I remember the first time that I heard the word masturbation.
I was in the 6th grade, and my friend at the time had just asked a boy, “Do you masturbate?” I laughed because I knew by the tone of her voice, that the question was something inappropriate—something not to be discussed in public, or between girls and boys. I had no idea what the word meant, but that much I had managed to pick up. I don’t remember if the boy ever got to respond because a teacher overheard and my friend got in trouble.
I, on the other hand became curious: what did it mean to masturbate and why were we not allowed to talk about it, and furthermore, why was the question only directed towards a boy?
The definition for masturbation goes as follows: the stimulation or manipulation of one’s own genitals, especially to orgasm; sexual self-gratification. There is no specification of a certain gender, however, as a society we have deemed it to be acceptable and even expected for masturbation to be part of the transition that a boy goes through in order to become a man. There are dozens of euphemisms for when a male masturbates, including but not limited to: jacking off, jerking off, whacking off, choking the chicken, slap the salami among many others. However, when it comes (pun not intended) there is less language and a whole lot more of hesitance to discussing masturbation.
Why are we so nervous to talk about it? Girls masturbate—there, I’ve said it! We touch ourselves. We finger ourselves. We buy vibrators. We buy sex toys. We use them. We come. We have an entire organ that is dedicated solely for the purpose of our pleasure. Why should we feel awkward or uncomfortable talking about it, or actually doing it? I say we put those days behind us and instead of being awkward about the topic, let’s just be open about it—after all, if society is so fascinated and comfortable with discussing male masturbation, then perhaps one day, that ease will translate over to the way that female masturbation is discussed.
It all starts with the self (literally, it does.)This doesn’t mean that you have to go home and masturbate or buy a vibrator, (though if you’d like to, enjoy yourself)—but I believe that sexual satisfaction and power begins with the individual, and that can be explored by the individual, regardless of their gender and in spite of what society thinks about that particular behavior.
Do you find it easy to discuss “flicking the bean” with your girls (and yes, I really did just use that term) or is it something you choose not to discuss? It is uncomfortable or incredibly exciting to talk about?
What are your thoughts?