Well Being

Ladies, It’s Time To Up Your Masturbation Game

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how to masturbate

Here’s the deal: Most women don’t have solo sex nearly as often as they probably should (and some aren't even sure how to masturbate). According to the Kinsey Institute, fewer than 39% of women in their 30s have gone it alone in the past month (while just over 50% of women in their 20s say they have). Which is a shame, because masturbation, whether you’re in a couple or not, is a) tons of fun, and b) rife with healthy benefits that are good for your body, your brain, and your overall quality of life. In essence, regardless of what your relationship situation is, it’s time to make time to masturbate.

When you’re single, masturbation can help, um, fill the void, so to speak, between sexual partners. It can also help you explore fantasies, and figure out what turns you on — which, once you do wind up between the sheets with a partner, means a better time for both you and whomever you’re there with.

In relationships — particularly long-term ones, where the sex may begin to get a little bland and routine — a little bit of personal time can help keep the fire alive. In fact, people who have regular sex partners actually masturbate more, according to Planned Parenthood, which may be the secret to maintaining the fire long after the infatuation, can’t-keep-you-hands-to-yourself stage of the relationship wears off.

But masturbation is more than just a practice run for partnered sex; it’s actually good for your body. The overwhelming majority of women don’t regularly orgasm during sex with a partner — but with the help of sex toys and visual stimulation (read: porn, of which there is a lot out there that is body-positive and pro-women and still totally hot), they can do it to completion much easier, and thus, reap the rewards of a job well done.

Orgasms, aside from feeling awesome, also increase blood flow and circulation to your genitals, which can help keep them healthy and happy. They’re also great stress busters, and release a flood of feel-good hormones (hello, oxytocin!) and endorphins, which promote better sleep and can even quash cravings for junk food when, say, you’re premenstrual.

Not sure how to get started? That’s not surprising — the female body is a complicated mechanism, and it doesn’t come with an instruction book. If you’ve never really gotten down with your own self, there’s no better time than Valentine’s Day week to discover the joys of self-love.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Set the mood. Ok, this sounds corny, but seriously, make sure you’re comfortable, relaxed, and surrounded by stuff that gets you feeling sexy. Read some erotica. Watch a little sex-positive porn (need a resource on this? Check out the incredible Heather Corinna, who’s been featured on Blisstree before and who is amazing at providing links and information about pro-lady erotic goodness) if you like. No, you don’t always need to light candles if you’re in it for a quickie, but if you’re experimenting with solo sex, it can be really helpful to get in the right mind frame.
  • Skip that mirror jazz. Are you thirteen years old and learning how to put in a tampon? No? Then looking at your own labia isn’t going to get you anywhere. It’s not a particularly arousing sight for most women and, to be honest, it’s also not a great guide. Just go with what feels good.
  • Visit your local (or virtual) sex shop. I’m fortunate to live, like, eight blocks from Babeland, which means I can just stroll down the street whenever I need a new vibrator or other toy. But even if you’re not lucky enough to live close to a friendly sex shop, there are plenty of places online that can help you find what you’re looking for. Because while your own digits can do wonders, there’s nothing quite like taking your solo and turning it into a pas de deux. The best picks? Shop Babeland online, or head to Smitten Kitten, a decade-old, super-knowledgeable sex emporium that only stocks non-toxic (which is important!), high quality wares.

Whether you’re coupled or not, masturbation is an awesome, healthy way to express your sexual needs and desires, figure out what you’re into, improve your sexual health overall — and remember how cool the human body is.