1. Relax as much as you can. Take a warm bath or have a glass of wine. Ensure your privacy: turn off the phone, lock the door, send the kids to a neighbor's. Find a comfy position. Most women start out lying on their backs, legs bent and spread apart, with feet on the ground. Remove most or all of your clothing.
2. Fantasize. Recall an exciting past sexual encounter or elaborate on a favorite sexual fantasy. If you need a boost, look at a sexy magazine, read an erotic story, or watch an adult video. Allow your mind to explore any images--anything goes as long as it heightens your excitement.
3. Explore. Run your hands along parts of your body, lingering along areas that are more responsive to touch than others. Look at your genitals in a mirror (especially if you're unfamiliar with them) and caress the different parts to see what feels especially good. Find and touch your inner and outer labia, your clitoris, your vagina and your perineum.
4. Touch. Using one or two fingers, rhythmically stroke the different parts of your vulva, paying particular attention to your clitoris and labia. Experiment with different types of pressure, speed and motion. Try placing a finger on either side of the clitoris and stroking up and down, or placing two fingers on the clitoral hood and rubbing in a circular motion.
5. Experiment. Try different types of touch: stroke, tickle, knead, pinch, or lightly pull your genitals. Try using one or several fingers, the palm of your hand, even your knuckles.
6. Build up. Learn to hold onto sexual excitement by building up and then reducing or temporarily stopping the stimulation. Pay attention to how your body is responding. It will tell you the particular stroke that feels best and when to pick up or slow down the tempo.
7. Breathe and rock. Breathe deeply rather than hold your breath. This helps release the sexual energy, rather than fight it. Rock your pelvis as you would during intercourse. Rhythmically clench and release your PC muscle (inserting a dildo can help).
8. Getting over the Top. If your hand gets tired, give yourself a rest, switch hands, or try a vibrator. If you're on the brink of orgasm, but can't quite get over the hump, try altering your breathing, or focusing on a really hot fantasy. Give yourself extra stimulation: caress your nipples, or try also thrusting your other fingers or a dildo in and out of your vagina.
9. Ride the Wave. As you begin to orgasm, continue the stimulation through the orgasm. Lighten up on the stimulation during the first extremely sensitive moments but keep it going to enjoy those little pleasurable aftershocks. Your first orgasm may feel like a blip or a blast, but the more you practice, the more variety you will experience.
10. Don't worry if you don't come on your first try, keep practicing, or try some of the variations below.
Vibrators take some of the manual labor out of masturbation by providing direct, intense physical stimulation to the clitoris.
Water helps many women learn to masturbate. Lie back with legs spread in a bath with a shower hose and direct the stream of water at your clitoris. Vary the pressure, the pulsation, and the temperature. Alternate methods: slide your butt over the drain so your legs are up in the air and your genitals are up under the tub faucet (rather awkward but do-able), or use jacuzzi jets.
Rub against something--a pillow, the corner of some furniture, a dildo.
Dildos can be a pleasurable accompaniment to clitoral masturbation, as they offer the fullness of penetration and can also stimulate the G-Spot.