Masturbation used to be a source of guilt for me. I still remember being so anxious about someone catching me in the act that I only enjoyed myself for a few seconds.
A friend in school once told me a joke about this. It went along the lines of:
Q: What’s the most sensitive part of your body when you masturbate?
A: Your ears, because you’re listening to see if someone is coming.
I found it hilarious, because I completely understood. (Although I pretended not to). Back then I never told anyone that I masturbate and I lied when asked. Why? Because I was a girl. Where I grew up it was assumed that all boys masturbated. I even overheard them make jokes about it. But for a girl to masturbate? Well, that was just yucky (Pfft!)
I went years thinking masturbation was wrong. I even confessed to my psychologist (at the age of 20) that is was my “deep, dark secret.” I only told her because it seemed impossible to keep it to myself any longer.
20 years thinking that touching my own body in a particular way was wrong! Up to that point I had squeezed pimples, scooped out belly button fluff, stared at my tongue in the mirror and probably glanced at snotty tissues a few times too. But touching my vulva?! Surely that was more disgusting?! Again, PFFT!
I think many women my age and older have been implicitly taught: you shouldn’t enjoy your own body. This way of thinking leads to a lot of other problems. The two that often stand out to me:
- We assume sex is all about the penis. Once the man gets off, that’s it – we have completed sex*
- We can’t talk about our body and teach sexual partners how it works, because we don’t know ourselves.
Think about that for a minute. There are so many other problems that can then arise from years of these two ways of thinking. One of the huge difficulties I see is that this can lead to losing ownership of our bodies! How can we celebrate and enjoy our own body, if we don’t first explore it and understand it? With that in mind, I’d like to encourage you to try and find out something new about your body, as a means of giving sexual pleasure. Whether it’s using a new toy to masturbate with, finding a new position, scheduling in some time to masturbate when you know no one else is home, rubbing yourself down with something luscious, or even just doing a google search on the anatomy of all your lovely bits! Enjoy your body.
*I’ve talked a lot about women and basically referred to man/woman pairings in this post. I’ve used my own life as a starting point, where there was a lot of pressure to have ‘heterosexual’ sex, when I was younger. There is a lot more I intend to write about on masturbation and how we need to “own our bodies.” If there’s anything in particular you would like me to cover next, please scroll to the top and leave a comment. If it fits in, I will do my best to cover your topic or address your comment.