How To Masturbate Without Porn

There's nothing inherently wrong with porn, but reaching orgasm with your fantasies alone has a ton of incredibly pleasurable perks.

We’re not here to knock porn. (In spite of what you may have assumed from the headline!) Porn isn’t inherently bad, and it definitely can’t be painted with a broad brush ― there’s a variety of porn out there, including porn made by women, for women.

But sometimes it can do you a world of good to take a break from the world of Pornhub.com and r/chickflixxx.

One good reason? Sometimes, if we overwatch porn, we become a little too desensitised by it, or worse, expect real sex to unfold like something we’ve watched, said Dr. Stephen Snyder, a New York sex therapist and author of “Love Worth Making: How to Have Ridiculously Great Sex in a Long-Lasting Relationship.”

“Decades ago, most young men could get off to pictures of women in swimsuits,” he said. “Now, they’re looking at hard-core videos with titles like ‘Step-Sister Gives Him The Best Blowjob Of His Life’ and thinking, ‘Oh, this is so repetitive.’ With porn-free masturbation, you’re not constantly dulling your erotic imagination like that.”

A porn break is an especially good idea if you’ve been feeling bad or self-conscious about your body.

“Self-image issues can come up for both men and women because most people aren’t these ideal and often surgically enhanced men and women they’re seeing online,” sex therapist and psychologist Megan Fleming told HuffPost recently.

“There’s been a significant increase in labiaplasty in many cases because women don’t like the way their vulvas look and may not be as trimmed as they see in porn,” she said. (Men feel that uneasiness, too; though the average penis size is about 6 inches, in porn, it’s often over 8 or 9.)

Even if you don’t have any of those concerns, everyone can benefit from mixing it up with masturbation and putting more emphasis on personal fantasies, said Jesse Kahn, director and sex therapist at The Gender & Sexuality Therapy Center.

“Anything can start to feel stagnant or unexciting if it’s repeated over and over without any sort of variation, including porn,” he said. “Trying to get off in a new way, such as without porn, can help you get more creative, tap into desires that get overlooked, and learn new types of pleasure. It can also make porn more exciting when you get back to it!”

Now that you’ve heard the experts’ arguments, here are their best tips on DIY when it comes to getting off.

Give some thought to what kind of things turn you on.

You’re masturbating without porn, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use your porn preferences to fuel your fantasies.

“Ask yourself: What kind of porn do you usually watch? What about it turns you on? What fantasies of yours does it fuel?” Kahn said. “Taking some time to reflect on our fantasies and desire can help us come up with new ideas to try, new sensations to seek.”

Realise it might take a little extra work.

Sex, masturbation and porn consumption all cause our brains to produce dopamine. Because porn is so stimulating, it may take a while for you to get back in the rhythm of orgasming without it.

“It’s like listening to classical music when you’ve been used to rock and roll. It’s not as immediately stimulating,” Snyder said.

Without porn, you can’t just dial up excitement any time you like, he added. “You have to be in the mood. Kind of like actual sex.”

To take some of the stress out of going solo, don’t think in terms of getting off, Snyder said.

“Instead, think in terms of getting genuinely excited,” he explained. “Cultivate arousal, not just orgasm.”

Use your past sexual experiences as material for your fantasies, experts say. Think of those memories like mini movies you can pull on when the mood strikes. 
Use your past sexual experiences as material for your fantasies, experts say. Think of those memories like mini movies you can pull on when the mood strikes. 

Get in the habit of fantasising.

The great thing about fantasising is that you can do it anywhere, unlike watching porn. Notice things that turn you on and save the image for later. Make a list in your head of things that have traditionally gotten you aroused, or sexy memories you’ve had with past partners. Think of those like mini movies you can call on when you’re semi-in-the-mood and have some time to masturbate. It’s much easier to vividly replay a memory than having to create something out of thin air when you’re horny.

Porn-free masturbation requires a little more forethought, but it pays off. As Snyder said, “When you turn off your phone or laptop, it redirects your erotic energies to the world around you ― which, when all is said and done, is a much more erotic place.”

Give new types of erotica a try.

Again, this isn’t an all-or-nothing scenario. No need to go cold turkey on porn. And while building up your erotic imagination without any help is great, don’t forget there are other types of erotica you can try.

“Visual porn isn’t the only erotic tool at our disposal,” Kahn said. “If you want to take a break from your usual porn habits, there are a variety of other types of erotica! Things like written erotica or audio porn can engage new ideas, feelings and experiences that we don’t get from visual porn.”

Because neither written nor audio porn have visuals, Kahn says “they can create different spaces for imagination and creativity, which can energise our inner sense of eroticism.”

Here are some good places to find nonvisual erotica, according to Kahn:

  1. Dipsea (audio porn)

  2. Bellesa (written erotica)

  3. Quinn (audio porn)

  4. Literotica (written erotica & audio porn)

  5. LushStories (written erotica)

  6. SoundsOfPleasure (audio porn)

If you’re in a relationship, get your partner involved.

Some feel that porn can detract from a relationship, taking the focus away from your partner. Whether you agree with that or not, if you are in a relationship, chances are that you probably watch porn when your partner isn’t around. Using your fantasies gives you a chance to get your partner involved.

“Most people masturbate to porn when their partners are asleep, or in another room, or out of the house,” Snyder said. “Over time, this can create a kind of Pavlov’s dog effect: Your partner’s presence comes to feel like a negative, since it means you have to turn off the porn ― i.e. turn off the arousal.”

Instead, he said, why not masturbate in bed, where your partner can keep you company?

You can also get them involved in enriching your fantasy life.

“If you have a current partner (or partners), talk to them about their own self-pleasure habits,” Kahn said. “What do they like? How do they mix it up? What are their fantasies? Hearing ideas from someone else can get your mind into brainstorming mode.”

Both of you should get your creative juices going. That’s what sharpening your erotic imagination is all about.

“Eroticism is rooted in creativity,” Kahn said. “If we don’t give ourselves a chance or a challenge to get a little creative, we may not allow ourselves to fully experience the erotic potential we hold within ourselves.”

Solo, YOLO is a series on solo sex. From masturbation to porn habits, sex toys to safe virtual sex, we’ve curated expert tips on getting it on ... with yourself.