I play with myself erotically almost every day. I say almost because I check in with my body first. Sometimes my body wants a rest. Sometimes my body is tired. I have learned to listen to and respect my body’s messages. Cultivating that skill, which to me essentially defines embodiment, has changed my life.
Mindful masturbation, the 21st Century version of the old-fashioned wank, is truly a new and improved version. First, when I say I play with myself, I play with my entire body. I play with myself in all the ways I know I like to be touched all over my body. I have learned this through practice. This is so much more than genital stimulation. I could play with my own hands for hours. I have learned I love to massage my own feet. My entire body is an erogenous zone and I touch all of it to stimulate, increase and play in my surging erotic energy.
In addition to touch, I also utilize breath, movement and sound. Together, they are the four pillars of a Taoist Erotic Massage, as taught by the Body Electric School, and of Sexological Bodywork. These are both therapeutic and healing modalities created by the incomparable Grandfather of American Ecstatic Eroticism, Joseph Kramer.
During self-pleasuring, another 21st Century term for intentionally and regularly giving yourself pleasure, I am working with my breath in very focused ways. Inhaling and exhaling happens on its own 24/7, without us ever really thinking about it. But, when you do think about it, depending upon how you’re breathing, your focused intentional breath can slow down and calm your nerves, or heighten and move your erotic energy skyward.
I move around a lot when I’m doing this. Sometimes I’m standing up. Sometimes I’m dancing, or just wiggling around the room. Sometimes I even lay down – but usually then I’m also thrusting. I believe that pelvic thrusts are in our collective DNA memory. We all know how to thrust our pelvises (Rocky Horror Picture Show taught us!), and when we do it, our body shrieks, “oh goodie, we’re going to have sex!” - no matter what our sex or sexual orientation or preferred position is - and the erotic energy starts to surge.
When I say masturbation, I know many guys think they know exactly what I’m talking about. Yet, it feels much different than hiding under the sheets at night with a flashlight, reading Dad’s Playboy or Mom’s Playgirl while quietly spanking the monkey, trying not to make any sound, or shake the squeeky bed, or wake up any siblings who might be across the room, or in the next room on the other side of a cardboard thick wall. No no no. No more quietly playing with my penis. Opening the vocal chords and letting out any sounds, noises or sighs, also helps increase and move erotic energy in the body.
Working intentionally with breath, touch, sound and movement (or as I like to call them BTSM), in focused ways, can also create male full body orgasms. A male full body orgasm is the mostly unacknowledged ability of a male-bodied person to separate ejaculation from orgasm, spread the erotic energy around his entire body, not just the genitals, and experience insanely pleasurable waves of orgasmic sensations rolling over his body, repeatedly, for long periods of time. Whew! Male full body orgasms might feel a lot like a woman’s orgasm – I don’t know. I can say that some of the full body orgasms I experience can look a lot like I’ve seen when a woman is having multiple orgasms. And, since there is no ejaculation, there is no refractory period (the time it takes for a penis to regain rigidity after an ejaculation, which varies between men particularly depending upon age and overall health). If you’ve heard of edging, that is a great way to practice this. Repeatedly building erotic arousal toward ejaculation, but repeatedly backing off without ejaculating, thereby increasing the body’s capacity to experience pleasure without ejaculation, and thereby allowing the body to get to higher and higher erotic states without the inevitable calm and crash that occurs after a typical male ejaculation.
A client of mine recently asked me what this felt like in my body. I said it felt like little sparky fireworks going off in every cell in my body. They can go in waves. And, if you don’t ejaculate, the waves of orgasmic sensation continue.
For mindful masturbation sessions, I suggest setting up your space as if you’re having a hook up with a hot date, or a sex date with your partner. Take a shower, douche, get out cock rings and toys, choose some mood music, burn some incense. And, then have a hot sex date with yourself!