We often get swept up in the narrative that hot, spontaneous sex is best. But, as many frank conversations and studies have shown, habitual behaviour in the bedroom can lead to a lot more pleasure, whether partnered or solo.

In all likelihood you’ve spent years discovering what turns you on and off, refining it as you go, and you have developed a few rituals you love. Maybe you’re a morning person who saves it for the shower, or maybe you like to wear silk and listen to slow jams before bed. Maybe you like being on your knees, or rubbing against a pillow, or wearing an eye mask. Your routine isn’t boring, it’s a ritual that helps your mind tap into your sensuality.

That's why we asked nine women to share their solo drills—to highlight the importance and diversity of rituals. Let's dive in!

Zoey, 33

"My favourite time to masturbate is in the morning and I save those AM wanks for the weekend. My boyfriend usually heads to the gym on Saturdays so when he's gone, I throw off my duvet and get to work. I lay back with my legs in a diamond and use my favourite toy (it's a sonic clit massager and it's mind-blowing). I keep my sleep t-shirt on as it makes me feel more comfortable but I always take my knickers off... and edge for ages so my orgasm feels more intense."

Carina, 30

“My ritual involves me using body oil. It's like a floral/amber scent – fresh but sweet. I get naked and rub it all over myself before I masturbate, it really sets the mood. I also keep my vibe in this cute little velvet pouch. It feels really special every time I get it out.”

Naomi, 28

"I love masturbating in the tub. It's best at night because then I can really milk the whole experience – I basically turn my bathroom into a sexy spa. I light loads of scented candles, turn off the lights, pour essential oils into the water so my skin goes all slippery then use my fingers to play with my clit while I think about a hot scenario involving someone I’m into. I've got pretty big boobs so they bob above the surface – the cold temperature outside makes my nipples erect and adds to the whole sensation. Sometimes I finish off with the shower head but most of the time my fingers are enough."

Sarah, 40

"Masturbation makes me sleepy so I guess my routine is that I stroke myself with my fingers at night. I love the rubbing feeling and the gentle friction, it's really comforting. Sometimes I don't even orgasm, I just drift off feeling tingly and content."

Isla, 25

"I live in a shared flat so I have to grab the moment when I can. I have two rituals depending on my situation. If my roommates are home, I lock my bedroom door and masturbate with my fingers under the duvet with some soft porn (usually kissing/touching) on mute. If no-one's home my vibrator comes out and my phone gets switched to loud. I keep my solo fun confined to my room though, there's nothing horny about a dirty couch."

Emily, 33

"I have an almost nightly ritual. I don’t watch porn but I have an erotic book I love. I end up masturbating pretty much every time I read it, which at the moment is most evenings, unless I'm out partying. Saying that though, drunk masturbation is so fun. It’s like wild sex when you’re tipsy but with yourself. Knock back some wine and try it.”

Katy, 34

"I masturbate quickly in the shower. It’s hard to find the time in a crazy house with three kids and a husband. Our shower just has a glass door so there’s quite a lot of room to get into a good position. I sit on the floor with my knees up or push my butt against the wet tiles, then switch the setting to 'jet' and pummel my clit when I get 10 minutes to myself."

Charlotte, 35

"I bought this silk slip last year when I was trying to spice things up with my ex and now it's my masturbation dress. I put it on every time now so that’s become my ritual. The best is when I've showered, shaved, creamed up and am wearing nothing but that. I get goosebumps when the glossy material skims my body. I turn all the lights off and orgasm with my favourite dildo (it's a bit like a rabbit because it hits my G-spot and my clitoris). I think I'm all about the sensations and just focus on how things feel."

Rachel, 33

"I don’t masturbate all that much, so when I do it’s a real event. I clean my bedroom from top to bottom, take a hot shower and get into fresh sheets – still naked. I make sure I have at least an hour of quality time to myself. I put porn on, usually lesbian because I don't find penises all that pleasurable (fun fact about me: I've never come from penetration), then start by tickling my body with my hands before moving on to my bullet."