How to Masturbate with a Vulva
If you remember the days of grinding your pillow, biting your lip and hoping no one can hear you enjoying yourself, we feel you. Banish that sense of shame and embrace the actuality that masturbation is good. It’s so good it should be called musturbation instead.
Bad jokes aside, you’re probably hoping for some actionable advice. Well, never fear! We’re here to lay out some of the best masturbation positions, best toys for stepping up your solo sessions and other top tips for making your masturbation even better.
Strap in, friends. There’s a lot to go over.
Why does Masturbation Feel So Good?
In short: because that's what it's supposed to do!
Masturbation is all about centering yourself in your own pleasure, doing what feels good and making yourself happy. Your anatomy is, ahem, on hand to help you and it's more than willing to provide.
In humans, the clitoris has been proven as a central hub of feel-good, thanks to its plethora of nerve endings. Because science has yet to determine another purpose for the clitoris, historically it's been excluded from conversations about sex or reproduction, and assigned female at birth people have generally been discouraged from exploring their own bodies for pleasure's sake.
Times are starting to change, though, and we want you to dive all the way in.
What are the Benefits of Masturbating?
Masturbation studies agree that enjoying a solo session releases feel-good hormones like dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin, plus endorphins. Did you know they have de-stressing and mood-boosting effects? Do away with your evening glass of vino and try rubbing one out instead. You might be surprised how good it makes you feel.
Instead of relying on painkillers and hot water bottles, try masturbation during your period to get those cramps under control. Masturbation and orgasms have been shown to reduce discomfort during periods and who doesn’t like the sound of that?
The health benefits of female masturbation don't stop there. Research has shown that sleep may come to us more easily after a good masturbation session. While difficult to study, there have also been reports of increased concentration after a quick solo session.
So whether you’re staring down an approaching deadline or desperate to banish late-night insomnia, take the time to enjoy a solo sex session and see if it gives you the solution you crave. (Even if it doesn’t, you’ll have had a good time.)
Get to Know Your Body
Meet your vulva.
We're not going to shame anyone for a lacking sex education program back in your school days. Instead, we're going to show you what's what and, perhaps more importantly, how best to enjoy this marvellous erogenous zone.
The vulva is the name for the genital area of people assigned female at birth, and consists of many different parts, including the labia majora, labia minora, the clitoris, the urethral opening (where you pee from) and the vaginal opening (where insertable toys or partner's parts go).
Famously associated with orgasms, the clitoris is kind of a rock star around your private parts. Did you know that the part of the clitoris you can see is only a small part of a much larger organ? It's also packed full of sensitive nerve endings, and stimulating it generally feels great and encourages orgasms.
Most known for its role in reproduction and PIV sex, the vagina is also a great partner for masturbation. It's home to the G-spot, a fleshy area just inside the entrance to the vagina that can be stimulated for intense gratification.
Together, these parts combine their forces to bring you epic orgasms. Provided you're happy to masturbate and figure out what works for you. Up next: tips and tricks on maximising your pleasure.
How to Masturbate with Vagina: Steps to Get Started
Warm Up, Before You Get Down
Prepping in advance for a masturbation session may sound silly, but taking the time to really set your scene and craft a sensual moment for yourself can improve your enjoyment immensely.
Dim the lights, light some candles and get some new, clean sheets on the bed. Or sequester yourself in the tub with steam, bath oil and your fave vibe. Reserve time for you both physically and mentally: being mindful about and prioritising your pleasure can take your sessions over the top.
Get Familiar With Your Body
It's easy to switch on a vibrator and go to town, but consider those lovely digits attached to your palms first. Using your fingers to masturbate will help you get familiar with your anatomy and it's also a secret weapon to maximising your pleasure.
Once you know what feels great, you'll have an even easier time positioning your toys or partner for outstanding orgasms.
Consider Using Lube
Lube is basically magic. Adding even a little to just about every sex act improves glide and reduces friction, which means more ooh yeah and less, ugh, chafing. Who likes chafing?
Water-based lube is universally friendly to all sex toys, including but not limited to vibrators, clitoral suction toys, dildos, butt plugs and nipple suckers. There should always be some in your tox box.
Silicone lubricant tends to last longer than water-based lube, but it’s safe to use only with toys made of rigid materials like ABS plastic, glass and metal. Choose your lube wisely based on your favourite way to play.
Use Your Imagination
The most powerful sex organ you have isn't anywhere below the belt: it's inside your head.
Your brain - and by extension, your imagination - is home to every thought that makes you horny and there's no limit on how far it can take you. Treat yourself to a fantasy of being ravished by your favourite actor or actress or recall your favourite particularly steamy session with your lover while you masturbate. It's a surefire way to really heat up your solo sex.
Focus on Your Clitoris
We've said it before and we'll say it again: the clitoris exists to bring you pleasure! If you want a surefire way to get yourself feeling good, this handy organ is the way to go.
Some folks find that stimulating their clitoris directly can be uncomfortable because it's too sensitive - if that's the case for you, try rubbing through the clitoral hood or even leaving your underwear on. Both methods will help slightly reduce the amount of stimulation your clit receives, which in turn should make it more pleasurable.
Introduce a Sex Toy into the Equation
You may be an expert on bullet vibes and G-spot dildos, but have you tried clit suckers or anal toys?
Variety is the spice of life and just like changing up your masturbation positions can take your sessions to new heights, switching what toy you use or how you use it can have you seeing stars in an instant.
Check out our pick of some of the best toys for upgrading your masturbation sessions:
Top Masturbation Toys for Vulva Owners
Consider Using Pornography
If you've never tried watching porn during sex or masturbation before, we really recommend it. Take your time to seek our a channel or content producer you like - connecting with what's happening on screen can really improve your sessions.
If you find that most pornography is too rough or focuses on sex acts you dislike, try searching 'porn for women' to see more sensual (but still raunchy) scenes. Remember that the pornography you watch does not change your sexuality: you may find watching gay or lesbian porn tickles your fancy even if you identify as straight.
Take Your Time!
It goes without saying that a quick rip of a solo session is not the only way to go about orgasming. Some days, it's exactly what we want and need, but the realm of masturbation is wide and deep, so remember you can take your time, sink in and enjoy.
You could even give edging a try. Edging is a technique where you almost bring yourself to orgasm (called the ‘point of no return’) and then stop touching yourself. After the immediacy of your need to come has receeded slightly, you resume masturbating.
Repeat the process as many times as you like – when you finally allow yourself the glory of orgasm, it’s sure to be a big one.
Best Positions for Masturbation
The Different Types of Masturbation to Explore
Vaginal masturbation: aka the way to play with your G-spot. But actually, some people find it enormously pleasurable to play with a vibrator or dildo just at the entrance to their vagina, inserting it very shallowly or not at all. The great thing about masturbation is that there are only a few rules (like you really should be using some water-based lubrication!) and for the most part, you should let your body be your guide.
If you're hoping for intense internal stimulation, try playing with a glass or metal dildo for accurate and arousing G-spot massage. Vaginal masturbation is also a great way to enjoy warming toys or the world-famous rabbit vibrator.
The vast majority of vibrators out there are poised to target your G-spot. If you want highly accurate, pinpoint vibrations, a bullet vibrator is the route to go. Deeper, more broad vibes more your flavour? Welcome to the magic wand vibrator.
Most people find it a little intense to start with big vibes directly on their clitoris right away, so remember to take some time to slowly and gently arouse yourself first, perhaps with your fingers, before you bring a toy into the mix.
Many women and people with vulvas find that they enjoy anal play. There may not be a prostate gland in there to stimulate, but never fear: the anus boasts plenty of nerve endings of its own, and butt plugs or dildos are wonderful ways to stimulate them. With flared bases and anal lube only, please!
If you're curious, check out our medically reviewed advice on How to Enjoy Anal Masturbation.
It’s true that the clitoris and G-spot are havens of nerve-endings and that stimulating them is almost a surefire way to enjoy a mighty orgasm.
But did you know there are plenty of other parts of your body that you can touch during masturbation? Aim to incoporate other sensitive zones during your solo play, like your nipples or the inside of your thighs.
Common Masturbation Questions
Does Masturbating Burn Calories?
Not only is masturbating a fun and natural way of learning about your body and what makes it tick, you can also benefit from a bit of a workout while pleasuring yourself on the way to the big O. Solo sessions will get your blood pumping and heart rate up, which in turns burns calories. How many calories are burned in one session is down to how fast-paced and long they are.
Can You Masturbate on Your Period?
It's perfectly safe and healthy to masturbate before or during your period - in fact, it can be hugely beneficial and an effective way of relieving pain caused by period cramps. Whether you navigate a way of masturbating that requires minimum mess and clean-up, or forget about it and just enjoy the moment is your call.
How Often do Women Masturbate?
Men may be a little more vocal about it than women, but this doesn't mean that they aren't regular solo players. According to a study from The Kinsey Institute, "more than half of American women 18-49 masturbate at least once every 3 months, and that’s true for single women and those who are coupled up.”