From research we know that sexuality and desire are linked to health and well-being, but we know far too little about how. But if masturbation can improve health, why not give it a try? The worst that can happen is that you get to touch your body a little, and maybe get to know it better. In this guide you can get advice on how to get started with masturbation
Research also shows that 86.8% of people with a vulva have tried some form of masturbation before, yet it's a shameful topic - 23% don't want their partner to know they masturbate, and 10% are ashamed about masturbating in general. But there are many benefits to masturbation, and absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Masturbation can lower your stress levels and might give you a better understanding of your body and what turns you on. Not everyone likes to masturbate, and you should never feel forced to. But if you like it or just want to try it out, remember that it is both natural and beneficial.
Get to know yourself first
Maybe you have tried touching yourself, but stopped because you felt like you were doing it wrong? Maybe you didn't know how to touch yourself and gave up before it really got nice? If you are new to masturbation, it may be beneficial to get to know your body first. Find a small mirror, for example one of the beautiful Venus mirrors, which are made specifically to explore and look at yourself. With the mirror you can look at yourself, even though it feels a bit weird, if you're not used to seeing and examining your vulva. But the more you look at yourself, the more comfortable you become - and the easier it is to be comfortable touching yourself. You might want to read our guide on the anatomy of the vulva first, so you know just what you're looking at.
When you're ready, you can start by just looking. Start at the mons pubis, the area where pubic hair starts, below your belly button. Run your fingers over it and see how it feels - the mons pubis and labia can swell a little when you get excited, so maybe it will get a little more puffy the further you go into your self-examination.
Then look a little further down where the inner labia meet. Is there a little nub? It's the clitoris! The clitoris has over 8000 nerve endings and is very sensitive to the touch - start by just running your fingers over it and feel how different pressures feel. Many people with a vulva masturbate by touching the clitoris in different ways, as it is a very sensitive area and can lead to powerful orgasms. However, remember that an orgasm doesn't have to be the goal of masturbation - it can be a nice side effect, but too much focus on getting an orgasm actually makes it harder to get one. When you make demands on what your body must do during masturbation, it becomes more of a duty than self-care and well-being, and that's not the point.
Try different methods
There are many different ways you can masturbate. Some prefer to stimulate the clitoris, where you might find a clitoris stimulator to be a helpful ally. A slightly smaller clitoral stimulator like Clamy can be a good choice, as you can really feel when you're hitting the right spot.
You can also try the classic grinding method, where you grind your pelvic area on something, thereby stimulating the clitoris. Some people have grown up masturbating by grinding on a pillow placed between the legs, but you can also try the Bumpher. Bumpher is a silicone pad with small bumps, which gives a nice sensation when you grind on it, preferably with some water-based lubricant.
Although the orgasm should not be the goal, it's completely understandable if you want to have one anyway. It may take a little longer to have an orgasm if you use your hands, as you may not be able to stimulate as intensely as a vibrator or clitoris stimulator can. If you're using your hands, it can be a great idea to use a clitoris serum which increases the blood flow and makes the clitoris more sensitive. You can try this one from Dame Products or maybe this oil infused with hemp.
Others prefer internal stimulation, or perhaps a combination. Here you can start by using your fingers, which you can glide over the outer or inner labia, or the opening of the vagina. When you feel like it, insert a finger. It can be a really good idea to use a lubricant, even if you only insert your fingers. Lube reduces friction and makes penetration more comfortable - everyone can use lube, and you're not doing anything wrong by using it. Silicone-based lubricant is more long-lasting than water-based lube, so it can be good for a long session. However, if you use silicone sex toys, you must use a water-based lubricant.
If you are ready or just want more than your fingers, you can also use a dildo. If you want to start slowly, this dildo with a suction cup or the Amber glass dildo are great options, thanks to their slightly smaller sizes. Dildos can also come with a vibrating feature, which can be really good for G-spot stimulation. The Tone G-spot vibrator can be used both as a regular dildo, or switched on and give a lovely vibrating G-spot massage. If you want to learn more about the G-spot and how to find it, check out our guide here.
Masturbating when you have partner(s)
Some people feel like they have to stop masturbating when they are in a relationship. But you absolutely don't have to! Masturbation is not a substitute for a partner, and the self-love you give yourself in the form of masturbation should not depend on whether you have partner(s) or not. You can always masturbate, partner(s) or not, and you should never let others dictate whether or not you masturbate.
And actually, many also find great pleasure in masturbating together, which you can do in many different ways. For example, you can sit opposite each other and just watch how you masturbate individually. Masturbating together can also be a great way to find out what turns your partner(s) on. By letting your partner(s) instruct you in how they want to be touched, you can both have an even better experience. It might be a bit difficult right at the start, especially if you yourself don't know what you like, and therefore find it difficult to express how your partner(s) should touch and stimulate you. But it can easily be solved, precisely by experimenting with masturbation alone first!