Give yourself a hand — it’s Masturbation May! This month we’ll be publishing content that honors the art of self-pleasure. Want to join in on the fingering fun? Here are ten ways to celebrate International Masturbation Month:
1. Just do it.
If you struggle to set aside time to relax, you’re probably not masturbating much, if at all — that means you’re missing out on masturbation’s many benefits! Masturbating feels good (duh), and it releases endorphins, which can help us relieve stress and pain. Masturbation also helps us understand what our bodies like, which can help us more effectively communicate with sexual partners. If you’re a vulva-owner without much masturbation experience and you need some help getting started, check out Ryan’s guide: How to Masturbate Like a Champ.
2. Or just do it more often.
According to Autostraddle’s 2015 sex survey, 44% of respondents said they masturbate multiple times per week and 13.71% of respondents said they masturbate once a year or less. If you’re part of that 13.71%, try making your usual masturbation ritual a weekly (or even daily) routine this month. And if you already make time for the ten-finger tango, keep up dirty work.
3. Take your masturbation routine to the next level.
If you’re stuck in a masturbation rut or if you’re struggling to get in the mood, read Vanessa’s thorough and inspiring guide: You Deserve to Practice Elaborate Masturbation in Your Life; Here’s How — or at the very least, enjoy a hot playlist while you’re getting it on with yourself.
4. Find out how other people masturbate.
Talk about masturbation with your friends! If that’s not your style, learn about our readers’ masturbation experiences. You might discover a new technique that will make your solo sex life a little more interesting.
5. Try a new toy.
Maybe you prefer hands-on masturbation, but for all the toy lovers and toy-curious folks out there, try mixing things up and treat yourself to a new pleasure tool. Scroll through this list to get some ideas, stick to the classics and snag yourself a Magic Wand or let Drew’s essay about Sex Education inspire you to try out a prostate massager.
6. Read some erotic fiction.
If you’re an A+ subscriber, then you’re probably familiar with Autostraddle’s S L I C K erotica series, which ran from April 2020 to March 2022. Scroll through some of our stories to get those creative (and sexual) juices flowing. For a meta experience, masturbate while reading this story told from the perspective of a person who’s masturbating. If you prefer a longer narrative, check out the titles on this list: 38 Literary Books With Great Lesbian Sex Inside Them
7. Or read some erotic non-fiction.
If you want to study up before you get down, check out Bang!: Masturbation for People of All Genders and Abilities and learn why Vic Liu decided to write the book in the first place.
8. Cue up some masturbation porn.
Need a little cinematic inspiration to get off? Buy some queer porn. Then stick with the Masturbation May theme by watching some hotties have sex with themselves. Don’t know where to start? Subscribe to CrashPad and check out Spookyfatbrat’s Solo, Venus Selenite’s Solo or James Darling’s Solo.
9. Do it with a partner.
Mutual masturbation is hands-down THE MOST UNDERRATED SEX ACT. It’s safe, it’s intimate and you get to be in charge of your own pleasure while you enjoy some company — so grab a partner (or two…or more) and masturbate together! Pay close attention to how your partner touches themself and take some mental notes for the next time you fuck.
10. Add a little substance.
If your body enjoys CBD and/or THC, your genitals might like a little relaxation, too. Yep, CBD- and THC-infused lube, suppositories and sex oils exist — and they work! To get an idea of what’s out there, check out Shelli’s recommendations.
Stay tuned for more Masturbation May content to inspire your exploration!