First thing’s first — you don’t need any products to masturbate, just your body and a positive, horny attitude. (And sometimes, not even the latter.)
But let’s not pretend like your environment doesn’t matter when you’re getting it on with yourself. You’re too stressed out? Even your vibrator’s highest setting might not hold the answers. You can hear your neighbors perfectly through the wall? All of a sudden, your me-time might feel a lot less intimate. As much as it’d be great to get to touching yourself and letting the rest melt away, sometimes, you might need a little extra help.
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“Masturbation starts from just feeling good about yourself,” says Anna Lee, co-founder of the smart vibrator brand Lioness. “Like feeling in a good mood or a good place. [Masturbation] is not even [about] starting with genitalia or anything like that.”
Instead, she says it’s about getting into that mindset of, “what makes me relaxed, what makes me comfortable, what makes me feel safe?”
Finding that just right mix of factors for what turns you on and lets you feel relaxed enough to devote time to yourself might involve some trial and error. But to give you a place to begin, we’ve come up with some masturbation starter packs, whether you’re the person who can hear your neighbors too clearly or prefer some textual stimulation, to name a couple of our many suggestions.
Check out the starter pack you identify with below, and gather some inspiration for the next time you have some you-time.
For the masturbation beginner
Credit: Mashable Photo Composite / Pexels: Daria Shevtsova, Sutil, Pexels: Anna Shvets, Dr. Bronner’s
It’s no secret that masturbation has plenty of stigma around it, regardless of your gender. Though again, you certainly don’t need to purchase any extras to enjoy your own body, there are a few products that can help you overcome any hang ups and have an extra pleasurable experience.
The first and maybe most versatile — lube. Whether or not you choose to incorporate sex toys, adding some lube and taking away some friction is usually the way to go. It’s hard to miss with a good water-based lube, though silicone is the longest lasting (just remember to never use silicone lube with silicone toys).
As for picking out a sex toy, that has a lot to do with personal preference, but we’ve already got you covered with a handy guide. When it’s time to clean up, you’ll want to pay attention to any care instructions that come with your specific sex toy, but most are fine with warm water and soap — castile is an especially good (and affordable) option that’s safe to use.
For the thin-walled apartment dweller
Credit: Mashable Photo Composite / Apple, Dame, Pexels: Andrea Piacquadio, JBL
At any given moment, this person knows more about their roommates and their neighbors than they’d ever probably want to. The knowledge that that relationship probably goes both ways isn’t the most conducive to for them to get off stress-free. Instead of waiting for everyone to step out, we have a few close-quartered tips.
A small Bluetooth speaker is any easy addition to your space and a great way to drown out any sounds you might make. For some extra help blocking out any distraction, a small pair of noise cancelling earbuds, like AirPods Pro or Beats Studio Buds will do the trick. Smaller lipstick or bullet vibes like Dame’s Kip are also great for keeping things quiet while still packing a punch.
For the mindful meditator
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If mindfulness is about taking the time to focus inward and ground yourself in your present moment, what better way to do that than masturbating? You can practice meditative masturbation with guided audio erotica, from services like Dipsea or Emjoy. Or, if you prefer to follow your own breath and body, you can focus on setting the right environment. Light a candle or two or get a diffuser and fill it with your favorite scents.
For the person with a few kinks
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You don’t need a partner to indulge in a bit of BDSM. Have some fun and blindfold yourself. Get dressed in a garter, harness, or lingerie, just for yourself. Invest in a sex toy storage box to hold all your most special sex toys. If you like being told what to do, there’s plenty of guided erotica to check out (which you can find on some of the same apps mentioned above, which isn’t surprising considering the link between BDSM and mindfulness). Once you’re done, don’t forget the aftercare, whether that be a hot shower, putting on some lotion, or watching your favorite comfort show or movie.
For the person in need of serious unwinding
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Yes, masturbation can help you relax, but if you’re feeling really stressed, taking a few extra measures to add a little calm to your me-time probably won’t hurt. If you have access to a tub, taking a bubble bath (whether you want to go luxury or budget bubbles) can do wonders. Factor in a relaxing beverage, like wine (a subscription means you’ll always have something to try on hand) or a cannabis seltzer, and a waterproof vibrator to enjoy right in the bath and you’ll be plenty relaxed in no time at all.
For the person super into their fitness goals
Credit: Mashable Photo Composite / Lioness, Hydro Flask, Amazfit, Pexels / Tirachard Kumtanom
While maybe it’s a bit easier to get your heart rate up with a partner, masturbation still offers plenty of opportunity to see how it affects your body. A fitness tracker like the Amazfit Bip U won’t break the bank and can let you see how getting off more can lower your stress levels. If you want to get more sexually specific, the Lioness vibrator was designed to do what a fitness trackers do, but for pelvic floor movements and orgasms.
And since this person is definitely into treating their body its absolute best, of course they’ll want to stay hydrated during any strenuous physical activity — that’s why we recommend investing in a nice reusable water bottle that’ll last.
For the book lover
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People love spicy books and for good reason — the brain, after all, is one powerful sex organ. If you don’t have the room on your bookshelf for all your favorite titles, an e-reader classic like the Kindle can be your saving grace. Sex tech has advanced to such a place that there’s no need to put the book down just as it’s getting really good — hands-free toys like Dame’s Eva or the B-vibe Snug Plug maximize your multi-tasking potential.