Sex Advice

How to Give Yourself a Yoni Massage for Serious Sexual Empowerment

Photo: Getty Images/Philipp Nemenz
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.”

A yoni massage, however, doesn’t just involve the vagina. Rosie Rees, a sexuality coach and founder of Yoni Pleasure Palace, an online retailer offering wellness products such as the glass pleasure wand called The Cervix Serpent, which can be used in a self-lead yoni massage, defines a yoni massage as “a full body tantric massage that includes the buttocks, breasts, vulva, and vagina” with consent from the recipient every step of the way, of course.

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?)

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.

Rees adds that yoni massages also teach you how to fully receive. “Becoming open to receiving is one of the most powerful aspects of a yoni massage,” she says. “The art of surrendering and receiving nurturing touch with no expectation to have an orgasm, perform, or give anything in return has the ability to heal many layers of sexual trauma.”

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, experts share the skinny on how to massage your own nether region. Just think of it as an especially mindful form of masturbation.

How to give yourself a yoni massage

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 [your yoni],” 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 [you] slow down and really train [yourself] 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.

Bonus yoni massage techniques

According to Laura Elizabeth, an embodiment coach and yoni massage therapist, yoni massage techniques are only limited by your imagination. In other words, listen to your body and do whatever feels good for you. That said, in case you need some more inspo, here’s three more techniques to try.

Touch and breathe

If you’re a yoni massage newbie and just want to dip your toes (er, hands) into the practice, Elizabeth recommends simply placing one or both of your hands over the yoni and focusing on breathing deeply to establish a connection.

Downward strokes

To wake up the yoni, “generously apply lubricant over the vulva and sweep your entire hand in downward strokes to bring stimulation and blood flow to the vulva,” Elizabeth says.

Push and pull

Take your yoni massage up a notch by engaging the clitoris. To do this, Elizabeth instructs first sliding a finger inside the outer labia and stroking either side of the cliteral hood. Applying a gentle push/pull pressure over the clitoral hood can intensify the sensation, she says.

3 reasons yoni massage is beneficial

1. Teaches you your pleasure anatomy

One of the benefits of a yoni massage is education. Most vagina owners are familiar with the external parts of the vagina, like the clitoris, but a lot of 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.

Elizabeth adds that a yoni massage, also referred to as a yoni mapping session, can teach you a lot about each pleasure zone within your body and how it responds to touch and stimulation.

2. Helps ditch shame

While it’s often easier to swap stories with your besties over other wellness-y things, like your favorite matcha latte, for instance, openly talking about self-pleasure and sexuality isn’t always the norm. Yoni massages can help open up the conversation. “Yoni massage can be a wonderful tool to release shame around body image, pleasure, and sexuality,”  Elizabeth says. “Being witnessed in [your] vulnerability and given permission to receive pleasure is massively cathartic and healing.”

3. Connects you to your body

In a world where we tend to live in our heads a lot, yoni massages can help cultivate a deeper connection to our bodies. Elizabeth says yoni massages can help bring you into a very grounded and embodied space to really tune into you and your yoni’s needs and desires. Not only are you feeling yourself during a yoni massage (literally), you’re also triggering stimulation and blow flow to the yoni which can often feel numb or tender. A yoni massage helps relax the muscles within and around the vagina making it easier to experience pleasure.

The takeaway

All in all, yoni massages are a great (and sexy!) way to deepen your connection with your body and your yoni and feel more empowered overall. Developing awareness around what activates arousal is a powerful tool for transformation, Elizabeth says. Positive side effects, she adds, include general wellbeing, vitality, increased energy, a positive body image, releasing stored tension, and—you guessed it—better orgasms. It’s no wonder the practice is quickly gaining popularity.

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