How You Can Use Self-Pleasure to Boost Your Self Esteem
Masturbation is becoming a more normalised topic of conversation for women, and we’re so here for it. I still remember throwing away my Dolly magazines because I didn’t want my mum to know that I’d been reading the sealed section. We’ve come a long way.
I actually only bought my first sex toy last year. I don’t know why it took me so long, I think I was a bit afraid of enjoying toys more than sex, or becoming addicted to them. I didn’t want to have to rely on a toy for an orgasm, y’know?
Although I’ve been masturbating since my mid-teens, sex toys definitely elevated my relationship with self-pleasure. There’s just so much more that you can do! And self-experimentation is so valuable, as it gives you confidence to try new things in a totally safe space.
And then, when you’ve tried the said new things, you have this stronger relationship with your body because you just know it better.
So much of what’s inspired me to go deeper into self-exploration are all the incredible women that own sexual wellness brands and splash sex positivity all throughout my social media feeds.
Lucy Anderson, the founder of sexual wellness brand WooWoo, is one of these women. She and her brand are leaders in championing sexual health campaigns and sexual equality for women everywhere, which is so inspiring to see.
“As a female founded brand, we’re big advocates of cheerleading the sisterhood from the side-lines” she tells POPSUGAR AU.
“We’re all about normalising female sexuality and self-care and all in a fun, light-hearted way that engages young women and men equally. We want to get the message out there that women enjoy sex too and it’s okay to admit that.”
She started WooWoo with challenging societal norms at the forefont. “I didn’t see what I wanted, so I set about creating it,” she says.
They’re really active in posting content and starting important conversations on their channel that tackle everything from smear fear, to how say no if he says no to wearing a condom, to how to increase your sexual satisfaction in the bedroom whether you’re flying solo or with a partner.
There is just so much to learn when it comes to sex, sexuality, self-pleasure and the relationship it has with our body and mind, so the fact that all this info is so readily available thanks to people like Lucy, is a serious privilege.
Friends of WooWoo, Alix Fox — a sex and relationships expert and script consultant for Netflix’s popular Sex Education series — is also an incredible woman, with a passion for sex-positive conversations.
We asked Alix how our relationship with self-pleasure can improve our self-esteem, self-confidence and self-image.
“There are lots of physical and mental benefits to masturbation: the feel-good chemicals that sensual pleasure and orgasm release into your system can help to aid restful sleep, relieve stress, and even ease period pain,” she tells us.
“But it’s also hands down (…your pants, obviously) one of the best ways to feel better about the skin you’re in. Acknowledging the power your body has to make you feel fantastic can make it easier to feel fantastic about your body.”
She’s given us a handful of exercises that use solo sex to help you become a better bud with your bod, and to assist you in rediscovering all the uplifting powers of solo sensuality.
Here are five ways you can use self-pleasure to boost your self-esteem:
Tune In to Your Body
In X-rated media, people are often described as masturbating “furiously” (why so angry?!) or “vigorously”, but self-love can be slow, laidback and gentle…and it doesn’t have to focus solely on the genitals. Try beginning a session by using a fingertip to lightly trace the lines on the palm of your hand, as though reading your fortune, then stroking the insides of your wrists, your collarbones, and the super-soft skin around your earlobes. Pay attention to the subtle, tingly tickles.
Honing your ability to ‘tune in’ to even the most understated nice feelings like this is called ‘sensate focus’. It’s an exercise commonly recommended by sex therapists that helps you enhance your sensitivity and appreciate your whole body’s potential to feel delicious.
Next, add a few drops of an arousal boosting oil such as WooWoo’s Bliss Oil and spend a moment giving yourself a hand massage. This helps you relax; gives you chance to start getting in the mood, and maybe fantasise; and underlines the fact that you don’t have to make a beeline straight for your bits.
Try Some Self-Reflection
When you’re ready, let your silky-slick fingers explore your
neck, your nipples, your nethers… Whatever feels right IS right. You do you— literally! Consider touching yourself in front of a mirror: getting comfy with how you look while you’re enjoying yourself creates positive connections in your mind between your appearance and contentment. Becoming familiar with how your private parts look also means you’re more likely to spot any changes that might indicate health issues, too —getting to know your down-belows helps you monitor your wellbeing.
Pubic hair removal is a personal choice. Some people do it not just for aesthetics, but because they find being bare down there enhances the intensity of how it feels when they stroke themselves, so giving yourself a ‘smooth groove’ using a hair removal cream like Tame it! might be something you wish to try out, just for you.
It’s Okay To Be Protective
If you’re a penis-owning person, using condoms during
masturbation is the perfect opportunity to become a pro at putting them on; get used to the sensation of wearing one so it doesn’t feel odd or distracting during partnered sex; and work out what style and size suits you best. Got a peen, not a vageen? Practice putting condoms on a rabbit-style vibrator or phallic dildo, so you’re less likely to fumble ‘n’ jumble things when you’re in company. A Woowoo Protect It! Party pack is a great place to start, as
it contains three different types. Get condom confident.