Self-pleasure is the most basic form of self-care. It's good for us on many levels: physiologically, psychologically, and even spiritually.
arousal brings blood flow to the pelvis and all of its vital organs
blood flow is imperative for maintaining organ health of the bladder, the uterus, the lower GI tract, as well as maintaining tone in the pelvic floor
orgasms reset the nervous system, flooding the body with oxytocin, dopamine, endorphins, and prolactin, all of which reduce stress and can help the body sleep
A 2015 study of married women revealed that the ones who masturbated "had significantly more orgasms, greater sexual desire, higher self-esteem, and greater marital and sexual satisfaction, and required less time to sexual arousal."
self-pleasure a way to return to yourself, to remember who you are outside of other people's opinions and external pressures
your sexual relationship with yourself is a direct link to your autonomy and sovereignty
The task of being human is no joke; it is a full range freaking rollercoaster ride. Connecting to your primal self, the self beyond your mind, and making time to listen to and connect to the wisdom of your body is holy work.
"Sexual energy is not only the life force that creates the next generation. But it is also the source of our creativity. Each orgasm can be a precious moment of joy, a prayer of thanks for being alive. As we awaken our bodies through the senses, we awaken our minds to the knowledge that we are all related and connected to every living thing on the planet and throughout the vast universe." - Dr. Betty Dodson
Parts of our bodies made to feel good—all sorts of good. There is no shame in that. We should be bowing down at the altar of our sexuality. It is one of the most redeeming parts of being human to know that while we are wired to handle a great deal of distress, our bodies can also experience immense amounts of pleasure.
One of my favorite parts of The Lake's approach is how pleasure integrates into all forms of self-care. It isn't isolated. Below are my top ways to incorporate self-pleasure into the bigger picture.
(A) Puzzle and Pleasure
Puzzling is such a fantastic way to unplug and slow down, which happens to be the two best things for your sex life as well.
I love the Kushi for its explorative shape. The flat side makes it an excellent tool for grinding, and its squishy ridges are a dream to ride across. Women have just as much erectile tissue as men, but it takes longer to fill up. When you take the time to unplug and slow down, your body can catch up to your brain. Take the time grinding it out for a fully fluffed up erection.
Once you've gotten on the slow, focused train to fully fluffed up vulva town, you mine as well go all the way. The Dame Arc, a firm, slightly curved wand with a bulbous head, is the perfect tool for internal exploration.
(B) Exfoliate and Explore
Maybe it's the teenager in me, but the shower is my sanctuary. "Snake Skin" is a beautiful scrub made up of crushed herbs and oil. It is incredibly moisturizing, which will likely inspire a leisurely full body rub down. The Iroha Rin + is the perfect tool to explore internal pleasure. The ball at the end is excellent for external play, but I have found it is the ideal thing to get familiar with the erectile tissue at the entrance of the vagina.
The biggest miss with G spot play? Overshooting! There is a lot of misinformation about the G spot being 2-3 inches inside the vagina. See the diagram below for some helpful pre-exploration visuals.
It is not a spot. It's a tube of erectile tissue that wraps around the entire urethra to the outside of the body. If you started exploring 2-3 inches in, you would be past the mark and poking at your bladder, which will make you have to pee. It's a lot closer to the entrance than you think, and the ball of the Iroha Rin sits perfectly just inside the vagina, providing a landmark for your restraint.
For more information on finding your so-called G spot, click here.
(C) Rest and Reconnect
Ahhh a day in bed with a book and a couple of tools at the ready? Yes, please. Deep rest allows you to connect to the deeper parts of yourself. The part that remembers that even though everything looks like a dumpster fire with no resolution in sight, you are indeed ok and allowed to relax.
Cervical orgasms are one of the deepest, most profound orgasmic experiences I have ever had. The cervix sits at the furthest point inside the vagina. If you've never seen one, google it. It looks oddly similar to the head of a penis and has more nerves going to your brain than your clit. Note I didn't say the most nerve endings, so this isn't going to be an electric feeling like your clit. Still, since it has more nerves going up to the brain, it has the potential to light up more of your brain (where orgasms happen), resulting in a full-body experience many describe as transformational.
Cervical exploration is not something to rush into. It requires slow, tender, patient exploration. Start on the outside with Kip by Dame. Its flat head with fluttery edges transmits rumbly vibrations to the clit in all the right ways. Then explore internally with Iroha's Mikazuki. It's slight enough that you can focus on sensations without being overwhelmed by girth. It's firm enough to be specific yet sufficiently squishy to provide gentle enough stimulation for the sensitive cervix.
Click here for a great how-to on cervical pleasure.