Feelin’ myself: a student survey

The Happy Trail

By Nayla Lee

If we’re being honest, I wanted to write an article about creative new ways to masturbate because I had fallen in a rut in terms of paddling the pink canoe. Since crowdsourcing is all the rage these days, I thought, why not apply it to my little predicament?

To get submissions, I posted a link to an anonymous survey on several Facebook groups, and begged everyone I came into contact with to add their best advice. I got nearly 40 responses, and I appreciate every one of them (even the one that advised readers to “Sit on your arm until you have a dead arm. Then masturbate so it feels like someone else is doing it for you”). Although I’m not including repeats or anything illegal (both of which were received), I want to share as many as possible.

Let’s start by talking about all of the submissions that anyone can try out, regardless of genitalia. Touching the b-hole was a popular one, as was reading erotic stories online. Others reminded me that the hottest person you can think about just might be yourself. Your own nudes and video recordings can be an asset. Here’s another one of my favorites:

“To get in the mood I like to put on sexy lounge wear, light a couple candles, maybe dance for a while to Sade or something. Giving yourself the time to wind down and open up to pleasure, for me, allows for an easier/more enjoyable time!!”

People also recommended testing out lube (feel free to use it solo, but if you have a toy, make sure they are compatible). Coconut oil got a few shout-outs, and God’s lube (saliva) deserves an honorable mention.

While some of the comments were simple and sweet (“I use Bath and Body Works lotion on my balls”), other people seemed like they’ve been waiting a long time to share the seed of knowledge. This submitter says, “1) the classic edging… get yourself to almost climax and then stop…. do that for 15 min and wow! You’re in for one hell of ride. 2) Toys….. enough said. You can’t go wrong with toys (or lube). 3) Close your eyes and use your non-dominant hand… it feels like someone else is doing it for you. 4) At the climax, see how long you can hold on in that “sweet spot” before you just can’t anymore. 5) I’m not going to say anything other than the prostate gland can offer some fun times…. 6) The following ratio will really get it done: 15 fast, 10 slow, 10 fast, 5 slow. Repeat.”

I really appreciated the honesty of one person, who detailed using a pocket pussy, cooked ramen in a plastic bag, and some couch cushions for a very realistic simulation. It was definitely one of the most detailed and creative ones I received, and I appreciate your willingness to engage in honest discussions of sexual expression.

The most common thing that people wanted the world to know about? Vibrators. While some people talked about treating themselves (the Womanizer, an upscale rabbit, and the Hitachi Wand were all praised), one submission kept frugality in mind. Apparently, vibrating cock rings can be cheaper way to get the job done. The detachable showerhead also got a lot of love; for water conservation (and hygiene) purposes, it’s a good thing the dorm showerheads are firmly attached. 

There were some recommendations that gave me pause. To the person who wrote in about masturbating while pooping, I’ll definitely say that I’ll have to try it myself to figure out if you’re just yanking my chain. As they say in the real estate world: location, location, location! I also can’t say I’ll follow the advice of one participant, who claimed that “If you do it while doing a core workout it is spicy.” As someone who has gotten funky after cutting peppers, I can confidently say that I would rather not have anything near my vulva that can be described as “spicy.”

What made my heart smile the most was how many people wrote in about how important it is to destigmatize masturbation. It can be a gratifying, joyful way to express one’s sexuality that often gets left out of traditional sex ed.

No one should be pressured into or out of it, but for those who are interested, I hope this list empowers you to try something new. As one person advises, “A little variation goes a long way, and being yourself *with* yourself is the whole point of masturbation, so let yourself get a little weird with it!”

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