The Fam, Love + Sex, Love, Advice, Wellness

8 things you should do (& 4 you should NOT) if you are struggling with self-love

Wash your hands, warm your vibrators, and kick stigma to the curb.

We asked the Tempest Fam to tell us all about the best – and worst – advice they’ve ever gotten about masturbation. Here’s what they said.

Masturbation is a tricky subject because so few people feel comfortable discussing it. One of the downsides of this is that many of us didn’t quite know how to before we had years of practice. So, we wanted you to (anonymously) share the best and worst advice about self-pleasure you’ve ever received.

All in the name of sex ed, of course. So here’s the good stuff.

1. Do it on your own terms.

[Gif description: A girl with a red bob-style cut saying, “No, I’m no one’s wife but… oh, I love my life!] via giphy.com
Plenty of you said that masturbation is best when you relax and try it out at your own pace, on your own terms. We love that! Others added that masturbation is a great way to get yourself to relax and fall asleep.

2. Keep those nails short.

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Some other great masturbation advice? It’s important to remember to stay hygienic – and don’t hurt yourself. “Wash your hands before you touch the nether region! And make sure your nails are short and trimmed!” one reader wrote.

3. Lube, lube, lube!

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A reader mentions that lubricant can be a great way to avoid hurting yourself, especially if you’re using sex toys. “If you use any sort of toy, USE LUBE. Don’t be afraid to over-lube. You can never have enough lube. But also, do your research in case you’re allergic to any ingredients,” they wrote. Another reader suggested warming sex toys up before using them on cold nights.

4. Get ready to spice up your love life.

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One reader shared that masturbation can enhance your sex life with your partner: “You can, and in many cases probably should still masturbate when you are in a relationship. It can be a good way for you to work out what you like so that you can communicate that to your partner(s). Also, watching a partner masturbate, or being watched, can be a super fun couple activity.”

5. But sometimes doing it on your own? More fun.

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Indeed, some people even prefer masturbation to sex – and that’s totally okay.

6. Get to know yourself.

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Another shared that exploring your own body is essential to enjoying masturbation. “Explore different ways of pleasuring yourself! You’ll experience different sorts of orgasms. (i.e., vibrator, toys, your fingers) Also, don’t be afraid to learn about YOUR body and become even more familiar with YOUR body,” one reader wrote. “Take your time to figure out what you like. Make sure you get nice and wet before sticking anything in anywhere,” another added.

7. Turn that TV on.

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One way to figure out what you might like? Porn! “Best advice: watch lesbian porn, you can learn a lot about the right place to exact the best orgasm,” someone shared.

8. Or music.

[Gif Description: Woman with orange hair singing, “Oh girls, they wanna have fun.] via giphy.com
If you’re feeling self-conscious about masturbating, music might help, according to one reader. “I’m self-conscious especially because I live with roommates and I don’t like feeling like there’s anyone else around. I put on my big over the ear headphones and play some music,” they said.

That was the good advice. What was the worst advice our readers received? Our survey showed that one of the most pervasive myths about masturbation is that it’s “wrong.”

But bad advice can get in the way of everything. 

1. Society blows.

[Gif description: Man awkwardly saying “…Surprise!’] via Giphy.
“I never really got much in the way of masturbation advice, but like a lot of people, I got the general impression from the way society talks about masturbation that it was somehow immoral, or reflected a kind of sick obsession with sex, rather than that it is a safe, healthy, good way to explore sexual pleasure. And the toxic idea that it is something reserved for lonely, gross people who can’t get laid,” someone explained.

Another person had the same experience. “[I was told] that masturbation is wrong but honestly it’s completely natural! Women should be allowed to explore their bodies and sexuality the same as men!”

While some people choose not to masturbate because of their religious or spiritual convictions – or for other reasons – wanting to masturbate is totally okay. Many folks feel ashamed of doing it because of the stigma that surrounds it, which makes us all the more proud for speaking up about this topic!

2. KEEP THOSE NAILS SHORT.

[Gif Description: Woman throwing her hands up and saying, “Woah”.] via Giphy
“‘Don’t worry about masturbating with long nails, it won’t hurt!’ Yes, thank you I ended up with painful scratches down there. Not enjoyable,” someone wrote. Ouch.

3. Uh, and no kitchenware.

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“Use a pan’s handle to masturbate,” another said.

4. Or toothbrushes.

[Gif Description: A woman with a panicked face.] via giphy.com
My personal favorite? “To use a toothbrush up my butthole. It just sounds very unhygienic.” Seriously, why do people think dental hygiene and masturbation are a good mix?

At the end of the day, don’t forget this:

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One of my favorite survey responses was that masturbation advice isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation. What’s boring for you might be pleasurable for the next person. “The best advice I have received is that masturbation isn’t about what works, it’s about what works “for me”,” they said. “And as I’ve grown up I have come to realize what works and what doesn’t work specifically for me and that’s made all the difference.”

If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that the Tempest Fam is ready to kick the taboo to the curb.