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Mindful masturbation as self-care? It's a yes from me! Here's how to do it

Mindful masturbation as self-care? It's a yes from me! Here's how to do it

Mindfulness is one of those terms that you have likely heard buzzing around a lot lately. It’s a big part of the wellness trend and is a practice to slow our minds allowing us to be completely present. Mindfulness allows you to focus on what you are feeling and become more aware of every touch and every sensation. Incorporating mindfulness into your masturbation practice can help you to become more in tune with your body and what feels pleasurable to you.

*It might sound a little woo-woo but don’t let that put you off. This is a wellness trend that actually makes sense. *

What is mindful masturbation?

Masturbation is awesome. It’s pleasurable, it’s educational, and it often results in orgasms. Whoo! However, a lot of us tend to fall into masturbation routines that are tried and true, and then don’t mature beyond that. We create arousal and pleasure patterns in our body (usually focused solely on our genitalia) that we rely on for orgasm. But our bodies can offer so much more than that!

Our whole body is part of our pleasure anatomy. When we focus solely on our genitalia, we reduce the rest of the body's involvement and it can be difficult to wake those pleasure receptors back up again. Through mindful masturbation that incorporates the touch of the entire body, we can start to focus on some of those other areas and become more sexually responsive.

It’s all about trying things beyond the usual routine. I know that I can make myself orgasm in a few minutes if I want to, but that’s not what this is about! If we can feel more sexually responsive throughout our whole bodies, we can have better sexual experiences with ourselves and with others too. It’s all about using focus and touch to wake our body up and create new pathways to pleasure.

How can I practice mindful masturbation?

Step 1: Set the scene

The first step is to create a setting for yourself that gets you in the mood for pleasure. Surround yourself with smells, sounds and sensations that you love. If you have a scented candle that relaxes you or uplifts you, use that. Play some sexy music or some relaxing music.

And don’t forget the importance of touch as well. Get comfortable. Lie on a silk sheet or wrap yourself in faux fur, or simply sit on your floor. There is no right or wrong way to do this. It’s about creating a safe place that is all about you.

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Step 2: Set an intention

Mindful masturbation is all about focusing your mind and becoming aware of your body. This sounds simple in theory but blocking out intrusive thoughts can be difficult. I find that setting an intention for the practice can help to keep my mind focused.

Think about what kind of experience you want to have. How do you want to feel at the end of this? Create an intention that is going to help get you there. It can be as simple as “I want to feel the full sensations of my body”. And keep in mind that an orgasm is great but it’s not the only outcome of this practice.

Step 3: Breathe deep

Your breathing is an essential part of this practice and should be an essential part of all sexual play. Breathing moves blood around your body and deep breathing helps to get that blood flowing through your genitals too, making them more sensitive and receptive to touch. Deep breathing also makes for a deeper orgasm that can feel longer and stronger.

Holding your breath as you orgasm can be a tricky habit to break. It seems to be a natural response for many people, myself included. However, this can result in orgasms that are short, sharp and localized to a small area of the body. They still feel good but our orgasms have more potential than this!

Breathing deeply before and during orgasm allows that orgasmic energy to flow throughout our body so that it feels much more expansive. This is the trick to achieving full-body orgasms by the way. Learning how to do this is a process, but it’s worth working towards!

Plus, deep breathing allows you to breathe out your stress, relax your mind and focus on what you are doing, which is the whole point after all.

Step 4: Get exploring

Now it’s time to let your fingers do the walking and start to explore your body focusing on each touch. Explore touching different points of your body not just relying on your genitalia for pleasure. The human body has a lot of pleasure potential and light stroking, rubbing or massage can feel amazing all over the body.

You can introduce lubricant if you want to see how that changes your experience. Do you enjoy the added slipperiness, or does it distract you? You can also use a sex toy that you know and love. You want to consider whether these materials and textures help you to become more mindful or whether they bring you out of that state. Remember that this is a time for slow pleasure, focus and exploration. It’s not a race to the finish line.

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Step 5: Go slow and practice edging

If you feel yourself getting close to orgasm, slow down again or even stop for a few moments. Get yourself worked up and then delay that gratification as long as possible. This will build up that orgasmic energy in the genital area. If you decide to have an orgasm, this will make it feel a lot more intense when the time comes.

Bonus: Try an app

It can feel a little daunting to try something new but there are lots of audio apps that can guide you through the process. Dipsea is an amazing app with erotic meditations, guided masturbation sessions and relaxing breathwork. Ferly has guided masturbation practices and longer-form programs that will teach you how to connect with and touch your body over 5 weeks. Both apps also have plenty of erotic stories to get you in the mood.

"Sex tech really is the best tech."

That’s all there is to it. Create a safe space, remove the pressure of orgasm as a goal and explore your body. It’s masturbation, it's mindfulness and in my mind, it’s the ultimate self-care practice.

Emma Hewitt, Certified Sex Educator & Adult Toy Expert
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