Polish the pearl: Methods of masturbation

Masturbation is healthy, perfectly natural and a wonderful way of getting to know your own body.

There are several methods of clitoral masturbation, from a go-it-alone approach to adding a partner or a few toys into the mix to really get the party started!

What works for one person may not float the boats of others, so it really is a matter of personal preference and practice to see what works best for you.

If you are just getting started and haven’t yet worked out a self-love routine, we suggest picking a time when you have the house to yourself as few things ruin a good sesh as much as a nosy flatmate!

Next, you need to know where your clitoris is located. Grab a mirror, gently pull back the clitoral hood and you should be able to see a small ‘pea’ nestled in amongst the folds – this is the outer part of your clitoris. Hiding inside your body are two clitoral legs, spanning apporimately 8 cm each on either side of the vaginal opening. Cool huh!

Clitorises come in a variety of sizes, but a larger sized clit doesn’t necessarily mean a better orgasm – it’s just easier to find.

So, what are the best methods of female masturbation? Here are a few techniques to get you started…

Pleasure at Your Fingertips

Start getting to know your body better by using your fingertips to gently tap the pubic bone just above the clitoris. This will help wake your vulva up and start to get things moving. As your body starts responding to your touches, blood will flow into the area, making your bits feel juicier.

It could be that your vulva is already plenty wet, but we recommend drizzling some lube on to your fingers before the next step. Lube makes fingertips softer and smoother and enhances sensations in a delicious way.

Begin to press down and use slow and circular movements – and if it feels good then don’t stop, instead, find a rhythm that feels great and keep going!

The best thing with masturbation is that there is only one person to pleasure: you! Take as much time as you need; a great orgasm often requires a build-up of neuromuscular tension (sexual tension) and the hotter you feel, the more intense the resulting orgasm will be.


The Scissor Sisters Technique

Another popular method of female masturbation is the ‘scissor sister’s’ technique.

Using one hand, make a kind of peace sign with your index and middle fingers and place a finger on each side of your outer labia.

Add a little pressure and gently move the two fingers together in a scissors motion and lift your labia up slightly to increase the sensation whilst finding a speed that works for you. Again, lubed up fingers will add to the slidey sensations. It’s a very soft way of stroking yourself with no real intensity to the stimulation of the clitoris. This is a great way of masturbating if you’re not keen on over-stimulation.


This technique is similar to how a clit clamp works, which is the advanced but oh-so-amazing level.  Using a clit clamp isn’t as scary as it sounds and should always be pleasurable, not painful.

A clit clip ‘clamps’ the two inner labia lips together, thus squishing over the clitoris and limiting blood flow. This makes you feel more aware of your delicate area and it often helps to build arousal.

Fancy giving it a go? Lube up the labia lips before sliding the clit clamp down and along the inner labia lips. When positioned correctly, the clitoral hood + clit should rest in the rounder part of the top of the clip.

Polish the Pearl

Having a clitoris is awesome, so show it some self-love with our next masturbation technique.

With your dominant hand, start by slowly dragging your index or middle finger from the base of the vaginal opening to your clitoris. Once you reach this little pearl of pleasure, gently circle it before starting the process again.

You may find that your clitoris can get a little sensitive if touched directly, so just work around it and find a motion that you enjoy best.

A little silicone-based lube can help make this technique super-hot and ramp up the pleasure! Silicone lube is longer-lasting than water-based lube and works wonderfully well for long sessions, or when playing in water.


The shower head or faucet of the bath are both good tools for solo play. Many learn how to orgasm with the help of a quality power shower, aiming the warm jets just so, and others let the water splash down on to the clitoris straight from the tap. Depending on your bath tub, this may involve some acrobatic moves trying to position yourself – legs over the edge is a common one.

Bump, Hump & Grind

Positioning is key when it comes to masturbation and working out what rocks your boat could and should involve a few different positions.

One fun position to try is the bump & grind, or ‘humping’. We know women who build themselves a little mountain of pillows for mounting and grinding their pelvic area against. This doubles as an excellent workout for the thighs – mixing business with pleasure!

If all that moving around seems too tiresome, you could treat yourself to a Ruby Glow, the vibrator for seated satisfaction! Featuring two motors (one for the clitoris and one for the vaginal opening), you rock yourself against the thrilling vibrations. The clever design of Ruby Glow works equally well on beds, sofas and wheelchairs, and you can even rub one out without taking your clothes off!


Next Level Pleasure

Once you’ve tried these techniques and worked out what works best for you, you might want to think about a few toys to treat yourself to or to share with a partner as you carry on exploring what works for you.

Vibrators are magnificent pleasure-makers and despite what porn may want us to believe (‘bigger is better’), we sell way more small vibes for clitoral teasing than bigger toys for internal use.

Small finger-tip toys are great fun and can easily be shared with a partner. Slightly bigger bullet-style vibes are easy to hold and pack a  stronger punch. Egg-shaped vibrators mirror the shape of the labia and can be enjoyed in numerous ways.

Vibrators can sometimes lead your clitoris to feel overstimulated, especially if it’s been held right at the tip of the clit. To avoid this, circle the vibe around your pleasure pearl, tease the labia lips, invite the nipples to your buzzin’ party… There are lots of sensitive nerve-endings in and around the opening of vagina, so li’l stroke here often increases the desire for more.


Every so often customers ask if it’s ‘bad’ to masturbate too often or if it’ll ruin sex with a partner. To this, we say: What is too often anyway? There are no rules – you can play as often or as seldom as you like!

And as for partnered sex, finding out your individual likes and dislikes makes partnered sex better and hotter, as you can teach your partner what you like, and how you like it.

Our tip would be to book a night in, get the lube and any favourite toys out and get down to some mutual masturbation. It is super-hot to watch each other get off and you’re bound to learn something new about your partner’s fave moves, like a certain grip, pump or slide!

Have a good tip or trick to share with us? We’d love to hear, so drop us a line below!




A Monologue with My Vagina

A Monologue with My Vagina

You won’t be surprised to hear that we talk about vaginas all day long; what we love about them, what we don’t love about them, what to do if a vagina seems too tight, too elastic, too painful for pleasure…. If you have ever visited our shop in East London, chances are that you took part in a conversation about vaginas, or at least overheard one. It’s what we do.

We celebrate the pussy.

It’s Masturbation Month and we figure there’s no better time to start a online conversation with and about our vaginas. IRL we talk about our muffkins daily, so why not here too?

For some reason, talking about a male rubbing one off is perfectly ok but people still shy away from discussing techniques and tips when it come to tickling one’s yoniberry. Which is why many women assume there is only one way of doing it – their way, naturally.

Having come across a video of US sexuality educator Betty Dodson teaching a group of women how to masturbate many years ago, we were blown away: there were so many different ways of doing it!

We watched the old vhs video many times – just in case we’d missed something.

Then we set about recreating what we’d seen. Wowzers!

We’re not going to beat about the bush with this one, we’re diving in deep and we’re going to start from the beginning:

When Did You First Start Jiggling Your Jewel?

Whatever you want to call it, buffin’ the muffin, jilling off, diddling the skittle, or the more sophisticated menage a moi, there was a time when you discovered what your clitoris could do – and you probably haven’t stopped petting it since.

When was this?

An open poll amongst good friends came up with some funny answers.


Powerful, neverending and set to a comfortable temperature, we reckon shower jets are the number one reason teenage girls spend so much time in the shower – it’s an excellent way of working out what the V.A.G likes.

Also, not to be ignored is the power of bezzie mates – a best friend is worth her weight in gold. Especially if she knows how to buff a muff – it’s a skill that will no doubt come in handy (ha!) throughout

It seems that ages 10-12 are important for sexual awakenings, as most of the friends we asked ‘found’ their happy button around that age – or at least discovered its magic.

One of us had a less-than-pleasant first experience, though. Whilst not deliberate masturbation, it seems an innocent play session with friends turned into an early orgasmic experience.

Having watched – in envy – her friends shimmy on up the swing frames, she decided to have a go. It was a slow, arderous climb, with some gliding back down before throwing herself back on the pole, when all of a sudden she developed a weird twitchyness and weak knees. Not understanding what was going on (that took another 10 years), she hopped off and never attempted to climb another pole or frame again… But a decade on, it suddenly made sense why her friends kept climbing those poles!

We’d love to hear what you have to say about your own discovery – leave a comment below or chat with us on  Twitter using #TickleYourPickle.

How to Use a Double Dildo

Why Buy a Vibrator?

The history of the vibrator has skipped between the medical and the porn world since it’s invention in Victorian times.

But it’s really in the last 15 years that vibrators have come out of the closet and have been embraced as the fabulous playthings they really are.

Before this, a woman using a vibrator was seen as either hysterical, sex-starved, sex-crazed, bitterly single or just plain sad. She was also in dire peril of becoming de-sensitized or addicted to vibrator sex, unable to enjoy “proper” sex again!

Happily (and in no small part down to Sh!, the first women’s sex shop in the UK), a vibrator’s buzz is now something every modern women is free to explore and enjoy.

Vibrators Help Women Orgasm

Sh! jessica side
Sh! Jessica Rabbit £40

1 in 3 women find orgasms tricky during sex and 1 in 10 find them frustratingly impossible to come by. Even easily orgasmic women take their time, with most requiring over 20 minutes of stimulation before they climax.

Lots of women have their first orgasm with a vibrator.

Learning how to ‘do it’ as well as learning how to recognize the feelings leading up to orgasm, are the first liberating steps into discovering different ways to orgasm too.

Female sexuality is complex. The upside is that female orgasm is longer and stronger than the male equivalent when it does arrive.

Hands, tongues and bodies tire, but a well-charged vibrator never does. Delivering 200 oscillations a minute, it can provide the constant and sustained stimulation that allows many women to tip over the edge.

For many women, their vibrator equals a guaranteed orgasm, whether alone or with a partner.  Whilst not all sex has to culminate in climax (for either party) if it’s a case of frustration and disappointment vs bringing out your vibe – then we say ‘bring it out’!

Vibrators Enhance Couples’ Sex

Sh! Easy Egg
Sh! Easy Egg £22

Around 75%-80% of women don’t orgasm through penetration alone.

Most of us need extra clitoral stimulation to tip us over the edge during intercourse.

It can be difficult to co-ordinate, as well as tiring, to do this manually, whereas a well-placed vibrator can make adding clitoral thrills easy.

Not just for clitorises, a vibrator’s buzz can feel good on all erogenous zones; nipples, necks, inner thighs, bums, your man’s tackle – you name it!

A vibrator provides focused sensations that many women – and men – find intensely stimulating. It’s a different sort of sensation from any other and worth exploring.

A vibrator can enhance all sorts of erotic play and more and more couples are enjoying toys together.

Happily, with vibrators loosing their taboo, and with so many stylish and discreet vibes on the market today,  introducing toys to partner sex has never been easier.

Masturbation Month

Best Female Masturbation Books

It is very tricky, especially for women, to find good, honest and clear information about masturbation and sexuality, as we know from of many years of talking and listening to women about it this very subject!

So we’re going to share our top  few of our favourite sex guides which cover female masturbation in all it’s fabulous forms….

Best Book for Clitoral-Focused Masturbation


Clitoral Truth
Clitoral Truth

The Clitoral Truth, by Rebecca Chalker, gives a detailed and fascinating account of the clitoris – the only human organ intended entirely for pleasure!

Rebecca Chalker draws on the knowledge of women doctors and patients and dramatically rethinks the dominant assumptions about women and sexuality.

Accompanied by lively drawings, and articles on the G-Spot and orgasms as well as the biology of the clitoris, The Clitoral Truth is highly recommended!

Best Book For Exploring G-Spot Masturbation & Pleasure

Smart Girl’s Guide to the G-Spot £10.99

The Smart Girl’s Guide to the G-Spot by Violet Blue is a great guide to the G-spot in all its aspects – what it is, where to find it, how to stimulate it – alone or with a partner.

She starts with anatomical explanations, and covers positions, G-Spot toys, DVDs and other good stuff!
The G-Spot is still the site of so much mystery, but Violet Blue does a lot to make it clear.

(We also love the companion volume, The Smart Girl’s Guide To Porn, which covers all aspects of exploring erotica).


Best Book for Anal Pleasure

Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women
Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women £14.99

The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women, written by anal sex expert Tristan Taormino, is a great guide to every aspect of anal play.

Specifically aimed at women interested in exploring anal pleasure, this expanded second edition is a cover-all  guide to enjoying anal sex on your own as well as with a partner, communicating about anal sex, giving as well as receiving, and even anal power play.

The first book ever to deal specifically with anal sex for women, Tristan Taormino’s work is a fantastic resource whether you’re curious about anal sex, a beginner, or rapidly qualifying to be an anal Expert!


Best All-Round Guide Cover Masturbation, Sexuality & Sexual Pleasure for all Genders

Good Vibrations Guide to Sex
Good Vibrations Guide to Sex £18.99

The Good Vibes Guide to Sex is one of our all time  favourites – we call it ‘The Bible’ and keep a copy close to hand in our shop.

Written by women who have spent many years working in America’s Good Vibrations store, it answers pretty much every question about sex and sexuality you could think of…

It’s a  guide for anyone and everyone and covers masturbation and self-love, in detail, as well as oral sex, anal sex, S/M, and much more! We love the down-to earth tone, broad range of topics covered and its inclusivity of all sexualities and genders – this book really covers it all!

So, there’s a few of our favourite sex guides that specifically cover female masturbation and self pleasure ( though they also cover partner-pleasure too) These are classics that have stood the test of time; super informative, and handy  to have around.

Please Note: Theses guides will *always* be on our store and virtual shelves, so long as we can get our hands on them. If they show as out of stock, or even discontinued, this is because they are re-printing and thus unfortunately there will be a long wait – please be patient!

advice sex toys

Sex Toys and the Hite Report

In 1974 (18 years before Sh! opened its doors and gave women a chance to buy their own sex toys in a relaxed & informative environment), Shere Hite published ‘The Hite Report On Female Sexuality’, an account of the first large research project which had asked women about their experiences of masturbation and sex.

Sh! Jessica Rabbit £40
Sh! Jessica Rabbit £40

Hite was reacting against all the previous studies (made by male researchers) which assumed that ‘sex = heterosexual intercourse’. Hite researched women’s experiences of all forms of sexuality, including masturbation. Before the Hite Report, it was believed that only a minority of women ever masturbated. Hite’s research showed that 82% of women masturbated regularly and of them 95% had no difficulty reaching orgasm.

At the time this was a revolutionary statistic, as it was widely assumed that women were slow to get turned on and found orgasms difficult to reach, based on studies of heterosexual intercourse. Hite was the first to reveal that women can and do have satisfying experiences of masturbation, and that clit stimulation, rather than penetration, is the secret of satisfaction for most of us. Hite was able to categorise six different styles of masturbation. (The figures are a bit different today; this research was done pre-Rabbit-Vibrator, before That Madonna Video and pre-Sh!).

We have had a look at the list and come up with some suggestions for what style works with which of our fabulous toys.

Rippled Finger Vibe £18
Rippled Finger Vibe £18

73% of women said they masturbate by lying on their backs and stimulating their clits directly.

This classic style can be combined with a Finger Vibrator for an extra thrill, or with a small bullet vibrator.

5.5% of women described masturbating while lying on their stomachs.

This style is cosy and allows for lots of variations. An egg vibrator would be ideal with this style – they’re small, strong and have separate controls for easy access when you want to turn up the buzz. For a more direct buzz, try the Rabbit Ears Clit Vibe – rabbit ears are fantastic for focused clitoral simulation.

4% of women rub themselves on an object – soft or hard – without touching themselves with their hands.

Cordless Wand
Cordless Wand £50

Indirect stimulation can also be really sensuous – the whole genital region is very sensitive and some women find that rubbing gives them exactly what they need. Try combining this style with vibration – Je Joue Mimi Soft pebble vibe is a perfect shape for providing widespread buzz, or the Wand Massager, with its large vibrating head, is also great for women who like this style.

Other women masturbate by rhythmically tensing and relaxing their thighs to squeeze their clit.

This is a great style for long bus journeys, as it’s super subtle. To complement this style, we think reckon Love Balls would be fantastic to add a little G-Spot sensation, plus they give your PC muscles an extra work-out. Alternatively, very small bullets like the Sh! Bullet Vibe which is small enough to be tucked between your lips for a lot of buzz, are a great addition to this style.

Water Massage – 2% of women use the shower head.

This style can be combined with waterproof toys for a really luscious experience. Alternatively, to recreate the feel of water-massage on dry land, we’d suggest the Flexi Wand which has a gentle fluttery motion.

1.5% of women reported using vaginal penetration and more than half of them combined it with clit stimulation.

Cupid 3 Vibrating Dildo £50
Cupid 3 Vibrating Dildo £50

Rabbit Vibrators provides both in one cute package.  With a shaft that rotates, plus the fantastic bunny ears that give very focused clit vibration, the Rabbit vibes are great all-round toys. Sh! Cupid 3 vibrating dildo can be used for thrilling penetration plus a bit of buzz, and any dildo can be used to combine with manual clit-play, if your fingers work best for you.

11% of women reported using a combination of these styles

To play mix and match with stimulation, we still reckon the rabbit vibe has a bit of everything. Variations on dual pleasure vibes include the G-Spot Dual Vibrator, Fun Factory Paul & Paulina and the fantastic Delight vibrator, all of which give both vaginal and clitoral stimulation. Hite’s research showed that women’s masturbation techniques are much more varied than was previously believed, and that penetrative sex isn’t the only thing that women can enjoy. We wholeheartedly agree – we reckon we’ve got something sexy for everyone!

best Dildo advice

Masturbation Myths

As part of National Masturbation Month, we’re taking a look at a few of the myths about masturbation and sex toys that are still doing the rounds.

Not the old masturbation-makes-you-blind nonsense, we can leave that behind the bike sheds, but more prevelant myths we pick up from TV and magazines.

1.MASTURBATION MYTH! Vibrators make your clit less sensitive.

Sh! Jessica Rabbit £40
Sh! Jessica Rabbit £40

The clitoris is an immensely sensitive organ, with something like 8000 nerve endings, and while you may get comfy with one particular style of clit stimulation and find that one easier to climax with, that doesn’t make you immune to others.

Variety is key in everything, so changing up your masturbation style rather than sticking to the same routine is always best.

Women who are used to vibrators may find them easier to get on (or rather off!) with, but it doesn’t reduce their sensitivity. We reckon it’s possibly a worry men have because they feel ‘responsible’ for their partner’s orgasms. Don’t panic, gents – vibrators don’t make women less sensitive to other sensations – but if your fingers are easily tired and she likes constant intense stimulation, we suggest introducing a vibe into sex. Finger Vibrators and Tongue Vibrators can be combined with stimulation by a partner – best of both worlds! Bullet and Egg vibrators are particularly couple-friendly, and can be used for clit stimulation combined with penetrative sex. (We also recommend giving his sensitive bits a buzz if he’s willing – he’ll soon see what all the fuss is about!)


2. Masturbation Myth! Men don’t use toys

Tenga Soft Tube Cup £14
Tenga Soft Tube Cup £14

Not all men certainly, but there are more and more guys willing to give them a try…

If you’ve ever wondered what all the fuss is about, then we reckon it’s worth trying one out. We have a favourite quotation from a guy when introduced to a vibrator for the first time: Oh – how do women ever leave the house?”

There are a few ways to try out men’s sex toys, depending on what you’re comfortable with. There are cock rings, which are a very sexy way to start – they boost your sensitivity, prolong erection, and some of them have a vibrator included, which is a great extra for intercourse as it doubles as a clit stimulator.

There are also the Tenga Eggs, as well as the rechargeable Cobra, all designed to give him some stimulation where it counts!

Then again, how about trying anal toys? Research by Shere Hite shows that lots of straight guys are into anal play, but they don’t necessarily tell their partner. There’s lots of fun to be had with prostate massagers, or if you fancy sharing the experience with a partner, there’s the Sh! Pegging Kit  and strapless strap ons to try out too!

(And don’t forget the slick and sensual lube! Essential gear for boys with toys, as well as very sexy and slippery for a hot hand-job)!


3. Masturbation Myth! Solo Sex means you don’t want sex with your partner.

Not true – most people will continue to masturbate if they’re in a relationship, even if the sex is great! The two complement each other and masturbation can improve your sex life – you get to find out what you like in your own time, you get to focus on yourself, and that makes it much easier when it comes to asking for what you want with a partner!


4. MASTURBATION MYTH! Sex toys are sleazy.

Desire Vibrator £49

Not any more! Maybe once, when the height of sex-toy sophistication was a blow up doll or some scratchy knickers, but you just have to look at the gorgeous toys Lelo and Je Joue are making these days to see how much the industry has moved on.

There’s nothing sleazy about the toys we sell – and we’ve contributed to the move towards quality women’s toys, and couple’s sex toys too. Sh! has always been proud to stock (and make!) the most sensuous, elegant and female-friendly sex toys you can find!