Everything you ever wanted to know about masturbation
You asked, we answered: here’s our holistic guide on how to masturbate
There’s a global pandemic, we can’t see our friends and family and wherever we go, we can’t seem to purchase toilet paper. It’s hard to see any upsides to the COVID-19 crisis which is why, more than ever, we need to work on keeping our brains and bodies active. Sick of the yoga and sudoku, some people are keeping their minds and hands occupied with a bit of “me time” if you know what we mean. But masturbation isn’t just about self care, escapism and relaxation, it’s also a staple of our sex lives in an era of social distancing. Many of us have been forced into long distance relationships if we’re isolating separately to our partners and whilst the single amongst us are still swiping on dating apps, IRL hookups are a little while off.
As people of all genders get down to some self-exploration, here’s a guide to everything you ever wanted to know about masturbation. Frequently asked masturbation questions, answered.
Should I feel ashamed when I masturbate?
At times, touching yourself can feel like dirty, shameful and like something you most go to great lengths to hide from others. Naturally, all this guilt and embarrassment can get in the way of your pleasure or lead to negative feelings before and after you masturbate. But you shouldn't feel that way, this is natural and has a few benefits for the body too. Getting to know yourself better could help you feel more sexually confident as well.
How can I stop feeling bad about masturbation?
There’s no easy way to fix this but we have a few pointers that can help. Firstly, it’s important to reframe how you think of masturbation: it’s an essential act of self-care, good for your health and a way of looking after your mental health by reducing stress. You can also put yourself in a positive headspace by creating a safe, relaxing space whenever you settle down for a solo session — this can be through doing something as simple as lighting a candle or creating some mood lighting. When you’re with friends (maybe not your grandma!), break down some of the stigma by opening conversation about masturbation.
Why am I struggling to climax when I masturbate?
On the right track but can’t seem to reach the destination? This can be for several reasons, none of which are anything to be ashamed of. Firstly, some people struggle with orgasm due to psychological factors — from stress at work to bigger issues, like depression. Secondly, there are also physical factors that might be at play. Health conditions like diabetes, drug or alcohol use, and a number of commonly used medications such as SSRIs, which are commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, have all been known to contribute to difficulty orgasming. If a medication you’re taking is responsible for your troubles or you have persistent issues climaxing, you can bring this up with your health practitioner and explore your treatment options.
Is it cheating if I masturbate while I’m in a relationship?
Our immediate response to this answer is a big, resounding no. If you’ve agreed to be monogamous with your partner, that’s to be respected but it shouldn’t rule out a bit of masturbation. Solo sex is an opportunity to explore what turns you on, fantasize about new scenarios that you can try with your partner and ultimately discover more about yourself as a sexual being. It doesn’t detract from being in a committed relationship and, if anything, will enrich you and your partner’s sex life in the long run.
How can I integrate mutual masturbation into my sex life with my partner?
A bit of mutual masturbation can be a great way of spicing things up in the bedroom and can mark a new level of intimacy. All you must do to get started is ask and, if your partner’s up for it, then it’s on. To take things to the next level, you can broach the subject through dirty talk, letting your partner know how hot it would be to see how they touch themselves when you’re not around.
For anybody currently single or separated from their significant other by social distancing, hookups are off the cards right now. But that shouldn’t stop a bit of partnered play in the form of long-distance mutual masturbation but before you get down to it, always make sure both of you are on the same page.
Should I masturbate with a condom?
Well, that’s up to you and what you enjoy. But it’s always worth exploring and trying different things out when it comes to jerking off. Masturbating with a condom is good for helping you or your partner work out the best condom fit and size. It can also make the solo-masturbation experience feel more like partnered sex.
If you’re into using toys when you pleasure yourself, condoms can be useful for keeping everything hygienic. Use a condom to cover any toy you put into your body like dildos, vibrators or anal beads. But remember to still clean the toy afterwards too.
Do sex toys make masturbation better?
Each person is different, but some people do find that sex toys can maximize their pleasure. When shopping, it’s worth thinking about your sexual needs and what toy might best suit them. Women who enjoy clitoral stimulation might be best served by a vibrator, for example. Toys also help you explore certain pleasures you’re not ready to integrate into partnered sex quite yet. So if you’re checking out what the “male G-spot” of the prostate has to offer, but you’re not quite ready to try it out in a partnered scenario, maybe try some anal beads on for size. No matter what sex toy you end up trying out, remember that hygiene and cleaning your toys after each use is paramount.
How do you masturbate in the bath or shower?
The bath or the shower are popular places for a bit of self love — largely because they represent a rare window of peace and quiet in your daily routine. Some people, particularly women, might want to add an extra layer of excitement to their shower-time play. Namely, you can create further stimulation by directing the flow from a shower head onto a sensitive area such as the clitoris, adjusting the water pressure as desired. Just make sure you remember to wash yourself!
Where do I begin with exploring anal play when I masturbate?
As with anything, take it easy at first and begin with one or two fingers, making sure to slowly ease them in. Once inside, you can play with pressure, rhythm and direction but please don’t rush: it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Oh, and whatever you do, please use lube!