Pillow talk sex column: masturbation

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By Carrie Brizshaw, sex columnist

It’s a common piece of self-help advice that ‘you cannot love someone if you do not love yourself’. Well, the truth is that you can, but it won’t be very good.

Masturbation has long been thought of as taboo in our society and even though this belief is slowly disappearing, we are often filled with internal shame. This is especially true for women whose right to pleasure has historically been downplayed. Due to the social stigmas, a lot of people are hesitant to explore the topic and experiment with themselves. I’ve put together some tips for getting it on with yourself.

See it as an activity in itself:

Part of why a lot of people struggle to fully enjoy masturbation is because they rush through it and focus on orgasming. This can put a lot of pressure on the situation. Rather slow it all down. Remember that you are in a relationship with yourself. Masturbation is a part of that and can be an amazing bonding activity. As partnered sex is the mainstream norm, it might help to think of masturbation as you ‘having sex’ with yourself. How do you approach sex with a partner? How do you pace yourself? How do you set the scene with candles and music, etc? It shouldn’t be a race to the finish line.

Get to know your body first:

If you struggle to even know where to begin, it might help to start from a simply exploratory perspective. Get a mirror down there and look around. Take things slow and really get to know your own body. One of the most enlightening parts of masturbation is how it can improve your self-confidence and bodily awareness.

Force yourself to change it up:

Just like sex, it can be easy to get into a routine with masturbation. Simply lying flat on your back and thinking of England. If masturbating has become boring, you might want to try out some new positions. Get on your hands and knees, do it at a desk or even in the shower. The possibilities really are endless. Introduce sex toys if you want to or try using old sex toys in new ways.

Enjoy it as an activity, not just because it’s ‘good’ for you:

Online lists of ‘why you should masturbate more’ state health benefits such as increasing endorphins, oxytocin and dopamine levels, improving partnered sex and clearing your skin. While all this is true, I reject the notion that we can’t just enjoy pleasure for pleasure’s sake. Masturbation is fun, it feels good, and it isn’t harming anyone. You don’t need more of a reason to do it than that.

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Just do it:

If you are struggling to masturbate sometimes the best thing you can do is just start. There is a lot of built-up pressure around masturbating or not masturbating. At the end of the day, you do not need to feel any shame. It’s your body and your choice, do what feels right.

Featured Image: The Croft


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