This post on mindful masturbation was originally published in May 2019 as part of Bawdy Bookworms’ Rub One Out Bingo. Text and images have been updated.
What started as my usual bedtime routine turned into one of my favorite masturbation experiences of all time. Because the temps had doubled overnight, I used cold water to wash my face. A few drops broke away and slithered down my chest, bringing equal parts relief and bliss. Giggling, I began dripping water all over my body. Each sense heightened. Goosebumps covered my skin. Eventually I reached a breathless release. Not an orgasm like you typically think, but a full body ahh.
“Thank god I decided to do this mindful masturbation challenge” I thought to myself, before wiping up the floor and heading to bed. I slept like a baby.
Like most people, when I first heard the words “mindful masturbation,” I rolled my eyes before thinking of meditation or breath work. At the time, my progress in pelvic floor physical therapy had halted and I knew my masturbation routine contributed. I decided to give it a try with hopes of being able to continue healing and keep my orgasms too. Little did I know what a powerful practice it would be!
What is mindful masturbation?
There are as many approaches to it as there are teachers. At its simplest, mindful masturbation means changing your self-pleasure routines and habits and expanding your idea of what “counts” as masturbation.
I often paired my practice with my physical therapy home exercise program including breathing, stretching, strengthening, and using dilators. Sometimes I’d start and end there and other times I would take it further.
What are the benefits of mindful masturbation?
The thing I love about this practice is that it combines the benefits of mindfulness, masturbation, and self-care. These include but aren’t limited to:
- Decreasing stress
- Boosting your immune system
- Clearer skin
- Helping you process complex emotions
- Improved problem solving
- Better management of challenging experiences
- Deeper sleep
- More pleasure and satisfaction!
Mindful masturbation also makes you a better lover + partner
Tuning into your body makes it easier for you to tune into your partner’s as well. You’ll start to notice the more subtle signs of their arousal, wants, and dislikes. You’ll become that epic lover who “just knows” what they want and need.
Plus, all the benefits you experience means you can show up more fully for your beau and fight less.
How to get started with mindful masturbation
Sound great but not sure where to start?
First, reflect on how you usually masturbate. Use this as your starting point from which to make changes.
Then, think about any desires you want to explore and your overall intention for why you want to try this practice. What’s your why?
Next, expand your idea of what “counts” as masturbation. If I had only let myself count genital touch, I would have missed my watery experience even though it was the exact pleasure my body needed.
Lastly, figure out how you want to do it. You can informally sub in some mindful sessions for your regular masturbation or commit to practicing it every day for a set period of time.
17 Secrets to Mindful Masturbation
Want to get the most out of your mindful masturbation practice? Here are 17 practices to enhance your orgasm and make you a better lover.
- Focus on pleasure, not orgasm. As you change your masturbation habits, it may be harder or take longer to experience orgasm at first. This is normal and expected: you’re creating new neural pathways. Instead, focus on what feels good and follow that yummy feeling.
- Set a timer. I recommend 30 minutes but even 10 will do.
- Set an intention. These can be for feelings and/or acts. Some questions to ask yourself:
- What do I want and need out of this mindful masturbation session?
- How do I feel now? How do I want to feel when I’m done?
- What do I want to do?
- Start with movement. That could be yoga, dancing, stretching, or whatever other forms of movement help you feel more powerful, sexy, and present.
- Switch up your positions. Usually get off on your back? Lie on your belly instead (or vice versa). Sit on a chair and loop your legs over the arms. Try on all fours or with legs up the wall. Get a suction cup dildo and back your ass up. Try it on each side, sitting, standing, in the bathtub or shower, with your legs up the wall or back of the couch, in your favorite yoga pose—etc.
- Go slowly + gently. Especially if you are exploring new sensations! Start at a 1 or 2 and move up to a 10. For example, if you want to explore slapping, start with a pat or tap before increasing the intensity.
- Tease yourself. Instead of going straight to your genitals, take some time to move from head to toes. Notice which areas feel good and linger, even (especially!) if it is an area you don’t typically associate with pleasure, sex, or orgasm.
- Play with your breath. Here are some ideas to try:
- Breathing through your nose the entire time
- Taking deep breaths while you orgasm (instead of short, fast ones)
- Being as quiet as possible
- Taking sounding breaths aka moaning on every exhale the entire time
- Use a different toy OR a different setting on your favorite toy. Alternate internal and external stimulation; direct and broad stimulation; vibrations and stillness; patterns and steady state vibrations.
Need toy recommendations? Check out our favorites!
- Explore different sensations. If you usually press or rub hard, go lightly. Try circles, S’s, taps, slaps, pinches, strokes, grabs, massaging, scratches, etc. Get inspired with more ideas from OMGYes.
- Play with all your holes. Give a blowjob to a dildo. Put a finger in your bum. Use Kegels balls or a dildo in your vagina. Play with different ways of being filled up.
- Try perineum massage. Using your fingers or a toy and some lube, rub the area between your vaginal opening or balls and the anal opening. If you have a prostate focus on pressing up into the body to stimulate it. Otherwise, try stroke, massaging, scratching, tapping, or slapping it.
- Use different amounts of lube. Get really wet one day and then use the minimum needed the next. Find the best lube for you here.
- New places. Maybe that’s your bathroom or couch or kitchen counter.
- End in stillness. When you finish—however that looks for you—spend a few minutes with your hands on your body, just being. You may want to cup your hand over you genitals for a bit of grounding.
- Welcome all the feels. Whether that’s the giggles of my cool water adventure or the breathless sobs of other sessions. You may also shake. All of these are forms of physical release. Welcome them and the healing they bring in.
- Journal after. If you don’t fall asleep, take some time to write about your experiences. This can be as free flowing or scientific as you want. It can be a detailed account of what worked and what didn’t or a word vomit of your feelings or a doodle of the experience.
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