So often when we think about sex, we automatically envision partnered sex with a long-term lover or casual sex with an FWB or a sexy stranger. Rarely, though, do we think about sex in the solo sense. Just because you’re single, not actively dating or between dates, doesn’t mean you can’t have a healthy, active and thriving sex-life - with yourself.
Most people exist on one end of the self-pleasure spectrum, either masturbating somewhat mindlessly and on auto-pilot relatively regularly, or barely bothering to touch themselves at all. And of course, many are somewhere in between, indulging in a self-pleasure sesh occasionally, but perhaps not intentionally.
It’s common for people to lose interest in sex when not in a relationship (or, even when they are, tbh!) and many of us are somewhat conditioned to see our sexuality as being something that is shared. But I’m here to encourage you to reclaim your sexuality and take ownership over your own pleasure. Interestingly, studies show that the more we engage in self-pleasure, the more desire we feel for sex. So, getting it on with yourself can actually increase your libido overall.
Not only that, but self-pleasure has a myriad of other incredible health benefits including, increased self-esteem, improved sleep, elevated mood, better immune response, more glowy skin, pain reduction and more. Not that you needed more reasons to seduce yourself, though.
Whether you’re an infrequent masturbator and you’d like to incorporate more self-pleasure sessions into your life, or you’re a regular masturbator who maybe isn’t quite present with it, here are 3 tips to help you spice up your solo sex life.
I’m a huge advocate for self-seduction. I think it’s such a powerful way for you to really own your pleasure and reinforce to yourself that this practice is for you.
Most people tend to think of the art of seduction as being all about seducing someone else, and while that’s definitely fun, self-seduction is all about empowering yourself and not looking for external validation. I’ll go as far as to say it’s one of the most potent acts of self-love you can engage in. So, how do you do it?
My favourite way to indulge in self-seduction is to start by engaging all the five senses. Set your space up so it looks and feels lush with soft mood lighting, luxe fabrics, delicious scents, tasty treats to enjoy and sultry music. Then engage in pleasurable practices like self-massage and sensual movement. Bonus points for doing this all in front of a mirror. If you like, you can continue your self-pleasure and self-touch to full on masturbation. Allow yourself to notice how different it feels to take the time to slowly warm your whole body up, get into a sensual mood and slowly seduce yourself into pleasure as opposed to the typical quickie sesh you might be used to.
Pleasure over orgasm
You’d be forgiven for assuming that the ‘purpose’ of masturbation is to reach an orgasm. That’s typically how masturbating gets portrayed on screen, and it’s a typically phallic-centric view. As much as we all love a goof O, masturbating can be about so much more than simply racing to ‘get it over with’ and chasing an orgasm. Solo sex is all about spending time with yourself and prioritising your pleasure. So, I invite you to slow things down, tune in to your senses and all the subtle sensations and really enjoy every moment of the journey.
Create new pleasure pathways
One of the best ways to spice up your solo sex life is to try something new. That’s right, getting adventurous isn’t just for couples and partnered sex. You can get exploratory with yourself too. In fact, I highly encourage it. Just like any habit, the more we masturbate in the same tried and true way as we’ve always done, the stronger that neural pathway becomes and the more difficult it can be to feel pleasure or reach orgasm in any other way.
One way I explain this to clients is to imagine you’re in a nature reserve - one you visit regularly. There’s two options for you. First is a clear, paved path leading to a pretty nice view. You’ve seen it several times and it’s satisfying enough, but no longer awe inspiring. Then you have the option to start fresh and chart a new path. It’s a bit more work, you end up winding through the trees, maybe going around in circles for a while, but when you reach the summit, the view is spectacular. You’ve never seen anything like it and had no idea it was even possible to see this far.
This is sort of what it’s like when you’re exploring your pleasure pathways. The first option is your go-to masturbation routine - you know this path will generally get there with pretty nice results. But the second option involves you trying out new ways of turning yourself on and - with some trial and error and an open mind - can actually lead to more intense pleasure.
This is actually a big reason why many people report being able to make themselves come, but not being able to reach an O with a partner. Which makes my case for trying new masturbation practices even more solid. Solo sex is a great opportunity to discover and begin to pave new pleasure pathways, opening you up to experiencing both pleasure and orgasm in a variety of ways. Be patient though, you might need to practise a new way several times to really get out of your head and into your body to fully enjoy it.
Some fun ways to create new pleasure pathways:
- Try a different position (sitting, standing, laying on your front/back)
- Try a new location (in the shower, in an armchair, in the bath, in front of a mirror)
- Try a new pleasure tool (perhaps Le Coq, The Petit Eiffel or Double Entendre)
- Explore blended pleasure by stimulating multiple erogenous zones
- Read, listen to or watch a different style of erotica
- Change your pace - speed up, or slow down
- Experiment with edging - take yourself close to O, then back off and then go again