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Dr. Jacquelyn Paykel
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Sexual Health
Even today masturbation is still one of the most uncomfortable topics for women. Generally
speaking, women have been socialized to believe our sexual needs and desires are less our own
needs and desires a seat at the table. Because of cultural taboos, many women feel that the urge
to masturbate is somehow wrong, or they feel guilt or shame. There is enormous potential for
healing through honoring our sexuality, expressing it, and experiencing it with joy.

What's the
best way for women to have an orgasm through masturbation (AKA self-
stimulation)
?  If you don't know exactly what it is you like or what it takes for you to reach orgasm,
it's a good idea to practice.  For some people the very idea of stimulating themselves can seem
worrying, or unappealing, or shameful. It’s a good idea if women can rid themselves of these
feelings.

Masturbation is a great way to lessen tension in your body. It’s a very safe way to have an orgasm.
And it’s probably the best way to learn about how your body likes to be loved.  But masturbation, like
most things, takes practice. And the only way to learn about your own sexual response is to try it.

If you have never tried masturbation, or you want to do it in such a way that will be more pleasurable
and satisfying then it has been in the past, then you might need to plan how and when to do it,
rather than leave it to chance.

For a start, you need to ensure that you’re going to have adequate time to yourself and that you
won't be interrupted.

  • Begin by taking a shower, or a long, luxurious, scented bath. Soap your body all over and
    enjoy touching your breasts and your genitals in particular.
  • Dry yourself carefully, then rub your favorite lotion all over your body. Keep touching your
    body everywhere - it might be a good idea to stand in front of a mirror while you do it. This is
    your body – a body capable of giving you great pleasure – so enjoy looking at it and getting
    used to the sight and feel of it.
  • At this point, as long as you know that you're in no danger of being disturbed, move to your
    bedroom. Make sure that it is warm and comfortable. Put on some relaxing music if you like.
    And just enjoy yourself.
  • Lie down on your bed and use a mirror to look at your private and intimate places. Gently
    spread your labia: you may want to use a spot of lubrication There are very nice modern
    ones that increase the sensuousness of the occasion – such as Wet, Liquid Silk and Pjur.
    But if you don’t have any lubrication, then use vaginal secretion.
  • Try to tighten and relax the muscles at the base of the pelvis.
  • If you find it difficult to know whether you're doing this successfully, try inserting a couple of
    fingers inside your vagina. That way, you'll be able to feel whether you're tightening and
    relaxing the muscles or not. Many women much prefer masturbation if they can feel some
    bulk in the vagina at the same time as they stimulate the clitoris – so touching yourself
    internally might feel very good indeed.
  • If you now tighten and relax the muscles in rapid succession you will feel contractions of the
    kind that many women experience when having an orgasm.
  • You might also notice a warm sensation in your abdomen. Try touching yourself all over
    your body, including the breasts and your genitals where you will quickly find the most
    sensitive spots. In particular, experiment near the opening of the vagina and clitoris and
    stimulate yourself in whatever way feels best. So long as you do not rush, and you are
    keeping relaxed, then your own fingers will automatically do the right thing and will move
    with the right amount of speed and intensity for you.
  • Try to familiarize yourself with exactly how touching yourself makes you feel. Ignore
    everything around you. Just think about what is going on inside you, or fantasize about
    making love with someone you care for, or with a celebrity, or in some beautiful and
    romantic place.
  • While you touch yourself, you might like to look at something that turns you on - pictures,
    perhaps, a film; even a sexy book. Interestingly men and women differ somewhat is what
    they find arousing. Most men like graphic pictures of sexy women or of people having sex.
    Women are frequently much more turned on by words – so an erotic novel can often
    increase a woman’s pleasure.
  • If your sexual tension rises, keep going. If you have never previously masturbated to
    orgasm, you might suddenly feel tired and want to stop. Or you may be nervous about the
    build up of excitement in your body. Don’t worry about this. Just take your time. And if you
    don’t want to go on right now, then that’s fine. You can always try again another day.
    Eventually, the pleasant feelings will build up and you’ll be comfortable with this and
    increasingly excited and you won’t want to stop. When that happens, you will almost
    certainly suddenly experience a huge rush of ecstatic feeling and you will bring yourself to
    orgasm.
  • For some women it is not enough to just use their fingers - they like to use sex aids as well.
    A vibrator may be useful, or you could try stimulating yourself with the hand spray when you
    are in the shower. Use your fingers at the same time.
  • If they follow the guidelines above, almost everyone should be able to learn to masturbate
    and have an orgasm. But remember, these are only guidelines. Experiment, and you may
    well find a better way to turn yourself on.

Like other sexual activity, masturbation can be improved by varying how you do it.  This is
particularly true for women who are between relationships and for whom masturbation is the sole
sexual activity at that period in their lives. Most women find that their fingers do the trick wonderfully
– as they instinctively match their speed or weight to our requirements. But a vibrator can help
someone who finds it hard to get to orgasm and can also be useful as a change from digital
masturbation.

When it comes to vibrators, don’t necessarily assume that something that is a market-leader is
necessarily going to be the best thing for you. It might not be. We all have different likes and
dislikes. Buying vibrators and other sex aids including lubrication and erotic literature is now much
easier for women than it was in the past as there are a number of online sex shops for women that
are a pleasure to ‘shop’ in.
It is universally known that the male orgasm plays a key reproductive role, important for the
continuation of the human race. However, the scientific and evolutionary role of the female orgasm
is still the subject of much debate.  The differentiation of gender is determined during fetal
development in and around the fourth week post conception.  The Y chromosome contains the
gene SRY (Sex-determining region of the Y chromosome) that makes a fetus male. This gene
Both XX and XY fetuses also have another gene, DAX -- 1. This gene is suppressed in male fetal
female reproductive organs. After six weeks post conception, there is the beginning of a clear
differentiation of gonads.

During this week of development, the male fetus develops the Wolffian ducts that suppresses the
female Mullerian ducts and causes them to regress.  The Mullerian ducts form the uterus, oviducts
and the inner part of the vagina.  Simultaneously, the external genitalia begin to develop from a
region known as the cloaca, which forms in both sexes a urethral fold, genital swelling and genital
tubercule.  The difference is that the genital tubercule in males will elongate to form the penis. In
females, it becomes the much shorter clitoris. As a result, the same tissue that composes the
penis also composes the clitoris. In total, there are about 8000 nerve endings in the clitoris. This
makes the clitoris one of the primary sources of sexual pleasure in females.

Today, there are two principal types of female orgasms: orgasms from clitoral stimulation, and
orgasms from G Spot stimulation. The clitoris is an obvious example because of the sensitivity of
the area due to its densely packed nerves. The G spot is reportedly said to be located along the top
of the vagina approximately 2 to 3 inches from the opening. However, according to two notable
sexologists, William Masters and Virginia Johnson, their findings do not fully support full sexual
stimulation within the vagina.  (It is now known that only 19% of women every experience a vaginal
orgasm throughout their lifetime.)  The findings of the Masters and Johnson's studies published
some fifty years ago emphasized the importance of sexual pleasure around the clitoris.  

Still, for years, the G Spot continued to be an area of discussion for sexologists and society alike.  
The G spot is named after the German sexologist Ernst Grafenberg who discovered it in the 1950s.
He proposed that women have a sensitive spot in the vagina three to five centimeters from the
opening that is said to be sexually pleasing for women when stimulated.  However, only a small
percentage of women claim to orgasm from the G Spot only.  

For centuries, patriarchal societies were determined to keep female sexuality under wraps. Frigidity
was a "disorder" of women but was also held as a societal expectation of the "good" woman.  Until
recently, many men were convinced that only their gender was capable of sexual pleasure.  
Historically,  the sexual double standards have made it very difficult for women to be open about
their ideas of sexuality.

Today,considerable thought has been given to finding a practical function for the female orgasm.
Current debates give various theories on the evolutionary and re-productive purpose of the clitoris.
In the 1980s, notable scientist Stephen Jay Gould published an essay in
Natural History that
sparked an intense debate about the evolutionary role of female orgasm. Gould postulated that the
strong vaginal muscle contractions aided in guiding semen closer to the cervix, giving the female
orgasm a functional purpose to aid in procreative efforts. In response, others argued that female
orgasm is primarily recreational based upon research of primates from other scientists. Although
both theories may be correct to some degree, there is still no concrete explanation for the female
orgasm.


Paraphrased from an article published in the Johns Hopkins News-Letter November 17, 2011