If a woman is open-minded to the idea of exploring eroticism, she should start by reading some erotic literature. I suggest:

  • ‘Emmanuelle’ by Emmanuelle Arsan: relates the sexual adventures of young women;
  • ‘The Happy Hooker’ by Xaviera Hollander: describes the author’s experiences of pleasuring men as a high-class prostitute and the madam of a brothel; and
  • ‘The Story of O’ by Pauline Reage: describes a fantasy castle setting where men use women for their pleasure (includes sadism). Remember not to judge – this is fantasy!

I read these books while still a teenager and I am confident that any heterosexual woman should be able to enjoy at least some of the explicitly sexual scenarios.

Read these books in private; preferably when the house is empty. After reading a book, return to the sections that you found most arousing. Try to imagine yourself in the title role. Then spend some private time perhaps on the bed gently touching your clitoral/vulva area while reading the most arousing passages or while re-living them in your mind.

Forget about your body to start with and focus on what is happening in your mind. Physical stimulation is used to bring a mental state of sexual arousal to orgasm. So if you are not mentally turned on then don’t bother with any physical stimulation. There’s no point.

“To masturbate, fantasizing, or getting into an aroused state mentally is important. Also, for me, being alone is important. I use the tips of my fingers for actual stimulation, but it’s better to start with patting motions or light rubbing motions over the general area.” (p81 The Hite Report 1976)

Find a comfortable position (women masturbate in various positions) and explore gently stimulating your vulva and over the clitoral hood. Some women use a pillow, or other object or just their fingers. When I first learned how to masturbate, I would rub my vulva through my underwear. Later I enjoyed more focused clitoral stimulation by using my fingers directly on the skin.

Lying face down, with my eyes shut, I move my hips gently from side to side with my fingers positioned over my vulva. I tense my pelvic muscles slightly. As the intensity of focus on fantasy increases my sense of arousal, my fingers press more firmly into the clitoral area.

If all else fails then buy a vibrator.

A man needs to allow his woman privacy and to avoid interrogating her afterwards. To enjoy our own sexual arousal we need to feel free to explore our sexual fantasies. This is difficult if we have to justify them to someone else later. Just think how you would feel! Remember also that a man would probably always choose sex over masturbation. It’s different for a woman who only enjoys orgasm through masturbation alone: she doesn’t necessarily want to be interrupted by an enthusiastic partner!

The women who replied to Shere Hite’s questionnaire in 1976 described their experience of female masturbation as follows:

  • 73% – stimulate their clitoral/vulva area with hand while lying on their back
  • 5.5% – stimulate their clitoral/vulva area with hand while lying on their front
  • 4% – press their clitoral/vulva area against a soft object e.g. pillow
  • 3% – press thighs together rhythmically
  • 1.5% – water massage of clitoral/vulva area
  • 11% – women who masturbate in more than one of above ways

So once again, I’m a freak – well in the 5% category! Why be like everyone else? Women are most usually depicted masturbating on their backs so that any audience can see what they are doing. So, is it that most women say they masturbate on their backs because they do or is it that they imagine that this is how a woman should masturbate? One wonders…

Excerpt from Jane’s book Ways Women Orgasm (2011)


  1. I, myself have found my own fantasies to be about rape, for the most part thats what they revolve around. But because it is, in reality, a damaging act for women I find it hard to be comfortable expressing it with my girlfriend (whom I enjoy talking about sex and recently masturbation to) and my boyfriend (whom I’m sexually active with, but he may not feel comfortable thinking about me being “raped”). I’m still at a learning curve with developing my own masturbation needs, so trying to add others in the process now is biting more off than I can handle. I would just like to define my own needs and desires first, to insure as little miscommunication as possible of what my intentions and desires are of experimenting with fantasies and masturbation.

    However my boyfriend is very interested in my progress and what I am doing; I feel comfortable an eager to talk to him about what I have done so far and what I am experimenting. Any tips on how I can include him on what is going on with as little room for the experiments to be taken offensively or as “uncomfortable” (fantasies in specific)? I’m thinking there needs to be limitation on what I do tell him and what i keep personal to myself. I don’t really know how to meet a middle ground on that though. I would like to include him as well as keep my own “secrets” (arouses me a bit to think I’m doing sexual things behind his back :] ). Even though masturbation is normal and not cheating, the thought is still there.

    -I’m ready

  2. Compared with men women are much more psychological than physical in their approach to orgasm. Women are more often turned on by words (stories) than by images. Even for men though orgasm is not just about genital stimulation. The first step is mental arousal. So it’s vital to find a source that causes you to become mentally aroused enough for orgasm to be even possible.

    I suggest that you read as much erotic literature as you can without any pressure or agenda. Read a variety of different genres and authors. Don’t be put off a book just because you think it might be a bit shocking. Women get far too hung up about trying to keep sex sanitary. Women are often too hung up about hygiene issues but if you bathe regularly there is nothing dirty about touching your genitals directly.

    The whole point of sexual arousal is that it is caused by taboo activities: the more weird and kinky – the more arousing in general. Of course, you might be lucky and get turned on by straight intercourse with your partner. But most women find they need to fantasise about rape, fellatio or bondage with surreal but sexually assertive strangers. None of these activities is necessarily arousing in real life – in fact, often the contrary.

    Of course, sex with a partner is often a very different proposition and many women are disappointed when they find that sex is not as arousing as when they use fantasy during masturbation. Sex is vital to feeling like a sexual woman and having real-life sexual experiences to feed your fantasies. My suggestions are intended for women who have not yet discovered masturbation. You seem to have a fair amount of experience of your own.

    If you don’t want to spend ten years or more waiting to experience orgasm, masturbation represents a much easier route but then you may be disappointed when orgasm with a partner is more difficult. The challenge for many couples once they start having sex is that a man’s need for orgasm can be most easily satisfied through intercourse and so less time is dedicated to a woman’s sexual arousal.