SEX TIPS

How to Masturbate Better for Mind-Blowing Self-Pleasure

Person pushing a button.
Sure, we love partnered sex but sometimes you are your own best lover. Whether you have a penis or a vulva, sticking your hands down your own pants can relieve stress, improve sleep, and teach you a lot about what you like. But learning to masturbate is a process. Try these solo play tips and techniques to ramp up the pleasure when you touch yourself.
We have a lot of euphemisms for masturbation from "jerking off" to "rubbing one out" to "choking the chicken," "polishing the muffin," and "doing the five finger shuffle." Our creativity is impressive but suggests we"re all a little embarrassed about what we do when we're alone.
We get it, a lot of us were told as kids that masturbation was shameful or would make us grow hair on our palms or something. And, as teenagers we were given the mistaken impression that masturbation was only for people who couldn't get a partner. None of this is true.

What is Masturbation?

If we're being formal about it, masturbation is the act of touching your own genitals (or other erogenous areas) for sexual pleasure and possibly orgasm. But solo-play shouldn't be a formal affair, it's all about touching yourself and self-pleasure. Anyone, regardless of gender or body parts, can (and dare we say should) engage in some solo sex.

Can You Masturbate Too Much?

Nope, there's no such thing as masturbating too much. Some people masturbate once or twice a week, others do it every day. It's all fine as long as it's not getting in the way of the other things you need to do (like work or school or dishes). Also, listen to your body, if your penis or clitoris is irritated, maybe take a break or change techniques for a few days.

Best Ways to Masturbate for All Bodies

There is nothing more personal than masturbation. You're alone, exploring your own body, and seeing what feels good. In truth, pretty much anything goes. The only way to know what you like best is to keep trying new methods. We'll get into techniques for playing with penises, vulvas/clitorises and anuses in a minute, but here are some tips that can help people of any gender get the most of self-love sessions:

Set the scene and take your time. A quick orgasm right before you hop in the shower or drift off to sleep, is great, but if you want to up your self-love sessions consider setting aside a little more time and creating a sexy atmosphere for yourself. The most important thing is that you have private space where you won't be interrupted, but you can spice it up by dimming the lights, adding some music, or lighting a candle. Think of what you do to help set the mood when you're with a partner, and then do it for yourself (you're your own best partner tonight). And don't be in too much of a rush to get to the orgasm-getting there is at least half of the fun.

Have fun with fantasy. There are times when we stick our hands down our pants because we're already so horny, we want to get off fast, but for extended solo-pleasure experiences, you might have to get yourself in the mood. Porn videos are always available on our computers or mobile devices (remember to use private mode if you don't want anyone to see your browser history) and there are endless genres to choose from. But porn doesn't always leave a lot to the imagination and fantasy can be part of the fun. Consider reading erotic stories, looking at still pictures, or remembering particularly good sex from your past and letting your imagination fill in the blanks or change some of the steamy details.

Go beyond genitals. It's not all about your penis or clitoris or at least it doesn't have to be. Think about how and where partners have touched you. What makes you tingle? Maybe it's tickling the skin right inside your thigh, pinching your nipples just a little hard, gently squeezing your whole breast, or cupping your testicles with your palm. Lots of people like it when their perineum-the part of your body, sometimes called the taint, that connects your genitals to your anus-gets in on the action. And there is always butt play (which we will talk more about later). Wherever it is that helps set you on fire, don't be embarrassed to touch it yourself. Solo play does not have to be limited to what's between your legs.

Let loose the lube. Rub a dry penis or clitoris for too long and you will end up with a pretty irritated member. Getting everything just a little wet, so that hands or toys slide in and out or up and down more easily will make masturbation better. If you're just using your hand, any lube will do-you can try stuff you have around the house like moisturizing lotion, baby oil, or even cooking oil (a nice extra virgin olive oil perhaps). Just stay away from anything high in sugar, like honey, because that could cause a yeast infection. You may be best off finding a high-quality lube created just for sex (and not pasta). Also know, if you're using sex toys, most of which are made out of silicone, you should stay away from silicone-based lube which can break down the toys-oil- or water-based lubes should be fine.

Masturbation Tips for Men & People with Penises

Male masturbation has always been more expected and accepted than female masturbation. So much so that we may think boys are born knowing how to masturbate. It's not rocket science to be sure, but if you're still doing it the same way you taught yourself middle school, maybe it's time to switch it up. There are definitely ways to make jerking off better. Here are some ideas:

Get a grip (and then change it). Much of male masturbation involves wrapping your (well-lubricated) hand around the shaft of the penis and rubbing it up and down. You can glide your hand over the skin or hold on a little tighter and move the skin up and down gently. Even with this basic method, you don't have to do it the same way every time-try a new grip, use the other hand, or use both hands (leave one at the bottom with a kind of tight grip and move the other up and down).

Tease the tip. Don't forget about the of tip the penis, also known as the glans. There are a lot of nerve endings there and rubbing it can feel great. Techniques up here may differ depending on whether you've been circumcised. Uncircumcised guys may want to play with their foreskin by pulling it down gently to expose the glans. Just don't yank too quickly as foreskin is very delicate.

Pick a pose (and then change it). Many of us get stuck in a masturbation rut where we're always in roughly the same position. While you're changing your grip, consider also changing positions. Try sitting or standing or lying face down on your bed and letting your hips do the work whether you are humping into a pillow, your hands, or a masturbation sleeve.

Test out toys. Vibrators aren't just for vulvas and there are a whole bunch of other sex toys designed with penises in mind. You might like a vibrating ring which goes over the penis and can stay in place anywhere along the penis as you touch yourself. Or try a masturbation sleeve. A lot of them are shaped like a tube that you slide onto the penis (some even look like vulvas or anuses and others add vibration). There's also Trojan's Tantrix, a soft, open, textured sheet that you can wrap around your penis during masturbation for added sensation. Add some lube and slide these toys up and down your shaft or roll over and push yourself in and out of it. We'll get to butt play in a minute, but if that's your thing, think about using a butt plug or anal beads while you jerk off as well.

Relax and reset. Like sex, masturbation does not have to be goal-oriented, but it often ends with cum. That's great, though sometimes a little sticky. Take a few minutes to bask in the orgasm and then decide if you want another go or if it's clean up time. If you have time and access to a shower great. If not, some good old soap and water on the sticky spots should be sufficient. And while you're at it make sure to clean any sex toys you used. A simple combo of soap and water works great for them too.

Masturbation Tips for Women & People with a Vulva and Clitoris

Female masturbation may be a little more taboo than male masturbation, but it shouldn't be. Generations of women were taught that touching their vulvas was something good girls just didn't do (this usually came with messages about how girls didn't really want sex either). We all know that's crap. People with a vulva and clitoris can and do want sex just as much as those who have a penis and should be able to enjoy self-pleasure as often as they'd like. There's no one way to masturbate as every vulva and clitoris is just a little bit different, but here are some tips for self-pleasure:

Connect with the clitoris (and beyond). Most female masturbation is about the clitoris because this magical body part has so many nerve endings and no purpose other than providing pleasure. Start by playing with your clitoral hood (the flap of skin that covers and protects the clitoris) and then, if you want more intensity, touch or squeeze the clitoris itself. Of course, there's more to your genitals than just the clit, try rubbing the whole vulva (which also includes the inner and outer lips and the opening to the vagina) and then rub around the opening to your vagina or stick a finger inside.

Rub right and left, and around in a circle.There is no right way to rub a clitoris or vulva-you may go up and down or round and round or you may find it most pleasurable to hold your clitoris or clitoral hood between you thumb and forefinger and rub it that way. Vary the direction, the speed, and the pressure of your touch. It is all a matter of personal preference and there is no way to know yours except to practice, practice, practice.

Test out toys. We are lucky to live in a world with a seemingly endless number of sex toys. Some of the most basic options include wands meant for stimulating the entire vulva, dildos and penis-shaped vibrators meant for going inside the vagina (possibly while you touch your clitoris from the outside), and clit suckers that use air to mimic the sensation of oral sex. Of course, there are numerous twists on these old classics including internal vibrators that are bent to help find the g-spot and so-called rabbit vibes that have one part for going in the vagina and a second that stays outside to pleasure the clitoris. Add one or more toys to spice up your masturbation repertoire.

Go hands free (with help from your hips). You don't always have sex in the same position and masturbation should be no different. Sometimes, instead of lying on your back or your side to touch yourself, flip over and start humping your hand, your pillow, or your toy. Let your hips do the work.

Relax and reset. Whether you orgasm or not, masturbation can make you pretty wet (especially if you add lube) and you may need to clean yourself up before you get up and go about your day. If you have time and access to a shower great. If not, a wet washcloth or baby wipe might do the trick. And while you're at it make sure to clean any sex toys you used. A simple combo of soap and water works great for them too.

What is Anal Masturbation?

Anal masturbation is just what it sounds like, playing with your anus and the area around it for sexual stimulation. People of any gender can do it. You can touch the area around your anus, rub the anus itself, or stick a finger all the way or partially in. And there are tons of sex toys designed for butt play. It's about exploring and seeing what feels good for you.

When playing with your butt there are two things to remember. Definitely use lube because the skin on the anus is delicate and this body part doesn't produce any lubrication of its own. Also, always choose a sex toy with a wider base that stays outside as things can accidentally pulled into the rectum.

People who enjoy anal play may want to use a finger or a sex toy to find some extra-sensitive places. The g-spot in women and the p-spot in men are internal structures that can be stimulated through the anus.

Explore Ways to Pleasure Yourself then Share with Your Partner

Everybody is different and every body is different. The only way you know what makes you shudder and shake is to experiment. You can definitely do some of this with partners but doing it on your own and then telling (or showing) your partners what you like can be even sexier and mean double (or triple) the fun and orgasms for everyone.