Early societal messages promote guilt, confusion, dependency, fear and aloneness. These negative influences can be overcome by becoming a sexually positive person. Self-actualization comes about through gaining self-knowledge, facts, options, techniques, and through honesty and sharing. As a result, one becomes aware of one's own life struggles and ones own sexuality.

Masturbation, or self-pleasuring, is the most important step for understanding one's sexual self. Masturbation is self-stimulation for sexual pleasure. Masturbation is a good way to learn about your own sexual responses so that you can communicate them to your partner. Sex aids (toys) may be included as sensual stimulae, because they provide options for one's sensual awareness that might never otherwise have been considered on one's own.