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Masturbation: How to Orgasm – Part III

Jessie Fano's picture

 

"How to orgasm?" is a big question that has come up on WTF: Questions You’d Ask Your Sex Therapist If Only You Had One. In Part II we explored how mentally-driven achieving orgasm can be for women. Why? Who the hell knows. Frankly this bugged me until I got more adept at fantasy, and then I thought it was the coolest thing since menthol lube. Learning to masturbate really well -- to reach MY special kinds of orgasms that work for me -- was a huge step I took in owning my sexuality. And it happened decades after I first learned to orgasm. This is not a simple skill, and I think it can take a lifetime to master.

There's only one place to start -- touching yourself. There’s more to masturbating than just being comfortable in your own head. With rare exception (some women can get off without actually touching themselves) we need to touch ourselves or be touched to generate those feelings that result in orgasm.

So, ladies, touch yourselves.

Research

No matter how much you love your lover -- whether a he or a she -- no one can possibly be as sensitive to your body's reactions as you are because the connection between our bodies and our minds is immediate. If something feels good, or ecstatic, YOUR finger is going to be the first to know -- and know how to increase the pleasure. Experiment! Get to know what turns you on without the pressure of pleasing a partner and then bring that into the bedroom. Here are some tips from me and some other readers who left their very good suggestions on the "WTF? Question's You'd Ask Your Sex Therapist" post. Try these and report others in comments below. Anonymity welcomed!

  • Remove expectations and just explore. Do you know what your pussy looks like? Do you know what each part feels like (by which I mean, what it feels like to your finger and what your finger feels like to your pussy)? Check out the Pretty Pink Pussy Tour, grab a mirror and go exploring. THEN, put the mirror away, get comfy, and just feel your way around. Notice where you have sensation and where you don’t. Try different pressures. Swirl your clit. Experiment with touching the hood vs. sneaking underneath for direct touch. Stroke your lips. Insert your finger and fingers. Try rubbing your fingers (2, 3 and 4 at a time) over your clit – slowly and vigorously. Try touching several parts at once. According to Lou Paget, women can have orgasms from touching their clit, urethra, and vagina -- do all these regions have the right kind of sensation for you? How do you know until you explore them and try to find out? Just play around and see what feels best. Don’t even worry if you don’t orgasm. Just become familiar with what you feel like to you!
  • Touch yourself and engage your imagination. Add fantasy to your touching. Imagine it’s him or her touching you. Imagine it’s them. Imagine you’re at a bar, under a waterfall, in the office, somewhere exotic, somewhere normal, with whips and chains or with feathers (or both!), in space (seriously, this is cool) or anywhere else your mind takes you.
  • Make sure you’re lubed! While I’ve heard some cultures think “dry sex” is sexy, everyone I know (and myself personally) really gets off on the moisture. Just feeling the moisture starts to turn me on, and using lube (I like the Wet brand but another reader suggested Secret Garden by Shunga) or saliva work great. If you have medical conditions or are taking medication that make natural vaginal lubrication difficult, talk to your gynecologist, there are solutions! Don’t go dry!
  • Toys. Try with. Try without. With vibes. Without. Play.
  • Relax. Just do it.
  • Vibe + Fingers.(loved this from an anonymous reader) "Have you ever tried using a realistic vibe, AND your fingers? Put a couple pillows down (a little throw pillow with a bigger pillow on top works well) prop yourself just ahead of the pillows, so the vibe has something to stop it from coming out, and let your fingers do the walking until you get to the edge, then some movement and the vibe might be all you need. I am over 40, and never climaxed until a few years ago. It took a good lube, a mirror, and lots of 'research.'"
  • Release the guilt. Notice if your little voice starts telling you to stop. It might say you’re being greedy, or sinful, or gross or any of a number of other things. Here’s what one reader said to help deal with this problem way too many of us have. I had been brought up in a strict religious home and had been taught that masturbation was self-love and therefore a sin. (If you feel this way) you aren't alone. I know married people who still feel guilty about having sex. Guilt about sex seems to be a 'gift' some of us received in childhood and it's hard to shake -- but not impossible! Acknowledging it is the first step. Then if you can identify the first time you mentally agreed that masturbation was gluttonous and gross, it will help. Then just ask yourself if this is your rule, or someone else's? Either way -- you can then choose to let it go.
  • Get noisy. I used to think this was Hollywood trying to tell me that “real women scream.” I was too polite for that – even when I was on my own. But damn, when I finally let my mouth open – yell, squeal, pant, moan, groan, grunt, scream – it really intensified the physical sensations leading up to and through the orgasm. My own theory is that we women experience orgasms internally – as muscle contractions – and it’s hard to “express” a muscle contraction (like, say, a guy can literally piston his hips and release his sperm). But when we make noise, we’re kinda giving voice to those muscles and intensifying the experience. It adds a kick of energy – like when a weightlifter grunts and exhales as he or she exerts physically to lift a weight. Put earplugs on the kids if you have to. Try it!
Take Responsibility For Your Own Pleasure

There’s another advantage to learning to masturbate really well – you can take it to bed with your partner! According to Sexpert Nina Hartly -- as reported by 4 Hour Body hottie, Tim Ferriss – “No man can give you an orgasm. He can only help you do it yourself.” Whoa, Nellie is this true!

My best orgasms started happening when I went at finding them myself (in my alone time), then gave them to myself while my husband and I had sex and – MOST importantly – stopped expecting the poor guy to figure it out for me. I mean, think about it from the guy’s perspective. Even though my hubby is pretty accomplished after eons of marriage, seriously, how can he ever understand what’s going on inside me when I barely understand it and it changes from moment to moment and hormone to hormone? Take the pressure off your partner and just figure it out for yourself. I guarantee you’ll have better sex, be less self-conscious with a partner, and always have fun with the hand (and/or the vibe) when partner-love isn’t available.

Also, I had no idea how much it turned him on when I allowed myself to really fully express my pleasure. Why did I keep it quiet for so long? (Well, when I didn’t have to – the kids finally got wise to the earplugs. Hee.) I didn’t give him enough credit. Silly me.

What’s your experience with masturbation? Have more tips to add to this list? What works for you? What was your biggest “surprise trick” you didn’t think would work but did? Anonymous comments welcome.

-Jess

Researcher of WTF? Questions You'd Ask Your Sex Therapist If Only You Had One? Got a question? Ask me! (Twitter @JessieFano)

Comments

Jessie Fano's picture

Dearest Anon-

So sorry your first made you feel creepy/stupid. It's not "supposed" to be that way, but for most women I know, our first isn't our best - for any number of reasons! If you step into learning about your sexuality yourself, no guy can ever make you feel clueless again. So - #7!

Glad the link helped and the list. In my book - as perhaps you can tell - masturbation is all good!

Thanks for reading and sharing. Keep reading and keep sharing! That's how we help break down the "shush!" barrier you ran into when you wanted to talk to someone about it and didn't find any takers. We're just not culturally programmed (yet!) to do that. But if more of us start talking about our sexuality without embarrassment we subconsciously give everyone else permission to do the same. when ever you do - even anonymously - you're healing a little bit of the world around you.

-Jess

Researcher of WTF? Questions You'd Ask Your Sex Therapist If Only You Had One? Got a question? Ask me! (Twitter @JessieFano)

Anonymous's picture

I completely agree, I really

I completely agree, I really am hoping there are opportunities for me to bring it up comfortably in conversation, now that I feel so empowered hear I would love to spread that feeling to others!

So I noticed on the list that one of the benefits of masturbation is reducing cramps, I have horribly cramps that I've been taking medication for for years but I really don't like to take sooo many meds ya know, so this time I only took 1 out of 2 pain pills and tried masturbating and it reeeaallly helped! Additionally, it was like connecting with myself in a whole different way because any worries I had about if I should or shouldn't went away. Like my own motherly side stepped in and said this is for your own good, relax and let the pain float away. lol Honestly I feel like every experience with masturbation is new experience and story all within itself.

Thank you for the support!

Also would you or anyone have any advice, I am just out of graduate school and in a new area in NJ and looking to be involved in events realted to women and empowerment but I seem to be at a loss for groups/organizations to join. ANy ideas?

Jessie Fano's picture

Alright for sex talk! Yeah. I

Alright for sex talk! Yeah. I find that when you can remove the emotional embarrassment from talking about sex, it gives the other people you're talking to permission to not be embarrassed (or be less so). So practice away! And so glad the cramps were eased. Nothing like some tension and release to relax those muscles in there.

I have no idea a NJ women's groups. See if you can find a yoga studio, belly dancing or pole dancing studio. You're likely to find some folks there you can connect with. Or... just troll the internet (carefully!)

-Jess

Researcher of WTF? Questions You'd Ask Your Sex Therapist If Only You Had One? Got a question? Ask me! (Twitter @JessieFano)

Anonymous's picture

Thanks for the advice! I

Thanks for the advice! I looked up a pole dancing place near by and I think I will give it a try! Keep up the blogs! =D

Jessie Fano's picture

Anon's Response...

Weird. Anon replied and I got it in email, but not here. Here's what she said:

Hi Jess,

Thank you very much for your response. So many things you said rang true, I
am a young occupational therapist and so much of what I have learned involves
encouraging persons of all ages to find play and joy in their lives. And like
you said I think new experiences and using different parts of the brain have
always, and even with my new masturbation adventures, opened my mind to knew
perspectives and even new means of compassion.

Also thank you for the link to the health benefits, I was glad to see them.
Hopefully though I won't be in a position of having my self confidence drop
along with my vag if/when the time comes. Additionally, due to a context I
didn't mention, my hook up made me feel creepy and pissed off at the world
for leaving me so in the dark about my own sexually just because I chose to
not be physically intimate down under for what is considered such a long
time. I felt at such a disadvantage and weirded out at the idea that so many
guys like that one may feel like they know me as a women more than I did and
even use that to make me feel "strange" or "a tease" or "frigid".ICK.
Probably not the best guy to go that far with for the first time but it
definitely lead me to pretty strong feelings about sex education especially
since when I needed a friend to talk to, everyone wanted to either empathize
with my awful mistake or give me a congratulations for a first fling but no
one really wanted to listen much. - Ok totally a little rant, sorry haha,
that feels really good to write out though.

Anyway, I am truly thankful that that experience inspired to travel on a
journey to own my sexuality and led me to this blog site! I wish someone had
encouraged me to be comfortable exploring my body before that experience but
conversations like this are truly validating to my experience and really make
me feel supported in facing my fears and negative thoughts in this area.

I love your encouragement to take responsibility for my own sexuality, it
makes so much sense for what I know about healthy relationships. Also I love
your number 6. I feel so connected to humanity and all of thousands of women
around me and those that have come before me when I take steps to accept my
sexuality and Im so glad you gave light to what I have felt when my fears and
anxieties about masturbating have not got in the way.

A warm and sincere thank you for your post and response! :)

-Jess

Researcher of WTF? Questions You'd Ask Your Sex Therapist If Only You Had One? Got a question? Ask me! (Twitter @JessieFano)

Jessie Fano's picture

Why? So many reasons...

Anon-

What a juicy good question you ask. Why masturbate? Well, obviously I'm biased but now I'll tell you why. I invite others to weigh in with their thoughts too - such a great question! Here are my top reasons.

1) You said it yourself, it feels good. We can all use some good vibes "just because" sometimes. Pleasure is like playing. It's not "productive" but if we don't get some we become too serious and boring. Pleasure and playing use our right brain and open us up to all kinds of new things we don't see right away. It's ok to play and it's ok to play with ourselves!

2) it's good for you. Seriously. Lissa wrote out the health benefits of orgasms in her book and summarized them here (http://www.owningpink.com/lissa-rankin-md/owning-pink-center/womans-heal...). Your body loves It and it keeps your pelvic area in shape. Who wants a droopy pussy?

3) you didn't masturbate before and were lucky enough to hook up with a guy that understood your body. But no one else can understand us as well as we can. What other secrets might be hiding inside you waiting to be discovered? It's already taken you on a journey from guilt to joy, what else can it help you release and learn about yourself? Masturbation integrates our bodies and minds in ways that just can't be done any other way. You say that you meditate, think of masturbation as a form of meditation and see what new aspects of yourself you tune into that way.

4) knowing your body and how it responds is invaluable in a loving relationship. Trust me, most guys DON'T want full responsibility for figuring you out!

5) I don't know how old you are but I'm old enough to know that our bodies, how they react and what turns them on, changes over time. By staying in touch with your sexual self this way on an ongoing basis youre taking charge of knowing this part of yourself and loving yourself physically, whether you have a partner or not.

6) Finally (though I could go on) our sexuality is very much a part of our humanity. When we masturbate, we're not only making love to ourselves, we're owning a very deep, powerful and unique part of who we are.

Does that help answer the question? Thanks so much for chiming in!

-Jess

Researcher of WTF? Questions You'd Ask Your Sex Therapist If Only You Had One? Got a question? Ask me! (Twitter @JessieFano)

Anonymous's picture

Seeking advice

Can someone explain to me a basic answer to why masturbate? I started masturbating about 10 months ago after I let myself hook up with a guy that seemed to know more about my body sexually than I did. It definitely has been quite the journey between feeling guilty, feeling like I am hiding something from friends and family and then feeling empowered, liberated, more knowledgable about myself, likes, and dislikes. Now that some time has passed (and I have felt empowered by owning pink blogs) I feel less guilty and I also feel more in touch with my body. My one barrier though is I just keep asking myself why? It takes me at least 30 minutes to get revved up and then I'm in a bit of a daze for some time after (it seems like at night it wakes me up and in the morning it makes me feel sleepy which is annoying, anyone else?). While it feels good and is really different and enjoyable in different ways each time I struggle to have a good answer for myself as to why? Couldn't I just learn when/if I find a partner I love, couldn't I just excersise for that time? What are the benefits to pleasuring yourself sexually, sometimes it doesn't even feel as good as meditating or writing in a journal which are more emotionally/spiritually pleasing and make me feel a truly deep sense of happiness at times, maybe I should spend masturbating time doing those things? Maybe I am still stuck on the masturbating as a greedy act but I want to be a believer! any thoughts?

Jessie Fano's picture

LOL

Go magic!

-Jess

Researcher of WTF? Questions You'd Ask Your Sex Therapist If Only You Had One? Got a question? Ask me! (Twitter @JessieFano)

Colleen's picture

Three words...Hitachi Magic

Three words...Hitachi Magic Wand ;)

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