I have a confession to make: I very rarely masturbate using my hands. For a long time I felt ashamed at the idea of touching my vulva with my hands. I was self-conscious of the way my genitals looked and the thought of exploring them grossed me out. Whenever I’d consider trying to masturbate with my fingers, my shame and fear of my own body stopped me.
When I finally began to work through the overwhelming shame I’d carried regarding my vulva, it felt important to me to show that part of my body some love and pleasure. I wanted to have some skin-on-skin contact with that most intimate area and show myself how powerful and beautiful it could be. I tried masturbating manually many, many times. But it didn’t do much for me. It was like trying to tickle myself. If a partner touched me it felt wonderful, but the exact same touch with my own fingers was just…nothing. I gave up trying to use my hands to bring myself to orgasm and instead resigned myself to enjoying toys.
Now, there’s nothing at all wrong with using toys to masturbate. Finding pleasure in this way isn’t at all inferior to using your hands. Every body is different and everyone enjoys different types of touch. But I always felt a little bit sad that I wasn’t able to give myself that ecstatic touch with my own fingers.
A few months ago, I became aware of a website called OMG Yes, which is set up to teach people with vulvas how to find pleasure, masturbate and reach orgasm. The OMG Yes team have done extensive research into the specific techniques and methods that are most successful to bring pleasure and orgasm to people with vulvas. This research has been carefully condensed into a comprehensive tutorial system, which is available on the OMG Yes website. I wrote to OMG Yes and they very kindly gave me special access to the site to learn, experiment and eventually review.
I eagerly logged on to the OMG Yes website ready to learn. As a sex geek, I was very eager to check it out. The research team collected data from over 2,000 participants to investigate the specific techniques that real people use to find pleasure. It is the first research of it’s kind in the world. It’s detailed, it’s unabashed and it’s very, very specific.
My first impression of the website was that it was very clean and easy to navigate. The landing page offers a range of techniques for you to explore. When you’ve chosen a technique, it walks you through precisely what the technique involves, how to perform the technique on yourself or your partner and some suggestions for how you can experiment with this technique to see if it works for your body. Each page features a combination of written material, pictures and video interviews with actual people (not actors) discussing how they masturbate. You can also select a range of different language options, which is fantastic. I thought it was brilliant that the information was presented in so many different ways. Everyone learns differently, and it was awesome to see that there was a mix of written and spoken lessons to appeal to a variety of users. The variety of formats also helped me to really absorb the lessons, because I felt like I was able to look at each technique from different angles, and didn’t get bogged down in a lot of reading or zone out watching endless instructional videos.
The videos were something that I found deeply impressive. Each one features an interview with a real-life participant. There is a huge range in age, body type and ethnic backgrounds which is beautiful to see. The thing that floored me was how explicit each interview was. These videos do not hold back, they do not skirt around the issue and they do not leave you questioning. They are very specific, telling you exactly how to do each technique. The subject of each video uses their own words to tell you exactly where to touch, for how long, what pressure to use and how to know if it’s working for you. Each video shows the participant using the technique on their own body. And then…you get to try it for yourself.
Each module has a practical component which absolutely blew my mind. At the end of each module, you load a screen which shows the participant’s vulva, up close and personal. You then use your finger on the screen to touch their genitals and practice the technique you’ve just learned. The website responds to your touch and movement, giving you very specific feedback. It will tell you to slow down, speed up, move a little to the left. And it tells you when you’re doing well. This part of the tutorial process was groundbreaking for me. It’s one thing to read about these techniques or hear someone describe them, but to actually be able to use a real-time simulator to practice is incredible. At first it was a little bit disconcerting to be playing with a stranger’s virtual vulva, but after a while I relaxed and actually felt proud of myself every time I successfully performed each technique.
One thing that struck me as I worked through the different modules was that while each of the vulvas featured had the same parts, they all varied tremendously in colour, size, configuration, hairiness and detail. All were different, all were beautiful. It made me feel so validated to see such a spectrum of vulvas, and know that each one belonged to a real person who had contributed to this world-first study. It made me feel less ashamed about the appearance of my own genitals, and more willing to touch and explore them.
When it came time to put the techniques I’d learned into practice on my own body, I was excited and open-minded. I was prepared for it to be a bit of a journey, and didn’t expect that I’d instantly find pleasure. After a few tries and a bit of experimentation, I had my first ever hands-on orgasm with my own fingers. I felt so powerful and proud of myself. I found that what worked best for me was taking the techniques I’d learned, trialling each one, seeing what felt good and then moving towards that pleasure. I had to be adaptable and not get hung up on doing each technique precisely how I’d learned it on the simulator. Every body is different, and I needed to find what worked for me. And once I did, it was amazing.
I was blown away by OMG Yes. I think it’s an incredible tool that taught me so much about my own body and gave me some real, practical things to experiment with. It took away so much shame I had around exploring my own genitals and replaced it with power, knowledge and agency over my own pleasure.
OMG Yes offers permanent access to the website with a one-off payment. At present, it costs $49 to access the website. This money goes towards the funding of further research into women’s pleasure, and additional lessons will be added based on the data collected. If you’re feeling ashamed, or struggling with finding pleasure in your own body, OMG Yes could be an awesome resource for you. This isn’t someone peddling a fix-it-all pill with a side helping of guilt. This is a beautiful collection of stories and lessons based on real research. OMG Yes offers information, guidance and power. There is no shame, no guilt and no embarrassment. Just frank, honest data and well-presented tutorials.
I’d heartily recommend OMG Yes for anyone who is interested in learning more about their vulva, anyone who wants to work towards healing shame or is feeling stuck around finding pleasure. I think it’s perfect for sex geeks who want to find some new ways to enjoy their own body or explore with a partner. It’s a well-presented, deeply informative resource that will expand your knowledge about vulvas and how they work.