Sure, sex is great but have you tried masturbation? Knowing your own pleasure points is an important part of a healthy sex life, as it will help you DIY some incredible orgasms and also empower you to show your partner(s) exactly what makes you feel good.
In fact, recent research found that 46.4% of us have better orgasms when we know exactly which of our own buttons we need to push. So there’s no better excuse to test this theory for yourself.
Female pleasure has always been important, but it’s become more mainstream over the past two decades - largely due to the increased conversations surrounding it from shows like Sex and the City as well as a boom in sexual wellness products on shop shelves.
The increased conversations around female satisfaction is helping shift the mindset away from the pornographic and highly sanitised idea of sex most of us have grown up with. In its place, is a bare-all approach that encourages us to explore our bodies in an uninhibited way. The best news? You don't even need a partner to do it with.
Invest in a sex toy
While we’re all for the DIY route, sometimes we like to sit back and let the toy do the work for us. Luckily, there are plenty of sex toys to get excited about and, because femtech is a growing area of innovation, these toys keep getting better and better. Sex toys have seen a rise in popularity this year too, with e-Commerce experts Salesfire stating that there has was a 32.9% increase in the sex toys sector in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period of 2020.
Sign up for a 5K run
Okay, hear us out. Research from a study published in the journal Evolution and Human Behaviour has shown that even the anticipation of a competition can result in a 24% boost in testosterone for women which is the hormone that can increase your libido. If a 5K isn’t your thing, exercise in general stimulates your blood flow which can lift your mood and increase your desire - a perfect combination for the next time you’re feeling yourself.
Go total body
When going solo, we often go straight to the groin. Only 11% of us touch our breasts, according to the Kinsey Institute, despite some women actually being able to come by nipple stimulation. Jenne Davis, author of The Clitical Guide To Female Self-Pleasure , wants a shake-up. “Think of your nipples as the clitoris of your breasts,” she says, suggesting this teasing technique: moisten your fingers and, starting at the outer edge of your aureola, move your finger and thumb towards each other. Roll your nipple between your fingertip and thumb, then repeat from a different starting spot on the aureola.
Find your side
Nothing to do with sharing a bed, this is about finding the most pleasurable side of your… vulva. “Many women have found that one side of their clitoris or labia may be more sensitive than the other,” describes Davis. “Try stroking just one side first and seeing how your body reacts and then simply switching sides.” Those strokes can be up-and-down, side-to-side, circular, even tapping. Who knew?
Lube is for life, not just for penises, you know. Sexologist Dr Sadie Allison, author of Tickle Your Fancy: A Woman’s Guide To Sexual Self-Pleasure, says, “Lubrication should be used when inserting anything larger than a finger into the vagina.” Why? For slippery-slidy-glidy fun, rather than rubbing your vagina up the wrong (read: irritating) way.
Do you have a Masturbation Missionary – a solo pose you always opt for? Turns out that what you do with your legs can affect what’s going on between your legs. “The biggest discovery I found when I discovered self-loving was that by simply changing the position of my body I could change the feelings and, in some cases, the types of orgasms I could achieve,” shares Davis. If your default is on your back, try one of these: lie on your stomach and grind against a toy/pillow; reach around from behind; go on all fours and crouch over a toy; kneel and touch yourself looking out of a window; stand up (perfect for the shower).
Your masturbation masterstroke could have nothing to do with stroking at all. Have you ever tried a clitoral roll? (Not available at your local sushi restaurant). “Place your thumb and index finger around the clitoris, then gently squeeze and lift it. Delicately roll it between your fingers,” describes Allison. Start slowly – “explore light pinches and tugs to see how it reacts,” she adds – then increase the pace/pressure if you feel on a roll, so to speak.
Try diffusing it
Have you ever found that, as you get teeteringly close to orgasm, your vibrator can suddenly go from feeling really good – to feeling like you’ve got a pneumatic drill on your privates? To work with your sensitivity, Dr Allison recommends the Diffusion Technique. Place three fingers side-by-side between the vibrator and your clitoris as you start to come. “This allows for continued stimulation, but with an overall softer vibration,” she explains. Alternatively, switch to manual stimulation when you hit the point of no return.
Rock the P-floor
Your pelvis can do more than get you in some funny yoga poses. According to sexuality coach Carlyle Jansen, author of Sex Yourself, your pelvic floor muscles can intensify orgasms – and tip you over the edge when it’s playing hard to get. “Pelvic floor squeezes” (that’s squeezing and releasing as if you were stopping a wee – sorry, mood killer), “feel fabulous, because your clitoris is sandwiched right between those muscles,” she explains. “It’s also a great way to get over the ‘hump’ when you’re close to orgasm: a few well-timed squeezes can push you right over.”
Unless you’re trying to smash your Personal Best climax time, there’s no need to go at it like you’re trying to scrub a stain off a frying pan. Elongating the build-up can lead to a power finish of a different kind. “Try using your vibrator at a lower speed, or spend a little more time around your labia rather than going straight for the clit,” suggests Jansen. “If you can stretch out your arousal time from 3 to 6 minutes, or from 10 to 20 minutes, you’ll find that the end result is much more powerful.” Just as well that you’ve got all night.