Masturbation May: Since You Asked

“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 engage in solo sex, 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, mutual masturbation can lead to next-level intimacy.

Notice what comes up in your mind when you’re using your vibe with your partner. A lot of people experience a level of self-consciousness or “getting stuck in their head” if they can climax alone but not with a 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 sex 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 aside from focusing solely on your clitoris or a specific motion – 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 sexual 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!

As with other sexual activities, STIs (sexually transmitted infections) can also be passed when sharing your vibrator with others. Be sure to clean all your toys after use — you can even use condoms with toys to be extra safe!

Other Masturbation Questions You May Be Nervous To Ask

While there’s nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to pleasuring yourself any which way you please, we know you may have a few more common questions that feel intimidating to ask, so we’re here to answer a few more common solo masturbation questions. 

And, remember, all of our bodies are weird and wonderfully complex, and anything you are questioning has likely been asked a thousand times before. There’s no such thing as a wrong way to love yourself.

So if there is more you want to know, we encourage you to broach the topic with a trusted friend, partner, or gynecologist. Chances are they have experienced or wondered about something similar!

“Can cumming during my period help with cramps?”

You may have heard that nothing can dampen the mood more than a whole lot of period blood, but this could not be farther from the truth. 

In fact, being on your period can boost libido, increase pleasure, and help reduce cramping and other forms of physical discomfort associated with your time of the month. Masturbating during your period can be mind-blowing because when we orgasm, it triggers a rush of feel-good hormones like endorphins, oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin to the brain. 

As a neurotransmitter known to help us process pain and enhance feelings of pleasure, dopamine can help ease the discomfort of period cramps. And serotonin helps boost the mood for a more positive period.

And by increasing blood flow to the uterus, getting our sexual groove on can help bring oxygen to the uterine muscles, helping them relax and reducing the contractions and swelling associated with period cramps. 

So hop in the shower or throw down a towel and ride your own red wave to increased pleasure and happier periods. 

“I’ve never had an orgasm - what do I do?”

There are plenty of potential reasons you may not have had an orgasm, and all of them are more common than you may realize. Take a deep breath, and remember you aren’t alone! 

It’s possible that you simply haven’t found the type of stimulation that you respond to, or stress or negative thoughts are getting in the way of your body relaxing, or that hormonal changes or medication are affecting your ability to orgasm. 

Whatever the reason, we know that it can be frustrating when you are trying and trying to climax but can’t seem to get there, and it’s okay to hold space for that frustration. At the same time, one surefire way to keep yourself from enjoying a self-love session is to put too much pressure on it. 

Instead, practice being gentle with yourself and approaching each masturbation sesh with love and compassion. Remember that masturbation can still feel good and satisfying — orgasm or no orgasm — so try focusing on what feels good and enjoying the experience rather than stressing about whether or not you’ll get there.

It can also help to set up a relaxing space, play some music that gets you in the mood, and experiment with different toys. See how it feels to play with your nipples with one hand while exploring the vulva with the other, or massage CBD Arousal Oil around and within the vagina to help increase sensitivity, relax the muscles, and promote blood flow for a deeper sense of pleasure. 

If you’re still craving a climax but can’t seem to reach it, checking in with a gynecologist to rule out any physical or hormonal underlying causes and working with a sex therapist may help guide you through any potential mental blocks as you explore different types of self-pleasure.

No matter what you try, go with the flow of your sexual desires and allow your body to lead the way. Who knows what you’ll find!

The Bottom Line

Flying solo in the bedroom (or the tub, the living room, or the porch) gives you a wonderful opportunity to forge a deeper connection with yourself as you explore your body. It allows you to nurture your sexual interests, better understand what you like — and what you “ohmygodyesyesyes” like — and experience touch and sensation exactly where and how you’re craving: no instructions necessary. 

So go ahead and use any of these tips to give yourself the all-encompassing and awe-inspiring loving you deserve! 


Premature Ejaculation: A New Approach by James H. Semans |

Association between Sexual Activity during Menstruation and Endometriosis: A Case-Control Study | PMC

Menstrual cramps - Symptoms and causes | Mayo Clinic

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