There are lots of reasons for having solo sex – but how often do we do it because we might enjoy it? Here’s why and also how.
People have solo sex for many reasons
Just like with sex with a person, people have sex by themselves for lots of different reasons. The reward wank, the procrasturbate, the boregasm, the wank to wake up, the wank to get to sleep, the ritual wank, [because porn], to relieve stress, to knock one out, to relieve frustration, the anger wank, to learn about our bodies, to practice for sex with someone else, to relieve pain, to take our mind off heartbreak. All of these are perfectly good and okay reasons to masturbate. But what about ‘doing it because we might enjoy it’?
Why can’t we just enjoy wanking?
Maybe (for people who do masturbate, not everyone does) people have lots of reasons to do it because they feel like they need to give themselves permission to do it. There are a lot of untrue stories around masturbation. Like if you’re a woman it makes you a slut, if you’re a man it makes you weak. That it’s dirty. It’s only okay if you can’t have sex with someone. Some people learn that it’s wrong and they shouldn’t do it. All this means it can be hard to admit that we might actually enjoy it.
It’s almost as if it’s more okay to have sex with someone else than it is to have sex with yourself. But what if we were to treat solo sex just like any other kind of sex? Maybe if we did we might have really enjoyable sex.
You should never/should always wank
We’ve all been taught lots of different things about masturbation. Many are negative (like above) and kinda say that you should never masturbate. But sometimes people are so positive about wanking and almost say that you should masturbate and that there is something wrong with you if you don’t.
All of this stuff we are told about masturbation can actually make it harder to think about what we actually want. You might want to spend a bit of time thinking about why you do or don’t want to wank. What are your feelings about it generally? Do you even want to enjoy it or would you rather just do it? It’s all totally up to you.
Take some time
Just like with sex with a person, it’s okay to spend a long time time doing it. Masturbation doesn’t just have to last for as long as it takes you to have a climax – it can last for as long as you want it to. It could be minutes or over an hour. If you worry about how much time you spend masturbating you could compare it with how much time you spent catching up with Game of Thrones, or whatever. If you do worry about that I’ve some advice here for you.
Get in the mood
If you have a room to yourself you can use great. Perhaps you can take some time to do whatever makes you feel sexy, relaxed or comfortable. Do you need to need to make sure you aren’t going to be disturbed, or aren’t going to disturb anyone else? A lot of people like to do this in their bedrooms, sometimes in their bathrooms (like in the shower or bath). Do you have a playlist to listen to, or some things you like to watch or read or think about?
Enjoy what you enjoy
Just like with sex with another person, there are lots of rules about what counts as solo sex. These rules are everywhere but are often in advice about masturbation (like mine here). The truth is what counts as solo sex for you is totally up to you. And as it’s something you’re doing by yourself, it’s nobody else’s bloody business anyway.
So if you are all about touching the outside bits of your genitals (like the clitoris or penis) fine. If you want to explore the inside bits (like the vagina or anus) also fine. The guide on how to do this safely is here. (Also please don’t use marker pens). But it’s also totally fine not to touch your genitals too.
Many people really enjoy touching different parts of their body. Some people don’t touch themselves with their hands or fingers at all – for example they might just like squeezing their thighs together. Maybe if you’re all about your genitals you could try exploring what different kinds of self touch might feel like. If you are patient and give yourself some time to notice what’s happening in your body and mind you might actually enjoy it. You might even really enjoy not touching yourself at all.
Really getting into solo sex
If you’re settling down for a nice bit of solo sex you can try to really get into it, rather than trying to have a quick orgasm, or do it to avoid doing something else. You can do this by really paying attention to everything that is happening in your body and in your mind, you can enjoy the wank more. So notice:
- your breath and how it changes (from normal to maybe really deep, or shallow and fast like a mild asthma attack (though make sure you’re not actually having a mild asthma attack))
- The noises you might be making (‘mmmm’, ‘oh god’, ‘yes’, ‘uh huh’, ‘Bingo!’ etc)
- The feelings in your body. Is anywhere throbbing, tingling or twitching, or getting tighter or more relaxed? Go through your whole body, from head to toe.
- Pay attention to what you can see, or hear or even smell.
You might want to notice what you’re thinking about too. You might want to get involved in a story in your head, or put yourself in a story you are reading or watching. If it feels good it’s okay to go with it. If it doesn’t feel good or is making your anxious or worried in some way it’s okay to try to think of something else, or to go back to noticing your body.
As you keep being in the moment you might find that it all gets more and more enjoyable as your mind and body start to get excited by each other.
If you get distracted about what you should be doing, frustrated that because you are trying to orgasm or all the stuff you’ve learnt about solo sex that’s okay, you can just try to go back to what your body is saying to you. If you’re noticing that you’re not really enjoying it, that’s fine too. You’re allowed to stop at any point when you realise that you’re not really feeling it. You can always pick up again at another time, or not.
Learn to be a sexpert
How to Masturbate – a guide on how to masturbate safely
‘I Can’t Orgasm‘ – advice for someone who is frustrated that they can’t orgasm
‘I Feel Guilty Masturbating About Celebrities’ – more advice about the ethics of wanking
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Justin Hancock has been a trained sex and relationships educator since 1999. In that time he’s taught and given advice about sex and relationships with thousands of young people in person and millions online. He’s a member of the World Association for Sexual Health.