While we as a society have come a long way, there is still one topic which can silence an entire room – female masturbation. A silence that is so deafening it overshadows every the “But why?” and “So what?”. Whether it be art, film, education, pornography, or any such institution, female perspective and opinion on self pleasure is something that is rarely discussed. Why? What is so catastrophic about female masturbation? In an era of social movements like feminism and body positivity, female pleasure is an idea that is equally important.
So, let us break down what female masturbation is and how it empowers women to be better versions of themselves.
What’s the Big Deal?
“Women are said to have lower sex drives than men, yet they are universally punished if they display evidence to the contrary—if they disobey their ‘natural’ inclinations towards a stifled libido.”Natalie Angier, author of Women: An Intimate Geography
One of the greatest asset of being a woman its our body. And a majority of women never truly appreciate it or its gifts because society has brainwashed them to believe that their body is their greatest enemy. Why do so many women struggle with body image, self-confidence, self-worth, etc.? We as a gender lack the fundamental ability to love our bodies shamelessly.
Growing up, girls are told to abstain from sex or any sexual activity till they are married or of age. From a young age we are trained to see our bodies as property that deserves no self-care or self-love because that is a man’s so-called duty. A man is the only person who is allowed to touch us in a sexual way because it is their supposed right. But has anyone every said this to a man? They they are to refrain from all self pleasure because that is their partner’s right. Never. And because men are never silenced when speaking of masturbation or self pleasure, they can discuss it quite openly and cooly. There is a confidence in their voice that we women lack when speaking of this topic. And why wouldn’t men be so confident, they have been taught about their pleasure through education, media, and society as a whole. Society celebrates male pleasure and it is treated as just another part of life.
The Role of Porn
If you ask me, I would say that one of the reasons why we women feel ‘dirty’ while self pleasuring is because of the media. I am speaking particularly about the pornography industry which is so readily available to people these days. in the past few years, access to online sexual content has become far too easy. Some as young as 11 or 12 years have access to such content within seconds. The issue with being exposed to porn or any sexual content at such a young age is that these kids began to mimic what they see in their lives. We all know that most porn these day is highly problematic for various reasons. They offer unrealistic and toxic visions of sex. And when you combine this with the lack of good sexual education we have dangerous cocktail at hand. It is not enough to simply discuss reproductive organs and safe sex methods, we need to move beyond the bare minimum in a subject that is so crucial.
For adults it is much easier to distinguish between fantasy and reality in pornography. But the same cannot be said for the young ones. When children learn about sex though porn they set themselves up for disaster. The type of sexual activity in porn is neither safe nor pleasurable. Pornography as an industry demeans women in the name of fantasy and pleasure. I have never come across pornographic content that is healthy for both parties. And porn in general is very male-dominated in terms of pleasure and desire. When young girls come across this content they takeaway that sex is only about men and what they want. The utter lack of disrespect for the female body and their pleasures hinders women from truly accepting themselves. We teach our girls to stand up for themselves, take control, voice their opinions, and to demand equality from their male counterparts. So why not do the same in the bedroom?
“I discovered how normal, widely practiced, and healthy masturbation is—it’s not just some private deed for people with penises.”Kayti Christian, editor at The Good Trade
Self Pleasure – A Tool for Empowerment
Any expression or acknowledgement of female pleasure is criticized, silenced, or scandalized. Women who are confident in their bodies or do practice self pleasure are often demonized and viewed as morally corrupt. What society fails to realize is that women who masturbate or indulge in self pleasure are actually empowering themselves. Female pleasure positively impacts a woman’s confidence. Women are inhibited from exploring their sexual desires in an environment that is safe, welcoming, and empowering. The lack of education regarding female pleasure is quite problematic. Female pleasure and sexuality is complex and it is an intimate issue. How are men supposed to know what we like or don’t like when we don’t know it ourselves? This discrepancy in thought negatively impacts many relationships. Two people who are in a relationship need to understand each other mentally, emotionally, but also physically. Communication is key here for both parties to experience good sex.
By allowing female pleasure a platform in media and educational spaces we are creating healthier, safer representations. Women need to understand that it is okay to indulge in self pleasure and explore their body and sexuality without feeling like they are committing a crime. They need to understand that self fulfillment and pleasure is a necessity not a luxury.
How To Begin?
The daunting question – how to even start and from where?
- Set the mood
- Use lube (if necessary)
- Let your mind fantasize
- Take your time
- Focus on your erogenous zones
Here are some things to keep in mind regarding female pleasure:
Before you even get started, I want you to understand what sexual empowerment means to you. What is it that you seek: more orgasms? self-confidence? exploration? Your pleasure is personal to you and it differs from person to person, so there is no right or wrong answer. If you are new to this idea, take it slow. The first thing you need to do is rid your mind of any worries or embarrassments. You can’t grow in an environment that is poisoned with insecurities. Desire is sexy. Confidence is sexy. You are sexy. Follow your instincts and let your body guide you.
Based on where you are in your sexual journey, you need to decide what is working and what isn’t. This can be in your relationship with yourself or your partner. Be open, honest, and ask lots of questions. If it helps, start with the positives. What is it you do like that you do or your partner does? How does it make you feel? Then, slowly transition into what you don’t like or makes you feel uncomfortable. These are things you cannot stay quite about. Trust me, it’ll only deteriorate your relationship. You can also use this opportunity to discuss what new things you want to try for yourself or your partner. When you discuss these intimate details with your partner openly, it makes your relationship stronger and improves your trust in one another.
Self-pleasure is like self-care. it is good for your heart and your health. When you experiment with your desires and sensations you understand yourself better. before you can trust someone else with your body, you need to trust it yourself. Know what works for you. And if you want to take your exploration to the next level, invest in a sex toy and see how that goes. The goal is to understand your sexual boundaries so that it doesn’t get in the way of you and your relationship with your self or with another.
Real pleasure is messy. What we see in movies or ready in romance novels is nothing close to reality. It is completely normal for sexual activity of any kind with yourself or your partner to be silly, lighthearted, and far from perfect. So if things don’t go as planned, caught and enjoy the moment. Don’t overthink pleasure, just feel it.
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