I’m not a Wiccan, but the line from the charge of the goddess, “All acts of love and pleasure are my rituals,” has always resonated with me. I was reminded of that last night, as I sat with a group of femmes passing around a microphone, discussing masturbation. It was my fourth time recording Amory Jane’s podcast, Sex on the Brain, and the second time we were doing it live from a party. Last time was a play party, this time was a masturbation party.
Of course the part where people were touching themselves was a lot of fun, but hearing people talk about their journeys of self love and pleasure was perhaps the most powerful part. Everyone had a different experience. Some had grown up in sex-positive households, others had been shamed for their explorations.
It’s a topic that comes up with my coaching clients on a regular basis. Some people come to me to to learn how to masturbate – whether it’s because of conservative upbringings or simply having never explored – and it’s so powerful to hear their stories as they discover their bodies and find new kinds of pleasure.
Other times I work with couples, and we talk about the role masturbation can have in a relationship. Some people enjoy engaging in mutual masturbation, which can be a great way to relax and connect after a long day, when you might not have the energy for other forms of sex. Sometimes just one partner masturbates, while the other snuggles them or reads erotica out loud. For some people, it’s a matter of negotiating alone time, which can be tricky when you live with someone and share a bed. But masturbation is an important form of self care for many people, and I think it’s incredibly valuable to figure out what works for you, and to explore ways you can make it special.
For some people (and I often fall into this camp) it’s just about having a quick orgasm to relieve stress, or to relax and go to sleep. But even if that’s your usual routine, I suggest branching out now and then and finding ways to make it special.
Try undressing more slowly one day, and enjoying your body as you do so. Looking in the mirror and giving yourself positive affirmations (even if you feel silly doing it!) can be wonderful for your self esteem. Taking time in the shower or the bath is another great way to explore your body, because its a space where you’re used to being naked.
Another way to make masturbation special, is to take special care with the toys that you use. That could mean having a nice box to store them in, or a cloth that you wrap them in before they go into a drawer. That way, both getting the toys out, and cleaning them and putting them away, can become part of your routine of making time for yourself.
If you’re someone who likes ritual, think about lighting a candle, or using some scent, or doing something to mark the time and space that you’re using for pleasure. Setting the mood isn’t just for when you’re trying to impress a partner, you deserve the same care and romance when you’re seducing yourself.
Do you have a masturbation ritual? Or anything you do to make that time special? What about a story about how you figured out how to pleasure yourself? Let me know in the comments below. And if this is something you’d like help learning, get in touch.
All the photos in this post are of my stunning friend, Ev’Yan Whitney, and used with permission. If you’d like to learn how to take sexy selfies like hers, and become sexually empowered in the process, she’s got a class for that.