• A First-Time Hands-On Guide to Solo Sex for Her

    First-Time Masturbation Guide for Women

    The secret to sexual pleasure is at your fingertips. Literally. If you’re a female who has never masturbated to orgasm, I’m betting you’ve never had one.


    The secret to sexual pleasure is at your fingertips. Literally.

    If you're a female who has never masturbated to orgasm, I'm betting you've never had one. Masturbation is a sure way (often the only way) to discover what turns you on sexually, and unless you know how to excite yourself, you've got zero chance of telling your partner how to.

    If this is your first attempt at masturbation, it's essential you choose a place and time where you won't be interrupted.

    Put your phone on silent and out of sight. If you share a flat with other people, lock your door. Pull the blinds if you need to and do whatever it takes to make you feel comfortable.

    This guide focuses on using your fingers which will teach you the most about your body. Next week, I’ll be focusing on other techniques like using a vibrator or rubbing against something. Ready? Off you go...

    Most women don't remove all their clothes to masturbate but for the first time, do take off your bottom half completely.

    Look at your genitals in a mirror and reacquaint yourself with your clitoris. Remember it's usually at the top of your vagina and looks like a tiny pea covered by a hood of skin. Stimulating the clitoris is what will give you an orgasm.

    Grab a tube of personal lubricant from the bathroom: don't even think about using Vaseline or baby oil because it alters the delicate pH balance of the vagina and can trigger things like thrush.

    Tried masturbating but it didn't do a thing for you? I'll bet you didn't use lubricant.

    Rub away all you like but if you're dry, it'll feel irritating not pleasurable.

    Personal lubricants keep the whole genital area wet and make almost any touch feel sensational.

    It helps if you read an erotic book or watch some porn on your laptop while you're masturbating; alternatively think sexy thoughts - fantasise about past or present lovers, someone you'd like to have sex with or a scenario which excites you.

    Lie in a comfortable position on the bed with your legs relaxed and apart. When you feel ready, begin to explore your outer genitals with your fingers - rubbing, stroking, applying pressure, experimenting until you find the techniques that feel the most pleasurable.

    Now apply some lubricant to the inner lips or lick your fingers and use saliva.

    Start concentrating your movements around or directly on the clitoris. This will feel more sensitive than the rest of your vagina so start by gently stroking it while it's still covered by the hood of skin.

    Keep up a steady rhythm with whatever stroke you've chosen. As you get more excited, the hood will retract. Stroking the clitoris directly may feel even better.

    Experiment with hard strokes and soft, circular and back and forth strokes to find out what feels best.

    After a while, those pleasurable sensations will build and seem to centre around the clitoris.

    At this point you may want to increase the rhythm or pressure of your strokes or simply continue what you've been doing.

    You'll start to feel intense pressure around the clitoris. It can feel like you're going to pee. Relax - you aren't (though if you can't get past that, sit on the loo for the first time). The more aroused you are, the more the blood pumps to the clitoris and other hot spots until the pressure gets too great and the blood gets released back into the body.

    This rather undramatic physical function is the orgasm, setting off intensely pleasurable waves of feeling.

    Your vagina will go into a series of wave-like spasms and you may feel your vaginal muscles contracting.

    Usually, direct contact with the clitoris is painful immediately after orgasm, so don't be alarmed if it hurts if you continue to stimulate it. So there you have it: (perhaps) your first orgasm you've given yourself with your fingers.

    Why didn't I dive straight in to talking about how to do it with a vibrator when it's hard NOT to orgasm with one?

    Because touching yourself directly means you can feel what your body is doing.

    Besides, while lots of partners will be absolutely fine with you using your vibrator in bed with them, it's not the best partner friendly technique. Being able to orgasm through finger stimulation means all you have to do now is teach them how to use the same technique you do.

    WHAT IF I FEEL WEIRD ABOUT MASTURBATING?

    Call it by a different name

    Even though we talk about sex as a natural, normal thing to do, it's still not something we do in public.

    It wouldn't occur to most of us to have sex with our partners on the lounge-room floor in the middle of a dinner party with friends or even nip off into their bedroom for that matter, just because we felt like it. For various reasons - some good, some bad - sex is hidden.

    And the message that sends to some people is that it's not okay.

    Masturbation is even more shrouded in mystery. While we're used to seeing couples thrashing about the bedroom in movies and on TV, masturbation is still reserved for the porn films, reinforcing its 'dirty' image and leaving some people with the impression that it's still not right to touch ourselves 'down there'.

    Even the name 'masturbation' throws up lots of prohibitions for many women. So, for a start, try calling it something else: pleasing yourself, tension release, your sleeping pill.

    By normalising it, and using a word or expression your brain doesn't instantly associate with 'bad' thoughts, it will seem less threatening. Sounds simple, but sex therapists swear it's an important step in the right direction.

    Take your time and giving yourself permission to enjoy

    When we masturbate, we tend to do it very quickly and get it over with because when we first started, we were worried we'd get caught.

    Also, a lot of people only masturbate when the sexual tension builds so high, they have to get rid of it.

    Turn it around from something you only do when you have to and learn to view it as a 'treat'.

    One way of doing this is to use it as a reward - start masturbating after good things have happened to you.

    It's calorie-free (unlike that bar of chocolate), great for your health (unlike a drink or cigarette) and won't cost you a cent (shopaholics take note). Soon you'll start to associate it with the good things and the whole process will become more positive.

    Next week, Three Top Masturbation Techniques for Men.

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