I’m not saying I’m totally comfortable with talking about masturbation. Even seeing the word now feels kinda weird, doesn’t it? Typing it out certainly feels kind of weird. But why? Obviously, it’s a natural thing. And lots of men talk about it in SO many different, fun, and creative ways. So why can’t we? Why are we so embarrassed? In our culture, why is talking about female masturbation so taboo?
I just recently launched The Goddess Attainable Podcast (yay!), and one of my first episodes is a conversation with my cousin Victoria. She and I have always been comfortable talking about masturbation with each other. But honestly, she’s one of the only women in my life, if not the only, that I’ve discussed this topic with.
PODCAST EPISODE: CONVERSATION WITH VICTORIA SIMON
She’s just a few years older than me, and I remember one time I brought up the topic of masturbation with her. I was looking for validation because I was super embarrassed about the WAY I masturbated. I was in college at the time. And the moment I told her, she not only validated my feelings, but also told me her “kooky” way of masturbating. By the way, neither of our ways were weird. We just thought they were because NO ONE TALKS ABOUT IT.
As always, when something feels uncomfortable, I just feel better when I talk about it. I’m like a cat. I don’t like closed doors. And when a door is closed, I like to reach my paw underneath and poke and prod until the door opens. That’s why I’m talking about it now.
I first spoke about masturbation with my cousin on a subway train in New York City. I was visiting her for a weekend and she was taking me around town. Once we got on this topic, we became super giddy and excited to discuss. It’s like we had finally found another person to talk to about this, and it was such a relief! At some point, we became inspired to visit a local sex shop. She wanted to try a new vibrator, and I had never used one before. I was intrigued and loved the idea of purchasing my first vibrator in New York City. How glamorous was I?
We visited the Pleasure Chest in the West Village and had so much fun.
Let me be clear. We weren’t being inappropriate, crossing boundaries, or at any time, making the other person uncomfortable. We were on our own individual masturbation journeys that day, but we were journeying with supportive company, and that made all the difference.
Also, honestly, I’m not that much of a vibrator gal. And the purchasing of the vibrator was not nearly as cathartic as the act of going to get one with another supportive female.
Vibrator parties are some of the most masturbation-supportive environments for women. If you have never been to one, you should go the next time you are invited. And if no one is hosting one, then you should host one for you and your friends!
A vibrator party is kind of like a Tupperware Party from the 1950’s. And the consultant you invite to the vibrator party, is kind like an Avon Lady, peddling products. For young women who are reading this right now and have no idea what I’m talking about, I urge you to click on these links and read up on the history of both of these female-forward phenomenons. These examples represent two brilliant ways in which women endeavored to empower themselves during an incredibly oppressive and misogynistic time in history.
And amazingly, vibrator parties have the same power. These are parties hosted in private settings among trusted friends. And the vibrator consultant is a saleswoman who is completely comfortable with her product line. Her job as the consultant is to make everyone in the room feel completely at ease and un-self-conscious. She also often uses humor to break the ice, encourages openness, and is ultimately more knowledgeable about sex and vibrators than the rest of us. During the party, she introduces products (vibrators, sex toys, and other accessories) to the group. Then, at the end of the party, everyone has the opportunity to purchase something from her. The packages are mailed discreetly and it’s a really safe environment to explore all of your curiosities. And you’re doing this all with your friends!
As fun as it is to venture into a sex shop, sometimes they are hard to find in suburban and rural areas. And even if you are in close proximity to a shop, I understand you may not have the nerve to walk into a sex shop alone. Although, if you have never, you should try this as well. Employees at sex shops are also SUPER comfortable with their sexuality, and aim to make you feel as comfortable as possible. However, if you aren’t up for sex shop browsing, a vibrator party is a great way to purchase products in person, from the safety and privacy of your own home.
The vibrator party I attended had a consultant from Pure Romance, and I purchased a fabulous vibrator that day. It’s called The Puma and it’s purple. I’m sorry to say, I just looked on their website and I no longer see it. Bummer. However, these kinds of companies are innovating their products all of the time. So, I’m sure the next time I’m in the market for a vibrator, I’m sure I’ll find another good one.
Here’s the thing though. It’s kind of a shame that I even need to mention all the benefits of how discreet and safe these parties feel. I mean, men wander into porn shops all the time with NO shame or guilt. And yet we as women feel the need to go with a friend to a sex shop, or purchase vibrators in secret. And even amongst friends, it can feel embarrassing.
THIS WORLD HAS CONVINCED US THAT FEMALE SEXUAL POWER AND CONFIDENCE IS REVOLTING AND SOMETHING TO BE KEPT HIDDEN. BUT THIS IS JUST A FALSE MESSAGE AND IT’S NO LONGER SERVING US.
I talk more about empowered female sexuality in my article ASKING FOR WHAT WE WANT IN THE BEDROOM.
I’m going to be honest. I don’t see what the big deal is about orgasms. I’ve had plenty, for many years. And quite frankly, I’m not all that impressed. I’ve had clitoral orgasms and I’ve even had g-spot orgasms, thanks to The Puma. But, I don’t know. They’re kind of a lot of work for a short-lived burst of empty pleasure. Also, g-spot orgasms kinda scare the heck out of me, and I never know why people actually seek out that kind of intensity. But again, this is just my sexuality. Yours is yours, and it’s all okay.
Something I’m learning, and something my love partner is actually trying to teach me, is to be more accepting of my own sexuality. I’m not wrong for being unimpressed by orgasms. And other women aren’t wrong for living their life according to their next orgasm. It’s no one’s business, and it’s okay to feel what we feel. I might feel this way because I’m 41 years old. But even in my youth, and even when I was super horny and single, I was still kinda blah about orgasms. But that’s just me.
For me, intimate sex, looking each other in the eyes, and feeling emotions during a love session, are much more interesting, enjoyable, and satisfying (albeit also petrifying) to me.
NO MATTER YOUR PREFERENCES, IT’S ALL OKAY
I wonder if women feel embarrassed to discuss masturbation amongst each other because of their own shame around sex. Maybe in the past, a woman has admitted something of the sexual variety to a friend, and the friend was not supportive. Or maybe, our parents not really talking openly about it with us, taught us to keep it all behind closed doors. My older sister talked to me about sex all the time, and that hasn’t made me more comfortable with it. Although maybe it has. I mean, not everyone writes a public blog article about masturbation.
Still, I struggle to find women who bring up the subject without qualms. Or who, when I bring up the subject, don’t get weird.
I still think it comes down to an issue of power. When we are comfortable with our own sexuality, and don’t need any man to contribute to our pleasure, we are really powerful. And, for the most part, I think women are really afraid of their own power. Obviously, everyone else is as well. But if we can begin to get a bit more comfortable, celebratory even, with our own sexual power, this might help us get over the taboo factor.
THE WORLD BETTER GET USED TO FEMALE POWER, AND SO MUST WE. SO LET’S START BY TALKING AMONGST OURSELVES ABOUT MASTURBATION, OUR SOURCE OF INDEPENDENT FEMALE POWER.
I understand that some might feel like masturbation is a private thing. And that’s okay. I might feel that way too, I really don’t know. Also, I acknowledge that there are MANY women who are super comfortable with their sexuality, and have no problem discussing masturbation. I just don’t know any of those women. I think if women feel comfortable with one another, then sharing actually eliminates much of the shame associated with our sexuality. We are only as sick as our secrets, and getting things out in the open can be an act of self-love. You might also help another by allowing yourself to be open enough for someone else to share. Perhaps your supportive ear is just what they need.
Tell me honestly, does this article make you uncomfortable? Do you have someone you feel comfortable discussing masturbation with? Do you think masturbation is a private thing and needs to be kept private? Does this article bring you some relief?
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The Goddess Attainable Podcast discusses everything from vaginas, beauty, misogyny and sexism, food, pop culture, health and body stuff, and so much more. Join me, Libby Saylor (aka The Goddess Attainable), and my cohort of goddesses and gods on a journey to ultimate self-worth, self-love, and goddess-esque living!
Featured Photo by Gwen Mamanoleas on Unsplash
Cat Photo by Ani Adigyozalyan on Unsplash
Tupperware Party Photo found here
Pink Vibrator in the Bath Photo by Womanizer WOW Tech on Unsplash
The Future Is Female Photo by Sinitta Leunen on Unsplash