One of the common complaints about masturbation is that it’s not as exciting as sex with another person. Of course, one reason is that being with someone else brings unpredicatability and negotation to the sexual experience. But another factor that’s worth unpacking is that a lot of us are bored with our self-pleasure routines. I’ve asked a few people about that and heard a few things over and over.
Several folks said that when they masturbate, they just want to get it over with. The idea is to get off and release the pressure, rather like the scene in There’s Something About Mary, when Ted jacks off in the bathroom before his big date with Mary. These kinds of experiences are kind of like grabbing some fast food or scarfing down a snack while standing over the sink- the goal is to take care of a physical urge rather than enjoying the experience.
Another common reason that I heard was that people get into ruts. A lot of us masturbate the same way that we did when we were 15- quickly, quietly, and with some embarrassment. But if you have the time and space to take your time and make it more fun, what’s keeping you from doing it?
Other folks said that they didn’t think they could or should, since they’re in relationships. I always wonder about that- is it that they think that masturbating is cheating on a partner? Is it that they think that their partner should get all of their sexual energy? While I can understand these ideas, they do seem to create an unfortunate situation because they give control of one’s sexuality to someone else. I’ve long believed that we’d do better to take responsibility for our own pleasure and sexuality, instead of giving it to a partner. Once we do, we often find much more freedom to create the relationships we’ve always wanted. As one colleague put it, it’s the process of standing on our own feet in connection with another, rather than leaning so far over that if they move away, we fall down.
On a related note, though, some people in relationships said that they don’t masturbate because of lack of privacy. They simply never have time at home when their partners or kids aren’t around. I’m curious to know how often that’s truly non-negotiable and how often they don’t try to carve out the space for some self-love, for any of a number of reasons.
It seems to me that one way to overcome some of these hurdles to self-pleasure is to explore new ways to do it. After all, if you’ve been eating the same food over the sink for years, you’re probably less motivated to take the time to create a delicious meal. So here are some tips for you:
First, do a little research. Though some of the techniques don’t work as well solo as on a partner, books and DVDs like these have lots of great ideas that you can do yourself:
Toygasms: The Insider’s Guide To Sex Toys and Techniques
Tickle Your Fancy
Tickle His Pickle: Your Hands-On Guide
The Ultimate Guide To Orgasm For Women
Expert Guide to Hand Jobs for Men and Women
Expert Guide To The G-Spot
And can I also suggest trying something new? If you like the sensation of receiving penetrative sex, try a dildo. The VixSkinTM dildos feel especially realistic and they’re silicone, so care & cleaning is super easy. If you like being on the giving side, one of the sleeves might do the trick. The Tenga Flip Hole Masturbator and the Fleshlight both get rave reviews. Just be sure to use lube! Or try a vibrator– they can feel amazing on the penis, the clitoris, the vulva, the testicles, anus, nipples, or anywhere else you might want to try it.
Make the most of your “me time.” Put on some music. Light some candles. Take a while. Think of it like cooking your favorite meal for yourself, simply because you enjoy it and you deserve it. You just might find that solo sex is a lot more fun than you thought, and that makes it a lot easier to take the time to do it.
Don’t settle for less than you deserve in bed- whether you’re with someone else or on your own, enjoy what you do!