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12 Hot Masturbation Tips for People With Vulvas

Article of Origin By Suzannah Weiss

March 8, 2022

Masturbation is a bit of an art form: There are endless ways to do it, (pretty much) no method is right or wrong, and it can take some creativity to figure out what works for you. But even if you’ve got your solo-sex moves down pat, learning a new technique could teach you something about your body or help you feel pleasure in a new way. And if you’re in the process of figuring out how to turn yourself on and (potentially) orgasm, switching up your masturbation routine could open up new avenues to enjoyment.

“Experimenting with new masturbation techniques is a way to discover important elements of what you like (or don’t), to stretch yourself sexually in a completely safe context, and to stay engaged with your body and desires—which can change over time,” Carol Queen, sex educator and staff sexologist at Good Vibrations, tells SELF. Just like you can get into a sexual rut with a partner, your masturbation routine can become stagnant, which may leave something to be desired, Queen adds.

Like we said, there’s no wrong way to self-pleasure, and if you’re happy with your current moves (or lack thereof), you–uh–do you. But for those of you who are turned on by the idea of shaking up your solo-sex routine, we asked 12 sex experts to share their favorite masturbation tips. Consider their advice masturbation inspiration.

1. Don’t limit lube to partner penetration. If you like (or want) to incorporate penetration into your masturbation routine, lube can help a dildo or finger go in much more easily, naturally. But a lesser-known fact is that it can also enhance clitoral stimulation, Erica Smith, MEd, sex educator, tells SELF. “When your vulva is slippery, it’s a lot easier to explore with your hands, and it also reduces friction on the clitoris, which some can find painful or unpleasant,” Smith explains. She also suggests using lube with any kind of insertive toy, even if you have natural lubrication and don’t think you “need” it. “It’s not really about needing it, but about adding it as an enhancement,” she says. If you’re using toys, Smith recommends water-based lube, since silicone formulas can break down silicone sex toys. And FYI: If your masturbation exploration involves latex (in, say, a condom you put over a toy), you’ll want to avoid oil-based lube, which can cause the material to deteriorate.

2. Prioritize foreplay for solo sex too. Tuning in to your body’s sensations (and getting out of your head) is key for enjoying masturbation—and sex in general—and one way to develop this type of mindfulness is to expand your definition of self-pleasure beyond sexual touch, Bianca I. Laureano, certified sexuality educator, tells SELF. This could mean using a scent you enjoy in the bath and paying attention to changes in the temperature of the water, or applying lotion and noting how different parts of your skin feel, she says.

Exploring physical sensations in this way can be particularly beneficial for people in larger bodies, who are often excluded from our culture’s views and portrayals of sexuality. Experimenting with non-sexual self-touch can be an opportunity for larger-bodied people to reinforce the idea that they deserve to feel good and experience pleasure, Laureano says. If you’re not yet comfortable with masturbation, easing your way in with non-sexual touch can be a non-threatening way to get started, Laureano adds. You can start with small things, like massaging your hand or wearing clothing with textures you enjoy. “Often, masturbation requires a level of comfort and safety,” Laureano says. “Starting from a place that’s less intimidating welcomes more expansion to find that comfort in touching ourselves.”

3. Put your hips into it. Since many of us masturbate lying down, focused on what we’re doing with our hands, moving around might sound like multi-tasking—but it can also have huge pleasure payoffs. Moving your pelvis (and your body in general) can get your heart rate up and increase blood flow, including to the genitals, Queen says. “You can writhe, wiggle, or thrust your hips,” she suggests. “That motion will increase circulation, and more blood flow—particularly to sexually sensitive areas—can heighten arousal.” Late sexologist Betty Dodson popularized this circulation-boosting masturbation technique with her “rock and roll” method, which involves lying on your back, thrusting your pelvis up and down, and squeezing your vaginal muscles in time with your thrusting. You can also experiment with your own movement method, tuning in to your body—which can help you tune out cultural ideas of what being turned on is supposed to look like—to notice what feels good and natural to you. In other words, masturbate like no one’s watching.

4. Get to know your clitoris (it bears repeating). We know this is old news to most people who have one, but the clitoris can be key for solo satisfaction: According to a 2017 survey of more than 1,000 women published in the