Love Thyself: The Art of Sexual Pleasure

Searah Deysach
Written by Searah Deysach

I believe in a lot of things: the power of whiskey to cure colds, feminism, the existence of global warming, peanut butter pie. But above all I believe in Love, and in particular, self-love. Self-love can take many forms, from caring for you to the radical act of self-pleasure—or in a single word, Masturbation.

At our very core we are sexual beings[i] capable of feeling immense pleasure and sensation. And while our culture loves to frame sex in the context of two people “doing it”, the truth is that great sex begins at home. Alone. With just you. No lover required.

We tend to think of masturbation as a guy’s game or something for the lonely, and if you were born with a vagina/vulva combo, there is less of a chance that you have explored self-love at all[ii]. So I’m going to give you some reasons to masturbate and then some tips on how to enjoy it fully. Ready for this?

Why Masturbate?
Because it feels good, silly! No, really, think about how much of your daily life is physically pleasurable for you. Some? None? Probably not all of it. But guess what? You can begin or end each day with a ritual for yourself that can be quick, easy and nothing but pure pleasure.

If you are sad, have an orgasm! If you are really frustrated, have an orgasm! Bored? Tired?  Well, you get the picture. It is pretty hard to feel sad, grumpy and all that after you take some time to pleasure yourself.

It is a harmless indulgence that is free, safe, zero calories and good for you (see below). For a few minutes, you don’t have to worry about anyone else’s needs, you can transport yourself anywhere you want to go and indulge in any fantasy you want (remember, no one can see in your brain…yet). There is really no reason why you should NOT be doing it.

Because if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love someone else?[iii]. For lots of folks, entering into sexual congress with another live body is super awesome, but sometimes unsatisfying. I have spoken to scores of women over the years who like sex with their partner but never or rarely have orgasms with them. And while there are multiple reasons for that, often times I find that these folks have who have never had an orgasm never even tried to pleasure themselves.

masturnateThese two things often go hand in hand. Knowing your body is step one in having a great and orgasm-filled love life. I truly believe that YOU need to know how to pleasure yourself before being able to fully enjoy the ministrations of a lover.

Once you have a handle on what feels good on your body, you are much more capable of helping your partner find your sweet spots. You can even show them where you like it and how you like it, once you actually know what you like.

Because it is good for you. Clinically. They have done studies![iv] Masturbation can help relieve menstrual cramps, relax you into sleep, and the endorphins produced during orgasm are just plain awesome.

Masturbation keeps you in touch with your body, and the blood flowing to your bits is good for your long-term health. I have found that it can even temporarily relieve cold-related congestion. Some say it can help with headaches.

If you have a prostate, ejaculation can help reduce the risk of prostate cancer, so a good wank every few days is advisable. Basically, whatever your bits are, touching them safely is good for you. And doing it as often as you want is a bonus.

But how do I masturbate?
Oh gosh, you can masturbate in any way that makes you feel good (and doesn’t hurt anyone else). Problem is, lots of women aren’t even sure where to start, and that is perfectly normal.

If you are new to self-love, I recommend the book Getting Off: A Women’s Guide to Masturbation or the DVD Tristan Taormino’s Expert Guide to Female Orgasm. While many of us opt for sex toys or household objects (hello teddy bear!), if you have not spent a lot of time double clicking your mouse, I highly recommend touching yourself with slicked up fingers so that you get a good feel for your body[v].

I am always shocked and saddened when I hear women say they don’t touch themselves because it is “gross down there”. I’m sorry society and culture made you think it was gross, but listen to me now:- your pussy is amazing! AMAZING! Touch it and learn to love it. Or at least touch it so you know what is going on down there.

All that said, lots of women find that their hands alone don’t quite have enough power or stamina to get them off so a vibrator or “massager” might be a good idea if you are not finding digital stimulation to be the best.

I love our First Timers Kit for folks new to vibrators and then there is always the classic, giant Magic Wand that has been a staple of many women’s bedrooms for like a billion years.

But there is a world of vibes out there, and most folks can find one that suits them.. If you need help picking one out, you can always take our Vibrator Personality Quiz for customized suggestions.

Don’t forget to set the mood. While a quick jill-off session is great, sometimes you need to get yourself riled up before you get going. Get that blood flowing to your nads with a juicy dirty book  or sexy woman-friendly movie or a hot, sensual bath.

Take time, if you have it, to explore your whole body. Close your eyes and transport yourself anywhere sexy that you want to go. And don’t forget to send me a postcard.

About sexuality’s masturbation quiz (just for fun)
Tickle Your Fancy book.. great for beginners.
About Sexuality’s awesome guide to masturbations tips for women

Sex Toys for Trans Women 



[i] Asexual folks may argue this statement

[ii] Numerous sources sited the stat “Surveys have shown that 80% of males and 59% of females have masturbated by age 18.” but I could find no link  to a study or survey that states that. So I don’t trust that statistic completely. But if you ask 10 women and 10 men in your life about masturbation, you will probably find that fewer folks born female were masturbaters before the age of 18. Try it!

[iii] Full credit goes to RuPaul for that statement

[iv] They are always doing studies! You can find some links to some that I trust in this article Masturbation and Your Health

[v] Lube can be your best friend when touching yourself (or anyone else). There are tons out there so spend some time trying to find the one that is yours. Read more about lube on Ms. Fit here.



About the author

Searah Deysach

Searah Deysach

Searah Deysach is a sex educator and the owner of the feminist sex shop Early to Bed. In addition to running her shop, she lectures frequently to community groups and colleges around the state on topics relating to positive sexuality. She is committed to working to create a culture where everyone has access to honest information about sexuality and all women have access to the services they need to protect their reproductive rights. She lives in Chicago with her girlfriend and their kid and thinks everyone should masturbate more.

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