Masturbation May: Since You Asked

As part of our celebration of Masturbation May, we asked our Instagram community for their most pressing (or rubbing, or squeezing) questions about self-love and self-pleasure. Here are our five faves, and answers from the Foria team.

“How can I keep things fresh and exciting with myself?”

Read this first! We often learn to think of masturbation as a quick route to an easy release, but there’s no reason why it can’t be as varied and exciting as sex with a partner. Self-pleasure is all about you, and you have the capacity to be as varied and exciting as you dare, all on your own.

So don’t do it the same way every time! Try bringing in a new element each time you masturbate, such as:

  • Changing positions. Try lying on your belly, on your back, on your knees, on your side, standing up, grinding on a firm pillow instead of using hands, and so on.
  • Try tools. If you mostly use your hands, use lube and more lube. Try a vibrator, or if you already have one, try a different one – maybe with an internal attachment if you like penetration and you’re used to wand-style. And if you don’t have a massaging showerhead, get one.
  • Location, location, location. Bed getting boring? Try masturbating in the shower, on the couch, even outdoors if you have a private space, in the kitchen – wherever the mood takes you.
  • Set up a soundtrack. Music is a powerful mood-setter, as everyone who’s created a makeout playlist for someone else knows – so let your favorite tunes speak to your mind. Masturbating to Nine Inch Nails can feel quite different from masturbating to Enya, and there’s a near-infinite spectrum of musical moods to explore.

The sky’s the limit. Remember that you are your own lover when you masturbate. Great lovers are inventive, versatile and imaginative – and they appreciate and delight in their partners. You can be that lover for yourself – you deserve it.

“It’s hard for me to feel relaxed using my vibrator with my bf vs. when alone, help!”

Vibrators are usually used as masturbation tools, and masturbating with anyone else present can be a major mental hurdle to overcome – which may be the issue, not the vibrator itself.

But if you’re able to feel past the self-consciousness, masturbating during sex can lead to next-level intimacy.

Notice what comes up in your mind when you’re using your vibe with your partner. Sometimes there’s a level of self-consciousness or “getting stuck in your head” if you can climax alone but not with your partner. 

Next time you’re using your vibrator with your partner, track where your thoughts go. Where do you get distracted? When do your thoughts wander? Once you start to notice these thoughts, bring your full attention back to the sensations and just let the thoughts breeze by.

Keep practicing, focus on sensation, and re-orienting your attention back to the pleasure you’re feeling. And don’t forget to breathe!

You also might want to try reserving a different vibrator for sex with your partner. If you’re used to your trusty daily driver, the specific sounds and stimulation it provides may put your mind into the “okay, now we’re masturbating” space – which can confuse a body. Audition some toys that are just for you two, and learn how to use them together.

“Can edging (man) every self-love session (up to 2 hours, 5x a week) make it harder to cum during sex?”

Edging is the practice of bringing yourself to the very, very edge of orgasm and then stopping before you climax. It’s become trendy in recent years, but it’s actually a very old therapy for premature ejaculation and building stamina during intercourse.

As for whether edging can make it harder to climax during sex – it shouldn’t! In fact, it’s a great way to get to know your own sexual response and build confidence in your control over your own body.

However, if you notice a correlation between edging and difficulty reaching orgasm with a partner, you might want to take a look at how you’re edging.

Are you using a very tight grip, not enough lube, or only one motion? Do these edging sessions also involve porn? 

Edging itself may not be the issue, but too much intense, repetitive friction and becoming dependent on certain types of visual stimulation can be.

So try edging without porn, using more lube, and really paying attention to the sensations in your body while you masturbate, and see what happens.

“Can too much self-pleasure negatively affect intercourse pleasure?”

In general, self-pleasure is a great way to increase your pleasure during sex – through knowing your body and building your capacity for pleasurable sensation. And incorporating masturbation into sex with your partner can be a wonderful way to build intimacy and ensure everyone has an orgasmic time.

As with the last answer, though, becoming too acclimated to one specific kind of stimulation can limit your options for reaching climax, alone or with a partner.

If you think this might be an issue for you, try changing up your masturbation routine and learning about other ways to turn yourself on and get yourself off – and then communicate your discoveries!

“Are vibrators bad for your health?”

Absolutely not. Orgasms are good for your health, and vibrators help you orgasm. They can be highly stimulating, so in general, it’s good practice to rotate through a few different toys so that you can delight in everything from gentle hand stimulation to intense vibrations. And if you find you’re getting sore or your skin is irritated, switch to a gentler toy. Don’t forget the lube!

Some cheap, “novelty” vibrators can be made out of materials that aren’t great for your health, though, so make sure you’re using high-quality toys from trustworthy, sex-positive manufacturers. Then vibe loud, vibe proud – it’s good for you!

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