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3 Mindful Masturbation Practices to Try

Brett Whiteley Sunday Afternoon Surry Hills 1989

Brett Whiteley, Sunday afternoon, Surry Hills, 1989

May is International Masturbation Month. It was created by sex-positive retailer Good Vibrations back in 1995 and what started as a single day of celebration has since been extended to the full month of May. The inspiration behind this day was to honour Surgeon General Dr Joycelyn Elders who was fired by President Bill Clinton for suggesting that masturbation should be part of sex-ed at schools.

Masturbation is another one of those taboo and divisive topics. From a young age we’re taught not to touch ourselves (for moral reasons) and many of us carry this belief through adolescence and into adulthood, causing us to feel like we’re doing something wrong and shameful. However, masturbation is a normal and healthy activity which according to primatologist Franz de Waal, is a behaviour we have evolved with from our Bonobo ancestors, which are known to masturbate. Beyond that, touch is the first sense we develop in the womb and masturbation is a way that we self-soothe. It is the ultimate in self-care.

But because masturbation is often loaded with shame, many of us have developed an unhealthy relationship and unhelpful habits around masturbating, making it a disembodied experience. We tend to do it quickly, watching our favourite porn, using our go-to toy and it’s all over before you know it. And for those in a relationship, chances are masturbation isn’t something you’ve openly talked about with your partner so you hide it from each other, ignoring each other's needs for some self-soothing solo play. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with toys and porn, but it’s this disembodied and secretive approach towards masturbation that only keeps us in a state of feeling shame.

A healthy relationship to masturbation has many benefits for our well being and relationships, such as:

  • Reduces stress: the release of endorphins and oxytocin creates a feeling of pleasure, connection and well-being.

  • Improves the relationship with your body: masturbating is an act of self love. It’s also a space to learn about your body and develop a more intimate relationship with it.

  • Improves overall sex life: masturbating allows you to become more attuned to your desires and sexual response thereby helping you to become a better lover.

Developing a healthy, shame-free relationship to masturbating starts with bringing more mindfulness to the activity. In this way, masturbation becomes more intentional and gives you the opportunity to really take in the benefits this practice has to offer. Here are 3 mindful masturbation practices to try at home:

Mindful Porn Watching

When watching porn, we often become so engrossed in it, that we become disconnected from how we’re touching ourselves and don’t allow ourselves to savour the pleasure in our bodies. In this practice, your awareness moves like a pendulum between your body and the porn. After a few minutes of watching porn, bring your attention away from the porn to your

own body for five breaths. Scan your body for the places of most pleasure. Then return your attention back to the porn. By moving your awareness back and forth in this way, you are able to sense and savour your arousal in new ways. Remember to notice your whole body in this practice, not just your genitals.

Self Erotic Massage

Masturbation is so often limited to stimulating our genitals, paying little attention to the sensuality of our entire body. Often, we’re also relying on some kind of visual stimulation from porn to get us aroused. A self erotic massage is a way to arouse yourself through self-touch, breath and movement. It creates the space to slow down and allow arousal to build in its own time.

Begin to explore your body with your hands. Allow your hands to become curious. One hand can be caressing, stroking and kneading parts of your body while the other hand stimulates the genitals. You may like to use some warm coconut oil, adding another layer of sensuality to the practice. Find a rhythm with your breath as you massage your body. Inviting some movement through the hips can also generate more sexual energy.

Remember to give your body time to wake up to the sensation of touch. We have grown accustomed to the quick fix from porn and other props, and when you remove these stimulants, you realise how much time your body actually needs to become fully aroused. The reward in giving yourself time with this practice is in the slow build up and the subsequent waves of pleasure lapping across your whole body.

Mirror Masturbation

Mirror masturbation is like making love to yourself. In this practice, you become your own lover. It might feel confronting and awkward at first, but if you can get over this initial barrier, masturbating to yourself can be incredibly erotic and healing. It can help to improve the relationship we have with our bodies and cultivate more acceptance and awe while also helping to overcome sexual shame and guilt.

Curious to learn more about mindful masturbation? I offer self-pleasure coaching, book a free discover call or send me an email to discuss how we can work together.


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