Still, even if you and your vagina are so in sync you finish each other’s sentences, your sex life with yourself, like with any long-term partner, has room for improvement.

Posted on Nov 6 2013 - 5:17pm by bollywoodhatke

The maxim “He knows me better than I know myself”? Well, it probably doesn’t hold true when it comes to pleasure centers. If you’re like many women, you have had a long-term relationship with a vibrator and, with concentration, can get the deed done during a commercial break—without even muting the TV—if you so choose.
masturbation-woman-with-hand-in-her-panties

All joking aside, self-pleasure is important because it “lets you take control of your satisfaction,” says Charlie Glickman, Ph.D., a sexuality educator. “It also gives you room to try new things without stressing about a partner’s expectations.” Add to that: Masturbation is a pressure release, a natural sleeping pill, and a plain old-fashioned good time (as if we needed to sell you on it).

Still, even if you and your vagina are so in sync you finish each other’s sentences, your sex life with yourself, like with any long-term partner, has room for improvement.

So put away your vibrator. Not forever—just for a few minutes. Because to improve your self-loving skills, the best place to start is the mind. “Seduce yourself,” suggests sex coach Amy Levine, founder of IgniteYourPleasure.com. That doesn’t mean making a rose-petal path to your bed, but some low-maintenance pampering can get you in the mood. Levine recommends playing soft music and lighting candles. Porn works too, if that’s your thing. So does eyes-closed fantasizing. Says sexuality educator Timaree Schmit, Ph.D.: “Envision a situation that turns you on, and let it fully develop. Never judge yourself or say you should be thinking about something or someone differently. There’s no so-called thought police.”

Once you’ve worked yourself into a mental lather, focus on your body. Levine suggests starting with a slow full-body self-massage. You already know the one or two spots that can send you over the edge, but now is your chance to discover untapped sources of pleasure. Levine says to pay special attention to your neck, the back of your knees, your thighs, and your perineum, which is the stretch of skin between your vagina and anal opening.

After your massage, avoid falling into your time-worn getting-off pattern. Switch up your position, suggests Levine: If you always masturbate while lying on your back, try it on all fours, or sitting in a comfortable chair, or even standing, bent over a table or the bed. Try kneeling as if you’re straddling your partner.

Variety is key to your sex life, so why shouldn’t that extend to your self-love life? If you need more convincing, know this: By masturbating the same way every time, you might have more difficulty getting off when you’re with a partner. So stay flexible.

Speaking of which, consider taking a yoga class and then getting it on with yourself as soon as you arrive home, says Levine. “The breath work and the flow of the poses allow us to be in the moment and out of our head,” she says. In other words, yoga can diminish all those thoughts of your boss, your bank account, or whatever other worries might distract you.

Now, getting back to your vibrator. If yours is a trusty rabbit style, it might be time to introduce vibrator 2.0. Perhaps something that hits the doubted-by-scientists-but-not-by-women G-spot? (A rabbit is tailored to the clitoris.) “Look for something that has a curve,” suggests Glickman. “Stronger vibrations, or ridges or bumps, often help too.”

Glickman recommends using a G-spot wand that’s waterproof, like the Good Vibrations Silky G Waterproof G Spot Vibrator. Draw a bath, climb in, and go to town. Aim the toy’s curve toward your navel when you insert it—the G-spot is a couple of inches inside the vagina, on the front wall. “Try to find an area the size of a dime or a nickel that feels raised, or ridged, or firmer than the tissue around it,” says Glickman. “It’s often easier to find when you’re turned on, because it swells.”

Don’t feel like embarking on The Great G-Spot Hunt? No problem, says Leigh, who is all for clitoral focus. “There’s increasing pressure that you should be able to get off from G-spot stimulation,” she says. “But just do what feels best to you.” She recommends clitoris-specific egg-shaped vibrators for easy use and storage.

“But the Cadillac of vibrators is still the Hitachi wand,” she says of the massage device that resembles a giant microphone. “It’s huge. It often requires an electrical outlet and can be noisy as all get-out. But if nothing else will get the job done, this will.”

Of course, toys aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. And that’s fine. All that matters is that you feel good. And if you’re playing sexy music, massaging yourself, and writhing in a chair while feeling good, all the better.

 

 

Even though masturbation seems less taboo these days, the National Health and Social Life Survey reported that 58 percent of women don’t indulge. And of those who do, 47 percent feel guilty. It’s ridiculous, insists Pepper Schwartz, PhD, author of Everything You Know About Love and Sex Is Wrong. “Masturbation prepares you for great sex, since you learn what you like and can teach a partner,” she says. Every Cosmo girl should know how to masturbate. Here, a helping hand. 

 

It takes more than a five-second lip-lock to get you in the mood for sex with him. Same holds true for a DIY session. To light your libido, create an atmosphere for arousal: a haven sans distractions where you can say to hell with inhibition. Lock the door so no one bursts in. Disconnect your phone(s). Add ambience with candles and slow jams. Next, tune in to your head space. “If you’re watching CNN and trying to masturbate, it’s going to take a while,” says Rachel Venning, cofounder of the sex boutique Toys in Babeland and coauthor of Sex Toys 101. “In order to reach your peak, you need to relax and focus.” If it takes a glass of wine to block out your boss (buzz kill!) and transition from work to play, cheers. Once you feel mentally uncluttered, fill your mind with sexy thoughts. Picturing Johnny Depp in a loincloth might help. Or do as Liz,* 28, does. “I have a videotape of Top Gun that I keep set to the volleyball scene,” she says. “All that action makes me want to get some.” 

 

One of the most private places to awaken your senses is in the tub. To get started, draw a bubble bath. “As you soak in the warm water, your muscle tension will melt,” says Schwartz. “You’ll be more responsive to touch when you’re relaxed.” Increase the release by massaging your inner thighs and running your hands up your tummy and over your breasts. Now circle your nipples with a sudsy fingertip, then gently tug on them. “If this is an erogenous zone for you, it may trigger tingles down below,” adds Schwartz. Now zero in on your hot spots by getting even more hands-on. “Our fingers are ideal tools for learning what type of pressure, speed, and stroke work the best,” says Sadie Allison, sex educator and author of Tickle Your Fancy: A Woman’s Guide to Sexual Self-Pleasure. Let your digits wander south, tracing the sensitive folds of your inner labia. Get playful and draw the alphabet with your pinkie. Or try lightly tapping your clitoris with one finger, speeding up as you become aroused. All the while, note areas and touches that provide the most satisfaction. Bottom line: You’re the master of your own domain. It takes trial and error to figure out what makes you tick. Experiment and you’ll be surprised by the sexy sensations you can provoke. Take it from Sara, 23, who stumbled upon her own tub turn-on (and incidentally hasn’t taken a shower since): “As the tub was filling up, I moved closer to the faucet to adjust the temperature,” she explains. “The running water splashed on my clitoris and immediately felt good. So I wrapped my feet around the faucet and let the water flow over me. The excitement kept building.”

 

Now to hit your high note, you’ll need to intensify the manual manipulation. “There’s no one method that works for everyone,” explains Allison, “but certain stroking styles are tried and true.” Like a move she calls The Figure Eight. Use one or more fingers to glide up, over and around your clitoral area, tracing the number eight. You’ll cover the clitoris and the inner labia — a lusty locale that has nerve endings within its walls, which some women find even more arousing than the clitoris. Another favorite isThe Compass. Hold two fingers out straight, side by side, and run them north to south and east to west over the width and length of your entire pleasure zone. A more advanced method is The Three-Fingers Thrill. Use your index and ring fingers to hold open your labia. This frees up your middle finger to stroke the tip of your clitoris. Ultimately, you’ll know what strikes a chord when a warm, flush feeling starts to set in. “Try not to be super goal-oriented, like, ‘I have to have an orgasm in less than 15 minutes,’ ” says Venning. Just ride the wave of pleasure as your nether regions become more sensitive, your heart rate zooms, your breathing intensifies, and the walls of your vagina begin to contract — all telltale signs you’re bound for bliss.

 

Missy Elliott is on to something: Toys can be titillating. “Vibrators provide one of the strongest and most consistent forms of stimulation,” says Judy Kuriansky, PhD, sex therapist and author of Generation Sex. Introduce the buzz factor once you’ve prepped yourself for pleasure, and it could make an orgasm a sure thing. But you have to know how to summon the sensations. Begin by working the vibrator over your clitoris, using the same techniques as described previously. (You may want to keep your panties on at first as a buffer; the buzz can be intense.) Then tease yourself by alternating speeds as your desire builds. Just remember to switch up your routine. “Vibrators are great training wheels, especially for the gal who thinks she’ll never get there,” says Kuriansky. A word of caution though: Too much humming can potentially cause your nerve endings to become somewhat desensitized. Pace your usage of this joy stick and let your fingers do the work on the off days. Now that you know what makes your body tick, it’s time to share your stimulating secrets with someone you love…or at least lust for.

 

Sometimes those Os come from surprising sources. “I was in the hotel’s hot tub when I flipped around to order a drink and inadvertently discovered perfect jet placement. Before I could say piña colada, the water pressure had sent me over the edge.”
–Courtney, 19 
“In the car, I keep my cell between my legs. One drive home, I was pissed at my guy so I refused to answer his calls. I guess he was worried — he was pretty persistent. Luckily, the phone was on vibrate.” 
–Allie, 26

“I bought my jeans a size too small because they stretch, but I should’ve broken them in before class. Halfway through a lecture, my pants were practically molesting me. I had to excuse myself.” 
–Nat, 21 
“My waxer moves my panties around as she works. One time, she pulled them up out of the way so she could get to the sides. The friction made me forget that Brazilians are supposed to be painful.”
–Sarah, 32

 

Thanks in part to movies featuring loser teens violating freshly baked pies, masturbation has a rep as a last resort for the desperate and dateless. Not true. It’s practically a national pastime–and not just for guys. In a 1993 survey by psychologist Carol Rinkleib Ellison, Ph.D., the author of Women’s Sexualities, 75 percent of the fairer sex said they had thrown a party for one in the past three months. And in a 2004 survey by the Berman Center in Chicago, 44 percent of female respondents said they used a vibrator to paddle their pink canoe. We may not talk about it much, but when it comes to shagging ourselves, we girls are anything but shy.

And while you’d think singles would be the ones spending more time with their hands below their belts, studies show that people who are married or live with a partner play with themselves more often than those on the dating circuit. Frequent self-­pleasuring has also been linked with high self-esteem, better body image, and a more active sex life. Which is why so many sex therapists encourage clients who are unhappy in the sack to start getting it on alone.

“There’s a strong correlation between willingness to explore your own body and bring yourself to orgasm and being willing to explore with your partner and have orgasms together,” says Ian Kerner, Ph.D., a New York sex therapist and the author of Sex Detox. “Women who masturbate are usually more comfortable with their bodies and with sex in general.”

Any kind of autoerotic activity is better than none, but the payoff for adventurous masturbation is much bigger than a mindless nub rub. “Masturbation is the single best way to discover new and more profound turn-ons that you can later put into play with your partner,” says Berman Center founder, sex therapist, and WH advisor Laura Berman, Ph.D. So with the help of top experts, we’ve outlined a guide to advanced masturbation that could be the best thing to happen to your love life since your college boyfriend finally found your clitoris.

Screw with Your Head

Whether it’s imagining Eric Bana licking his way up your thighs or pretending you’ve been kidnapped by a sex-starved Swedish masseur, finding fantasies that light your fire is key to boosting desire and upping your odds of reaching orgasm alone and in company. “To tune in to a sexual experience, you have to first turn off the parts of your brain associated with stress and anxiety,” Kerner says. “And fantasizing is the most effective way to accomplish that.” The logic is simple: You can’t worry about work, money, or unfolded laundry when your frontal lobe is focused on a reenactment of the train scene in Risky Business.

Have doubts about the power of fantasy? Consider this: Back in 1992, Beverly Whipple, Ph.D., co-author of The Science of Orgasm, along with her colleagues Gena Ogden, Ph.D., and Barry Komisaruk, Ph.D., monitored the blood pressure, heart rate, pupil diameter, and pain tolerance of 10 women who claimed they could think their way to climax. As the subjects fantasized in a lab, seven exhibited the exact physical responses caused by hands-on stimulation. How’s that for a beautiful mind?

On your own, you have all the time in the world to browse through your mental files–reviewing past sexual experiences, erotic movie scenes, fantastical scenarios, or random images that flip your switch. Don’t be afraid to go wherever your mind takes you, even if it’s to the dark side. “Scenarios involving bondage and domination are totally normal,” says sex educator Jamye Waxman, the author of Getting Off: A Woman’s Guide to Masturbation. In a study of 178 volunteers at the University of Vermont, 71 percent said they’d had kinky or taboo fantasies. (The rest probably just lacked imagination.)

Once you’ve freed your dirty mind, use it to your advantage before and during sex. That means scrapping any guilt you feel about thinking of something other than what and whom you’re doing at the moment. “Many people feel bad about fantasizing while with their partner,” Kerner says. “But fantasy is a tool you can and should use to become completely immersed in your sexual experience.” When you’re struggling to feel sexy, close your eyes and recall thoughts that made you hot when no one else was around. Try to devote 100 percent of your attention to every detail of that titillating image. By doing so, you’ll shift gears and speed your transition from stress case to horny vixen. During sex, naughty thoughts can help you nix distractions. “Female ­clients complain about ‘losing an orgasm’ due to a shift in their body or a shift in their thinking,” Kerner says. “When you feel that heightened state of arousal slipping away, fantasizing can bring your thoughts back to sex and help nudge you over the edge.”

Change Is Good

We’re all for going with what works, but if, like 70 percent of the women in a 1983 study at the University of Southern California, you jill off the same way every time, a few tweaks are in order. “By masturbating using a single method, you could be training yourself to be more responsive to one kind of touch,” says sex therapist Yvonne K. Fulbright, Ph.D., founder of sexualitysource.com. While that has its benefits­-you know that if you rub right there for long enough, your bell will eventually ring–it also has its drawbacks. “Women often feel frustrated because they can orgasm in only a single sex position, usually the female-dominant position, aka cowgirl,” Kerner says. “This is usually because the pressure and friction of rubbing their clitoris against their partner’s abdomen mimics the most common method of clitoral self-stimulation.” Familiarizing yourself with a wider range of feel-good sensations will help turn your bedroom into the playroom that it should be. How do you warm up to new moves? Tweak your routine.

Like Angelina Jolie at a UN conference, the clitoris is practically crying out for attention, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore your other bits. Though not as sensitive as that centrally located hot button, the vagina is packed with several layers of nerves that can produce unexpected sweet spots. In a Colombian study of 48 women, 94 percent reported feeling “vaginal erotic sensitivity,” especially in the upper front wall of the vagina, where the G-spot is located. And in a 2000 study of 138 women published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, 35 percent said that their partners’ penis making cervical contact contributed to their orgasm. “Stimulation of the clitoris may be the most popular way to experience orgasm, but there’s more than one pathway to sexual response,” Whipple says. “Exploring your own body inside and out is the best way to discover your full orgasm potential.”

You can use your fingers to apply different levels and types of pressure to the walls of your vajayjay–and sex therapists recommend doing so at least once to get a clear idea of your anatomy–but all that wrist twisting could lead to serious carpal tunnel. Reaching your cervix by hand is equally tricky (the best way is to squat, which causes the cervix to push closer to the vaginal opening–but who feels foxy squatting?). Luckily, vibrators can save the day: “I literally write prescriptions for specific types of vibrators,” says Berman, who has designed her own line of made-for-women sex tools. She recommends short, curved vibrators for stimulating the G-spot, and long, thin vibrators for zeroing in on areas deep in the vagina. Also handy is a vibrator about the shape and size of your partner’s penis, which you can use to discover which angles and thrusting styles will hit your hot spots during doubles. (Check out a list of WH-approved vibrators.)

“It’s not that this kind of exploring isn’t possible with a partner,” Berman says. “But if you’re trying to figure out the mechanics of what feels good during sex, it would require patience, muscle control, communication, and staying power on his end.” When you have the bed to yourself, you can make endless tiny adjustments–move the vibrator slightly to the left, increase pressure, wiggle it back and forth–without having to direct him like a drill sergeant or worry about pulling his trigger prematurely.

Being able to orgasm during intercourse is a feat in itself (only 30 percent of women are able to reach their peak through penetration alone), but if you’re tired of being able to come only when you’re on top, make a habit of masturbating while assuming a variety of positions–lying on your back or on your stomach, kneeling upright on the bed, bent over on hands and knees. “This a very helpful exercise,” Fulbright says. “You’re gathering information about the kind of stimulation you need in each position to achieve orgasm, whether you’re stimulating your clitoris or your vagina, no matter if it’s with a vibrator, your hands, or some other object, like a pillow.” But don’t give up just because something doesn’t feel amazing right off the bat. “It may take time for your mind and body to respond to new positions and sensations,” Fulbright says. “Be willing to go slowly and try something several times.” One strategy that works well is to bring yourself to the brink of orgasm using a tried-and-true method, then stop just before you blow. “Quickly switch to a new position in which you’ve never had an orgasm, then start touching yourself again,” suggests sex educator Dorian Solot, co-author of I Love Female Orgasm. “Because you’re already fully aroused, finishing in a new way will be much easier.”

That all may be a given, but don’t forget to love up the rest of your body. Every inch of skin, from your head to your toes, is a potential source of pleasure–you never know which combination of touches will take you to your happy place. And “no one is watching or judging you, so there’s no reason to hold back,” Kerner says. Suck on your fingers, pull on your labia, gently slap your pubic mound, tickle the inside of your thighs, grab onto a cheek or two… Nothing is off-limits.

Once you’ve taken masturbation to the next level, you may decide to tell your significant other all about it, and maybe even demonstrate while he watches (which he’d no doubt love–63 percent of vibrator users in the Berman survey said their partners were fully supportive). Too shy? Don’t sweat it. “It’s great if you’re that open with your partner, but many people prefer to keep masturbation private,” Kerner says. “As long as you feel good about it, staying mum is perfectly healthy.” Whether you blab or not, you’ll still be busting into the bedroom with your newly sensitized body, whose dips, curves, and crevices you’re more aware of and comfortable with than ever. You’ll also have a hell of a lot more confidence in your ability to feel frisky at a moment’s notice and have an orgasm when and how you want one. Last time we checked, that’s the stuff masterful sex is made of.

 

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