When it comes to sex education, many of us receive the bare basics; information on our anatomy and reproductive systems, and, hopefully, some knowledge on safe sex practices. We don't generally have classes growing up that teach us about masturbation or how to discover your sexual pleasure. Instead, most of us take to the internet in search of learning how to maximize our pleasure.
Mastering the Sensual Basics
The thing is, learning these sensual basics is so important; they build the base for a fulfilling and pleasurable sex life. Many of us dive into partnered sex before we even know what we like or what makes us feel good. This is especially true for vulva-owners, where masturbation can not come as innately as it does for most penis-havers. (Thankfully, we now have access to great online resources and even greater sex toys, like the LELO SILA, to help us along the way!)
Luckily, it is never too late to discover your sexual pleasure! No matter what your sex life is like, learning to master the sensual basics will help bring more pleasure to you and your partners!
Start Slow and Alone
Don't get us wrong, partnered sex can be amazing, but bringing in a partner means that you have twice as many body parts, emotions and feelings that you end up thinking about. Being with a partner can make it hard to focus on yourself and what you are feeling in each moment.
To truly learn what feels good to your body, start your self discovery on your own. Set aside some time in your schedule to focus on yourself. This way you can take all the time you need to really slow down and listen to your body.
We live in a world full of constant distractions and many of us have very short attention spans because of it. Do you best to take this time to block out all of those distractions and make your masturbation a mini mindfulness practice. Set your phone on silent or turn on some music to block out the noice of your home.
As you start to explore your body, if you find your mind is drifting to other topics, do you best to bring your focus back to your body. Ask yourself: What am I feeling? How does it feel? Try to use the sensations as an anchor for your thoughts.
Explore Your Entire Body
While our genitals tend to be the focus of most sexual pleasure, our bodies are covered in delicious erogenous zones that can make us curl our toes or arch our back or release a satisfying moan.
Take the time to explore your entire body, either with your hands or with a sex toy. How does it feel to tickle your fingertips along the side of your neck? Or use an air pulse vibrator on your nipples? Or to caress the inside of your thigh?
Everyone responds to stimulation of their erogenous zones in different ways. Some people may love when their breasts are squeezed firmly, while others may prefer a delicate tickle across their nipples. When practicing on your own, play around with different motions and pressure. Try to focus on how each movement feels and what styles feel best to you.
Move to Your Genitals
Once you've explored the peaks and valleys of the rest of your body, if you want to, move on to exploring your genitals. Again, take it slow here; try to avoid to jump into your usual routine or to go straight for the orgasm. Orgasms are great, but they're not necessary to experience sexual satisfaction. They're more like the cherry on top of the already delicious sundae.
For vulva owners, experiment with stimulating your entire vulva, not just the clitoris. Try stroking your inner and outer labia or slowing running a vibrator, like the LELO SILA, along them. Do you prefer a light touch or a heavy touch? Does squeezing or gently pulling on your labia feel good?
When you move on to your glans clitoris, play around with different strokes, speeds and pressures. Small circles around your clitoris maybe what feels fantastic to you, or it could be up and down strokes or even firm pressure. It could even be all three!
Does it feel better if you focus right on the centre of your glans clitoris or on the edges around it? Does pulling back your clitoral hood slightly increase the sensation or does it make your clitoris too sensitive?
For penis-havers, experiment with different stroking styles and speeds. Does it feel better with a straight up and down stroke or while you rotate your hand back and forth? How does it feel if you stimulate your scrotum at the same time? You might even try mixing it up and masturbating with your non-dominant hand!
This is the perfect time to continue exploring with sex toys. Most sex toys come with many different vibrational patterns and strengths. Experiment with all of them! You may discover that a pulsating pattern is what really gets you going or that a steady, deep rumble works best for you. Give your body the chance to speak to you and let it tell you what it wants.
Take This Knowledge and Practice Into Partnered Sex
The best part about this self-discovery practice is that you can take this new found knowledge into partnered sex. Not only will knowing what you like help you be able to better communicate your wants to your partner, this mindfulness practice will also help you learn to focus on pleasure.
Take the same mindful motions into foreplay and sex with your partner. Experiment with their erogenous zones and talk with them about what feels good and what they want. Don't be afraid to bring your sex toys into partnered sex as well! Sex toys open up all kinds of new pathways for you and your partners to play with!
The key to better sex is communication! We aren't mind readers, and since every person is different, what works for one partner won't always work for a different partner.
Amelia Cohen is an editor and contributor for Kinkly. She obtained her Bachelor's of Science in Biological Sciences, then decided to follow her love of words and received her Master's of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Publishing.