“I Touch Myself” was a top-selling single by Divinyls. The early ‘90s hit got straight to the point with “when I think about you, I touch myself.” In the song “Kicks”, FKA Twigs sings about getting off by herself, “When I’m alone, I don’t need you. I love my touch, know just what to do.”
These lyrics are a small sampling of popular songs that promote masturbation. As I was thinking about current popular music, I realized that I have heard my children sing similar words during carpool duty and birthday parties. I wasn’t immediately cognizant of their meaning at the time; however as I progress in my career, I’ve become more astute at instantly recognizing and interpreting sexual lyrics. For example, Cake by the Ocean by DNCE means “sex by the ocean”. That’s a visual that turns me on immediately. (I won’t tell you why.) “I Touch Myself” when I hear that song.
So how is it that pop culture so easily slips the themes of sex and masturbation into our subconsciousness, yet many woman live a life of shame because of it? First of all, I am not a fan of the word masturbation. It has a recent-historical connotation of depravity and secrecy. Though it’s the same action, I prefer using the phrases “self-touch” or “self-exploration”, which are more readily accepted. Why do I promote self touch? Here are several reasons.
1. If a woman doesn’t know how her body reacts to touch, it makes it very difficult to express to her partner what turns her on.
It is good for us. A strong internal orgasm can help with chronic health conditions. There are studies that support the theory that when a woman orgasms regularly she looks younger and weighs less. It is also good for your heart.
When a woman isn’t having regular orgasms, she usually doesn’t miss or crave them. By using self-touch, you remind your body why orgasms are so incredible.
Frequent orgasms are especially beneficial for woman heading into menopause. Stimulating the vulva and vaginal tissues helps to prevent atrophy.
When you orgasm, you release “feel-good” chemicals called endorphins. They’re a stress reliever and take your mind off of your worries for a while.
When I meet with female clients experiencing low libido or anorgasmia, the first exercise they receive is focused on self-touch. The goal here isn’t to replace a partner, but rather to build confidence so she can share with her partner. A big part of the self-touch exercise is using an intimacy device.
According to a survey by Ashley Leonard at Robert Morris University, nearly half of women between the ages of 18 and 60 have used a sex toy. I always remind women and couples that intimacy devices are not there to replace the partner but rather to enhance the experience. Intimacy devices are especially helpful to the woman who is concerned that her partner is working too hard to get her to orgasm. Using the device allows the woman to relax and let the device do its magic. Seventy percent of women need clitoral stimulation to achieve orgasm. A vibrator stimulates nerve endings in the clitoris, making that elusive orgasm a frequent visitor.
A few other tips I share are:
--Use a good lube. I prefer a silicone lube because it lasts long than a water-based lube, which also tend to get sticky.
--Schedule time for self-touch. Set the timer for 10 minutes and pay close attention to what is turning you on. With each play session, add another minute until you build up to at least 20 minutes. If you orgasm early in the session, work on having a multiple orgasm or explore your g-spot.
--Set the scene for your self-touch party: a hot bath or shower, candles, sexy music, phone turned off and door locked.
Lastly, remember, self touch isn’t meant to replace your partner. The knowledge you share with your partner can bring the two of you closer together.