Masturbation: A Re-Education

Kiana Reeves is a somatic sex educator, doula, pelvic care practioner and chief education officer at Foria, the first 100% plant-based company focused on female pleasure and relief across the entire female lifecycle.


We all have more to learn and un-learn when it comes to our bodies, especially when it comes to sex & masturbation. 

Myths & Misconceptions 

As a jumping-off point, let’s dispel the myth that masturbating with a vibrator can desensitize your clitoris. It’s just not true – but if you want to increase your capacity for pleasure and different types of sensation, try using a combination of hands and toys. That way your body learns to respond to multiple sensory experiences. Other tools that also can add to your experience include internal massage wands, butt plugs, and high-quality lubes.

Another misconception is that masturbation has to lead to orgasm. It may sound counterintuitive, but consider what might happen if you took orgasm off the table altogether. Looking at masturbation as an exploration of pleasure, instead of a goal-oriented experience, can open a whole new world of pleasure to you. It can feel awkward at first, but staying curious has so many benefits down the line. 

Lastly, let’s bust the myth that people only masturbate when they are single. At the end of the day – whether we are partnered or not – we are responsible for our own pleasure, and the better that relationship with ourselves, the better it will be with a partner.  

Now comes the fun part - how!  

Follow what makes you feel good, and slow down. Notice your own habits, and try to stay away from them. We generally continue masturbating the same way our whole lives – in the same position, at the same speed. So if you break up your routine and start creating new ways of experiencing your body, you might just experience new pathways of pleasure as well!


  1. Explore whole-body movement with self-touch. Try standing up, dancing, rolling around on your back or stomach, get on your knees, do it all and see what really hits the spot for you.
  2. Try a different toy (hello shower head!) or say hello again to your hands! Too often we rely on the fastest path to masturbation, which is totally ok sometimes but not terribly useful if we’re trying to expand our capacity for arousal and pleasure. Getting familiar with your hands, your showerhead, or taking it super slow with your vibrator can really build up arousal and might surprise you with what feels good.
  3. Try masturbating with and without visual stimulation. A lot of us find our self-pleasure is enhanced by the visual stimulation of porn. Which can be wonderful, and so is mixing it up! Being super-present in your own experience is also quite magical and can open up the world of our own fantasies and desires a bit more. 
  4. Most importantly, explore different types of touch – not just on your genitals. Touch your whole body - your stomach, breasts or chest, legs, feet, hair, ass. All of it can become a sensual experience – and it requires us to slow down and pay attention to what really feeds us when it comes to touch. 

A happy fact to bring us to a close – sexual pleasure is really good for you! There are numerous studies corroborating the benefits of masturbation and orgasm to support sleep, stress, mood, and a general sense of wellbeing – and the benefits of masturbation extend far beyond a general sense of wellbeing. It can be a way to re-negotiate a relationship with our bodies based on instinct and desire, working through shame, and using pleasure as an anchor to having a positive experience within ourselves.

The best part? These benefits are free, and totally available to us all.

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