Though sex can be a multiplayer game, there's a lot to be said for getting it on with your bad self. Whether you charge up your favorite toy or prefer to get your own hands dirty, knowing how to orgasm without a partner can be a total game-changer.
"Each body is equipped for pleasure all on its own," Brianne McGuire, host of the Sex Communication podcast, tells Elite Daily. "For those struggling to reach orgasm, the absence of pressure and observation [from partnered sex] often allows for great success."
As McGuire shares, masturbating, or bringing yourself to orgasm, can allow you to learn about your own erogenous zones and "unique pleasure points" at a pace that's comfortable and enjoyable for you. When you're not worrying about being in tune with a partner or trying to arouse someone else, you can turn all your attention to yourself, and really learn about your body.
"[Orgasming without a partner] is a great way to reduce stress, connect with your body, and feel pleasure that's in your control," Kayna Cassard, sex therapist and founder of Intuitive Sensuality, tells Elite Daily. "When you know what makes you feel good and orgasm, you can better explore and reach orgasm with your partner."
While some people may reach orgasm by stimulating their genitals, Lola Jean, sex educator and mental health professional, shares that because everybody is different, orgasms look and feel different for everyone. "There are prostate orgasms, penile orgasms, breath orgasms, skin orgasms, clitoral orgasms, [and] cervical orgasms which can be induced manual or via the vagus nerve," Jean says.
For Dr. Christopher Ryan Jones, sex and relationships therapist, experimenting with different sensations on different parts of your body is a great way to understand yourself more. "I highly recommend that everyone experiments with different erogenous zones on their body (nipples, genitals, anus, etc. ) using their hands and adult toys," Dr. Jones tells Elite Daily. "This is a fantastic way to explore and understand your body, which is really important so that you can communicate your likes and dislikes with your partner later on and increase both partners' satisfaction in the bedroom."
Jean adds that while it's possible to orgasm from directly stimulating these locations, it's also possible to reach the big O from indirect touching. "You can achieve a G-spot orgasm via accessing it through the anal canal. You can have a blended orgasm — prostate and penile, or g-spot and external clitoris. There are so many ways to experience pleasure that we tend to limit ourselves by receding the definition down to one or two things," Jean says.
Additionally, Cassard shares that some orgasms don't need physical stimulation at all. "For all kinds of people, there can be the ability to have energetic orgasms or orgasms that typically come through breathwork, meditation, and the right mindset without even touching the genitals," Cassard says. In addition to breathing and meditating, Jean suggests listening to guided masturbation tracks and imagining different sexual fantasies in our brains or visual stimulation.
All of the experts suggest exploring your own body and seeing what feels right for you. "Getting to know your body through touch is the easiest path to solo orgasm," McGuire says. "If visuals help get your blood flowing, then pull out some porn or whatever turns you on and begin there. Toys are extremely helpful, and there are many options — try external and internal toys, even a combination of the two, and find what works best for you."
In addition to finding what toys work for you and incorporating porn or other erotic media, Cassard suggests using different props or stimuli, like a showerhead or a couch cushion. "[You can orgasm by yourself] in a lot of the same ways that you orgasm with a partner," Cassard says. "Lying down with your back on the bed or couch stimulating the genitals, facing downward 'humping' a pillow or rolled-up towel, in the shower with a water-safe toy or with the showerhead directly on the clitoris — [there are ] so many ways!"
Of course, no matter what road to take to the big O, it's important to listen to your own body. "The most important thing being to listen to your body, be patient, and don’t emulate what you think you’re 'supposed' to do," Jean says. Though orgasming may look a certain way in movies or on TV, Jean shares the importance of learning your own orgasm. Cassard also urges you to keep an open mind as you learn about your body. "Notice the places in your body that feel neutral or pleasant to help you stay out of your head and in the pleasure," Cassard says. "Explore! Have fun with it!"
While you may enjoy the connection and intimacy from partnered sex (which, BTW, is totally cool), Jean shares that it can still be important to take some time to get it on with yourself, even when you're seeing someone. "It is often easier and potentially faster to orgasm by one's self," Jean says. "You can adjust based on your own feeling without having to communicate that to someone else." Though you may love nothing more than getting it on with your partner, it's always OK to want some one-on-one time as well.
From using a toy to touching yourself with yourself, knowing how to make yourself orgasm can be super empowering. Though it may take two to tango, it only takes one to reach the big O.
Lola Jean, sex educator and mental health professional
Dr. Christopher Ryan Jones, relationship and sex therapist