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ISSUE 120 VOL 8 PUBLISHED 11/17/2006

Sex on the Hill: Masturbation tips

By Paul Dillon
Student Columnist


Friday, November 17, 2006

Dear Sex Columnist,

Many of us are pathetic and claim that "you can't find relationships on the Hill, only relationsh-ts," or fear an on-line cybership (as the Nov. 3 article recommended). We end up stuck with masturbation; yet, this too can be a sticky situation: Will my roommate walk in, will Ole higher-ups know I'm downloading porn and is it pathetic that I spent the last 30 minutes looking for worthy minute-long video clips? To make this BURDEN less stressful and more rewarding, can you give both biological sexes any tips about how to make the achieved orgasm more enjoyable?

– Missing Something in Mellby

Dear MSIM,

As far as I know, there's never been an Oscar for outstanding performance in masturbation. I know we've got a lot of overachievers on the Hill, but wow. When we're getting down on ourselves for mediocre masturbation, I think we may need to accept a few passing grades here and there and move on.

Masturbation should never be a stressful experience. In fact, it should be quite the opposite. I'll avoid addressing your concerns about stressors in the hunt for porn. It is a concern, however, if you can't find a space for privacy. If you're really concerned about your roommate walking in, just get yourself some ovaries and talk to him or her. It's more than likely that both of you like to play a little hand-solo, so don't worry about them judging you. Set up a system for the two of you, like always knocking lightly before entering, or putting a sock on the door when you need your space. If you're too scared to bring it up to him or her, just find out your roommate's extracurricular and class schedules and just hope for the best when they're supposed to be gone.

You're right that dorm life is certainly not conducive to really cathartic and stress-relieving orgasms. Especially since you live in Mellby, you probably want to avoid those lengthy unchecked moans that soar into the 80-decibel range. You may also want to avoid riding your unicycle when it's time for your Thanksgiving break room inspection.

Despite the checks and balances we often place on our pleasurable pursuits, there are many ways to explore self-gratification that are often overlooked.

First of all, most people do the five-digit disco in the same stiff positions, time and time again. Instead of sitting in your desk chair or lying in your bed, try something new. Betty Dodson, the acclaimed grandmother of masturbation, suggests a variety of positions for you to try, including on your knees, with your heels over your head, or with your hips open and knees bent.

Second, the pleasures of sex toys are quite often overlooked. For guys, rings, pumps and sleeves can increase the size and durations of our erections and the intensity of our pleasure. For all genders and sexual orientations, dildos, vibrators, butt plugs and other devices can provide intense stimulation without much effort on your part. Ben Wa balls can help women with vaginal difficulties reach orgasm better.

Third, while pornography usually connotes exploitation and harmful objectification, erotica can stimulate you without such potential for social ills. Try reading erotic stories, scanning erotic imagery or testing the limits of your own fantasies.

Carol Queen, a sex-positive educator, suggests talking dirty to yourself during masturbation. Talking dirty to yourself is a way of letting loose, learning more about your fantasies and practicing skills you might use with a partner.

Fourth, exercising the muscles that control your climax can prolong and intensify your orgasm. If you have a penis, the muscle to exercise is the same muscle that allows you to control when you stop and start urinating. If you have a vagina, doing Kegel's exercises, which strengthen the pubococcygeus muscles of the pelvic floor by clenching and unclenching them, can also increase sexual pleasure. Beware that exercising these muscles too often during urination can lead to a urinary tract infection.

Finally, instead of objectifying someone else, try objectifying yourself for once. Self-voyeurism is another way to help us better understand our own bodies and desires.

Thanks to about.com for some of these ideas.

Sex-related comments, questions and/or suggestions can be e-mailed to secolumnist@stolaf.edu.





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