ON-DEMAND

Masturbation as Self Care

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Streamed
Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Masturbation is normal, healthy, and can be a huge part of our self care! Join Afrosexology as they answer questions about masturbation, dispelling myths, and speaking truth.

Video transcript

Welcome to Masturbation as Self Care. We are going to be talking about masturbation in terms of some benefits, right? Things related to health, things related to your mood. But, what we have actually done is ask people for some of their questions, so we're going to be picking from a jar. - Yeah. - So we've received your questions, we want to draw from the jar and respond to your questions. - Yeah. Before we get started, though, we want to talk a bit about Afrosexology, for those of you who are new to us or have heard about us from O.School, we are Afrosexology, the two of us, and we're a pleasure based platform. We do workshops, we curate educational information, created some really dope worksheets, and just a lot of really fun experiences online and in person for people of color, particularly black people, to talk about sexual pleasure, to talk about their sexual liberation. We do workshops from any topic from like radical twerking to talking about masturbation to all types to working with parents and their youth to open up conversations about sex and sexuality. We pretty much say, if you're black, we got you, no conversations off the table. We love talking about pleasure, we love creating spaces for us to center our joy and the things that make our bodies feel good. So we're really excited to be doing this, especially masturbation is one of our favorite things to talk about. It is, I feel like every, almost every large thing we've done with O.School has been on some variation about masturbation, there's just so much you can talk about. And we even recently just created a solo sex workbook. That's over 50 pages and it's all about your solo sex journey, how do you get deeper in tune with yourself, your erotic self. It was so much fun putting it together and so much fun watching people navigate it and also that they're learning about themselves, and so for all of you special viewers out there, if you go to our website and put in code pleasure, you can get a 15% discount on our solo sex workbook. - All right, so. - Look at these comments. - I know. - You look gorgeous. - Thank you. Thank you. Radical twerking, yay. - Got to do a celebratory twerk, get your day started. All right, so, again, the code is pleasure. And you want to type that in. - I'll type it in for y'all. Get it really close. - Give you 15% off. So definitely check that out. Like Dalychia said, we have a bunch of workshops, so you can check that out on our website, as well. And then definitely give us your feedback. We are always interested in knowing how everything turns out with the work that we do put out there, so we want to know about your experiences. So don't hesitate to let us know. We look forward to all of it. - Thank you, Maya. So on that note, we also have a moderator in the stream, which is Maya, who's in the stream right now putting up some different guidelines and agreements for all of us to follow. Maya will be moderating to make sure that the comment section doesn't get out of hand. And if anything does get out of hand, hate speech or harassment of any kind, then Maya will kindly dismiss you from the chat. What else do I need to say before we get started? So this live stream will be different than like other live streams that we've been doing a workshop format with our old curriculum. This one is really just us answering questions that O.School viewers have submitted. Some of our viewers have submitted. And if at any time you have questions about masturbation that you want to throw into the box, please do, and if we have time, once we get done with these, we will be sure to come around and answer some of y'alls questions. So if Maya could keep a running tab of questions I get asked and then like at the end you can populate that for us in one message, that'd be helpful. - All right, so. You ready to get started? - Yeah. Thank you, Maya. - Shake it up for variety, you know. - Oh. - Do the honors. - Okay. Is masturbation supposed to include penetration? Am I answering or? - Yes. - Oh, Okay. No. It doesn't. So one thing we love doing is just really redefining sex, in general, to be about anything that brings, that you do with someone else and with yourself that brings you pleasure. I think we have a very limited idea of sex. A very patriarchal idea of sex that involves penis and vagina penetration. That we often say that sex begins with penetration, ends with orgasm. Which would be tricky when we're talking, which, it doesn't, first, but it could also be tricky when we're talking about masturbation, where penetration is not necessary to be able to engage in sex, but we often times, because we think of sex as always involving penetration that sometimes we feel like we have to include penetration to have sex. And even solo sex. And so our clitoris, if you have a clitoris, it is a beautiful, beautiful thing that's only purpose is pleasure, it has over 8,000 nerve endings, and it can bring you lots of pleasure, it can bring you to orgasm if that's something you desire, it makes you feel really good, can release a lot of great endorphins that you get when you do start feeling that pleasure. And that doesn't require any penetration. You can play with your clitoris, you can play with your body and without involving penetration at all. And also we feel that solo sex, masturbation, doesn't just have to be about your genitals. So it can be playing with your chest or your nipples or your breasts, or it could be playing with your ass, it could be playing with whatever makes you feel good, things that make your body feel good. That could be a part of your masturbation process. - Exploration. - Exploration, that's a better word. Process sounds very. Your masturbation exploration. - Exploration. - And yeah, so we don't think you have to involve penetration. If you want to penetrate during masturbation, go ahead. Penetrate your ass, penetrate whatever hole you want to penetrate, that's fine, and that is also another thing you can do when you are masturbating. For people who don't have a clitoris, masturbation often times doesn't include penetration unless you want to penetrate your ass. In that case, go ahead. Lots of fun, pleasurable sensations from that, as well. So yeah, anything you want to add? - I really like how you touched on, including our entire body as we begin to explore what feels good to us and explore masturbation because again, it can center around our genitals, but there are so many amazing things that feel good and then you can also use what you learned yourself with other people if you choose to engage in partnered sex. So I really like that. So I have nothing else to add, just echoing. All right. Next question. All right. My friends and I share our sex stories, but we never talk about masturbation. How could I bring this up more? I think this is definitely a very common situation because there's a lot of taboo and when it comes to masturbating, and so people may not want to share with other people that they are doing it. Especially when you think about some of the myths that center masturbating like, oh, you're single, or you can't get the real thing so that's why you're masturbating, and also some thoughts of it being like dirty and shameful. So having those type of dialogues or perspectives around it could definitely prevent you from talking about it, even if you do engage. So I think one thing is to like really normalize the practice, but, before you get there, maybe you can start like re-posting like really cool articles, repost a lot about masturbation. So you can definitely repost some of our content, and then that can kind of let people know that this is something that you're open about and willing to talk about, and then maybe people will start to have that conversation around you. But just to be shame free about it, and just how we'll normalize, oh, I was having, you know, I was having sex with somebody and this is what they did and this is what felt good, we can do the same thing and have the same conversations about our solo sex experiences. Because again, there's so many cool things that you can do and it can really enhance your experience with others. So I think it's like a win win. - Yeah, I love that. Yeah, I think we get a lot of, a lot of the work that we do with individuals, with groups around masturbation, unpacking masturbation shame, and we know that one of the best ways to unpack a lot of the shame we're carrying is to just talk about it and de-stigmatize it. So, increasingly being the person in your friend group who's down to say like, we be talking about so and so who ain't even whatever, all day long, but we can talk about something we do something for ourselves, and really just make it more of a casual conversation. And I try to be particular about talking to little ones or younger people in my family about masturbation so that they don't grow up feeling that this is something that they have to hide or has to be in secrecy. And I remember in so many of our workshops people have said, I thought I was the only one who was masturbating at the age of this, or, I thought I was the only one who liked to do this when I masturbated. And so I think talking about it more will really help to relieve a lot of the shame that a lot of people, especially people who were socialized as women, carry because we've been taught that we don't masturbate and that it's something that people with penises do because they have this uncontrollable sexual desire. And that people with vulvas don't. - And shouldn't. - Shouldn't. - Yeah. - Yeah. - That's a good one. Next one. If you all have things to add to what we're saying, please drop a comment, spread the knowledge. We're not the only ones out here with the information. We know y'all have experiences and lots of facts and knowledge, so please share. What you know. My partner does not like that I masturbate. How can I talk to them about this? Okay. - Sounds like the same thing we were just talking about could be like shame. - So. My initial reaction is like who told you what you could do with your body? No. - No we don't. - Nah, kick that to the curb. But, in reality, I don't know what the genders are of the person that they're talking about, but I will speak, I will say, the first thing that comes to mind, thinking of like heterosexual relationship is how a lot of times people socialized to be men believe that people socialized to be women are like their property. Like are for that so you're like, they should be the only ones to make you cum, they should be the only ones to know your body, they should be the ones to anyone else, they see often times, other people knowing how to please you or you knowing how to please yourself as a threat, so I think that is an ideology that we really need to break apart and try to figure out what it is that your partner, like what is it that your partner has an issue with. Does your partner not like, or feels insecure or weird that you orgasm loader by yourself than you do with them? Do they feel left out of the situation because you orgasming or masturbating all the time when they're right next to you and they also want to be engaged? Do they feel like, do they have shame about their relationship to masturbation and so they feel that shame coming up when you're talking about your relationship to masturbation? I would really want to explore what the underlying issue is. If the issue is I'm the one who does that to you and no one else should, including yourself. You gotta question some other things, other things that's going on because that probably says a lot more about the other dynamics in your sex life with that person and the relationship, overall, probably. But yeah, I think really expecting, I mean, a lot of us are carrying a lot of shame and negative messages and misinformation about masturbation and so it might take you building some education with your partner to explain to them that masturbation is normal, it's healthy. The health benefits of it. It could take you doing some work to involve them more, to help them heal in their masturbation journey, in their solo sex journey, and maybe like something you can all do together. But I would definitely not stop masturbating because you're in a relationship. It's also that we think that masturbation is only something to do when you're single and not when you're in a partnership you don't do that anymore. And we know that, I know that my body is constantly changing and I am the expert on my body, and so masturbation is a great way for me to constantly be aware of all of the changes that my body is going through, all the different things that are bringing me pleasure, but also like I know myself best. Something else that just came up. Superhero, super something, when she was like, when I look at myself in the mirror, I see something different from what you see because I see myself before you. You've seen yourself before this person and you're gonna know yourself after this person. So just keep that relationship to yourself. So I think it's, there's a lot of stigma and a lot of stereotypes that need to be broken in that relationship and talking about it is the best way to do that and if they're not willing to see eye to eye than you take your masturbating self somewhere else. - I really like how you gave attention a little bit on insecurity aspect that could be present. Because I know when I was growing up I heard people say, like, you know, that if we use a tampon that would like make you loose and you know, having people say like, I remember when I was in high school, like some guys saying like I don't date girls who use that because they're loose. And I guess I'm like, well, nevermind, but it's just like, dealing with the insecurity of the power is really, to me, the real issue is like this person knows their body, they're secure in their body, they know what they like, they're able to do that. I think can be very intimidating. Yeah. - Okay. You know, the world doesn't deal with an entire person. You know your body. Something that you said that I do wanna like bring up. So I was at a workshop. We were at Sex XL this weekend, just a little bit of fun. Our friend Vanessa, who does-- just did a workshop around esteem, self esteem on your vulva, and something that came up was this whole thing about loose versus tight. And something that was really great that was shared that we like came together in the workshop to understand that, the whole concept needs to go away. Yes, but also, someone was like, your pussy shouldn't be tight. If it's tight, that means you're not ready. - You're not ready, yeah. - You're not ready. So this whole thing about like I wanna be tight, I wanna be tight. If you're tight, you're not aroused. 'Cause when you're aroused, your vaginal canal opens up. - Right. - You have the juices flow, it's not tight. So this whole thing around, they were saying the whole thing around with tight pussy is it's also a manifestation of like rape culture and wanting to force someone into submitting into sex, and so that really helped me to just put another layer to why we need to stop saying, my pussy's tight, or this makes your pussy tighter, this makes your pussy loose, because these are all-- The muscles are here, the muscles contract. But also they had this whole idea that like a pussy should be tight. It's not accurate. Yeah. So I just loved that. - Thank you for adding that. You set us some room. And thank you all for your questions. We will definitely get to those closer to the end, if we have time. So continue to put those in there, and we're gonna go onto the next question. - Nice. - We'll just keep going. Yeah, so this doesn't-- Masturbation only-- - No I said that, but the question was about penetration. - Okay, well. This question was, does masturbation only involve my genitals? So, we kinda touched base on this during the previous conversation. But there are so many places on our body that drives and gives us pleasure and feels good, that they definitely, definitely deserve time to be explored. You just never know. Sometimes you could just be sitting down. Something just brushes across your shoulder, and you're like, oh, that feels good. And like, you know, a lot of people have sensitivity around their neck and their ears, and how can you explore that on your own? So a lot of times, especially when it's involving other parts of our body, it's something that we are wanting our partner to maybe massage or rub or tease, but how can we also use our solo sex time to explore that for ourselves. So the short answer is no. You don't only have to focus on your genital area in terms of masturbating, because there's so many other things. We had an article about nipple-gasms. And how many people do receive some type of pleasure from stimulating their nipples and their areolas, so again, it's just sitting down, taking the time to figure out what your pleasure zones are. - Yeah. - And kind of play and tease yourself to see what feels good, and see exactly what needs to be done. And it can feel different, and well it actually will feel different from what you're doing and versus another person doing something to you. But it's still good information to have because then you can try to direct the person that you're playing with or having sex with, so that you can have the maximum pleasure possible. - Yeah, yeah. I've been really exploring more so my sexual fantasies and like my dreams and going back to wet dreams, which is something that I think, I was only told about right around puberty time happens, you start having these wet dreams. But really, having brain-gasms, and not even feeling like I need to include any part of my physical body, but that in my pleasure world that I feel up in my mind that I can have all these amazing day dreams, night dreams, and I can-- That could be a part of my solo sex exploration as well. - Definitely. Alright, next question. - How do I, female, tell my, male, partner, that I feel I'm no longer getting enough attention during sexual activities? Communication. Yeah. But I'm no longer, so I wonder what's happened. What's changed? Because we also know that a lot, the external factors can influence how we feel internally, how we feel about our sexual arousal or sexual desire, so also wondering is your partner, or is your relationship under a particular stress? Is someone under more stress? Has your diets changed? Has health situations changed? Are people bored, and just feel like we need to try new things and switch it up more? So people are engaging in more to please. You know, actually taking some longer time to just explore themselves more? So I think that conversation is-- I mean, knowing your partner, do you want to have a direct conversation about like hey, I'm not feeling-- What am I trying to say? I'm not feeling super positive, no. Make it about yourself. So say like, I need something more in our sex life. I would like to try this, I would like to try more of this, I want less of this. Instead of making it about something that they're not doing, making it about what it is that you want to experience more of. I also think that we have some of the resources on our website like the, yes no maybe checklist. That could be a fun thing to say. Like, hey I was on Afrosexology's live stream and they talked about this cool worksheet. Do you want to try it together? And you can find out new things about each other that you might be open to try. But also wondering like how is communication around other aspects of your sex life? Is talking about sex something that y'all do often? And can you all find the time, outside of being directly in the moment, to start talking more openly about sex, and start asking your partner, you know, what are some things that you wanna experience sexually. Talk to him about some things that you want to experience sexually. So that it's not-- it doesn't become this huge foreign concept. I think so often people are afraid to even talk about what they want, that it just makes it even harder to talk when things are difficult or challenging. And so how can you increase conversation about sex overall in your relationship to where it becomes a more normal thing? To be able to say like, hey this thing that we try, I really like that, or this thing that we tried, it wasn't really working for me. So yeah, those are some suggestions about what to do now. - Yeah, that's it. I was really gonna kinda hone on picking like the time to have the conversation, because it can feel, it can feel bad, you know, if you say something right after you have sex with somebody, and they tell you all the things that they didn't like, or even just saying like, hey, I wasn't really feeling that. So try to find a more neutral time to have a conversation. And again, like you said, make it normal. Make it something that, hey, I know that after we do this, we're gonna kinda de-brief, and have some after care and talk about what we liked, what we didn't like, what we wanna try next time. And again, yeah, just really make that a habit. - I loved that, if you could talk more about what aftercare is. - Sure. So, when we're talking about after care, we are talking about the time after you have a play session or after you have sex to just kinda care on one another. Make sure that everyone involved is okay, that you're doing your check-ins. But also this can involve cuddling, just being really intimate in the moment. So that it's not like, oh I did this, wham bam thank you, and I'm out the door. Or if you live together, sometimes even going to another room to watch TV can feel really isolating and make you feel alone with your partner. So just making sure that you're dedicating some time to just really loving your partner in other ways and make sure they feel seen, they feel heard, that they're feeling loved. - Yeah. So we wanted to give credit. After care is a concept that is used in the kink community. And any good kink or BDSM scene or play, there is, before sex, before play, there is a conversation about what do you need after this to feel supported, to feel loved? Is it we need to go for ice cream together, we need to cuddle together, I need a blanket, I need for you to not pick up your phone. So it's a very specific conversation about what will after care look like so that you are not, like Rafaella was saying, so you're not just left feeling, sometimes people feel abandoned, people feel lonely, people feel ignored after sex, used. So after care is really something that the kink community developed to kind of work through that, and I love the concept, and so we should all be doing that in all of our sexual experiences, because there are so many times when you have sex with somebody, and then you like, it's like, am I leaving him? Are you calling an Uber? Am I spending the night? Or it's like someone rolls over and gets on their phone and you're just like, so was that not blowing your mind? Was I not, like, okay. You know, so having more exclusive conversations about what is our process after sex. Do we want to de-brief? Do we want to give each other affirmations and say what we really enjoyed? Do we want to make sure to have some intentional cuddle time, or we could be hungry 'cause we worked up an appetite. So just having those conversations more. And that could also be a great way to say like, to start bringing in the process of talking about sex and talking about the experience after you have sex. So often we're just like having sex, and not talking about sex. Which makes it harder to talk about the kind of sex you want to have. Yeah, thank you, that was fun. It was good for me. I hope it was good for y'all. Let me see what's happening over here. Oh, questions, okay. It's all pixely. - So, 'cause I wanna be fair. And transparent. This question is how do I begin to unpack masturbation shame? So, the first thing that is really important to recognize is that the shame is not yours. The shame belongs to other people, and they have been projecting their thoughts and opinions onto us, and it's very common in our society as where it kind of dictates and invalidates our own experiences and desires. So the first thing is to realize, okay, this is not something I wanna own. So now you have to do the work to unpack, to kind of challenge the messages that you've grown up with, that you've heard, so that you can have evidence that contradicts that. So if you have been told that, you know, masturbating is going to make you grow hair on your knuckles-- Didn't you tell me that one? - I heard that somewhere. - I think I've heard that, too. Will make you grow hair on your knuckles. Alright, that's a pretty easy thing to prove is not true. You just go in like, on your knuckles. But no, seriously, it's to just really figure out what is the thing that is holding you back? Where did you get those messages from? Was it from your household? Was it from church? Was it from your peers? And then how can you challenge some of that stuff? And you can also just decide to just reject it. A lot of the things that really cause us to stress in pain is because we have to take the time to change our thoughts. Sounds really simple. It can be very very hard. if it was easy, we wouldn't even be having, that wouldn't even be a question. We wouldn't be having this problem. But we have to do our own work to unlearn a lot of the negative messages that are keeping us in the point of shame, and operating our fear and stigma, so that we can really be our optimal selves. And that doesn't only relate to masturbation. Credibly in all aspects, because there are so many things that really drive our society, and force us to operate out of fear and shame, and not be our true authentic selves, because there is a huge system that is benefiting off of that. But that's another thing. So yeah, really to just unpack some of that shame is to find out where those messages are coming from, make your choice of if it's something you want to believe or not, if it's something that is holding you back or not, if it's something that is making you feel repressed or not, and then if those are all things that you say, you know what, I don't believe that, and I want to be a person who masturbates without feeling the shame, you can start to unpack those things. Also, surround yourself with sex positive people. - Yeah. - People who are talking about masturbation and sex in a positive way, and then you can continue to learn from what their experiences are. Again, I have no hair on my knuckles. No but seriously, surround yourself with people who are like-minded, who are positive, who make you feel good, who do not share some of those really negative beliefs. Because the more that you are surrounding yourself with them, the better that you're gonna feel because you're on the same page. And the less of those negative things that you're going to hear. Anything you want to add to that? - I think that was great. Yeah. - So I think what we can do is maybe do a few more questions, and then we're gonna move to the chat questions. - Yeah, Maya, could you actually email us those questions so we can have them on our phone, and not be all over y'alls faces in the camera trying to read them. So yeah, I think-- - It's like a miss-- - I'm not even gonna go there. I get distracted by my bad body image, and I think it prevents me from having better orgasms. Yeah, we have received so many messages that I've been calling anti-us. Like questions that say, that are anti-black, anti-woman, anti-bigger bodied people, anti-fem, anti-different abilities. All of this stuff. We've just been getting all of these messages since birth, and so this stuff is really deep, and it can be so hard to bring pleasure to your body when you don't feel that love of your body, that appreciation of your body. Something that we've been talking about more is about mirror work. And so learning to look at yourself in the mirror, and to speak affirmations over the parts of your body that you feel like needs more love. How often are we internally and externally talking negativity about ourself, thinking negative thoughts about ourself, hating, thinking and saying hateful messages about our body? And so it's important for us to take intentional time and to say affirmations and loving messages about our body. It's important for us to look at our bodies, and to just yeah, show the love. But also I think masturbation can be a really helpful way for you to be able to honor and love your body for all the things your body can do. I think a lot of times we I guess, think about all the things that our bodies are not able to do. And how our bodies could do more things if we were different. But masturbation is one of these moments when you can really reflect on all the positive things, all the pleasurable things your body is able to feel, that your body is able to do. Things that your body is able-- The things that remind you that your body is sexy, is lovable, is beautiful, all of this stuff. So using your masturbation time as a way to affirm and to adore and to worship your body, can be a great way to get over the negative body image. Because it will impact, it can impact your relationship to masturbating if you don't feel good about your body enough to allow your body to feel good. - Yeah, I definitely love that you mentioned appreciating your body for what it can do because sometimes yes, our society is very much driven on beauty and products and enhancement and all that other stuff, but I think a great first step is to just recognize that our body's job is to keep us alive. Is to do what it can. So if you can start off by just saying, you know what, my legs are big, but it's helping me walk. If you have a problem with your nose. Then you're like, but I can smell. So how can we start from the really basic level of just appreciating your body for doing what it's supposed to do, and even if you are otherly-abled and you are struggling with that, then also how can you sit with saying the same thing? Like yes I know I may have some type of disability, but what am I able to recognize and say, yes, this is something that I can do? And I think that's the first step. Because honestly, there are things about our bodies that we'll never be able to change. And then to sit with that realization can be a really hard pill to swallow sometimes. If you're not someone with a bunch of money who can afford plastic surgery and all this other stuff. How can you still be okay with the body that you have? I think the first step is just acknowledging that my body is doing what it's supposed to do to the best of its ability, and that I can reach out for help when I need, if I need it, and I can reach out to my loved ones in support, 'cause we always have people who are telling us the opposite of our negative thoughts, and sometimes we don't hear it. 'Cause we are talking to ourselves more than anyone is talking to us. So how can we just take a step back to recognize a lot of the positive things that people say about us, and the positive messages that we receive sometimes? - Yeah. I'm also thinking about body adornment, and so we had an amazing intern this summer who created a body love workshop for black women, and in the workshop we created waist beads. And waist beads is something that I have been telling myself, oh when you lose that extra whatever, you're gonna get it, when you get there, you can wear it, get it, you can show off your waist. And being forced to make them 'cause we're in the work house with her, we're like, producing the thingy, and then wearing them. I've seen how much I've just learned to love and appreciate and think my waist is sexy as fuck more, because I've just been putting things on it that lets it know that it is beautiful. And so it's made me think more intentional about what am I wearing, what feels good on my body, what makes me feel good. And allowing myself to celebrate my body and feel like you're sexy now, and not like whatever society tells us about when you do this, and when you get this, and at this point this equals sexy. - And you have to do it in order to be sexy. - Right. So yeah. So there's a lot of different things you can do to make yourself feel more in love with your body. You can romance your body. You can surround yourself with things that make your body feel good. And masturbating is a great way to do that. - Alright. So we are going to pull up your questions so that we can start with that. We have 20 minutes. So let's see how many questions we can have. We have five questions. I think that should be enough time. - Okay. - Alright, so the first question is, is masturbation cheating? That's a good question. From my philosophy, I'm gonna say, no it's not cheating. But I definitely wanna make space for people to use their own definition and interpretation. Again this derives from the messages that we receive. So I've definitely heard people say that masturbation is a form of cheating, and it goes back to that idea about, like the example I gave about people saying they didn't want their partner with vulvas using tampons. So I think the work that needs to be done is to really talk to your partner, or maybe if it's you who feels that way, to have the conversation about yourself to really do a little bit more digging about what do you think is cheating, what does that look like when you're masturbating? Is it the fact that that person is able to bring pleasure to themselves, and that's intimidating? Do you feel threatened by that? 'Cause usually when someone is concerned with infidelity or jealousy on a lower level, it's that fear of losing their partner, that someone else is gonna get them, that they're gonna leave for something better. So I think to really unpack what cheating looks like and what those feelings are that come up when there's a threat like that is really important. But no, you are loving on yourself. Masturbating for us is a form of self love. It is a form of self care. It is a way to appreciate and affirm your body, and that's something that all of us need to practice in some form or way. So absolutely not. Do not think that it is a form of cheating. But it is something that definitely can be talked about and discussed within couples and also ourself if you have some of those thoughts. - Yeah. I'm trying to think of the one thing I wanna say, but I'm sure you said it while I was reading the question. But yeah, a lot of people-- There's been a movement from moving away from like-- That's not important. What is important-- I was gonna talk about sexual day challenge. What is important is that a lot of us have been told that we are supposed to satisfy our partner's every single desire. They're supposed to think they're everything. So the idea of someone masturbating can feel like I'm not enough, which is why you're doing this. And so I think again, reframing the conversation on masturbation isn't about, it is like a comparison, it's an extension of my relationship, my sexual relationship to myself, to others, to my partner. And that it's not taking away from the sex that you have with your partner, but it's something that's important to you. I think there's a lot of underlying messages that can be informing people on how they feel about it. So yeah, I don't see it as a form of cheating, but I do respect every relationship's rights to make their own boundaries, as long as it's a clear boundary that everyone is following. And not just like, I can masturbate, but you can't masturbate. - Right. - Unless that's your kink, and you're into power, and it's a consensual conversation. - Yes. Thank you for mentioning this. Because there are some specifications that do exist, and boundaries. Boundaries that again, that not everyone only agrees to, no, are aware of, but also agrees to. So you don't feel forced, or like someone's threatening you, that if you don't do this thing, or if you do this then they're gonna leave you. Just like very manipulating. That's not good behavior. - Okay. Another question. What tips would you give to a person who has never masturbated before, and would like to try? So one of the things that we do on our website, we have an erotic care plan. One of the first things we ask people to explore are getting to know their senses and the things that turn them on. So so often we think about arousal, we just think about another person, or we think about porn. And so our erotic care plan asks you to think about what smells make you feel aroused. What sounds. Because there's certain types of music, is it drumming, is it ringing? What tastes? Is it wine? Is it drugs? Is it chocolate? What textures, what touch? So what makes you feel good around you, in your space. Am I missing a sense? Smell? - You said smell, taste, touch. - Sight. - Sight. - Sight. What do you wanna see? Learning that about yourself, and creating a space that your entire body feels-- creating a space formed by your senses, so you can have a sensual experience, and your entire body can feel aroused. It's often a good place to start. And then knowing that you don't have to put the pressure on yourself to masturbate to orgasm. I think we put a lot of pressure on ourselves as sex isn't sex unless we orgasm. And so you taking the time to explore your body, playing with your breasts, your nipples, playing with your body. Touching yourself, feeling what feels good. We all have such different bodies. Some people like things faster. Some people like things slower. Some people like more pressure, less pressure. Some people want direct stimulation on the clit or the tit, and some people are like, do not go near that. Stay at the base. And so there's so much to explore, and just taking that time to explore. And not putting the pressure on you, as like I have to do this or I'm not doing it right, but just saying I am exploring my body, I'm exploring my relationship to myself. If you would like to get a toy, there are plenty of toys that can help. Some of the toys that recommend if you have a clitoris, is WeVibes Tango. It's my favorite clitoral stimulator. And then, what is the other one. - The Satisfier Two, I believe. - Yeah, The Satisfier. If you are someone with a penis, there are plenty of cock ring and bro sleeves, or flesh toys is a better way to talk about it, that you could also use, an anal plug. If you're just starting, that might be a lot. But there's a lot of toys that you could use that can help you, that can stimulate the pleasure if you feel like you are trying to achieve orgasm and you're not sure how. But I would really say, the thing that we don't often do enough as adults is playing. And so just taking the time to play more. And not playing with the goal of orgasm, but just getting to know yourself. - And then another thing I'd like to add, on our website we do have a resource page, and we actually have a section entitled Masturbation, and it has a few tips and tricks there. So if you want to also learn some things you can do manually without any toys, you can check out some of those things, and that is for people with penises and people with vulvas. - Yeah. Okay. - We're good on time. So the next question we have is-- You should probably do this one. Hi, can you talk about the differences between the sensitivity of the clitoris? I've been talking with friends and a little sister who has a clit that is a soldier. She threw away her vibrator. What can I tell her? Any strong toys? Yeah, so we have gotten this question a few times. Specifically about sensitivity. De-sensitization when it comes to masturbating. Also like can you masturbate too much? But you know, the answer is, our body is muscle, it has muscle memory. So we make it to the point where you have to switch up your routine. It's very important to do that so that you don't, so that your body doesn't get used to the same thing, and you have to continually find stronger and stronger toys. But it is very very possible. So whenever you start on a toy, you really wanna start on the lowest setting possible, especially something that it's a suction, or if it vibrates. Because putting it on the highest notch, or whatever, can one be really jarring, and just be too much stimulation to the clitoris. So that would be the first thing. And I would say, for this particular person, her clitoris, I like that. So I'm just thinking like, Destiny's Child. - Yeah, what did they mean by soldier? - Like it's strong. Like nothing's really working as much anymore. Because it's just yeah, it's strong. - Oh, okay, Hitachi. - I was gonna say Hitachi, yeah, definitely. Which is a very very very popular toy. It started off as a body massager. And then once the creators found out that people were using it for solo sex, they went into other things. And yeah, I wish we had one. Well, you could type in, Hitachi Wand. There are so many different variations of them as well that a lot of people do start off with either putting down a cloth or a towel or something 'cause it gets very very powerful, and also has attachments. But for your friend, particularly, I think one thing would be to kind of slow down a little bit and really start to explore other parts of their body because the brain already knows exactly what works, what they're probably gonna do, and how it feels. So you kind of have to like trick the brain a little bit and to switch it up and try new things. And try to get it back to that level where it didn't need as much stimulation. It can take a long time, especially if they've been masturbating at a certain way for such a long time, but patience is virtue, as they say. So try new things. Manually and with toys. And check out the Hitachi Wand. - I would also, you know with this question, that with y'all have a conversation about, an open conversation around this, if they feel like they're fully aroused when they're going for the clit. I they think that often, people think that the clitoris, the clitoris, that's the plan, that's this. So they just go straight for it, some people saying like it's not a DJ booth that needs to be rubbing on it, thinking they're doing something. But your clit is also-- Blood flow increases as you are aroused. It becomes more sensitive as you are aroused. So just making sure that they are fully aroused before they go there. But yeah, I do think that some clits have such different variations. Some people like the suction stuff. Some people are like, that's too much stimulation. So just understand that there is, trying different things to figure out what works for you. Okay. Next question. Did you answer the second one about porn? - The porn cheating? No. - Yeah. - Okay. Okay there's one now. Also is masturbation while watching pornography or sex scenes in your relationship considered cheating? Similar to what we talked about, is masturbation considered cheating. I think we have gotten a lot of negative messages around porn and that is someone who's watching porn, that means that's you're not enough, or that you're not doing something right. I don't think it's considered cheating, unless as a couple you all have decided, as people in a partnership, you all have decided that it is not okay. But a lot of people, porn is the easiest way for them to be aroused, and to sexually stimulate them. So it could be a conversation if there is some insecurity around porn, maybe watching porn together. And having sex while porn is playing, and letting the porn become a part of your sexual experience so you don't feel like your partner is leaving out to do something else. And you can find the porn that you like. Even just having conversations and defining what you mean. One of the workshops we do, finding your ideal, building your ideal relationship life. Is this conversation around how cheating, we've been told what cheating is, always thinking about what cheating is, and it's really up to us to define what that looks like in our relationship. And so one of the things you and the people you're partnered with are comfortable doing, and what is a boundary. And knowing this by yourself, and knowing that you don't have to adhere to boundaries that people have told us are boundaries, or should be boundaries, that you could figure out for yourself what feels like crossing a boundary for you. And then trying to do some information as to why, if it is around form, why does it feel like a boundary, and be able to explain it to your partner. So yeah. I think that I've also heard a lot of, especially from people who have been socialized to be women, people who are in hetero relationship, but if your partner who identifies as male is watching porn that that's a reflection of you or something, you're lacking, or there's something wrong with them. I think really beginning to have those conversations more and more, understanding what it is that we find arousing, and not shaming each other for it. Unless it becomes like somebody is watching you, when it comes to sex addiction, when it comes to watching too much, sex addiction is something that people are saying is not a real thing. That it's really just about finding boundaries. And so unless it is disrupting your day to day, if you're neglecting responsibilities that you have, if you're like, my kid hasn't eaten in three days because I've been watching porn and masturbating, unless it's like impacting your ability to do your normal everyday function, I don't think that's a thing, where it's too much. And so making sure that you and your partner are having tat conversation about what feels okay for you also that everyone feels fine in the relationship. - Another thing I'd like to add is the purpose behind the use of pornography and masturbating. So going a little bit deeper to what you were talking about in terms of sex addiction, there are people moving away from that term, and more so using out-of-control sexual behavior. But a lot of things that are related to different behaviors. There's the underlining issue or concern that person may be experiencing. So I think really setting in, and figuring out what that is, if it is something that someone is involving themselves in very very frequently. It's taking up a lot of time in their day, where they are not taking care of obligations and responsibilities. But for them to also take a step back and realize, what were they experiencing before they decided to engage in watching pornography or masturbating? Because again, it could be some history of trauma there. There could be some sense of self esteem issues, some rejection, some invalidation. That really triggers us to do a whole bunch of things that may not be healthy if it's done in excess. - Yeah, and that's with any addiction. That could be someone who has an addiction to eating. There's a lot of coping mechanisms that we use, and so pornography becomes your coping mechanism, stepping back and figuring out what you're trying to cope with. 'Cause it could just be like, porn, you're gonna have a kink, and I don't get to explore this kink in this relationship, so I get to explore my kink through porn. Which is pretty healthy and normal for someone to learn that and they have an outlet to explore that. But then there could also be like, I'm grieving, and this is how they get through their grief or going through their process, are just using porn. - Yeah. - Okay, I think we have one more question. - One more question. - Your turn. - I just did that one. - No I did the porn one. - Oh you did. I was just talking so much, I thought that I chose it. Okay, so. We got another email for some more questions. Okay, masturbating just makes me want a partner, and have social anxiety isolation. Though I truly enjoy it, and have no shame. Just a view on the other side of sex positivity, if that makes sense. What do y'all think? Okay, give me a second to re-read this. Okay, so you enjoy it, there's no shame, but engaging in masturbation makes you kinda long for that extra connection, wanting a partner. So I can definitely understand that. You know, the work that we do, we like to honor and recognize all types of experiences, preferences, sexualities, and identities. So we definitely again believe that masturbation is healthy, that it's something that has a lot of benefits, not only psychologically, but emotionally, and literally health-wise. But it doesn't have to be something, it's not something that we force on people. And there are people who don't have a sexual desire or sex drive for like, if they identify as asexual, they may be going through menopause, or just some type of hormone change, and we have to honor and respect all of those different things. So definitely appreciate you for bringing that up. It sounds like, I mean I don't know if it's something that's getting in the way, if you want to do it more, if it's just your choice because, you know, on the other side, you are wanting that one on one connection, and I completely understand that. We are humans, we are social beings. And it does feel good to have someone beside you, and someone that loving you, and just kind of like be sexy for. So I can definitely understand that. - Yeah. There is one more question we need to answer. - Okay. We got two minutes. - Yeah, Maya sent these over for this round. So this one kinda threw me for a bit. So we're gonna answer this one together. - Okay. - My boyfriend secretly masturbates for two to three hours right after he declines my requests for sex. I've tried talking to him about it, and he says there is nothing wrong. Other than breaking him off, any suggestions? Well. I'm curious how you know he secretly masturbates. How it's happening. And then. Yeah, I just, I'm wondering if this is an isolated incident. It's like everything else in the relationship is fine, but the sex is not aligning, or if as a people in a relationship, you become more and more distant from one another, and the sex is just like, what am I trying to say, an extension of a bigger issue. So that's my initial thought. Are you getting the sex that you want? Are you all having sex where you're satisfied, which it sounds like you're not, if you're being declined. And so if this person is not able to, you and your partner are in a place where you're not sexually satisfying each other, people don't often talk about being sexually aligned. Some people need sex at a high frequency, but other people, some people want solo sex more than they want partner sex, some people want partner sex more than solo sex. And so if you all are not aligning, what can you do to get what you-- Is there something that you can do in that relationship to get what you need sexually? If not, then, fine. I would say, cutting it off. It sounds like you're talking about it, so I think just maybe having the conversation that's more explicit, that like this is something that is become an issue, it's an issue for you, and that you want to understand what's going on. Maybe that person is kinky, and they want to explore something, and is not feeling aroused in this particular situation 'cause they're not exploring things that they want to explore. So maybe there needs to be a conversation around that. Maybe they're bored in some way. Maybe they're enjoying the porn more, I don't know. But it's not for you to figure out why they're doing it. It's for you to have a conversation about, and to say that this is what you need in the relationship, and if this is something that is going to change, or if you're not gonna get what you need, and if it's just them watching their porn for two or three hours, then it's not going to work. - Yeah, so they didn't mention the use of pornography. So for the two to three hours-- - Oh I'm sorry, I assumed. - I mean, they could be, I don't know. But two to three hours is a substantial time. Especially if you've been in the situation where you're intimate or you're asking for intimacy and sex, and then they decline you and then they go off for two to three hours. So again, it's kind of like going back to that conversation of caring for your partner, and being really invested in their overall well being. So I think, again it's not your responsibility to figure it out. This person has to be willing, able and willing to communicate with you, and maybe it's something that they haven't even addressed full head on yet. It could be a reaction. Maybe they don't feel comfortable with disclosing what's going on or how they're feeling, but it's their job to come to you with that. And then on your side, it's your decision to decide what you wanna do if they want to continue to say, there's nothing wrong, and go about their business for two to three hours, if you wanna stay in that relationship, or if you say, you know what, I want a relationship that has open communication and transparency, and that we can have these conversations, and if I can't get that along with getting my sexual needs met, as Irit says, break up with him. But yeah, so I mean, again, it kind of goes back to the conversation about boundaries, our expectations, our needs. And our desires. And you definitely deserve to be in the relationship where you feel like you have all that being met, and if it's not being met, that you are in a relationship with someone who is going to try to make sure that you have the information that you need, to make sure that you're feeling good, that you're not second guessing yourself, that these insecurities aren't coming up because of the lack of communication. So I think that is a huge part, and is just the complete dismissing of your concerns and your questions. - Yeah, yeah. Alright y'all. Thank you so much for spending an hour with us. Thank you for all of your questions. Your great questions. Thank you for engaging us in this conversation. If you all want more conversation around solo sex, around masturbation, find us, follow us on social media. We are Afrosexology, our website, on Instagram, on Twitter, and on Facebook. And like you mentioned earlier, check our solo sex workbook. It is 50 plus pages of fun information and fun games and challenges, and practices that you could put in place to really go deeper in your solo sex journey, and to get into your erotic self. And we said that if you use the code pleasure, you can get 15% off. So check that out. - Check that out, and again, thank you so much for keeping with us for an hour. We do have a gift jar, so if you're feeling particularly, what's the word? - Gracious. - Gracious, yes, gracious. You can definitely contribute to that. Otherwise, we will see you on another screen, if you're gonna be at any conferences or workshops that we'll be at soon. You can check out our events page to see where we'll be. And that's it. - Alright. Bye you all. - Thank you.

Masturbation as Self Care

Date
Wed
Sep 12, 2018
|
1:00 pm
|
Calendar
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
|
1:00 pm

Masturbation is normal, healthy, and can be a huge part of our self care! Join Afrosexology as they answer questions about masturbation, dispelling myths, and speaking truth.

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