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Author: Tamar Love

Filed in: how-to, sex

Masturbation used to be an utterly taboo subject. We were told touching ourselves was dirty and wrong, that if we did it we'd go crazy or grow hair on our palms. If these lies were spread to keep us from pleasuring ourselves, it worked: in the mid-20th century, only 50% of men and far fewer women owned up to masturbating. The women's movement, better health education and increased levels of body consciousness have done wonders for masturbation's bad rap. Now, according to the Kinsey Institute, 92% of males and 62% of females report having masturbated. In fact, single females report that masturbation is their most important sexual outlet. We must be growing more enlightened as a culture!

Masturbation is fun, healthy and safe. In fact, it's the safest form of sex you can practice. You can't become pregnant or contract an STD from masturbating, nor will your hands cheat on you, lie about how good it was, or spend all your money. If you're one of the few who hasn't touched themselves, give it a try. What can it hurt? At the worst, you won't care for it much. At best, you'll discover an exciting new way to relieve stress, celebrate your body, relieve sexual tension and give yourself a whole lotta pleasure.

Even if you've been masturbating for years, a little variety never hurt anyone. Have you tried using different kinds of lube when you masturbate? Most men have tried some form of lubricant, but surprisingly few women have. Try a couple of different brands and types... a little moisture adds a lot to the experience. What about sex toys? Many women have tried vibrators, dildos and clitoral stimulators, but few men have tried sheaths, penis pumps or cyberskin vaginas-- all of which can be a lot more fun than your bare hands. Whether you're a newbie or a pro at self love, relax, take your pants off, and try some of these tricks for a zestier solo sex experience.

Masturbation Tips for Girls

If you're masturbating for the first time--or even if you're a seasoned pro--take a few moments to relax, heighten your senses and explore your body. Dim the lights, turn on some soft, sensual music, light a few candles and burn some incense. You may feel a little silly making all these preparations just to have sex with yourself, but try it at least once and see if you like it. Many women are surprised at their bodies' responses to a sensual environment.

Once the room is ready, remove your clothes and recline on the bed or sofa. Make sure you're completely comfortable; try propping your elbows on a few pillows. Then begin to explore your body. Stroke your breasts, belly and thighs. Feel your skin raise into goosebumps as you become aroused by your own touch. Don't leave an inch of skin unexplored: search out and touch all the places on your body you don't consider to be "sexual," such as the backs of your knees, your underarms, the crevice between your vulva and inner thighs. You'll soon find out what turns you on.

When you're completely comfortable with your body, move your hands between your legs. If this is difficult or uncomfortable for you, start slow. Get out a hand mirror and a flashlight and look at yourself. Many women have never done this before and have no idea what they look like. In order to feel completely comfortable masturbating, you need to understand your anatomy. Pull your labia apart and examine your clitoris and vaginal opening. Try stroking your clitoris and watch what happens. As you become aroused, blood will flow to your clitoris, enlarging it and turning it a deep shade of red--much like a man's erect penis. The sensitive skin below your clitoris, surrounding your vaginal opening, may become puckered, like the goosebumps on your arms and legs. Don't worry! It's a perfectly natural response to arousal.

As you become more comfortable and aroused, set aside the mirror and flashlight and try to completely relax. Continue to stroke your clitoris, mons pubis and vaginal opening. Concentrate on the areas that feel the best. Once you are fully aroused, you'll most likely become wet with vaginal lubrication. Try inserting a finger or two and see how that feels. Some women enjoy penetration when masturbating, some don't. Neither way is better. That's one of the joys of self-love--you can engage in only the stimulation that you enjoy, nothing more and nothing less. You're in it for yourself alone. Try different types of stimulation and see what feels best. Or try a few of the following "advanced" moves:

* With your thumb and forefinger on either side of your clitoris, gently roll it between your fingers. Begin with a slow, gentle roll and then gradually accelerate the movement until you find the speed that works for you.
* Place two fingers directly on your clitoris and move them in a circular motion. Try varying speed and intensity.
* "Draw" a circle around your clitoris with your middle finger. Women who find direct clitoral pressure too intense will enjoy this move.
* Try tracing the alphabet on your clitoris with your index finger. This technique may not bring you to orgasm, but it might clue you in to some sensations otherwise undiscovered.
* Use one hand to separate and hold apart your labia, fully exposing your clitoris. Dip the index finger from your other hand in some lubricant--from your body or from a bottle--and gently tap your clitoris. Vary speed and intensity and be patient: as you tap harder and longer, a wonderful sensation will build until you feel like you're going to explode.
* When you're aroused and lubricated, gently thrust one or two fingers in and out of your vagina. Many women who believe they can only achieve orgasm through direct clitoral stimulation are surprised to find that penetration can also bring them to a rousing climax.
* While stimulating your clitoris with one hand, try thrusting a few fingers into your vagina with your other hand. The combination of clitoral and vaginal stimulation can be very exciting.
* Try any of the above techniques while lying on your belly. Some women prefer the slight difference in stimulation and the gentle "humping" motion they can make while enjoying this position.
* Try stimulating your G-Spot: lie on your back with your knees raised and insert your middle finger into your vagina in an inverted "come hither" motion. About two inches into your vagina, on the wall closest to your stomach, you'll feel a spongy, slightly raised area. That's your G-Spot, also known as your urethral sponge. Because the sensitive portion of this area is actually on the other side of several layers of skin, it will respond best to pressure, not stroking. Try pressing your G-Spot with varying intensities. If you don't like it, just stop doing it. G-Spot stimulation isn't for everyone. However, if you do like it, try simultaneously stroking your clitoris with your other hand. Rumor has it that orgasms produced by G-Spot stimulation can be very intense.

One rule to remember--regardless of the technique you prefer--is to be nice to yourself. Masturbation is for you; you are the only person you need to worry about pleasing. Do what feels good for you. Don't worry about having an orgasm. With the multitude of nerve endings in your vulva, you will enjoy the stimulation regardless of whether or not you come. Revel in the sensations you produce in your body.

Once you become more comfortable and experienced with masturbation, you might want to try some props. Get a vibrator or dildo and some lubricant. Try a beginner anal plug while masturbating. Experiment with different sensations: feathers, silk, warming oil. Get a few erotic novels, magazines or videos. Try masturbating in the shower, either with a waterproof sex toy, or with the "massage" setting on your handheld shower head. Some women also enjoy lying on their backs in the bathtub and having water from the faucet drip or stream onto their clitorises. For more suggestions, buy a copy of "Sex for One" by Betty Dodson, or "For Yourself" by Lonnie Barbach. Both are written by women and filled with wonderful ideas for increasing your self-pleasure.

Masturbation Tips for Guys

Sadly, even after decades of women's lib, men are encouraged to be more open and expressive with their sexuality than women are. The downside is that fewer women feel comfortable discussing or engaging in masturbation; the upside is that most men are really, really good at masturbating and need little encouragement to do so.

At MyPleasure, we firmly believe (and sexuality experts will concur) that there is really no such thing as "too much" masturbation. If it feels good, do it once a day, five times a day, twice a week or semiannually. Only you can decide how much self-stimulation is right for you. However, if you are worried that you masturbate too much, you may want to reflect on your motives. Are you engaging in solo sex for healthy reasons, such as pleasure, stress release, celebration or sexual release? Do you enjoying it when you masturbate, or are you doing it to avoid something? If you are able to eat, sleep, work or engage in any other activities you enjoy without constantly thinking about or engaging in masturbation, then you're perfectly fine. Masturbate all you want! Otherwise, back off for awhile, see a therapist and get to know yourself a little better.

If your partner is disturbed by your masturbation practices, including technique or frequency, gently encourage him or her to leave it alone. Masturbation is not a replacement for sex. Just because you are masturbating does not necessarily mean that your partner is failing to meet your sexual needs. People masturbate for all kinds of reasons! If there is a relationship problem, talk it out, buy a communication book, or see a couples therapist. Otherwise, it's perfectly healthy, normal and positive for both partners to masturbate. Finally, encourage your partner to masturbate with you; this can be a huge turn-on for both of you.

Most men masturbate by wrapping their fingers around their erect penis and stroking it up and down until they ejaculate. Sounds boring, doesn't it? Centuries of practice assure us otherwise, but you can still add a little variety. While male masturbation tends to be focused on the penis, many men really enjoy stimulating other areas, such as the testicles, anus, prostate, inner thighs or nipples. If you haven't tried stroking one of these areas while you masturbate, give it a go. You might really like it! You can also try one of the following techniques:

* Try a variance of your "regular" program by using your non-dominant hand.
* Lube up and use both hands at once in a pumping motion along your shaft.
* Encircle your penis with your thumb and forefinger positioned in a ring, and stroke it up and down your shaft.
When you get to the top, close the ring, then squeeze your way in as you slide back down to the bottom of your shaft.
* With one hand, stroke your penis from top to the bottom. When you reach the base, release it. Meanwhile do the same thing with your other hand, over and over again, alternating hands. Develop a rhythm!
* Place your hands on either side of your shaft and start spinning it like it's a stick of wood you're trying to start a fire with. Proceed gently, you want gentle friction, not burning flames!
* "Force" your penis into your closed fist as though you are penetrating it. Repeat the motion with your other hand, interchanging hands at the end of each stroke.
* Use your open palm to swirl around the head of your penis, the way your tongue would lick an ice cream cone.
* Turn the head of his penis like a you're trying to open a door knob coated with grease. Now try turning the other way. Repeat.
* Stroke only your shaft, ignoring the head, which will swell and turn red. When it's bright red and rock hard, stimulate it gently with your fingers.
* Lightly and slowly run a finger up the under side of your cock, gently pinching the sensitive vein underneath.
* Here's a complicated move from The Society for Human Sexuality: Take the penis in both hands, fingers lightly touching the sides of the shaft. In order to visualize the position, think of yourself holding a clarinet. Now flick the penis back and forth between your two hands by holding on to the loose skin of the shaft. Shuttling it back and forth in this manner may not seem incredibly thrilling at first, but pretty soon, as it builds up momentum, it will drive you out of your mind. Orgasms encountered via this method are sometimes messy, but always memorable.

If you've mastered these techniques and would like to try something different, consider purchasing an erection ring, which will delay and enhance your orgasm. You might also experiment with sex toys for men, such as penis pumps, virtual sheaths, masturbators and extenders. Try different kinds of lubrication, such as oil, water or silicone-based lubes. Start a collection of adult videos, magazines and other "inspirational" materials. Try masturbating with a pillow or other soft substance. Your possibilities are really limitless.

Partner Masturbation

Once you and your partner have reached a level of intimacy that allows both of you to feel comfortable discussing solo sex, you might enjoy practicing masturbation together, either on yourselves (mutual masturbation) or on one another (also known as genital massage). Before you begin, discuss your upcoming experience. Find out if your partner would prefer to masturbate in front of you, or just massage your genitals. Always respect his or her wishes. There's plenty of time to try different things later on in your relationship. When you're both on the same wavelength about what you want, jump in and get started. Make an event of the experience: create a sensual, appealing environment in your bedroom by lighting candles, playing sensual music and showering together first. Relax on the bed and try any of the techniques described above. Don't focus on climaxing or giving your partner an orgasm. Just enjoy the experience and concentrate on finding the strokes that work best for both of you.

Whatever your preferences, remember to vary your masturbation techniques. While it's great to know how to bring yourself to orgasm in 30 seconds or less, you're going to have a much more enjoyable experience if you romance yourself a little bit first. Take the time to have fun ... don't be "goal oriented." And do try a different stroke now and then. Just because one stimulation works well for you, doesn't mean something else won't feel great too!

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