During a global pandemic, with stay-at-home orders and social distancing practices in place, many of us are spending more time alone than we ever have before. We’re also trying our darndest to manage the multitude of stressors that are popping up a la whack-a-mole. If your current isolation situation could stand to be infused with more relaxation – and more pleasure – there has never been a better time to master masturbation.
Self-pleasure has many physical, mental, and emotional benefits. For instance, it relieves both physical and emotional stress, floods your body with feel-good, pain-killing endorphins, and orgasms release chemicals and hormones that boost immunity.
Masturbation can also be like waving a magic wand at stress-induced and inducing physical and mental roadblocks that are being exacerbated by this crisis. A release of oxytocin also makes you feel safe and calm. It will improve sleep issues. It can improve self-esteem and body image by reducing sexual and genital shame. It also improves circulation and blood flow. The benefits to your skin are better than a day at the spa. (Seriously, have you ever seen how your skin can glow after an otherworldly orgasm?)
Talk about a persuasive case for elevating your solo sex practice. Here, 12 tips for solo sex that’s sure to be fire.
1. Start with a relaxing, non-sexual activity: A few options include making a playlist, stretching, have an impromptu dance party. This can loosen up your muscles and energize the body.
2. Sensual sets the stage for sexual: Focus on feeling yourself sensually before diving into sexual stimulation. You can start from your head and work your way down, running your hands through your hair, massaging your neck and shoulders, caressing your breasts and belly, and massing your inner thighs.
From there, you might begin to touch your genitals through your clothing or underwear or use your palm to massage the pubic mound, the fleshy tissue above the top of the vulva area, or give your clitoris a sensual massage. Don’t hold back from making noises, if you’re so inspired.
3. Combine your touch with your breath: When you feel aroused enough to start massaging your clitoris, go slowly and gently to start, and pay attention to your breathing. Approach your clitoris with light strokes at first, and breathe deeply into your abdomen. Many women stop breathing during stimulation, which then limits their sensation. You need oxygen to start a fire with your clitoris.
4. Take your cycle into consideration: You might already recognize that you get extra horny just before your period or when you’re mid-cycle and ovulating, but having a more acute awareness around what your hormones are up to can support your self-pleasuring efforts.
5. Pick your favorite erotic medium. Just think about movie scenes that have turned you on in the past, and pull them up online, or recall fantasies that have previously gotten you hot.
6. Set up a relaxing masturbation place: Getting comfortable is key to getting off, so invest some time setting up a luxurious, relaxing space that lends itself to letting go. Use pillows or blankets to create a ‘masturbation nest’ that is comfortable for different positions. You might want to put one under your butt to elevate your hips and give you easier access. And you could also try sitting in a lotus position or Baddha konasana (Butterfly pose), which opens the hips and vulva area.
7. Try touching yourself while standing up: While exploring your body on your back or side in bed might be your go-to, you might find extra excitement from an unexpected position.
8. Straddle a pillow: You can boost the amount of friction – and, in turn, sensation – you’re getting from your hand or vibrator by squeezing your legs around a pillow. Rub against the pillow or rock your hips back and forth while stimulating yourself with your hand or vibrator.
9. Use a clitoral-stimulating gel or lubricant: While we tend to think of lube as an aid for penetrative, coupled sex, you’ll also benefit from extra moisture, slip, and, depending on the product, blood flow during a solo sex session. (Note that gentle, water-based lube is your best bet if you’re prone to UTIs, bacterial vaginosis, or yeast infections.)
10. Experiment with a new vibe: If you’re just starting out, consider finding a vibrator that offers multiple options – so you’ll be able to experiment with a wider variety of sensations, positions, and stimulation. Ideally aim for at least seven different vibrations patterns and speeds and a vibrator that can be used internally and externally.
11. Play with different types of pressure and stimulation: Not only can you try devices geared to different pleasure points – including the G-spot, clitoris, labia, and perineum – but you can explore varying degrees of pressure or different types of stimulation.
12. Lie flat on your stomach: Lie flat on your stomach, then stimulate yourself between your legs with your hands or a toy.
You might also try rubbing or humping your hips to figure out which rhythm works best for you. While on your stomach, it might be easier to fantasize that someone is below you and/or allow the weight of your body to provide more pressure on your clitoris, vulvar and clitoral shaft for more arousal.
Why Prioritize Self-Pleasure Right Now? No matter what it looks like for you, solo sex is bound to offer a wide range of benefits. Not only is it an easy, free, blissful way to relieve stress and strengthen your vitality. Masturbation normalizes sexual pleasure, whether you are partnered or not. It provides a space to explore your pleasure without judgment.
The bottom line: It’s pretty much the OG form of self-care, a practice most of us need now more than ever.Photo Credit: Getty