Exploring The Art Of Self-Pleasure

female self-pleasure
Photo by Paz Tschupin

If you’re anything like me, your sexual education was largely done watching a little TV show called Sex and the City.

I remember spending my evenings with my sister watching episode after episode while my mother was away for work. I was mesmerized by those fancy women who were not afraid to go for what they wanted in life. 

In one episode, the oh-so-glamorous and sexually liberated Samantha books a hotel room to spend a night of pleasure by herself. She takes her favorite toys and plays with herself all night long. The next day, we see her give a cheeky wink to the camera as she checks out of her hotel room, radiating with bliss and pleasure. I remember my 14-year-old thinking, “OK, I must be doing this wrong.” 

Nobody was talking about self-pleasure. To me, it was more a means to an end than a blissful experience. I remember lying on my back and getting it over with as quickly as possible. The point was to release the pressure I had been feeling throughout the day. Sadly, getting off never gave me the satisfaction it seemed to give Samantha. What’s more, once the deed was done, I would feel a wave of inexplicable shame wash over me and think to myself, “is that it?” 

Later in life, I started using toys and porn because that’s what the cool kids seemed to be doing, but it didn’t really help. Sure, it made the experience more intense, but I would still climax within minutes and feel even more shameful afterward. I started thinking something must be wrong with me. I gave up on the whole idea that self-pleasure could be a blissful experience until the internet showed me the light.

A series of events led me to a website offering a 6-week program to learn the ancient art of self-pleasure.

This woman said that she had all the answers to the questions I had been asking myself my entire life. Could this be true? I was a bit wary at first, but then I remembered the glow on Samantha’s face after a night of solo sex, and I desperately wanted to know how that felt! What did I have to lose after all (except a couple hundred bucks)? 

The first thing that threw me off with this course was a requirement to not fantasize. I was instructed to only focus on the sensations I was feeling in my body.

Hang on a second, I thought. Does that mean I cannot fantasize about my selfish ex returning and declaring his love for me because he just couldn’t stay away? And no porn memories either? Well, that was certainly new. 

The second thing was even more bizarre. I was instructed to never push myself to climax as there was no destination to this journey except pleasure.

Wait, what? If I am not getting an orgasm out of this, what’s the point?

That’s when I finally got it. The point of self-pleasure is… pleasure. It seems so simple and obvious now, but my 14-year-old (and my 29-year-old) self didn’t get it at all. I had been using masturbation wrong all this time, thinking it was a quick way to release a long-held tension, when in fact, it could be so much more.

So, I spent the next six weeks exploring the sensations in my body, using self-pleasure as a meditation practice. I learned how important it is to set the stage: light a scented candle in the room, take a long hot bath beforehand, cover my body in a luxurious oil, place a fluffy blanket on my bed, play a sexy playlist in the background.

Now that’s self-love in action.

I also learned different techniques, such as the art of edging. Bringing myself very close to climax, then stopping at the last minute and repeating the process five, six, or even seven times! Or how to relax my mind and body when stroking myself instead of tensing my whole body to force an orgasm out. And, maybe my favorite magical practice, using energy inside my body to channel my turn-on in all the right places. Who needs porn or a sex toy when you can climax without even using your hands, right? 

It took me two decades, but I finally understood what Samantha was doing in that hotel room, and it’s the most blissful gift a woman can offer herself. It sounds like a fun journey, and in many ways, it was, but I also had to work on my deep shame and conditioning around pleasure and sex. And that was a worthwhile journey on its own. Just as we learn how to become better sexual partners, it’s an incredible experience to become a better lover to yourself.

We are all Sex Goddesses, but we forgot along the way that pleasure was our birthright. If you want to remember, I urge you to start exploring today.

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