How to Masturbate Even When You've Never Tried Before

Masturbation has the potential for so much pleasure and self-learning, but it’s not necessarily as straight-forward as we may be led to believe. This is particularly true for women. I was interviewed for to offer ideas for women on how to masturbate, and am quoted several times in this article. There are some great suggestions by other sex experts as well! The beginning of this article, by Marie Gartee and Rachael Schultz, is posted below.

How to Masturbate & Tips on Masturbating for Women.  Photo: Ashley Armitage / Refinery29 for Getty Images

How to Masturbate & Tips on Masturbating for Women. Photo: Ashley Armitage / Refinery29 for Getty Images

Okay, it's pretty likely that you've touched yourself before, even if just tentatively in the shower during that period of teenage exploration. That being said, plenty of women have never actually reached a full O on their own.

And well, part of the reason is kind of depressing. "Society teaches women that her pleasure is only important in the context of giving a male partner pleasure—and this just isn't true. Self-pleasure is one of the most empowering and radical things a woman can do in this world," says Rena McDaniel, M.Ed., a clinical sexologist in Chicago.

Masturbating not only boosts your confidence and personal pleasure, but learning what you do and don't like on your own makes it easier for you to enjoy—and actually get off—with a partner. (Not to mention the epic health benefits of masturbation!) 

And if you haven't touched yourself since getting married or having kids, then we highly suggest you read ahead. "Our bodies grow, change, and shift over time, and masturbating can be a way of keeping in touch and staying acquainted with our bodies and our pleasure," says Jennifer Gunsaullus, Ph.D., sociologist and relationship and intimacy counselor in San Diego.

If you've never had any luck with a solo session, remember: No one gets buff after one trip to the gym. The more you do it, the more you'll learn about yourself and the better it will feel, says Emily Morse, sex therapist and host of the podcast Sex with Emily. "Think of it like homework, except the final exam is a lot more fun." 

On the other hand, you may already know the specific set of moves to guarantee climax every time. But even if your tried-and-true method works like a charm, over time that routine may start to feel a little, well, routine.

Here, concrete steps to making your first (or first in a while) solo session a success—or if you simply want to get out of a solo sex rut.

[Read the entire 13 Suggestions on How to Masturbate here. Also, if you’re interested in a guided mindful masturbation experience, check out my free audio file for women on Meditative Masturbation.]

~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego Sexologist, Sociologist, Intimacy Speaker