In an era where sexuality and sexual freedom is celebrated, there is still a subject that everyone dances around: Masturbation and sexual pleasure (especially for women).
One of my very formative experiences was discovering masturbation. All throughout my life I thought it was gross and even my friends would also make fun of it too. In middle school, it’s just something that is always laughed at and those who do it are laughed at because of the shame and stigma behind it. But then one day at a sleepover, we all started talking about it and it turned out that my friends, who always made fun of masturbation, all did this so-called disgusting act. I realized, “oh my gosh, why have I been left out!” I felt like my whole life was a lie. Once we all started to have an open conversation about it, it seemed like a weight was lifted on my friends. After joking about it and putting it down for years, by admitting they actually masturbated it seemed like they were almost “coming out.” To be honest, the minute they all told me they did it, I was kind of intrigued. “How is everyone doing this and not me? It must feel good! I have to get in on this!” But at the same time, I was very innocent didn’t know much about sex at all really. All I knew was how babies were made. In school they don’t really talk about the sexual pleasure part. That is something everyone is supposed to figure out on their own I suppose. Anyway, my friends suggested some types of porn to watch (for beginners haha) and they talked about clitoral stimulation vs fingering. I was 16 when I first learned that girls could masturbate and that it is fun and pleasurable and that a lot of women actually do it. I was also 16 when I tried it for the first time and I realized that this was pretty cool! Before that day I had never really touched myself down there to be honest. Even though no one had ever told me explicitly that “this is wrong!” I always felt like I would be doing something wrong by touching myself down there.
It’s strange because I’ve noticed that my male friends talk about masturbation very casually amongst themselves, they joke about it, but they also don’t lie about doing it. Girls on the other hand, we are extremely ashamed and embarrassed by the topic. And I really don’t know why! Being able to discover my own sexual power was truly game changing for me. I don’t need to rely on another person to make me feel good. It really prepared me for having a relationship. I am able to know what I like and communicate that with a partner so that I am also able to feel good in my sexual relationships. I know so many of my girl friends who participate in hookup culture but they have never had an orgasm. Those girls also happen to not masturbate. Coincidence? I think not! How are women supposed to feel good during intercourse if we don’t know what feels good and how to feel good?
My old fashioned mother claims that sex is mainly for men, it’s not as important to girls. But I disagree, I think if more women took the leap and tried exploring their own sexual pleasure, they could really change their whole perspective. I wish there wasn’t such a huge shame around sexual pleasure for women. Women participate in hook-up culture only to not even orgasm, what’s the point then? Is it just validation? If we can take control of our own orgasm then we can take control of our life and have the confidence to navigate a world where we are often objectified and treated as powerless. It’s time to shift the power dynamic folks.