May Is Masturbation Month: Here’s a Self-Serve Playlist

feature image via Shutterstock

Lots of good things happen in May. 25 years ago, I was born in May. This year, A-Camp is in May. And May also happens to be that most special time of the year, International Masturbation Month. It started out as National Masturbation Month in 1995 when US Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders spake a sentiment that rained conservative wrath down upon her: that discussion of masturbation has a place in sexual education curricula (hint: it does). She was fired for speaking the truth too loudly. Good Vibrations, that paragon of sex toy retail and sex education, basically was like no fucking way, let’s make a month out of this to talk about masturbation because clearly this large group of puritans needs it, and here we are today.

If you hadn’t guessed already, masturbation is one of my favorite things to talk about. And it’s something we need to talk about – the guilt complex around prioritizing pleasure gets deconstructed when we talk about (and practice) self-love and self-pleasure.

I’m choosing to kick off Masturbation Month with something pretty tame, something to warm us up, something that so many people seem to have so many feelings about one way or another.

Your Masturbation Playlist.

There are elements of this playlist that are totally from my own mindbrain/playlist/sexy time (P!nk, Massive Attack) and there are elements that are crowdsourced from the team (how the fuck have I not touched myself to Erykah Badu?!). I also aimed to vary the tempo as much as I could without being so jarring that I throw you out of your zone. So go forth and do two things: 1. talk about the songs you touch yourself to and 2. touch yourself. You are helping to bust down the patriarchy.

Autostraddle’s Official Masturbation Month Playlist


Teardrop – Massive Attack
Emerald Eyes – Von Iva
Both Hands – Ani Difranco
Layla (Unplugged) – Eric Clapton
Oops (Oh My) – Tweet, featuring Missy Elliot
On & On – Erykah Badu
Touch of My Hand – Britney Spears
Fingers – P!nk
Glory Box – Portishead
All Is Full Of Love – Björk
White – Frank Ocean, John Mayer
Woman – Rhye
Breathe Me – Sia
Explode – Uh Huh Her

Want to suggest a playlist theme? Hit Crystal up on Formspring and someone from the team will make it for you, if you’re lucky.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!

A.E. Osworth

A.E. Osworth is part-time Faculty at The New School, where they teach undergraduates the art of digital storytelling. Their novel, We Are Watching Eliza Bright, about a game developer dealing with harassment (and narrated collectively by a fictional subreddit), is forthcoming from Grand Central Publishing (April 2021) and is available for pre-order now. They have an eight-year freelancing career and you can find their work on Autostraddle (where they used to be the Geekery Editor), Guernica, Quartz, Electric Lit, Paper Darts, Mashable, and drDoctor, among others.

A.E. has written 542 articles for us.


    • I don’t know why that second one put a video there instead of a link. Or why it’s off center. Sorry.

    • I second Completely Pleased, and while it isn’t ideal masturbatory fodder Made To Last is perhaps my favorite song of all time so everyone should check out Semisonic during their post self-lovin’ cool down.

  1. Sleep Together – Garbage (actually Version 2.0 is just mmmm)

    Also, I think my association of Breathe Me with Six Feet Under makes it entirely impossible for me to imagine autoeroticisin’ to it

    • I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who thought that.

      Teardrop is absolutely sex in soundwaves. Layla is good for almost any occasion.

      But yeah, Sia’s Breathe Me… I think I’d be too busy crying to masturbate. I’m definitely still haunted by its use in the finale of Six Feet Under.

  2. OMG masturbate to “Both Hands”?! Ladyboner killer for sure, that song is way too sad.

    • Agreed. Also I don’t think it’s about masturbation. I may be wrong about that.

    • Every single person I’ve introduced to this song has gone wild for it. It’s musical sex for sure.

  3. pretty much any song by muse if you try hard enough (but “time is running out,” “supermassive black hole,” and “undisclosed desires” are particularly good). “l’amour parfait” by yelle is a huge favorite. and if you want to go really recent, try “tunnel vision” from justin timberlake’s new album. works like a charm!

    • Definitely recommend “Undisclosed Desires.” Also, if anyone is into a more dubstep-y kind of sound, I personally like “Jilted Lovers” by the Naked and Famous.

  4. High five for the restraint necessary NOT to put “I Touch Myself” on this playlist.

    • I will accept said high five, because I also had to restrain myself from putting “The Internet is For Porn” on this playlist, and the combined pull of those two songs in particular made it a herculean effort.

      • I want to see a Self-Serve Playlist: Showtune Edition


        • Please post a link when it’s done so I can revel in the glory that will be your show tunes masturbation playlist!

          Seriously, I need to hear it. Show tunes were my first love.

        • Push Da Button from The Color Purple. Obvi.

          Under Your Spell from Once More With Feeling.

          Touch A Touch A Tough Me from Rocky Horror Picture Show

          My Junk, Touch Me, The Word of Your Body (basically the entire soundtrack) from Spring Awakening.

          I could probably keep going.

  5. There’s something about the concept of thousands of people masturbating to the same playlist that I can’t quite wrap my mind around. That said, you do you……you do you.

    *sexy wink*

  6. You do you and you and you and you

    Massive Attack. All. Day. “Angel” is another quality one.

  7. Love that this ends with “Explode,” as we all (hopefully) will every time we celebrate Masturbation Month.

    I will also turn 25 in May (the 11th to be specific). Scariest b-day I’ve had so far.

  8. This is awesome. Love that you have “Oops (Oh My)” on there.
    I’ve always liked John Legend’s Get Lefted album for this sort of occasion.

    • Oops (Oh My) is a great song indeed though I prefer Ladytron’s version because the thought of Helen Marnie’s skirt dropping to her feet really makes me go ohmyyyy…

  9. “Both Hands” is an interesting choice by Ani DiFranco. I would’ve gone with “Shy” though.

    • I second “Shy”. As long as we’re talking about Ani…I would have also chosen “Shameless”. :P

  10. Yay for May and masturbation!!! I’d also like to take this moment to shamelessly mention that it’s my birthday. I’ve only got one year of my 20’s left…and my 30’s sure as HELL better be better! (Can I go ahead and declare 29 as part of my 30’s so I can get started on them already???)

  11. Not sure how this one was overlooked as it’s pretty much the premise of the song. Sleater kinney – Let’s Call it Love

    Radiohead – National Anthem not sure why, but had good luck with this song.

    Florence + Machine – Girl with One Eye

  12. Hmmmm

    Tori Amos – Sugar
    The cure – Pictures of You
    Depeche Mode – A question of lust
    Depeche Mode – Stripped
    Depeche Mode – Waiting for the night
    Depeche Mode – Sweetest perfection
    Depeche Mode – Dangerous
    Depeche Mode – I feel you
    Depeche Mode – In your room
    Depeche Mode – One Caress
    Depeche Mode – Higher Love
    Depeche Mode – Sister of Night
    Depeche Mode – Only when I lose myself

    Hmm, there’s probably more DM, they make good masturbation music!

    Gary Numan – are friends electric
    Portishead – Glory box
    Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Maps

    This is a time when I need my ipod to hand, so to speak!

  13. You left out ‘Take Care’ by Janet Jackson off her 20.Y.O album.
    Amazing song, fits very snuggly into that playlist ;)

  14. omg as soon as i saw this article i immediately thought touch of my hand by Britney!! lol awesome that it was included!

  15. I immediately thought of The Trucks – Diddle Bot

    You can listen to it here:

    Also, I feel the need to include the lyrics, because… well just look at these lyrics!

    i was feeling kinda lonely so i went to the store
    picked you up for a couple of bucks and walked out the door.
    well, diddle bot, he’s not your average joe,
    he’s got three different speeds-
    slow fast and go, go go GO GO!

    you, i found you in longview
    you’re smooth metallic blue
    you’ve got me in the mood
    you love me through and through
    you make me feel brand new,
    i hope i hope i do… ah-ah-achoo!

    i didn’t expect to find my tits against the wall
    and your monotone drone didn’t phase me at all
    i was kinda disappointed cause you promised me lunch
    but all i got was a diddle-bot donkey punch!

    you, i found you in longview
    you’re smooth metallic blue
    you’ve got me in the mood
    you love me through and through
    you make me feel brand new,
    i hope i hope i do… ah-ah-achoo!

    (robot voice: )
    baby, show me what you got-
    turn my knobs, fill up my slot.

    • Aah! I knew Kristin Allen-Zito (in The Trucks) as a friend/teacher at my school before I knew her as a “real live musician.” So cool to find The Trucks here!

  16. Afterglow (ft. Soundmouse) by Phaeleh
    Honey Honey by Feist
    The Limit to Your Love by Feist
    Remain Nameless by Florence + the Machines
    Way Down by Elvis
    Little Bit by Lykke Li
    Blue Ocean Floor by Justin Timberlake

  17. No “love-making” playlist is perfect without Massive Attack, Portishead, and The xx. 2 out of 3 is pretty good.

    Lovage – Stoker Ace
    Damien Rice – The Blower’s Daughter
    Jem – Flying High

    • Portishead! yes. I haven’t thought about them in some time. Thanks for the reminder :D

  18. “Don’t Look Back” by Telepopmusik with Angela McCluskey is great for when you’re alone or with a special lady! Her voice basically oozes sexuality.

  19. Otherside followed by By the way red hot chili peppers always works for some reason…

  20. Might I suggest Cyril Hahn’s remix of Mariah Carey’s “Touch My Body”?

  21. ANYTHING by Joan Jett! But especially her albums “Up Your Alley” and “Fetish”.

  22. Augh! Every time I look at a playlist post I find about a million new songs to love in the comments. You guys are amazing! Hugs for all.

  23. Also also! Fiona Apple. Her voice is so low and husky. I like ‘First Taste’ and ‘Slow Like Honey’.

Comments are closed.