Many people think of masturbation as something ugly or shameful. It conjures up furtive moments in the bathroom as a teenager, hoping no one will catch you. Here’s a reframe for you: how about calling it self-pleasuring, or making love to yourself? How about approaching it as a worshipful act, something that gets you in touch with yourself and gives you pleasure and healing?
I often recommend self-pleasuring to my clients who are trying to retrain their bodies. Many people will benefit from this wholesome practice. When you are trying to retrain your body, frequent practice is very helpful. Or if you are in a relationship where sex is not happening, making love to yourself can help take the pressure out of the relationship for both partners.
And an added benefit: you’re a cheap date! 😉
To get the most out of self-pleasuring, it helps to change your viewpoint. Many people think of it as a substitute for making love with another person. If you’re trying to have an experience like that, then it will be not as good, because you will be missing the energy exchange that is so much a part of lovemaking with another. But if you think of it as a wonderful opportunity to explore yourself and how good you can feel, and stop comparing it to making love with another person, it actually gets much better.
It can be very powerful to do a self-pleasuring ritual. Choose a time and place where you won’t be disturbed, that is comfortable and free of distractions. Perhaps set up a mirror so you can see yourself. You’ll see yourself in your most beautiful state when you are aroused. Do what it takes to make it feel special to you — nice lighting, sensually pleasing sheets or blankets, candles, incense, flowers, a small altar with objects that have some significance to you. These are some ideas to get you started. Use your own imagination and have fun with it. It can be like preparing for a date to prepare for your own self-pleasuring ritual.
As you start the ritual, take a moment to set an intention. Here are some sample intentions:
- I want to explore my body.
- I want to explore how pleasure can send me into a sublime state of ecstasy.
- I want to connect with the Divine Feminine or Masculine.
Whatever intention is right for you in the moment is fine. Try to state it positively — what you want rather than what you don’t want.
Once you know your intention, light a candle to focus the energy and say your intention out loud.
Begin touching yourself slowly and gently, all over your body. You can rub oil or lotion into your skin if you like. Coconut oil is very nice for this. Touch your whole body, loving every inch of yourself. It’s important to touch the whole body because it awakens the nervous system and allows energy to flow away from the pelvis and all over your body, which will lead to a much more satisfying experience. Touch your body like you would touch a special lover.
Slowly begin to include more erotic touch, still mixing it with touching all over your body. Build your energy up slowly, backing off if you get close to orgasm so that you can make it last longer. Don’t make orgasm be the goal, just enjoy the moment’s touch.
Some people ask about the role of fantasy in self-pleasuring. There is a balance to strike there. The main idea of this ritual is to be present with your own body. Fantasy can add some spark and spice, but if you get so wrapped up in it that you lose track of your own body and energy, then you’re missing the point. You will lose out on your own delicious self.
If you do choose to fantasize about someone, then it’s important to be psychically clean with it. Before you do, ask permission. You don’t have to call them up on the phone, just send out an energetic question to them in your thoughts. Then wait for the answer, and if it’s a no, then respect that and move on. And if it’s a yes, you’ll be able to completely enjoy the experience without wondering if you are violating someone by fantasizing about them.
Enjoy your time with yourself!