Masturbation is a tricky topic. On one (very important) hand, it’s the key to understanding self-pleasure and relieving stress. On the other hand, it’s still shameful or “weird” for some women. The fact is, it’s a healthy habit for most people — and one that has many iterations. Self-pleasure is multi-layered; it’s got psychological, physical and emotional components, and often times it can mean the difference between sexual cluelessness and frustration and self-understanding and pleasure. But most of the time, it’s just sort of fun. Here are what 11 women have to say about getting off — solo.
1. I can only masturbate when I’m rubbing up against my bed or couch.
“I feel sort of weird about it because that’s never the way it’s depicted in porn or in movies or whatever. I keep thinking I should get a vibrator but I guess if it works it works? The issue is I’ve done this my whole life and now I can’t really get off during real sex unless I really grind against someone, which is AWK.” — Jenna, 24
2. I use a pretty large dildo most of the time…
“…and I always worry that it will be bigger than any guy I might have sex with. I know the vagina, like, closes up again, but I still have worries about the hotdog down a hallway idea. I use big ones because it feels good and it’s psychologically hot…but then afterwards I worry that I’ve done stretching damage. Also, I can’t tell a 6-inch guy that I use a thick 9-inch dildo a lot. Eeeeeek.” — Vicky, 28
3. I masturbate maybe once per month, if that.
4. I have these things called ‘Chakrubs’ and they’re like meditative, spiritual crystal dildos.
5. I can only cum when I masturbate.
“So I masturbate a lot and it causes me to have issues in real sex. I rarely ever cum in real sex because of how much I masturbate…like, I’ll do it twice per week and I have sex every day … but masturbation is so much better. I realize a lot of women say this, and it’s probably because they’re afraid to introduce sex toys into the bedroom, afraid of making their partners go down on them forever — and really, it is a burden. Whipping a toy out every time feels so lame. I’ve been with women and men so it’s hard to navigate in general. So I guess while “real” sex is *better*, the results are more fun when I’m alone.” — Xi, 29
6. I’ve never actually masturbated penetratively.
“I have a lot of gyno issues so penetration is often painful for me, and I prefer to do it with a partner, at times when I feel really comfortable (there are things I need to do to get my body ready and make penetration less uncomfortable, for example, and it takes a while to get there). I normally use my hands, objects (a pillow, blanket etc) or small sex toys (like bullet vibrators) and I go for clitoral stimulation, which is my favorite kind.” — Jessica, 30
7. Masturbating, for me, is all about the sneakiness of it.
“It’s always been a private thing, and I’ve always challenged that. So I sort of prefer to make it a big deal. I want to do it ‘alone’ but in public, or alone, but while someone’s in the room. I also get a little freaky if I’m by myself…as in, I 100% admit to using vegetables on myself. When it’s done I feel like a fucking freak but during it I feel alive.” — Elena, 30
8. My ex used to call me ‘little bumper’ or ‘thumper,’ haha, because I could off on his leg.
“I could go on, but basically, I made myself cum on his leg … a lot.” — Avery, 29
9. I like anal play — it’s pain and pleasure all in one, and it’s easy to do when you’re on your own: no judgement.
“I have a small dildo or butt plug and use it when I’m playing with a vibrator. The more pressure I feel, the better. With a partner, asking them to do that gets old. Not everyone wants to have butt play all the time, which I realize. I should get better about demanding what I want, though, that’s for sure.” — Gabby, 32
10. I have a masturbation chair.
“It has a dildo on it and I have sex with it…but I’ve never told my partners or anyone, actually. It feels devious. It’s my little secret.” — Drea, 24