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Ask Dr. Shameless: How Do I Start a Mindful Masturbation Practice?

Let’s talk turkey. Sometimes we have an itch, and we’d like someone else to scratch it, but we’re flying solo. Or, it’s been a while since we’ve spiced things up, and we are going for a different sexy time narrative. Or, we are new to this whole sex thing and feel safer being alone for now. No matter the driving force, solo play can be rewarding and stimulating. It gets a bad rap due to stigma, but rest assured, a mindful masturbation practice is natural, healthy, and has tons of benefits. It’s portable, free, and you’re in charge.

The toughest thing about starting a masturbation practice is probably committing the time. It sounds counterintuitive because who doesn’t have time for pleasure? All of us, it seems, until we make it a priority.

Taking Matters Into Your Own Hands

A mindful masturbation practice involves dedicating time, intentionality, and consistency. Done right, it can enhance your partnered sex life and get you some good sleep, to boot! We create a practice in order to learn our bodies, unlearn bad habits, and find balance.


First, what’s your motivation? Are you bored? Unsure of what you respond to? Gotten stuck in a routine and crave change? Never really achieved a level of pleasure you’d heard about? Any of these reasons (and more!) are good starts.


Next up, your intentions. Is it orgasms? To aid sleep? Or, to reduce shame? Figure out what your mindful masturbation practice is meant to accomplish. This way, you can focus and develop some mind-body connection. Decide what you are trying to achieve and ask yourself if this is how to get there.


If you make it indefinite, you’ll likely crap out after a day or two. Pick a length, and set an alarm. Whatever you get done in that time is just fine. If you feel like you need to adjust the time for the next day, so be it. You’re in charge.


Set yourself up. Turn off the cell, make sure kids are away, asleep, or otherwise accounted for. Put on whatever music or ambient noise works for you, but nothing that will distract you. Maybe light a scented candle, get the lights just right. Check the temperature. Chilly sexy time probably won’t work well.


Maybe don’t try the giant monster dong your first time around the block. There’s time for that. In the beginning, it can be as simple as a hand, finger, or even just the pressure of your own body. Let’s leave technology for the 201 class. If you are a seasoned pro, then grab whatever favorite toy you like, but make sure it’s handy, clean, and body-safe.

If you’re ready to try a toy, the Be Vibrant Beginner Vibrator Kit has everything people with vulvas need: a bullet vibrator, some lube, and a travel bag.


Most of the time, orgasm is elusive because of faulty brains, not genitals. Breathe slowly, and have a one-beat longer differential on the exhale. Breathe in for four counts, out for five, and so on. Do a body scan, check for areas of tension, pain, or discomfort. Alternate tensing and relaxing any specific muscle in tandem with your rhythmic breathing practice. Breathe in, tense; breathe out, relax the muscle. Give yourself a good five to ten minutes for this relaxation piece. You’ll thank me for that.


Don’t just head straight to the good bits. Explore your body, whether nipples, inner thigh, lesser genitalia (labia, scrotum, perineum), or neck. Run hands, fingers, or water over different body parts, and focus on the sensation. Narrate to yourself if your mind wanders: “I’m lightly stroking my left inner forearm, and it feels nice. I like it. I like it less when I use nails.”

If you’re interested in exploring anally, the Little Flirt Butt Plug by Tantus is a nice intro to anal sex toys. Lube is also essential when exploring new sensations and parts of the body. Try the Sliquid Sea Lube, a water-based, vegan lube with moisturizers for your skin!

Your Mindful Masturbation Practice Is About You

The idea here is to set the stage, set a tone, create space for the sensation, and relax. Focus on pleasure, touch, and other senses, and enjoy. Try setting up a practice for five or six days a week for a month, and see what you notice. Reflect on what messages you hear and how they compare to what you heard before you started your practice. Then, take what works, keep going, and add to your mindful masturbation practice. You’re worth it!

Shop Body Safe Sex Toys Now

Vibrant’s Body Safe Toys Can Aid Your Mindful Masturbation Practice!

Vibrant has an array of body-safe sex toys for every body. Check out our curated collection of toys and books, too! Or, chat with us, and we can help recommend the product that’s perfect for you. We’re available 9am-9pm EST daily on our website chat (just push the purple button at the bottom right!) or call us at 866-316-VIBE(8423).

Dr. Shameless

Dr. Shameless is a therapist and clinical sexologist operating out of Las Vegas, Nevada. Dr. Shameless is committed to helping people achieve their personal best in their sexual selves. Let's move from shame to courage together!

Dr. Shameless

Dr. Shameless is a therapist and clinical sexologist operating out of Las Vegas, Nevada. Dr. Shameless is committed to helping people achieve their personal best in their sexual selves. Let's move from shame to courage together!

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