can orgasm from nipple stimulation alone - so give yourself permission to touch yourself everywhere. You might be surprised what body part gives you the most sensation!
- Focus on yourself and take your time. There's no pressure when it's just you. Focus on pleasure - not orgasm.
- Fantasize! Find out what turns you on. Don't judge yourself and let your mind wander.
- Can't think of a fantasy? Use aids - watch ethical porn, read a sexy novel, or listen to erotica.
- Try lube - it makes everything slippy and sexy.
- Try a vibrator - there are so many choices.
- Try an oral sex simulator. Womanizer and Lelo have some that will make self-pleasure a dream.
- Lastly, remember - masturbation doesn't have to be a solo activity. Masturbating in front of your partner can be sexy - but also a great way to show them what brings you pleasure.
We hope these words give you the encouragement you need to enjoy some self-pleasure. If we can change the world by telling women to have more orgasms, we will feel like we've done our jobs. So please, go find your joy.