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It’s Okay To Give Yourself Some Love

This is part of a series of blogs for Sex Ed For All Month and International Masturbation Month. 

Masturbation goes by many names: solo sex, self-love, intimate alone time, lone rangering, finding Nemo, petting the cat, nulling the void, cuffing the carrot, waxing the dolphin (and many others ). Those of you that know me,  know that I love talking about masturbation. I think that masturbation is a revolutionary act of self-love that we need to talk about (and do) more. I want to note at the beginning of this blog that not everyone masturbates, not everyone feels pleasure from sex, and that not having the desire to explore masturbation is completely valid and 100% okay. If you don’t want to masturbate, then you shouldn’t. However, this blog is written in response to a society that diminishes the pleasure of people, specifically people with marginalized identities, and advocates that masturbation is a radical act that defies a harmful culture.

As a sex therapist and a sexual health educator, I know that masturbation has many positive health effects including improving sleep, increasing body positivity, and reducing stress. Masturbation can be a great way to get to know your body, explore how you feel pleasure and practice of how we care for ourselves. As a survivor, I have found that masturbation can mean reclaiming parts of myself that I thought were damaged beyond repair and feeling like they are mine again. For some survivors, masturbation can form a pathway towards healing and can be incredibly powerful.

Masturbation is a great way to feel sexual pleasure without the risk of STIs or unwanted pregnancies. Since this is also #SexEdForAll month, I wanted to note that I think masturbation or solo sex is not mentioned enough in sex education. People who push abstinence as the only way to avoid pregnancy/STI transmission should remember that those don’t happen during solo sex.

As a person who identifies as female, I think it is important to talk about self-pleasure because I have received a lot of messages throughout most of my life that for me masturbation is wrong, dirty, and off-limits. Society doesn’t want some people to feel good about their bodies and a lot of the messaging and media that is produced focuses only on heterosexual male pleasure (I want to note that as white, non-physically disabled, young-ish female I know that I have a lot more privilege in this department than many others). I have struggled most of my life with internalizing messages that my body isn’t good enough, that sex is something I need to do for someone else, and that if I have pleasure for myself that I am selfish, ugly, or a whore. I am here to say ENOUGH. I encourage you all to actively defy what people say you can’t have and find pleasure within yourself.

Masturbation can be hard if we have felt shame surrounding our body, our sexuality, or other parts of our identity. Be gentle with yourself. Your body is amazing. You are amazing. You deserve pleasure and self-love. This month I encourage you to explore how you can love your body in ways that may or may not include masturbation, but that celebrate you.

So, for all of you who are hesitant to try solo sex, I challenge you to go to a quiet place, get comfortable, and get to know that beautiful body of yours. There are a lot of ways that people find pleasure in solo sex but if you are looking for some accessible pleasure devices give these or these a try.  And while you’re getting better acquainted, here are some playlists to get the mood right:

Masturbation Song Playlist by Cosmopolitan Magazine

Spotify Sexy Masturbation Playlist


If you aren’t familiar with these amazing sexual health organizations check them out:

HEART Women & Girls



Planned Parenthood

The Guttmacher Institute

Advocates for Youth



Amanda is a Sexual Health Educator, Sex Therapist, and Violence Preventionist at The Michigan Coalition To End Domestic and Sexual Violence, hoping to generate a conversation to discuss increasing access to age-appropriate, evidence-based, accurate, and affirming sexual health information. If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual violence, our trained advocates are available to talk 24 hours a day toll-free at 1-855-VOICES-4 (1-855-864-2374).

Other Ways to Reach Our Hotline:

Chat is a way for survivors to receive services via the MCEDSV website. This is web-based, survivors are encouraged to clear their web browser after each contact.

Text: 866-238-1454 is for individuals who prefer the convenience of texting. The text line offers the same confidential and anonymous service as the chat and hotline, with the added convenience of you sending messages discreetly via your mobile device. Survivors are encouraged to delete messages after each text session has ended. *Standard text messaging rates apply