Sexpert tips for women to upgrade your masturbation sessions

We may have come a long way since Miranda bought her first vibrator in Sex and the City, but women are still being shamed out of pleasure.

A study by sex toy brand Ricky.com found that over two thirds of female students have been shamed over their ‘sexual freedom’ in the past year, and research commissioned by Nasty Gal also revealed that 34% of women never discuss their sexual desires or preferences with anyone.

Societal taboos and misinformation around masturbation may lead to guilt and a reduction in desire, and also stop people from talking about – and seeking help for – sexual issues.

Particularly when it comes to women, self love can be an off-limits topic.

Will I be judged for saying I masturbate? Will I look silly for not knowing how to pleasure myself? Will it be seen as a failing on my part, or offend my partner if they think I’m unsatisfied? These are the questions we ask ourselves, creating an air of worry around something that’s supposed to be fun.

Thankfully, these days you don’t need to speak to someone IRL for tips or help – but being open about your needs and wants in the bedroom doesn’t need to come with a side of embarrassment.

Whether it’s solo sex or with a partner, it’s healthy to seek out new perspectives and techniques, and this attitude will help you have better experiences in the bedroom and out.

Starting with one-player mode, getting to know your preferences on your own time can be hugely beneficial. With no pressure to perform and no eyes on you, you’re free to explore what makes you tick, gaining confidence for future encounters with others.

To help you on your journey of self discovery and better orgasms all round, we spoke to Ness Cooper, a Clinical Sexologist who works as a Sex and Relationship Coach at The Sex Consultant.

She reveals her top tips for women to level up their masturbation game, with physical and mental stimulation factored in.

Explore outercourse

When with a partner, touching and seduction are pivotal parts of the sexual experience. On our own, though, we often miss the build-up and go straight to the main event.

Flip the script on masturbation as a means to an end and try outercourse next time, giving yourself the same steady escalation in pleasure.

Ness tells Metro.co.uk that she recommends ‘massaging hands and sex toys over the external erogenous zones of your body,’ adding that you can also use ‘massage oil or an erotic massage candle to change the sensations of gliding sex toys and hands’.

Focus on mindfulness

To further aid in this snowballing thrill, use breathing techniques to gradually build to an orgasm.

‘Changing the rhythm of your breath as you reach climatic sensations can help you extend your orgasms when you decide to reach for them,’ says Ness.

When thoughts begin to travel elsewhere, ground yourself back to the tempo of your breath. Not only does this reduce overthinking and self-consciousness, it allows you to truly feel what you’re feeling physically.

Don’t focus on orgasms

While an orgasm is always a nice bonus, Ness says: ‘Masturbation doesn’t have to be orgasm-focused, and just enjoying different sensations that you can feel during self pleasure can be equally important.

Even during other sensual forms of touch, you’re able to experience the benefits of the feel-good hormones that are released during erotic stimulation.’

Placing the priority on an orgasm can be limiting in that it devalues sex and masturbation when one doesn’t occur.

Aside from the myriad reasons someone may struggle to reach climax, there’s the simple fact that it isn’t the be-all and end-all of good sex.

Try to reframe your view of masturbation as having an end goal, and don’t punish or berate yourself if you don’t orgasm. If it made you feel good, that’s all that matters.

Add in new toys

Perhaps you already masturbate using a vibrator or dildo, but the options for exploration don’t end there.

Consider toys that you may not have thought suitable for solo play before, as well as those that stimulate different parts of the body.

Ness says: ‘Explore warming and tingling balms and lubricants, as that can change things up a lot.

‘You can also try clit and nipple clamps or suckers. These can be used hands-free, and add different sensations to your play whilst your hands explore other forms of stimulation.’

Consider watching porn

Many women find that they need a little something to get them in the mood, but may have been deterred from porn by negative associations and experiences.

Having fears or moral views around pornography is valid, although those who’ve written off erotica completely are missing out.

‘There are so many options out there now,’ says Ness. ‘It’s worth
exploring, as you may find something that helps fuel your fantasies and
turns you on more during masturbation.’

It might be the case that you don’t enjoy porn videos, in which case audio
porn and erotic books and stories could be a better option. Or, for those who have issues around the ethics of porn, an alternative may mean finding female directors and using sites that prioritise actors’ welfare.

The industry is vast and no longer consists solely of creepy-seeming men pounding away at disinterested women. There really is something for everyone nowadays, including you once you’ve found out what gets you going.

Switch positions

Ness says: ‘Even during masturbation, changing positions can lead
to differences in how we experience certain sensations.

‘You may find that in certain positions you orgasm easier.’

Lay on your front, stand up against a wall, whatever feels best for you.

As well as this, Ness says that a certain positioning technique has helped her clients experience stronger orgasms on their own.

She explains: Apply pressure to your pubic mound and lower stomach to add indirect stimulation to the vagina and clitoris.’

Clitorises are often compared to icebergs because much of their size is underneath the surface. These nerve-ending-filled pleasure centres look small, but what you’re seeing is just the tip, so don’t put all your energy into hitting a specific point and feel free to roam.

Try new sensations and environments

We know women masturbating isn’t all about silky negligees and sexy music, with most of us more likely to relate to granny pants and pausing Netflix for a quick release.

There’s no wrong way to be, although becoming familiar with the art of self-seduction makes masturbation into a treat rather than a chore.

If you want to spice things up, Ness says: ‘Explore taste and smell. Often we only explore these sensations within partnered play, but even when by ourselves we can wake things up by adding in pleasing flavours and aphrodisiac candles.

‘Masturbation and self pleasure uses all the senses we have at our disposal just like shared erotic play, and taking advantage of them and exciting these senses can lead to a more intense experience.’

She also recommends giving temperature play a go. ‘Run an ice cube over your body or cool a glass dildo under running water,’ says Ness, adding that you can ‘mix it up a bit by adding warmer items, such as a metal sex toy warmed by a hot tap before play.’

RuPaul may have said ‘if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?’ – but why even centre someone else’s pleasure?

Find out what you love in bedand enjoy giving yourself the experiences you deserve just for the sake of it.

It will benefit you when you choose to have sex with a partner, but mainly because you’re secure in your sexuality and have learned who you are.

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