Words || Jasmine Reyes
Dear Grapey Doctor,
My friends at uni think that I’m too highly strung. Their solution is that I need more ‘me’ time. The problem is, I hate touching myself! Whenever I do it, I feel dirty and gross. I try to replicate what I’ve seen in porn, but it just feels like rubbing for the sake of rubbing. It doesn’t feel good, and it hurts whenever I try to finger myself. Am I doing it wrong?? My friend suggested buying a sex toy – will this help??
Sincerely, (Sexually?) Frustrated
First of all, it sounds to me like your friends should mind their own dang business! Grapeshot sex tip: never do anything sexual that you do not absolutely enthusiastically want to do – this includes masturbation!
Now, I pride myself in being a champion masturbator, but there have certainly been ‘dry spells’ throughout the duration of my self-sex life. For me, this is usually caused by a lack of feeling ‘in the mood’, and this is normal; many people go through periods of heightened and reduced desire to masturbate. If you’re feeling plagued by ‘dirtiness’ in particular, some sexologists, like Dr Lindsay Doe, recommend you take a quick shower. There are many other reasons for lack of desire – they are all valid, and you should never have to explain these to anyone.
That said, if you do find that you’re feeling sexy/curious/bored, and you find you want to take a hands-on approach to self-lurve, there are a few tips I can give you:
1. On showering: cleaning before masturbating is highly recommended – hygiene is essential! In masturbation, you are your own – picture me saying this with bedroom eyes and a sensual voice – lover. You wouldn’t touch anyone else’s genitals with dirty fingers (please, tell me you do not touch anyone else’s genitals with dirty fingers), so don’t do it to yours.
2. Let go of everyone else. Your friends, your ex, porn, society. It can be easy to get stuck in your head when you’re masturbating, but you need to remember: it’s not about them. In the fantastic, amazing, dynamic, one-woman show that is your self-pleasure, you are the star. You are also the director. And the audience, the costume and set designer – you make the rules. Put the attention back on you – set the scene for what makes you feel ‘in the mood’.
3. Relax. Take the pressure off. Like all great theatre productions, your fantastic, amazing, dynamic one-woman show is about the journey and not the ending. I am definitely not saying orgasms don’t matter, but I am saying that they don’t have to. Spending time with yourself, learning more about yourself and making yourself feel good – this process itself can be immensely satisfying.
4. Sex toys can be a fantastic resource if you, like me, thrive on exposure to new sensations and stimuli. Make sure that you are purchasing safe toys – dodgy legislation means that ‘100% silicone’ doesn’t always mean 100% silicone. Shop around for safe sellers, but be wary: they can be pricey. As much as I’d love a $300 luxury Lelo vibrator, I am definitely in no position to buy one. If you can’t afford products from a certified safe seller and you are planning on penetrating yourself with potentially porous plastics, be prepared to wrap before you tap! Condoms can prevent your body from becoming the unhappy host to some angry bacterial tenants.
Parting wisdom: as with any sexual act, consent, safety and wellbeing are of utmost importance. This means having a healthy sexual relationship with yourself: be honest, kind, and patient. You are one fantastic, amazing, dynamic babe, and you deserve your very best.