Teaching a Friend to Masturbate

I learned how to masturbate in high school, but I didn’t get good at it until college. All through adolescence, I talked with male friends about their masturbatory habits regularly, but among my female friends, the conversation rarely ever wandered into solo-sex, and it always felt taboo when it did.

Earlier this week, my boyfriend asked if I could talk with one of his friends about masturbating. I could talk to just about anybody for eons about masturbating, but I especially adore this woman, so I had to indulge.

Our conversation reminded me of where I was in life in early college — curious about sex but not about my own body. I wasn’t all that interested in learning how my parts worked. I figured I already knew the ones I was supposed to know, and the rest would fall into place. In a sense, that’s exactly what happened.

Freshman year, I was talking with my roommate and a friend of hers whom I despised. The friend, as intolerable as I found her, had the right attitude about masturbation. She was open and knew herself. She asked my roommate and me if we had each masturbated. We looked at each other, I admitted I had, and then my roommate said the same. That’s about where the conversation ended. It was both embarrassingly awkward and yet oddly comforting. (Solidarity, man.)

Sophomore year, my next roommate frequently slept at her boyfriend’s apartment, so I had the room to myself quite often. That was one of the greatest gifts she ever could have given me because it gave me ample time to explore my own body in the privacy of our secluded room.

As a young teen, I once fumbled a small back massager into my lap and was surprised by the warm, pleasant sensation emanating from between my legs. That was the first time I realized my crotch was capable of producing nice feelings.

In high school, I fashioned a makeshift vibrator out of an old electric toothbrush and some saran wrap. Later in high school, I realized I could use the vibrating flosser from my dentist as an even better vibrator with pinpoint accuracy.

In college, I finally had the time resources to devote hours to masturbating, not just the little quickies before bed I once enjoyed in my late teens on school nights.

The epitome of my journey to body love happened after two distinctive vaginal events: one was feeling myself orgasm from the inside of my vagina — Oh, the incredible convulsions! — and the other was feeling my own g-spot, which reminds me of a sea creature because of its moist ridges.

Needless to say, I am an avid fan of masturbation, and not just for women. I would encourage everyone to masturbate as often as they prefer. I see it as one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves. It puts us at the center of controlling our own sexual autonomy, takes the sexual pressure off of our partners, helps us continue (or start) building self-love, and boasts a variety of both physical and mental health benefits.

Guys I knew in high school had already mastered the art of masturbation before age twelve. Women, on the other hand… well, I know women far older than me who still have an extremely limited knowledge base of the female body, much less their own.

For women with limited masturbatory experience who would like to learn more, like the friend I helped at the beginning of this post, here’s my advice.

1. The clitoris is extremely sensitive, which can be great at times. However, this can also lead to “burn out” when the pleasurable feelings subside and plateau because the clitoris has been overwhelmed. If massaging the tip of your clitoris leads to this, try massaging the skin right next to your clitoris instead. Use this skin (your clitoral hood) as a barrier over the tip of your clitoris. The sensation will still feel great without being too strong. Your own vaginal lubrication works perfectly for this.

2. Vibrator, vibrator, vibrator — I cannot stress this enough. Not having a vibrator is like not having a dishwasher; it’s a modern timesaver that’ll having you wondering how you ever lived without it. My current favorite is this** inexpensive critter. Some day, I also plan to invest in one of these infamous slices of heaven. And I don’t mean this for just women, either! Everyone can enjoy a vibrator. I choose to use mine almost exclusively externally (on my clitoris), but they’re built for the works, so a creative mind can only lead to more fun.

3. On that note, practice applying different amounts of pressure while you masturbate, and not just to your genitals. Try teasing your other body parts, too! Thighs, feet, earlobes, lips, breasts, nipples, butt, belly, lower back… anything responsive when you are turned on. Human bodies are remarkable, and sexual arousal raises both pain and tickle tolerances (your brain processes both sensations the same way). You might really enjoy certain sensations whist hot-and-heavy that you otherwise wouldn’t in your vanilla life. Experiment with how your body responds; it’ll thank you. Mine loves butt, thigh, breast, and just-inside-the-first-centimeter-of-my-vagina tickling.

4. Orgasming with objects inside your vagina feels different than orgasming without objects in your vagina. I feel greater convulsions when there is not anything in my vagina when I climax, but when there is an object there that’s just the right size, the sensations I feel when I climax are out of this world. Size makes a world of difference here, too. If you’re like me, your vagina is picky about what’s too small and very, very picky about what’s too big.

5. This piece of advice is more about getting to know your body than physical pleasure. Just for fun, try slipping a finger about two and a half knuckles deep in your vagina, and leave that finger in place until after you’ve orgasmed. You’ll be surprised to feel just how active your vagina is during an orgasm. For those of you familiar with how a penis convulses at orgasm, vaginas convulse extremely similarily. The way mine convulses is one of the coolest tactile experiences my finger has ever had.

6. If you’ve never played with your g-spot, try it. Mine’s about two middle-finger-knuckles deep in my vagina, on the “roof” just behind my pubic bone. It’ll be shaped like a button and have a distinctively different texture than the rest of the skin on your vaginal walls. Push up on it, and see how that feels while you massage your clitoris. Then wiggle your finger, and see how that feels when you massage your clitoris. G-spot stimulation is never vital in my sex life, but it’s a bonus sometimes because it can make what already feels good even better.

7. The most important advice I can give is to relax. Consider switching your focus from achieving an orgasm to exploring and appreciating your body. It’s all about trial and error. There is no perfect recipe because our bodies all work a little differently, and people often have vastly different preferences from one another. Find what works for you, and be adventurous. Your body will thank you when you learn how she/he/ze works.

[**UPDATE: I removed the link to my now-former vibrator from this article. It was one of the purple, “jelly” ones from Amazon. I have recently learned that “jelly” toys often contain dangerous, undisclosed chemicals, so I have thrown that toy out and will never again buy one labelled as “jelly”. For more information about toxic, non-body-safe toys to avoid, I highly recommend http://dangerouslilly.com/toxictoys/.]

23 thoughts on “Teaching a Friend to Masturbate

  1. I’ve read this all and feel like I know you! I’ll owe you one if you can teach me how to squirt. I have a feeling that my friend that says she can, is just making this up. Regards, Amber

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  2. Good post; masturbation is a vital part of being in touch with yourself (so to speak). When I was in college in the early 1970s — despite the latter part of Second Wave Feminism — many young women were woefully, often willfully, ignorant of their own sexual anatomy and needs. Some (to my delight) were not. Knowing yourself is crucial to teaching your lovers how to please you, and masturbation is just one more item in a robust sexual toolkit.

    I think there are some studies showing that regular orgasms (I aim for one a day) do reduce stress and promote heart health (well, anything that gets your heart pumping does). They also release floods of endorphins, so there’s a natural high involved.

    FWIW, I’ve always agreed with the hypothesis that the Gräfenberg spot is the base of the structure of the clitoris, so no wonder it’s such a hot button — kind of an internal direct connection. There are some sexual positions that allow the guy to bang (so to speak) against it with typically good results — sometimes *really* good results! (One lover said she hadn’t come that good in years.)

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    1. I completely agree – knowing yourself IS crucial, and I love your phrase, “robust sexual toolkit”. You’re also spot-on about the empirical data backing the comprehensive benefits of orgasm. In addition to endorphins, orgasm and masturbation both release high doses of dopamine (one of the most potent “happiness” hormones) and metabolize cortisol (the stress hormone). The difference is that orgasm’s beneficial effects are exponentially stronger, but both do wonders for our physical and mental health overall.

      As for the g-spot, I hadn’t heard that before! I find it fascinating that the clitoris is a much larger structure than people think, shaped like a wishbone and buried deep beneath the little nub that we see externally. Experts claim that one reason anal sex can be pleasurable for women to receive is because it allows for clitorises to be stimulated at angles which are impossible to access via vaginal and external stimulation. And speaking of fascinating, I think it’s SO COOL that g-spots have ridges which are oh-so-conveniently stimulated by the ridges of penis heads, or other phallic objects with a conical tip and excess ridge. Nature pre-loaded us with harps! Talk about making beautiful music.

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      1. Totally! There are so many things about nature that have to make you wonder. The way barley seems perfect for making beer, or grapes and apples for making wine and apple jack, or certain herbs and mushrooms for making pretty colors, or the way orgasms kinda blow your mind.

        Hard not to think of those all as God’s gifts to those that pay attention.

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      2. I feel masturbation is important both for men and women. When in my younger years I would masturbate 3 times a day, now in my older years when I can find a quite place to be alone I like masturbating twice a day, being a nudist helps…less to take off lol.

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          1. Nothing finer than taking care of those feelings and needs when they arise. I get pissed off cuz women can masturbate like every 5 minutes lol while I have to wait for a couple hours ….. whats up with that!!! lol

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            1. I’ve known men who could sometimes rapidly recovered after orgasm and could go again within a few minutes. It depends on the person. Also, all of the women I know don’t strive for their own orgasm marathons on a daily basis. It’s more of a side dish for special occasions.

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  3. When I first saw this post yesterday, I actually felt giddy inside. Such a refreshing read. Thank you so much for writing about such an IMPORTANT topic that is so unnecessarily taboo in our society. I’m convinced frequent orgasms along with regular workouts of the non-sexual variety got me through the stress of college in one piece.
    Also, I learned a few new new things while reading, which was great. 🙂

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    1. Thank you for your kind words! I’m delighted that you care as much as I do about eliminating the stigma of female masturbation, and I’m pretty sure frequent orgasms helped me survive college, too. It’s nice to hear the camaraderie. Thank you for making my day. 🙂

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        1. I wish we all had more chances to talk about it. Sexuality is a major component of overall mental and physical health, and it devastates me that it’s so heavily stigmatized in everyday, platonic conversation.

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          1. Oh, absolutely. Sex is such a regular part of life. It’s not dirty or vulgar or gross. It’s part of who we are but so few people want to accept that. I agree, it’s terrible and really quite wrong.

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