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Learning about self-pleasure is important, and it’s a great that you want to know about it!
Betty Dodson is sexologist and author and she has created a lot of great resources to help people learn about self-pleasure and orgasms. She has an entire book dedicated to the subject called “Sex for One: The Joy of Self-Loving” which may be worth checking out!
Betty also has a website with lots of content. For example, have a look at this page about “First-Time Orgasm”. Betty encourages using a mirror to become familiar with your body and the different sensations in different areas.
Using your fingers for penetration does not usually hurt, but sometimes if you’re nails are long they can feel sharp. You can trim your nails if they feel too sharp! Having some lube available is also a good idea for fingering. Although most people produce some of their own sexual fluids using lube enhances genital sensation and makes sure that the delicate gential skin is not pulled or pinched.
Regarding coconut oil it’s difficult to give you a clear answer. We know lots of people have started using coconut oil for lube but there isn’t any good research out there that tells us if it’s safe or not. Since we eat coconut oil it is likely safe to use, but we also know that coconut oil has some anti-bacterial properties and may change individual’s vaginal balance. I would say that you could try using it (if that is your preference), but stop using it if you feel any irritation develop. If you want to be sure you’re using a safe lubricant try purchasing a water or silicone based lube from the drug store or local sex shop. Small packets of free lube are also available with free condoms at sexual health clinics.
As far as infections from fingering...It’s always a good idea to wash your hands before touching your (or other people’s) genitals, the same way you would wash your hands before eating. Other than washing your hands there is no special precautions you should take. We do not see people getting infections from fingering, although it is would be possible if you had someone else's sexual fluids on your hands and then fingered yourself.
Hope this helps. Please feel free to submit another question as needed.
This answer was posted on September 13, 2017