Woman having an orgasm
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Masturbation: going solo

When you masturbate, you touch and caress yourself to give yourself sexual pleasure. Often you do this until you're fully aroused and have an orgasm.

There are lots of ways to masturbate and arouse yourself.

Women usually do it by rubbing their clitoris and vagina with their fingers. And men do it by rubbing their penis up and down. But you can try anything that turns you on, like touching your nipples or your anus.

You can also arouse yourself by fantasising about sexual images or stories. You can fantasise about whatever you like – nothing is weird in a fantasy.

Find out

Masturbating is enjoyable, and useful too. You get to know your own body. You find out what your penis or vagina looks like. How it feels, how it smells, how it works. And if you know what turns you on and gives you an orgasm, you can tell your partner when you make love.

While you masturbate, you'll probably enjoy thinking about things that make you feel turned on. You might think about anything: the clothes you're wearing, a particular person, or a whole story you find exciting. You might fantasise about things you wouldn't actually want to do at all in real life.

Most people masturbate, even if they're in a relationship. It’s perfectly normal to masturbate often. But if you never feel like doing it at all, that’s okay too!

Women masturbating

Rub your fingers around your clitoris or over it. When you get turned on, your vagina becomes wet. Your clitoris gets bigger and harder. You can use the moisture from your vagina to make your clitoris more sensitive. Rubbing or stroking your clitoris can make you have an orgasm.

If you find your clitoris is very sensitive to touch, try rubbing your fingers more slowly and gently around the clitoris. If you find your clitoris needs more stimulation, you can rub your fingers faster and harder around your clitoris or over it. If you like, try putting one or more fingers into your vagina while using the fingers of your other hand to rub your clitoris.

You can masturbate in all sorts of ways:

  • Using a hand-held shower head, direct the stream from the shower-head around your vulva.
  • Use a vibrator.
  • Put a dildo or vibrator into your vagina. Some people use suitable-shaped fruits or vegetables instead. It's more hygienic if you cover it in a condom.
  • You might find a variety of things pleasurable, and these things might change over time.

Men masturbating

When you masturbate, you hold the penis in your hand or between your fingers. Stroke your penis in an up and down action. Once you begin to feel aroused, try varying the speed and pressure You can do this until you have an orgasm. When this happens, you ejaculate semen out of your penis.

There are many ways to masturbate:

  • Rubbing or stroking the head of your penis.
  • Long or short movements using your whole hand, or just two fingers.
  • Use spit or lubricant to make your hand glide up and down more easily.
  • If you’re circumcised, you don’t have a foreskin and the head of your penis is always uncovered. Sometimes this makes the head of your penis less sensitive. Try using spit or lubricant can make it more slippery when you masturbate. You can also try rubbing under the rim of the penis head to get extra sensation.

Masturbation in a relationship

Many people continue masturbating even when they’re in a happy and committed relationship.
But why would someone masturbate if they're happy with their partner? There are several reasons:

  • Stress relief: some people use masturbation as a release to relax after a stressful day.
  • They feel aroused but don’t want to have full sex or don’t have the right opportunity for it.
  • They want to try out different techniques and movements, which they can then practise with their partner.
  • They know the rhythm of their own body and use masturbation to help build the excitement.

People who masturbate regularly tend to have more satisfying sex lives, so it's nothing to worry about!
If you feel upset because your partner masturbates regularly, stay calm and ask them why they do it. Then ask if you can watch next time! Both men and women can find it a turn-on to be watched masturbating by their partner.
Just say: ‘I’d really like to watch you masturbate next time, so I can see what turns you on.’
Then your partner won’t feel ashamed of doing something perfectly natural, and you won’t feel excluded. And you may well pick up some tips on what feels good to them for the next time you have sex together.

Masturbating her

Masturbating a woman is also known as fingering. When you masturbate a woman, you touch her clitoris and the area around it: the labia and the opening to the vagina. Fingering can make a woman deeply aroused and can bring her to orgasm. But it’s different for every woman, and it can feel different every time.

How do you do it?

  • You can rub around the clitoris or to the side of it – or even right over it.
  • You can move faster or slower, and stroke harder or more gently.
  • You can put one or more fingers inside the woman’s vagina.

Ask your partner what she likes. You could ask her to take your hand and guide you. Or show you herself – which can be quite a turn-on!

Body language

Pay attention to her body language. How is she responding to your touch? Is her vagina becoming moist? Is she sighing or moaning? Is her body writhing? Then you’re getting it right!

Also listen to her breathing: is it getting faster? That’s also a sign that she’s getting aroused.

Apart from your fingers, you can also use your mouth. Only do it if you’re ready for it yourself – not just because the other person takes the initiative and you don’t dare to say no!

Masturbating him

Masturbating a man is also known as – among many other things –  giving a hand-job. You rub or stroke the penis with your hand, usually back and forth over the head. This can feel very arousing and can bring a man to orgasm. It’s different for everybody though, and even for the same person it can feel different every time.

How do you do it?

  • You can use your whole hand, or just your finger and thumb.
  • You can make short movements or long strokes – experiment together.
  • You can do it quickly or slowly, holding the penis firmly or more gently.
  • Ask your partner what he likes. Let him show you, perhaps with your hand under his so you can feel exactly where he’s putting the pressure.

Body language

Pay attention to his body language. How is he responding to your touch? Is his penis getting even harder? Is he sighing or moaning? Then you’re getting it right! Is his breathing getting faster? That’s also a sign that he’s getting aroused.
Apart from your fingers, you can also use your mouth. Only do it if you’re ready for it yourself – not just because the other person takes the initiative and you don’t dare to say no!
If your partner is circumcised, the head of the penis is often less sensitive. You can use spit or lubricant to make your hand slide more easily.

 

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