How to Get Yourself Off – And Why You Should Be Doing It On The Reg

May 16, 2018
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Ah, the month of May: spring, flowers and Mother’s Day. But did you know May is also International Masturbation Month?

Celebrate by showing your body some self-love. If you’re already familiar with the art of self-pleasuring, then keep up the good work — and maybe add some new knowledge and tricks to your repertoire. And while some women feel shame or reluctance about masturbation, rest assured: it’s good for you and it’s good for your sex life!

If you’re worried about whether or not your vibrator is killing your vagina (spoiler alert: it’s not) or if you’re masturbating too much (yes, you could be addicted, but don’t stress unless it’s actually interfering with your life!), toss those concerns aside and reach for a sex toy, instead (there are so many great ones out there, whether you’re using them with a partner or going solo). If masturbation isn’t part of your routine, here’s why it should be (and how you can make the most of your M time).

It’s good for you…

“Research has shown that masturbation, especially for women, is vital for mental and physical well-being,” says Dr. Laura McGuire, sexologist and consultant. Did you know that getting yourself off can help relieve anxiety, too? (Sooo much more fun than one of those squishy stress balls.)

… And good for your sex life, too

For women who are worried that masturbating is somehow “selfish,” it’s actually good for your sex life. (And for women who aren’t worried at all that masturbation is selfish, well, bonus!) “Too often we think of sex as only between a person and a partner but the autoerotic — sexuality with yourself — is just as, if not more, important,” explains McGuire. “Our first and most important sexual relationship should be with ourselves.”

It’s empowering

Getting yourself off helps get you comfortable with your body: what it can do and how amazing it can feel. And an actual 2013 study showed that “[W]hen women are able to focus on their own sexual pleasure or learning, without the concerns of pregnancy or pleasing a partner, they may feel sexually empowered.”

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You’ll get to know yourself

“For people with a clitoris, so much of what gives us pleasure is hidden deep inside, versus having a penis that is out in the open letting you know what to touch and when you are turned on,” advises McGuire, who suggests “taking the time to read about how your body works; the clitoris, g-spot, and pudendal nerves are all incredible and important to understand.” McGuire’s other recommendations for getting to know what turns you on? “Watch empowering feminist porn that shows different techniques that people use to reach orgasm on their own” as well as reading erotica and using sex toys (more on that next!).

Have fun with toys

Maybe your vibrator is your constant companion, or you’ve never tried one. Either way, it’s time to go shopping, since “sex toys can be great and are ever evolving,” McGuire says. “There are toys that focus on the clitoris, the g-spot ones that focus on both, ones that rumble, ones that buzz, and even ones that use air suction for stimulation. None is better or worse, it really is just about finding the right fit for you.” And of course, practice safer sex even when it’s just you: “If you buy a sex toy, make sure it is body-safe (able to be sanitized) and toxin-free.”

Set the scene

Sex with yourself is just as important as sex with someone else. “Take the time to really enjoy masturbation and pleasure,” says McGuire. “Turn off distractions, take a warm bath, light candles, do whatever turns you on and relaxes your mind, and take your time.”

Searching for O

If you’re worried about achieving orgasm, McGuire suggests not focusing on that as the goal, but rather just enjoying the process of self-discovery. She also explains that there is such a thing as not being to orgasm (or struggling with it). It’s called anorgasmia. “If you don’t think you have ever experienced [an orgasm], talking to a doctor or therapist can help you discover if there is anything physical or mental that is holding you back, such as past sexual trauma or hormonal imbalance,” McGuire advises. “You may also benefit from working on-on-one with a certified sex educator, such as myself, who can help you pick the right techniques and toys that will bring you more sexual satisfaction.”

Images via shutterstock.com and pexels.com.

Comment: What are your fave masturbation tips and tricks? 

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