Be Your Own Primary Sex Partner

Category: Advice

Author: Sam From Shrimpteeth

Masturbation is often viewed as less important, less satisfying, or less legitimate than partnered sex. Yet, research on orgasms consistently finds that folks are more likely to come when pleasuring themselves than having sex with a partner – especially straight women, who face the largest orgasm gap compared to their male partners. And sure, orgasms aren’t the whole point of sex, but developing a healthy long-term relationship with your body is essential for a satisfactory sex life. After all, you are the one person who will be by your side for your entire life.

Developing an intimate sexual relationship with yourself can have numerous benefits. Let’s go over some benefits of masturbation that expand beyond coming quickly…

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Masturbation can help slay the shame demon in your mind

We all have varying levels of shame about masturbation. Unlearning negative messages about self-pleasure can take years, especially for those who were raised to believe masturbation was a sin. One obstacle to viewing yourself as your primary sexual partner can be difficulty giving yourself permission to do so. Many of us, especially when we enter relationships, are told that all our sexual energy should be saved for a partner. But viewing yourself as the primary source of your sexual satisfaction can actually improve the quality of your relationships with others.

I understand that not everyone has deconstructed their shame around masturbation yet, so for the purpose of this article, let’s define ‘self-pleasure’ as any sensation that brings you erotic joy. Self-pleasure doesn’t have to involve your genitals: even a foot massage can work just if that’s what feels the least shameful.

Over time, seeing yourself as your primary sex partner will remove the secrecy and embarrassment you may have previously felt around masturbation. You’ll come to realize that much like any healthy sexual relationship, the more you prioritize pleasure and treat your body with kindness, the more connected and satisfied you'll feel.

"Masturbating can help you train your mind to focus on the ways your body feels good rather than looks good [during sex]."

Masturbation shouldn’t be something you do once in a while when you can’t control yourself, and are left feeling terrible. Masturbation can be a rewarding practice that supports your overall wellbeing in your own body.

Try this: Consider the messages you got as a young person about masturbation. What did your family, friends, church, school, movies, and books teach you about self-pleasure? When you think about masturbation, do you feel uplifted and empowered, or do you feel embarrassed and shut down? Find one erotic physical act that's the most exciting and least embarrassing to you.

Masturbation creates space to connect positively with your body

Similar to the shame we might experience around masturbation, our feelings about our bodies in general can also be fraught. It’s hard to have a good relationship with your body when you’re bombarded with ads imploring you to change every aspect of it. Most people struggle with body shame on some level, which can be exacerbated by well-meaning but trite advice to simply “love yourself”.

Developing a joyful attitude towards your body doesn’t happen by simply willing yourself to think positively. Rather, creating routines where you can enjoy physical sensations helps you focus on the delightful functions of your body, not just its physical appearance. Put simply, masturbating can help you train your mind to focus on the ways your body feels good, instead of just how it looks good. Masturbation can also teach you to give positive touch to the parts of your body you’re the most critical about, helping you form new associations over time.

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Personally, I’ve struggled with the appearance of my stomach, so I make sure to incorporate gentle touches to my belly as foreplay in my masturbation routine. It doesn’t immediately make me love my stomach, but it does encourage me to be less critical on a regular basis.

Try this: Pick the part of your body you dislike the most and then try touching that area in different ways. Caress, squeeze, massage, kiss (if you can reach), pet, tickle, spank… Notice which sensations feel the best. Before jumping into your masturbation routine, make time to show affection to the parts of your body that you usually criticize, or wish to change. Pay attention to how your body can feel pleasure, even if it doesn’t look the way you want.

Masturbation helps you develop knowledge about your pleasure

We all like different things in bed. While many of us learned a heteronormative script that centers penetration as the ultimate sex act, there are infinite ways that we can derive sexual pleasure from a partner. However, it’s not always easy to understand what we like unless we've taken the time to experiment.

Masturbation can create a safe space where you can play with your body and fantasies, with the goal of discovering what really gets you off. Maybe there’s a specific type of porn that immediately arouses you. Maybe certain pain sensations feel cathartic. Maybe you need to tap on your clit at a specific pace to come. Again, we all have different physical responses to sexual stimulation, and the more you play, the easier it becomes to figure out what works for you. Over the course of your life, what you enjoy will also evolve. Consistent masturbation can be a container for you to continue exploring your sexuality.

Try this: Check out 12 Days of Solo Sex, Lustery’s masturbation guide. Go through some of the suggestions and see what does and doesn’t work for you. Switch things up! Try adding one new component to your masturbation routine, whether that’s changing the type of porn you watch, the speed at which you touch yourself, or the space where you masturbate. There are endless ways to try something new.

Masturbation supports daily stress management

It's beyond debatel: orgasms are good for you. There are loads of health benefits, one of the primary ones being stress reduction. Modern adults have a endless list of responsibilities and obligations, and even the boss bitches among us are prone to stress and burnout.

Unfortunately, we’re also not very good at completing our stress cycles, by which I mean helping our bodies return to balance after being in an activated state. Masturbation is a good way to produce oxytocin and reduce cortisol. This chemical process literally decreases the negative impacts that sustained stress has on our bodies. Just like drinking water, exercising, and eating are rudimentary parts of staying healthy, regularly engaging our libidos is also necessary for a lot of us. The more we spend time tending to our physical and sexual needs, the less we allow stress to negatively impact us.

Try this: After a stressful day at work, spend 20 minutes alone masturbating. Start off with a few deep breaths. Tense and relax your muscles. If you’re able, try to achieve orgasm. Make this part of your post-work routine. Instead of viewing masturbation as a dirty secret, think of this as a way of taking care of your body and being a more grounded person.

Masturbation ensures that you don’t need to rely on relationships for sex

First, I’m all about partnered sex, and I’m not suggesting that masturbation should replace those experiences. However, there are tons of circumstances in adult life that impede our sexual relationships with others. We break up, have opposing schedules, move long-distance, spend time being single, have STI flare-ups, deal with mismatched desires, have fluctuating libidos, and on and on.

"You don’t have to compromise your needs or desires when you’re alone, you don’t need to navigate relational logistics; you simply get to fuck yourself the way you want."

People mistakenly believe that libido is something you use up, that if you have sex with yourself, you’ll deplete your energy to have sex with a partner, but actually, the opposite is true. The more good and satisfying sex you have, the more engaged your libido becomes, which makes it easier to connect sexually with others when the opportunity arises. Plus, through masturbation, you can learn how to make yourself orgasm, which is be helpful if climaxing during partnered sex is a goal of yours. Lastly, the more you know what you like in bed, the easier it is to direct your pals.

Try this: Talk to your partner about why masturbation is a healthy part of an adult relationship. Next time you want to have sex, work in mutual masturbation. Only touch your own bodies for a period of time. Notice how your partner touches themselves, and show them how you enjoy touching yourself! It’s never too late to add some new tricks to your repertoire.

Masturbation can be a joyful act that makes up a large part of adult sexual experiences. Viewing yourself as your primary sex partner lets you to create an intentional space to prioritize your sexual desires. Learning to fulfill your own needs makes you less dependent on other people to bring you pleasure, and better able to adapt to the natural changes in a sexual relationship over time. Understanding the ins and outs of your erotic ID makes it easier to climax, and to communicate what you want during partnered encounters. But you get nothing else from this article, just remember that masturbation is good for your health!

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