Feel It Out: A Beginner’s Guide To Masturbation
If you were to write a book about all the things you didn’t learn in sex ed class, it would be three times as long (and three times as useful) as a book about what we did learn. It feels like we covered the medical names of all our parts and were fed some fear-mongering stats about pregnancy and STIs. For most, we somehow completely skipped over the fact that 1. You can orgasm. And 2. You can orgasm all by your damn self.
Don’t be fooled, like driving a car or making a food that isn’t mac and cheese from the box, masturbation is something you have to learn. And even if you had the most liberal or extensive health classes in school, chances are there wasn’t a unit on making yourself finish. (And if there was please let me know what school you went to.)
Take The Pressure To Orgasm Off
Here’s the deal: you don’t have to orgasm for something to feel good. Just as you may not orgasm every time you have sex with a partner, you may not orgasm evert time you get it on with yourself. That’s ok!!!! Masturbating doesn’t have to have a “goal” or a point, you can just do what feels good for as long as you feel like doing it.
Nothing kills the vibe more than feeling pressure to perform or mad or stressed about not finishing. When you see masturbating as an enjoyable, fun thing, that you do for yourself and not as a speed race to finish you can learn more about your body and just get more comfortable just exploring around.
Set The Mood For Yourself
Just because you’re getting it on with someone doesn’t mean you get away with no setting the mood. What makes you feel sexy? What puts you in the mood? So much of sex is mental. Get in the sexy headspace. Light a candle. Breathe. Put on a sexy playlist. Watch ethical porn that you like. Call yourself beautiful. Put on your sexy lingerie set. Treat yourself the way you would treat your dream soul mate. Treat yourself the way you fantasize that someone would treat you.
Also – get flipping comfy. Make sure your head is supported, that the temperature is right, that the door is closed. Try to take a minute to center yourself and get in the mood. This isn’t the time to worry about work or the dishes or anything else. Get comfy. Get sexy.
If you’ve never touched yourself – consider this your time to start. Wash your hands, (make sure you’re touching yourself with clean fingers) maybe incorporate a hand mirror or do it in front of a floor mirror just to get a better view of everything. Take note of what places feel good to touch, take note of how you like to be touched, fast or slow, light or heavy. Do you like a lot of sensation? Do you like it really tender. See what you like and how you like it.
Keep at it
If you’re someone with a vagina, chances are that stimulating your clitoris will feel really freaking good. If you’ve never orgasmed before, you’re likely to have a better chance at orgasming by stimulating your clitoris (rubbing or touching or stimulating it) than by penetration/trying to orgasm from sticking your fingers in your vagina (though that can feel good too!!!!) With one or two fingers, try rubbing your clitoris and seeing what sensations come.
If something feels too intense or you want to take a break, pull away. You can stop and start and take your time. It can feel really good to get yourself feeling all riled up and the to pull away. If things are feeling good but you’re not sure you’re orgasming, keep at it. Try touching yourself in different ways. If something feels really good keep doing that. Sometimes it takes a while or a lot of stimulation to really push yourself over the edge.
Try Different Things
You don’t know what you’re into until you try it first hand (ha.) Try using a finger to circle around your clit. Tap on it gentle. Rub up and down or side. Try touching different parts of the vagina. Touch your nipples. If you know that touching somewhere on your body feels good, give it a stoke. Try inserting a finger or two into your vaginal canal. It can feel good to stimulate your clit with one hand as you have some fingers from the other hand in your vagina.
There are so so so many fun vibrators, pleasure products and sex toys that can help you get frisky with your bed self. If you’re not ready to get a toy or not sure what to buy – try masturbating in the shower with the shower head. Back massagers can be used to give your a little vibration action too. Try sitting on the washing machine as its buzzing away. Make sure that you wash any and all household times before putting them near your vagina – but get creative with the things that turn you on.
When you feel ready to venture into the world of sex toys, start off with a trusty and convenient bullet like the NuSensuelle Point. For a different type of sensation, try the rotation of the Zumio! Toys can be intimidating at first, but if you do your research and go at your own pace, the results can be mind-blowing.
In short, there’s no wrong way to masturbate. Take your time. Learn your body. Feel it out.
Griffin Wynne is a non-binary writer, artist, and plain seltzer drinker. When they’re not discussing sex in the ~digital era~ or crying to the Dixie Chicks, Griffin enjoys camping, reading, used clothes, and documentaries about cults. They’re a Capricorn King, a genderless cowgirl, and a ’70s mama who is always down for dollar oysters and road trips. Griffin uses they/them pronouns and has the same birthday as Kyle Richards.