As a queer non-binary sex educator, some of the more common concerns I hear about masturbation is that, after a while, it can start to feel repetitive; that it’s not as enjoyable anymore, or that it has become merely something to do to pass the time or relieve stress. While stress relief and boredom are perfectly healthy reasons to masturbate, it’s also okay to want something more from your solo sex practice.
Just as we might want to try out new things with a long-time partner to keep sexual intimacy fresh, we can do the same with masturbation! Solo sex is full of possibilities, and trying new things can help you learn about yourself. It can teach you how and where you like to be touched, what positions are comfortable, what turns you on and ultimately help you feel more sexually confident.
Whether you’re on the beginner side of solo sex, a total master of masturbation or somewhere in the middle, here are a plethora of possibilities to make it even more enjoyable.
Set the mood
Take a little extra time and effort to create an ambience that will help you get in the mood and stay in the mood. Dim the lights, clean up your room, minimize distractions, put your phone on “do not disturb,” light some candles, put on a sultry playlist, maybe even change into lingerie or other types of apparel that make you feel sexy. Changing up the aesthetic can get you more in the mood, and tell your brain it is time for pleasure.
Try out a sex toy (or a new type of toy)
If you’ve never used a toy before, give it a shot! With sex toys, you can experience different sensations you otherwise aren’t able to. They can also help you get to hard-to-reach spots or give you the internal stimulation that maybe your fingers can’t. My first piece of advice when purchasing a sex toy is to avoid Amazon and support smaller independent sex shops instead, especially those that are womxn and queer-owned!
It’s also a good idea to double check the dimensions of the toy (but also all of the product details) so you don’t end up like me: Stuck with a vibrating butt plug larger than my head and wider than my fist, that I have no plans to use.
With so many different kinds of toys to choose from—regardless of what genitals you’re working with—there is something for everyone, and within your price range!
It’s important to know that, if you purchase silicone toys, they are not compatible with silicone-based lubricants. I generally recommend water or aloe-based ones, because they work with sex toys of all materials. When it comes to cleaning, you can use soap and water, no need for a fancy toy cleaner. You can also put condoms on your toys if you don’t want to thoroughly clean them after every use, but you will want to wipe off the lube residue from the condom.
Watch (ethical) porn
Watching porn can really help you get your rocks off. It can also teach you what you do and don’t like, and maybe give you some ideas to try with a partner as well! Ethical porn puts performers rights, safety and comfort front of mind—it’s porn in which the performers are properly compensated and not exploited. Consuming porn ethically also means that you are paying for it; just as you pay for entertainment services like Netflix and Hulu, you should be paying for your pornographic entertainment. Some queer ethical porn favourites are Crashpad Series, Four Chambers, and Queer Porn TV.
Listen to audio porn
If you love dirty talk, and if the sound of your partners moaning gets you blissed out, aural stimulation might be more your style. In that case, you might want to explore the world of audio porn and audio erotica. Audio erotica takes the form of erotic stories read aloud while audio porn is like listening-in on someone’s sexual escapade—from the dialogue (sometimes with inner monologues), to the sounds of someone’s pants being unzipped, to their breathing, moans and dirty talk. I’d recommend the Bellesa and Dipsea apps, which have so many styles to choose from and are queer-inclusive. (Big shoutout to Bellesa for their non-binary options!)
Edging is the process of bringing oneself close to orgasm, but stopping or lessening stimulation before you do in order to prevent the orgasm from happening. This is usually repeated several times during masturbation before you eventually let yourself reach orgasm. No matter your gender or genitals, edging gives you longer, stronger, more pleasurable orgasms!
Use a CBD or cannabis-infused lube
Elevate your solo sex with some CBD or cannabis-infused lube. Cannabis lube contains a combination of CBD and THC, while CBD lube just utilizes the former. The physiological effects of cannabis lube may be stronger, according to limited case studies, as THC is the ingredient that makes one feel “high.”
Potential benefits can include increased blood flow, increased sensitivity and relaxed muscles, all of which can enhance your solo sex session. These can also be a great option for folks experiencing menstrual cramps, period pain and even painful penetration as THC/CBD may help reduce inflammation while providing pain relief. While the benefits of CBD and cannabis-infused lube are anecdotal, you’ll never know unless you try!
Incorporate anal toys
I’m a strong believer that the best way to explore anal play is by yourself. You can use fingers, or take a gander at the many different anal play products on the market, like butt plugs, rimming devices and anal beads. Rimming devices are relatively new to the scene but a lot of fun, especially if you like getting your ass eaten, as they replicate the sensation of someone pleasuring your anus with their tongue. If you’re new to butt stuff, a couple things to keep in mind: The more relaxed you are, the better, and while douching isn’t a requirement, it’s a good idea to empty your bowels beforehand and give the rim of your anus a quick little wipe-down. Also, the rectum is not self-lubricating, so plenty of lube is an absolute must. Pro-tip: While stimulating your genitals, pull out the plug, anal beads or finger just as you’re having an orgasm to really intensify your O!
Explore new positions
One of the easiest ways to mix things up is to change positions. If you find yourself laying on your back every time you masturbate, try standing with a leg raised, or on your stomach, on all fours, on your side or throw it back to your younger years with some humping and grinding with a pillow or the edge of a bed. With the help of suction toys and suction cup attachments, you can fasten certain sex toys, like dildos, to surfaces like the floor, walls or headboard to get even more creative with positions. This also frees up your hands if you want to add another toy into the mix.
Get your blood flowing
Increased blood flow can amplify sensitivity and pleasure during stimulation. To get that blood circulating, you can try taking a warm bath, do a self-massage or look into some CBD or cannabis-infused topicals and sexual arousal/stimulation gels and creams.
Touch (all of) yourself
Masturbation is a great time to explore your body and learn your erogenous zones. They can be anywhere! Maybe it’s behind your ears, your inner thighs, your upper pelvis area, even behind the knees—they are different for everyone. You can experiment with different types of touch as well, like caressing, flicking, pinching, etc. You can even try using sensation play objects, like a feather, paddle or Wartenberg Wheel, a spiky pinwheel that you roll across the skin to provide a range of nerve sensations depending on the pressure you apply. If you have sex toys, vibrating or not, you can also experiment with those on your erogenous zones.
Use water pressure
Another personal favourite if you have a vulva is to utilise water pressure to stimulate the clitoris. There are a few ways to achieve this: Bidet toilet attachments are pretty inexpensive and a great option, or if you have a bathtub you can try to position yourself under the faucet, utilise bath jets if you have them or buy yourself a water diverter. A water diverter attaches to the bath faucet to allow the water stream to extend further, and at an angle that more easily reaches your genitals.
It’s super common for us to hold our breath or restrict our breathing when we near orgasm, however, deep, full breaths can actually make stimulation feel better and improve your orgasm. Taking full, uninterrupted breaths during your entire masturbation session can also help you reach orgasm faster. Just like when yoga teachers tell you to “breathe into” certain parts of your body to relieve tension, you can do the same during solo play by focusing your breathing toward your genitals, bringing you to orgasm faster and giving you stronger orgasms. Another related trick is to moan and make pleasure noises during masturbation. Even if you aren’t one to make noise during sex or solo it can actually get you in the mood and keep you focused on the experience.
Now that you’ve got an arsenal full of solo sex tips, get out there and have yourself a marvellous Masturbation May!