Pleasure is something that most humans seek after in some form or fashion, and usually from people and/or things outside of ourselves. This can be a very beautiful thing, as a part of life is meant to be experienced with other individuals. But, what about self-pleasure? Oftentimes, we as humans neglect that form of power we hold within ourselves; to give ourselves that aspect of joy. Truthfully, not everyone has a lover that can fulfill their needs all the time or friends/family within distance to give them the pleasure that comes from being around your loved ones. Even still if you do, it is important to remember that we cannot always depend on others to fill our cup; we play a huge role in our own fulfillment as well. That is why we are here today to discuss self-pleasure and a tremendous way to cultivate that for yourself: masturbation. 

What is self-pleasure?

Self-pleasure is defined as . As defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, it is “the giving of pleasure to oneself.” Or as Sam Lomen would describe “... the way of worldliness and earthly mindedness; the way of sensuality and self-pleasing.” Sounds beautiful, right? To us, it does too. But unfortunately, so many of us haven't been taught about masturbation and the positive effects it can have on our livelihood and well-being (of course this depends on different factors including libido and sexual preferences but that's another topic for another day) or if we are aware of what masturbation is, we were taught to be disgusted by it. In order to get to the root of why self-pleasure is difficult for many individuals, we must understand how masturbation has been viewed as sinful and distasteful, especially for people with vulvas. So many have been conditioned to believe that their desire to please themselves is dirty and shameful when in reality, it can be one of the most beautiful and empowering acts you do. When you are able to please yourself, you are then able to spread that positive energy to those around you, even though it doesn’t have to necessarily be sexual energy. Masturbation is healthy, even if you are in a relationship we do hope for you to still cultivate self-pleasure and a moment of more personal intimacy to not only become closer to yourself but also set the foundation and tone for how you would like to be treated and handled by others. Because when you learn what feels good to you, it makes it easier to teach your current or future partner(s) how to love and please you.

So now we get into the fun stuff: sex toys. Now sex toys might actually scare some people, but that is usually because we were fed sex-negative, fear-based rhetoric but we are here to help eliminate that fear or even simply scratch some curious minds. So let’s get into some sex toy talk that could possibly help you put together your own personal pleasure language. 


We’re starting off with one that most people have heard of, and from what we have learned, what most people with vulvas usually reach for first (think the small, cheap, bullet vibrators you find at Spencer's) when they first start on their self-pleasure journey. There are a few different types of vibrators: clitoral, wand, and combo. 

Clitoral vibrators

Otherwise known as external vibrators are best for those who want a focused stimulation on the clitoris and usually a faster climax. They are made to go on or around the clitoris, but you can use them anywhere externally that vibration feels good. The nipples, labia, testicles, and neck are some good examples. 

Try: Slay Tickle Me Pink Vibrator

Wand vibrators

Wand vibrators are for those who want a more intense vibration and they usually have multiple vibration patterns.

Try: Hype Body Wand Massager 

Then you have combination vibrators for those who like the best of both worlds. It is usually a dildo and an external vibrator. They can come with rotating or thrusting parts to increase an intense stimulation. Combo vibrators are great options for solo play.

Try: Bunny Kisses Rabbit Vibrator

Clit suction toys 

These are great for those not only seeking clitoral stimulation, but prefer that stimulation over penetration. They use air and suction to stimulate the clitoris vs a vibration feel. 

Try: Are Suction Toy

Dildos and Harnesses

Dildos are phallic-shaped and made for the penetration lovers. They come in different shapes, sizes, textures, and colors as well as glass or stainless steel options. They even have some that come with an auto thrust as well as double ended ones to use on multiple holes. You can use a dildo in a harness to penetrate your partner or vice versa. We definitely recommend considering the weight, depth, texture, and even temperature of the dildo to give you the best and most comfortable experience possible. Don't think you have to get a 9 inch dildo if you like something smaller. The possibilities are endless here! 

P.S. glass dildos can be frozen if you like that kind of sensation.

Try: Tantus Beginner Kit

Butt plugs/massagers 

These stimulate the anal cavity/prostate. You can create a full sensation when you use one of these alongside vaginal penetration. A note of caution though, only buy and use ones with a flared base. You don't want one of these getting lost in your anal cavity, trust. 

Try: Bellesa Anal Training Kit

Anal beads 

These are a string of beads designed to massage the anal cavity when inserted & then slowly removed. The beads are graduated in size so the smaller ones are inserted first and they get larger as you move further in.

Try: Satisfyer Beads

G-spot/A-spot toys 

These are curved to help hit the front wall of the vagina where the clitoral tissue resides. They also come in many shapes and sizes, with or without vibration. For those that have a hard time having an orgasm through penetration, this is a good option to try out.

Try: Glas G-Spot Tickler

Penis rings 

These go around the base of the penis to keep blood flow in which results in longer erections. There's also options with attached vibrators, making it great for couple play. 

Try: Boronia Cock Ring

Penis sleeves 

These are toys that penises can penetrate, like a handjob but more enhanced. Some even vibrate! These are great options for either mutual or solo masturbation. 

Try: Lovehoney Ignite Vibrating Penis Sleeve

Impact/Sensation toys 

These include handcuffs, blindfolds, feather ticklers, whips, and more. The important thing to keep in mind with these, however, is safety and preference. Never assume what your partner likes, make sure to have a conversation beforehand to discuss boundaries, including safe words.

Try: Sportsheets The Motivator Leather Bondage Crop

Couple sex toys 

These can be any sex toy really, but there are some that are created specifically for couples. There are insertables that create sensations for both partners and remote controlled toys so your partner can push your buttons by the push of a button.

Try: We-Vibe Chorus

Now that you've made it to the end of our mini guide, we hope that you're able to take what resonates, leave the rest, and cultivate a healthy and respectful relationship with self-pleasure because you deserve it.

Alexsia Marsh
Full-spectrum birth worker, sex & pleasure educator