Masturbation and solo sex

Celebrate Masturbation Month by Going ‘Boysober’ 

Published: MAY 1, 2024 | Updated: MAY 2, 2024
If you're looking for a new way to celebrate Masturbation Month, it might be time to try the viral 'boysober' trend.

Women are rewriting the dating rulebook, demanding more from relationships and refusing to settle for less. With financial independence and self-assurance, they're setting high standards for partners, seeking people who match their commitment to self-improvement and emotional maturity — and they're prioritizing their pleasure more than ever!


As studies reveal a persistent gender disparity in sexual satisfaction, many women are opting out of traditional dating dynamics. Enter "boysober," a rising trend where women practice a year of abstinence and prioritize self-pleasure over lackluster connections.

Read more: What is Abstinence? 

As we gear up for Masturbation Month (yes, it's a thing that happens every May), Amber Shine, ACS Certified Sex Therapist and Love Coach & Manager at, highlights the cultural shift towards embracing self-pleasure for holistic sexual health.

"Masturbation allows individuals to explore their bodies, desires, and fantasies without the pressure or expectations that may come with partnered sex," says Shine, adding that in a world that often overlooks personal pleasure, taking a month to focus solely on masturbation serves as a timely reminder to prioritize self-care and exploration.


And going "boysober," at least for Masturbation Month, can deepen that experience. Curious about this trend? Read on to find out everything you need to know.

What does 'boysober' mean? 

Thanks to Brooklyn comedian Hope Woodard, "boysober" is gaining global momentum. It's a yearlong commitment to abstain from dating (including sex) and promote self-care and empowerment instead. Despite the name, the trend is for everyone, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Originating as a Brooklyn comedy show, "boysober" has become a viral phenomenon, especially among Gen Z women on TikTok.

It's important here to note the difference between abstinence and celibacy. Abstinence is temporarily refraining from specific sexual activities, while celibacy is a lifelong commitment to abstain from all sexual behaviors. Woodward isn't suggesting anyone swear off sex forever — just long enough for a hard reset on pleasure and priorities regarding partners.


Read more: More About Celibacy

Though "boysober" implies avoiding men specifically, Kayden Roberts, CMO and relationship coach at CamGo, notes its broader relevance. It's about prioritizing personal growth over partner-based intimacy. So, "boysober" could be "girlsober," "theysober," "peoplesober," or fill in the blank. It's not about gender.

Roberts believes this trend is gaining popularity primarily because it enables individuals to recalibrate their approach to relationships and intimacy.

"In today's fast-paced and often superficial dating culture, taking a step back can help individuals reassess what they truly seek in a relationship," says Roberts. 


However, Emme Witt-Eden, sex expert and author of Confessions of a Middle-Aged F-Girl, thinks the "boysober" trend has gained popularity primarily for a heterosexual reason — straight and bisexual women are frustrated with men prioritizing their pleasure and then ghosting. Witt emphasizes that she isn't opposed to hookups; in fact, after leaving her first husband, she found empowerment in casual sex with men. However, she acknowledges that the novelty of hookups wears off rapidly when seeking deeper connections, and many people are left unsatisfied.

Are there benefits to going 'boysober'?

Engaging in a dating or partner sex cleanse doesn't mean abandoning intimacy altogether, Roberts insists. Instead, it's about redirecting that energy towards oneself. Self-intimacy isn't solely about physical connection; it also involves emotional and mental well-being, Roberts adds, emphasizing practices like meditation, journaling, and therapy as integral to nurturing one's needs, desires, and emotional health.

Shine agrees that this intentional pause can be deeply beneficial, whether it's for healing, seeking clarity, or self-reconnection.


"During this cleanse, individuals can still maintain a satisfying intimate relationship with themselves by exploring their desires, fantasies, and self-pleasure techniques," says Shine. "It's an opportunity to deepen self-awareness and cultivate self-love, which can ultimately enhance future relationships."

Chris Pleines, a dating expert from, underscores the self-focus of a dating cleanse.

"It's like hitting the pause button to check in with your own feelings and needs," he says.


He suggests that a dating cleanse can help break old or toxic patterns and enable individuals to choose differently in future relationships.

And Witt emphasizes the empowerment that some find from going "boysober" for a bit, likening it to the empowerment some find by participating in Dry January.

"I think going boysober is a great way for a woman to explore herself alone and find out what she actually likes sexually, so she'll be better able to advocate for herself when she does go back to actually having sex with men," says Witt. "Also, empowering yourself to say no to sex for once is a great way to strengthen your self-esteem. Just like swearing off alcohol for a while helps you build a better relationship with yourself, so does going 'boysober.'"

The Best Sex Toys for Masturbation

If you're thinking about going "boysober" to focus on self-pleasure during Masturbation Month, you're definitely going to need some toys to keep you occupied and satisfied. I've tried hundreds, if not thousands, of sex toys, and these are the four sex toys I can't live without in my self-care routine.

Magic Wand Original

The Magic Wand was my first sex toy, and it remains my favorite. Now, with a rechargeable version for untethered pleasure, it's even better. Simple in design, easy to use, and versatile, it's perfect for everything from clit and vulva stimulation to phallic fun.

Womanizer Classic 2

Nothing matches the reliable orgasms delivered by this Air Technology-powered toy. With intense clitoral stimulation sans direct touch, it achieves what no human can. It's my trusted go-to for leisurely exploration or satisfying quickies — in less than a minute when I'm focused.

CalExotics Red Hot Fury

I'm obsessed with this external vibrator! Its two curved, fluttering arcs offer versatile stimulation for any body part — whether it's nipples, clitoris, bottom growth, testicles, frenulum, outside of the anus, and more. My favorite is using it for clitoral stimulation while giving oral sex to a vulva.

Satisfyer Double Crystal

This toy's dual-textured shafts offer so much versatility. Enjoy gentle massages with the smooth side or flip to the ribbed side for intense pleasure. Its smoothness, weight, and temperature sensitivity for hot or cold play make it a dream to use.

Why 'boysober'?

Adopting a "boysober," (or whatever gender(s) you date) lifestyle isn't just about eschewing friends with benefits and one-night stands — it's a bold declaration of self-love and empowerment. For many women, investing in their own growth, dreams, and mental health is a conscious choice without the distractions of dating drama.

By putting themselves first, these women are rewriting the rules of happiness and relationships, proving that true fulfillment comes from within — and not from the validation of a partner. If that sounds like a good time to you, Masturbation Month, a month literally dedicated to self-pleasure, could be the perfect time to dabble in the "boysober" trend.

Ryn Pfeuffer

Ryn Pfeuffer is a versatile print and digital writer specializing in sex, lifestyle, and relationship topics. She got her start in the mid-90s at the Philadelphia Weekly, managing a 10-page section of the newspaper and more than 500 lonely hearts.Her professional stock skyrocketed when she started writing a saucy (and pre-Carrie-Bradshaw-era) dating advice column called “Ask Me Anything.” She appeared regularly on local radio stations and late-night TV as an expert on everything from grooming...

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