Although masturbation is often treated
as taboo, it's entirely normal and
extremely common. Why it's vital you
know how to satisfy yourself in order to
make sex with a partner as fulfilling as
As a baby or toddler, you probably
explored your body to find out where you
began and ended, and what felt good.
This kind of experimentation usually
evolves into masturbation, but children
often receive a puzzling message from
parents at this point. They are
discouraged from touching themselves and
hands are slapped away, which tends to
leave a feeling that sexual exploration
is a thoroughly bad thing.
It doesn't stop children doing it, but
it may mean that boys masturbate
hurriedly and furtively in order not to
be caught out - which may lead to
premature ejaculation in later life.
Girls grow up feeling they should never
admit to masturbating, let alone do so
in front of a partner.
Lots of scare stories have grown up
around sexual self-exploration over the
centuries. People are told that it makes
hair grow on your palms, makes "real"
sex unsatisfying, and that it's only for
the sad and desperate. None of these
tales is true, but the overall result of
the negative messages around the subject
is that masturbation is seen as a sad
activity for desperate people, which
shouldn't be valued or discussed.
Different kinds of touch
Masturbation can be all the more
satisfying if you vary the ways in which
you touch yourself. Choose a time when
you can be alone, relaxed and
comfortable, and lie back and run your
hands over your body. Try strokes,
caresses, nips, pinches and gentle
No one is born knowing how their own
body or anyone else's responds to sexual
stimulation. You have to learn by trial
and error. And since everyone's
different, the only way of finding out
how to please your partner is to learn
from them. It's also common and normal
for adults in happy relationships to
feel like pleasing themselves at times.
Taking your time
Concentrate on areas that particularly
excite you, but try not to stimulate
only the most obvious bits. You're
likely to bring yourself to orgasm by
stimulating your penis or clitoris, but
it will be more arousing, and your
climax more satisfying, if you explore
as much of your body as possible.
Masturbation can feel so much better if
you introduce contrasting sensations.
Try stroking yourself slowly with:
hands covered in oil or cream
a silk scarf
a body brush
a sponge run under hot water, then
Sharing your discoveries
When you've had a chance to explore your
body and your responses alone, you could
think about sharing your discoveries
with your partner. Watching them
pleasure themselves can be arousing, and
it's also the best way to learn about
what pleases each of you.
Mutual masturbation or body rubbing has
a variety of advantages. It's safe, with
no risk of pregnancy or infection.
Non-penetrative sex also reduces the
pressure to perform. Losing an erection
or coming before your partner doesn't
have to spell the end of love-making.
All in all, brushing up your
masturbation skills can add a lot to
your sex life