Need A Hand?
May 28th 2019 is International Masturbation Day!
Let’s face it, masturbation is possibly the best worst kept secret in the world – most of us do it but hardly any of us talk about it.
So this is a chance to celebrate it – to reframe it less as a furtive fumble (the quickie to scratch an itch, or getting off to get off to sleep), and more of an opportunity for pleasuring yourself – finding pleasure in yourself.
But what is pleasure?
It’s not – as many people think – something that somebody else gives you; it’s about an experience you have in your own body. And who could be more qualified to know your body than yourself?
There are several elements that can go into creating pleasure:
From a physiological point of view, it happens when upregulation (or arousal) interfaces with downregulation (relaxation) – which is why some of the most exquisite pleasure can come from a series of peaks and plateaus, rather than one almighty race to the finish line.
There are also three components that combine to affect your experience of pleasure:
- Sensation – the data that the nerve endings in your skin are taking in
- Attention – where (and how much) you choose to place your focus
- Context – the situation or the meaning your mind gives to what’s happening
We tend to feel the most pleasure when we’re fully engaged with all of these elements. But they may not always be equal – for example: the stimulation you’re getting might be top notch, but your attention is wandering to your ‘to-do’ list; so dialling up your best fantasy might help you reach your pleasure potential. Or you might feel shy in an unfamiliar situation, but you compensate by keeping your attention focussed on the exquisite sensations you’re experiencing in your body.
How to get the most out of your masturbation
So here are some top tips for today – and every day that you feel like taking yourself in hand:
- Slow it down – give your body a chance to feel what’s happening! Even if you’ve not got much time, don’t just go straight for the climax; good sex involves foreplay, good masturbation should too.
- Kick the habit – if you feel stuck in a rut, try something different: instead of sitting down with your porn (a position which crunches all the internal organs and reduces blood flow to your genitals) try standing up and allowing more movement to your pelvis. If you always use the same hand position, try experimenting with a different angle or placement.
- Let go of expectations – ‘I know what I like and I like what I know’ is only going to yield the same results each time. Be curious. The brain is the biggest sex organ so get creative and see what happens – you might surprise yourself!
- Go for your ‘Hell Yeahhhhh!’ – why settle for ‘OK’ when you can have ‘wonderful’? Ask yourself: ‘what’s the most exquisite touch my body could experience right now?’ If you’re not sure, try giving yourself permission – and time – to experiment.
And don’t forget: as with almost everything in life – practice makes perfect! (As if any excuse were needed).
Get in touch if you want to learn more!
If you happen to be LGBTQ+ in Manchester there’s a great series of events happening over the next week, celebrating sex, love, passion and pleasure through creative workshops, activities and spaces:
29 September, London. This 1-day ‘hands-on’ introductory workshop teaches you the essentials of the Wheel Of Consent. Learn a new way to navigate connection, and bring a completely fresh approach to all your relationships.
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If you’re feeling overwhelmed the Wheel Of Consent can provide a great framework for helping you look at how you make decisions about what you do or don’t agree to – and why.