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Sex with Dr. Jess


May 28, 2018

The Best Masturbation Tools and Advice for Women

It’s Masturbation May and the questions about self-pleasure are flooding our inboxes. To learn more, listen to Jess’ interview with Sexologist Megan Stubbs — all about masturbation below.

And check out these recent questions and answers all about solo sex below:

What tips do you have for women who use or want to use their hands to masturbate?

Try these three techniques:

  1. Put a little lube on the palm of your hand and press it against the top of your vulva. Slide your palm downward with firm pressure.
  2. Press your middle finger between your labia and squeeze your legs together gently as you slide your finger up and down.
  3. Curl your index and middle finger just inside the opening of your vagina until you find a rhythm and depth that works for you.

What safety guidelines should women follow if/when masturbating with their hands?

Masturbation is among the safest sex practices and studies suggest that those who self-pleasure more often are more likely to practice safer sex when they partner up. There are few risks associated with masturbation although it is possible for skin irritation to occur. If you find your skin becomes irritated, a bit of lube can reduce friction and easily address this concern.

What is the most pleasurable way for women to use their hands/fingers?

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to self-pleasure. Some people use their whole hand to cup the entire vulva (the outer part) and rub up and down. Others use the tip of a finger to press against the heat of the clit or slide up and down its shaft. Others slide a few fingers in and out or grind their pelvic region against the palm of their hand. Simply put, if it feels good, do it!


What are the most common objects women use to masturbate that are not intended for this purpose?

If you can imagine it, someone has used it. From toy cars and electric toothbrush handles to cucumbers and popsicles, we’ve tried just about every object as a tool of pleasure in the bedroom. Common tools of the trade include removable shower heads, hot tub jets, cell phones, vegetables, kitchen utensil handles (e.g. spatulas), back massagers and ice cubes.

How normal/common is it for women to use these non-sexual objects?

Most women have experimented with household objects at some point in time — especially the removable shower head.

What should women keep in mind when using these objects? What safety concerns are there?

Use common sense when masturbating with household objects. Don’t use anything that could break, wear away or get stuck inside of you. Also, avoid objects that might scratch or irritate your skin (both internally and externally). Use condoms whenever possible to reduce the risk of infection and use lube to reduce friction.

Why do some women prefer to use objects rather than hands or sex toys that are actually meant for masturbation?

Often we reach for common household items as a matter of convenience. They’re handy and low-cost.

What are the most popular toys women use to masturbate?

Vibrators and dildos are both popular options when it comes to DIY toys. There are a wide variety of brands, shapes, and sizes on the market.

Why do women prefer to masturbate with a toy rather than with their hands?

Toys create new possibilities with regard to technique, angles, vibrations, and movements. A toy can allow to reach areas that you may not be able to stimulate with your hands and vibrators allow you to experiment with different rhythms and strokes.

What are the benefits of using a toy?

Some women find that using a toy helps them to relax and research suggests that women who use toys report higher levels of desire, arousal, satisfaction, and orgasm. Toys can also help to inspire more creativity in the bedroom – alone or with a partner.

What should women be cautious of when using a toy? Can you desensitize yourself if you use toys since they are usually more powerful than a hand or other object?

When we talk about “desensitization”, we’re usually referring to permanent nerve ending damage which won’t occur with the regular use of commercial vibrators. Though it’s possible that the stimulated area could become desensitized for a few minutes right after stimulation, this sensation won’t last, so you really don’t have much to worry about.

Some women (and men) are concerned by the fact that they reach orgasm more easily with a vibrator, but this is likely unrelated to physical desensitization; it’s normal to find one method of stimulation (including, but not limited to vibrator use) more arousing, so rest assured that you’re perfectly normal. Our bodies (and minds) can become conditioned to experiencing arousal with particular sex acts, so simply integrating new acts can help to broaden these erotic associations.

What toys would you suggest women use for masturbation?

I like the We-Vibe Touch, as it fits nicely around the vulva and provides a range of vibrating intensities. Many of my clients like the Hitachi Magic Wand, as it offers intense vibrations and a number of attachment options.

Why do some women prefer clitoral stimulation while others prefer vaginal? If you want to stimulate both, what is the best way to do that during masturbation?

Each of our bodies is unique, so our interpretations of pleasure pathways vary from individual to individual. Though it can be difficult to clearly differentiate between vaginal and clitoral stimulation, as parts of the clitoris are located in close proximity to the vaginal canal, there is no universal technique that will lead to orgasm in all women.

If you want to stimulate the clitoris and vagina (including the G-spot) simultaneously, try pressing a few fingers against the top of your vulva (over the clitoral head and shaft) while sliding a lubed-up toy into the vagina and curling up against the stomach wall. Don’t get hung up on any technique in particular — experiment, breathe deeply and enjoy the process of sexual self-discovery.

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