Masturbation is stimulating your genitals for sexual pleasure and/or to reach an orgasm. It can be a fun way of exploring the physical and sexual pleasures of your own body, finding out what you do and don’t like sensually and sexually. Doing this can also help you communicate pleasure points to your sexual partner. Mutual masturbation can also be a part of your sexual foreplay.
Masturbation is often a very mental or visual activity as you can use fantasies or desires about someone or a situation or looking at stimulating images to arouse you. But, when we do this it can actually take us further away from what we truly feel and the connection to our own body, because we end up focusing on what is outside of ourselves.
Maybe experiment what it feels like to masturbate without fantasies or images, just connecting to yourself and what that feels like for you.
Busting the Myths of Masturbation
1. Masturbation is dirty
Myth! With a lack of sex education, over the years people have felt shame and guilt around sex and enjoying sex. There’s nothing dirty or shameful about sex and this includes masturbation (which is a form of solo sex) and getting to know your body, what an orgasm feels like and what you do and do like.
2. MYTH: Female masturbation is embarrassing or gross
Not true! The idea of female masturbation is sooo repressed! Masturbation is accepted as ‘normal’ for guys and taboo for girls. Female masturbation is completely healthy and fun and it totally goes along with the mindset of needing to love yourself before anyone else can.
3. Masturbation must end in an orgasm.
Again, myth busted and not true. There is no outcome or ‘finishing line’ with masturbation but it can be an opportunity to enjoy your body and the experience. Just like sex with a partner there is no pressure with masturbation and what this ‘should’ look or be like.
4. Masturbation can cause you to suffer erectile dysfunction.
Myth. Erectile dysfunction is when a person is not able to have an erection during intercourse. This can be caused by anxiety, stress, tiredness alcohol or drugs or a health problem but not from masturbation.
5. If my partner is masturbating it means I’m not enough!
Myth. Similar to all the other myths if your partner masturbates it doesn’t mean you are not enough! People have different libido levels and if someone is in a relationship it doesn’t mean to say they can’t masturbate! Having a conversation with your partner around masturbation and whether it be a private of shared experience and what you feel can demystify anything around this.
“Masturbating was one of the best stress relievers I’ve ever discovered. Not only that, but it gives you the opportunity to explore and figure out what you like. Knowing myself helped me communicate better to my partners later on, and made everything else less stressful !”
1. Testimonial Masturbation
“I started masturbating when I was younger. Nobody talked to me about masturbating and there was no external stimulation for doing it. I just discovered it and would get a pleasure-related relief by stimulating what I later discovered was my clitoris. I would mainly do it at night before going to bed, being already in bed as a means to get settled and sleep. There was the high feeling of the stimulation, but mainly it would settle my body from the days tension.
I didn’t think it as sexual at all. My parents were aware of this and just saw it as something I would do, it was normal. I wouldn’t hide it and there was no reason for me to hide it but as I got older, I realised that it was something very intimate and personal and would only do it being with myself.
When I masturbated, I never had fantasies or imagined things it was just stimulating my genitals to get the relief that the orgasm provides you with.
In becoming a young woman and starting sexual activity I realised that my self-stimulation could also be sexual and for a few years would start to use sexual fantasies when doing it.
Masturbation supported me to know exactly where my physical pleasure points are and I remember it would drive me crazy if partners were totally unaware of my pleasure points and just fumbled around randomly. I also did not like to be touched by partners as they were never as delicate and sensitive as I would be with myself. But was very open about it and would let them know and guide them on how to touch the precious intimate parts of mine.”
2. Testimonial Masturbation
“Going into my teens I liked touching and masturbating myself when I was in my bed before going to sleep. I liked how if I touched (what I now know as my clitoris but didn’t know then) it was hypersensitive and when I had an orgasm it would go through my whole body, and I would have this intense pleasure for a few seconds that would then go.
I’d also have a sense or feeling that I had done something wrong. A bit shameful, that no one else would do this and although I liked the sensation it felt there was something missing.
I now know that this something missing was my relationship with myself, because when I was masturbating even though the sensation felt good there was also a feeling of emptiness. So, then I would think I would have to think about something that turned me on so it wasn’t so weird (not that it is weird) but this trying to think of something while masturbating brought a hardness to my body that didn’t feel great. It was like I had to justify why I was masturbating!
In loving myself more and having more self-worth I found it easier to let go of this and instead when I did masturbate learn how to just be with me, experimenting on how my body felt and just staying with that.
It felt easier, free-er, no hardness and no weirdness I would explore and be with different parts of my body. Were parts of my body tense could I let go a little bit more, was I aware of my breath, what did my heart feel like, did I like how I was touching, where I was touching. This helped me to let go of pictures from the outside and instead to learn to just stay and be with me and enjoy my body.”
3. Testimonial Masturbation
“I started masturbating to porn and fantasies when I was 13 years old. My first orgasm was kind of random, meaning I didn’t even know that it was an orgasm. I just knew that I wanted to experience it again and figured out that porn and fantasies where an easy and fast way to do it. It wasn’t that I particularly liked doing it to porn and fantasies, but it was just the best option that I thought I had.
So, I kept on watching porn for several years and also started searching for more extreme porn as I was still thinking that this was the only way for me to get an orgasm when I wasn’t in a relationship. I thought it wouldn’t even be possible to have an orgasm when not watching porn or having a fantasy.
Later in my life, during a conversation around masturbation someone shared with me that instead of watching porn or using fantasies to just be with my body and enjoy this, and when thoughts come in about girls or men (for me it was girls) it’s a sign of not truly being with me. So I tried this and if thoughts came in about girls I wouldn’t criticize myself but observed what was happening and come back to me and my body. When I was connected to my body I felt the love I had for myself and handled my penis in a completely different way as being a part of my whole body and not just focusing on that and an orgasm. It wasn’t about getting it over and done with but enjoying it and me in a completely different way.
The first time I masturbated this way I noticed the orgasm wasn’t just through my penis but I felt this through my whole body, even my toes and in my fingers. Also masturbation took much longer as I was feeling more into my body during it and not checking out. I loved masturbating this way and after the first time started questioning why I did not know this right from the beginning but instead thought porn and fantasies were the only way! Something that was so simple, but I wasn’t told this until I was 20!”