If you’ve ever been in a long-term relationship, you know how easy it can be to get stuck in rut in your sex life. Well, the same thing happens in the lifelong sexual relationship we have with ourselves! So often, we condition ourselves to climax from one type of self-stimulation, and we stick to it religiously. While that can certainly be a reliable way to get the job done, adding new techniques to your repertoire can take you beyond the daily grind and bring your solo sex to new heights! Here are five ways you can spice up the sex you’re having with yourself:

Explore Your Body Map

Masturbation, much like partnered sex, tends to be genitally focused, but guess what? Your entire body is covered with yummy erogenous zones. Self love time is the perfect time to explore your body’s often over-looked sensitive spots. Get in a comfy position and let your hands (or a toy) move slowly from the top of your head down to your toes, taking note of the spots that excite you most. If you aren’t sure where to start, think of places where people generally get body piercings like the ears, eyebrow, nostrils and lips. They tend to also be erogenous zones! Some other particularly nerve-rich places on the body include the neck, nipples, navel, thighs and behind the knees. Don’t just stop at the more obvious spots! Touch places you never thought of as being sexy, such as your scalp, armpits and the skin along the spine.

When it’s time to get to your bits, spend time exploring parts that you might have accidentally ignored previously. The clitoris isn’t just the tiny external part you can see. Press up against the inner labia to stimulate the internal clitoris! Play around with the G-spot on the front-wall of the vagina, and then move slowly inward to find the anterior fornix. The perineum, or the space between the vagina and rectum, can also be an erogenous zone for many.

Build Your Toy Chest (or Diversify It!)

This may seem like the obvious one, but trying out a sex toy for the first time, or trying a new type of sex toy, can bring new types of sensations to your solo play. If you’re new to toys, find something that’s versatile so you can use it in multiple ways while you’re figuring out what you like. I recommend the PicoBong Moka because it is shaped nicely for penetration and internal stimulation, has a nice flat tip for G-spot play, is curved ergonomically so it can be held comfortably for clitoral stimulation, can be used with or without vibration, is made of high-quality and body-safe materials, and is relatively inexpensive.

If you have toys already, you can explore by expanding your collection and trying something that feels like nothing you’ve tried before. The Stronic Eins and Sqweel provide sensations unlike most toys on the market. If you’re still unsure about what to purchase and want more information before taking the plunge, try reading toy reviews from bloggers such as The Redhead Bedhead, Hey Epiphora, and Sexational.

Pro Tips: Think outside the box and use the toy in ways that it hasn’t been marketed for. A vibrator will often be marketed as a clitoral vibe or a G-spot vibe, but try using it all over your body. You can use a dildo made of borosilicate glass or stainless steel for temperature play by placing it in a bowl of warm or cool water before moving it across your skin. You can use a butt plug as a vaginal plug (sterilize first!); many shapes will press up against the g-spot and perineal sponge. Don’t forget the lube! It’s generally a good idea to have some water-based lube that can be used with all types of toys (and without them).

Make It Into a Full Body, Sensual Experience

Masturbation doesn’t have to only be about touch. Tantalize all of your senses to smell, taste, see, and hear your way to ecstatic pleasure. Set a long playlist of music to set the mood you desire. Use candles, flowers, or fragrance sticks to set the mood with a pleasant scent. Bring some of your favorite treats to bed with you. I recommend chocolate, strawberries, your favorite cheese, champagne, or wine. Some of these are considered aphrodisiacs and others are known to increase dopamine levels in your brain, which leads to increased desire and arousal. Make your play visually appealing. Use a scarf over your lamp for a seductive touch of color. Wear something that makes you feel sexy. Keep it on or become a voyeur, watching yourself as you slowly take it off.

Kink It up a Notch

"Fifty Shades of Grey" brought about a lot of interest in BDSM and kink play, but something the books left out was that kink doesn’t always need to be a partnered activity. The truth is, with a little creativity and some planning, you can set up a really hot scene for yourself! While certain types of play are safer with a buddy, many of the toys and implements people use in partnered scenes can safely be used on yourself while you’re alone. Feathers and ticklers, a wartenberg pinwheel, vampire gloves, and bunny floggers can be drawn along the skin for a variety of sensations. You can use a blindfold to intensify those feelings. Choose random household items like spatulas, hair brushes, and ice cubes for DIY toys that feel like nothing on the BDSM gear market. Shorter crops and paddles are easier to control and aim properly at yourself. (Get more ideas in What household items make good sex toys?)

You can do some self bondage, but especially if you’re new, it’s best to avoid bondage gear that is difficult to get out of. Silk ties and soft cuffs, like the ones made by Liberator, will keep you in position during your session, but are easy to remove once playtime is over.

Bring In Back-up

While masturbation is usually thought of as sex for one, it can be even more exciting to masturbate with your partner! Mutual masturbation can be extremely hot, but it’s also a great non-verbal communication tool. Telling your partner what you enjoy sexually is both helpful for your partner to hear and an important part of getting your needs met. Having them actually see you do the things that feel best will help them to steal your moves and blow your mind the next time you have sex. This is also an opportunity to physically guide your partner’s hands, so they can feel the way you touch yourself when you masturbate. Switch it up and learn what your partner enjoys. Stay present and focus on how their breathing changes, the sounds they make, and the way their body reacts to different types of touch.

Now that you have a starting point, take some time to explore what works best for you! Remember, masturbation, like any type of sex, is more enjoyable when you lose the goal of orgasm and focus on creating a pleasurable experience from start to finish. Go in without expectations and stay present with your body, focus on how it reacts to various types of stimuli, and what feels good.