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Masturbation

How To Masturbate, Female Style: 8 Steps To Having Orgasms (Without a Vibrator)

Cumming in Bathtub

We’re always hearing that we could be having better sex, a better orgasm, or a better relationship. But how often do we actually hear the nitty-gritty details of how we might actually achieve those things? Bustle has enlisted Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist, to help us out with the specifics. This week’s topic: How to masturbate.

Q: I’ve heard the advice that you need to learn how to get yourself off by masturbating. I’ve tried masturbating before, but I just can’t figure out how to do it without a vibrator. Sure, some things feel good, but unless I use a toy, I can’t reach orgasm with just my hand. It’s just that nothing ever feels that amazing, and I give up. I feel like an idiot! Is something wrong with me? What should I do?

A: Please don’t feel badly! No one ever gets taught how to masturbate, and there are plenty of women who feel just as clueless as you do. I’ve been asked this question by almost every female client I’ve ever had, and it’s such a popular topic that I’ve even created an entire online course dedicated to teaching women how to masturbate.

I “prescribe” masturbation to most of my clients, so I’ve come up with specific instructions for learning how to masturbate. Let’s go through the steps.

Examine Your Feelings

The majority of my female clients feel at least somewhat uncomfortable with the idea of masturbating. Our society isn’t very accepting of female masturbation, so most women feel a mixture of guilt, shame, embarrassment, and anxiety when I suggest that they start exploring their bodies.

It sounds like you’re not opposed to masturbating, but that you may still have some conflicting feelings about it. It’s worth taking the time to explore your beliefs about masturbation. Women who find themselves particularly hesitant may want to ask themselves questions like, “Where did these feelings about masturbation come from?” and “Do I want to let these beliefs continue to operate in my life?” If you find you have a real mental block about masturbation, then you might want to examine where that comes from with a professional.

Learn The Basics

Women masturbate in a lot of different ways, but a lot of my clients have found it useful to get a sense of what the process tends to entail. In general, most women masturbate by stimulating their clitorises. Research has found that women are most likely to reach orgasm by stroking diagonally across the clitoris. Women usually need a fair amount of time to warm up, and require repetitive, consistent stimulation to climax. On average, women take about 20 minutes to orgasm.

Make The Time To Practice

Learning how to masturbate is like learning any other skill — it takes practice. You’re going to feel a little bumbly and awkward at first, and it’s going to take some time for you to get the hang of it. Most women’s lives are pretty busy, so I usually tell my clients to schedule in time to practice masturbating. Try to carve out 20-30 minutes twice a week.

You might be thinking, “Twenty to thirty minutes? How the hell am I supposed to fit that into my schedule?” It’s natural to feel some resistance, and you may have to remind yourself why you’re doing it. For example, “I know I feel embarrassed about having to practice this, but I do want to learn more about my body.” Challenge yourself to make this a priority, but don’t ever force yourself to do it when you genuinely don’t feel like it.

To make masturbating feel like less of a chore, I encourage my clients to set their practice sessions up to be as enjoyable as possible. Take a bubble bath, put on some music that you like, or wear a little slip that makes you feel hot. Take your time touching other parts of your body and trying to help yourself feel relaxed and sexy.

Focus On Exploring First

When you first start experimenting with masturbation, try not to put any pressure on yourself to orgasm. A lot of women get overly goal-oriented about climaxing, which can suck all of the fun out of masturbating.

Think of what you’re doing as trying to learn what kind of stimulation feels good for you, rather than trying to learn the quickest possible route to orgasm. You have an entire lifetime to masturbate, so there’s no rush to hone in on a foolproof method immediately.

Spend a couple of weeks exploring a number of different techniques. Try two to four strokes each time you practice, and compare and contrast them to each other. Try different speeds and different levels of pressure. Start building a list in your head of the techniques that make you feel the most pleasure.

Specific Techniques To Try

So let’s get down to the real nitty-gritty. How exactly are you supposed to touch yourself? Below I’ve compiled a list of strokes to try.

  • Try a diagonal stroke. Imagine that there’s a clock over your clitoris, with the 12 closer to your anus, and the 6 closer to your belly button. Stroke from 1 to 7 if you’re a righty, or 11 to 5 if you’re a lefty.
  • Use one finger to run circles around your clitoris, without touching it directly.
  • Try rubbing your clitoris with one finger, two fingers, three fingers, four fingers, and your entire hand.
  • Using two fingers, place one on each side of your clitoris. Rub up and down. You can also try side to side.
  • Tap your clitoris with one or two fingers.
  • Use the lightest possible touch to gently flick over your clitoris with one finger.
  • Keep your underwear on (you can also try this with a rougher fabric like jeans) and rub your clitoris through the fabric.
  • Pull your outer labia together and rub your clitoris through the folds of skin.

Extra Credit

Here are a few other experiments to try:

  • Use lube to help your fingers glide over your clitoris more easily.
  • Try masturbating in different positions. Some women like being on their stomachs. Others like being fully outstretched.
  • Stimulate your clitoris with other objects. You can try grinding against pillows, or positioning yourself under the faucet in the bathtub.
  • Try holding your breath for short periods of time as you masturbate.
  • Engage your muscles as you masturbate. Separately, try tightening your toes, fingers, and abs. Then try tightening all of them at once. Try squeezing and holding your PC muscles too.

Find Your Favorites

Try out all of the aforementioned techniques, and take notes on what you liked and didn’t like about each of them. Then see if you can answer these questions:

  • My favorite stroke is:
  • The number of fingers I like using is:
  • The speed that feels right is:
  • The level of pressure that works for me is:
  • This extra credit technique feels great:

Bring Orgasm Into The Picture

After a few weeks of experimentation, start seeing if you can reach orgasm. Give yourself 30-40 minute blocks of time so you don’t feel rushed. Take your time getting your entire body warmed up with light, feathery touches. Tease yourself a bit.

Next, try running through a couple of different strokes and pick the two that feel best in that particular moment. Use one stroke for about three minutes, then switch to the other for three minutes. Keep switching back and forth until you notice that one of the strokes feels better than the other. Stick with that stroke for the remainder of your session.

Try going a little harder and faster with that same stroke. You’ll probably notice your level of pleasure ebb and flow. Don’t analyze what’s happening — just keep your focus on the sensation in your body. Up the speed and pressure a little more, and see if you can let yourself go over the edge. It may take longer than you expect, so keep going until it stops feeling good.

Don’t expect to reach orgasm the first time, and don’t be disappointed if you don’t. It takes a number of tries for most women. Keep trying to get yourself get a little further each time. More than anything, remember to enjoy the process!

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