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The Secrets of Self-Pleasure

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The Violet Files

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Solo sex can be a mindful meditation, an empowering self-care practice, and so much more.

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Gina Way
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It can be awkward at first. The act of pleasuring yourself sexually can sometimes feel a little weird, even shameful for some people. Like a desperate act for all the single people and something that should be hidden at all costs. We’re putting that kind of thinking to bed right now. We’re not living in the Victorian Era (which, ironically, is when vibrators were invented). It’s 2023, and the fact is: solo pleasure is the ultimate self-care move. So let’s treat sexual health with respect—and excitement!—and celebrate our bodies with zero judgement. Because what could be more empowering or mindful than paying attention to what makes you feel good—then, experimenting with what arouses you. You have the power to show yourself a good time. Let’s get down to it.


We pamper ourselves with a multi-masking session, a glass (or two) of wine, and a Netflix binge at the drop of a hat, but when it comes to sexual pleasure, it falls way down the list—somewhere between doing the laundry and sleeping. “Sex is often the lowest priority, and it may feel like a chore, or a frivolous, selfish indulgence to take the time out to masturbate,” says Carlyle Jansen, sex coach and author of Sex Yourself: The Woman’s Guide to Mastering Masturbation and Achieving Powerful Orgasms. “But if we can prioritize exercise to stay healthy, then what about taking care of our sexual needs? There’s a stigma around paying attention to this part of our body, but we need to start treating ourselves the way that we want to be treated.” Jansen suggests thinking of masturbation as a wellness practice, like yoga or meditation. “Sometimes it’s going to be awesome, and some sessions are going to be kind of functional, and that’s okay. It doesn’t have to be a huge production, but the idea is to carve out some time, whether it’s once a week, once a month, or once a day.”


LUBE UP: “We usually start stimulating externally where there’s no natural lubrication, so a little bit of lube gets things going and just makes everything feel better,” says Jansen.

MAKE SOUNDS: “Even just opening your mouth when you exhale can feel good,” says Jansen. You don’t get extra points for screaming orgasms, but don’t hold back your voice either.

DON'T BE AFRAID TO EXPERIMENT: “Don’t get hung up on a single use for your toy,” says O’Reilly. “You can stimulate the entire clitoris, not just the tip, and it may feel great internally on the G-Spot. It can be amazing on the outside too. Try rolling it around and squeezing it between your legs.

DO KEGELS: “If you can squeeze and relax the pelvic floor muscles while you’re pleasuring yourself, you will intensify your orgasm,” says Jansen.

DON'T GET STUCK IN A RUT: “Change positions to experiment with different sensations,” says O’Reilly. “Just as variety can make partnered sex more exciting, the same goes for the solo kind.”

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