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Masturbation is a normal, healthy part of human sexuality. However, if you feel like you're losing control, or the need to masturbate is interfering with your everyday life or taking the place of sex in a loving relationship, talking to a GP may help.

Many men and women masturbate to become sexually aroused and to satisfy a sexual need, but until fairly recently was regarded as taboo and not talked about. However, attitudes have changed and masturbation is, in fact, the safest sex of all. You don’t have to worry about catching a  sexually transmitted infection (STI) or becoming pregnant. 

Masturbation is the sexual stimulation of one's own genitals for sexual arousal or other sexual pleasure, usually to the point of orgasm . [1] The stimulation may involve hands, fingers , everyday objects, sex toys such as vibrators , or combinations of these. [1] [2] Mutual masturbation (mutual manual stimulation of the genitals between partners) can be a substitute for sexual penetration . Studies have found that masturbation is frequent in humans of both sexes and all ages, although there is variation. Various medical and psychological benefits have been attributed to a healthy attitude toward sexual activity in general and to masturbation in particular. No causal relationship is known between masturbation and any form of mental or physical disorder. [3]

Masturbation has been depicted in art since prehistoric times and is mentioned and discussed in very early writings. In the 18th and 19th centuries, some European theologians and physicians described it as "heinous", "deplorable", and "hideous", but during the 20th century, these taboos generally declined. There has been an increase in discussion and portrayal of masturbation in art, popular music, television, films, and literature. Today, religions vary in their views of masturbation; some view it as a spiritually detrimental practice, some see it as not spiritually detrimental, and others take a situational view. The legal status of masturbation has also varied through history and masturbation in public is illegal in most countries. [4]

In the West , masturbation in private or with a partner is generally considered a normal and healthy part of sexual enjoyment. Animal masturbation has been observed in many species, both in the wild and in captivity. [5] [6] [7]

The English word masturbation was introduced in the 18th century, based on the Latin verb masturbari , alongside the more technical and slightly earlier onanism . The Latin verb masturbari is of uncertain origin . Suggested derivations include an unattested word for penis , *mazdo , cognate with Greek mézea μέζεα , "genitals", or alternatively a corruption of an unattested *manusturpare ("to defile with the hand"), by association with turbare "to disturb". [8] [9]

While masturbation is the formal word for this practice, many other expressions are in common use. Terms such as playing with yourself , pleasuring oneself and slang such as wanking , [10] jerking off , [11] and frigging are common. Self-abuse and self-pollution [12] were common in early modern times and are still found in modern dictionaries. A large variety of other euphemisms and dysphemisms exist which describe masturbation. For a list of terms, see the entry for masturbate in Wiktionary .

Masturbation involves touching, pressing, rubbing or massaging a person's genital area, either with the fingers or against an object such as a pillow ; inserting fingers or an object into the vagina or anus (see anal masturbation ); and stimulating the penis or vulva with an electric vibrator , which may also be inserted into the vagina or anus. It may also involve touching, rubbing, or pinching the nipples or other erogenous zones while masturbating. Both sexes sometimes apply lubricating substances to intensify sensation.

Some people get sexual pleasure by inserting objects, such as urethral sounds , into the urethra (the tube through which urine and, in men, semen, flows), [13] a practice known as urethral play or "sounding". [14] Other objects such as ball point pens and thermometers are sometimes used, although this practice can lead to injury and/or infection. [15] Some people masturbate by using machines that simulate intercourse.

Men and women may masturbate until they are close to orgasm , stop for a while to reduce excitement, and then resume masturbating. They may repeat this cycle multiple times. This "stop and go" build-up, known as "edging", can achieve even stronger orgasms. [16] Rarely, people quit stimulation just before orgasm to retain the heightened energy that normally comes down after orgasm. [17]

Masturbation is a term we generally associate men, but masturbation isn’t the exclusive domain of men and women can masturbate too. What most people tend to forget is that women are also sexual beings and can have the same needs, just like a man. While the jury is still out on what actually excites a woman (erotic novels, sexy innuendos, a certain fragrance or even the memory of someone) and how often women think about sex, it is definitely true that women need sexual release just like men.

In India, where societal norms and rules don’t allow women to express their sexuality or even acknowledge the presence of any kind of pleasure, it is quite common to come across people who think that masturbation does not exist, that a woman cannot pleasure herself and  that touching your private parts is weird apart from other such misconceptions. So, in order to empower women to feel pleasure,  in this post we answer some of the most burning questions about masturbation, how you can do it and why it is essential.

First things first – yes! Women do and can masturbate; just as men do. Although the organs involved are a bit different, the satisfaction is far greater than what a man feels when he masturbates (our orgasms lasts approximately 25 seconds as compared to a man’s 15 seconds). Apart from that, it is absolutely natural, normal and will do you no harm. In fact masturbation is a healthy practice and can help you in a number of ways. It helps you build a positive body image, helps you understand what you do and don’t like – sexually, what turns you on and most importantly lets you explore and understand your private parts (an absolutely essential thing when it comes to your health). Read about why masturbating is important for your health.

Yes, you can. All you actually need are your fingers and your body. It’s that simple. While most of us think that we need a partner to help us feel pleasure or climax, there is nothing father from the truth. Most women do not orgasm while having sexual intercourse. In fact, according to a recent study 30% women do not orgasm when stimulated vaginally, making penetrative sex a little disappointing. This is where pleasuring yourself comes in very handy. No more frustrating nights where your partner has not been able to make you orgasm. Sounds good doesn’t it?

Okay, we won’t lie, if you are overzealous while you masturbate, you could harm yourself. Here is where knowing what you like is essential. If you don’t know yet, experimentation is the key, but apart from you wanting to hit that happy-high too quickly, there is no other risk involved with masturbation. Yes, using sex toys or other objects to pleasure yourself vaginally, may have its own risks, so it is best you use them wisely.

Step 1: Set the mood: The kind of arousal you need is subjective, but one thing a woman needs is a calm, relaxing environment where she can simply unwind and think sexy thoughts. So try to set the mood, light some candles, draw a relaxing bath, play some sexy music and if you like, pick up an erotic novel.  Most importantly, remember to lock your door so that you are not disturbed, unless you live alone, that is. Another good preparatory tip is to have soft and inviting lights along with a clean, soft bed sheet. While this might sound silly, the right lighting and a bed sheet that feels wonderful against your naked skin can make all the difference.

Step 2: Undress: This is not really that essential, but it definitely helps. Some women may not feel comfortable being completely nude, while there are others who might enjoy it. So figure it out. Strip and see how you feel, if you like it lie down on your back.

Step 3: Imagine: Whether it’s a romantic scene from Grey’s Anatomy or the image of a hot model, imagine a scenario in which you feel sexually aroused. This part will also teach you about what you like sexually. Be it rough sex, romantic kisses or some fetish, go with the flow and allow yourself some dirty thoughts. You could also try these female-friendly porn websites.

More than half of American women 18-49 masturbate at least once every 3 months, according to a study from The Kinsey Institute, and that’s true for single women and those who are coupled up. Self-pleasure doesn’t have the stigma it once did, says Nicole Prause, PhD, but myths still affect the way that some women feel about it -- and how they do (or don’t) touch themselves.

Masturbating increases blood flow throughout your body and releases feel-good brain chemicals called endorphins. “That may explain why there’s a clear mood benefit, even if you don’t orgasm,” says Prause, a sexuality researcher at UCLA. And while men are more likely to talk about blowing off steam by masturbating, research suggests it’s a stress-reliever for both sexes. “It takes your mind [off your worries] while activating areas of the brain associated with pleasure,” Prause says.

Masturbation can make you sexually comfortable and confident. “It puts you in touch with your desires and gives you the chance to get to know your own body,” says sexuality educator Yvonne K. Fulbright, PhD. “Experimenting with what feels good and makes you respond positively can lead to better sexual experiences, both alone and with a partner.”

“The vagina can actually narrow, which can make intercourse and vaginal exams more painful.” But masturbation, especially with a water-based lubricant, can help prevent narrowing, boost blood flow, relieve some tissue and moisture problems, and increase sexual desire, Chervenak says.

The media may suggest otherwise, but masturbation isn’t just a “quickie” experience. That’s OK. “Rushing can make it less enjoyable, and so can focusing too much on orgasm,” Fulbright says. “Give yourself time to touch all parts of your body or try different positions, and don’t feel pressure to climax.”

Nearly half of women between the ages of 18 and 60 have used a sex toy like a dildo or vibrator, according to a survey by Ashley Leonard at Robert Morris University. If you’ve had trouble reaching orgasm and want to climax, a vibrator (which stimulates the nerve endings in the clitoris) may be helpful.

So when does a harmless exercise turn into a harmful addiction? Here are the physical and psychological symptoms that may indicate you need to holster your hand and give your boner an extended breather.

That injury could be something as mild as skin chaffing, or a more serious condition like Peyronie’s disease—a buildup of plaque in the shaft of your penis that can result from using too much pressure while stroking it, Dr. Köhler explains. If you’re hurting yourself, you need to cut back, he warns.

Some guys who masturbate a lot using specific types of stimuli—say, certain categories of porn coupled with specific hand movements—find that they can’t recreate the same type of excitement during sex, Dr. Köhler explains.

Basically, rubbing it out teaches your brain and body to get off only in response to your solo act, and you experience problems getting it up or finishing with a real-life partner. “If that happens, you have a problem that needs to be addressed,” says Dr. Köhler.

“One of the major criteria of any type of addiction is a loss of control,” Drake explains. Just like a problem smoker or gambler, if you can’t manage to curb your habit when you recognize it’s out of control, that’s an issue.

Drake says there are two main techniques of addressing the issue: Cutting yourself off cold turkey, or the “harm reduction” method, which entails trimming your habit while still allowing yourself the occasional five-knuckle shuffle.

“There’s nothing unhealthy or problematic with masturbating,” he’s quick to add. “But if it becomes detrimental to your life, then you need to treat it like you would any other harmful habit.”

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If there’s one thing I’ve learned from spending the last two years reading questions from you guys, it’s that orgasms can be tough. Movies, TV shows, porn and books make orgasms seem like the most magical thing a woman can go through (and, okay, they sort of are!). But if you’ve never really experimented with sexual stuff before, it can be hard to know if you’ve actually, you know, had one or not. And it can be even harder to figure out how to have one.

If you’ve ever wondered how to orgasm , don’t worry: you’re totally not alone. It’s really easy for guys to get off, but unfortunately, it’s not so simple for us girls. Things down there are a little bit more complicated. So, how do you have an orgasm? We might not be able to tell you exactly what to do, but we can give you some tips that will definitely help you out. Ready to orgasm? Check out our tips:

I’m 17 and I can get an orgasm in like ten minutes as all I do is just rub myself and then wet my fingers and the slowly at first rub my clitoris and then kind of build up my speed when it feels right and then it feel good and your fingers automatically just keep going and you don’t want to stop so I hope this helps you kind of get an orgasm

As I guy, my advice is that if any other guy or girl tells you not to masturbate to just ignore them. It’s not cheating and it’s definitely easier for girls to orgasm if they masturbate and know their bodies well.

Faking orgasm is really bad thing. That mean that you are not enough conformable with ur partner, that you are not relaxed and not enjoying it.
It’s in mind, when u reach that kind of state with ur partner that when u are vurneble u feel conformable, u will have best orgasm ever.

Also there is Yogasm, where you girl can reach orgasm without touching her clitoris or stimulating. There is video of girl getting orgasm without touching herself on (care its NSFW)

I am offended by your terrible advice to watch porn. The majority of women in porn are there against their will. They are victims of sex trafficking. It is not mentally healthy to get off on seeing women being tortured and humiliated.

Virginity is a social construct. Also the gspot is a lie. Penetration is painful for most women to some degree. Very delicate tissues. You should be critical of what society has brainwashed women into doing. Don’t let yourself be pressured into penetration. You don’t ever have to do it. In my opinion the risk are not worth the perceived pleasure.

Learning how to masturbate is a great way to find out what turns you on and what kinds of physical touching and fantasies make you most likely to reach the big 'O'. We are going to show you exactly what to do to masturbate (with your hands or sex toys ) as well as showing you some great ways to expand your range of fantasies.

For some, they find that all they need to do is lie down on their bed to get in the mood. While for others, they like to drag it out by having a shower, applying some body lotion all over their body, lighting some candles, playing their favorite music and putting on something really comfortable before sitting down on a nice comfy chair.

For most people, this means masturbation in their bedroom or doing it when their roommates/partner is not in the house. You might also find turning your phone to silent is a good idea too. This means that if you like getting vocal as you masturbate, you won't have to worry about someone hearing you.

Most find that having a clitoral orgasm is far easier than having a vaginal orgasm when learning how to masturbate, so first we are going to focus on the clitoris. If you don't already know about your clitoris, it's the small nub of firm skin the gets slightly bigger when you're aroused. It's located just above your vagina and is concealed under small folds of skin. It's very sensitive, especially right after you climax.

To stimulate it, try gently rubbing it with your fingers. You may find that it's so sensitive, that it's actually more pleasurable to provide it with indirect stimulation , rubbing around it, instead of touching it directly.

It's best if you start off massaging it slowly and gently and gradually build up how intensely you touch it as you are reaching climax. Then as you climax, ease right off as it will be incredibly sensitive to touch.

Another type of orgasm, that many prefer to regular clitoral orgasms, is the G-spot orgasm. But before you can start stimulating it, you need to actually find the G-spot . It only appears and becomes engorged when you are aroused.

There are a number of ways you can stimulate it. You can make a "come-hither" motion with your fingers to massage it or you can hold your fingers pressed against it, and move the rest of your arm to stimulate it. How you do it is really up to you, but make sure to do some experimentation to find out what you enjoy the most.

We feature both female masturbation (masterbation) and male masturbation stories here. A typical story will feature either teens, women, lesbians, young men or girls masturbating and exploring themselves for the first time. Masturbating has been defined as the excitation of one's own or another's genital organs, usually to orgasm, by manual contact or means other than sexual intercourse. Closely akin to our toys section where external stimulus is involved.

One of my favorite things in life is to take a nap. I find this rather funny and baffling, having a favorite hobby which is being unconscious for a period of time. It may be because I frequently do not sleep well at night, that I especially enjoy these daytime indulgences. They are a period of escape from day-to-day stresses or bigger, more complex, emotional problems. I think my favorite ...Read On

I woke, I felt confused. I had memories of the night before, but there seemed to be gaps, and fragmented images. There had been alcohol. There had been sex, conversation and, somewhere, nagging at my mind, a presence. There were shadows from the evening, lurking at the edges of my mind. My recall of Bob, my work colleague, was sharp enough. He had told me about the walk he'd taken ...Read On

I work hard as a secretary for a law firm, it is tedious work and sometimes it can be quite stressful. But at the end of the day, I get to go home to my large apartment and relax. I get paid very well and I tend to spend a lot of my money on lingerie. The touch, the feel, it excites me. My name is Amanda Johnson and I am 27 years old. I have light brown hair and dark eyes. My small nose ...Read On

I’ve never considered myself a hardcore handyman, although I do prefer to do my own maintenance, etc. but to make things easier I bought a home on ground level. There is a small patch of trees behind the houses on my street, allowing privacy behind us. Recently I had finished painting the outside, including trim. I went inside, took a shower and was deciding where to go for dinner when I ...Read On

I was a thirty-four-year-old unemployed, still living at home, lonely, single, and incredibly horny woman. I watched porn on the net majority of the time. Every single day. I found hentai she-male and lesbian porn interesting and hot, lesbian porn was so hot! Especially when there's two smoking hot blonde women on top of each other rubbing their wet pussies together. Oh, man, I would rub my ...Read On

Ryan could think of better places to be on a Friday evening than idling in the middle lane of motorway rush hour. Face first in the pussy of Mya/Naya or whatever the hell she was called from the other night would be infinitely preferable. Jostling six deep at the humid cocktail bar, he hadn't pressed for her name after the thumping music and rowdy patrons drowned out her response. And by ...Read On

You thought I didn't see but I did. Boy did I see. I saw everything sweetheart, and afterwards I played it over and over and over in my mind, adding extra details each time, my mind racing with thoughts and my cock hard with excitement. I saw it as if in slow motion. I felt it first, the rising wind. It started slowly and then gained force behind it, blowing the autumn leaves across the ...Read On

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Masturbation Posted under Health Guides . Updated 6 August 2015.
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As you approach and enter puberty (a time in which your body and mind will sexually mature), you may notice that you will begin to have sexual desires, new feelings, thoughts, and a sense of curiosity and awareness about your body that you didn’t have when you were younger. During and after this time, masturbation can become a normal part of your life.

Masturbation is touching or rubbing your genitals. Girls often touch and rub their vagina and clitoris. Some girls will touch parts of their vulva (which includes the clitoris, inner and outer labia, vaginal opening, vaginal canal, and anus). Whereas, boys masturbate by touching and rubbing their penis (some will touch their testicles and also their anus). Masturbation is a normal part of sexual development, but it should always be done in a private place.

People begin masturbating at different times in their lives. Some start in childhood when they realize that touching their genitals feels good. However, children do not associate sexual fantasies with masturbation, as some teens may.

Myths about Female Masturbation: Masturbation is considered a private or “taboo” topic and many people feel uncomfortable talking about it. For this reason, people may hear untrue facts about masturbation and then believe it. Below are some “myths” or lies that are often told about masturbation. Talk to your health care provider, school nurse, or another adult you trust to get more facts about masturbation.

Many teens who have grown up in cultures or religious communities where masturbation is thought of as wrong or immoral, may feel guilty for feeling sexual pleasure. They may also believe many of the myths above and think that masturbation is bad for their health.

Masturbation can sometimes irritate your genitals, but besides that, masturbation is not physically dangerous. You may be masturbating too much, if it begins to interfere with your daily routine, school, and other activities. It can also become a problem if it’s associated with sadness, extreme guilt, withdrawal, or other emotional and psychological problems.

Although it’s illegal to buy pornography if you are under the age of 18, many teens see pornographic images on the internet or in magazines. For some teens, looking at pornography can be sexually exciting and increase sexual pleasure, but it’s important to understand that:

Masturbation is considered by many to be the cornerstone of sexual health. Most men believe that they already know everything about their own genitals and sexual response . It’s all out there, boys will be boys, etc. But just because you know how your tools work, doesn’t mean you can build the Eiffel Tower.

Also, contrary to popular belief, a penis doesn't make a man.  Most men have penises, yes. And most like the way they feel, true. But not all men have penises , or penises that feel good, or that they want to use in the context of sexual pleasure .   This might be better described as a guide to masturbating for penises.  If you're curious we have another guide to masturbation for clitorises .  And a third one that is simply masturbation for everyone .

While masturbation is a valuable and needed part of a healthy sexuality and sex life, it's often the silent party of an individual's sexuality — the part people are often ashamed of. So, I am here to break down some masturbation myths for you. It's too bad that our society encourages shame and guilt about masturbation. However, despite the hush-hush attitude most of us have adopted about the subject, most men do masturbate and will acknowledge it openly amongst their male peers (and feel sexy ). 

When it comes to masturbation, women are different. A significantly larger portion of women either don't masturbate or deny it. Well, ladies, here is some information about why     masturbation may be good not only for you, but also for your relationships. Here are four reasons why you should masturbate . 

While masturbating, do we fantasize about being dominated or being watched? These are clues which help us understand what makes us tick, and in turn, we can begin to understand how to get our needs met by a partner. Individuals who are having issues with arousal or orgasm can benefit greatly from masturbation and self love , getting to know your body techniques.

Ladies, if you are having trouble masturbating, I also suggest experimenting with some toys. Using a vibrator, for example, is a common way for women to learn to achieve orgasm . Investing in a vibrator may be something you want to add into your sexual repertoire. Getting familiar with your body through the use of a vibrator is also a good way to know what you like, and can be a fun and exciting thing to introduce to partner sex, as well.

Also, there is a study that suggests that women who masturbate are more likely to be concerned with their sexual health and visit the gynecologist more often. I'm not sure if this last one is altogether true, but I can see the correlation since women who masturbate may be more in-tune with their bodies, and thus, visit the gynecologist more often.

The concept being that a sexually active woman need not masturbate is actually a fallacy. Sex with a partner is great and masturbation is great, too. Why deprive yourself of one because you have the other? It just doesn't make sense.

Would you deprive yourself of cake just because you had ice cream? Nope, I didn't think so. In Italy, they eat pizza before they eat pasta. Get my drift? A little indulgence in developing your sexual repertoire will make you a sexier person all around too. 

Mutual masturbation takes the focus away from the need to please each other and can help couples recognize the value of self-pleasure and self-care within a relationship. Not to mention, it helps us get to know each other just a little bit better.

The French refer to orgasms as les petites morts, AKA “the little deaths.” Typically there is very little downside to such little deaths—in fact, they can be pleasurable, reassuring, invigorating, and downright life-affirming…that is, up until the point where they lead to big deaths.

Estimates vary widely, but roughly 500 to 1,000 Americans die yearly due to autoerotic asphyxiation , the act of accidentally suffocating or strangling oneself to death while purposely cutting off oxygen to the brain to enhance one’s orgasm. Practitioners of this dangerously seedy art often go the extra mile to construct impossibly elaborate devices that would make Rube Goldberg proud.

Based on available evidence, the victims are overwhelmingly—to the tune of about 95%—white and male. But it’s difficult to crunch the real numbers because many of these cases are categorized as suicides by family members who live in a culture where for some reason it’s considered more noble to purposely take your own life than to accidentally croak while trying to bust a nut.

While autoerotic asphyxiation is by far the most common cause of death by masturbation, the following list will reveal hapless self-pleasurers who met their maker due to getting sucked off by a vacuum cleaner, electrocuting their penis, perforating their bowels with a vibrating dildo, choking to death on a zucchini, and even pleasuring oneself with frozen sausages. It’s a big world, and there’s room for everybody here.

This is allegedly the oldest victim of an autoerotic fatality ever reported. He was found hanging by a belt wrapped around his neck in his living room, naked and bound with ropes that crisscrossed his body from his legs up to his chest. Investigators discovered semen on his right hand as well as on the floor.

At age 50, Londoner Nigel Willis was an unemployed diabetic who lived with his mother. He also apparently enjoyed pleasuring himself while having a vibrating dildo shoved up his crapper. One fateful day late in 2013 he accidentally lodged the vibrator so far up his rectum that he found it impossible to extract. He was also so humiliated by the entire sequence of events that he refused to seek help until five days later, at which point the little buzzing fake penis had already punctured his colon. He spent over a month in the hospital before finally succumbing to “multi-organ failure, sepsis and a perforated bowel.”

This tragic and easily preventable autoerotic fatality could have been averted if this lonely Australian drunkard who lived alone in a mining town had settled for traditional, unencumbered, hand-on-penis masturbation. But nooooooo—he had to go for the “Cadillac plan” by plugging in a wall-mounted electrical cord and trying to zap himself into a state of heightened ecstasy:

The cord had been taken from an electrical appliance; the appliance plug had been removed from the cord, bare wires being thus exposed. Attached to one of the live wires of the electric cord was a 45 cm long metal neck chain, extending down the left side of the abdomen to a single loop wrapped around with the chest of the deceased; the earth wire was tucked into the rubber/fabric shroud of the cord. At the site of contact with the negative wire on the chest was an electric burn to the skin extending into subcutaneous fat. A further, patterned, superficial electric burn mark extended down the left side of the abdomen and around the base of the penis, the pattern corresponding to that of the neck chain….

Masturbation used to be an utterly taboo subject. We were told touching ourselves was dirty and wrong, that if we did it we'd go crazy or grow hair on our palms. If these lies were spread to keep us from pleasuring ourselves, it worked: in the mid-20th century, only 50% of men and far fewer women owned up to masturbating. The women's movement, better health education and increased levels of body consciousness have done wonders for masturbation's bad rap. Now, according to the Kinsey Institute, 92% of males and 62% of females report having masturbated. In fact, single females report that masturbation is their most important sexual outlet. We must be growing more enlightened as a culture!

Masturbation is fun, healthy and safe. In fact, it's the safest form of sex you can practice. You can't become pregnant or contract an STD from masturbating, nor will your hands cheat on you, lie about how good it was, or spend all your money. If you're one of the few who hasn't touched themselves, give it a try. What can it hurt? At the worst, you won't care for it much. At best, you'll discover an exciting new way to relieve stress, celebrate your body, relieve sexual tension and give yourself a whole lotta pleasure.

If you're masturbating for the first time--or even if you're a seasoned pro--take a few moments to relax, heighten your senses and explore your body. Dim the lights, turn on some soft, sensual music, light a few candles and burn some incense. You may feel a little silly making all these preparations just to have sex with yourself, but try it at least once and see if you like it. Many women are surprised at their bodies' responses to a sensual environment.

Once the room is ready, remove your clothes and recline on the bed or sofa. Make sure you're completely comfortable; try propping your elbows on a few pillows. Then begin to explore your body. Stroke your breasts, belly and thighs. Feel your skin raise into goosebumps as you become aroused by your own touch. Don't leave an inch of skin unexplored: search out and touch all the places on your body you don't consider to be "sexual," such as the backs of your knees, your underarms, the crevice between your vulva and inner thighs. You'll soon find out what turns you on.

As you become more comfortable and aroused, set aside the mirror and flashlight and try to completely relax. Continue to stroke your clitoris, mons pubis and vaginal opening. Concentrate on the areas that feel the best. Once you are fully aroused, you'll most likely become wet with vaginal lubrication. Try inserting a finger or two and see how that feels. Some women enjoy penetration when masturbating, some don't. Neither way is better. That's one of the joys of self-love--you can engage in only the stimulation that you enjoy, nothing more and nothing less. You're in it for yourself alone. Try different types of stimulation and see what feels best. Or try a few of the following "advanced" moves:

One rule to remember--regardless of the technique you prefer--is to be nice to yourself. Masturbation is for  you ; you are the only person you need to worry about pleasing. Do what feels good for you. Don't worry about having an orgasm. With the multitude of nerve endings in your vulva, you will enjoy the stimulation regardless of whether or not you come. Revel in the sensations you produce in your body.

Sadly, even after decades of women's lib, men are encouraged to be more open and expressive with their sexuality than women are. The downside is that fewer women feel comfortable discussing or engaging in masturbation; the upside is that most men are really, really good at masturbating and need little encouragement to do so.

If your partner is disturbed by your masturbation practices, including technique or frequency, gently encourage him or her to leave it alone. Masturbation is not a replacement for sex. Just because you are masturbating does not necessarily mean that your partner is failing to meet your sexual needs. People masturbate for all kinds of reasons! If there is a relationship problem, talk it out, buy a communication book, or see a couples therapist. Otherwise, it's perfectly healthy, normal and positive for  both  partners to masturbate. Finally, encourage your partner to masturbate with you; this can be a huge turn-on for both of you.





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