Solo sex has plenty of benefits (we mean, aside from the most obvious one). Not only does it feel amazing, but masturbating also releases endorphins, which can do everything from relieve stress and menstrual cramps to cure insomnia and even tone your abs.

According to this study, 95% of women masturbate, and unlike men, we have a more complex situation, anatomically speaking. We have radically different parts, with layers of labia, a sensitive clitoris, erogenous zones, and an elusive G-spot, so needless to say, there can be a lot to consider. Whether you’re new to masturbating or have time blocked off on your calendar for regular sessions, here’s your guide to getting it right every time. And don’t forget, practice makes perfect.

Set the mood
Lock your door, turn off your phone, and get undressed. Get in a comfortable position and in the right mindset. Think sexy thoughts, read some erotica, or watch a steamy video to get you in the mood.

Explore your body
To warm up, run your hands along the parts of your body that are super responsive to touch, like your neck, breasts, and thighs. Next, find and touch your outer labia and then your inner labia (the folds inside the larger folds that make up most of your vagina), and your clitoris (the little button-shaped erectile part at the top of your vagina).

Take this time to explore your body. Learn what feels good, what you like, and what just doesn’t do it for you. (This’ll also be helpful the next time you add a partner into the mix.)

Break out the lube
Lubricants aren’t just for partner play — they can also make solo sessions even more enjoyable. Some women have issues with vaginal dryness, but even if you don’t, lubrication can create new sensations during sex.

Note: some women opt for saliva as a form of lubricant, but studies have found that it can put you at a higher risk of developing frequent yeast infections because it disrupts the balance of bacteria. Trust us, it’s best to pick up a bottle of lube, like this one.

Catch your rhythm
A high percentage of women need clitoral stimulation to reach an orgasm, so if you’re attending a party of one, pay special attention to this area. Rub your clitoris in a circular motion and experiment with different types of pressure and speeds. To heighten the sensation, rock your pelvis back and forth as you would during intercourse.

Experiment with penetration
Some women skip penetration when masturbating, but you won’t know what’s best for you, until you try it. Start with one finger, moving it in and out slowly, and then work your way up to two fingers. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, speed things up if it feels good for you, but don’t forget about that clitoris. Stimulate both areas until you hit your climax.

Try a toy
Some fancy finger work will almost always get the job done, but if you’re looking to step up your alone time, consider exploring with sex toys. If you’re new to toys, start with an inconspicuous vibrator, graduate to a dildo, and then go from there — there are plenty to try.

Get ready for that orgasm
If you’re on the brink of an orgasm but can’t quite bring it home, try taking deep, long breaths and up the stimulation by caressing your nipples or practicing penetration until you feel it coming on. As you begin to orgasm, keep up with the stimulation. Lighten up on the pressure during the first extremely sensitive moments, but keep it going to enjoy those little pleasurable aftershocks.

Stephanie Montes is a Los-Angeles based fashion, beauty and wellness writer. Her work has been featured on Elite Daily, Brides, Well + Good, Hello Giggles, The Zoe Report and more. She loves traveling, trying new beauty products, photography, and cuddling her two dogs and husband. Follow her on Instagram at @stephanie_montes.