22 Things Your Vagina Wants You To Know About Masturbation

1. First, masturbation is its own unique and important sexual outlet, not just a stand-in for sex. “Too often, masturbation is relegated to a second-class ...
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1. First, masturbation is its own unique and important sexual outlet, not just a stand-in for sex.

“Too often, masturbation is relegated to a second-class citizenship,” Patti Britton, PhD, sexologist and founder of Sex Coach U, tells BuzzFeed Health. “It really should be regarded as first class. It’s not a step down and it’s not an add-on, either. It’s a lifelong relationship you have with your body and with your own sexuality.”

2. Making the ultimate goal of masturbation an orgasm might be giving you performance anxiety.

Sometimes you want an orgasm, know exactly how to get it, and knock it out of the way. Which, great. But if you have trouble orgasming, you might actually be trying too hard to get yourself off, says Britton. In that case, move away from goal-centered masturbation to take the pressure off and just focus on pleasuring yourself without worrying about whether or not you get off.

3. Figuring out how to get yourself off without a toy first is a great way to set a foundation before experimenting more with different kinds of orgasms.

Orgasms from vibrators = great. But if you’re someone who doesn’t have any medical issues making your clitoris less sensitive (we’ll get to that in a bit), getting to know your body without a toy can be informative and lead to orgasms you didn’t know you could have. “Learn your baseline, and then you can go wild,” says Britton.

4. The main reason people with vaginas have trouble orgasming is because they’re not utilizing the clitoris.

The main reason people with vaginas have trouble orgasming is because they're not utilizing the clitoris.

Everyone’s body is different, for sure, but it is FAR more common to orgasm through stimulation of the clitoris than through penetration. “For many people, getting a vibrator and instructions on how to do clitoral stimulation is all they need to achieve orgasm,” Dr. Lauren Streicher, board-certified gynecologist and author of Sex Rx, tells BuzzFeed Health. “The number one reason women who have never orgasmed haven’t yet is because they have an expectation that it’s going to happen with intercourse.”

5. Plenty of people require simultaneous stimulation of various erogenous zones for the best orgasm, too.

If you’re finding that just clitoral stimulation isn’t working for you either, play around with trying to achieve what experts refer to as a “blended” orgasm — AKA penetrating yourself with fingers or a toy while also stimulating your clitoris. Or who knows, maybe you’re someone who has other erogenous zones that make them come (like, FYI, nipplegasms exist).

“It’s really important to experiment with your arouse-able areas to figure out what is going to be the most stimulating to you,” says Britton.

6. A vibrator isn’t going to take away your ability to orgasm without one.

A vibrator isn’t going to take away your ability to orgasm without one.

There’s a popular myth that if you use a vibrator, your clitoral nerve endings will get desensitized. But that’s straight up not true.

“The orgasm you have with a vibrator might be different — it might be more intense or it might come quicker, but if you’re someone who is able to orgasm without a vibrator, you’re not going to lose that ability through vibrator use,” says Streicher.

7. You might, however, exhaust the nerves through extended stimulation and lose some feeling short-term.

You might, however, exhaust the nerves through extended stimulation and lose some feeling short-term.

It’s usually a result of a big, high-powered vibrator + direct stimulation for a long time. But you won’t cause any permanent damage, says Streicher — you just need to take a break and let the nerves chill out for a bit.

8. That said, some people can only orgasm with the help of a vibrator and that’s perfectly chill, too.

So while no one is going to become vibrator-dependent through use, others are vibrator-dependent because they’re just not able to orgasm through other means, period, says Streicher. There’s a long list of reasons why that might be, like decreased sensitivity in nerve endings due to menopause or diabetes. So if for whatever reason you need a vibrator, don’t sweat it — there is no hierarchy of orgasms and whatever you need to do to get off is awesome.

9. On top of just being fun and feeling great, yep, there are health benefits to masturbation.

It relieves stress, it helps you feel more relaxed, and it boosts endorphins and testosterone levels, which can improve your mood, according to Britton. So ~keep calm and masturbate on~.

10. Your clitoris is a big structure, and there are different ways to stimulate it.

Your clitoris is a big structure, and there are different ways to stimulate it.

When you think about the clitoris, you’re probably thinking about the small, button-like visible part. But the clitoris actually has branches that extend down underneath the skin, along either side of the vulva, kind of in a wishbone shape, says Britton. Those legs contain erectile issue and can engorge with blood the same way a penis can, and can potentially be stimulated.

For ideas on various ways to play with your clitoris, check out this post.

11. And your clitoris can benefit from lube just as much as your vagina can.

Lubrication isn’t just needed to make penetration easier and safer; it can decrease the risk of irritation of the sensitive skin of the clitoris, BuzzFeed Health previously reported. So if you’re going to be rubbing, tapping, or otherwise playing with your clitoris, consider adding a dot of lube.

12. If you use toys, don’t slack on cleanliness and hygiene.

If you use toys, don't slack on cleanliness and hygiene.

Not washing and storing your toy correctly can lead to problems, whether that’s a shorter life span or distortion of your toy or a risk of an infection for you, says Britton. “Masturbation is not going to transmit an STI, but cleanliness and good hygiene are important for your safety,” she says.

Every toy is going to have different upkeep requirements, but you can learn the basics here.

13. On that note, using condoms with your toys is a great way to make your life a lot easier.

On that note, using condoms with your toys is a great way to make your life a lot easier.

Obviously this is true for porous toys that can only stay sanitary with condoms, but even with silicone and other non-porous materials, you can save yourself some time by wrapping them up. For one, you don’t have to jump up and wash your toys as soon as you’re done using them, says Streicher. And you can use the same toy vaginally and anally in the same masturbation session (if it’s an anal-safe toy with a flared base) by switching condoms instead of washing in-between (or worse, doing nothing and cross-contaminating yourself — which, DON’T).

Also, using a condom opens up the possibility of using different lubes of your preference with your toys, says Streicher. For example, silicone lube and silicone toys don’t mix, but that’s not a problem if you have a condom over your dildo.

14. That said, embrace your go-to method of orgasming once you find it, because duh, it’s awesome.

“We all have what I call your groove,” says Britton. “And once you find your groove, stick with it, because it’s a sure pathway to the outcome that you want, which is usually a delicious orgasm.”

15. But if you can’t orgasm with a partner, maybe look into how you’re masturbating.

A lot of people have masturbation patterns that have carried over from childhood that aren’t translatable to partnered sex, says Britton. Like, maybe you used to hump a pillow or a stuffed animal in order to have an orgasm, but there’s no way to recreate that sensation with a partner. Sex with a partner doesn’t have to be all about having an orgasm, but if you are frustrated, maybe stray from your reliable masturbation pattern and see if you can find other ways to get yourself off — then see if you can translate that to partner sex.

16. Masturbating can help you enjoy sex with other people more.

Masturbation is pretty much a foundation for all partnered activity. “If you don’t know what feels good to you, there’s no way you’ll be able to guide your partner with a successful roadmap,” Dr. Sherry Ross, board-certified gynecologist and author of she-ology: The Definitive Guide to Women’s Intimate Health. Period, tells BuzzFeed Health. “It starts with knowing your body, exploring your body, and not being shameful of your sexual health and pleasure.”

17. And if you have some dry spells between sexual partners, masturbating can ~prime the pump~, so to speak.

And if you have some dry spells between sexual partners, masturbating can ~prime the pump~, so to speak.

Like, even more than just making sure you’re not crazy horny while you’re waiting to have sex. “In old times, when there was a pump of water over a well, if you didn’t use the well often enough, you’d have to really push to get the water to flow again,” says Britton. “If you’ve primed the pump, it’s going to be easier to get the water out. That’s real in terms of the metaphor for how masturbation serves us and how it lubricates us between sexual partners. We keep the juices flowing and the blood circulating.”

18. Foreplay can be just as important with yourself as it is with partnered sex.

On the one hand, being properly lubricated is really important no matter if you’re having sex with someone else or yourself — so getting yourself nice and turned on is a big help. So many people skip it, but Britton is also a huge proponent of having foreplay with yourself because it can be really hot.

19. When choosing a vibrator, go check out a sex shop in person if you can — you’re more likely to find the perfect fit that way.

When choosing a vibrator, go check out a sex shop in person if you can — you're more likely to find the perfect fit that way.

Ordering online is awesome and discreet if that’s what you need. But sometimes, going into a shop is worth it. “You want to be able to test-drive it,” says Britton. “Does the size and shape look appealing to you? What does the vibration feel like on your hand? Your body will let you know.”

If a vibration feels too intense in your hands, your clitoris or vagina probably won’t like it either. Also, there are different types of vibrations that you can only feel in person — some are low and rumbly while some are more ~buzzy~, some are concentrated to a point while some are more diffuse, that kind of thing. Shopping in person gives you a chance to feel out what sensations intrigue you.

20. You can technically condition yourself to get horny when you’re stressed/tired/sad/whatever based on when you masturbate.

Think Pavlov’s dogs: If you masturbate with a consistent pattern, an activity might start to trigger an arousal response, BuzzFeed Health previously reported. For example let’s say you masturbate as stress relief or as a pick-me-up when you feel blue. This can eventually condition your body to get super horny whenever you feel stressed out or sad. Your body might respond to stress or sadness like, “Guess it’s time to masturbate! LET ME JUST GET HORNY REAL QUICK.”

So maybe mix it up sometimes. Just in case.

21. If you have trouble masturbating or orgasming in general, it could be a mental thing and there’s help available for that.

A lot of women and people with vaginas grew up surrounded by sex-negative messages about female masturbation and sexuality, whether culturally or religiously, says Streicher. Because of that, you might be dealing with internalized shame from these deeply ingrained beliefs that can mess with your relationship with your own sexuality — and Streicher encourages anyone dealing with that to see a sex therapist.

“These are men and women who have very specific training in dealing with these kinds of cultural and religious issues that can impact someone’s ability to have a typical sexual response,” says Streicher. “Some of these things are purely medical and you can see someone like a gynecologist who can help, but very often, this is where a certified sex therapist comes in.”

You can find someone near you through the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) here.

22. And if you don’t know what to do when you masturbate or want to try switching it up, OMGYes is a great educational website that has explicit video demonstrations and tutorials of various masturbation techniques.

And if you don't know what to do when you masturbate or want to try switching it up, OMGYes is a great educational website that has explicit video demonstrations and tutorials of various masturbation techniques.

The videos are straightforward and educational in nature, rather than pornographic, but heads up: it’s still very NSFW.

Cortesía de: BuzzFeed

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