“I find it crazy how afraid and uncomfortable I felt about the prospect of getting caught….”
For some, it’s an everyday discussion; for others, it’s a taboo topic. Whether you’re a huge fan, a frequent participant, or one who likes to watch, masturbation is something that most people have tried or experienced at least once in their lifetime. So what is the general consensus? Why are people afraid to talk about it? Why is the masturbation conversation not a common occurrence between girlfriends?
Flicking the bean, fanning the fur, buttering the muffin or polishing the pearl. No matter what you call it, you have probably experienced the unusual stigma surrounding the discussion of female masturbation. Why is that guys can pow-wow with their friends about their sex lives, their conquests, their own masturbation “journeys” or whatever they like to call it, but when we try and have the chat with our girlfriends we’re never quite sure how it’s going to be received.
A few years ago, I moved into a flat with one of my now best friends and a couple of others. She and I didn’t know each other when we first moved in, so we were freshly friends when she came into my room one night after about two months into living together. About ten minutes before she came in, I had been having some “me time” if you know what I mean… As a result, my vibrator was sitting under the covers in my bed, and I was watching Netflix or something similar. She came in, sat down on the bed and we started chatting about nothing in particular. As we got talking, she was moving around and eventually, her hand could feel the shape of something under the covers in my bed. She smacked the bed and asked what it was, and I was immediately uncomfortable. Hesitating, I told her it was a remote. “For what?” she asked. I didn’t have a TV in my room or anything that would warrant a remote, so I panicked and said “the lamp.” Plot twist: there was no lamp. Surprisingly she didn’t think much of it and left it there, or perhaps she caught on and didn’t want to make me squirm any more than I already was. Either way, I was grateful, and it was never mentioned again.
“Who decided men and women had different social norms when it comes to the masturbation conversation?”
Looking back at that moment though, I find it crazy how afraid and uncomfortable I felt about the prospect of getting “caught” doing something that I now understand is a perfectly normal expression of female sexuality. Why did I feel uncomfortable talking to a friend about this? Why isn’t this an everyday conversation among women? Who decided men and women had different social normalities when it comes to the masturbation conversation? I’d like to have a word with them.
The truth of the matter is that most people do it, but many people don’t talk about it. Sure, I can understand to a degree, that masturbation is a private and very personal experience that people have with themselves, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be so taboo. I’m not suggesting that we all go into great detail when discussing with our girlfriends but surely we should be able to mention it, and potentially discuss it in depth if we feel comfortable to do so.
According to a study conducted by Penn State University, “Females reported more communication overall than did males on all topics, except for masturbation, which males reported discussing more frequently than did females. Women talked more about sexually transmitted diseases, sexual feelings, contraception and rape. They also talked more frequently about dating and romantic relationships, abstinence, making out, their own physical appearance, pregnancy and menstruation.” While this study was from 2002, I still think it’s pretty relevant, at least to myself personally.
I will happily discuss my sex life (or lack thereof) with my friends quite comfortably. Who I’m dating, if I’m sleeping with them, what the sex is like, how attracted I am to that person, if I see it going anywhere, if I want to sleep with them again, if he had any cool moves, I could go on. Sure I’m not just sharing this information with everyone I come across, you have to earn the gory details, but as a general rule when it comes to my girlfriends I’m more than happy to spill the tea if they’re asking.
Despite all this, I still feel uncomfortable discussing masturbation with some of them. Of course, as you get to know your friends, you can generally feel them out and understand whether or not they are someone that can handle that kind of chit chat, but it can still be a tricky topic to bring up without fear of judgement. Female focused TV Shows over the last 20 years such as Sex and the City, Girls, and Orange Is The New Black have definitely opened up conversations about women having sex and created some much-needed awareness surrounding masturbation as an expression of female sexuality, but we still have a long way to go.
“How can we expect them to make us cum if we can’t do it riding solo?”
Whether you are in a committed relationship, a girl about town or somewhere in between, masturbation is and always will be a healthy expression of female sexuality. It’s the most straight forward and pleasurable way for us as women to understand our bodies along with our likes and dislikes in the bedroom. In all fairness, it makes it a whole lot easier for our partners to get us off too if we have an in-depth understanding of it ourselves. How can we expect them to make us cum if we can’t do it riding solo? How can we give them directions when we ourselves don’t know which way to go? Why not get exploring your lady bits and discover what really gets you going so that you can, in turn, help your partner to really get you going.
At the end of the day, everybody is different, but there’s no need for us as women to feel afraid to discuss such a natural and healthy expression openly. It’s time we embraced the concept of physical self-love and nurtured one another through sharing our experiences. When it comes to chatting with your girlfriends, don’t be afraid to open up the dialogue. Have the masturbation conversation. It’s 2019 after all!