Exploring your sexuality is a beautiful thing but society has traditionally never been too keen to talk about it. A taboo topic, discussions about sex are always fraught with awkwardness and embarrassment. The sad results of this are twisted notions about it, incorrect information replacing actual facts and most importantly, excessive shame and guilt associated with it.

We’re going to attempt changing this with our four-part series on sexual exploration and we decided to start with the basics. Before you can explore your sexuality in the context of a relationship with another person, you truly need to understand yourself. What better way to embark on this journey than through a little self-loving?

In the first part of the series on masturbation, we talked about how self-loving is actually really good for you on several levels—emotional, romantic, spiritual, creative and even productivity-wise. But we knew you probably had some questions you were too embarrassed to ask anyone. So in this second part of the series, we bring you 5 important tips in anticipation of your curiosity.

  1. Is It A Bad Thing?
    We just got done telling you all the ways it is good for you, so get over this taboo already. Yes, it isn’t easy, given the social conditioning that insists self-pleasuring is a sin and will take you straight to hell. Hairy palms, blindness, acne, and infertility were just some of the outcomes of masturbation people were warned about, in order to dissuade them from exploring their own bodies in a sexual manner. But perhaps it’s time to take matters into your own hands, so to speak, and get rid of the guilt. As long as you get on the road to discovering the pleasures of self-love in private, and in moderation, without being inappropriate in public, it is your prerogative to indulge your desires. So no—it’s definitely not a bad thing.
  2. Isn’t It Embarrassing?
    Well, ideally you should be in absolute privacy. So who are you going to be embarrassed in front of? Just relax and let go of your inhibitions because there’s no one to judge you. If you feel awkward, stop and do something you enjoy like taking a bubble bath or giving yourself a foot massage to reduce anxiety. Try again when you’re feeling less self-conscious.
  3. How Do I Know If I’m Doing It Right?
    There is no right or wrong way. Whatever makes you feel good as long as you don’t hurt yourself is fine. Explore gently and see what excites you, turns you on and then soothes you. If something feels right, keep doing it until you achieve whatever heights of pleasure you were aiming for. But don’t make orgasm the goal or the pressure to ‘finish’ might ruin the entire experience. Don’t make it a task.
  4. How Long Should It Take?
    Don’t time yourself! This is a way to relax and release stress, so getting anxious about it and watching the clock is not going to help. Zone out and think happy thoughts. Scratch that, think sexy thoughts, daydream and fantasize about someone you find irresistible, or picture the erotic things an attractive lover would be doing to you. Whatever floats your boat works just fine and then you can come down off your little cloud and thank yourself for a good time. Some folks take five minutes while others can’t be done before an hour—it all depends on the person and the situation.
  5. How Do I Prepare For It?
    The keyword here is ‘explore’ and you need to do a lot of that until you find what works for you. But setting the mood definitely helps. Sexy music, comfy clothing, maybe some mood lighting, fragrant lube, all can help create the right ambience to start with, but we’re hoping you evolve to the point where just thinking about it can build the anticipation and you’re good to go. Just remember to lock your door before you start so that you’re not rudely interrupted.

In our next part of this series, we will discuss the pitfalls of overindulging in this enjoyable pursuit.

Image: Shutterstock

PS: Explore our Wellness section for spa DIY, natural home care and more.
Here’s your complete guide to 
Emotional Well-being.

Read More:
How To Date A Feminist (& Love Every Bit Of It)
7 Sex Sabotages & How To Avoid Them

Simona is a journalist who has worked with several leading publications in India over the last 17 years, writing on lifestyle topics and the arts, besides interviewing celebrities. She made the switch to public relations and headed the division as PR Manager at ITC Hotels’ flagship property, the ITC Grand Chola, but has since returned to her first love, journalism. Now she writes on food, which she is sincerely passionate about and wellness, which she finds fascinating and full of surprises. When she isn’t writing, she is busy playing the role of co-founder and communications director of The Bicycle Project, a six-year-old charity initiative that empowers tribal children in rural areas, while addressing the issue of urban waste.