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Why are women afraid to masturbate?

Women seem to be frightened of the concept of self-pleasure, writes H.M Fedor.

There are so many people out there who say outright that female masturbation is wrong....why is that?  It could be overly harsh parents who say that it is something "just not done" or your religion.

We all know that the Roman Catholic Church is WAY against masturbation, as it is "against chastity."  I used to be Roman Catholic, and we had a "fire and brimstone" type of priest, who said that use of the sexual organs, aka penis and pussy, in any way and outside of the reproductive act in the 'sanctity of marriage' was sinful.  Hmm.

 And then there are all kinds of myths regarding masturbation, like: 

"You'll go blind from doing it too often,"

"It will stunt your growth,"

"It will give you hairy palms,"

or my favorite, "You will go insane from masturbation."

Perhaps it's a mix of science, religion, and ignorance, like the description in a 1765 Encyclopaedia, that masturbation is “an infamous custom born out of idleness and sloth”.

But for women, there seems to be another barrier, too.  Several of my girl friends seem horrified when I mention the purchase of a vibrator, or having "me time with the battery-operated boy."  They appear almost frightened of the concept of self-pleasure.  

For men, it seems they have it easier.  After all, there is a wide selection of items for their viewing pleasure just to serve that purpose.  For women, typically, there needs to be more physical stimulation for arousal, whereas for men it can be an image (or fantasy--who hasn't dreamt of Natalie Portman naked and sexy-like?) to pop an erection.

From personal experience, it takes time to explore and discover what kind of touch sends you into orbit.  Play the alphabet game?  Trace letters by the clit and see which one really hits it.  Or you can "knuckle it up," or even play around with the showerhead.  So there are lots of different ways to try and find your 'method' of masturbating.

But once discovered (and you'll feel like Christopher Columbus when you do!) why can't you discuss it with your girlfriends?  Guys seem perfectly fine discussing masturbation amongst themselves, and when the idea of women masturbating comes up, they like it--sometimes it even turns them on!

But with other women, it seems taboo.  Maybe it's the lack of sexy euphemisms  and phrases for the act itself.  Sure, men have sayings like, "choking the chicken," "walking the dog," "spanking the monkey," or "polishing the sword."  I did a search for terms, and the list for men was three times that of the one for women.  And the terms listed for women were....fairly off-putting. 

Who wants to tell their friends they're going to "tease the tuna taco?"  Or "gag the clam?"  Too often there are connotations of a dark, possibly slimy place.  No need for you to think your pussy is haunted.

 But "fanning the fur," "bumping the carpet," and "digging a trench?"  If the terms describing it are dirty, won't you think the act is dirty too? (Unless you have a sense of humor and a dirty mind, maybe!)  I have a friend who calls it "going to Disneyland."  After all, that's the happiest place on earth, right?  No one's allowed to die there, for crying out loud!  

Female masturbation should have terms that you want, that you're comfortable with using.  I personally like "polishing the pearl," like visiting a precious object in your jewelry box.  

But no matter how precious, if people are afraid of doing it, of knowing that it's perfectly fine to do so, they'll never discover themselves.

There should be no need to be a "closet masturbator" if you're a woman.  Power up that vibrator, bullet, shower head, whatever!  Go to Disneyland, or whatever place you decide, and have a blast(off)!  Rejoice in your body and take it for a solo ride!

H.M. Fedor hails from Pittsburgh, U.S.A. and thankfully escaped from there as soon as possible. After the usual tomfoolery called 'the college experience,' she decided to go gallivanting off to Europe. She is still there, protesting that she needs to find herself. Unfortunately, she is terrible with maps and directions, so it's taking quite a while. She blogs here. 



0 #1 Vicky 2010-09-07 15:30
I think there are deeper issues as well. Female masturbation is somehow considered deviant. Masturbation for a man isn't deviant- it fits our idea of male sexuality, men needing to come at least every 20 minutes or their balls will fall off.
A woman's sexual pleasure is defined in association with a man- a big hard man making her orgasam- anything else is deviant. Clitoral stimulation is a lot more likely to bring a woman to orgasm than penetrative sex without clitoral stimulation, which is threatening to the idea that a woman's sexual pleasure depends on a man. A woman masturbating does not fit the dominant idea of female sexuality- where's the man, omg she must be a lesbian! (a latent homophobia that also explains why when men talk about masturbation, they don't talk about anally pleasuring themselves) Additionally, a woman masturbating does not fit the dominant idea of what women should be doing- servicing men, either sexually or domestically.
None of this means that women aren't masturbating, but it does explain why it is less talked about amongst women.

I'm interested whether the author thinks that the mainstreaming of vibrators is part of this or a sign of things changing for the better? Women's pleasure is coming out, but looking at vibes on sale on the highstreet (that might be really UK biased?) they are mostly penis shaped, so still fitting the dominant idea of female sexuality in relation to men.

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