Masturbation has an interesting history. I won’t go into all the nitty-gritty sex-negative messages that have been perpetuated throughout time. Despite the amount of mis-information that’s out there about masturbation, as a society we have come a long way. In the late 19th- and early 20th-centuries, self-pleasure was something insane people did. Much of the “research” from that time period on masturbation came from people who were institutionalized. (Obviously, those data might not be generalizable for everyone and it raises a lot of questions.) Many of us have heard the silly myths that have been said about masturbation: You’ll go blind; Hair will grow on your palms.
Of course, we now know (especially in the sex-positive camps) that self loving is healthy!
- It relieves tension (obviously);
- Can alleviate (pre-)menstrual cramps;
- Can both energize you to start your day, or
- Help you relax and get to sleep.
- And it’s a great way to discover what kind of touch you enjoy both genitally and all over the body.
Self pleasuring is a great option which can be done both alone or with a partner (or partners). It has very low risk of transmitting sexual infections (as long as toys are not shared, or there are condoms that are being switched out when toy sharing is happening). It is a great way to explore what you are into and share that with your partner. And can be a “fall back” for those times you want to be intimate with your partner but either have little energy for more involved sexual activities, or one or both of you has limited mobility.
So, in honor of Masturbation Month, try to pleasure yourself more often than you normally do! Try out a new sex toy (check out my tab above for new ideas!) Try masturbating with a different kind of ambiance: experiment with light in the room: brighter, more dim, candles; try out different kinds of sound: music, or quiet. Incorporate more touch into your experience: how about touching other parts of your body? Using different kinds of pressure, rougher, softer as you touch body parts that you don’t usually incorporate into your solo play. Breathe deeply and focus on the sensations as they are happening; empty your mind as best you can and really hone in on what is going on in your crotch and in your whole body. What about removing some clothing items? Or try using your non-dominant hand. Or a different position! Or bring in some erotica or some steamy videos! Use (new) lubricants to add slippery sensations!
There are so many ways to mix up your masturbation to keep it fresh and discover new elements you want to incorporate into your “go-to.” Masturbation “month” can extend past May and be a year-round adventure! So, go experiment!