All too often, we fall into a rote self-pleasure routine that gets the job done, but doesn’t leave us feeling…amazing. You know what I’m talking about: it’s your go-to path to orgasm, but after a while, it feels more like eating a boring lunch, rather than enjoying an exquisite feast.
Enter: mindful masturbation.
If you want to take your masturbation game from boring to exquisite, let mindfulness be your guide. How is mindful masturbation different from the OG kind? It’s a technique that places more emphasis on creative exploration, rather than on “finishing.” By deeply connecting with your body and pleasure, you’re opening up sensations you may have never felt before.
What is mindfulness?
We all know what mindfulness is: it’s the practice of placing your attention on the present moment. Easier said than done! But to become a more mindful person, you don’t necessarily have to meditate every day. Rather, you’re working a mental muscle that brings you back to what’s happening now, rather than ruminating on the past, or thinking/worrying about the future. Practicing mindfulness in and out of the bedroom can help us rewire our brains, and become more in tune with our sensations and pleasure.
What are the benefits of mindful masturbation?
There are so many benefits to masturbation: it improves your sleep, helps boost your self-esteem, releases tension, and of course, connects you to your sexual pleasure. But adding mindfulness to the mix opens up different neural pathways, allowing you to sense delicious subtleties in your mind and body. When you give yourself permission to explore, you create the opportunity to discover new ways to feel good—and maybe even new ways to orgasm.
How to practice:
Set an intention.
As you enter a solo play sesh, ask yourself what you want to get out of it. Do you want to practice edging? Do you want to try out a new toy? Is there a fantasy you’d like to indulge? Try to keep this intention top of mind as you explore. Remember: the goal of mindful masturbation isn’t necessarily to orgasm (although don’t be surprised if you do), but to keep your attention heightened, and to stay connected to the journey.
Assemble your sexual toolkit.
We all have sensory items that make masturbation more erotic, so gather your favorites. Candles, music, low lighting, a nearby mirror… choose the things that help make masturbation feel more like a divine ritual. Your divine ritual. If there’s a toy you’ve been meaning to try, this can be a great opportunity to play with novel sensations. We love the Womanizer Premium Eco, an amazing clitoral toy that uses pleasure air technology to give you the feeling of incredible oral sex. Planet Earth bonus: this version of the Womanizer is eco-friendly, as it is made from renewable resources and features a rechargeable, replaceable battery and utilizes conscious packaging.
Incorporate deep breathing.
Our breath tells our body when we are stressed, excited, relaxed, or ready for pleasure. It also stimulates blood flow, which helps with arousal. Once you’ve assembled your sexual toolkit, take a few moments to focus on your breathing. With every breath, remember your intention. This step is foundational for mindful masturbation, helping you relax and anchor yourself in the present moment. If you feel yourself drifting to other thoughts (work, your to-do list, what’s for dinner), simply return back to the breath, connecting to each inhale, each exhale.
Seek out different erogenous zones.
One of the beautiful things about having a human body is our abundance of nerve endings. Many of them are sensitive to the touch, such as our nipples, our inner thighs, our lips, and neck. To wake up these areas, a toy can be extremely helpful. The Mimi Soft by Je Joue delivers subtle (but mighty) vibrations, which feel incredible on the vulva and clitoris, but also help arouse other body parts. As you wander over different regions of your body, be aware of how your body responds. Does anything feel exciting? Ticklish? Too sensitive? Asking these questions as you go is a practice of its own, and that’s okay! With every session, you’ll feel more and more in tune with your body, and discover new forms of self-pleasure.
Be your own lover.
For this practice to feel gratifying, approach it with lots of self-compassion and kindness. Focus on the things that bring you pleasure, and simply notice any moments of discomfort. Does your mind float to a specific place (an ex, insecurity, or a stressor)? What went well, and what do you want to try next time? By reflecting on the experience, you’re deepening your connection with your sexual self, and recording useful information for next time.
Work your pelvic muscles.
Even when you’re not masturbating, there are still ways you can heighten your sexual mindfulness. Namely, doing your kegels: those are the exercises that work your pelvic floor, strengthen your orgasms, and prevent urinary incontinence. If you have a vulva, the Yarlap is a great little device that uses auto-kegel technology to strengthen this small but significant muscle group. Once you get into a daily “workout” routine, you’ll see the benefits quickly.
Remember: there is no wrong way to masturbate. But by incorporating this technique, you might find that your body’s pleasure map is even more vast than you realized.