We’re done playing around when it comes to playing with ourselves. You’ve heard it all before: run a bubble bath, light some candles, relax and go to town. Cool, cool, cool—and to each her own—but that old-school solo stuff can get so boring. Which is why we went on the hunt for new ways to scream our own names and chatted with some sexperts about creative ways to turn it on and up. No offense to your partner or FWB, but these DIY tactics are gonna feel so good, you might “forget” to return their calls (at least for the moment). As the old adage goes, if you want something done right, do it your damn self.
Add to Your Toy Box
Go beyond basic female-only. “People with vaginas can absolutely have solo fun with vibrating cock-rings,” says Echo, a workshop leader and “Pleasure Pusher” from SHAG, a popular Brooklyn, NY sex shop. “What’s fun about those is that even a cheap silicone ring with a battery vibrator can turn a stationary dildo into a fully-functioning vibrator that will allow sensation both during penetration and on the clit, depending on the position you’re in. Most people never even think about using cock-rings if you don’t have a penis, but there’s plenty of exploration to be had.”
Take a butt plug for a spin. “Lots of women don’t like the idea of anal sex, but you have a lot of nerve endings back there that feel amazing when stimulated,” says Carolyn Eagle, manager, product tester, and chief toy buyer of Betty’s Toy Box, an online sex toy shop. “You can try a tiny one like this adorable Luxe Candy Rimmer and leave it in while you stimulate your clitoris. It feels hot.”
Get sucked in. Normally, we would never support womanizers, except for the Womanizer itself, one of the most popular clitoral stimulators of all time. “The opening creates a suction seal around the head of the clitoris and uses air to stimulate it instead of vibration,” explains Lisa Finn, New York-based sex educator and brand manager for the trendy sex shop, Babeland. “Because of this, it’s super, super targeted. Having suction on the head of the clitoris—the part that you can actually see—is going to help draw blood flow into the whole clitoris, including the internal legs as well. So even though you’re just really targeting that head, the way that that air motion is going, it’s really going to stimulate the entire clitoris.” This toy is easy to use, so let it do the work for you during a lazy self-love sesh after a long workday.
Raise a glass. Dildo, that is. “Glass is beautiful and non-porous,” says Lucy Litwack, CEO of Coco de Mer, the luxury London sex store. “Non-vibrating toys allow you to encourage an orgasm out of the body by building it up to the point it needs to break free.” They also give you the “ability to massage precisely and pinpoint places of stimulation,” she adds.
Open Your Eyes, Ears and Legs
Pick your partner’s brain. When your imagination is out to lunch and tuning into visual pleasure on the web isn’t an option (for whatever reason), ask your partner—via text, phone call or in person—to help you brainstorm ways to get turned on, says Ruth Neustifter, PhD, sex researcher, sex educator, and relationship therapist. “Ask for specific words, sounds, or images to use when you masturbate,” she adds. If you’re in a long distance relationship or travel a lot for work, it might heat things up to ask your lover for a sneaky snap or audio message to help stoke your fire.
Listen to this erotic podcast. “It’s called Dipsea,” says Finn. “They’re little snippets of stories, and they’re told from the P.O.V. of the performers. You can listen to that on the train or car ride home to really get yourself in the mood, so once you’re in a private space, you can just ride off of that arousal from getting your brain there first.”
Let it out, sister. Do you hear that? No? Well, you should. “Let yourself gasp, moan, growl and sigh,” says Neustifter. “Hearing your own pleasure can make it more intense.”
Take a long look in the mirror. “Use a mirror while exploring your vaginal folds,” says Echo. “Get to know your body in the most intimate way, so you find new avenues to explore that you may not have realized.”
Get Clever With Your Clit
Bring in your No. 1 fan. “Use a warming lube for new sensations and then turn on a fan to make it feel like someone is blowing on your clit,” suggests Echo.
Feel the tingle. “Tingling lubes, like this brand new Sliquid Spark, are perfect for solo sessions because they heighten the arousal in the clitoris and pull blood to that area for a super intense feeling,” says Eagle.
Go hands free. “See how aroused you can become without touching your clitoris,” says Eagle. No, seriously, don’t touch it at all, and see what happens. “This is an amazing way to learn new erogenous zones for yourself. You can touch absolutely anywhere except your clitoris, and let the anticipation build until you can’t take it anymore.”
Invest in Frisky Business
Work out your kinks. “If you like hair pulling, pull your own hair,” says Finn. “If you want to see whether or not you like a little pain, pick up a riding crop and spank yourself.” Not ready to commit to this BDSM purchase? Consider using a silicone spatula or wooden spoon (beware splinters!) from your kitchen, suggests Finn for those who are curious but uncertain if pain equals pleasure. “There’s this traditional idea of what masturbation should look like, but it should really just be you finding a way to explore your own sexual pleasure,” she adds. “So if you get really turned on by nipple stimulation, just go ahead and play with your nipples.” Or, on that same note, maybe you really get off when somebody touches your feet? Rub your tootsies, then your twat.
Be a little risky. “Masturbate in public,” suggests Eagle. “Of course, we don’t want you getting arrested, but what about slipping off to the ladies’ room and enjoying some me-time? You can make the experience more intense by bringing along a discreet lipstick vibe, like this Rose Lipstick Vibrator in Russian Red. Just knowing it’s in your bag will help build the excitement.”