I remember the very first time I had an orgasm. It was Boxing Day, I was in my bedroom reading the book ‘Spring Collection’ by Judith Krantz. I came across a sex scene and the next thing I knew I was touching myself in a way that felt wrong, but ohhhhh so good. I must have been 13 and felt very conflicted about what I had done.
I had heard about masturbation before, well mostly about guys ‘wanking off’, a term that would make me giggle and screw my face up… it was yet another gross thing boys did. From memory I told myself it was a one-off, that I wouldn’t do it again. A few nights later I was nearing the end of the book and remembered that scene and what it had made me feel, what it had made me do to myself. I told myself not to flick back – but I did – and as I had done on Boxing Day, touched myself until I had what I was pretty certain was an orgasm. I felt ashamed but at the same time… relieved… and so relaxed that I quickly fell asleep.
Over the next few years I masturbated with more frequency but still mentally battled with myself over it. If it was so wrong, why the hell did it feel so good? If it was so bad for me, surely I would get sick or something? My fingers would fall off? My vagina would put up some form of protest?
I knew boys and men masturbated but was truly convinced I was the only person with a vagina who had ever masturbated. OH MY GOD, there was something wrong with me! Lock me up and throw away the key.
Eventually I accepted that I was a masturbator, that for whatever reason my brain wasn’t wired properly and maybe I had a ‘guy brain’. None of my female friends ever spoke about masturbation, the closest they came was using the word ‘wanker’ as a derogatory way to refer to a male (of course I did this… hello, they CAN be a bit wanky at times!).
My male friends though? Masturbation this, masturbation that, masturbation here, masturbation there, porn this, porn that, hard on, stiffy, boner, steel rod, pole, rockhard-cockhard… they spoke about it a lot and they spoke about it openly. I remember feeling envious of them. Sure, I didn’t need to know that ______ had masturbated in his car on his lunch break, or that ______ had masturbated five times over the weekend… but I envied that they could openly discuss it. It was almost as if masturbating made them more macho in the eyes of the world, whereas if I had admitted to enjoying fingering myself, I would probably get a look of disgust and a few knives in my back.
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh yes, that delightful male/female double-standard thing stikes again.
Fast forward to 2015. I am a proud masturbator. I don’t exactly walk around town holding a placard proclaiming how awesome masturbation is and that everyone should do it, but I don’t shy away from the topic when it comes up. (okay the immature 12yo in me is giggling about the whole ‘comes up’ thing)
Being a little older (okay a lot) and a little wiser (sadly ‘little’ is the accurate word) I now know that I am not the only woman in the world who masturbates, and I know there is absolutely nothing wrong with masturbating! Not only is there nothing wrong with it, it is healthy and normal.
From a young age a huge emphasis is placed on us to know who we are, to know what makes us tick, to know what we want out of life, to know what it is that makes us stand out, that makes us unique. We are meant to dedicate enormous amounts of time to finding ourselves so we can live to the fullest and reach our potential.
Should that not include knowing our own body? If it is important to know what works for us on a mental and emotional level, shouldn’t it be just as important to know what physically works for us?
Face it. For most people their adult lives are consumed by sex in some way (obviously to varying degrees). We are expected to be in the right career, to be on the path that means we can be 100% happy within ourselves… why shouldn’t we know who we are as a sexual being? If the fate of the human race rests on our shoulders – if babies need to be made, if we are meant to pair off and find ‘the one’ – then shouldn’t we know ourselves sexually?
How do we learn about ANY aspect of ourselves? Exploring.
How can we learn about what works for us on a sexual level? Exploring. Yeap. Masturbating.
They say you need to know yourself before you can really let someone else into your life/heart/soul/whatever, so doesn’t it make sense that you shoud know your own vagina before you can really enjoy letting someone else into that as well?
Masturbation is great for relationships! There is nothing better than having a spectacularly mindblowing, coma-inducing, legs-don’t-work, brain-no-worky romp with the one that you love (or that special friend with special benefits) and being able to guide your partner just adds to it. Humans aren’t mind-readers. We don’t (always) instinctively know what someone is going to like sexually, and let’s face it, it can be damn frustrating when you just aren’t feeling it because you aren’t getting the right pressure in the right place, you’re not getting it deep enough, you’re getting it too deep, too hard, too fast, too slow. If no one speaks up it can lead to confidence plumetting.
“Oh my god, I didn’t get him/her off, I am so useless at sex!” <— that type of internal dialogue ensues.
If a woman knows her body well enough – through masturbation – she can guide the man/woman in question… rub my clit in a circular motion, rub my clit softly, rub my clit faster/slower, penetrate me slowly, penetrate me fast, move all the way out and slam back in, don’t move out at all, just grind your hips into mine.
Sexual responses are just as unique as the 6.something billion humanoids on earth. I don’t respond the same way my wife does, Jane down the road doesn’t respond the same way as her cousin Lucy, Anna loves deep penetration, Margaret loves shallow penetration, June is all about the clitoral stimulation, April can’t handle too much clit stimulation. Just reading that makes me feel flustered.
Moral of this little (okay, long, almost preachy) story? MASTURBATE! Do it! Tonight! Give your most intimate self a pamper session – go on, you deserve it!
Spend time focusing on your erogenous zones… the aim isn’t necessarily to orgasm (hey, that’s always nice but it isn’t everything), you want it to be a relaxing, enjoyable, peaceful (??? if your circumstances allow!), you want to come away from it smiling, knowing yourself that little bit better.
Play with your nipples – do you like them to be lightly grazed or tugged on? slow rubbing or fast rubbing? squeezing? twisting? squeezing and twisting? tugging? tugging and squeezing? tugging, squeezing AND pulling? touching your bare nipples? touching your nipples with a sheet/towel/top/bra/etc covering them? no touching whatsoever?
Stroking yourself – do you like to stroke your hips? your neck? your chest? your belly? your ass? inner thighs? with your hand? with something like a feather? a silk scarf perhaps?
Pay lots of attention to your clit – do you like your clit being rubbed in circular motions? side to side? up and down? pressing firmly? feather light touches? what about gently squeezing it between your fingertips? firmly squeezing? tapping it quickly?
What about your labia – running your finger up and down between your labia? pressure in a particular place? fast? slow?
Internal stimulation – fingertip just inside? fingertips just inside? a finger deep inside? fingers deep inside? fast? slow? what angle? soft impact? rough impact? gentle? so hard it almost hurts? no internal stimulation? only internal stimulation?
There is no one way to masturbate and there is no one position to masturbate in… on your back? on your left side? on your right side? sitting up? reclining? standing up? head hanging over the edge of the bed? on your back with your ass against the wall and your legs vertical? on your belly? a variety of positions throughout? It’s the same for the location (obviously privacy and appropriateness are key here!)… in the bed? on the bed? on the floor? in the bath? in the shower? on the couch? on the recliner? at your computer? at your desk? on the toilet? in the laundry room? in the garden? in your car while driving through a really busy roundabout after you have been rubbing against your poor drink bottle for the past 15 minutes and it just feels too good to stop (uh… yeah, not a true story… *coughs* really…).
Do it with your fingers, do it with a dildo, do it with a vibrator, do it with a cucumber, do it with the handle of a hairbrush, do it with the fish-shaped baby bath thermometer, rub against something… just do it. Learn what you love, learn what gets you off, learn the fastest way to make yourself orgasm, learn the most teasing drawn-out way to make yourself orgasm.
Hell! If you ask me, masturbation is a bloody
life skill life-saver. I was about 10 weeks pregnant with my youngest when I became single… it just so happened my libido went through the damn roof around the same time. Had I not been able to masturbate chances are I would have internally combusted by the time I reached the 20-week mark! As someone who was single for very long periods of time between 18-27, I can tell you that being able to masturbate probably saved me from going insane due to sexual frustration. When I became un-single for the final time the sexual frustration didn’t go away – no – it was worse than ever. I know, makes no sense – until I mention three little words – long distance relationship.
For 12 months we lived 650km apart and with kids and school, were only able to see each other in the school holidays and only for a week(ish). We spent a LOT of time on the phone talking… and having sex. Phone sex, it’s a funny old thing, you’re communicating with the person you love and if you close your eyes you can imagine they are right there beside you. But they are not. What you are essentially doing is talking to each other while masturbating. I cannot tell you how many batteries I went through or just how many orgasms were had over the phone.
We would talk dirty to each other, make up little stories and scenarios to get each other closer to the edge. It sucked not being able to physically have sex, but I have to say it was a lot of fun to listen to her getting more and more turned on, and then of course hearing her orgasm was especially enjoyable. I guess you could say that in those 12 months of long distance we honed our masturbation skills into a pretty fine art. It was a way to keep the spark alive while we were apart but it was also a good way to get to know each other on a physical level; well, as much as one can over the phone!
On a more serious note (because there has to be one, it’s like the law, or something), women shouldn’t be ashamed of masturbating or of the fact they are sexual beings. Sex is something to be enjoyed. Masturbation is something to be enjoyed. Masturbation is healthy and normal – at any age.
As a parent I have strong thoughts about children being raised with a negative attitude toward masturbation and body image. Children shouldn’t be taught that masturbating is ‘bad’ or ‘evil’ or ‘dirty’, nor should they be brought up to believe sex is bad and something they shouldn’t like. I guess this is such a big issue for me because of our four children, three are girls. Our eldest is nearly 11 and is going through puberty, while it is a scary time we are also really lucky because she is extremely open with us.
We have had numerous conversations about puberty, about the changes in her body, sharing our experiences as well, in an attempt to make it normal for her. Puberty isn’t something we keep ‘hush-hush’ and I think she will be better for it (as will all our kids) in the long run. I think we are doing a good job too because rather than being embarrassed or secretive about what she is going through she seems to be proud of the changes in her body… I love that she can talk to us and that she willingly comes to us. A lot of our conversations are initiated by her and that is something that makes both of us happy; it’s nice to know we are doing something right as parents!
I just wish more parents were like this. If we didn’t make children (particularly girls) feel ashamed of what is such a natural curiosty – and if there wasn’t such a stigma attached to the human body, from such a young age – perhaps there would be more more women in the world who were proud of themself, their body, and their sexuality.
End of the day:
Sexual curiosity = normal
Masturbation = normal
… and anyone who tells you otherwise is an utter douchebag who could probably do with an orgasm or 50!
– by Gustav Klimt (1916)