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10 Things I Learned From Masturbating (almost) Every Day for a Month

Updated: Aug 10


Did you know May is masturbation month? Yup, an entire month dedicated to touching yourself. Sounds great, right?


That’s what I thought two years ago when I was asked to join a “Masturbation for Science” Group- a facebook group run by a Somatic Educator where we committed to masturbating everyday and writing (excerpts included in this blog) about our experience. Masturbating every day?! Count me in!


I was super eager to learn more about myself, to receive tips on how to masturbate more mindfully, and prioritize pleasure (I am kind of in the business of pleasure, afterall). I believe I even stated my intention as “approaching the month with a playful curiousity”. Thirty-one days of touching myself for the sake of science, no problem. The rules or suggestions were pretty simple:


She suggested a 30 minute container, with 5 mins of stillness. Genital touch that is different from your go-to, among other suggestions: self-touch that is not genital, movement before or after, notice your breathing, focus on what is happening in your body, etc.


Easy peasy, right? Finally, an excuse to masturbate daily! It was, for science, after all. And who doesn’t want to contribute to important research? Well, turns out playing the downstairs DJ gig full time is way harder than I imagined! I completed exactly 20 out of 31 days.


Not a bad average. A solid C. Though as a perfectionist, this was hard to swallow.


I may not have pet the cat every day, but I did, however, learn a lot about myself (and sex in general).


Here are a few of the lessons that came to light and tips I have learned since that science experiment two years ago that could improve your sex life and life in general.



1. Make pleasure a priority in your life


So often during the challenge I was too tired, too run down, too busy, or too distracted to actually pleasure myself. I realized how much I prioritize “getting work done” over doing something enjoyable or beneficial for myself. Unfortunately, this even exended into my sex life. Even sex with myself.


While this is still a battle, I have worked hard to try to make pleasure a priority in my life. And I don’t just mean my sex life.


Taking time to experience pleasure in your life can have hugely positive effects. Your whole life, including your sex life, can be enhanced when you start paying attention to and pursuing pleasure. And sometimes it is easy to start outside the bedroom.


Pleasure can be anything you enjoy: driving with the windows down, drinking tea and curling up with a book, fresh sheets, digging in the dirt, dessert, lying in the sun, a long hot shower, sex, a massage, smelling flowers, popping a good pimple, whatever (note- I’m not talking about using pleasure to avoid certain feelings or aspects of your life- ie. binging on t.v, drugs, sex, shopping, etc.)


For many of us, much of our lives are about denying ourselves pleasure: Don’t eat that, don’t wear that, don’t do that, don’t lose control. It’s exhausting! We live in a society that polices women’s behaviour and views any woman who seeks pleasure as deviant; a threat. We don’t view pleasure as valuable or productive in our society, but rather as frivolous and superfluous. It’s no wonder many of us have trouble accessing or prioritizing it.


I often suggest to my clients who have trouble with making time for pleasure, to schedule it in. That’s right. In your planner/phone schedule 10, 20, 50 minutes of pleasure a day. Do something pleasurable and be present while you do it. Like really say out loud, “gosh this feels good” or “Damn it feels good to sing along to Celine Dion at the top of my lungs”. You know, whatever floats your boat.


Also, reframing pleasure as something useful can be helpful. Experiencing pleasure makes you feel better, releases dopamine, can help you focus, and makes you happier all round.


You might be surprised how increasing pleasure in your day-to-day life can help you increase pleasure in your sex life.


Day 3- Thought I’d try earlier in the day when I had some energy left. Again, it occurs to me how difficult it is to schedule and prioritize time for pleasure.


Day 14- fell asleep mid practice on the couch. Woke up with my hands in my pants


Day 19- I remember feeling really sad because I had the realization of how little pleasure I allow in my life. Not only is making time for pleasure an issue, but when doing pleasurable things, I'm so often rushing through them, trying to get them 'done' so I can move on to work.


Day 20- I spent 30 minutes (and multiple moments in the day) trying to feel pleasure without any other goal: the warmth of a shower with no purpose other than to feel enjoyable sensations, the rubbing on of lotion, the smelling of flowers, and the eating of food. I do not touch my genitals in this practice. Just trying to practice pleasure for the sake of pleasure.


Day 22- Tried masturbating using the word "pleasure" every time my mind wandered or I had some negative thought about myself. Was helpful in refocusing.


Day 28- Dance. Dance is my pleasure. Feeling the music in my body and allowing my body to do whatever feels good, without thought. Getting lost in the trance of it. Closing my eyes and having no expectation of it. Just to do what it wants.



2. Include play in your practice


Similarly to pleasure, making time for play in your life and in masturbation, will lead to a more fun and a more fulfilling life


A few years ago, I noticed in my research that wholehearted people — my term for men and women with the courage to be vulnerable and live their lives “all in” — shared something else, too: They goofed off. They spent time doing things that to me seemed frivolous, like gardening and reading. I couldn’t really wrap my head around it — were they slackers? Then one day, while I watched my kids jump on the trampoline in our backyard, it hit me: Wholehearted adults play.

---Brené Brown


Play is done for its own sake, not to achieve a goal. It is about exploring, having fun, and being present.


Can you find ways to incorporate play into your (self) sex life? Set a timer and try and beat it/outlast it, edge, dress-up, have a spaghetti dinner with your dildo first, use a household item to masturbate, use a different hand, tie yourself up, use your imagination to fantasize you are having sex with Thing from The Addams family, or for any number of other common fantasties.


The more play you can incorporate into your life and practice, the more opportunity you create for joy and learning.


Day 11- woke up too early (damn) spent the time playing- stretching, flexing and releasing all my muscles, feeling the sensation of my body heavy on the bed. I grazed my thighs, my stomach, and traced my vulva. Eventually got out a toy I don't use very often and played with it on my vulva, legs, perineum; teasing myself, trying not to rush myself anywhere.


Juicy, right?


3. Try new things


This was tough. In the challenge we were not supposed to masturbate in our same old way; our go to. Which is hard because, generally that is what ‘works’ for us. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it? Right? Except we can close ourselves off to all kinds of new feelings, experiences and sensations and all kinds of great stuff.


In trying to touch myself in new ways, in new areas, using different techniques, pressures, positions, toys, I learned a lot more about what I liked and what I didn’t like and experienced all kinds of new sensations and orgasms. And who doesn’t want to experience new kinds of orgasms?


What is a new way you can try masturbating?


Is there a new position you can try? A new body part you can explore? Maybe incorporate porn or erotica if you don’t usually. Not sure? There is this thing called the internet that is full of sexy ideas!


Day 3- I tried moving my hips back and forth and turned over onto my side to try something new. Moved to my stomach, which I never masturbate on and experimented with lifting my hips to different levels and spreading my legs further apart. At first mostly just focused on “gyrating” but then added my hand and eventually a vibrator. It was nice to notice how different a familiar toy felt in a different position.


Wow, I really mixed things up there. On my side! On my stomach! Girl, you so cray. This was one of the more PG entries.


4. Focus on feeling & take your time


This was a big one for me. As someone with chronic pain, I have spent a lot of time ignoring my body. Turns out, this often extends into good feelings as well. This challenge really highlighted that and was a good exercise in really focusing on sensation.


Can you take time to focus on what you are feeling? What is the pressure like? Play with it, how does it change? What is the temperature? Can you change it? What does it feel like to graze your skin? What does your skin feel like (without judgement)? Is that a pimple? Damn, did I miss a spot shaving? FOCUS!!!


Is there a breeze? What does that feel like? What descriptors can you use? Soft, rough, fleshy, hot, warm, cool, wet, hard, juicy, smooth, light, dark, etc. Even narrating in your mind can help you stay focused and present.


Don’t rush! Sometimes we gotta rub one out quickly and get on with our damn day, but if you can, can you take some time to just notice and savour all the juiciness of your body and the experience?


Day 31- last day! Feels like it’s the last day I’ll ever masturbate. Ha. While I know that’s not true, I try to remind myself of what it would mean if I couldn’t. And it feels extra important to be grateful and present. I start with my 5 mins, lying still on my bed. Window is open and there is a lovely gentle breeze coming in. There’s a storm brewing and the energy in the air is charged. I close my eyes and feel it on my skin.


‘Twas actually a very lovely end to the challenge.

5. The body is full of erogenous zones


Often when we masturbate, we go for the goods right away. But we miss some good stuff. Your body is full of erogenous zones that you can explore not just during partnered sex.


Stroke your thighs, massage your perineum, run your fingers in the crux of your elbow, play with your own hair, graze your breasts/chest, pinch or pull your nipples, put your fingers in your mouth, tug on your ears, run your tongue along your wrist and forearm.


I believe it was the great, revered John Mayer who once said, “Your body is a wonderland”. I’m pretty sure he was talking about masturbation. Go run around that amusement park!


Day 16- Woke up and decided to practice. Spent time touching myself as if I was a partner. Played with my hair, ran my fingers along my face, my neck (if only I could kiss my own neck), my arms and my stomach- pretending to notice these parts of myself for the first time- like a new partner, exploring my body.


Damn, I make a good partner.


6. Take a break from toys


This was a tough one at the time (I still used them in the challenge, but not often and not in my ‘go to’ ways). Orgasm without a vibrator??!! That sounds like... work!


But it was nice to get back to my roots, ya know, the good ol’ days before I got smart and invested in a vibrator (or five).


At first it can be a lot of work and frustration, but can often lead to more intense or prolonged orgasms. And who doesn’t love that?


7. Remove the intention or pressure of having an orgasm


This was hard. I mean, isn’t that why most of us masturbate??!!


But what if you viewed masturbation as dedicated time to exploring yourself, your pleasure, and your desires? You know, “you” time.


Removing this pressure and focusing on the experience of pleasure in both solo and partnered sex relaxes everyone and sometimes, ironically, even leads to bigger, better orgasms (but don’t let that be the reason otherwise it defeats the purpose).


A great question to ask yourself before/during sex of any kind is: how can I experience pleasure? (and how can I give pleasure to the other person/people if it isn’t solo)


Day 24- did not masturbate, per say, but focused on pleasure with a partner. Applied some of the techniques I had been practicing such as focusing on sensation, using the word "pleasure" to refocus myself when my mind wandered, focusing on the enjoyment rather than the goal of orgasming (though oddly enough- that happened much more easily )



8. Lower/remove your expectations


This came up a lot for me during the challenge. I felt inadequate and even like I was letting people down if I didn’t masturbate every day. Can you imagine that? Some people think a puppy dies every time they masturbate and here I was feeling badly for not doing it more.


But removing the expectation that I was going to be “perfect” was the best thing I could do (in sex and in life). Giving myself permission to not do it 100% and to be okay if it didn’t go the way I wanted. To remind myself that I am still enough, even when I don’t ‘succeed’ in the ways I wanted to.


In other words, “Girl, you are still fabulous, even if you don’t masturbate everyday”.


This is helpful in masturbation, in sex, and in life in general. It’s okay if you don’t feel like going downtown on yourself, or like having sex, or like having a certain type of sex. It’s okay if you are too tired after you work, make dinner, clean up, put kids to bed to get freaky with yourself or someone else. It’s okay if you aren’t amazing at head or algebra. You can learn and you can still be a great lover/get your taxes done and you are still enough.


Can we all just stop putting so much pressure on ourselves and then feeling like pieces of shit because we can’t meet our incredibly high expectations? Just for like a second.


Day 7&8: I've been having a lot of feelings- feelings of inadequacy; frustration, like I'm letting people down. I see what other people have been writing and how they are reporting really positive changes in their whole lives, and so far I don't feel the same. While it has been enjoyable and interesting and I've learned some new things about myself, it hasn't been dramatic. I immediately go to feeling like I am not doing something right. Then I get angry with myself. I can't help but feel like it's another to do item on a never ending list, which is absolutely not what I want it to feel like. Then I get mad at myself for taking too much on. Then I get sad about how I don't prioritize pleasure. While I can rationalize and counter all these thoughts, they are still there, so I am honouring them (and letting you know about them), even though I feel shame for feeling them. I'm feeling raw. I guess a lot of this is not only letting go of expectations as I enter my (almost) daily practice, but letting go of expectations of what I will get out (and give) of the whole experience. I continue to work on letting go.


Ooooh Girl. This was supposed to be a fun challenge. Masturbation is supposed to be fun, not a dreaded “To Do” list item.


9. Cultivate mindfulness


This challenge was a great practice in mindfulness; in really being present. So often my mind would wander, but I continued to work on bringing it back by using the word “pleasure” to refocus and bring my attention to my breath. Thanks yoga! I also used/use music a lot to stay focused and match my energy and climax to the intensity in the music (fun TMI fact- I used to masturbate exclusively to classical music when I started masturbating- and would time my climax with the crescendo of the music- needless to say I was kind of an artsy nerd).


Not surprisingly activities like yoga and meditation in your day-to-day life can really help with being present and focused in your sex life.


Another type for staying focused and present can be to “narrate” in your mind what is happening.


Day 18: played around with music some more and flexing and releasing in time. Let music guide my intensity. Realized the importance of it for me for really staying focused and present in my practice. music is a huge part of my sensuality and my connection to myself and my desires.


That is some deep stuff right there.


10. Unlearn Shame


This one is huge and can’t be covered in a single blog post. Unlearning shame takes work (might I suggest working with a coach? ***clears throat***) but acknowledging shame is the first step.


As shame researcher Brené Brown (I know, two Brené Brown references in one blog post!) points out, shame’s survival depends on going undetected. So naming it, helps lessen it.


As sexually empowered as I like to think of myself, being part of this challenge really highlighted some of the shame I still hold around masturbating. Being worried about my neighbours hearing me, doing it when my partner wasn’t around, not telling many people about the challenge or posting regularly in the group, all pointed to the internalized shame I feel about masturbation.


Hell, even writing this blog feels, um, a tad uncomfortable.


I don’t know one person where shame hasn’t crept into their bedroom. Sex is one of the most stigmatized topics and for many of us it is steeped in shame; a shame we have internalized possibly even since childhood.


Like I said, talking about shame is a whole nother post (or book) on its own, but quickly here a few things you can do to start unlearning shame:

  1. Get curious about your actions. What am I doing? What are my thoughts around that action/activity/behaviour? What is the feeling(s) behind it? More often than not, when it comes to sex, the ‘negative’ feeling is shame.

  2. What does shame feel like in your body? Is it hot? Is it tight in your throat? Your stomach? Get clear on what it feels like

  3. Name it. Then be willing to feel it. It will move through you much more quickly if you acknowledge it and are willing to feel it.

  4. Acknowledge the thought that creates shame and introduce a new thought that is positive and makes you feel worthy. ie: Thought is nice girls don’t do that. New thought: I can be nice AND like _____

  5. Get educated. Take classes, workshops, read books that not only focus on sexual skills and know-how, but on unlearning shame as well.

  6. Focus on appreciating your body for the pleasure it allows you to experience and limit your intake of highly “edited” bodies.

  7. Stop judging others (cuz you really just judging yourself)


No entry or sassy comment here. Just be kind to yourself.


While not exhaustive, those are a few of the lessons I learned from trying to masturbate every day for a month. Who knew masturbating regularly would unlock so many life lessons? So if you want to grow as a human, get rubbing. You know what they say, the key to self-discovery is through well, self-discovery.


Are you interested in learning more about bringing pleasure into your life, and unlearning shame? Contact me for a free 30-minute private coaching consultation.





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