May is Masturbation Month. So, in order to celebrate, I thought it might be useful to explore some of the things you need to know about this glorious act.
There is no right or wrong way
We always want to follow a script or a norm when it comes to sex. It’s as though in order to belong and feel ok about what we are doing, we need to check in to see if others are doing it in a similar way too. Because most of us were not taught how to actually masturbate, there is still much confusion as to how this act should play out. Should there be an orgasm? Do you only stroke and touch genitals? Should it go for a particular amount of time? But there is no right or wrong way, it’s how you experience pleasure and how you want to do this. This is also why I like the term self pleasure as it opens up more to the idea of experiencing pleasure by your own hand, no matter what that looks like. With masturbation, due to the way we have continually spoken about it in society and how it has been represented over the years, it seems to be usually a set of behaviours and actions that people have in their head.
Girls should masturbate too
When little boys are growing up, the act of masturbation is nearly normalised for them. It’s joked about, but in those jokes, there is a certain level of permission given with the humour normalising these acts. But for little girls, it seems to be the princess syndrome at play (where by people see little girls are princesses and don’t encourage them ever to explore their sexuality or teach them adequately about pleasure). Because of this lack of normalisation for girls, they often end up with negative beliefs about masturbation, believing that touching themselves is either wrong or dirty. Even as adults having certain negative beliefs around this act can get in the way of really experiencing pleasure.
Masturbation is a great way to take control of your sexuality
We often teach sexuality as something to giveaway, to do to make someone else like you. Especially for women, we don’t often put a lot of emphasis on this as an act to own your sexuality and experience it by your own hands. Masturbation is a great way to do this. Your sexuality is yours and you should experience it the way you want to. Touching yourself is a great way to take control over your sexuality and teach yourself that it is yours to own and experience with whom you wish, even if that’s just with yourself.
You shouldn’t stop just because you are in a relationship
Some people see masturbation and self-love in a relationship as a bit of a taboo act. They might feel they are not pleasuring their partner well enough or frequently enough if they find them doing this act. But as your sexuality is yours and something you share with someone else, not something they own, you are free to touch yourself whenever you want. However, if your partner has any negative thoughts or beliefs around this, it might be useful to stop and chat about it. Challenge them as to why they might think masturbation in a relationship is a negative and maybe even where these beliefs came from. Masturbation and self love can be a great thing to add into foreplay and after play, a fantastic way to show someone how you like to be touched but also something that you might enjoy doing for either relaxation or sexual gratification. It’s not a replacement to a partner’s touch, just a way to experience your sexuality by your own hands which can be with someone else present as well.
Other areas of the body feel good too
It’s often the genitals that people think of when it comes to self-love and masturbation. But there are so many other regions of your body that feel good when touched. If there is no right or wrong which means the act doesn’t have to end in an orgasm or even have one to start off with, then why not just do what feels good, genitals or no genitals involved? You might want to touch and caress other areas of your body as well as your genitals or just touch these areas of your body as an act of self-love in general. It’s up to you, but ensure your open your mind as to what body parts you explore and what acts self-love and masturbation really are.
Relaxing your mind is key
The one thing that gets in the way of self-pleasure is a busy, preoccupied mind. You lay down and try to relax but all you can think about is what you have to do or what happened that day. It’s important to try and silence your busy mind to be able to tune in to what is happening with your body and how you are really feeling. Some people find that music works or even having the TV on in the background. Another great tip is focusing your mind on what you are doing at that point in time and how it feels. Talk to your self and tell yourself what your hands are doing and how it feels. How your body is responding and what the sensations are like. This is a way to refocus your mind into what is going on at that point in time instead of having it wonder with anxious thoughts.
You can use toys and other elements to make it even more fun
Hands can be fun, but what if you could make things even more interesting? Why not jazz up your masturbation and self-love session? Solo pleasure does not have to be restricted to just hands. It’s not just sex toys you can use but anything that makes the experience more fun and pleasurable. It might be watching porn or burning oils that help you relax. Any element you can bring in to make this experience more enjoyable should be considered and I also encourage it.
You can do it with a partner
Whilst masturbation and self-love might be seen as a solo act, it can also be something fun you are able to do with a partner. It might be during foreplay or after play. But it can also be a useful way you are able to show someone how you like to be touched and what gets you off. It’s also a great way to turn yourself on whilst at the same time turning on your partner. Think of it as sexual multitasking. It can be very erotic and physically stimulating to watch someone pleasure themselves in front of you and for you to know you are being watched.
No matter how you do it, when you do it or why, masturbation and self-love should be celebrated, especially this may, so Happy Masturbation Month!