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The Art of Female Masturbation

Female masturbation by Lelo

Female Masturbation and how women masturbate

Female masturbation (that is, masturbation for female-bodied people) is something LELO products has always been dedicated to enhancing through our pleasure products, but the techniques are not always described in explicit terms.

With slang such as ‘fingering’ and ‘polishing the pearl’ (not to mention frequent references to removable shower heads) it’s no wonder can be a little bit confusing for some. Here, we explain some of the most common methods of female masturbation, so even if you’ve had plenty of practice, you might learn a fun new way to experience solo pleasure!

Why Do Women Masturbate?

Women masturbate for exactly the same reason as men; it’s pleasurable and can help with everything from insomnia, boredom, or good-old fashioned feelings of sexual frustration.

Percentage of women who masturbate can vacillate from just 38% to 92% depending on who you ask and how, but that really isn’t too terribly important. What is important is that masturbation is healthy and normal, however you really shouldn’t be concerned if you’re doing it twice a day or twice a month as long as you’re happy with your personal sexual experiences.

And that is one of the most important part of masturbation to focus on, as part of your personal sexuality. While we can (and do, and do recommend) masturbating with your partner, masturbation is an important part of your personal relationship with your own sensuality and pleasure. It is sex care and sex combined, and shouldn’t be treated as less important than other aspects of your sex life.

How Do Women Masturbate?

Erotic Inspiration

Female desire is a little understood (and until recently, little studied) phenomena, but it does seem apparent that we can be quite flexible when it comes to what turns us on. It can be a sexy yet not necessarily explicit sex scene in a movie that makes our imaginations run wild, or intensely kinky written erotica.

Thankfully, things like the overwhelming popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey and vocal women who are creating feminist-porn, the taboo toward consumption of erotic content by women is being broken down. Advice for masturbating and reaching orgasm is no longer just suggestions of lighting scented candles or taking a bath (though these do certainly work for some people, and it’s always nice to treat yourself) and we are able to talk much more explicitly about female pleasure.

Equipped for Pleasure

Now, let’s start with the most important tool we have for pleasure: our own bodies. While there are a ton of erogenous zones all over the female body that may be involved in your masturbation, we are going to focus specifically on the primary sexual anatomy.

Because female genitalia are located internally for the most part, we don’t always have the same familiarity with the individual parts, unless you were so lucky as to receive a copy of Our Bodies, Our Selves and a mirror when you were younger.

This is a shame, because they truly are beautiful in their complexity.. While we often use ‘vagina’ to refer to all of it, we are ignoring the intricacies of its many wonderful parts. Technically, the vagina is just the canal on the inside, while the outer part is the vulva. (Though we aren’t putting down the vagina, we are fans of G-spot stimulation and especially of G-spot sculpted vibrators!)

The vulva is made up of the clitoral hood at the top, which may totally or partially cover the clitoris (which is homologous to the penis―they both start out the same as a fetus, hence why it’s so densely packed with nerve endings) and the labia majora and minora, respectively. The labia majora are on the outside, and the labia minora are the inner lips, but despite their Latin name, the inner lips can be bigger than the labia majora and can be visible from outside.

Methods of Stimulation

There are three main ways women begin to masturbate. Some learn when they are quite young that pressure feels good―before they even understand what or why they’re doing it; some first have a sexual partners and then start exploring on their own and some learn about the concept of masturbation before actually trying it.

These generally correspond with different levels of understanding of our anatomy and different methods (and success rates in terms of reaching orgasm) with different methods of masturbation.

While we will discuss different methods in detail, one of the most important parts of masturbation that so often gets neglected is the use of lubricant. Unlike saliva or lotion, a good water-based personal lubricant is specifically designed for use with your body and sex toys, and it makes sure you become aroused faster and avoid discomfort.


Whether it be on a pillow or a harder surface, some people are able to bring themselves to climax by grinding or rubbing their vulva against something.

If you prefer to grind and are looking to intensify the sensation, you can try putting a very strong massager such as the Smart Wand™ Large in the middle of a folded pillow or towel and move against its flexible head.

Clitoral Stimulation

One of the most common methods of masturbation is to use 2 or 4 fingers to rub the clitoris, often in a circular motion. (A helpful guide when buying your first vibrator and trying to decide between more pinpoint stimulation like MIA™ 2 or more diffused like LILY™ 2 is to note whether you use 2 fingers to focus directly on the clit, or more fingers to make wide circles around the whole vulva.)

If you find your clitoris is too sensitive for this direct contact, you may enjoy a product like ORA™ 2 as it has subtle sensations that you can control the pressure of. You can also try using your thumb and forefinger to almost mimic the motion of manual stimulation of a penis, though many people find this to be tiring and slightly awkward, depending on the size and location of your clitoris.

Using the tub faucet or shower head to run water over your clitoris and vulva is also a popular method of masturbation, though depending on your bathtub it can get a little tricky to maneuver.

Fingering, G-Spot Stimulation & A-Spot Stimulation

You can use your fingers (with or without clitoral stimulation) to massage within the vagina itself. Some people greatly enjoy pressure just within the opening of the vagina, on the G-spot, or rather back to the A-spot (anterior fornix) which is the spot between your bladder and cervix.

Methods for stimulating these areas can vary; some enjoy consistent pressure, while others enjoy the ‘in and out’ that simulates sex. Any of our G-spot stimulators can ably stimulate these areas, though if you are looking for the dual stimulation of a rabbit, the SORAYA™ is much better for deeper stimulation, while the INA™ Wave provides a fulfilling, G-spot targeted sensation.

Anal Play

Just because the prostate doesn’t manifest itself in women in the same way it does in men, it doesn’t mean women can’t enjoy anal stimulation in the same way.

During masturbation, this can involve use of fingers, butt plugs, or dildos combined with any of the above techniques or on their own. What is most important to remember when incorporating anal play into your self-pleasure is to use lubricant, never to use something vaginally after it has been used anally unless it has been thoroughly washed (or covered with a condom) and to only use products anally that have a flared base, lest you’re keen to make an awkward trip to the emergency room.


The benefits of masturbation, aside from the mental and physical health benefits, are such that the let us explore our bodies and desires in a relaxed, low pressure situation, which ultimately makes us more confident to tell our partner what we want and need. As well, never underestimate the power of indulging in ‘me-time’ to not only help take the edge of sexual desire if you’re abstaining from sex, or to serve as an appetizer for the main event!


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The Art of Female Masturbation

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