The Frisky Feminist

Getting in Touch with Yourself

Q: How does one masturbate if they are a virgin and don’t know how to penetrate the right way…but the clit isn’t satisfying enough?

A: When you say “virgin,” we’re inferring that you mean you (if you’re asking about yourself) haven’t had partner sex of some kind, probably including penetrative sex, since penetration is what you’re curious about.

But never fear! Not having done something (like penetration) with someone else doesn’t mean that you can’t figure out how to do it on your own. In fact, if/when you begin having partner sex of different kinds, you may find that what you like with a partner is totally different than what you like by yourself. When I masturbate, it’s almost all clitoral action. But when I’m with a partner – unless you’re giving me oral sex, stay away from my clitoris and focus on the penetration!

If you’re not already familiar with what’s going on up in your vagina, have a look at these two posts for some information (and a fun illustration!) about anatomy. But how do you actually figure out what feels good? Here comes the fun part – experiment! There’s no one Right Way To Penetrate, and it’s all about trying different things and seeing what you like. I’d suggest getting yourself really hot and bothered, whether you like to fantasize, watch or read something sexy, tease yourself by touching other parts of your body that feel good, whatever. The vagina expands and lengthens when you get aroused, so you’ll be in a better position (heh) to start seeing what you like. Some people find that deep penetration is very pleasurable while others prefer it shallower. For me, it’s all about directly rubbing my G-spot from the right angle, but a friend of mine finds the sensation of being filled up very pleasurable, while another friend of mine loves combining clitoral and vaginal stimulation but doesn’t enjoy either of them on their own.

I sometimes dislike sex books because many of them come off as too instructional and make it seem like their suggestions should work for everyone. But I do think that looking at them with the goal of getting ideas of things to try can be really helpful. I haven’t read it but I went to a presentation by the authors of I Love Female Orgasm, and I’ve heard a lot of positive things about it. Another book you might consider is Tickle Your Fancy by Dr. Sadie Allison – if it’s anything like Tickle My Tush, it may be a bit heavy on the cutesy language but offer a lot of suggestions for different kinds of stimulation to try.

Sex toys are another possibility to consider. Maybe I just have small fingers or short arms or something, but I can’t reach the awesome spots inside my vagina by hand! There are vibrators and dildos designed with internal stimulation in mind to help you out with just such a thing. The vast array of toys available can be intimidating, especially for someone who doesn’t yet know what works for them, but there are quite a few smaller, inexpensive vibrators specifically marketed for first-timers. Our general rule of thumb is to err on the side of frugality with new toys so that it’s not a huge loss if it doesn’t quite work out for you, since most sex shops have a pretty strict return policy for this sort of thing (and any store that doesn’t is probably not one you want to patronize in the first place).

Finally, and most importantly, just relax and have fun while you explore. Do what feels good, and try not to pressure yourself to do it “right” or focus too much on having an orgasm. Much like eating a Reese’s cup, there is no wrong way to masturbate. Everyone’s body works a little differently, so it may take some experimentation to find what works best for you, but chances are it’s a process you’ll enjoy no matter what the outcome.

Keep the great ques­tions com­ing! (Hee.) Got a ques­tion to ask, sub­ject you’d like us to dis­cuss, or myth you’d like us to bust? You can e-mail us at or send us an anony­mous mes­sage via the spiffy new Ask Us! fea­ture here.

By paperispatient

I recently earned my MA in women’s studies. I enjoy reading, working out, playing Scrabble, watching cheesy movies, and cooking yummy vegetarian meals with my partner and Frisky Feminist co-author, Future Mr. paperispatient.

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