Masturbation How-to for Women

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Click here to download a pdf brochure about Masturbation for Women.

Dear Sex Counselor,

I was raised to believe that masturbation is an "evil" and "unholy" thing. As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to realize that that, of course, isn’t true; but now my problem is that I want to try it, but I really am not sure of what to do. I am a virgin and have never experienced orgasm. I’ve never even really explored down there either. I couldn’t even tell you where my clitoris is. I know I sound desperately naive, and that’s because I am. Please help.


We all have to start somewhere! I can tell you that I learned to masturbate after reading an excerpt from the book Our Bodies, Ourselves that described masturbation, the clitoris, and orgasm. I highly recommend the updated version of this book as an excellent resource for learning much more about your body. It is your body, and I am happy to hear that you are getting to know it better.

To begin, you should get a mirror and look at your genitals. Click here for a diagram of the female sexual anatomy (sometimes it's helpful to have a map!).

You will see your outer lips (the larger, more fleshy ones closest to your legs) and your inner lips (the smaller, "flappy" ones) - they may be uneven, smooth or not, and a variety of colors. Look at the upper end of the inner lips, closest to your belly button; pull them back a bit, and you will see a small round nubbin of flesh there. That is your clitoris. The part you can see may be very small, or as large as the end of your index finger (and in some women it is even larger). The rest of your clitoris (the clitoris is actually 4 inches long) is underneath your labia, or lips, but it is still very sensitive. While you are here you may also see a very small opening in between your inner lips (that is your urethra, where urine comes out) and a larger opening toward your bottom - that is your vagina.

Now find a comfortable place where you won’t be interrupted. Begin by stroking your body in any places that feel pleasurable. You might want to explore your nipples, stroking them if it feels good. Learn what feels good all over your body; not just on your genitals. Relax and breathe.

Next, start stroking your vaginal lips. Find the places that feel good to be touched on your outer and inner lips, as well as around your clitoris. You might consider using some water-based lubricant on your fingers; this will add to the pleasurable sensations. Don’t start by stroking right on your clitoris, as that might be too sensitive at the beginning.

As your lips become swollen you might produce some natural lubrication, or you might not. If you feel like it, slip one finger into your vagina and see if that feels good. Continue rubbing your lips and clitoris as long as it feels good to you. If you find yourself getting more excited, then you might want to focus on the areas that feel especially good to rub, and rub them rhythmically and repeatedly.

Continuing doing this, and you may suddenly find yourself at a point where your muscles are all clenched, and then they release with a pleasurable rush. This is an orgasm. Don’t worry if you don’t have one right away - it may take some time to learn what you like and need.

You might also consider one the great books out there about orgasm. See related products to the right of this article to check out our selection. You're definitely not alone.

Good for you for asking this question! I hope you enjoy your exploring, and that you learn a lot.

The Sex Counselor