Female masturbation isn’t a sin; it empowers women

Graphic by Harlan Frost

Graphic by Harlan Frost

The girls I’ve befriended over the years discuss practically every detail about their sex lives. They compare the size of their boyfriend’s penises, the number of partners they’ve slept with, who had the latest pregnancy or STD scare, the desire to experiment with the same sex and they even discuss their fears of being raped. These women will talk about everything except the topic of female masturbation.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve masturbated before going to bedespecially if I’m recuperating from a long, exhausting day. There’s nothing like a little “me” time to really help me unwind and relax.

Girls may not talk about masturbation as often or as publicly as men, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t flicking the bean beneath the sheets and it definitely doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy it.

Masturbation isn’t a dirty deed. Women should be able to masturbate if they want to, whenever they want to and no man or sitcom character should have anything to do with their decision. Let’s all take a lesson from Amber Rose’s Slut Walk this weekend, a yearly rally that protests a culture that labels, shames and blames women for sexual assault, and remind ourselves: If it’s our pussy, it’s our choice.

Female masturbation is still one of the most stigmatized topics to discuss in our society. We see men masturbate all the time. It’s in every teen movie, comedy routine and pop-culture element, but try showing a scene of a woman petting her kittythink back to Natalie Portman in the movie “Black Swan,” and it becomes the most controversial scene of the century.

We live in a society where male pleasure is a given and female pleasure is portrayed as a privilege.

In a study of undergraduate college students, 98 percent of men reported having ever masturbated while only 44 percent of women said they did the same, according to the Kinsey Institute. That means that almost 60 percent of females in their early 20s have never once indulged in self pleasure, and that is honestly a damn shame. Ladies, masturbating is good for you.

In factstudies have shown that women who masturbate receive several benefits including enhancing their physical, mental and sexual health and the health of their sexual relationships, according to Planned Parenthood. Masturbation can create a sense of well-being, enhance sex with partners, physically and emotionally help people learn how they like to be touched and stimulated sexually, increase the ability to have orgasms and can even reduce stress and relieve menstrual cramps.

Unfortunately, I feel like many women still feel like masturbating is only for when you are single, in a long-distance relationship or going through a dry spell. When I asked my cousin what her thoughts on female masturbation were, she simply replied, “I do it when necessary — I’m not sure there’s much more to say, I guess.”

Do it when necessary? Masturbating is not a chore, it’s empowering. There is nothing sexier or more freeing then knowing your own body, and in turnteaching your partner how and where you liked to be touched.

However, even with that being said, women didn’t come up with the idea that female masturbation is dirty all on their own. We have been conditioned to believe that we are merely sexual objects and our sole purpose is to exist to arouse men and not ourselves. The conversation about female masturbation, or masturbation in general, needs to start in grade school. Young girls need to be told that its okay to explore the changes in their body, and that they are in control of their sexuality, not society.

Ladies, we need to realize that our sexual pleasure should come before anyone else’s and there shouldn’t be shame in putting or petting yourself first. So pick up a dildo, your favorite sparkly vibrator or your trusted index finger and get to it.

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