Blog, Education, How To

Masturbation 101: More Than Just Pleasure

A person kneels in front of a digital collage of flowers. They have long braids and are wearing white fabric around their hips. One hand rests on their chest, the other in their lap.

Masturbation 101:

Self-Touch for More Than Pleasure

by E. White

Screen Shot 2021-04-20 at 4.46.21 PM copy

Over the past year, COVID-19 created a sudden and unexpected distance between ourselves and our loved ones. Family, friends, partners, and community were suddenly separated from us. Which means that for many people, touch has become a privilege that can be rare and far between. But we humans and our physical bodies are hardwired to crave touch and intimacy; which is why this lack has forced many to turn inwards to their own bodies for pleasure. And as we begin to once again safely touch, hold, and embrace one another, we hope that you do not neglect self-pleasure. It is good to remember that your beautiful body is capable of experiencing pleasure entirely on its own, and does not require participation from a partner.

Masturbation is as old as humanity itself, and it’s easy to see why we as a species have always engaged in self-touch. First of all, it feels good! But it is also good for you, physically as well as mentally. In fact, there is concrete scientific evidence that shows a broad variety of health benefits in masturbation. Masturbation can:

  • Bring pleasure
  • Release physical or mental tension
  • Reduce overall stress levels
  • Improve sleep
  • Improve self-esteem and body image
  • Greater awareness of your personal likes and dislikes
  • Relieve pain, especially when associated with menstruation
  • Strengthen muscle tone in pelvic and anal regions
  • Improve the body’s physical functionality after surgeries or life changes

Even putting the health benefits aside, masturbation can be just plain fun! And the more you practice, the better you become. But when we get to know ourselves particularly well, we can get into set routines. Once we know what works for us, we might find that we stop exploring new pleasures and instead return to “old faithful,” whatever that may look like for us.

The good news? We here at As You Like It have lots of experience in the wide world of masturbation, and we know that there are infinite ways to touch yourself. So if you’re feeling bored with your usual self-pleasure routine, we have some tips and tricks to shake up your sessions.

Sucker for Suction

If you haven’t already, try using a suction cup on a dildo! A suction cup allows for penetration without having to hold the toy, and allows you to explore with different positions and angles. To get the best results, find a smooth, non-porous surface to attach the dildo to — like the floor, the wall, a mirror, or the bathtub — and get grinding! This not only encourages creative positioning, but can also take your solo session to new locations! Using a suction-cup to hold your dildo in place also frees up your hands for other toys, like your favorite external vibe!

If you already have a dildo that you know and love, pair it with a Double Sided Suction Cup to elevate your play. Any dildo with a flat base will work with the Double Sided Suction Cup, so you can keep your favorite penetrative toy fun for a long time!

  • Double Sided Suction Cup

    The double sided suction cup is made of 100% silicone! A must have, attach almost any dildo to another and create your own double-ended dildo. Alternatively, turn your dildos into suction cup dildos in a snap. This product is compatible with most dildos; the suction cup diameter is 2.5 inches and can support dildos up to 3 pounds.

    $19.99 Add to cart
  • Curve Silicone Dildo

    The Curve enables people to combine the versatility of harness play with the direct G-Spot or P-spot stimulation.

    The bumps along the shaft provide subtle physical stimulation.

    Choose between two levels of firmness to ensure maximum pleasure!

    $65.00 Select options
  • Curved Dildo by Avant

    Modern, stylish, and beautiful – meet Avant.

    Hand sculpted, we are proud to offer this lovingly crafted small batch dildo. This gently curved dildo boasts elegant curves and a pleasingly broad head.

    These toys are harness compatible and feature a very strong suction cup. The soft-touch silicone warms with your body or by running under warm water.

    Available in two fun striped color schemes. Made of 100% platinum cured body safe silicone.

  • Hypnotize 7.5 inch Dildo by Ruse

    Add some color and spice to your sex life with the Ruse Hypnotize!

    The Hypnotize dildo comes in two fun Hot Pink shades and measures 7.5 inches in length and 1.5 inches in width.

    With a suction cup base, this dildo can stick to almost any smooth, flat, non-porous surface. It is also strap-on compatible!

    $35.00 Select options
  • Max Thrusting Remote Controlled Vibrator

    The Max Thrusting Remote Controlled Vibrator will take your stimulation to the next level as a thrusting vaginal AND anal toy.

    Take advantage of the removable suction cup base to take pleasure to any room of the house. Use the wireless remote for an effortless experience, putting the control directly into your hand.

    $150.00 Add to cart

Hands Free Vibes

  • Chorus C-Shaped Dual Vibrator

    Meet the most intuitive couples vibrator ever — with an adjustable fit, touch-responsive controls and hands-free vibrations that take sex to a whole new level. Worn during sex, Chorus adjusts to fit your body for just-right stimulation on both the clitoris and the G-spot.

    Chorus can be customized to fit your unique body so you can feel the vibrations right where you want them. The shape is easy to adjust, then stays in position once you’ve found the perfect fit.

    $200.00 Select options

If vibration is more your style, there is a huge range of vibrators — internal, external, and anal — that can be controlled by remote or app! Simply position the toy where you want and use the remote to adjust the intensity as needed.

Niki by veDo is an especially great option! A magnet holds the flexible clitoral vibe in place by affixing to the wearer’s underwear, while the remote controls the vibration. If you want something that can nestle right in, the Eva by Dame has two flexible wings that tuck under the tissue of the labia to hold the toy in place. The hands free design means that Eva rests against the clitoris conveniently and comfortably; the one button control makes it easy to adjust the settings, and offers a mostly hands-free experience! If you’re looking for dual-stimulation, the Chorus by We-Vibe perfectly positions two powerful motors against the g-spot and clitoris, allowing you to blend sensations as you like. Best of all, the versatile c-shaped vibe is extra-adjustable, allowing you to bend it to your body and keep it neatly in place all on its own.

The Vick by Svakom has two motors, one internal and one external, and can be used either anally or vaginally for a remote-controlled, rumbly good time. Classic body-massager vibrators can be positioned between your thighs or against a pillow to ride and grind on for intense pleasure! The Magic Wand Plus is a crowd-favorite, or choose one with bluetooth app control like the We-Vibe Wand.

  • Eva 2 Hands Free Vibrator

    Eva 2 Hands Free Vibrator lets you focus on pleasure! The flexible wings tuck under labia comfortably, nestling the motor right over sensitive tissue.

    Eva 2 opens up new possibilities during penetrative play, strap-on experiences, and solo sessions!

    • Splashproof for fun in the shower
    • Medical-grade silicone
    • 3 speed motor for simple fun
    • Charging case doubles as storage
    • Two colors: Fir Green and Rose Quartz
    $135.00 Select options
  • Niki Remote-Controlled Vibe

    Niki is the most discreet and comfortable panty vibe on the market!

    Sleek, sexy and silky smooth, this oh so cute vibe is slightly flexible, so it molds perfectly to your body. That’s right, it’s beautifully bendable and designed to fit your shape the way a panty vibe should…comfortably.

    Powered by 10 vibration modes with 6 intensity levels, this panty vibe is always ready to tease and please your hot spot. Niki is completely submersible. USB rechargeable, cable included.

  • Vick Neo Smart Plug

    Vick Neo is part of Svakom’s new Connexion Series – a line of interactive, app-controlled toys so that you can be more connected than ever!

    Enjoy the sensations wherever you are, with whoever you want! Controlled remotely via app, you can give up the power and let your partner lead you on a journey of pleasure, from anywhere, at any time.

    Vick Neo was carefully designed to adapt to your anatomy, and is equipped with a perfect angle that will target both the prostate and the perineum, or the G-spot and clitoris simultaneously.

    Built in with two powerful motors, Vick Neo offers 7 modes with 5 levels of intensity, a total of 35 different ways to help you explore, play and reach a new stage of pleasure.

    $129.00 Add to cart
  • Wand by We-Vibe

    The most advanced (and powerful) cordless wand massager ever — with playful attachments, responsive technologies and an ergonomic design that take it way beyond basics.

    Smart Silence senses when Wand is close to your skin — turning the vibrations on when you’re ready to go and off as soon you want to stop, without you having tofumble with any buttons. Intensify your pleasure with 10+ modes and deep, rumbly vibrations.

    Includes two playful attachments for different sensations — one fluttery and focused, the other smooth and stroking. There’s something here for every body.

    $180.00 Add to cart

Solo Kink

Many folks equate kink exclusively with partnered scenarios. But as long as the proper safety measures are taken, incorporating kink into solo play can be a fun, exciting way to heighten your session!

One way to pick up a new craft and practice your knots is by learning self-ties with rope. There are different lengths and materials to choose from, and we offer a variety of styles! Try starting with ties that focus on the leg or chest, so that you can easily work with the full range of the tie without getting too tangled up.

We suggest picking up a how-to book to guide you, like Shibari You Can Use or Naughty Knots. When you are learning a new skill that can be potentially dangerous, like rope tying, it’s important to have a guide to reference. Always listen to your body, and if you are feeling any numbness or pain in your limbs, loosen the ties to allow for proper circulation. Remember, never tie rope around the throat. We also highly recommend that you keep a pair of Rope Safety Scissors nearby while you’re tying, just in case you need to make a quick escape!

If rope isn’t your style, other kink gear can be used solo when used safely! For example, using a gag can be enticing; however, you should ensure there is a way to take it off quickly! Avoid laying on your back, and always have a way to contact someone if needed. Try the Silicone O-Ring Gag by Spartacus!

  • Plastic Handle Rope Safety Scissors

    A must-have for anyone practicing rope bondage, these medical grade paramedic-style safety shears are perfect for quick removal of rope in an emergency without damaging a person’s skin.

    Tthe manageable finger loops make for an easy and comfortable grip. The protective tab at the tip leads to quick and safe rope snipping.

    Because of the slight serration, these scissors are ultra-strong without sacrificing smooth operation. These scissors can easily cut through most bondage rope in a flash.

If you find sensation play appealing, or you’re looking for ways to try self-teasing, we love these Vampire Gloves! Wearing the Vampire Gloves allows you to run their spiky, sensational surface all over your body and awaken your nerves in entirely new ways. But even if you get turned on by your new touch, the gloves will force you to delay direct genital stimulation. At least, until you remove them.

Other ideas for simple kink gear to use include a simple blindfold or flogger! Sensory deprivation heightens other senses and therefore heightens pleasure, and adding impact play to your solo scene can add another element of sensation. Or, if you enjoy nipple stimulation, try wearing these Adjustable Nipple Clamps while you masturbate!

  • Alligator Tip Clamps with Chain

    These adjustable narrow-tip nipple clamps are perfect for intermediate clamp lovers.

    100% adjustable, these offer anywhere from a gentle pressure to an intense pinch.

    The attached chain offers an additional sensation of cool metal against the skin, as well as an additional option for positioning and BDSM play.

    Available in black and silver. Made in San Francisco, CA.

    $25.00 Select options
  • Shibari You Can Use

    Japanese-style rope bondage and erotic macramé may look complicated and intimidating, but you can learn the basics of this beautiful, sexy art form today!

    Bondage artist and educator Lee Harrington takes you step by step through a variety of concepts and ties, giving you the tools to make aesthetically rewarding ropework.

    Each tutorial is broken down into easy-to-follow photographs with detailed descriptions of each step, including how to tie all those knots. From restrictive poses that limit movement to decorative rope that accentuates the human form, Shibari You Can Use includes instruction on creating Shinju (chest harnesses), Gyaku Ebi (Asian-style hogtie), Ebi or Kuri (shrimp or ball ties), rope corsets, strap-on harnesses and crotch ropes, and much more.

    Check out the second book in this series, More Shibari You Can Use.

    $25.00 Add to cart
  • Soft Beginner’s 12 Inch Flogger

    Try out this Soft Beginner’s 12 Inch Flogger! Ideal for impact-beginners.

    With four colors to choose from, you can tease & tickle or snap and flick to your hearts content.

  • Leather Vampire Gloves: by Kink Lab

    These Vampire gloves will add a little “bite” to any sensation play session.

    Complete with 96 tiny tacks, each soft leather glove will scratch, prick, and tease the skin like little thorn without pain, and won’t pierce the skin unless squeezed or slapped very hard.

    The tacks are fairly short, roughly 1/8″ long.

Back to the Basics

Remember, masturbation doesn’t have to be a red carpet event. Sex toys can create new avenues for pleasure, but are not a necessary part of self touch. Using your most affordable toy — your own hand — can help reconnect your brain to your body and remind you of what you actually enjoy. We recommend exploring not only genital areas, but other potential erogenous zones! Everyone likes different touches; try the neck, lips, thighs, hips, and chest. All parts of our bodies can all provide delightful sensation! Devote some time to re-acquainting yourself with your body and letting it respond.

The biggest sex organ is the brain, so get your brain on board by setting the scene! Create a comfortable, pleasant space for yourself to lounge, lie, or spread out. Put on some of your favorite music and nibble on something sweet to engage all of your senses. Massage oils, candles, comfortable lingerie, and a good lubricant can all help you get mentally prepared for a session of serious self-loving.

  • Aphrodite’s Edible Massage Oil

    Edible, sensual massage oil.

    Flavored with vanilla and orange. Sweetened without sugar or corn syrup.

    $16.00 Add to cart
  • Organic Chai Massage Oil

    As You Like It invites you to experience a greener love life. Our Products are made with you are the earth in mind.

    Add a little glide to your sensual evening with our Organic Chai Massage Oil. Bringing warm and spicy scent into intimate settings increases the depth of experience.

    Travel-size bottles make ideal small gifts.

    While supplies last, get our deliciously organic Chai oils at 50% off!

    $14.00 $7.00 Add to cart
  • Seagrape Apothecary Massage Candle

    Soy Massage Candles are a fantastic way to give and receive a warm body massage.

    Soy wax burns at a lower temperature then beeswax and can be poured directly on the skin if a sensual massage is desired.

    The soothing ingredients will leave cracked, dry skin feeling softer then ever.

    These candle works wonders on overworked hands and feet.

    $19.00 Select options
  • Aloe Cadabra Natural Organic Lubricant

    Aloe Cadabra is an all natural, body-safe personal lubricant made with more than 95% organic Aloe Vera!

    FDA cleared, Aloe Cadabra is edible and body safe. And since Aloe Cadabra rebuilds our body’s mucosal tissues, it helps us create more moisture naturally without chemicals.

    Aloe Cadabra is our best selling, staff-pick for water based lubricant!

    $13.00 Add to cart

It’s important to self-pleasure without expectations. During solo play, many people find themselves very focused on achieving orgasm. There is a common assumption that an orgasm is the end-all, must-have attribute that defines sex. But while an orgasm can feel amazing, it is not a requirement. If you are able to shift your focus from achieving orgasm to experiencing pleasure, then you will be able to truly appreciate the sensations you are feeling! Removing the expectation of orgasm allows your body to experience pleasure simply for the sake of feeling good. In fact, some find that not specifically looking for that peak moment can make the rest of your session even more enjoyable!

A Final Note

The truth is that masturbation is a totally normal part of human sexuality. It is common, healthy, and — when done right — can be extremely empowering. Whether you're single or dating or partnered, masturbation can be both relaxing and liberating.

This may be new to you, or you may find yourself struggling to really connect with your body. That's ok! We all get inundated with shame-based rhetoric about our bodies and our pleasure, either from individuals or organizations around us, or from cultural messaging at large. This is a truth of life. You may be fighting against years of conditioning that makes you feel ashamed or uncomfortable about exploring your pleasure. But don't give up! Keep practicing, keep exploring your unique brand of pleasure any way you can.

And if you need a little more help, try one of the books linked below to help guide you in your pursuit of pleasure!

  • Sex For One: The Joy of Self-Loving

    Confronting one of our last and most deeply rooted taboos—masturbation—noted sex expert and pro-sex feminist Betty Dodson, Ph.D., takes the shame out of self-love by creating a straightforward and appealing guidebook that reveals masturbation as a satisfying, vital form of sexual expression.

    $15.00 Add to cart
  • Sexing Yourself: Masturbation for Your Pleasure Zine

    Sexing Yourself: Masturbation for Your Pleasure Zine from Faith G. Harper perfectly combines humor and science to talk about self pleasure.

    $5.00 Add to cart
  • The Explorer’s Guide to Planet Orgasm

    The Explorer’s Guide to Planet Orgasm is a small, illustrated guide to orgasms of all sizes and types, including “genital orgasms, energy orgasms, orgasmic states, wavegasms, crygasms, body-part-gasms, breath orgasms, nocturnal orgasms, dry orgasms, wet dreams, nipplegasms… and the ultra-special megagasm.”

    Written by Annie Sprinkle, Ph. D. with asides by artist/educator Beth Stephens, Ph.D. and drawings by Korean illustrator Yu Dori, The Explorer’s Guide to Planet Orgasm is an unprecedentedly easy and fun way to expand your definition of orgasm and find new ways to reach it.

    $14.00 Add to cart
  • The Ultimate Guide to Solo Sex

    Masturbation is a many-splendored thing but even here, all of us can get into a comfortable rut. Take what can be really good to really great with Jenny Block’s guide to getting in on with yourself.

    Whether you are happily coupled, on your own, poly, or demonstrating for your lover(s) your solo skills, Block has the very best advice on how to pleasure yourself masterfully and share the love.

    Replete with thorough research, Block’s book covers the science of sex, wild and wonderful ideas for upping the ante, and lots of suggestions for use of toys. The Ultimate Guide to Solo Sex is sure to become the new classic that will show readers how to go from mundane to mind-blowing!

    $17.00 Add to cart

Our longest relationship any of us will have is the relationship with ourselves. And we will feel more comfortable within our relationship with ourselves if we commit to prioritizing our wants, wellbeing, and pleasure. Because the more self-aware and at peace we are within our own bodies, the better-off we will be when (and if) we choose to share our bodies with others.

Always remember, you deserve to feel empowered and comfortable in your skin. You deserve to feel pleasure. Pleasure is a central component of human life, and it is your right as a human with a unique body to experience it.