16 Super Hot Masturbation Tips for People With Vulvas


This article is part of SELF’s Keep It Hot package, a collection of content that celebrates love and lust. Throughout February, we’ll be dishing out advice and inspiration for feeling hot, getting horny, and nurturing romantic relationships.

If you search for ways to make your sex life more exciting, you’ll likely come across a bunch of strategies for partners like trying new positions or playing with sex toys for couples. Advice about mixing things up in the masturbation department, on the other hand, is harder to come by (pun very much intended). That’s a real shame, because exploring self-pleasure is just as important—maybe even more so!—as exploring partnered sex.   

Sure, a lot of people have their solo-sex moves down pat and might not see a need to fix something that ain’t broke. For others, shame around masturbation—a common sex concern—may factor into hesitation about getting yourself off. Whatever your approach to your masturbation routine may be, there’s a case to be made for a change of pace.

Learning a new technique could teach you something about your body or help you feel pleasure in a new way. And if you’re in the process of figuring out how to turn yourself on or orgasm, a little sexual self-exploration could help get you there.

“Experimenting with new masturbation techniques is a way to discover important elements of what you like (or don’t), to stretch yourself sexually in a completely safe context, and to stay engaged with your body and desires—which can change over time,” Carol Queen, sex educator and staff sexologist at Good Vibrations, tells SELF. Just like you can get into a sexual rut with a partner, your masturbation routine can become stagnant, which may leave something to be desired, Queen adds.

Mixing up your methods can also show you how to have more flexibility in the ways you experience pleasure with partners, Casey Tanner, LCPC, CEO of queer-affirming, sex-positive therapy practice the Expansive Group, tells SELF. “If you always masturbate with a vibrator while on your back, for example, your body may not have a framework for orgasming when you’re on top or when someone is going down on you,” she says. “The more you can learn to relax into different positions and sensations solo, the more likely you’ll be able to orgasm in different positions during partnered sex.”

There’s no wrong way to get yourself off, of course, and if you’re happy with your current moves (or lack thereof), you—uh—do you. But for those of you who are turned on by the idea of shaking up your masturbation routine, we asked 15 sex experts to share their hottest tips. Consider their advice your masturbation inspiration.

1. Get to know your clitoris (it bears repeating).

We know this is old news to most people who have one, but the clitoris can be key for solo satisfaction: According to a 2017 survey of more than 1,000 women published in the Journal Sex and Marital Therapy, three quarters of people with vulvas say clitoral stimulation is either necessary for orgasm or enhances the experience. But if you haven’t taken the time to really get to know your clitoris, it’s worth the effort, since different ones respond to different kinds of touch. Some, for instance, might prefer direct pressure, while others may prefer suction, Marla Renee Stewart, sex expert for sex toy shop Lovers and women’s studies instructor at Clayton State University, tells SELF. “When it comes to figuring out what works best for yours, finding the right toy can help in your exploration,” she says.


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