In Bed With Friends: A Guide to Self-Pleasure

Masturbation is understood as the stimulation of one’s sexual organs, usually leading to orgasm. To me, self-pleasure can be a lot more.


I would say I only started pleasuring myself last year. Before that, I was masturbating.

In the series In Bed with Friends, I have open and intimate conversations with friends and friends-to-be about sexual topics and practices that need more loving attention.

Masturbation is known to be good for your health; it helps to release tension and can increase your level of happiness. It’s recommended by your doctor or pharmacist. In the past, masturbation was morally condemned, with both children and adolescents being informed of its threats with fear-inducing claims. Now that we are welcoming the benefits of masturbation, what do we know about self-pleasure?

I noticed myself and a lot of my friends masturbating as a form of relief, sometimes even as a form of procrastination. The orgasm was always the goal of the practice. The wish to orgasm could arise any time during the day, and then it is easy to get there fast. Of course, there have been phases where you didn’t feel like it at all and phases where you’d be on it every day. That is normal. It’s not necessary to play with yourself if you don’t feel like it. But the fact that we don’t usually treat ourselves like we would treat our lovers or how we want to be treated by our lovers is something to think about.

Turn Me On

When we have sex, many of us enjoy creating a pleasant space, perhaps decorating it, playing music or lighting candles. We might take our time with our partner, exchanging massages, exploring each other’s bodies with our lips, and then experiencing the pleasure of making love or fucking. The pleasure we can experience throughout the whole time might become the main attraction, and the orgasm is just a beautiful side product.

However, when it comes to masturbation, a lot of us still lock ourselves in a room, pull down our pants, and either sit or lie down to stimulate the clitoris or the penis. Many people’s bodies tense up with anticipation just before climaxing, a reaction that seems to aid the orgasm but not necessarily the overall pleasure. Whether watching porn or indulging in fantasies, the process usually takes no more than a few minutes to reach orgasm and ejaculate. For some, this quick release can lead to a sense of shame or dirtiness afterwards.

Platforms like OMGyes, for example, aim to break taboos for women by showcasing a representative range of movements and practices that exist in the world. Recently, CHEEX has started conducting Live Tutorials with experts guiding you through various practices, offering sessions that are practical, hands-on and experience-based. However, I want to explore the whole experience, moving beyond techniques and the relief of orgasm. I want to talk about self-pleasure.

I have only a few friends who set aside specific times in their calendars for self-pleasure. For those who do, self-pleasure is a ritual where they connect with themselves on a very intimate level.

“It is about asking your body what kind of touch it wants or needs right now, sometimes I don’t even get close to my vagina.”
Self-pleasure is about physically exploring ourselves, our desires and our fantasies, but it’s also about self-worth and self-love. For many of us, it seems silly to dedicate time to being with our bodies, caressing them, pampering them with lotion, tenderly touching them, breathing, making sounds, and feeling the body. Noticing what feels good and what doesn’t is crucial, yet it’s a skill many haven’t learnt. It allows us to feel our love, affirms our worthiness of self-touch, makes us feel sexy, and fosters a deeper connection with ourselves.

Make Love to Yourself

While a quickie with yourself is always an option, consider making it a priority to regularly set aside time for a more intentional act of self-love. When you do, set up your space with some soft lights or candles, playing music that makes you feel sexy, and moving to the rhythm if you wish. Seduce yourself! It’s easy to forget that the space around us plays an important part in our feelings. One of the more difficult tasks is quieting your busy mind to connect with your body.

On Orgasms and Pleasure

If you’ve had a shower or bath at the start of your self-pleasure session, enhance the experience by adding a few drops of body oil or lotion to your hands. Begin by touching and applying gentle pressure to your skin, moving from your neck down to your chest, around your nipples, down to your stomach, your sex centre, and then your legs and feet. Say whatever comes up for you as you massage each part of your body. Move your hands where they feel good and where your body wants them the most, whether that means focusing on the genitals, giving attention to your elbow, or simply embracing your body.

Experiment with movement, express your emotions and remember to breathe. Movement helps energy flow in your body, enhancing the feeling of orgasms. Breathe deeply and freely, and don’t hesitate to make sounds as you touch yourself. Unconscious breath-holding is common during masturbation, so focusing on breathing deeply and allowing sounds to emerge can transform the entire experience. If your hands naturally move to your vulva or penis, let them. While orgasm is an option, the key is to treat yourself with the love and affection you deserve. Play with yourself, be curious, and explore your body in any way that pleases you.

Let's celebrate Masturbation May together


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