Spa menus are looking a lot different than they used to, with new massage modalities ranging from the woo-woo to the downright weird—think CBD-infused rub downs, high-vibe crystal massages, and celebrity-approved treatments that involve biting. (Yes, that’s a thing apparently.) But there’s one type of out-there massage that you definitely won’t be seeing at your favorite day spa any time soon: yoni massage.
Basically, a yoni massage is a tantric massage for your vagina, and its roots go way back. “The word ‘yoni’ comes from the ancient Sanskrit language,” says advanced certified tantra educator Mare Simone, who learned about yoni massage from Charles Muir, aka the godfather of tantra. “It means the sacred space where life comes from.”
Although a yoni massage can definitely lead to climax, an orgasm is actually not the intention. “The main goal [of a yoni massage] is really about healing and awakening pleasure,” Simone says. It’s meant to be an incredibly powerful, transformational experience more than anything else. (But if the Big O does happen, who’s going to complain?)
One of the benefits of a yoni massage is education. Most women are familiar with the external parts of the vagina, like the clitoris, but a lot of a woman’s erogenous zones are hidden, Simone says. Learning how to connect more with what’s inside the vaginal canal—hello, G spot!—can be super eye-opening.
The other major benefit of a yoni massage, Simone says, is to release tension and emotions that women tend to hold in their pelvic areas without even knowing it. And it doesn’t even have to be from violent sexual trauma, either—sometimes it’s just the fact that sex is still considered taboo or shameful in many circles.
You can give yourself a yoni massage or it can be done by a partner or even a professional, like Simone. But, for the sake of this article, she’s sharing the skinny on how to massage your own nether region. Just think of it as an especially mindful form of masturbation.
Keep reading for step-by-step tips on how to give yourself a yoni massage.
Yoni massage 101
1. Create some ambiance
Before you get your yoni massage on, Simone suggests setting the scene with some mood lighting and perhaps taking a bath beforehand. And don’t shy away from making it special—for instance, you could sprinkle some flowers petals in the bath or on the bed, if that’s your thing.
2. Get clear on what you want from the experience
Simone recommends starting your massage by setting an intention that’s bigger than just having an orgasm. It could be something like opening your heart or attracting a partner. “These kind of intentions create a deeper pool for potential pleasure,” she says. “Then it becomes about something beyond the physical. That’s when it becomes truly a magical, cosmic, sexual experience. The kind that leaves you feeling transformed and liberated.”
3. Start with stillness
Before you get down to business, take a few moments to be still and connect with your body. Simone prescribes a mudra, which is a position of the hands that generates energy. To create the mudra, make a heart with your hands by touching your thumb and fingers together. Put the heart-shaped mudra directly over your vulva so your thumbs touch the base of the clitoris and your fingers are touching the shaft of the clitoris. Then just breathe into that space and feel whatever comes up without any expectation, she says. She says you can also take this time to have a little chat with your yoni, asking it what it wants and how it’s doing. (It won’t mind if you laugh while you’re doing this, promise.)
If the mood strikes, you can also add some movement to the mudra. “Dancing and making undulations and hip circles is a great way to warm up for a yoni massage,” Simone says. “It builds power and builds the blood flow into that region and gets it really easily engorged.”
4. Get handsy
Once you feel ready, you can start the massage action—and feel free to explore a little further than you usually would during your solo sexy time. “It’s really important to massage and palpate the entire vulva,” Simone says. This is also the perfect time to whip out some lubricant. Simone likes keeping things natural with some good old multi-purpose coconut oil, although there are now tons of clean lubes you can choose from. (What a time to be alive!)
There are various techniques in tantra that are used during a yoni massage. Penetration is one of them. Start with one finger, Simone says, preferably from your non dominant hand. (It’s more gentle.) Then, place your other hand over the clitoris. Making contact inside and outside simultaneously connects both areas. Next, you can tap the upper wall of the vaginal canal with your finger to fire up that area. Then move into circular movements and side-to-side strokes.
5. Listen your body
Throughout the process, the most important thing to remember is to move slowly. “Be curious and listen to [your] yoni with no goal other than to be with what’s present and honor her,” Simone says.
Feel for any tension, pain, or numbness. If you find some, hold that area and breathe into it to help release whatever is there. All sorts of emotions—fear, anger, sadness—or memories can arise. Simone recommends embracing it all and letting it up come up to the surface. Making any sounds that you need to make is also highly encouraged.
6. Pause if you get excited
Although it might be difficult, Simone encourages you to pause right before the happy ending. “Feel the excitement building and disperse some of that energy around, because then the orgasm becomes deeper and more fulfilling,” she says. “If you’re just racing towards the climax, it can be a very quick peak. But if a woman slows down and really trains herself to feel arousal like ripples of an ocean radiating throughout the body, then orgasm becomes big waves that continue.” Noted.
7. Enjoy the afterglow
Once your yoni massage has come to an end, take a moment to soak it all in, Simone says. She recommends cupping your yoni with one hand and placing the other hand on an area of your body where you want to channel that energy.
Afterwards, you can meditate or take a nap. Journaling is also a really powerful post-yoni-massage ritual. “So much can happen during [a yoni massage] that if you don’t capture it somehow, you might lose some of the subtle nuances of being in such a deep, connected place,” Simone explains. What was the experience like? What feelings, images, or memories came up? Write it all down—feel free to do it all again tomorrow.
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