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    Updated on Aug 4, 2020. Posted on Dec 30, 2019

    I Masturbated Every Day For A Month And Before You Say Anything, It Was Actually Really Powerful

    Masturbating hasn't always been easy for me. In fact, for several years, it was impossible due to how painful it was thanks to my endometriosis and pelvic floor dysfunction. But after years of work, I got to a place where I could do it without as much pain. So I challenged myself to do it for 30 days straight.

    Brooke Greenberg / BuzzFeed

    Hi, my name is Lara, and masturbating hasn't always been easy for me. In fact, for several years, masturbating was impossible due to how much pain it caused me thanks to my vaginismus, vulvodynia, and endometriosis. Nothing could touch my vulva — I mean nothing — without a fiery pain spreading through my pelvis and rendering me useless for more than a few hours. And even the act of becoming aroused would send a sharp, stabbing pain through my abdomen.

    But after months and months of work in pelvic floor physical therapy and with dilator use in my free time, I got to a place where I could exist without my vagina punishing me for every move I made. I was wearing underwear again! I even dared to wear jeans on occasion! However, the thought of touching my own vagina in an attempt to make myself orgasm was still a thought that filled my stomach with dread.

    Brooke Greenberg / BuzzFeed

    It's not that I didn't want to orgasm. I did. I wanted it almost more than anything else. I wanted to know that I would still be able to do it despite my chronic pelvic pain and know that I could still have some sense of normalcy. And I wanted pleasure! But I was scared. I had gone through so much mental and physical pain as a result of that part of my body, and anytime I even thought about it, much less wanted to do anything else with it, I was reminded of all of that pain. And naturally, I wanted to avoid it.

    At the urging of one of my therapists at the time, I began to allow myself to think more about masturbating. Instead of associating it with horrific pain and suffering, I thought about what it might be like to be able to do it. I dreamed of the day when I would be able to orgasm, pain or not, and then I would have a very concrete example of just how far I'd come. Outside of wanting to orgasm for the physical pleasure, I needed it mentally, too.

    Brooke Greenberg / BuzzFeed / Via bboutique.co

    The first time I was able to orgasm after being diagnosed with endometriosis, vulvodynia, vaginismus, and pelvic floor dysfunction, it was painful. I had a shooting pain in my pelvis, and I had to lie with an ice pack on my vulva afterward because of how badly it burned. But I didn't care. Because I had done it. I had orgasmed. I had shown my body that despite all of the pain it had experienced, pleasure was possible.

    After that day, I began to masturbate more and more. Each time wasn't great. There was a lot of pain. But sprinkled throughout that pain was a lot of pleasure, and the satisfaction of knowing that I had finally gotten here. I had tangible proof that I was moving forward, and that my hard work in pelvic floor physical therapy had paid off.

    It's now been a few years since the first time I was able to orgasm after being diagnosed with the illnesses that cause me such pain. Since then, I have changed the way I think about masturbation completely. Something that used to fill me with dread is now a form of self-care. I even installed shelves in my bedroom to display my vibrator collection.

    Brooke Greenberg / BuzzFeed

    The first several days of this experiment were relatively easy. They happened to coincide with the part of cycle that meant my pain levels were pretty much as low as they get. The challenge felt exciting in many ways. I have to masturbate today, I thought. It felt like a secret I had with myself. I ran home after work and slid myself under my covers to do the thing that I told myself I had to do. During the first five days of the experiment, I didn't miss a single day. I used the Satisfyer Pro Deluxe for the first couple of days, which has a literal SUCTION for your clitoris, and I had some legitimately mind-blowing orgasms. But after a couple of days with the suction, I felt sore and raw. It's an amazing vibrator but not one that I could use every day. On the sixth day, I found myself not wanting to do it. In part because I felt physically raw, and because I was having a low mental health day. I hadn't slept well the night before, and my pain levels were up and down. I didn't want to do anything but get high and lie on my couch.

    I felt really angry at my body that day. I didn't want it to experience pleasure because it certainly wasn't making me feel good. But eventually, I gave it my best shot using my Aurora vibrator. This vibrator doesn't have a suction feature and is less invasive for me, personally. My "session" that day wasn't great, and even though this particular vibrator was easier on me physically, I didn't feel great physically afterward. But my mental spirits were definitely raised. I lay back down on my couch after masturbating and watched seven episodes of The Office. I was still experiencing a lot of pain, but somehow I no longer cared.

    Brooke Greenberg / BuzzFeed

    During the middle part of this experiment, I began to ovulate. During my ovulation, I tend to feel more aroused. My body is like, bitch let's get pregnant! I looked forward to masturbating because it felt like I needed to release the tension. But it didn't always come easy. On top of feeling more aroused, I also had some new pains join the party. I used my petite Le Wand vibrator for most of the middle part of this experiment. I love a good clitorial suction vibrator like the Satisfyer Pro Deluxe that I started with, but for more frequent use, my Le Wand is my go-to. On day 17 I was met with an excruciating cramp that lingered for hours after my orgasm. I felt as if I was being punished for masturbating. It made me want to give up on the entire experiment altogether. And to be honest, I did for a couple of days.

    Whenever I am met with increased pain after masturbating, I feel a sense of defeat. I start to mentally slide back to the place I was years ago after first being diagnosed. I find myself questioning my body, my self-worth, and wondering why I have to live with such pain when all I was trying to do was give my body pleasure. I begin to spiral, and sometimes it takes me a long time to come back out of it. Having chronic pain can feel as if you're on a hamster wheel spinning and even when I so desperately want to get off, I can't. I have to keep spinning. Two days later when I found the time to continue my 30-day challenge, I decided to re-frame how I was looking at it that day. You don't have to orgasm, I told myself. You can just breathe and feel good for a few minutes. So that's exactly what I did. That day, I wasn't able to reach orgasm. But it felt ok. I felt ok.

    Brooke Greenberg / BuzzFeed

    During the last 10 days of this experiment, I began to experience symptoms from my PMDD. PMDD, for those who do not know, stands for premenstrual dysphoric disorder. It's a condition that is similar to regular PMS that many people experience prior to the onset of their period, but PMDD has much more severe symptoms. PMDD can cause severe irritability, depression, or anxiety in the week or two before the onset of a period. For me personally, my PMDD usually manifests itself as severe depression and anxiety. My brain will convince me that everyone in my life hates me. I will pick fights with the people closest to me because I don't feel as if I deserve to have loving relationships in my life. And I have a very, very hard time making it out of bed. It can often make me question what the point of my life is.

    During this particular month, my symptoms were more severe than usual. I did not make it out of bed. I avoided contact with people for 48 hours. And the last thing in the world I felt like doing was masturbating. So I didn't.

    Once my period began and my PMDD symptoms were replaced with lower back pain, cramps from hell, and a stomach bloat so severe that wearing pants was impossible, I definitely didn't feel like masturbating. But I pushed myself to do it, anyway. I'll be honest and tell you that the idea of using my vibrator during my period grossed me out at first. I didn't want to get my own blood all over my beautiful vibrators. But the fact that I had that thought was what pushed me to do it anyway. Despite feeling awful and losing ounces of my own blood, I had one of the best orgasms of my life using my We-Vibe Melt. And afterward as I cleaned everything up, I felt fucking powerful.

    During this 30-day experiment, I didn't masturbate every single day. But I came close. And while I have no doubt in my mind that some man somewhere will likely comment on this article with some sort of derogatory comment, I just want to say that masturbation and giving yourself an orgasm isn't inherently bad. It is not something that should be stigmatized or looked at as shameful. It's actually really, really great and is an important part of my self-care.

    Brooke Greenberg / BuzzFeed / Bellesa / Via bboutique.co

    For me, learning how to let myself experience this kind of pleasure was one of the best things I have ever done for my body. It has inspired feelings of self-love that I didn't even know were possible. And while I know that I will not always stay in a place where I am ok with my body and all the pain it has caused me to experience over the years, I know that I can always get back to that place. The place where I just breathe and allow myself to feel good — if only for a few minutes. So here's to masturbating as a form of self-care. It really has changed my life, in more ways than one.

    And now for some things I learned along the way:

    1. Masturbating every day should be "easy," but like with everything else, life gets in the way. Making time for this felt like making time for other things that are good for me like meditation, eating right, remembering to breathe, unclenching my jaw, etc. In some ways toward the end of my experiment it began to feel like a task that I needed to remember to do, but this task came with a great reward.

    2. There are so many different kinds of vibrators and I learned that if one doesn't work for me, another might, so it's good to experiment if and when you can.

    3. Because of the way masturbation, especially for women, has been portrayed to me and communicated to me through society for basically my entire life, there's always something that feels a little inherently wrong about what I am doing. But the more I did it, and the more I normalized it to myself as something that was good for me, the less I felt weird about doing it. It's natural!

    4. Changing it up was good! Listening to different kinds of music. Doing it in the morning some days, at night others, different parts of my apartment. It was good to just give myself permission to do it whenever and wherever in my apartment I wanted to.

    5. Using CBD-infused lube for me was key after the first week or so. It helped reduce irritation on my vulva, clitoris, and elsewhere and made my orgasms more intense. Some of my favorite CBD lubes: this one from Foria, this one from Kush Queen, and this one from Toca.

    6. I generally felt better about myself mentally after masturbating even if I didn't feel that great physically. It really did help my moods.

    7. I slept better overall (around 85% of the time) if I masturbated right before bed.

    Here's to orgasming!

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