What is Mindful Masturbation?
We all know what masturbation is, but what is mindful masturbation? Sounds like some kind of woo-woo, esoteric thing.
Mindful masturbation (or conscious masturbation) is bringing mindfulness into your masturbation or self-pleasure experience using all your senses. It is an exploration of your body and your pleasure that is designed to increase your awareness, while encouraging an intentional approach to solo sex.
What is Mindfulness?
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
Merriam-Webster defines mindfulness as:
“The practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis; also : such a state of awareness”. (Source)
Mindfulness is simply the art of being present in your body in this exact time and place. Being in the NOW.
Mindful masturbation means observing your sensory experience (in this case pleasure) attentively, in the moment as it arises, without judgment, and to feel into it with great attention. No judgement, no goal, simple become embodied, feel and allow. Overtime, this allows you to tap into the magic of arousal, to feel pleasure more fully, more deeply and in the moment as it transpires. Not only that, but you can reprogram (or rewire) your brain’s neuro-pathways to create new pathways to experience pleasure and orgasm.
Slow the-F Down
Photo by Craig Adderley from Pexels
Mindful masturbation reduces stress because it allows you to slow-the-fuck-down and just tune into your senses and enjoy the moment, something we all need to learn to do!
Instead of wham-bam-thank-you-ma’m and doing the usual thing you normally do to get off as if on autopilot, you take your time to explore different ways of masturbating and mindfulness together. It is about lovingly touching yourself, teasing yourself, experiencing pleasure (or whatever comes up), slowing down and actually connecting with yourself, your body and your pleasure. This allows you to break normal patterns (like needing to watch porn or use a sex toy to get off), and focus on what is, rather than what you think should be happening or your expectations. It is about approaching masturbation through the lens of mindfulness, exploration, curiosity, self-love and patience.
What is the Goal of Mindful Masturbation?
The goal is not necessarily to have an orgasm, its about pleasure. If orgasm happens, great. But the goal is exploration and finding new ways to turn yourself on, to learn about your body, your pleasure potential, and your capacity for pleasure and orgasm. The goal is to get into your body (become embodied) and FEEL the sensation of pleasure without rushing through it to orgasm. This will help you to up-level all your sexual experiences.
Also, don’t go into this practice with any expectations of what should happen. Just allow whatever comes up to happen and roll with the flow. Try to stay neutral to the experience.
Mindful meditation is a form of self-love. So, be kind and loving to yourself as you practice this.
Why Learn How to Do Mindful Masturbation?
As we all know, masturbation and orgasm is good for your health, wellness and happiness. Mindful masturbation even goes further, as mindfulness (meditation) has been shown to reduce stress and cortisol levels, allows us to get in touch with your true authentic selves, improves cognitive function and memory, can lessen pain and fatigue, may protect us from mental health illnesses, gives you better control over processing pain and emotions, helps you sleep better, and makes you more focused and zen. It also helps us with body awareness, and self-awareness, while regulating both our attention and emotions. This continues to happen even after you’ve stopped meditating, so mindfulness has long reaching effects. (SOURCE)
How to Start a Mindful Masturbation Practice
The best way to begin is to just begin. Schedule a distraction-free time of about 10 minutes to an hour to devote yourself solely to self-love.
To begin, create a comfortable space. Light candles, dim the lights, put on some soothing meditation music (or not if you find that distracting), add some sensual oils to your body, have the massage oil handy, create a cozy pillow oasis in your bed and prop yourself up if needed to make sure you are in the most comfortable position.
Put away extra masturbation helpers such as sex toys, porn and even fantasy. However, you can set up a mirror if you like! The goal is to focus on you, your bodies sensations, how you feel (emotions), and to get out of the mind and into the body (somatic experience).
How to Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Body
Mindfulness doesn’t mean you try to suppress your thoughts. That would be impossible anyway. It is perfectly possible to be mindful and still have stream of consciousness thoughts without engaging in them. If you find yourself thinking or getting caught up in the mind, use the meditation technique to simply let those thoughts float by and gently bring your attention back to your body’s sensations.
You don’t need to quiet your mind or thoughts, just try to focus on what you are feeling, instead of letting the unwanted thoughts distract you. This is a practice, so don’t worry. There is no way to do it wrong. What counts is that you try.
You can also use your breath to ground you and help focus, by purposely breathing deeply and focusing on that to bring you back to the body. Try starting with a deep breathing exercise, just focusing on the breath at first before you begin touching yourself. Set an intention to simply explore what comes up without judgement.
How to Master Mindful Masturbation
Set a timer for 10-20 minutes (or an hour if you like!) and slowly begin to explore your body in a sensual way starting with your face, neck, arms, etc… Don’t go to the genitals right away!
Tune into any sensations of pleasure. Allow your attention to linger there. If it feels good, continue to explore it. If it doesn’t feel good, move on to something different, another kind of stroke, pressure, or touch, or new part of your body.
When you finally get to the genitals, avoid going to your usual way of masturbating. Again, explore different sensations that you’ve never explored before. You can pretend that you are exploring someone else’s body and learning what turns them on.
Dr. Ava’s Tips on How to Create a Self-Pleasure Practice
“In my masturbation course I encourage my students and clients to masturbate because orgasms have tremendous health benefits to body and mind. I believe that regular masturbation will produce certain emotional and physical health benefits.
Its long been established that there are myriad of health benefits related to sexual activity. This awareness has been recorded in our culture for centuries in the form of old wives tales such as “Use it, or lose it.” Just as if you don’t use your common household appliances regularly, they will become rusty.
Masturbation is a freedom of expression that allows you to pleasure yourself on your own terms, can help you figure out how you feel about sex, allows you to explore your sexual fantasies and is an acceptable selfish act. You never need to make excuses about why you do it. It is a gift you have just for yourself.”–Dr. Ava Cadell
10 Steps to Mindful Masturbation
- Make sure you are in a comfortable and safe place where you can relax.
- Close your eyes and empty your mind of worries.
- Breathe deeply and slowly.
- Explore your body with your hands and fingers.
- Add some lube for a silkier sensation.
- Release sounds of pleasure.
- Try using your other hand to change it up.
- Focus your touch all over the body, not just your primary erogenous zone.
- Try something new.
- Let yourself go and surrender your mind and body to pleasure.
Giving this precious gift of self-love and self-acceptance to yourself is key to living a healthy sexual life, whether you are single or in a relationship.
If you really want to take your mindful masturbation practice to the next level, check out our Month-long Masturbation Challenge!