Updated: Aug 19
Self-pleasuring, or more commonly known as ‘masturbation’ has been (pardon the pun) the butt of many jokes over the years. It’s been seen as something that is unhygienic, unnecessary and by some just completely immoral. It’s seen as something that only hormone frenzied teenage boys take part in when they’re locked in their room during their rebellious stage, but this just isn’t true. In this article we’re going to be talking through what masturbation is, why it’s done and how it’s completely ok.
Masturbation is defined as “stimulation of the genitals with the hand for sexual pleasure”. Arguably, the definition has broadened. With the introduction of stimulating toys and other things to help aid an orgasm, masturbation has become a multimillion dollar industry. But, even with such a huge industry behind it, why is it still shamed as a dirty little secret?
It stems back to very traditional and heteronormative views at sex. Anything that isn’t plain and simple missionary between a male and a woman is seen as promiscuous, but sex has evolved way beyond that. Sex is way more than reproduction, it’s pleasurable, it’s enjoyable. We’re one of the only species that engage in sex for pleasure, so let’s truly embrace that.
First things first, let’s break down a few stereotypes / stigmas:
It’s Not just for men - Masturbation has long been seen as a male only activity, and any women that took part it in it were shunned. Even the idea of women watching pornography is peculiar to many. This simply stems back to the idea that sex is purely there to be enjoyed by men, god forbid a woman have an orgasm. Lesbian women experience an orgasm during 75% of sexual encounters, compared to 62% of straight women. Surely this tells us something.
It has health benefits - Masturbation is actually a great way to release stress and improve self-esteem. One of the main reasons for this is that exploring your own body sexually and learning what you do and don’t like allows you to get to know yourself on a whole other level, and can help improve the way you view yourself.
It’s a lot more common than you think - 78% of adults in the world masturbate. SEVENTY EIGHT PERCENT. So if such a high percentage of adults do it, why are no teenagers actually taught about it. We’re taught to put a condom on a banana and what Fallopian tubes are, but nothing about self-pleasuring. It’s the classic “the nucleus is the powerhouse of the cell, but I don’t know anything about taxes”.
So there’s a few stigmas broken, now let’s talk about what masturbation actually involves. It doesn’t necessarily need to involve climaxing, it is pretty much anything that sexually stimulates you. Anal play with toys classes as masturbation, and it doesn’t have to involve climaxing. There are you so many ways that you can experience and enjoy your own body. So why not actively make time for yourself? I actually filmed an IGTV video called “A Five Step Guide To A Date Night For One” which details how you can set aside an entire evening for your, all about making yourself feel good.
Now to the good bit, here’s a few tips to make the experience even more enjoyable:
Get to know your lube - Whether your preferred self-pleasuring methods are traditional, or more contemporary, lube can be a great way to make the experience more enjoyable. Getting to know which lubes work for you and which ones enhance your experience is a great way to improve your ‘self-pleasure’ time.
Edge yourself - This is quite common during sex, but interestingly not many people practice this. ‘Edging’ yourself is the process of bringing yourself to the ‘edge’ of climax, and stopping just in time to halt it. Doing this once or a few times will make the final orgasm a lot more intense. Try it!
Wear something sexy - When you feel sexy, you’ll enjoy it more. When you feel sexy, you’ll feel confident. So wearing something you feel sexy in will make it more intimate for you. It’ll make it more of an experience to enjoy rather than a ‘quickie’. Make it into something special for yourself!
Use your imagination - Whilst a lot of us instantly resort to pornography to make the self-pleasuring process more arousing and, well, quicker. Often, using our imagination to bring our greatest fantasies to life can make for an even more enjoyable experience! Whether it’s imagining your celebrity crush or fantasising something new with your partner, go for it.
Sex toys - This is one of my favourites. Toys are an incredible way of taking masturbation to the next level. Again, there are toys for almost everything. Penis massagers, vibrators, clitoral massagers, prostate massagers, and so many more. Using toys is a great way to stimulate places that the hand can’t, such as the G-spot. Using something to help stimulate the clitoris or prostate is another amazing way to enhance your masturbation experience, trust me on this.
The morale of the story, self-pleasure is self-care. If you take some time out of your day to make yourself feel good, what else would you call it? Don’t be ashamed by it, embrace it and embrace you! I hope this has been helpful for you. I’ve attached some links to some great websites to get your beginners products and creators who give great advice! Let’s be safe, let’s look after our bodies, and most importantly, enjoy ourselves!
Love ya! xx
Lovehoney - Brand and retailer
Satisfyer - Brand
ByBobbyBox - Queer sexual health creator
ShanBoody -Female sexual health creator