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Most of us have grown up in an environment in which masturbation is a taboo topic. However, as times keep changing and minds keep broadening, conversations around sex and selflove are inching closer and closer into the mainstream.

Whether you can count all your sexual partners on one hand or you have a detailed logbook of each past lover, it’s never too late to explore yourself and find out what you like. If you want to improve your sex life, the first steps come from within.

Just like you wouldn’t plunge into a freezing bathtub, you’ve got to warm your waters first. Everyone talks about the importance of foreplay but are you really giving yourself enough time to heat up? Probably not. Masturbation can help you figure out exactly what turns you on whether it’s pornography, an erotic novel or nipple play you can take this newfound knowledge to your next hook-up.

Getting comfortable with what floats your boat when going solo will also give you more confidence to voice what you like when with a partner. Being able to describe what you want will not only lead to a more pleasurable experience for yourself but for your lover as well. Many people get off knowing that they are adequately pleasing their sexual partner by doing what feels best for them.

Whilst knowing how to drive a manual is always useful, there’s no shame in turning to an automatic every now and again. It can be difficult to get there with your hands alone and trying out different toys until you land on what works best is a significant part of self-love for many. Once you’ve found your ride-or-die don’t be afraid to introduce it in the bedroom.

Ultimately, listening to yourself makes you better at hearing others. Once you’ve got to the point where you’re confident with what works for you, you appreciate the complexities and nuances of pleasure and extend the same effort to satisfying your bedfellow. It’s a win-win.