How to “Date Yourself”

After British Vogue inter­viewed Emma Watson, the media fix­at­ed on the 20 sec­onds where she talked about being sin­gle and “self-partnered.” It was a con­ver­sa­tion where she spoke about men­tal health, her place in the world as an activist, his­to­ry from the per­spec­tive of the mar­gin­al­ized, edu­ca­tion­al reform, trans peo­ple, and more, for the oth­er 29 minutes.

In a perfect world, being a happy and single woman wouldn’t be the most-quoted part of the interview.

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Our cul­ture focus­es on roman­tic rela­tion­ships, with the assump­tion that sin­gle women are con­tin­u­al­ly wait­ing to be want­ed by men. That nar­ra­tive los­es grav­i­tas when women choose them­selves every day— includ­ing on Valentine’s Day.

If you’re sin­gle, ask your­self, “What do I need? What do I deserve, and how can I ful­fill that need?” Think about what you’d want a part­ner to do for you (or vice ver­sa) and set aside time to do some­thing spe­cial for yourself.

If you’d want Valentine’s Day sex with a partner to be a full-on sensory experience, give yourself that.

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Spending Valentine’s Day by your­self can be jack­ing off in your PJs, scrolling NSFW Reddit, and eat­ing a heart-shaped piz­za while lis­ten­ing to Thank U, Next by Ariana Grande on repeat. But it does­n’t have to be.

Take your­self out. Splurge on some­thing you’d usu­al­ly find friv­o­lous, like choco­lates that are almost too pret­ty to eat. Try a new wine. Or stay in and cook a new dish with truf­fle in it.

Set up a pho­to shoot with a pho­tog­ra­ph­er, mir­ror, or cam­era shut­ter. Order a few big prints to frame and hang. Or com­pile many small pho­tos into a faux-leather-bound album where you look fantastic.

Make your bed with a squirt-proof satin throw. Fill a dif­fuser with water and rose absolute. Slather your entire body in warm mas­sage oil. Stroke your breasts, rub your nip­ples, and run your nails up your thighs.

Wash a plate with your favorite toys. Close the blinds and watch cute boys suck each oth­er off on the big screen TV.

Everyone’s a bit different in what turns them on and gets them off, so find what works for you.

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Spending mon­ey to “treat yo’­self” almost seems like a cliché. The more crit­i­cal ele­ment is mak­ing time to enjoy your­self, with the knowl­edge that you deserve the atten­tion and the ven­tures that make life worth liv­ing. There are end­less ways of doing that— with or with­out toys.

Whichever way you go about mas­tur­bat­ing, good lube cuts down on fric­tion, which can enhance the ses­sion if you touch your cli­toris direct­ly. As well, play with dif­fer­ent breath­ing pat­terns and ways of escalating/de-escalating cli­toral inten­si­ty to max­i­mize your orgasms.

For most people with vaginas, the best sexual experiences involve external clitoral stimulation.

I’m par­tial to a fin­ger­tip or nail over the hood, with­out direct­ly touch­ing the glans of my cli­toris. If that’s you as well, you’ll prob­a­bly enjoy bul­let vibra­tors (try the Hot Octopuss Digit, We-Vibe Tango, Dame Kip, or Je Joue bul­let) and pin­point oscil­la­tors (like the Zumio and Eroscillator).

If you’d rather have four fin­gers or a palm against your entire vul­va, a wand mas­sager like the Magic Wand Plus or BMS Factory Swan Wand is your best bet.

The Fun Factory Volta is anoth­er one of my favorites, for its ver­sa­til­i­ty. It’s pow­er­ful, has an excel­lent range, its tips flut­ter for pin­point stim­u­la­tion, and its flat faces can mas­sage broad­er areas.

Or maybe you don’t want con­ven­tion­al vibra­tions and would rather have an oral sex sim­u­la­tor, like the Fantasy For Her Ultimate Pleasure or NU Sensuelle Trinitii. Both of these toys lick, suck, and vibrate, pro­vid­ing a pletho­ra of sensations

For me, the internal erogenous zones are where the magic really happens.

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I was shocked the first time I read that most women nev­er insert when mas­tur­bat­ing. Limiting pen­e­tra­tion to part­ner play means poten­tial­ly miss­ing out on even more intense orgasms — not to men­tion enhanc­ing inter­course by lit­er­al­ly know­ing what to aim for.

For one, much of the cli­toris is inter­nal. Playing with only the cli­toral glans is like jerk­ing off a penis by just touch­ing the tip. It can get the job done, but it’s way more fun to go beyond. What’s more, hand­held fuck­ing machines are more com­pact than ever. Hooray for lazy mas­tur­ba­tion for unat­tached pil­low princesses!

Here’s a summary of the many erogenous zones inside the vagina:

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G‑SPOT. The G‑spot (yes, it exists!) is the gen­er­al area where the inter­nal cli­toris and ure­thral sponge are espe­cial­ly sen­si­tive on the front wall. For most peo­ple with vagi­nas, the G‑spot is very shal­low — about 1–2 inch­es inside, and either where the pubic bone dips or just past it. Sex toys with steeply curved shafts or pro­trud­ing heads, like the njoy Pure Wand and BMS Factory Pillow Talk Sassy, are gen­er­al­ly best for G‑spot stim­u­la­tion:

A‑SPOT. The A‑spot (also known as the AFE or ante­ri­or fornix eroge­nous zone) is also on the front wall, but a lit­tle deep­er than the G‑spot. It’s almost all the way in, just shy of the cervix. Toys with a shal­low curve or forward-tilting head are also great for A‑spot stim­u­la­tion. The NS Novelties Glass G Wand is my favorite A‑spot dildo.

[My cervical orgasms come from stimulation of my posterior fornix: fingers behind my cervix.]

CERVIX. The cervix, or neck of the womb, isn’t mere­ly the end of the vagi­na. It’s a tubu­lar struc­ture that’s packed with nerve end­ings. The key to finess­ing it is to let objects slide behind it. Some essen­tial read­ing about cervix stimulation:

PERINEAL SPONGE. To stim­u­late this area, you essen­tial­ly press on the anus through the back vagi­nal wall. Toys with bumps and tex­tures, like the Chrystalino Champ, Uberrime Xenuphora, and Fun Factory Stronic Surf, are best for stim­u­lat­ing the per­ineal sponge.

And, of course, everyone has a butt!

There are many rea­sons why butt stuff can feel good. They include stretch­ing at the sphinc­ter, indi­rect G‑spot stim­u­la­tion, and pres­sure on the ends of the cli­toral cru­ra (which wrap around either side of the vagina).

I don’t often review butt stuff, but I have com­piled a list of use­ful design ele­ments to look for in an anal toy for begin­ners and inter­me­di­ates.

Wrapping it up!

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Self-partnering and mas­tur­ba­tion are healthy, though not inher­ent­ly bet­ter or worse than sex with a part­ner. There’s just a dif­fer­ent focus: what do you want when not com­pro­mis­ing with anoth­er per­son­’s needs? It’s not self­ish — know­ing how to sat­is­fy your desires car­ries over into rela­tion­ships with oth­ers, and vice versa.

Dating feels jam-packed with expec­ta­tions and “shoulds” to respond to: those from a part­ner, from par­ents, from soci­ety (and the com­pa­nies cap­i­tal­iz­ing on Valentine’s Day sales).

Media and con­sumerist bom­bard­ment feel espe­cial­ly over­whelm­ing this time of year. But there’s a healthy way of look­ing at things like choco­late, flow­ers, sex toys, and porn. They’re tools that make this world more ecsta­t­ic and gratifying.

While you don’t need the lat­est and great­est good­ies, what you spend time and mon­ey (which you get by spend­ing time) on reflects your val­ues. Let the thing you val­ue most be you.


Photo credits:
  1. Ava Sol
  2. Artem Labunsky
  3. Social Cut
  4. Malvestida Magazine
  5. Drop the Label Movement

1 Response

  1. D. Dyer says:

    an excel­lent reminder to treat myself well and frankly, I need­ed it. Thank you.

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