7 top tips for self-pleasure

#1
Review your beliefs about masturbation and self-pleasure… Is it something that only ‘other’ people do? Is it a second choice to sex with another person? Is it something you can only do on your own? Can you only do it if you have a sex toy to play with? Once you’ve identified your beliefs, you can explore them a little bit more: where (or who) did this belief come from? Does it serve you to keep believing it? What might you choose to believe about masturbation and self-pleasure instead?

#2
Include your whole body – not just your genitals – in your pleasure. Experiment with touching parts of your body with different kinds of touch. What feels good? What do you want more of? Touch yourself with the hands of a lover.

#3
Give yourself permission to include self-touch and self-pleasure as part of your wellbeing routine. There are numerous benefits to self-pleasure. Some people find it helps them reduce feelings of stress and sleep better, for others the benefits may include feeling better about their body image or rebuilding feelings of safety around touch. Whatever benefits it brings you, know that you have permission to include this in your life just as you would attending a yoga class, reading a self-development book, or going for a walk in nature.

#4 
Normalise using lubricant for solo (and partnered) sex. Choose one that is body safe, doesn’t contain any parabens or other ingredients that could upset the delicate pH balance and sensitive tissues of your genital area. I recommend Yes Organics and Sutil (both available from JoDivine.com).

#5
Try new things! Don’t get stuck in a masturbation rut – always using the same technique may feel like a reliable way to get yourself off, but we learn more about our body’s pleasure by experimenting with new things. This is especially important as our body changes over time: things that used to feel good may no longer feel that way, and there may be new ways of experiencing pleasure that your body has opened up to.

#6
What happens if you broaden your definition of ‘pleasure’? Think about all the moments in your day when you could pause to notice pleasure: the first sip of morning coffee, waking up to the sound of birdsong, pulling on a favourite pair of comfy pants… We can build our pleasure receptors by noticing and appreciating these everyday moments.

#7 
Involve all your senses. Do you make sounds when you make out with yourself? Have you ever tasted yourself? What about your sixth sense? What does your intuitive self want you to know about how to experience pleasure? (Curious to find the answer to this one? Try my guided meditation: Meet your Sexual Self)

And, finally, if you never feel like masturbating or it’s simply not something you feel you want or need in your life, that’s fine too. You get to choose. Pleasure (in its broadest sense) is important, however, so how else might you include things in your day that light you up and make you feel good?

Would you like to be a Pleasure Seeker?

Midlife can be a time when we review and question *everything*.

It can be a time when we no longer put up with pleasing everyone else – and sacrificing ourselves in the process.

It can be a time of letting go, stepping into the unknown, and discovering new things about ourselves.

It can also be a time of overwhelm, anxiety, and feeling lost and uncertain.

When it comes to your sexual self in midlife, there are plenty of messages ‘out there’ about how you ‘should’ be. We’re told our libido goes, we dry up – physically and in terms of our desires. We’re told sex becomes less important – and we become less desirable. We’re told we should accept our fate or go on HRT to turn back time/stop the clock. We’re told we have to work harder to ‘keep our figure’. We’re told to dye our hair to cover up the greys.

We’re told – as we have been throughout our lives – that our worth (in great part) is dependent on our sexual attractiveness and desirability to others.

And then, when we can’t keep up with all of these expectations and demands, we’re told the only other option is to pack away this part of us – for good – and be content with our hobbies, our children and grandchildren. We’re told we should be grateful, even, that we no longer have to ‘bother with’ all that sex stuff.

But what if you chose to write your own story of midlife sexuality – instead of the one others are telling about you? What would you want your story to say?

What if we question the assumptions and, instead, ask: is this true for *me*?

Has your libido gone? Or do you simply desire something different to before?

Have you been expecting to feel spontaneous desire – like you may have done in your 20s? Or do you know what your responsive desire enjoys responding to – now, as you are, at this time?

When your body feels like a difficult, painful, unpredictable place to inhabit, what happens when you focus on creating an environment of pleasure?

You can choose to avoid pleasure, or to passively notice and consume pleasure when it is offered to you, or to actively seek out and create pleasures (yes, plural) in your life.

What happens if you become a Pleasure-Seeker in perimenopause?

Pleasure, for me, includes:

  • Wearing clothes and colours that delights me.
  • Savouring delicious tea, made in a teapot, and drunk from my favourite mug.
  • Receiving sensual touch – fully allowing myself to receive and enjoy it – from myself and others.
  • Inviting the whole spectrum of orgasms: from quick, tension-releasing ones, through to deep, heart and soul-affirming, full-body-trembling ones.
  • Meeting my needs as best I can – being an exquisite lover and caretaker of my Self.

How about you?

To find out more about my upcoming Pleasure Course, sign up to my email list (and get a free book) HERE.

PleasurePractices #4: Garden of delights

These PleasurePractices are a record of my explorations with medibation — masturbation as meditation. Exploring self-touch and self-pleasure from new angles.

Not so much a ‘how-to’ but more a series of ‘what-ifs’. I share these openly along with an invitation for you to explore your own what-ifs:

What might you like to give to yourself, and to receive? What might you try that you’ve never tried before? What pleasure might you create? And what else might you discover?

One of my long-held fantasies centres on having a private, outdoor space where I can be naked and commune with the elements.

I want to stand in a rainstorm and feel the water drenching my hair and skin, running down my back, and wetting my lips. I want to press my torso against the rugged bark of a broad tree, my arms wrapped around it in an embrace. I want to feel my body as the part of nature it truly is, no clothes coming between us, just the air and the breeze to let me know where I stop and she starts.

My pleasure practice today was all about giving myself that gift.

It wasn’t the perfect and ideal vision I have been holding but it was what my body was calling for.

I walked into the garden barefoot and in a robe. The cool air caressed my skin as I undressed completely and just stood for a moment, feeling the ground – warmer than I expected – underneath my soles. I lay down and let the overgrown grass enfold me, feeling the Earth’s heartbeat gradually slowing my own.

When I’d had my fill, I went back indoors to continue this exploration of pleasure, lying on the carpet in a patch of sunlight, my body alive and awakened and ready for my touch.

My name is Anna Sansom and I’m endlessly curious about how we each explore and enjoy our unique sexual selves. I write about my own experiences and I write erotic fiction, all with the aim of giving us language and ideas so we can make our own journeys – walk our own desire lines – to our fullest, truest selves.

This blog is like looking in my open window.

You can come inside by signing up here.

I’ll put on the kettle and make us a cuppa to enjoy while we chat (and I’ll send you a free book for afterwards too).

PleasurePractices #3: Passion

These PleasurePractices are a record of my explorations with medibation — masturbation as meditation. Exploring self-touch and self-pleasure from new angles.

Not so much a ‘how-to’ but more a series of ‘what-ifs’. I share these openly along with an invitation for you to explore your own what-ifs:

What might you like to give to yourself, and to receive? What might you try that you’ve never tried before? What pleasure might you create? And what else might you discover?

Have you ever had a lover reach for you and touch you with such passion it takes your breath away? Do you know that feeling just before their hands make contact with your skin and you can almost feel your body leaping to meet their embrace, to close the gap between the two of you, so you can be fully connected with them?

It’s an incredible feeling. Lust and desire and passion all rolled into one.

Now, how would it feel to touch yourself in the same way?

That’s the question I had for my latest Pleasure Practice exploration:

How would it be to touch myself with passion and want?

Touching my whole body with hungering hands. Not just my genitals and breasts but my thighs, my stomach, my neck, my hair, my lips…

Melding my want with my attention. The surprised delight of a feather-light caress flowing over sensitive skin, anticipated desire for what I know will follow…  

Grabbing handfuls of me and delighting in the textures and sensations. My hands registering the fullness of my flesh; my body surrendering to the touch…

Moving and making sounds in response. Not for anyone else to see or hear, just for me and myself as lover

Stoking the fire and building the heat until I roar and come and am spent.

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And you will get instant access to my FREE guidebook to help you write your own erotica too!

PleasurePractices #2: Magical, powerful, intentional

These PleasurePractices are a record of my explorations with medibation — masturbation as meditation. Exploring self-touch and self-pleasure from new angles.

Not so much a ‘how-to’ but more a series of ‘what-ifs’. I share these openly along with an invitation for you to explore your own what-ifs:

What might you like to give to yourself, and to receive? What might you try that you’ve never tried before? What pleasure might you create? And what else might you discover?

I want to call in my magic.

I want to call in my power.

I offer myself to something greater – it is time to fully claim my soul’s magnificence.

I bind my breasts together to make them stand proud and to bring my nipples close enough that I can touch them both at the same time: the flat of my palm grazing them and sending instant requests to my cunt.

I massage lube over and inside me. Firm strokes. Awakening, enlivening strokes.

My palm brings my nipples to stiff attention. My fingers enter me, preparing the pathway for deep magic.

Now, it begins.

With fingers of one hand, I begin to circle my clit. My other hand moves to my face and an anointed finger matches the rhythm below as it draws circles on my brow, over my third eye chakra.

I am bringing my vision to life.

Calling in my power.

Stoking my desires with my sexual energy.

Potent. Powerful. Purposeful.

I am strong.

I am feeding my hunger so it can roar from a place of having rather than lacking.

I am my own power – my own pleasure.

I am magical and magnificent.

I welcome it all: the colours, the sounds, the sensations.

I take it all.

And – from that place – I create.


Do you want to explore more? Sue Sutherland of The Feel Institute is offering a 3-part, online course during March 2021, for people with a vulva: Self-touch, vulvae, and sex toys. (click the link for more info and to book)

I am assisting as part of Sue’s Crew and would love to see you there!


PleasurePractices #1: Slow, slow, sensuous, slow

These PleasurePractices are a record of my explorations with medibation — masturbation as meditation. Exploring self-touch and self-pleasure from new angles.

Not so much a ‘how-to’ but more a series of ‘what-ifs’. I share these openly along with an invitation for you to explore your own what-ifs:

What might you like to give to yourself, and to receive? What might you try that you’ve never tried before? What pleasure might you create? And what else might you discover?

Just me, some lube, a bed, and time. Touching myself gently and reverentially. Stroking, soothing, relaxing my body and my emotions. Creating safety, and landing into this sacred space. Away from all the external noise and demands. Just me, some lube, a bed, and time.

I let my slickened fingers stroke my vulva. Exploring the shapes and textures. Slowly. Sensuously. Unhurried.

Mmmm…how does it feel when I touch myself there? And like this?

Ah, yes. Oh, that feels good. Again, please.

No goal. Not in pursuit of anything at all. Just touching to experience pleasure in the moment.

My cunt is a sacred site. I am worshipping her with my touch and my attention.

Slowly. Sensuously.

Exploring how she wants to be touched. What she wants to receive. Building my pleasure, stroke by stroke. No tension. Just relaxed receiving.

I gift this to myself. This unhurried luxury of time, touch, and tenderness.

What happens if I keep it slow? Where usually I would want to speed up and tense up and get myself off – what happens if I do it differently?

What happens if I devote myself to this worship?

What happens if I don’t try to hurry it?

What happens if I just keep giving myself more and more moments of pleasure? And if I give myself full permission to receive it all.

The pleasure builds. I expand. My body moves and I utter sounds.

I am making love: deep, worshipful, reverential, self-honouring love.

Slow, slow, sensuous, slow.

I allow it to engulf me and carry me. All this pleasure.

A deep, heart-inclusive orgasm. I am awash with love and receive it fully.

“So beautiful,” I whisper, in awe.


Do you want to explore more? Sue Sutherland of The Feel Institute is offering a 3-part, online course during March 2021, for people with a vulva: Self-touch, vulvae, and sex toys. (click the link for more info and to book)

I am assisting as part of Sue’s Crew and would love to see you there!