Contents

Question:

“I have a question, is it a sin for me to masturbate?”

Answer:

Today’s society has a very open attitude towards masturbation, many conservative surveys claim ¾ of males ½ of females have masturbated (and that is a low number as other surveys report numbers well over 90%.) At the same time most churches treat this with such social stigma as if it does not exist or is so vile and vulgar that it is too profane to discuss. I have only heard this discussed one time in church. My former youth pastor took the guys at my church into a room one day and told us that whoever masturbates has hair on his hands, there was a quick flurry of activity as 40 teen guys started panicking and checking their hands. Within seconds they realized they had been duped and started hiding those hands shamefully into their pockets. This is definitely not a comfortable topic to deal with, yet we must be diligent to answer it thoroughly.

First let me summarize the whole issue and then I can openly and frankly answer each part in detail.

The Bible does not forbid the physical act of masturbation but dopes prohibit some associated behaviors like illicit sexual fantasy and selfishness.

Is touching yourself sin?

When we ask the question “is touching yourself a sin” we must understand that the Bible talks a lot about sex. The Scripture also has a lot to say about sexual sin. There are large lists of things too provocative and shocking to talk about in church, recorded right on the pages of the Holy Scriptures. (Leviticus 18:6-23, 19:20, Numbers 5:13, Deut 22:22-30 and many more). In the Old testament we see literally every kind of sexual perversion from bestiality to insect being forbidden. It even discusses topics like menstruation in context of human sexuality (Lev 15:19). Yet the Bible is silent on the issue of masturbation. This does not mean its morally permissible, it only means one should not argue that Scripture specifically prohibits the physical act because that would be false.

There are a few references that seem to touch on the issue. The life of Onan in Gen 38:9 is sometimes considered to be relevant (masturbation used to be called “Onanism”) however, the problem in this case lies in Onan neglecting to fulfill his duty in providing his brothers wife with a child. Leviticus 15:16-18 also seems to deal with this topic. It speaks about the uncleanliness associated with a discharge of semen, whether alone as in verse 16 or with a wife in verse 18. Some would say uncleanliness means it is a sin, however, this does not refer to sin but biological uncleanliness; touching dead bodies, bodily fluids, wounds, and sores are all called unclean in the book of Leviticus (as is sexual intimacy between a married couple). Other than these few references the Scriptures are silent as if to suggest God did not deem it an important enough issue to discuss. Due to the fact that masturbation isn’t directly spoken of we need to look at general bible principles to guide us to a proper answer.

Sexual fantasy and Lust

Often masturbation can be like a drug dealer, he isn’t doing causing physical harm himself but he enables others to do destroy themselves. Here is how some people will want to respond to the Biblical silence on masturbation: “since the Bible doesn’t mention it, let’s go download porn and masturbate.” This is where the largest problem with masturbation lies, its normative association with illicit lust and sexual fantasy. While the Bible does not condemn masturbation directly, it denounces most behaviors that are related to it. Jesus never mentioned masturbation but He was very clear on sexual fantasies. Matthew 5:28 is direct in saying that looking with lustful intent is already adultery (adultery is sex with someone else’s wife, so this refers to a woman who is not yours but is or will be another man’s). Whatever form this fantasy takes place, all of it is sin. If you are lusting after a person you know, it is demeaning to them and ruins your mind. You are defiling a daughter or son of God in your mind as you masturbate. If I found out today that someone was lusting after my wife it would make me sick to my stomach, and severely angry. Realize whoever you lust after is either married or will be married, and you can’t fill your mind with sexual fantasies involving that person.

Porn is another huge issue. Statistics reveal that most masturbation takes place with the assistance of porn. All the same principles as above apply. In addition, using porn causes you to train yourself to become sexually stimulated only to a certain type of imagery. This is not the way our brains were created, we were created to become aroused by a “real person” while in an intimate relationship with our spouse. Porn causes a “reprogramming” of one’s brain, causing the sex drive to be tied to 2 dimensional images of what is shown in porn. This causes people to have strong urges to live out their porn fantasies with anyone they can find. The sexual expectations created by porn are nonrealistic and cause spouses to be unable to satisfy each other in marital intimacy. Porn has a horrible effect on the minds of all people alike and is devastating for marriages (present and future). And on top of all that, it is sin.

Masturbating with porn and/or other illicit sexual fantasies is clearly sin and damages you and the relationship with your future/current spouse. Ask yourself, is it even possible to do one (masturbate) without the other (porn/illicit fantasy)? In most cases we must agree the answer is no and masturbation becomes guilty by way of association.

The Biblical standard for sex?

There are specific reasons for human sexuality as the Bible teaches. The most obvious is to create children. Second, sex is essential to the process by which a husband and his wife become one flesh, and it is also the symbol of their union in Gen 2:24. And third, marriage/sex serve is shown as a representation or symbol of the union between Christ and His Church (Ephesians 5:31,32). Our culture has it wrong, we live in an “all about me” world. Marriage and sex are not intended to be all about you, instead they function to serve us with a model of a mutually pleasing relationship. Masturbation is not in line with that. A husband and wife with a biblical view of sex please each other; someone who masturbates by him/herself is fulfilling a selfish desire. Now it could be said we have many selfish desires such as hunger, thirst, and etc, but the issue is that masturbation not only ‘fulfills’ but ‘trains’ a person to live and view sexuality in a very contradictory way to how Scripture defined it. This selfish view of sex is going to be an obstacle and cause people to be unable to enjoy gift of sex on a higher level – in a mutually-pleasing marriage.

An emotional cause?

For some masturbation can become a self-soothing behavior. It can become a way of dealing with pressures or stress that comes from our human need for comfort, security, and reassurance. It can exhibit itself in people with low self esteem and be used as a cure for the problems surrounding them, such as parents who fight, being bullied at school, feeling unloved or unwanted by others. This underlying need should be met with a more legitimate method like spending time with your friends, and sharing life together with other Christians in an encouraging community. Sometimes masturbation can be a symptom of depression, or a lack of joy and purpose. Those feelings won’t be treated by sexual release, instead they will be worsened by the selfishness and guilt of masturbation and pornography. They require a more permanent healing, which only happens when you replace sex as your source of satisfaction with real joy and community.

Final remarks:

The Bible never condemns anyone for masturbating. That said, it does not encourage it.

There are many behaviors that may be harmful to you and others which exhibit themselves as accomplices with masturbation.

Masturbation does not seem to be part of the picture of whats normal for biblical sexuality.

Is it a sin to pleasure yourself?

Hi Everyone,

This is a normal guy from Southern India and would like to share here about my testimony. I was into lust, masturbation, homosexuality, pornography, lustful addictions, lesbianism videos. I am going to explain here on how God Jesus Christ saved me from these sins in a detailed manner.

So here comes my testimony.

Starting periods of my Addiction

Starting from my 15th age, I was into masturbation, I do not know how it got into my life, unknowingly I was into it and started getting addicted to it. Meanwhile I got more addicted and started spoiling my health because of this masturbation. One single time, I wounded myself because of it. Immediately I prayed in tears to God to heal the wound. Within a short period of time, that wound because of masturbation got healed on the same day itself. But, this addiction I did not leave, because of the pleasures I had in it and Satan never allowed me to come away from it. Every time I pray and cried to God Jesus to leave this sin, I used to fall for it every 4th or 5th day of my prayer to God. I did not know how to leave this. I did not know how to come away from this.

It got chained me with other forms of Lust

As days, month and years go by, i was like, got caught into different forms lust like, lust of the eye, lust of the flesh. I started lusting everything I like in my heart and had deep passion for it. I tried everything to satisfy my lustful eyes and heart during my school and college days. Satan specifically used me and spoiled every private hour of my life with lustful thoughts, masturbation.

In addition to Masturbation and lust of eye and flesh, i just caught into other forms of it. Since I had my own Personal Computer in my college days, I was chained into pornography which made the greatest damage in my life. Satan took control of my mind and guided me to various forms of pornography videos. He got chained me with Lesbianism videos and many categories of pornography.

Parallel y, I was crying unto god every Sunday to leave this sin. But I am unable to over come it because of the pleasures I saw in it.

It got chained me into homosexuality

Soon after my college days after a year, I came to a metro city for a job. Wherein in this city, I never left this sin. I was getting more deep into masturbation, lust, pornography. As days and years pass by in my life in this metro city, Satan had different plans for me to get me into homosexuality.

What happened here is I started watching gay videos, though I did not like it. Meanwhile as time passes by I got employed in another big MNC. So I rented a home near to my office. It was a singe room in the terrace where the owner resides in the second floor.

Somewhere when I was into these pornography addictions, I got some connections in social media related to gay. Out of curiosity I went in there and joined. In social media, I got some connections with Gay persons.

So Satan’s next plan of myself being Gay side in my life started here. As already I was into masturbation, lust, pornography and now Gay life added to it by Satan with my approval.

Since Satan main plan is to Destroy, Confuse and to Steal. He did these all through my lustful addictions. Starting from my 15th age, since I was into these addictions, I started losing my health, my erections and other side effects also. Getting added to these new sin, I feel myself happy with it. I used to get more gay friends and never tried to leave it because I had a great history of falling back to sin since my 15th age. So with this sin, years were rolling and I came to my 28th age.

Here, it comes around a average of 13yrs of masturbation with pornography, lust of eye, lust of flesh, gay life, lesbian videos from my 15th to 28th years of age.

Lookback

I started to look back on my life about all these years of sin. I started seeing my health falling down, I started seeing a emptiness in my life, a loneliness in my life, I did not feel any balance in life. I did not see any improvements in my career, in my physical health. I did not see any prosperity in my family through me. One sad part, is my girlfriend left me. So here I see my lie with complete loneliness, sleepless nights, health issues due to sin, no prosperity. I can with be happy with my office friends when am with them, but, after when I come back home, In my loneliness, Satan used to come over and ruin my life.

Giving way to Satanic spirits

During my loneliness nights in my room in terrace, sometimes, I used to hear someone knocking my door repeatedly. Only if I break my sleep and look out, then that evil spirit knocking my door will stop. Since there was lust in my heart and life, it paved way for satanic spirits to disturb me. So starting from masturbation, then lust of eye and flesh, then pornography, then various categories of pornography, then gay life and now spiritual dominion. All because of my interest to do it and allowed Satan to spoil my life. On the whole, I lost my peace, joy, health. There were few other instances where I got disturbed by Satanic Spirits.

Recovery Process

After these 13yrs of sinful life, I planned myself to leave it during my 27th and 28th age. I failed almost one and a half year trying to recover myself from it. All the times I fail and fall for the addictions doing it again and again.

But I never stopped trying and praying to God Jesus christ to save me from this – which is the Main key

Every time I pray, I pray to God, God, u know my situations, u know my addictions, u know I cannot battle this alone, I cannot overcome with my power, help me and get me away from this, this was my prayer all the time.

One fine day in his appointed time, God Jesus Christ has seen me

I planned to go for a prayer meeting one Saturday in my nearby pentecostal spiritual church, since on that day a good gifted worshipper came to lead the worship. so the auditorium was full. I really do not know that was my day, when I went there.

It happened…!! During the worship time, when the worshipper was leading the worship, he asked everyone to kneel down and to raise both the hands to heaven.

So like everyone, I humbled myself in front of God, kneeling down and lifting my hands to worship. While I am worshipping, I broke down into tears, I pour out my heart silently to God like Annah in bible, breaking into tears, with all my truthfulness, humbleness, I cried to God asking, God deliver me out of these sins, only you can do it, I have no strength. These were my prayers. When I was crying and pouring out my heart to God, His wonderful awesome mighty glorious presence descended down on me. It filled me from my head to my hip while am in kneeling. I felt the glorious presence of my Father God. I started feeling my soul and spirit being restful, freshened, being delighted, Calm when the Gods presence was placed on me. Oh great and this day July 28, 2018 I can never forget.

Day of Deliverance

July 28th, 2018. and this is the day our God Jesus Christ delivered me from all forms of lust i was chained by Satan. His presence – was placed on me on this day and His presence delivered me completely from Lust of eye, Lust of Flesh, pornography, lesbian videos, masturbation, gay life.

So starting from July 28th 2018, I never fall for any of these sins, God Jesus Christ has removed the addictions away from me, I do not have any feelings for these sins. When God delivered me, I started living a complete new life.

In next month, when I have attended a prayer meeting, God has chosen me and anointed me with a Heaving anointing. He blessed me with a Gift of spirit. He blessed me with Gift of Tongues. I had a great relationship with my God starting from July 28th 2018. I will soon update a new blog about how I received Gods anointing in my Life since I lost it for 13 years.

Finally, the questions

1. Is masturbation a sin?

You have to decide it, since we all have a normal appetite in us to push off the excess body fluids, there is no need for us to do it physically. In my personal experience, if my bodily fluids did not leave my body on time and give trouble to my mind to masturbate. I prayed to God for it and then will forget it. In the next 2 days, the bodily fluids will leave my body during my sleep without any sexual dreams.

From my understanding of Bible, its a sin.

2.Can we leave from addictions from our own efforts?

No you can never.

3.What you should do to leave your sinful life?

It is really cool and simple. Like Annah, pour out your heart unto God, you should reach God with truthfulness, humbleness, you should have a heart to leave Sin, pour out your heart in Gods presence, asking for forgiveness, asking him to help you out. If you do this with all truthfulness, God will definitely change your mind, give you a new life, new heart, new mind, you will be completely renewed.

4. How to progress once delivered?

It is cool and simple. Increase your time you spend with God. Go to prayer meetings on weekdays. Ask Jesus Christ to fill you with Holy spirit. If God can give Gifts of spirit to a addict like me, he can for sure fill you with Holy Spirit. Things you have to do is, stay in Gods presence, I nearly fasted for every morning for 40 days after July 28th, 2018.

Note:

When I was typing this blog, I asked Holy Spirit to anoint my fingers so It should be useful for the persons who are reading it. Holy spirit anointed my fingers so many times when I was typing this blog.

If you are a new person who do not know who is Jesus. If you want to leave any of your addictions, Jesus Christ is the only way. Pray to him saying, Jesus Christ I accept you as my personal saviour, Come inside my heart, Forgive all of my sins, Change my life, heal me, deliver me from my Sins. Amen. Say this truthfully in your heart everyday and Jesus Christ will Speak back to you.

Kindly reply back for any assistance related to leaving sinful addictions.

You can connect with me at [email protected]

Feeling anxiety or shame about one’s own genitals happens. Here are some things to consider when it is, and some approaches to learning to accept and embrace a body part where we can get all too many messages to the contrary.
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Published in partnership with Scarleteen

birthdaycake123 asks:

Hey. I’m 14 and I’ve never fingered myself. I’ve done other things, but the thought of fingering myself just seems gross. A couple times, I’ve tried to, but then I get to thinking about how gross vaginas are, and I chicken out. I know this is irrational, but do you have any advice on getting over this? Thanks.

Heather Corinna replies:

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Well, I don’t think vaginas or vulvas (or penises or anuses or mouths or ears or eyes or fingers or kidneys—any body parts) are gross. I think they’re really freaking cool and totally fascinating, whether I’m talking or thinking about my own, or all vulvas or vaginas. But you’re making it quite clear that you feel this way, and I wish I knew more about why.

No matter what, you don’t have to ever masturbate or touch yourself in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable. Masturbation is about seeking our own pleasure and comfort with our own bodies, which means that if there’s anything that doesn’t feel pleasurable or comfortable, we don’t have to do it, just like we don’t have to do anything that doesn’t feel physically and emotionally good with a sexual partner. There aren’t right or wrong ways to masturbate or have sex in this regard: just what feels right to the person or people involved. If you don’t want to put your fingers inside your vagina, you don’t have to, just like if you don’t want to touch your elbow you don’t have to, and you don’t have to stick your finger in your nose if you don’t want to do that.

For the record, inserting fingers into the vagina as masturbation all by itself isn’t that common, even though that’s usually not about a sense that the vagina is gross, but about that sensation not feeling like much to write home about all by itself, or your own fingers not offering the kind of angle or leverage for that to feel as good as it can. Likewise, “fingering” by a partner, when people choose to do that with partnered sex—when all that’s going on is fingers inside a vagina—often doesn’t feel like anything for anyone to go super-bananas about either, mostly just because the vagina, all by itself, isn’t as rich with sensory nerve endings as other areas of the genitals, like the clitoral glans. If you have the idea that if you or someone else doesn’t now or ever put fingers into your vagina that means you’re not fully sexual, know that just isn’t true. Our sexuality is a lot bigger than what we do or don’t do when it comes to sexual activities, and isn’t defined by what, if any, tab goes into what, if any, slot.

If you don’t want to touch any part of your vulva at all, you don’t have to do that, either, though that’s going to make things like using the toilet and dealing with menstrual periods more than a little tricky.

But feeling really grossed out by our own bodies is a very emotionally uncomfortable thing that doesn’t tend to make us feel good about ourselves. So, whatever you choose to do or avoid when it comes to masturbation for the time being, or even forever, I think that trying to work through the way you’re feeling around this is going to be of benefit to you. I don’t think you’re going to feel very good now or through life feeling fearful about or grossed out by your vagina.

Like I said, I don’t know your reasons for thinking and feeling the way you do. But you’re nothing close to the first person I’ve heard from who’s felt like this, and I’ve talked in depth with others feeling like you are, so I have a good grasp of some of the common roots of or reasons for feeling this way.

Does your vagina seem gross because it’s a canal into your body? If so, how about your mouth and throat? Your ears? Your rectum? These too are all canals into the body from the outside. If they’re not gross, or even one of them isn’t gross, then why would the vagina be gross? Or maybe you just have a hard time when it comes to thinking about you or anyone else’s insides? If either of these things feel like an issue, it might help to do some thinking about how your body is both insides and outsides; one is no more or less gross than the other, even though they tend to look different. Plus, without our insides, our outsides would look pretty darn weird—not at all what they look like now. Our insides have a lot to do with our outsides. If you’re just feeling funny about insides, period, have you yet taken a health or biology class at school? If you haven’t, I’d see if you can. Some impersonal, academic exposure might help you. You might still feel like bodies are weird (and they kind of are, but that doesn’t mean they’re gross), but you probably won’t single out your vagina so much afterward.

Does it seem gross because you don’t know or understand it? Not knowing the deal with a body part can feel pretty weird or scary sometimes. What’s mysterious can sometimes feel exciting, but other times can freak us right the heck out. So, if that’s part of this, how about finding out what’s in there and how it all works? You can read about that here or here. Your vagina doesn’t have to be a mystery to you.

Does your vagina seem gross because all genitals seem gross? If so, why? What makes genitals, when it comes to being gross or not, different from other body parts for you? Is it about them having fluids? If so, our eyes have fluids, our mouths and noses have fluids. In fact, we’re all mostly fluids; our bodies are made up of around 60 percent water. Is it because fluids can have something to do with reproduction? Or menstruation? Or because of messages you’ve gotten growing up about them being way different? With this one, I think it just pays to spend some time thinking about why genitals would be gross, but, for instance, squishy gray brain matter isn’t or the bottoms of our feet aren’t.

Does it seem gross because it doesn’t quite feel like yours yet? Even though, if you were born with a vagina, you’ve had one your whole life, during and around puberty, your vulva—much more so than your vagina—changes a lot. Those changes can happen in a way that feels fast enough that it can sometimes take a little while for the vulva or vagina you have now to really feel like yours—to feel like a part of you that you know and identify with. With something like that, it may just be that you need some more time to get used to these parts of your body, and that’s OK. You get to take all the time you need. As our bodies change, as they will throughout our lives, we’ll find that sometimes we need some time to adjust to them, time that can be minutes or time that can be years or even decades.

How about your feelings about your gender? Sometimes extreme discomfort with genitals is about gender identity. For instance, if someone very strongly feels like one gender when they have body parts that are “supposed” to be those of a different gender or sex, they can feel very uncomfortable. Sometimes even when someone feels like the gender that “matches” the body they have, if they have strong negative feelings about that gender, or things people say about that gender, or ways they feel pushed to be that gender, they can have these kinds of feelings. Some body parts, like our genitals, mean we can get gendered by others in ways we may not be comfortable with, or at a pace that doesn’t feel comfortable. That too can be a reason for feeling the way you’ve been feeling. Anything like this is something a qualified counselor can help you with.

Does it seem really gross, and have you been feeling severely uncomfortable, and not just with masturbation? Some folks have what’s called body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), a term used to describe when someone has an extremely pervasive and negative body image when it comes to a perceived defect of their physical features or body parts—when something seems to them to be very, very wrong with one or more parts of their body, so wrong that they experience profound emotional distress about it. The Mayo Clinic sums BDD up as “imagined ugliness” and says, “When you have body dysmorphic disorder, you intensely obsess over your appearance and body image, often for many hours a day. You may seek out numerous cosmetic procedures to try to ‘fix’ your perceived flaws, but never will be satisfied. Body dysmorphic disorder is also known as dysmorphophobia, the fear of having a deformity.” If that sounds like you, your best bet, again, is to talk to a qualified counselor who can help.

Does your vulva or vagina seem gross because there are parts of your sexuality you’re not comfortable with? If so, this is something that you might just need to give yourself some more time with. Feeling at home in our sexuality is often a process, and in a lot of ways a lifelong process. Being all the way there at 14, especially in a world where there are so many messages that support feeling bad or freaked about your sexuality or your body, would be pretty unusual. It’s OK not to feel totally comfortable just yet, and it’s OK for getting there to be a process that takes time. You don’t need to try and push yourself to do anything that doesn’t feel right to you.

Or is this really about the idea that entry into vaginas is gross, rather than the idea that vaginas themselves are gross? Vaginal, anal, or oral entry can be loaded for plenty of people, with or without a partner, and it can also seem like a very different thing than external genital stimulation (probably in part because, in some ways, it really is different). For more on that, reading this might help: Let’s Get Metaphysical: The Etiquette of Entry.

Also, the idea of inserting something into our bodies can sometimes get paired in our heads with thoughts of other kinds of sex we might not want or want yet, feel comfortable with, or feel like have anything to do with our sexuality. Just know that if you do ever have the desire to explore your vaginal canal yourself, that doesn’t mean you have to want or choose to engage in any other kinds of sex with vaginal entry if that’s not something you want, now, soon, or later. Or maybe your sense is that the other things you do don’t “count” as masturbation, but putting fingers in your vagina would. If you’re externally rubbing your genitals for pleasure, that’s just as much masturbation as putting fingers inside your body would be.

Those are some of the most common things I tend to hear come up around this issue. One or all of them might be true for you, or maybe your feelings are about something else entirely. But if even after reading all of this, you’re not sure what’s going on, then I’d say the first thing you’ll want to do is to just think more about this over time so you can have a handle on the “why” of these feelings. It’s hard to move forward with something like this when we don’t have a sense of what we’re trying to move forward from. And sometimes just getting at the “why” gets us most of the way past something negative all by itself.

If you’ve got a library nearby, I have some books to suggest that I think will help you out. One I’d strongly suggest is Natalie Angier’s Woman: An Intimate Geography. I think that’d be a great one for you. It talks about your whole body and body parts with a whole bunch of cool facts you might not know and perspectives you may have never heard. But the best thing about that book, I think, especially for you, is that Angier basically totally geeks out about bodies in a really joyful way. She’s someone who clearly finds the vagina and other parts really interesting and neat, not at all gross, and her enthusiasm comes across in her writing: it’s quite contagious, and I think you could use those good vibes right now.

In fact, she says a few things about vaginas I think you could stand to hear right this very second:

The vagina, now there’s a Rorschach with legs. You can make of it practically anything you want, need or dread. A vagina in its most simple-minded rendering is an opening, an absence of form, an inert receptacle. It is a four- to five-inch-long tunnel that extends at a forty-five degree angle from the labia to the doughnut-shaped cervix. It is a pause between the declarative sentence of the outside world and the mutterings of the viscera. Built of skin, muscle and fibrous tissue, it is the most obliging of passageways, one that will stretch to accommodate travelers of any conceivable dimension, whether they are coming (penises, speculums) or going (infants)… The vagina is a balloon, a turtleneck sweater, a model for the universe itself, which, after all, is expanding in all directions even as we sit here and weep.

…The vagina is its own ecosystem, a land of unsung symbiosis and tart vigor. Sure, the traditional concept of the vagina is, “It’s a swamp down there!” but “tidal pool” would be more accurate: aqueous, stable, yet in perpetual flux.

See how someone like myself or Angier, thinking and viewing this body part in these kinds of ways, can pretty much only think, “Whoa, awesome!” or “Wow, that is cool!” instead of, “Eeeew, gross”—especially when all of that and more is part of your own body? I mean, seriously, how cool is it that that’s a part of you? If you ask me, very.

I’d also suggest checking out Nancy Redd’s Body Drama and Our Bodies, Ourselves. If you’ve never read it, The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler is a great thing to read when it comes to feeling in good company with some of the feelings you’ve been having and getting some messages that help explore and counter feeling crummy about your vagina. If you like the way I’ve talked about this with you and what you’ve seen at Scarleteen, you might also find my book helpful. It has a whole chapter about body image, including with genitals.

One big thing that runs through all the possibilities I brought up in that list up there is that we really can get a lot of negative messages about vulvas and vaginas, some so sneaky we don’t even realize that we’ve gotten them and internalized them. If you can figure out where you might have gotten or might still be getting messages that make you feel gross about your body, one big helpful thing you can do is to learn to change the channel. In other words, you’ve had the negative, so you switch to some more positive messages, like I’ve been talking about here and like the books I’ve suggested. Doing that can also make it a lot easier to just tune our or turn off the negative messages, and when we hear them, even just inside our own heads, they tend to sound a lot more silly and a lot less powerful.

Topics and Tags:

anatomy, bodies, body image, comfort, development, fear, gender, identity, masturbation, messages, puberty, reproduction, self-image, Sexuality education, Vagina, vulva, Women, worry

How Do I Lose My Virginity… To Myself?

Hi! First of all, thank you for having such an amazing site. I’ve been reading for a while just to get to know things, since I find it really interesting.

Now, for the advice I want to ask. I’m almost 100% sure I’m never going to have sex with a man. I’m 28-years-old and never had a boyfriend…

I’ve had cybersex, obviously I masturbate on occasions but it’s only clitoral. I’m seriously considering “deflowering” myself so here’s where my concern comes in. How should I do this? Is it necessary to go all the way or can I just like use my fingers and maybe not be able to break the hymen but just reach enough to be able to pleasure myself? I’d like to not have to buy any sex toys to do this.

I’m just generally scared of doing this by myself but I really don’t have any other choice. It’s gotten to the point I actually dream about fingering myself. Yes, I do watch porn.

Anyway, thanks in advance and I do hope I get some advice.

Hello!

Thanks so much for writing in. I’m so glad that you felt the desire to reach out to us, as our founder designed the site in such a way to make it a safe place for people seeking answers to deeper questions like you.

First off, I want to empathize with you and tell you I’m sorry you’re having so much trouble. It can be difficult to feel as if things will ever be different when you’ve been stuck in one place for so long. As I don’t know your history, I know I don’t know the whole story. However, I’d like to say this. For some, religious and cultural reasons keep them from having an intimate relationship. But… if the reason that you believe you will never have a boyfriend is because you are unworthy or unlovable, think again.

You are worthy. You are lovable. There is someone out there who wants to love you, but they cannot find you if you are bogged down by the belief that you can never have it so you may as well give up. This is not positive thinking, and it is not useful to you or your growth as an individual. Plenty of people do not find love or make love with someone for a long time. It is easy to look around and compare oneself to others, when the only person you have control of is yourself. Don’t compare yourself. You’re perfect as you are, and if you want to find someone, you can!

As far as masturbation and losing your virginity goes, it is totally, completely and utterly okay that you watch porn and that you engage in cyber sex. Breaking the hymen is not necessarily a symbol of “losing one’s virginity.” Some people with vaginas are born without a hymen, and some break their hymens doing completely ordinary, non-sexual things, like horseback riding, cleaning, playing sports and walking. Thus, the pain that is experienced by many with vaginas when they lose their virginity oftentimes doesn’t have anything to do with breaking hymens.

Secondly, there is no one way to have sex. Many people have sex in many different ways. Masturbating by yourself, even when there is penetration, is not considered “losing one’s virginity”, as it is not with a partner. Most definitions of sex involve a partner, and it doesn’t always include penetration. The conventional view of sex and ‘losing one’s virginity’ is penetrative penis-in-vagina sex, but this is a very narrow definition. Anal sex is also a form of sex and can count for “losing one’s virginity.” In fact, due to the highly intimate nature of oral play, experts are starting to consider it as “losing one’s virginity” and refute claims that you can be a “virgin” but have oral sex.

If you’re wondering about penetrative sex, it is possible to penetrate yourself. It is completely normal, healthy, and pleasurable. It is not dangerous, shameful, or “deflowering”. It is okay to use your fingers, toys, or something else – in fact, we’d recommend doing it solo first rather than with a partner, so you can completely control the speed, depth, and sensation. Go slow, enjoy the sensations, and explore what feels good to you.

Have you ever orgasmed with your clitoral stimulation? If you have, I would definitely wait to penetrate yourself until after you have orgasmed from clitoral stimulation. Your vaginal muscles will be much more relaxed and your body will generally be more open to your fingers (or a toy, if you choose to use that) coming inside.

When you do penetrate yourself, I would make sure your hands were clean and would definitely recommend a good water-based lubricant. My favorite is Almost Naked Personal Lubricant, but any water-based lube will do. Put the lube on your fingers and gently move your hand down from your clitoris to your vaginal opening and stick your finger (first one, then more) slowly inside. You can play with pressure and speed. Your vagina also has the ability to expand, and so you can play with adding more fingers as you get more comfortable.

As you get in touch with your body, I would recommend a good quality vibrating toy. There some amazing, body friendly toys that are made with clean materials and cool vibration patterns. Also, there is only so far a hand can reach when you’re playing with yourself, so adding a toy in the mix can leave your other hand free to play with your clit while your toy is inside you. If you’re looking for some good quality beginners toys, we love the We-Vibe Tango for clitoral stimulation. If you’re looking for something inexpensive, Adam & Eve’s Velvet Kiss is a great beginner toy.

I want to commend you for asking questions and for your willingness to explore. Exploring your body so well is definitely a gift in and of itself, as when you do find a partner, you will know what you like and what gets you off. However, I would highly recommend exploring your beliefs about why you don’t think you’ll ever find a loving, caring partner. Know that there is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for help from a licensed therapist or professional in helping you sort out these beliefs that are keeping you from having sex with a person that deeply cares about you.

I sincerely believe that in your case, the best thing you can do for yourself is to seek the help of a licensed, educated professional. We at Slutty Girl Problems absolutely adore the work that the professionals of the American Association of Sexuality Educators Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) do nationwide and I would strongly encourage you to seek out a professional in your area.

As far as professional level resources and books you can read to further educate yourself, I highly recommend the work of Tammy Nelson, Ian Kerner, and Stanley Siegel. Siegel’s book Your Brain On Sex changed my life and really helped me do some deep therapeutic work. I think it’s a worthwhile read for anyone asking the bigger questions.

As you go on this journey, remember that the answers you seek are out there, but that they might not be the answers you think you’re seeking. Journeys of self discovery don’t often follow the straight and narrow path and it is okay to ask for help on a path like your own.

We here at Slutty Girl Problems wish you the best of luck. Know this: You are worthy and lovable and you will find the answers you seek if you have the courage to look for them inside you.

Questions are considered anonymous, and identifying information such as names and email addresses will not be posted, in accordance with our Privacy Policy. Personal information such as age and location may be changed to keep submitting parties anonymous. Submitting a question does not guarantee a response. Questions may be edited for spelling and grammar. By submitting, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. Note: Some links are affiliate links, which help support the site. All opinions are 100% honest and my own. I only recommend things I would use myself! Read more about our affiliate links.

6 Possible Reasons You’re Having Difficulty Penetrating During Sex

Reason #1. You don’t really know what goes where

Singapore is still by and large a conservative country, and the general air of embarrassment when it comes to talking about sex leaves some couples entering marriage clueless about what goes where. A survey conducted by Kotex in 2009 even revealed that 60% of Singaporean women aged 16-24 didn’t know that they had three orifices down south. As Professor P. Ganesa Adaikan, Clinical Sexologist at National University Hospital, explains, “A certain level of sexual knowledge about the anatomy of the genitals, foreplay, and coital position is important for a successful intimate relationship.” Understanding where your lady bits are and how they respond to sexual arousal is the first step to good, pain-free sex.

Try:

Taking some time to understand and become familiar with your body can clear up any confusion about exactly where he should put it. You can now look up everything online on your mobile phone. Figure out what and where your bits are with anatomical illustrations and a hand mirror. Spread open your labia, and between your clitoris and your anus, there are two orifices: your urethral opening on top where your urine exits, and your vaginal opening below.

Your vaginal canal is positioned at an angle in your body, not straight up and down as you and your partner might have imagined. Since the vaginal canal is tilted backwards toward the small of your back, your partner should be trying penetration at a slight angle. If you’re unfamiliar with the angle of your vagina, try inserting your fingers or a tampon before trying penetration.

Experts also suggest exploring your body to discover what makes you feel good. For a start, try going somewhere you won’t be disturbed, and touching yourself, from your breasts to between your legs. You could also try masturbation to see what gets you to orgasm. Most women reach orgasm from stimulation to the clitoris, one of the most erogenous zones on a female body. Try using some lubrication to explore yourself down there, and see whether you prefer light strokes, or fast, vigorous ones. Exploring your body and figuring out what you like will make you more comfortable with your body, which helps you feel more relaxed with your partner when you’re together. The better you know yourself, the better you’ll be able to guide your partner during sex.

Reason #2. You’re too tense or nervous

You’ve never had sex before, and you’re nervous. You’re not sure what to expect, and instead of enjoying yourself, you’re anxious, and worried that it will hurt. Or, you have had sex before, but you’re feeling stressed about your special wedding night. All the sex scenes in movies you’ve seen tell you that sex should be passionate, hot, and result in mind-blowing orgasms. Plus, you should have washboard abs or luscious locks that graze your bountiful figure as you hold Karma Sutra positions 3 through 47–while looking irresistibly sexy, of course. You’re trying so hard to achieve Hollywood’s image of sex that instead of making love to your partner, you’re tensing up about doing things wrong, and it hurts when he attempts to penetrate.

The vagina is a flexible, muscular canal that can stretch to accommodate a baby, but it can also contract when you’re tense and anxious, which could cause difficulty penetrating during sex. A lack of relaxation and arousal can also lead to pain due to insufficient lubrication. Worrying about whether you’re doing it right can also lead to tension, making it even harder to penetrate during sex.

Try:

Engage in foreplay. Lots of it. Help your partner discover your body until you are both comfortable and you are sufficiently lubricated. Ask your partner to go down on you or lightly stimulate your clitoris with his fingers. The clitoris is one of the major erogenous zones on a female’s body and contributes the most to sexual arousal. If he does something that feels really good, tell him. Don’t forget that you’re both in this for the long term, and being shy won’t help. Make an appreciative noise or touch him on the shoulder to tell him he’s on the right track.

When you’re aroused and lubricated, ask him to test your comfort level by inserting a finger first, then two into your vagina. If it hurts, go back to doing what was enjoyable. If it’s mentally exhausting at this point, take a break and try again at a later time. Try having a little wine to loosen you up if it helps!

To get rid of performance anxiety, toss the bright lights in your bedroom. Leave just a corner lamp on, or create some mood lighting with candles. Wear something sexy that your partner helped you pick out. If you’re still conscious about your body at this point, leave your lingerie on. Three of the most flattering positions for you are missionary, doggie-style and girl-on-top. Try them all until you find one you’re comfortable with. Or, you could bring a blindfold into bed. Put it over your eyes and let your partner explore your body. That way, you can’t see your own body and hinder your own pleasure because of the initial insecurities you have about your body. How about putting the blindfold on him instead? Then you can do whatever you want to him. After seeing his reactions to you, you’ll start to lose your inhibitions.

Reason #3. You’re not lubricated enough

When you get aroused, the blood vessels in your genitals dilate and there is an increase in blood flow to the vaginal walls. This causes fluid to pass through them, lubricating the vaginal passage for penetration. “Achieving sufficient arousal during foreplay is necessary for the release of lubrication which can contribute to the ease of penetration and pain-free intercourse,” says Professor P. Ganesa Adaikan. In other words, feeling aroused and turned on will get you wet and make penetrative sex more enjoyable. On the other hand, if you’re not in the mood, vaginal dryness will make penetrative sex uncomfortable and painful. Your body’s natural lubricant can also be affected by other factors, such as stress, medication, or birth-control pills. The medical term for painful intercourse is dyspareunia, which is a persistent genital pain that occurs just before, during or after intercourse. Talk to your doctor if you’re still having painful intercourse after using lubrication so that he or she can determine the actual cause of the pain.

Try:

Bring a lubricant to bed with you and use it to make things more comfortable. There are silicone and water-based lubricants and massage gels on the market that you can apply during intercourse to heighten enjoyment. Water-based lubricants or “lubes” are popular for their safety of use with condoms, and their ease of use; they’re water-soluble, so they’re easy to wash off yourselves and your sheets. Just before penetration, spread the lubricant between your palms and glide it onto your partner’s penis to make penetrative sex smoother. Get him to repay the favour by applying it to your clitoris. Pause sex and reapply whenever you need to.

Reason #4. You have a condition called Vaginismus

“Vaginismus in women is a condition of involuntary tightening of the muscles surrounding the outer one-third of the vagina on attempts of intercourse that lead to perceived or real pain,” explains Professor P. Ganesa Adaikan.

It’s an instantaneous and involuntary response that makes penetration painful or impossible. “It’s been reported that one in ten women have vaginismus globally, but this seems to be a higher number in Asia,” says certified sexologist Dr Martha Tara Lee, who receives several enquiries each week from women who have suffered from vaginismus. “Vaginismus is a psychological fear of penetration causing the vagina to tense up, making penetrative sex difficult or impossible. Both the woman with vaginismus and her partner can feel very distressed, helpless, frustrated, and inadequate. She might experience self-blame and a loss of self-confidence for her inability to have penetrative sex. Inaccurate sexual information and the lack of understanding of the woman’s body will worsen the condition, often leading to alienation and even break-ups.”

For Melissa*, 35, one of Dr. Martha Tara Lee’s patients, vaginismus prevented her from consummating her marriage of 10 years. “Realising that the cause was psychological, I made sure she understood her sexual anatomy (what is what and where), and the sexual response cycle (what happens during sex),” the sexologist says.

Their sessions began the process of demystifying what sex was, and Dr. Martha Tara Lee taught Melissa a series of relaxation techniques and pelvic exercises to do every day. “The purpose was to retrain her to develop awareness and comfort with her body as well as to sensitise and strengthen her pelvic muscles,” she explains. After two sessions, Melissa was able to have penetrative sex for the first time.

While medical science doesn’t have concrete answers about what causes vaginismus, it’s often linked to anxiety and fear, such as a fear of getting pregnant, or anticipation of pain from intercourse. Psychological reasons behind vaginismus could also include traumatic sexual experiences in the past. It may occur with any object, such as a tampon, or during a medical exam.

Try:

You could be feeling anxious about having sex with your partner for other reasons, such as guilt, fear, or lack of emotional attachment. Do you feel uncomfortable with the idea of sex because of a conservative upbringing? Do you feel like you’re not quite ready? Try taking some time to examine your feelings, or talking them through with your partner to build a deeper emotional connection and to feel more comfortable with your partner before trying again.

If you think you might be suffering from vaginismus, you may want to seek sex counselling or behavioural therapy, to work out issues such as fear, guilt, inner conflict, or emotions regarding past abuse.

Your doctor may also prescribe treatments for vaginismus, such as vaginal moisturisers to combat vaginal dryness, or numbing cream for pain during penetration. Other treatments include Kegel exercises to help you control when your vaginal muscles contract and relax, as well as vaginal dilators to stretch the vagina. Vaginal dilators usually come in a set of graduated sizes to gently stretch the vaginal opening and vaginal depth to comfortably accept penetration. Exercises begin with the smallest dilator inserted into the vagina with the help of a lubricant. Once the dilator can be comfortably fully inserted, the next size up can be tried.

Reason #5. Your partner may be suffering from erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction could be why you’re having difficulty penetrating during sex. It’s a common issue that could be caused by multiple factors, such as chronic illness, medications, being too tired, or drinking too much alcohol. Certain diseases like nerve and brain disorders or diabetes can lead to erectile dysfunction as well. It is also caused by emotional and psychogenic reasons such as anxiety. Dr Martha Tara Lee works with patients who have erectile dysfunction caused by psychological reasons. “I would discuss the causes of their anxiety, and teach them practices they can do to attain better sexual confidence—including but not limited to pelvic floor squeezes,” she shares.

Partners of women suffering from vaginismus could be suffering their own dysfunctions in response. “These conditions can also cause their partners to develop psychogenic erectile dysfunction, or impotence in men caused by psychological or emotional factors,” explains Professor P. Ganesa Adaikan. “Deep-seated misconceptions about sexuality could also cause anxiety. In men, performance anxiety due to an initial failure to have sex can spiral into further anxiety and failures that can result in psychogenic erectile dysfunction, diminution of desire and intimacy, and total avoidance of any further attempts of sexual intercourse.”

Try:

If your partner’s erectile dysfunction is caused by psychological factors such as stress or performance anxiety, you can try taking the pressure off by focusing on something other than penetration. Turn the focus on other sexual activities that you both enjoy, or do something different to change things up.

Try reading or watching something sexy together, or experimenting with sex toys and games to enhance his arousal. For yourself, don’t take things personally, or fall prey to doubts about your attractiveness, which can cause you to become tense and make penetration during sex more difficult or painful. Understanding that neither of you are to blame will help you to be supportive of each other. Erectile dysfunction is a more common issue that you might realise. If you’re concerned, you can seek professional help from a doctor or sexologist.

Reason #6. It’s Physical

If you’re pretty relaxed and comfortable with your body, and still have difficulty penetrating during sex or experience a lot of pain when you attempt it, you might be facing physical issues. Sexually transmitted diseases, infection in the genitals, or other medical reasons could cause pain during sexual intercourse. Structural abnormalities could also be a cause of pain. Some possible medical issues include a vaginal septum, a rare condition in which the vagina is divided into two chambers by a wall of flesh, causing painful obstruction to penetration; or endometriosis, where the uterine lining grows outside the uterus instead of inside it, causing severe cramping and pain when it sheds.

Sexual dysfunction symptoms are also more common among patients with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, psoriasis, depression, or cardiovascular disease. Pain can be one of the first signs that something may be seriously wrong with a woman’s reproductive organs. Living with pain caused by medical issues for long periods of time may also cause your body to develop vaginismus, as it tries to protect itself from more pain. To rule out underlying medical causes to your inability to penetrate during sex, consult a medical professional.

Dr Martha Tara Lee is a Clinical Sexologist and Relationship Coach at Eros Coaching.
Professor P. Ganesan Adaikan is a Clinical Sexologist with the Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at the National University Hospital, quoted in “Ask the Experts – Can’t Have Sex.”

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DON’T: Use Anything That Could Break

This should be common sense, but just an FYI: As much as you may want reduce, reuse, and recycle to do oyur part to decrease your carbon footprint, a beer bottle or anything that could break inside of you is forbidden. Well not, forbidden, as in the government will find you and seize you, but just a really bad idea. Glass dildos are made specifically to go up you; bottles are not. Gathering shards of glass out of your vagina won’t end in orgasms, I guarantee. There’s a reason there’s a show called Sex Sent Me to The ER, you know?

DO: Take Off the Razor Blades

Come on! I hate that I have to say this, but I have to say this: Remove all razor blades before masturbating. I know your boyfriend’s razor has got the girth you’ve always wished for but, don’t get ahead of yourself without covering all your bases. Stop. Remove. Apply condom. Masturbate. I’m pretty sure you aren’t planning to trim off your clitoris anytime soon, right? Right.

DON’T: Use Anything That Doesn’t Belong to You

It would be a major no-no to borrow your guy’s toothbrush specifically to masturbate with it. Even if you disinfected it beforehand, wrapped it in a condom, and cleaned it afterward, it’s a huge breach of trust. You know the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. So unless you are cool with your partner sticking your toothbrush up their butt, I’d back away from the toothbrush — even if you have been together for years.

DO: Pick a Household Item With a Flared Base for Anal Play

Your butt sucks things up, literally. So if you are going to have a backyard frolic, your item must have a flared base…so you can get it out. “Anything that is placed in the anus for sexual pleasure must have a flared base. If it does not, then the object may travel further into the anal cavity than you can reach and may require the assistance of a medical professional,” says Owens. Still, given how butt stuff can be complicated as it is, when it comes to anal, I would highly recommend in investing in a toy specifically designed butt play — for safety reasons.

DON’T: Stick Food Like Popsicles or Lollipops Up There

Vaginas are magical, but they are also very sensitive. “Your vagina has a delicate balance of healthy bacteria. Introducing unsanitary items into that environment can easily lead to infection,” says Vanessa Marin, a sex and relationship therapist. And if too much glycerin in lube can cause yeast infections, it’s safe to assume placing literal sugar inside you isn’t going to be a good idea, either. So while the shape may be erotic and the idea of something icy cold or sweet going up you may get you going, you might want to think twice. And while I’m at it, if a phallic-shaped food like a cucumber or banana turns you on and you must get involved with it, put a condom on it! You have no clue what sort of bacteria exists on it. To that end, steer clear of tough-to-clean-up items like peanut butter. And just to reiterate: Make sure whatever’s going in you is CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN!)

DO: Keep Your Clothes On

Look, most people aren’t going to recommend using household objects to get off, as the risks of infections and injuries are far too high and you can just go buy some great sex toys for cheap. So if you MUST MUST MUST MUST get yourself going with something other than a certified safe sex toy, one of the safest ways to do it is by keeping your clothes on while still getting some clit stimulation. “Plenty of women grind against pillows, towels, or TV remotes. If your clothes are staying on, and you’re not penetrating yourself with the object, there’s not much risk,” says Marin. And that zipper on your favorite jeans is in the perfect spot for some clitoris stimulation when grinding on top of the universal remote control. Not that I’ve had personal experience with that or anything. (I have.)

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How to finger yourself – from girls, to girls

Knowing how to get yourself off and how to finger yourself is one of the most important skills you can possess. Not only does it make you more in tune with your body, but it also means you’re aware of what you want from sex.

Look, we all do it, and there’s no shame in talking about it or knowing how to finger yourself. But because female masturbation is such a taboo topic, it means that not that many of us don’t.

Don’t worry though – we we’ve written the ultimate guide to female orgasms through masturbation and you’re going to thank us for it:

Doodling away on these 🧡🖍👛🌼🥝🍉

A post shared by E (@theblack_lodge) on Feb 17, 2018 at 3:13am PST

You need to be in the right headspace, so relax

Make sure you don’t rush. Ensure you have privacy and won’t be interrupted.

Watch porn to get yourself in the mood

There’s no stigma and no one will know apart from your search history. If boys can watch it, so can you. It’ll make you come 10 times faster though, so don’t watch it if you’re in for the long ride.

Use a vibrator and your fingers simultaneously for a mega orgasm

A useful tip when learning how to finger yourself, invest in a vibrator cos they’re fun and feel awesome whatever they’re touching. They’re best when used alongside rubbing your clit.

If you haven’t located it yet, don’t spend your whole time trying to find your G-spot

You’ll end up getting pissed off and frustrated that apparently everyone else in the world has managed to find it apart from you, and it’ll leave you jabbering away in an awkward position getting further and further away from actually coming.

Side note: it’s a fucking myth.

Enjoyed seeing this fun piece at the @fineartscenter over the weekend! A detail from Brazilian digital artist @elisariemer “Pleasure (Uterus)” 2015. I associate so much angst and pain with my ovaries and uterus, so it’s really refreshing to reimagine them as a land of feminine playfulness and pleasure.

A post shared by Hannah Moghbel (@hannahmoghbel) on Nov 16, 2017 at 7:03pm PST

Don’t expect to come from just fingering yourself

It’s all about the clit, that’s where the money is. When you’ve worked out how to finger yourself, you’ll realise the clit plays a very important part.

Try varying pressures on your clit

Like you would want a guy to tease you if he was fingering you, tease yourself!!!!! Going from really lightly touching to aggressively rubbing is all fine, but keep mixing it up.

If you can’t access porn, turn yourself on

Sometimes wearing some beaut lingerie and being like I’M FIT can actually get you pretty turned on.

Use two fingers when fingering yourself

One can feel a bit like the first time a guy awkwardly fingered you, and three or four will feel like you’re in a porno (and might hurt). Apparently you’re meant to finger yourself in a ‘come here’ motion, but personally I haven’t got a fucking clue what that does.

If you don’t start feeling something straight away, don’t freak out

It is a PROCESS and takes time to come if you aren’t super turned on from the off-set.

Use lube if things are getting dry down there

The last thing you need is a blister down there (I know someone this happened to, ouchie)

Butt plugs, not as scary as they sound

Granted, not everyone is a big fan of the idea of a sex toy where the sun doesn’t shine BUT you won’t know until you try. If you’re into it, they work wonders. It’s an extra bit of pleasure with no work required. You can start with some as little as your pinky finger.

Keep a good rhythm on your clit, that makes it easier to come

It will help you build the momentum to a solid orgasm.

Masturbate with your partner

It’s fun. Hilarious. You teach each other new stuff, you’re literally showing them how to make you come and omg, it changes your sex life forever. Just try it, I dare you.

#feel #vaginaart

A post shared by Nataša Pivec (@nevihta173) on Jan 29, 2018 at 5:02am PST

If there’s a special someone in your life, pick up the phone

You can either try some dirty talk over the phone to help you along, or maybe even try filming short Snapchat clips to tease each other. It’ll drive them crazy, in turn driving you there too.

Have confidence in yourself

There’s honestly nothing wrong with you masturbating. It’s the best thing you’ll ever do for yourself. Have confidence that you can do this, and you’re allowed to do this. Focus on your body, what you enjoy and you’ll have the best time. Take the other girls advice, keep a good rhythm, focus on your clit, add some saucyness with a vibrator and you’ll have a life changing experience.

Think of it this way: if you don’t know how your body works, how will anyone else? The bedroom is one of the most amazing places to experiment and the best person to start with is yourself.

Other stories this writer would recommend:

1) How to eat a girl out, by disappointed straight girls

2) Girls tell us about the moment they worked out their boyfriend was cheating on them

3) Things boys should not do on Tinder, by disappointed girls

4) Girls tell us the 19 weirdest things guys have done straight after sex

I don’t know about you, but I personally think parties for one slap. Not only can you order pineapple on your ’za without worrying about your “friends” side-eyeing you, but you also have access to your personal restroom whenever you want—and everyone knows no line, no problem.

But honestly, when you take that party for one to the bedroom (or shower, or bath, or living room couch, literally wherever), that’s when the real fun begins. And even though it’s certainly nothing to be ashamed of—especially considering nearly 96 percent of people masturbate at least once a month, according to Univia—you may be wondering how normal (or not) your masturbating habits are.

Well, *In Taylor Swift Voice* to calm you down, here are all the questions you may wonder while masturbating and real women’s answers to them all. But remember: Everyone is different and what might take a woman 10 minutes could take you twice as long. It’s okay to be different, and any form of masturbating (no matter how long, in what position, and what accessories you have) is neither right nor wrong.

Related Story

How many times per week do you masturbate?

  • “I’d say about 5 times a week.” —Shelby, 18
  • “Depends on the week and how stressed I am because it’s usually a huge stress relief for me. I’d say at least 1 to 2 times a week.” —Riley, 24
  • “About 4 to 5 times a week.” —Jen, 24
  • “Typically, 6 to 8 times.” —Sarah, 26
  • “Around 3 to 4 times.” —Kaylea, 24
  • “My guess is 14 times.” —Myrna, 29
  • “This can vary greatly depending on factors such as stress, sleep, time of the month etc., but normally between 3 to 6 times per week. Sometimes I can go a whole week without masturbating, while other weeks it will be at least once every day.” —Lilly, 27

How long is a typical masturbating session for you?

  • “It can vary between 30 minutes to 2 hours.” —Shelby, 18
  • “Usually like 5 to 10 minutes.” —Riley, 24
  • “Around 15 to 20 minutes.” —Jen, 24
  • “Ten to 15 minutes.” —Sarah, 26
  • “I’d guess 20 to 30 minutes.” —Kaylea, 24
  • “Five minutes.” —Myrna, 29
  • “Again, this can vary greatly depending on the situation and time available. Normally between 5 to 15 minutes.” —Lilly, 27

Do you use any sort of toy when you’re doin’ the deed?

  • “Nope! I don’t own any toys unfortunately.” —Shelby, 18
  • “I don’t always use a toy because sometimes your fingers can stimulate the most pleasure, but bullet vibrators are bomb for quick orgasms, which is usually what I want.” —Riley, 24
  • “Sometimes! It depends on if I have time to properly clean it after. But I have a pink rabbit that is clutch!” —Jen, 24
  • “No, I haven’t thought about buying a vibrator.” —Sarah, 26
  • “Sometimes I use a vibrator.” —Kaylea, 24
  • “I use whichever vibrator is closest to me and whichever one has a full battery. If not, I use my Hitachi wand when I want an intense, full-body orgasm.” —Myrna, 29
  • “Yes! I’ve found that I love it because it’s super quiet and completely waterproof so I can use it in my shower without my housemates hearing. Definitely a plus in a shared house! It’s also much less buzzy than lots of other toys, which I’ve found can lead to longer, stronger orgasms.” —Lilly, 27

Related Story

And while we’re on the subject…about how many toys do you own?

  • “One at the moment, but I usually have more, I just end up tossing out my sex toys if I bought them with my boyfriend at the time and we break up.” —Riley, 24
  • “At the moment, the rabbit is the only one I have. But I have owned several toys throughout the years. At most, I’ve had 4 at a time.” —Jen, 24
  • “Three!” —Kaylea, 24
  • “Seven, not including whips, handcuffs, and chains. My collection is ever growing.” —Myrna, 29
  • “Twelve.” —Lilly, 29

At what time of day do you most often touch yo’self?

  • “Usually at night, around 11 p.m.” —Shelby, 18
  • “At night, or whenever I feel really freakin’ stressed.” —Riley, 24 ‘
  • “At night before bed, usually to help relax at the end of the day and try to sleep.”
    —Jen, 24
  • “The morning.” —Sarah, 26
  • “In the morning.” —Kaylea, 24
  • “Once when I wake up, and once when I am about to go to sleep.” —Myrna, 29

Where and in what position do you most often masturbate?

  • “Definitely in my room! Privacy! And I find it easier on my back.” —Shelby, 18
  • “In the shower or bath, normally sitting down.” —Riley, 24
  • “In my bed and I alternate between on my back and on my stomach depending on how tired I am.” —Jen, 24
  • “My bed, while lying on my back.” —Sarah, 26
  • “In my bed while lying down.” —Kaylea, 24
  • “In my bed on my stomach.” —Myrna, 29
  • “In bed or in the shower as I’m lying down on my back.” —Lilly, 27

Related Story

Do you orgasm every time?

  • “Yessss.” —Shelby, 18
  • “No, not every time.” —Riley, 24
  • “Nine out of 10 times, yes!” —Jen, 24
  • “Just about!” —Sarah, 26
  • “No.” —Kaylea, 26
  • “Yes. Although while clitoral stimulation is a guaranteed O, it’s not my preferred orgasm.” —Myrna, 29
  • “Yes, mostly.” —Lilly, 27

Do you masturbate more or less often when you’re in a relationship?

  • “Less often.” —Anette, 24
  • “Probably about the same. Maybe slightly less.” —Bailey, 28
  • “Less, since what would be masturbating can be sex sometimes.” —Carina, 28
  • “About the same.” —Desi, 25

What feels the best when you get down? Clitoral stimulation, G-spot stimulation, or anus stimulation? Or a mixture?

  • “Fun fact: I can actually O from clitoral stimulation.” —Shelby, 18
  • “Honestly, I haven’t explored many things other than the clitoral stimulation with a bullet because it’s just so reliable.” —Riley, 24
  • “Clitoral stimulation for sure! Occasionally, G-spot stimulation is preferable.”
    —Jen, 24
  • “Clitoral.” —Sarah, 26
  • “G-spot stimulation.” —Kaylea, 26
  • “Clitoral and G-spot,” —Myrna, 29
  • “A mix. I always need some sort of clitoral stimulation to reach orgasm though. I only recently started to experiment with different methods and sensations. I used to think that every orgasm was pretty much the same and had a set-out formula for how to get there. I’ve been discovering different kinds of orgasms through experimenting with different parts of my body and from using different toys.” —Lilly, 27

Any parting words?

  • “It’s definitely a healthy stress relief and a non-drug sleeping pill!” —Jen, 24
  • “I find that I enjoy masturbating in the shower. And also, for me, porn can be nice but it’s honestly thinking of the guy I’m with or someone I have a crush on that gets me going. Playing out a potential real life scenario in my head is way hotter.” —Sarah, 26
  • “I was never told that it was normal until I was in college. I felt so dirty and shameful doing it when I was younger. Now I know that I was definitely not the only one masturbating at a younger age. I wish I knew then what I know now, and that’s to own it and it helps figure out what you like.” —Kaylea, 24

Related Story Taylor Andrews Taylor is one of the sex and relationship editors who can tell you exactly which vibrators are worth the splurge, why you’re still dreaming about your ex, and tips on how to have the best sex of your life (including what word you should spell with your hips during cowgirl sex)—oh, and you can follow her on Instagram here.

Pooja Parikh Traveled Across The World For The HS Diagnosis That Changed Her Life Forever

stephstonenails / Instagram “I cut the middle fingernail of the middle
finger
right hand
real short
and I began rubbing along her cunt
as she sat upright in bed
spreading lotion over her arms
face
and breasts
after bathing.”
– An excerpt from “Like A Flower In The Rain,” by Charles Bukowski

I was looking at someone’s nails. A nameless girl, no doubt a scenester in New York City. Her nails were long – like really long – and pointy, very very pointy. They looked like daggers – except fake daggers, press-on daggers…but daggers nonetheless. And while looking at them, I was plagued by an unrelenting concern. Was I missing something? How, in the name of Sasha Grey, does this girl masturbate?

Seriously though. One time a porn star let me in on some insider secrets and the first thing she told me was that women in the industry HATE it when women they’re working with have long nails. Apparently women who do lesbian scenes, but don’t cut their nails, are infamous for not being real lesbians. Because to be a lesbian is to be aware of and sensitive to the female body, and to thus know that no woman likes anything remotely sharp being shoved up her V hole.

So I’ll ask this again: how do you girls with the long-ass pointy fingernails even masturbate?

I’m guessing the answer to this is that they don’t; that they forgo fingering themselves to instead sport claws and nail art. It’s an odd decision, but also an unsurprising one in the life of an anti-normcore.

For those who haven’t read the now-viral article on The Cut, “Normcore: Fashion for Those Who Realize They’re One in 7 Billion,” normcore is the pervasive NYC trend of wearing mom jeans and Nike sweaters; of Patagonia zip-up fleeces and Birkenstocks; of track pants and sweatshirts. It exists in downtown New York City, and is manifested in Jerry Seinfeld-looking dudes who are into Dis Magazine and probably sculpt. As Jeremy Lewis, the founder and editor of Garmento, put it, it’s “the idea that one doesn’t need their clothes to make a statement.” Of course there are the downtown staples who are genuinely interested in fashion and the quality of a garment, who have depth and other interests – like boxing, photography, or grander life-changing ambitions – but as The Cut lamented, there are also hordes of people who make a “huge effort with their clothing,” and are oblivious to the idea of “letting go of the need to look distinctive, to make time for something new.”

As observers, we can sit here and lament all we want, but it’s really these people – the ones making a “huge effort” – who suffer in the end. The irony is that, while The Cut describes normcore’s aesthetic as “flat,” it’s really the anti-normcore aesthetic that’s truly and inherently flat. The anti-normcore are the people who, as Lewis explains, “use fashion as a means to buy rather than discover an identity.” Their attitude, if you think about it, is almost robotic. Which I guess answers my initial question…because, robots don’t get horny, right?

Why Are Some People with Vaginas Scared to Finger Themselves?

Out of all my irrational fears, I’d have to say that my fear of fingering myself ranks within the top five. I enjoy penetrative sex with a partner, but I’ve never once in my life successfully penetrated myself—and whenever I try, I immediately freak out, get turned off, and stop. TBH, I’m not sure what goes through my head, but I get an overwhelming sense of “I need stop this right now because I can’t insert my fingers any deeper/I don’t like how this feels.” Penetrative toys don’t feel pleasurable either, so I don’t even try to use them anymore.

I can’t help but wonder: What’s wrong with me?! I like when someone else’s fingers penetrate me, so why can’t I finger myself or use a dildo while masturbating?

In an effort to find out what’s going on once and for all, I asked sex educators and therapists about my irrational fear, what the potential root problem may be, and if there’s a way to overcome it. And rest assured: If you’re anything like me or the 27,000+ people typing “how to finger yourself” and “scared to finger myself” into Google every month, you are NOT alone. These experts can confirm they’ve worked with plenty of folks in the same boat, too. Here’s their take.

Where the Fear Comes from

Like any deep-rooted fear, it seems hard to pinpoint exactly who, what, or where it stems from. Everyone’s personal history is different, but there are a few factors that might play a vital role in perpetuating this feeling.

For starters, I used to fear tampons when I was younger. Something about sticking a plastic tube full of cotton into my vagina creeped me out, so I preferred using pads until I finally mustered up enough courage to insert a tampon. Now, I use menstrual cups, so I guess you could say I got over whatever menstruation-related fears I had. However, this could still be related to my fear of self-penetration. “Clinically, I’ve seen that for some women, education about their anatomy (or lack thereof) and experience with menstruation can lead to this,” says clinical psychotherapist Rachel Hercman, L.C.S.W. “Perhaps they were discouraged from using tampons and were told it’s safer and preferable to use pads.”

Sexual shame can hold weight as well, according to sex educator Erica L. Smith, M.Ed., who frequently works with people who are uncomfortable penetrating themselves, including folks raised in extreme purity culture (think purity rings, some religions, misinformed scare tactics, and abstinent-focused sex ed). “Since sex is seen as sinful and people with vaginas are thought of as ‘dirty temptresses who can lure men to sin,’ you can imagine that this can deeply affect the comfort one has with their own body, especially the genitals.” Personally, I can rule this one out; I wasn’t raised in a religious household, so I never experienced this, but it’s certainly a plausible root of the fear for those who did.

There’s also a general sense of shame around our bodies, which can be attributed to a lack of quality sex ed, says Sophie McGrath, head of customer satisfaction at Adult Toy Megastore. “Sexual education is quite limited for a lot of people, so if you don’t know your vulva or vagina well, you can feel uncomfortable or ashamed for not understanding your body,” she says. What was my experience with sex ed like, you ask? Well, I remember my teacher giving a room full of awkward eighth graders the option to skip talking about sex if we were uncomfortable. Guess what? We moved onto the next lesson. I basically had zero “professional” sex ed whatsoever. And although I have a solid relationship with my parents, our “birds and the bees” talk didn’t really exist. I practically taught myself everything I know through self-touch, reading, chats with friends, sexual experiences, and porn. The end.

Trauma can definitely contribute to a disinterest in finger play with your own body as well. “If you’ve experienced unwanted sexual touch or assault, even your own fingers might feel triggering,” says August McLaughlin, sex educator and author of Girl Boner. “Statistically speaking, many women encounter sexual experiences that can register as trauma in their nervous system,” adds Kiana Reeves, doula, somatic sex educator, and chief brand educator at Foria Wellness. She notes that trauma is not a specific event, but rather how your body responds to an event, meaning that “two people can experience the same event and walk away with very different nervous system responses.”

All of these factors are valid, but perhaps it’s something much simpler. Reeves suggests that I just might not be turned on enough for self-penetration. “But if you do find that you’re very aroused, meaning you’re noticing your labia and clitoris swell up with blood, your vulva feels full, and you’re feeling more lubrication, then you can explore more of the emotional and subconscious aspects of this.” (Related: How to Masturbate If You’ve Never Done It Before)

How to Overcome the Fear of Fingering Yourself

Are folks like me doomed with a life-long aversion to self penetration? Nope! Fortunately, there are various ways to mentally, emotionally, and physically work through this fear.

Try somatic awareness: Reeves recommends using somatic awareness (aka working with sensation) tools for folks who have experienced trauma or undigested emotional experiences. To avoid shutting down when exploring self-penetration, she says it can be useful to focus on your breath and keep your attention on what’s happening in your body instead of feeling taken over by those emotions. She encourages you to ask yourself questions like: Is my stomach clenched? Do I feel warmth anywhere? (Think of it as a mindfulness exercise.)

“Paying attention to sensation, which is the language of the body, brings us into the present moment and out of our head, while simultaneously allowing the body to respond and digest emotions,” says Reeves. “Using tools that allow you to really explore your sensations and stay present in your body’s experience can help expand your capacity for pleasure, which ultimately will make your solo and partnered experiences that much more enjoyable.” (Related: 13 Tips for a Mind-Blowing Masturbation Session)

Self-pleasure (without penetration). Self-pleasure is another great way to overcome penetration-related fear, guilt, or trauma, and ease yourself into healing, take back control, and feel safe in your body, says McGrath. Although self-pleasure (obviously) encompasses fingering yourself for some folks, try to focus only on external stimulation until you feel ready to progress toward self-penetration. (See: 4 Reasons Masturbation Is Good for You)

“Masturbation is a human and normal part of our sexuality, which is why talking about it more can help with feelings of shame that can contribute to guilt,” she says. Sex toys can also help bridge the gap between your fingers and your body. “Simply lay a vibrator onto your vulva and go from there,” she says. “Begin with non-penetrative toys like clitoral stimulators, magic wands, or bullets, to help you become aroused enough to try penetration.”

Focus on self-reflection. To do away with shame, McLaughlin suggests self-analysis through journaling (you can even start a sex journal) or talking things out with a trusted loved one. She says it’s absolutely possible to enjoy sexual pleasure after traumatic events. If penetration feels like too much, look to other activities, like external stimulation, or experiment with touching other erogenous zones on your body for pleasure. “Ease back in gradually, as you feel ready,” she says.

Can’t get rid of the guilt or shame that pops up? Don’t worry. Simply keep those feelings company, and don’t try to get too in your head about it. “Just being present with the sensations in your body while you’re feeling those emotions can lessen the intensity of the emotions and create new pathways for you to experience your own body with less shame or internalized judgment,” says Reeves. If you do want to get to the bottom of why you feel the way you do, Smith says that better sex education may help combat a lack of sexual or anatomical knowledge.

Consider therapy. That said, some folks might need therapy to unpack the deep-seated shame they carry. Hercman agrees that having a therapeutic space that feels safe to explore one’s background, sexual experiences, fears, traumas, and anxieties can be a big help. “I find that when a woman with this challenge comes to therapy and is given a place where she can be vulnerable and a language for her experience, there is capacity for creating new associations with her body and more empowerment in her sex life, both as an individual and with a partner,” says Smith. Just be sure to find a trauma-informed sex therapist, if that’s an avenue you’d consider exploring. (See: How to Find the Right Therapist for You)

  • By Morgan Mandriota

If you’re bored while masturbating, you probably don’t know how to finger yourself

As a woman, it’s no secret that for many of us, having an orgasm seems to be almost impossible when we put others in charge to take control of clicking the kitty, but that’s because you don’t know how to finger yourself properly. On those late nights when you’re piloting your pleasure, vibrators can be too much to handle and you need something simple, so here’s a guide on how to finger yourself, so you can finally doze off to sleep.

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Make sure everything’s clean

You may not remember where your hands have been that day…or the last time you washed up. This is the one step where you should keep it clean, but the rest of your masturbation routine is fair game.

Taking a long hot shower beforehand will help set the mood for what you’re about to get into and I highly recommend that when you come out of the shower, to stay wet and steamy. That way, you won’t have to rely so much on pressing the spacebar to pause/play watching your go-to porn for guidance.

Find somewhere comfy to perform

Location, location, location! There’s nothing worse than your ass pressing into the hardwood floor and all your focus is taken away from the woman downstairs. Choosing a comfortable place to masturbate is one of the most basic rules of fingering for you to reach your high.

Big recommendation is to find a time and place where to masturbate without the fear of any interruptions. That would be a disaster right

— SMUT Multibase for Roleplayers (@INTSMUT) June 20, 2017

Sure, the bed is so typical, but if you take fingering yourself seriously, then think about investing in an ottoman or a beanbag chair. Every woman with these furnishings are able to easily reach down and play hard. You’ll be able to spread those thighs far and wide.

Now start flicking that baby

I know you’re eager, but don’t immediately go for the hole in one. The clitoris is one of the most sensitive spots on your whole body, so use it wisely. I like to think of rubbing one out is like defrosting a pizza in a mircrowave. It’s not fully ready to eat, so you’re gonna warm it up a lil bit first.

Don’t let this be your entire routine, otherwise you’ll tire of the routine. Sometimes, you should even think about torturing yourself sexually. Play with it until your close, then retreat those hands somewhere else. Sounds, rough, I know, but if you’re trying to drag this out, there’s no other way my horny friend.

Start with inserting two fingers

I’ll be real with you, one finger isn’t going to do shit for you to understand how to masturbate. Throw those suckers down the hole and get to thrusting, you nasty girl. You know better than to jackhammer your own vagina, so pace yourself as you move along.

(girls) when it comes to old fashioned masturbating, how many fingers do u use?

— ur a babe (@rcughbbygurl) July 4, 2016

Two fingers is usually just the right amount of thickness to offer you the same amount of satisfaction as an average-size dongle. But in case you’re feeling really ambitious, then throw a third, maybe a fourth. Shit, toss your whole damn fist in there if you’re feeling like a champ. I’m cheering you on right now as you’re finishing. You go Glen Cocoa!

Switch up the rhythm

The thing about learning how to finger yourself good is that you never want to stay in the same place. Give in to your rythmic abilities and change the tempo of your hand. Regular sex is dull because it becomes clear by his movements that he’s in it (and in you) to please himself.

Alternate hands, too if you find you’re losing momentum on your dominant hand. If you get really good at the fingering game, train your less dominant hand to get into the groove of how to get off.

Change positions for better access

Staying in one place for too long won’t do anything for you to make the nookie a happy gal. Steer away from remaining in the standard “starfish” position, turn over into doggy and reach underneath to get a new and exciting angle for your bussy (that’s bare pussy).

Not only will trying a new angle help stimulate the bud below, but you might just discover new sex positions in the process. Happy flicking, ladies!

Related stories recommended by this writer:

● This is how to ask a girl to give you head, by a girl

● This is why your boyfriend should actually watch MORE porn

● If even three of these things are happening in the relationship, you’re DEFINITELY the side bitch

@aribines

Cosmopolitan

Fingering, IMO, is severely underrated, often seen as nothing more than a short stop on you and your partner’s way around the bases when — if done right — it can be a main attraction. Zoë Ligon, sex educator and founder of inclusive sex toy store Spectrum Boutique, is with me on this. “Hands are the most versatile sex toy there is!” she exclaims. “They’re often overlooked and just seen as tools for foreplay, but manual sex is sex.” In the interest of elevating the art of the fingerbang for giver and receiver alike, Cosmopolitan.com asked five sex experts for their takes on the biggest fingering problems and how to address them.

1. Your partner’s hands aren’t vagina-ready. Your vagina’s a sensitive ecosystem. You’re careful about what you stick in and around it, and this should include hands — whether your own or your partner’s. “Regularly moisturizing your hands, filing your nails so they stay short and blunt, and generally avoiding hand grime keeps hands in a fuckable state,” Ligon says. “If you’re not sure that you’ve smoothed the edges of your nail enough, run them over your lips and see if you can detect any rough spots you missed.” Nothing can grind an otherwise enjoyable fingering session to a (possibly literally) screeching halt like a stray hangnail scraping your vaginal wall. You tensed up just reading that, right? If your partner wears nail polish, Ligon recommends that they opt for a gel mani (you don’t want bits of nail polish coming off inside you). When in doubt, they can always wear gloves: “That way, cleanup is easy and you can be rougher with less fear of roughness or scratching,” she says. Sex educator Sarah Sloane agrees: “While it may be a little clinical sounding, gloves even out the surface of your partner’s fingers, which keeps fingernails and calluses from abrading your delicate bits.”

2. You’re not wet enough. Even if you think your natural lubrication is sufficient, try using a little lube the next time you get fingered — you’ll appreciate not only the extra wetness but also the smooth, silky texture. “Lube is perhaps the best way to make fingering feel better,” sex therapist Vanessa Marin says. “Our natural vaginal lubrication doesn’t tend to last a very long time, so a lot of women notice discomfort when they’re being fingered.” What’s more, shopping for and trying out different lubes with your partner can turn into foreplay in and of itself. “This is a great opportunity to find a lube that you enjoy and it’s a chance for you to be adventurous,” sex educator Scarlette Cyn says. Experiment with warming, cooling, tingling, and even flavored lubes and gels — “just make sure your lube is free from sugar-based compounds, as this can cause a yeast infection,” Cyn adds.

3. Your partner is diving in too quickly. I’ve found that male-bodied partners especially tend to start jackhammering their fingers in and out of you as soon as you’re out of your clothes, ostensibly mimicking the motion of vaginal sex, the poor dears. If you’re into that, and sometimes you may be, then enjoy, but many vagina owners appreciate a slower, steadier crescendo. “Take your time,” sex educator Kelly Shibari recommends. “Let them warm you up and not rush you … This isn’t porno; this isn’t acting. No pressure.” The best fingering may look a little subtler than what you or your partner is used to seeing on a screen. I like whisper-soft brushing on the clit to start; you could even have your partner touch you through your underwear at first. When and if you move onto penetration, start with one finger and add from there. The more aroused you are, the more you’ll enjoy stimulation, Sloane points out: During arousal, “the labia swell up and the internal parts of the clitoris get engorged, making pressure even more pleasurable — which is why grinding on your partner’s body gets hotter as you get more turned on,” she explains. “So make sure you start slow, and that you and your partner get you ‘worked up’ before going to penetration or more direct pressure.”

4. Your partner’s touch is too rough. Even once you’re warmed up, your partner may be tempted to manhandle your vulva/vagina. “One of my biggest pet peeves about fingering is that there is a pretty big disconnect between the giver and receiver if the giver has never been penetrated before,” Ligon says. “I have experienced some pretty awful fingering experiences from not-so-with-the-program dudes who were treating my vagina like they were inspecting a clogged sink.” Not hot. Ligon adds that during vaginal fingering, people generally want either direct stimulation of the front wall of the vagina — the classic “come-hither” finger motion is a good way to achieve it — or “a sensation of fullness, which involves deeper strokes in a more linear movement.”

5. You think you’re supposed to let your partner do all the work. Fingering is often seen as a one-person job, Shibari says, but that doesn’t have to be the case. “If your partner has their fingers inside you, you can participate by playing with your clitoris,” she says. “If they try to move their hand away because they think you’re taking over, tell them you want them there as well. The added play of multiple hands and fingers is super hot.” Go ahead, tag-team that fingerbang.

6. You’re not sure how to guide your partner. This is where the adage “show, don’t tell” comes in handy. “If you have a sensitive clitoris” — and even if you don’t — “I recommend showing your partner the level of pressure that you enjoy,” Marin says. “You can take your partner’s hand and use one of your fingertips to touch the sensitive skin on the inside of their wrist … You can say something like, ‘I want you to touch me this gently.'” Sloane adds that “you can even hold their fingers and stroke yourself with them, so that they can see exactly what pressure and patterns you love,” and pretty much every expert recommends masturbating in front of your partner. Not only is it a turn-on, they’ll get to see exactly what gets you off, then do the same. And when it comes to guiding your partner, don’t feel like you need to tell them exactly what to do: Focus instead on giving feedback on what they’re already doing by “giving directions like a ground controller on the airplane runway,” Cyn says, using phrases like “left,” “more pressure,” “faster,” “down,” and “insert your fingers.”

7. Your partner’s not combining different types of stimulation. Internal and external stimulation are by no means mutually exclusive. “Have your partner use two hands — it’s usually easier if they are sitting close to or lying next to your vagina,” Cyn recommends. “Have them use one hand to gently massage the mons pubis, your labia, and your clitoris, at the same time using the other hand to rub or gently insert their finger(s) into your vagina. If they maintain steady pressure and speed, chances are you’re more than likely going to enjoy the session.” Cyn says that in her favorite position, her partner sits next to her and uses two fingers in a “firm circular motion against my clit, with the other hand against my vagina slowly inserting two fingers inside of me and doing a ‘come here’ motion” to stimulate the vagina’s sensitive front wall.

Ligon echoes her emphasis on that front wall. “Internally, one of my favorite moves is a jostling, tuggy motion,” she says. “Put your fingers in the ‘come hither’ position, then instead of just moving your fingers, or moving in-and-out, tug your entire hand and wrist back and forth while keeping them stiff and sturdy” — this makes it easier to apply more pressure. “Externally, you can do patting or tapping motions,” quick brushes back and forth, or “shaky hand motions in combination with penetration.” Another option is to add a little anal play to your manual sex, whether that means anal penetration with a finger or brushing around your anus.

8. You need a little extra something. Don’t shy away from adding a vibrator or dildo to the mix. “It can add to the sensation of your partner’s hands, either internally or externally,” Sloane says, “and by alternating sensations, it can let everyone stay engaged for longer!” A toy inside you can leave your partner free to focus on touching your labia, mons pubis, and clit, while a vibrator on your clit pairs well with fingers inside you. Teamwork can be so rewarding.

Follow Hayley on Twitter.

Hayley MacMillen Hayley MacMillen covers sex, relationships, and health.

Girls who finger themselves

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