Guess what? Your body is changing. So is mine. So is everyone’s! It’s a fact of life. And that includes your sexual response. As we age - even from year to year - our body becomes capable of new and different things. Changes in our relationships, our wellness, our activity levels, and our stress levels will affect our sexual responses, too!
It can also be frustrating to find that as our bodies change, what used to work for us no longer does. Maybe you’re on a medication that’s affecting your orgasms. Or you’re not able to get aroused as fast as you used to. Maybe your body doesn’t bend the same ways, or your stamina isn’t what it used to be. And we know that old saying, right? If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you get. Not changing our patterns means that we might end up frustrated and stressed - and that is definitely not the kind of experience we want to have when exploring our sexuality.
Switching up our masturbation skills can help us explore and expand on what our own ideas of pleasure are. But when it comes to changing them up, we often get brain locked and don’t know where - or how - to start. Never fear! We’ve got some great ideas to help you shake up your pleasure:
-Fantasize! What’s going on in our minds has a direct impact on our sexual pleasure. We know that physical arousal can result from mental stimulation, so dive in and explore new things that can get you turned on. If you’re looking for new fantasy material, a sex-positive dating app like #open can let you check out what other folks think is hot and see what sounds intriguing to you - you can even connect with them and talk about why they’re into it (or interested in it) too.
-Try something new. If you’re a clit-focused person, try an insertable toy. Do a little anal play (external, or internal) to see how that feels. Aim for your g-spot or prostate. Try two or three things together. If you rarely use lube - try using it for masturbation. If you usually use a vibrator, try incorporating a non-vibrating toy. You can even try an “anything but” session - play with your body in any way other than your normal masturbatory routine. See what else might feel good that you hadn’t tried before, or that you might have sidelined years ago because it wasn’t the kind of “boom” you were looking for - you might be surprised!
-Talk about it. When we’re talking to our partners about pleasure, it can open up a whole new world of possibilities for you to explore, both separately and together. Have a little “show and tell” session where each of you demonstrates what you like - you can even make suggestions to your partner about other places they might want to touch themselves. Not only is this a hot idea for a video or in-person date, but it can also be a great way to gather some tips on how to add more pleasure to your partnered play.
-Ditch the shame. There is nothing wrong with masturbating. There’s nothing wrong with stroking your penis or clitoris. There’s nothing wrong with playing with your butt. There’s nothing to feel guilty about, either. In fact, there’s everything *right* about doing those things. Our bodies are literally made to experience pleasure - and as long as it feels good and you’re not pushing yourself too far, let yourself feel that pleasure. Buy yourself something sexy to wear, get yourself a new toy, indulge in some high-quality lube, and show yourself that your sexuality is worth celebrating.
Sarah Sloane (she/her) is a nationally recognized sexuality & relationships educator and coach. Sloane works as the Education & Communications Consultant for #open, an inclusive dating and community app that welcomes members of all genders, orientations, and relationship structures.