I read an article recently by a woman, describing the differences between how men fantasize about us masturbating, and how most of us women actually do masturbate, which she described as a somewhat half-hazard, fast and furtive process.
Her description of female masturbation seemed very similar to the way a 14 year old boy probably masturbates, under the covers at night, stifling his sounds of pleasure, hoping -to -god no one comes in before he’s finished. Hell, forget a 14 year old boy, that sounds like the masturbation modus operandis of most adults I know, both men and women.
Minding our P’s and Q’s…Privately, Quietly and Quickly!
Which got me to thinking about the differences between masturbation and self-pleasure. Masturbation, of course, would be the familiar scenario which I described above, which probably 99.9% of adult humans can relate to.
So what is self-pleasuring? And how (besides the name), does it differ from our usual self-stroking?
#1) The first difference is my state of mind. We have been taught as a society that self-stimulation is shameful, wrong, dirty, embarassing, etc. We know that people do it, (especially men), and it’s accepted that they do, but it’s thought of more as a way to release physical and emotional “urges”. Essentially a way to get rid of “too much” energy or emotional agitation. A form of stress release. Which yes, absolutely it is. But that’s not ALL that self-stimulation can be used for, as just a genital pressure valve so to speak.
If we approach self-stimulation from only that angle, our focus is mostly on the end result of the journey, and not on the sweet subtle communications of our body, which occur along the road to orgasm. These subtle fluctuations of pleasure, energy and arousal are a sort of language, and when we take the time to notice the ebb and flow of sensation, (our awareness, our breath), the act of self-stimulation becomes an internal dance of self-discovery and self-awakening.
When we approach self-stimulation with an attitude of self-love and exploration, a new realm of personal connection, personal intimacy, and personal empowerment is awakened. No longer does our sexual satisfaction lie in the hands of another! We become responsible for our own sexual enjoyment, and we become personally empowered by the ability to meet our own needs for sexual satisfaction.
#2) Another way in which self-pleasuring differs from masturbation is the time that we devote to the activity. No more furtive rubbing under the sheets, choking back moans of pleasure, while we attempt to set a new world record for quickest climax! Self-pleasuring is an act of love, we are literally making love with ourselves, and as we all know that takes time. How much time is up to you, but I recommend setting aside a good half-hour to an hour at least, just to be with yourself and explore your sexual sensations.
#3) A third way in which self-pleasure differs from traditional masturbation, is in our motivation, our intention. In masturbation, orgasm is the goal, and we are aiming to achieve that goal as quickly and quietly as possible. With self-pleasuring, well, the pleasure itself is the goal…. and the self-discovery that arises naturally as a result of taking time and awareness to explore our sexuality. My personal self-pleasuring practice has facilitated the healing of some of my deepest emotional wounds. I have healed pains that I did not even know existed, and have been rewarded with greater self-connection, self-confidence, and an inner sense of personal empowerment that only comes from directly experiencing your darkest demons, and recognizing them as unclaimed fragments of your own soul. It is a practice that I recommend to men and women professionally and privately, and an integral part in becoming a wholly integrated and healthy sexual human being.
To learn more about how you can use the sacred art of self-pleasuring to heal your body, mind, and spirit, please visit me at and get your free E-Book, 7 Keys to Sensual Satisfaction + 3 Secrets to Better Love and Sex. Reprinted with permission from Devi Ward.