Confessions of a Female Masturbator
Thoughts By Madeline Taylor
I remember learning what the word “masturbate” meant in grade school and being shocked that such an ugly word could describe the lovely—albeit, secret—feelings I could bestow upon myself in private. I remember how all the boys joked about “jerking off” like it was as casual as brushing their teeth. The girls were different. None of my girlfriends would admit to touching themselves (and, in fact, openly denounced the idea), leading me to believe throughout late childhood and puberty that I was super-sexed and dirty for being a girl who enjoyed masturbating.
Masturbation allowed me to explore my body from an early age, and I honestly believe that self-exploration of sexual stimulation gave me the gift of a healthier, more open, and enjoyable sex life as an adult. Women and girls who masturbate have the pleasure of learning what makes them orgasm by themselves, in a safe, no pressure environment—often years before they share their bodies or attempt reaching an orgasm with a sex partner.
The trouble with being a woman who masturbates and talks about it is that you are immediately sexualized; your sex life is analyzed and you are seen as a minority despite it being an activity that most people engage in. Think of the controversy Hailee Steinfeld faced when fans speculated that her single Love Myself was a pro-masturbation banger (which it totally is). Hailee took the criticism in stride, claiming the song was praising the power she felt in being able to provide for herself... and ladies, listen up! There is power in not relying on someone else to participate in your daily/weekly/monthly orgasm appointment. There is a lot of confidence and body positivity to be gained by learning to love yourself and trust your body. Why is it that women are socialized to feel embarrassed about their bodies, their sexuality, and their ability to feel pleasure? Self-love has many benefits (aside from the obvious), and it’s time that female masturbation becomes as accepted and encouraged as male masturbation.
Confession 1: Masturbation is good for you. Nothing weird about that.
In addition to becoming more in touch (get it?) with your body, masturbation is an amazing way to relieve cramps, stress, or tension, and get a post-sex glow all on your own. Exam season stressing you out? Skin looking a little dull? Period cramps ruining your day? Treat yourself to a little (or a lotta) self-love and reap the benefits of your solo sexy-time!
Confession 2: Orgasm(s), anyone?
Sex goals. If you are sexually active with a partner or just sticking to you, yourself, and your vibrator, it can be fun to set little goals for yourself. Maybe that goal is feeling comfortable enough to try out self-stimulation (alone or during sex), reaching an orgasm for the first time, or getting to a headspace where you can have multiple orgasms in a single sexual session. No matter your goals, masturbation is a wonderful and natural way to learn about your sexual interests, capabilities, and fantasies without the pressure of making someone else happy too.
Confession 3: The safest sex you’re ever gonna get.
Of course, there are many ways to have safe sex with a partner. However, going solo is the only way to get off with a 100% success rate of (a) no STIs (b) no pregnancy and (c) no awkward morning conversations over your last two packages of instant oatmeal.
Confession 4: Ya gotta know, if you want to teach.
Many women want to be able to experience orgasm with a sex partner. Getting off with a partner can sometimes be easier said than done, and it is possibly why women are known for faking orgasms more frequently than men. For me, it takes a lot of trust, emotion, and bedroom skills for a partner to top what I can get accomplished alone. Thankfully, I taught myself what feels good, and I know that I have the ability and the right to teach my sex partner what I like best. Knowing myself and my anatomy on an intimate level has given me the confidence and wherewithal to give guidance when necessary, leading to open communication and a better, healthier sex life.
So, the next time the topic of masturbation comes up in conversation, don’t be the woman who says “ugh—I don’t masturbate, most women don’t!” This is inaccurate—and you are doing a disservice to women everywhere by contributing to a culture that shames women for enjoying their sexuality and their bodies. If you truly don’t “do that”, I highly recommend that you try! For the ladies who do masturbate, keep doing you (literally) and don’t ever be ashamed or embarrassed for harnessing your sexual power by giving yourself the gift of some well deserved self-love and attention.