x
Latest News A woman in a pink sports bra lifting her arms to represent an armpit detox WTF Is An Armpit Detox — And Should You Even Bother?

THIS Is Your Ultimate Guide To The Art Of Masturbation

Posted on: by Women's Health
a woman with her hand on a computer mouse that looks like a clitoris to represent masturbation

Solo sessions aren’t just for the boys’ club…

Knowing how to give yourself a happy ending could unlock the secret to smashing through mental blocks and finding the route to bigger orgasms when you do have sex with your partner. See this guide to masturbation and master the art…

Know Where Your Hot Spots Are

Thanks in part to the Farrelly Brothers’ immortalising of Cameron Diaz’s “stiff fringe” and other gross-out comedies, masturbation has a reputation for being a last resort for the desperate and dateless. Which couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s practically a global pastime – and not just for guys.

In a 1993 survey by psychologist Carol Rinkleib Ellison, the author of Women’s Sexualities, 75 percent of the fairer sex said they had thrown a party for one in the past three months. And in a 2004 survey by the US Berman Centre, 44 percent of female respondents said they had used a vibrator to paddle their pink canoe. We may not talk about it much, but when it comes to playing at home, we girls are anything but shy.

READ MORE: “I Tried Masturbating To Cure My Hangover – This Is What Happened”

And while you’d think singles would be the ones spending more time with their hands below their belts, studies show that people who are married or live with a partner indulge more often than those on the dating circuit. Frequent self-pleasuring has also been linked with high self-esteem, better body image and a more active sex life. Which is why so many sex therapists encourage clients who are unhappy in the sack to start getting it on alone.

“Getting to know your body and exploring what turns you on will enhance your sexual relationship with your partner and make you more sexually confident,” says clinical sexologist Leandie Buys. “How can you expect him to bring you to orgasm when you don’t know where your hot spots are? Women who masturbate tend to be more comfortable with their bodies and with sex in general.”

Play Mind Games

Whether it’s imagining Ryk Neethling working his way up your thighs or pretending you’ve been kidnapped by a sex-starved game ranger, finding fantasies that light your fire is key to boosting desire and upping your odds of reaching orgasm alone and in company. Fantasies allow people to let go of some of their inhibitions because they allow their “character” to do and say things they wouldn’t normally be comfortable with. “To tune into a sexual experience, you have to turn off the parts of your brain associated with stress and anxiety,” Buys says. “And fantasising is the most effective way to do that.”

The logic is simple: you can’t worry about work, money or unfolded laundry when your frontal lobe is focused on a re-enactment of the spanking scene in Secretary. Have doubts about the power of fantasy? Consider this: back in 1992, Beverly Whipple, co-author of The Science of Orgasm, along with her colleagues Gena Ogden and Barry Komisaruk, monitored the blood pressure, heart rate, pupil diameter and pain tolerance of 10 women who claimed they could think their way to climax. As the subjects fantasised in a lab, seven exhibited the exact physical responses caused by hands-on stimulation. Now that’s what we call mind over matter. On your own, you have all the time in the world to browse through your mental files – reviewing past sexual experiences, erotic movie scenes or random images that flip your switch. Don’t be afraid to go wherever your mind takes you, even if it’s to the dark side.

READ MORE: “I Worked As A Dominatrix In A Sex Dungeon – This Is What My Day Was Like”

“Scenarios involving bondage and domination are totally normal,” says sex educator Jamye Waxman, author of Getting Off: A Woman’s Guide to Masturbation. In a study of 178 volunteers at the University of Vermont, 71 percent said they’d had kinky or taboo fantasies. (The rest probably just lacked imagination.) Once you’ve freed your dirty mind, use it to your advantage before and during sex. That means scrapping any guilt you feel about thinking of something other than what and whom you’re doing at the moment.

“You don’t need to feel guilty about fantasising while you’re with your partner; in fact, you should encourage them to participate in your fantasy,” Buys says. You can also use them as a tool to become completely immersed in your sexual experience. When you’re struggling to feel sexy, close your eyes and recall thoughts that made you hot when no one else was around. Try to devote 100 percent of your attention to every detail of that titillating image. By doing so, you’ll shift gears and speed your transition from stress pot to sexpot. During sex, naughty thoughts can help you beat distractions. If you find that you regularly “lose an orgasm” due to a shift in your body or mind, fantasy can bring your thoughts back to sex and a heightened state of arousal.

Change Is Good

We’re all for going with what works, but if, like 70 percent of the women in a 1983 study at the University of Southern California, you get off the same way every time, a few tweaks are in order. “By masturbating using a single method, you could be training yourself to be more responsive to one kind of touch,” says sex therapist Yvonne Fulbright. While that has its benefits – you know that if you rub right there for long enough, your bell will eventually ring – it also has its drawbacks. “Most women require clitoral stimulation to orgasm. By experimenting with new sexual positions, you’ll discover new ways to stimulate your clitoris,” says Buys. “The best way to orgasm through penetration is the ‘girl-on-top’ method because the pressure and friction of rubbing the clitoris against a partner’s abdomen mimics the most common method of clitoral self-stimulation.”

Familiarising yourself with a wider range of feel-good sensations will help turn your bedroom into the playroom that it should be. How do you warm up to new moves? Tweak your routine. Like Britney Spears and that electric razor, the clitoris is practically crying out for attention, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore your other bits. Though not as sensitive as that centrally located hot button, the vagina is packed with several layers of nerves that can produce unexpected sweet spots. In a Colombian study of 48 women, 94 percent reported feeling “vaginal erotic sensitivity”, especially in the upper front wall of the vagina, where the G-spot is located. And in a 2000 study of 138 women published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 35 percent said that their partner’s penis making cervical contact contributed to their orgasm.

READ MORE: 16 Vibrators That Will Totally Change Your Sex Life

“Stimulation of the clitoris may be the most popular way to experience orgasm, but there’s more than one pathway to sexual response,” Whipple says. “Exploring your own body inside and out is the best way to discover your full orgasm potential.” You can use your fingers to apply different levels and types of pressure to the walls of your vajayjay – and sex therapists recommend doing so at least once to get a clear idea of your anatomy – but all that wrist twisting could lead to serious carpal tunnel.

Reaching your cervix by hand is equally tricky; the best way is to squat, which causes the cervix to push closer to the vaginal opening, but who feels foxy squatting? Luckily, vibrators can save the day: “I literally write prescriptions for specific types of vibrators,” says sex therapist Laura Berman. She recommends short, curved vibrators for stimulating the G-spot, and long, thin vibrators for zeroing in on areas deep in the vagina. Also handy is a vibrator about the shape and size of your partner’s penis, which you can use to discover which angles and thrusting styles will hit your hot spots during doubles.

“It’s not that this kind of exploring isn’t possible with a partner,” Berman says. “But if you’re trying to figure out the mechanics of what feels good during sex, it would require patience, muscle control, communication and staying power on his end.” When you have the bed to yourself, you can make endless tiny adjustments – move the vibrator slightly to the left, increase pressure, wiggle it back and forth – without having to boss him around or worry about pulling his trigger prematurely.

Assume A New Masturbation Position

Being able to orgasm during intercourse is a feat in itself (only 30 percent of women are able to reach their peak through penetration alone), but if you’re tired of being able to come only when you’re on top, make a habit of masturbating while assuming a variety of positions – lying on your back or on your stomach, kneeling upright on the bed, bent over on hands and knees. “This is a very helpful exercise,” Fulbright says. “You’re gathering information about the kind of stimulation you need in each position to achieve orgasm, whether you’re stimulating your clitoris or your vagina, no matter if it’s with a vibrator, your hands or some other object, like a pillow.”

But don’t give up just because something doesn’t feel amazing right away. “It may take time for your mind and body to respond to new positions and sensations,” Fulbright says. “Be willing to go slowly and try something several times.” One strategy that works well is to bring yourself to the brink of orgasm using a tried-and-true method, then stop just before you pop. “Quickly switch to a new position in which you’ve never had an orgasm, then start touching yourself again,” suggests sex educator Dorian Solot, co-author of I Love Female Orgasm. “Because you’re already fully aroused, finishing in a new way will be much easier.”

READ MORE: This Is Exactly What Men Notice… When You’re Naked

And since it’s all up to you now, don’t neglect the rest of your body. Every centimetre of skin, from your head to your toes, is a potential source of pleasure – you never know which combination of touches will take you to your happy place. “Your skin is one of your most sensual organs. Experiment with the different ways to can stimulate it. No one is watching, so be completely open to experimentation,” says Buys.

Once you’ve taken masturbation to the next level, you may decide to tell your significant other all about it, and maybe even demonstrate while he watches (which he’d no doubt love – 63 percent of vibrator users in the Berman survey said their partners were fully supportive). Too shy? Don’t worry. “You can suggest new moves to your partner without confessing where you got the idea from. However, if you want to be open with your partner about masturbation, that’s great too,” says Buys.

Whether you blab or not, you’ll still be bursting into the bedroom with your newly sensitised body, whose dips, curves and crevices you’re more aware of and comfortable with than ever. You’ll also have a lot more confidence in your ability to feel frisky at a moment’s notice and have an orgasm when and how you want one. Last time we checked, that’s the stuff masterful sex is made of.

Five gynaes share the sex tips that have changed their patients’ lives. Plus: These are the 3 biggest turn-ons for straight women, according to an arousal expert.

You'll Also Love

Got something to say?