Masturbation. A word that’s uncomfortable to say?
A word that invokes strong reactions .. masturbation .. and a word that few are comfortable talking about.
A taboo topic in most cultures for sure.
In a recent article I wrote, the benefits of teaching girls about masturbation were discussed, and it got me thinking about women and the relationships they have with their own vaginas.
Most were grossed out ..
In my teachings as a sexual health educator, it became obvious very early on that young girls are not comfortable with anything vulva-related; they don’t want to talk about it, see it or touch it.
Most were grossed out, terrified and downright disgusted when our conversations veered towards anything below the belt.
How many women feel the same way? How do women really feel about touching their most intimate parts, aka, masturbation? Opinions differ wildly, but a common thread unites women of all ages; secrecy.
There are women who have no qualms with openly discussing masturbation with their friends or partners, but they are few and far between. Why? It’s normal to enjoy and seek out pleasure; massages, human contact, movies, nature, wine…
Some seek pleasure to the point of addiction or harmful behavior, and oddly enough, it’s more accepted to tell someone you’re an alcoholic than it is to tell someone you just purchased the most amazing vibrator and your orgasms are out of this world.
In recent years ..
In recent years, more and more people are talking openly about their experiences with depression, a topic not suited for conversation over dinner. A few brave souls spoke out, paving the way for others to slowly follow.
Could it be so with female masturbation? Could Angela Jolie be the ambassador of arousal, the diplomat of the dildo? Once we get Hollywood on board, the sky’s the limit.
Women would benefit hugely if they had a venue or safe space to discuss matters of a sexual nature. Book clubs, for example, cherished by ladies across the land, are a place to gather with friends, eat delicious food and chat about life… This idea translates with ease to a plethora of other concepts- why not turn the topic from Oprah’s book of the month to something more along the lines of “The Joys of Sex?”
Here women would have a peer-to-peer roundtable regarding the sex lives of their fellow gal-pals, and just like book club, a topic is chosen and discussion ensues. The big take-away? There is no such thing as “Normal” and that is okay.
Discussion might go something like this:
Jennifer: “When I masturbate, I go into my sunroom, get comfortable on my yoga mat and enjoy fantasizing about Burt Reynolds when he had the really giant moustache. On a good day, I’ll come in about 6 minutes and 23 second.”
From the group: Affirmative murmurs and nods of approval.
Tara: “I enjoy pleasuring myself when I’ve had a stressful day. I usually need about 17 minutes to get the job done, and I have to really focus on the upper right clitoral-quadrant while lifting my left leg 40 degrees in the air. If I don’t have lube, forget about it- not going to happen.”
From the group: “Mmmmm hmmm.” “Me too.” “I hear that.”
Diane: “Well, this is hard to say, but I’ve never had an orgasm. When I try to rub myself… down… there, I feel like I’m doing something wrong and dirty. I was taught that it was a sin, and that only perverts do it. I can’t seem to get past it.”
From the group: Sympathetic words of support, suggestions for a good book to read about shame and unconditional support.
It sounds outlandish ..
It sounds outlandish, but really, this could be the most liberating, exciting and fun book club anyone’s ever seen.
It’s time that women seize control of their private parts and shed the gross shame that plagues their thoughts.
Taking pleasure from your own body is as innate as scratching an itch and it’s a woman’s choice to claim this right that always has and always will belong to her alone.
Picking your nose in the car is gross. Masturbation is not.
More on Sex Ed
- Masturbation Book Club - December 15, 2015
- Teach Girls Masturbation, It’s Okay - November 12, 2015
- 5 Questions About Sex Your Teen May Be Too Embarrassed to Ask - October 29, 2015
- How Does My Teen Know When They’re Ready to Have Sex? - September 28, 2015