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What is masturbation?
To masturbate means to stimulate yourself in a sexual way. This can be done by hand, or with sex aids – some highly-sexed women can even do it by rubbing their thighs together. And a tiny minority of women can do it with no genital contact at all, but simply through caressing their breasts.

Such stimulation often leads to orgasm, but not invariably, as many women enjoy stroking themselves and experiencing pleasure that does not necessarily culminate in a climax.

Most men have masturbated, often beginning at a fairly young age.

Women tend to start masturbation later however, and it does not tend to be such an automatic activity as it is for most men and boys.

Furthermore, even once a woman has learned to masturbate, she will probably do it less than the average man - and it seems that far fewer women than men do it regularly.

Various people have speculated on why this is the case. But most agree that it is to do with basic sex drive.

It does appear that if you compare the sex drive of an average young woman and an average young man, then the man is likely to be the more highly sexed of the two. This is partly because a woman’s fluctuating hormones tend to mean that her desire for sex is not as constant as a man’s is.

Another reason for masturbation being less important to women than men is that a man’s sexual apparatus is all outside his body and he is focused on the pleasure his penis provides him from a very young age.

Women’s sex organs are less obvious. For example, the clitoris - which is the main organ of pleasure in most women - is hidden away under the labia. Also, though this is less the case now than it used to be, girls have traditionally been brought up to be more modest and secretive about their bodies.

Even so, many young women nowadays will enjoy masturbation prior to experiencing love play or intercourse with a partner. But vast numbers of females do not discover masturbation till their late teens – and some never do it at all.

Is masturbation a good thing?
Years ago, girls were told that masturbation was an ‘immature’ activity and that it was important not to get too fixated on it and that if you did, then you might be unable to progress to ‘proper’ lovemaking with a man.

Most experts now regard this sort of advice as nonsense.

Indeed, most clinicians and counsellors working in the world of sex and/or relationship therapy believe that a woman can learn a great deal about her own sexual response through masturbation, and that she can then pass on what she knows to any partner - male or female - she may have.

So, masturbation should not be regarded as immature or shameful. It is something that most normally-sexed women do. They may reserve it for when they feel in need of a treat, or they may do it very regularly – even when they are in a relationship.

Some women choose to masturbate in order to ease abdominal cramps during their periods. Others only ever do it if they feel seriously frustrated. And yet others do it both privately and also as part of the loveplay they share with their partners. All this is normal.

What's the best way for women to have an orgasm?

If you don't know exactly what it is you like or what it takes for you to reach orgasm, it's a good idea to practise on your own.

For some people the very idea of stimulating themselves can seem worrying, or unappealing, or something to be ashamed of. It’s a good idea if women can rid themselves of these feelings.

Masturbation is a great way to lessen tension in your body. It’s a very safe way to have an orgasm. And it’s probably the best way to learn about how your body likes to be loved. . But masturbation, like most things, takes practice. And the only way to learn about your own sexual response is to try it.

If you have never tried masturbation, or you want to do it in such a way that will be more pleasurable and satisfying then it has been in the past, then you might need to plan how and when to do it, rather than leave it to chance. For a start, you need to ensure that you’re going to have adequate time to yourself and that you won't be interrupted

Begin by taking a shower, or a long, luxurious, scented bath. Soap your body all over and enjoy touching your breasts and your genitals in particular.

Dry yourself carefully, then rub your favourite lotion all over your body. Keep touching your body everywhere - it might be a good idea to stand in front of a mirror while you do it. This is your body – a body capable of giving you great pleasure – so enjoy looking at it and getting used to the sight and feel of it.

At this point, as long as you know that you're in no danger of being disturbed, move to your bedroom. Make sure that it is warm and comfortable. Put on some relaxing music if you like. And just enjoy yourself.

Lie down on your bed and use a mirror to look at your private and intimate places. Gently spread your labia: you may want to use a spot of lubrication There are very nice modern ones that increase the sensuouness of the occasion – such as Wet, Liquid Silk and Pjur. But if you don’t have any lubrication, then use saliva.

Try to tighten and relax the muscles at the base of the pelvis.

If you find it difficult to know whether you're doing this successfully, try inserting a couple of fingers inside your vagina. That way, you'll be able to feel whether you're tightening and relaxing the muscles or not. Many women much prefer masturbation if they can feel some bulk in the vagina at the same time as they stimulate the clitoris – so touching yourself internally might feel very good indeed.

If you now tighten and relax the muscles in rapid succession you will feel contractions of the kind that many women experience when having an orgasm.

You might also notice a warm sensation in your abdomen. Try touching yourself all over your body, including the breasts and your genitals where you will quickly find the most sensitive spots. In particular, experiment near the opening of the vagina and clitoris and stimulate yourself in whatever way feels best. So long as you do not rush, and you are keeping relaxed, then your own fingers will automatically do the right thing and will move with the right amount of speed and intensity for you.

Try to familiarise yourself with exactly how touching yourself makes you feel. Ignore everything around you. Just think about what is going on inside you, or fantasise about making love with someone you care for, or with a celebrity, or in some gorgeous and romantic place.

While you touch yourself, you might like to look at something that turns you on - pictures, perhaps, a film; even a sexy book. Interestingly men and women differ somewhat is what they find arousing. Most men like graphic pictures of sexy women or of people having sex. Women are frequently much more turned on by words – so an erotic novel can often increase a woman’s pleasure.

If, as is likely, your sexual tension rises, keep going. If you have never previously masturbated to orgasm, you might suddenly feel tired and want to stop. Or you may be nervous about the build up of excitement in your body. Don’t worry about this. Just take your time. And if you don’t want to go on right now, then that’s fine. You can always try again another day. Eventually, the pleasant feelings will build up and you’ll be comfortable with this and increasingly excited and you won’t want to stop. When that happens, you will almost certainly suddenly experience a huge rush of ecstatic feeling and you will bring yourself to orgasm.

For some women it is not enough to just use their fingers - they like to use sex aids as well. A vibrator may be useful, or you could try stimulating yourself with the hand spray when you are in the shower. Use your fingers at the same time.

If they follow the guidelines above, almost everyone should be able to learn to masturbate and have an orgasm. But remember, these are only guidelines. Experiment, and you may well find a better way to turn yourself on.

Like other sexual activity, masturbation can be improved by varying how you do it.

This is particularly true for women who are between relationships and for whom masturbation is the sole sexual activity at that period in their lives.

Most women find that their fingers do the trick wonderfully – as they instinctively match their speed or weight to our requirements. But a vibrator can help someone who finds it hard to get to orgasm and can also be useful as a change from digital masturbation.


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