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6 Ways to Masturbate Without Touching Your Genitals—and Why You’d Want to, According to a Sex Educator

Erin Bunch

Erin BunchMay 29, 2020

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Our current crisis seems to be impacting everyone’s sex drive right now, albeit in different ways. Maybe you’re horny AF because you haven’t had human contact in weeks. Or maybe physical intimacy no longer even registers on your hierarchy of needs. Wherever you fall on the spectrum between those two extremes, Kiana Reeves, sex educator and chief education officer for cannabis wellness brand Foria, has a message to share: Prioritizing self-pleasure is important, and it’s entirely possible to practice masturbating without touching your genitals at all.

As a reminder, masturbation offers a host of benefits, from stress and anxiety reduction to sleep enhancement and beyond. So there’s clear potential value to be had in revving yourself up, but where we need to think a little broader in our understanding, according to Reeves, is our widely held focus on genital-specific stimulation.

By definition, masturbation means stimulating your own genitals for pleasure, but Reeves believes that could be expanded, given that our reproductive organs are not the only part of our body involved in the experience of sexual pleasure. “Our entire body, including our largest sexual organ, the brain, are involved in pleasure—so why not extend our idea of masturbation?” she says. “I define masturbation as touching and moving your own body in a way that feeds the sensual and sexual connection you have with yourself. We have erogenous zones all over that can be incorporated into how we experience sexual pleasure.”

“I define masturbation as touching and moving your own body in a way that feeds the sensual and sexual connection you have with yourself.” —Kiana Reeves, sex educator

By simply expanding our idea of what it means to masturbate, Reeves believes we can reimagine what’s often a routine activity that’s focused on an endpoint into something more exploratory and novel. “We tend to be goal-oriented during masturbation and focus so much on the genitals that we forget we have an entire body that loves to be touched,” she says.

3 benefits of masturbating without touching your genitals

1. It acts as solo foreplay

Including movement and other sensations into self-pleasure rituals can act as solo foreplay of sorts, says Reeves, dialing up heat for when we eventually do get to touching genitals.

2. It connects us with our pleasure

She also believes that experimenting in this way can essentially turn on a faucet that changes the way we experience everyday life. “Touching ourselves lovingly and with desire can keep the sensual juices flowing for us throughout the day, and keep us connected to feeling pleasure in our bodies,” she says. “This can be a positive anchor that can balance out emotions that are harder to deal with, especially when we are feeling stress or overwhelmed,” she says.

3. It helps you know yourself

Also, masturbating without touching your genitals can help you “be your own best lover,” Reeves says. “We each are so incredibly unique that giving yourself full permission to explore your own body is a sort of liberation from what we have been taught, and you might just be surprised as to what actually feels good. But you won’t know unless you try.”

To try your own hand at masturbating without touching genitals for yourself, try Reeves’ six specific suggestions below.

6 tips for masturbating without touching your genitals, according to a sex educator

1. Stimulate your breasts

Reeves says to consider how you like your breasts to be touched, and then go from there. “Full hands, playing with your nipples, oil or no oil? Experiment with different types of touch—soft, firm, cupping, tugging, pinching, etc,” she says. After all, breast orgasms are a legit thing.

2. Smack that booty

Butts, says Reeves, are an underrated erogenous zone, and she’s a huge fan of massaging for pleasure benefits. “While it isn’t easy to massage our own butts, we can definitely feel their fullness and explore things like grabbing, spanking, shaking, etc.”

3. Dance

Every night after Reeves’ kids go to bed, she turns out the lights and gets busy by dancing on her own. “I grind it out like it’s 2 a.m. at a club, and the floor and walls are my lovers,” she says. “Honestly, [dance] is one of the most cathartic, embodied ways to keep the thread of sensuality alive and remain sparky with myself.”

4. Learn the art of self-massage

“Rub oil all over yourself in the way you would want a lover to,” she says. “Spending the time, effort, and attention can help you get a sense of how you really like to be touched, where you want touch to linger, what kind of pressure, attention, speed, and sensation you like.”

5. Experiment with sound

Anyone who’s ever screamed into a pillow knows just how cathartic it can be to just let sound rip. For this reason, Reeves suggests you make noise, not to release anger (as you may by screaming into a pillow) but sexual tension. “Sound moves things internally in our body,” she says. “It can move stuck emotion, allow us to expand our proprioception, which is the internal awareness of our body in space, and give us permission to take up space.” All of those components can help you access energy to feel sexy, and to orgasmic heights.

6. Breathe with intention

Reeves says breath plays a central role in every sexual experience for a number of reasons, namely for its calming effect. “When we breathe fully into our bellies, our muscles relax, our bodies are flooded with oxygen, circulation is supported, and our nervous system gets support,” she explains. And when you allow your breathing to slow and calm you, you’re in a better headspace to experience orgasm.

Plus, she adds, breathwork allows us to be present in our body’s experiences. “You may notice when you are with a partner, your breath might start to speed up and get louder, and when you get closer to climax, it might get shorter and come at quicker intervals,” she says. “Use breathing with yourself as an experiment of paying attention to your own breathing patterns, and when you notice a tensing of your breath, try breathing deeper to see how that changes your experience.”

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