Sexual pleasure (which can be derived from masturbation or self-pleasure) is the physical and psychological satisfaction and enjoyment derived from solitary or shared erotic experiences, including thoughts, dreams and autoerotism (GAB, 2016).

Sexual pleasure is essential to sexual health and wellbeing, but cisgender women sometimes believe it is unnecessary to pursue pleasure in the absence of their sexual partners. Many cishet  women around the world grow up believing that female sexuality exists to fulfill the purpose of reproduction and male sexual pleasure at the expense of their own needs. 

Self-pleasure or masturbation is important and presents women with the opportunity to seek pleasure without relying on their partners. It gives women power over their sexual experiences and desires and can be quite liberating. Women who masturbate have the ability to focus on what feels good to them in their own comfortable space without worrying about pregnancy, infections, and their partners’ sexual pleasure. 

As a sex coach, you might meet women who think of self-pleasure as irrelevant, unhealthy and selfish because of myths they grew up believing, cultural beliefs, and societal stigma. These women might experience guilt, disgust, discomfort, and shame whenever they masturbate, and therefore they may avoid it altogether.

Before you can empower a woman and give her a reason to explore self-pleasure, you need to listen to her sexual concerns, see how she relates to self-pleasure, and understand what is holding her back from pursuing self-gratification. One way to do that is by using the MEBES™ model. 

Empowering Women To Self Pleasure or Masturbation Using The MEBES™ Model

The MEBES™ model provides a holistic approach—covering the five spheres of being: Mind, Emotion, Body, Energy, and Spirit—to help your client identify the roadblocks in their path toward sexual gratification. You can learn about their thoughts related to self-pleasure (Mind); their suppressed and repressed feelings about masturbation (Emotions); their body image and concerns about sexual function (Body); their sexual energy and how they utilize it (Energy); and their transcendent sexual moments (Spirit).

Identifying what holds a woman back from embracing self-pleasure or masturbation makes it easier to address it, which can help the client learn to see self-pleasure as essential to a fulfilled sex life and overall wellbeing. 

Addressing Negative Body Image Issues

In some cases, negative genital self-image might be what’s holding a client back from self-pleasure. Many women have a negative body image because of the narrow and unrealistic representations of female genitalia in porn. This unrealistic expectation can cause a woman to regard her genitals as abnormal and unattractive, so she cannot entertain the thought of engaging her genitals in a sexual act, especially sex that is just for her and using her own hands. 

Teaching women how to appreciate their genitals as unique and beautiful can lead to sexual pleasure transformations. One way to do this is to encourage them to conceptualize their genitalia as a separate entity that they need to get to know and explore. Another tool is to offer education and training to help them improve their negative self-image. Finally, supporting women to engage in frequent masturbation rituals can help them love and appreciate their genitals. 

Benefits of Self-Pleasure or Masturbation to Women 

As a sex coach, you can paint a clear picture of how a woman’s sex life and wellbeing can change when she devotes time regularly to self-pleasure. You can explain how beneficial masturbation can be to sexual experiences. Some of those benefits include:

  • Sexual-self efficacy
  • Better understanding of their bodies, desires, and sensations
  • Relaxation from sexual tension 
  • Discovery of new erogenous zones 
  • Feeling more connected and in tune with their sexuality 
  • Healthier sex drive 
  • Sexual satisfaction
  • Exploration of their full pleasure potential
  • Positive body image and genital self-image 
  • Sexual confidence and sexual empowerment

It may be helpful to share your experiences with self-pleasure or masturbation. Talking about your experiences and how your sex life has been impacted by self-pleasure can help empower a client to explore masturbation.  But you must be mindful of the risks of self-disclosure and only do so when it truly is in the client’s best interest. It can be safer to anonymously share the stories of other women’s experiences, instead, to make sure you’re not crossing an ethical boundary.  

Read more: “Be Mindful When Deciding to Self Disclose”

It may be helpful for some women to hear how beneficial self-pleasure can be for their partnered sexual experiences, as well. A woman who devotes time to masturbate tends to be more sexually efficacious because she has explored her own desires and boundaries and knows her full pleasure potential. It helps with communication in sexual relationships, because she can name her needs and rightfully guide her partner to fulfill those needs. 

You may also choose to explain to clients how various sexual concerns may directly or indirectly arise out of an unwillingness to engage in self-pleasure. This should focus on the client’s sexual concern and what they seek to gain from the coaching session as a way of empowering them to self-pleasure.

Sexual Concerns Related to Self-Pleasure 

  1. Inability to get orgasms 
  2. Negative body image 
  3. Sexual dissatisfaction 
  4. Painful sex 
  5. Low sexual desire 
  6. Sexless relationships 
  7. Communication conflicts 

Self-pleasure can increase a woman’s sexual self-confidence and help her to better understand and be more comfortable with her sexuality. This can often  make it easier for women to talk about sex with their partners.

Concerns about masturbation being unhealthy can be approached by explaining to women that masturbation is one of the safest alternatives to partnered sex because of the absence of risks of pregnancy, infections, and worries about the partner’s sexual response. Self-pleasure presents women with an opportunity to learn and understand their bodies better while establishing a healthy sexual relationship with their bodies. 

When women understand how beneficial self-pleasure can be to their overall sexual function and wellbeing, they tend to feel more empowered to establish a healthy relationship with their bodies by exploring self-pleasure. It goes a long way to provide empowerment, boost self-confidence, and assertiveness that they should find useful in all spheres of life.