When I finally discovered my sensuality at age 40, I couldn’t stop masturbating. I touched myself morning, noon and night. In front of the TV, while I was on the phone, laying in bed next to my (soon to be ex) husband. I even did it while waiting in an interminable line in the drive-thru for In-n-Out Burger. I couldn’t be stopped. The fortuitous day I discovered I had a sex drive, and it needed to be taken out of the garage, was the beginning of a beautiful, intimate and HOT relationship with myself. In the past when I pleasured myself I had always used my fingers and exclusively on my clit. But this new “discovery” had rendered my fingers and right arm tired and sore, so I decided a branching out into the world of vibrators was in store.
Here I was, 40 years old and living in the big city of Los Angeles and I had never been to a sex shop for anything other than a laugh (“Omigod! They had a giant rubber fist!”). But now I was horny with a right arm that nearly needed a sling and something had to be done… and QUICK. My sister-in-law had spoken about her “rabbit” and how it was her only outlet for orgasm since she purchased it. Done. “A rabbit it is!” I thought, and I toddled off to the famous Pleasure Chest in West Hollywood.
The Pleasure Chest had a stellar reputation for having voluminous product as well as being more educational than just your average brick and mortar sex toy store. And since I needed more than ‘penis pasta’ as a gag gift for a bridesmaid I thought this was the perfect choice … and I was right. That day, with the sage help from The Pleasure Chest employee, I came home with the Jimmyjane Iconic Rabbit, and I couldn’t have been more pleased.
Since then, I’ve discovered how important it is to uncover new ways to pleasure myself. If I had been satisfied with using my trusty fingers the rest of my life, I wouldn’t have experienced the tantalizing orgasms that the rabbit brought me. In case you find yourself in a similar situation, I thought I would lend a … (echem) … “hand” and give you some pointers. Here are some of my tips to get to know your body a bit better and some types of toys that showed me different ways to cum.
TOUCH: First of all, I highly encourage women everywhere to touch, caress and fondle themselves. Your body craves touch and if you’re not getting it anywhere else, you need to provide it. Even if you are getting it somewhere else, exploring your body is essential to knowing your sexual and sensual self.
Start by dragging your fingers slowly over your shoulders like you’re hugging yourself. Give yourself that comforting feeling while you pay attention to how your skin reacts. Touch your hips, your stomach, your nipples, your neck your thighs … take note of what areas are more sensitive than others and explore those a little more. I highly promote spending a lot of time on those areas of your body that you feel negatively about. We ALL have them and owning their shapes and curves … making those parts feel loved and not shamed is part of a necessary regimen for owning your body in all it’s uniqueness and beauty.
SEX TOY 101: BASICS: Whether it’s a vibrator, a dildo or a vibrating dildo there are many choices out there. If you have no idea what you think you’ll like, ask a trusted friend or do what I did and go to a local, brick and mortar, sex-positive, sex toy shop and ask one of the staff (see some of my favorites around the country below, or click here >> The Redhead Bedhead’s comprehensive list ). These local shop employees are often well-trained, not just in what their store carries but they are usually sex educators in their own right and also happen to know what their customers tend to like and recommend.
If it’s your first time buying a sex toy, start with something that has the potential to become your “go to toy,” a toy that will never fail in your time of need, a trusty swain that will always come when called and never leave you high and dry (ok, enough with the puns). Always make certain your toy is ‘phalate-free‘ (phalates are a harmful chemical sometimes used in the production of “jelly like” sex toys) and always, always, always buy some lube.
Using a sex toy without lube, is like riding a horse without a saddle … painful, bumpy and you’re invariably sore the next day. Check with the salesperson about what lube is recommended with the toy you’re purchasing and get a nice big bottle. Personally, I like Pjur Toy Lube or my handy jar of The Butter.
SEX TOY 202: EXPERIMENTATION: One of my favorite axioms is “how do you know what you like if you don’t know what you don’t like?” This idea always frees me up to try new and unique toys that I might never consider. Take the WeVibe3 for instance. It’s essentially marketed as a couples toy, and while I was between lovers when I bought it, I thought I might see how it worked on me … solo. I was glad I did. I manipulated that toy in so many different ways I thought I would break it. Thank God, I couldn’t destroy that thing if I tried. The motor was STRONG and was fantastic for clitoral orgasms. I tried it inside of me, in my ass, inside of me AND in my ass at the same time … soon it became one of my favorite toys to get off. Had I not be open to trying something new, I never would have purchased it.
I even discovered my g-spot using a sex toy! Using an angled vibrating device called The Slimline and a vibrating bullet on my clit, I was able to orgasm in a way that was completely new and joyously different than anything I had felt before. This was the most intense orgasm I’ve felt to date and all because I ventured past what I would normally would have in buying a sex toy.
The same goes for the vibrating butt plug. Butt plugs TERRIFIED me, but I knew that when I was with a lover and he massaged my anus and sometimes slipped a finger in during sex, it drove me over the edge. I took a deep breath and took the … uh … plunge. Because I felt the fear and did it anyway, I have experiencedincredible and unique orgasms I never would have had on my own. In fact, because I got comfortable with anal penetration by myself first, I felt more comfortable trying it when I did have a partner. My new partner found it sexy. I found it pleasurable. We had a GREAT time. Everybody wins!
SEX TOY 303: EVERYDAY ITEMS AND MORE: I’ve also explored using things you might not consider “toys,” like hot tub jets, water from a garden hose and my partner’s thigh to name a few, all in an effort to discover different ways to cum and different methods to do it.
If you are still unsure or embarrassed or just feel like you don’t know where to turn there are plenty of ways you can become familiar with masturbation without leaving the comfort of your own home.
BOOKS: I really found Sherri Winston’s Women’s Anatomy of Arousal and Betty Dodson’s Sex For One: The Joy of Selfloving to be extremely helpful and inspirational. If you have any shame attached to pleasuring yourself these books gently guide through the process like a good friend. If you are an experienced masturbator, these books might guide you in different pleasurable directions.
DVD/INTERNET: I recently was sent the whole set of jessica drake’s Guide to Wicked Sex on DVD. I was very pleased to see one of the topics was Female Masturbation. It’s explicit, educational and HOT! There are also a couple of sites I recommend of real people (not actors) masturbating which shows you how everyone is different and pleasures themselves in different ways. Dodson and Ross (a more clinical approach) and I Feel Myself and Beautiful Agony, both of which show amateur/real women getting off. The last two are artfully and simply shot and erotic to watch.
At the end of the day it’s up to you to discover your pleasure zones and what does and doesn’t turn you on. Masturbation is, as Woody Allen put it “sex with someone you love,” but it’s also a gateway to adventure with your current or future partner. Our bodies were built to experience sexual pleasure. Now that you have the tools, why not see how much pleasure you can find in your body!
Sex-Positive, Brick & Mortar Sex Toy Shops Around the Country:
- The Pleasure Chest - Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, New York
- The Stockroom - Los Angeles
- Good Vibrations – San Francisco & Boston
- The Smitten Kitten – Minneapolis
- Babeland – Seattle & New York City
- SheBop – Portland
For more, check out The Redhead Bedhead for a more complete list (plus, she has a fantastic blog!)
Disclosure: The Stockroom, Good Vibrations, I Feel Myself and Beautiful Agony are affiliates of LadyCheeky.com. The only item in this article that was sent to me free of charge was the jessica drake DVD on Female Masturbation. All of my recommendations in the above blog post are honest representations of my personal opinions.