Female masturbation has been a confusing topic for a while. Even writing that as an opening line feels like we’ve broken a taboo by not calling it ‘an exploration of your body’. But, to be clear, we’re talking about giving yourself pleasure, not checking for abnormalities.
As a society we are a long way from women openly waking up and ‘having a wank’ in the way men do. It’s just not part of the common vernacular.
The common argument presented in the media and across blogs is that it’s an embarrassing topic and women don’t feel comfortable acknowledging they do it. I think there’s definitely a truth in that but I believe the problem actually goes deeper. I think many women genuinely don’t do it because they don’t really know how.
Amongst my friendship groups, many felines would have been comfortable admitting they masturbated; showing others that they are totes comfortable with their sexuality. In the competitive landscape of post-pubescent girls, the fight to prove you’re one of the most sexual was up there with other life goals. Having a high libido isn’t embarrassing.
Many women want to be comfortable with their sexuality. Perhaps in part because we know it makes us more appealing to potential partners but also because it’s a sign we’re embracing our fullest, modern, feminist selves. Somewhere between the cast of Geordie Shore and those who choose to abstain completely, lies the rest of the population of this planet, working to maintain an active sex life as an important tick in their box.
The thing is, much like sex with a partner, the first few times you try and masturbate it can be somewhat underwhelming. A bit like trying to play an instrument when you haven’t had any lessons. There are some sounds coming out but it’s a long way from a melody.
Finally though, things are looking up.
Information on how to masturbate more effectively is becoming more popular. Vibrators which could be mistaken for ornaments, are being developed. Rituals which have a softness and femininity in their very nature are being walked through in magazines.
Whilst sceptics may argue that making sex products flashier is purely a marketing ploy, the bottom line is that female masturbation is being normalised.
And how is it being repositioned to women as consumers? Well, through ‘wellness’ of course!
In fact, the growth in yoga has given the vagina a bit of a rebrand. Wellness hubs including MindBodyGreen and Dose have recently written about a personal wellness ritual named ‘The Yoni Massage’. FYI Yoni is Sanskrit (ancient Hindu) for the vulva and means ‘divine sacred portal’. HELLO.
It doesn’t take too great-a-leap to get to what a Yoni Massage involves, but by the way it’s described and initiated, it becomes much less intimidating and includes a little personal foreplay to ease you in and extend the experience.
“Self Yoni Massage gives a woman’s Yoni permission to let go. In the same way that a full body massage allows a release of tension and stress, the same applies to our Yoni. If we can use this as a regular self-care routine, our Yoni will become more receptive and full of sensation”. – Grace Hazel
Grace Hazel, quoted above, is a qualified yoga teacher and ‘Pussy Empowerer’.
Whilst presenting masturbation as a holy ritual seems like a slight exaggeration, if it gives female-pleasure a rebrand and increases your chance of success, then hear hear.
Personally I find the ‘whys’ of masturbation fairly straight-forward to agree on. For one, understanding your own body is quite fundamental to being able to guide someone else around it. There is a practical truth that female genitalia are generally a little more complicated to work out than our male counterparts; largely because you can’t see so much of it. Beyond improving your sex life, there’s also something liberating about not being solely reliant on having a partner for pleasure (single ladies, now put your hands up). The orgasm itself also has a number of health benefits, including improved circulation, relaxation and hormone balance.
So if we’re agreed on the whys, and have got past certain hurdles around embarrassment. Where next? Well, if feminists needed another reason to thank Emma Watson, her public shout out to the site OMGYes provides one.
“There’s a website called OMGYes, and it’s based on research which is a complete study on female sexuality and uh… it’s a pretty cool website and I wish it had been around longer… definitely check it out, it’s an expensive subscription but it’s worth it.” – Emma Watson
A website designed to explore the science behind women’s pleasure, OMGYes is a subscription service that aims to teach women that female masturbation is an act of self love. It showcases real women talking about their orgasms and what techniques work for them.
So whilst you run through the investments you plan to make this year, perhaps consider giving some time (and/or money) to this particular type of self-love. You are worth it.
Yes. Yes. Yes.