5 common myths about masturbation, plus what you really need to know to do it well

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  • Did you know? According to the world’s largest masturbation survey conducted by TENGA, 78% of adults globally masturbate. 96% of British men and 78% of British women indulge in regular self-love sessions, but if you’re part of the 2% or 22% who doesn’t – or who hasn’t because you don’t know how to masturbate – fear not: you’re in the right place.

    While it’s not quite as – ahem – interactive as tantric sex, bondage or using a couples sex toy, it can be a great way to boost your libido and release some stress.

    So, what better way to learn the self-love ropes than at the hands of an expert? Lucky for you, we’ve picked the brains of Danyell Fima, co-founder of luxury pleasure product Thruster by Velvet Co.

    Here, she chats all things self love, plus the most common masturbation myths and a simple expert-led guide on how to do it safely – and pleasurably…

    How to masturbate: Your complete guide, from a sex-pert

    So… what is masturbation? 

    In its simplest terms, masturbation is the act of sexually stimulating yourself in order to create and feel pleasure, she explains.

    “Many would consider the physical climax or euphoria as release that relaxes the body. Certainly the dopamine increase suggests the same,” Fima explains.

    What are the benefits of masturbation? 

    Much like sex, there’s actually loads of scientific evidence that frames masturbation as a real health win.

    “The benefits of masturbation seem to truly trail into all parts of life,” explains Fima. “Data suggests that people – of all sexes and genders – have a similar chemical reaction in the body.”

    Benefits include:

    • Stress relief
    • Better sleep
    • More positive mood.

    How to masturbate: Woman Holding Vibrator While Using Laptop On Bed

    Why is masturbation sometimes seen as taboo?

    A whole load of reasons, from religious to societal teachings, shares Fima. “Some stand-out teachings cite masturbation as dirty, sinful, or deviant – which just aren’t true,” she stresses.

    “These ideas can contribute to harmful relationships with our bodies and sexuality,” she goes on, when really? “Masturbation is one of the most common, natural, and pleasurable things we can do for ourselves.”

    If you really feel in over your head, scroll to the bottom of this article for a simple how to masturbate step-by-step. But, note here: the sex-pert reckons it’s best to figure our your own masturbation method on your own. There’s only so much sex advice can help.

    “Utilising it as a tool for experiencing pleasure and self-love is key,” she explains.

    “There is nothing taboo about exploring and embracing your own body.”

    How to masturbate: A woman in bed

    5 common – and incorrect – masturbation myths

    ‘Masturbation is unnatural’

    Ever heard that one before? Fima doesn’t think so. “Masturbation is a natural human function that you often figure out how to do at a young age.”

    “It’s natural to be curious about your own experiences of pleasure,” she goes on.

    ‘Masturbation is a sin’

    Again, you may have heard this one before, but the sex expert doesn’t buy it.

    “Touching your body on your own terms is incredibly empowering and beautiful. There should be no shame when it comes to enjoying some self-love,” she stresses.

    ‘Masturbation means you aren’t satisfied in your sex life’

    Quite the contrary. “Masturbating in a relationship is healthy and can be used as a staple learning each other’s pleasure.” she explains.

    Top tip: Try mutual masturbation to show your partner how you like it done. Ready to move on to some steamier sex positions? Read our expert guide to the best.

    ‘Masturbation ruins your sex drive’

    Again, not true – masturbating can actually give a huge boost in libido, according to Fima. “As some may say, if you don’t use it, you lose it.”

    Top tip: if you’re going through a dry spell or points of low libido, Fima recommends incorporating masturbation to kick start your sex drive.

    ‘You should only masturbate with your hands’

    While you totally could, Fima begs to differ. “You should masturbate in whatever way feels right to you, even if that includes things like sex toys, lube and vibrators.”

    How to masturbate: Woman with Legs Raised wearing white shorts lying on bed

    A short how-to guide of how to masturbate safely (and properly)

    Our guide to masturbation techniques will certainly help, but for a more basic step-by-step, keep reading.

    1. Don’t hurt yourself

    Do note here: Fima stresses that everyone will masturbate differently, but a primary concern is not to hurt yourself physically.

    “That means taking things slow and learning to get familiar with how it might be best for you,” she stresses.

    2. Lower your guard

    This one’s important – try and relax into it. Easier said than done, but key for max pleasure.

    “Maybe you are masturbating with your partner and that’s new in your relationship, or it’s something you want to consider,” she explains. “It very well may be intimidating to lower your guard and discuss with a partner but it may be worth exploring. Typically overcoming hurdles requires strong communication and yields the best rewards.”

    3. Take things slow

    Don’t jump in headfirst – explore slowly.

    “Starting slowly and erring on the side of caution if you don’t have experience will help you relax,” she shares.

    4. Read pro tips

    Like the pro tips in this article, you lucky lot. “Reading suggestions from sexperts will give you direction to explore safely,” Fima shares.

    5. Clean your toys

    Sex toys are tools to make masturbating easy, fun, and exciting, but do remember to wash them.

    Read our guide to how to clean your sex toys, if you’re not sure.

    6. Work out what works for you

    Again, so simple, but harder to work out than you’d think. “In the end, it comes down to what works best for each individual,” shares Fima.

    So….. get exploring.

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