Sometimes, I’ll see a girl in public and ask myself, “Has she ever masturbated?” I wonder this out of nothing more than genuine curiosity. It’s funny though, because I only do this to other women. I’ve never seen a guy in public and asked myself that question. I’ve always just assumed that all boys do…simply, because they are boys.
Neither my mother nor my father gave me the “sex talk” growing up. So, they definitely never gave me the “self sex talk.” I’m not sure that even exists. I think that’s why I’m here. A self sex talk should exist. Self exploration is a normal, natural, and healthy life practice. Yet, I could count on a single hand everyone I’ve openly discussed this with.
My first experience feeling sexual was sometime in elementary school. There was a show on The N called Beyond the Break and I remember getting this weird feeling every time there was a make-out scene. I found pleasure in watching these people kiss, but I also felt a bit naughty. Anytime I thought my parent’s were about to walk in my room, I would change the channel faster than I could blink my eyes. I remember actively questioning whether this feeling was taboo.
In 9th grade, I was sitting in a hammock with my friends at a BBQ. One of them asked the rest of us if we’ve ever had “me time.” I was shocked to find out I was the ONLY one who hadn’t. Everyone began bonding over the times their parents almost caught them, the strange things they had used as makeshift sex toys, and whether doing it in the shower was better or worse than in bed. How could I have gone all this time without ever trying to touch myself? I felt like such a late bloomer. I felt like I’d missed out on an exclusive club. So you know what? I went home that night and I did it. I just got it over with. You want to know how it was? Absolutely uneventful. I was so uncomfortable and new to the idea of loving my body in a sexual way that I couldn’t relax myself enough to reap any of the benefits of masturbation. So, I gave up for a while.
When I was 18, I became a whole lot more sexual. I had been dating a guy for a couple years, and I had become completely comfortable with my sexuality and my sex life. Once I graduated, I moved across the country. My relationship became an LDR, and I was no longer able to have sex at the snap of my fingers. So, when I would get a little turned on, I would go with it. I explored my body without anyone else around and I began to love it. It was not anything like my 9th grade experience. This time I felt confident. This time I felt sexy.
There’s not a lot of solid information available to guide us in the direction of where, when, and how to start. For some of you, this article may be first you’ve read on the topic. The most important variable in the equation is comfortability. When you're first starting out, switch up what you're doing each time to find out what you like.
Women tend to be more romantic, so feel free to treat yourself to a little romance. Light some candles. Play some music. Close your eyes. Sex doesn’t necessarily mean penetration. That’s limiting yourself. Sex comes in too many forms. Simply explore your body with intention to seek pleasure.
Masturbation isn’t and shouldn’t be something to feel awkward or guilty about. It’s natural and healthy. It can improve your self image and your sex life. It teaches you what you like in bed, and what brings YOU pleasure. There’s no right or wrong way to do it, just go with what feels good. Moreover, if there’s something you’ve found really works, share it with your friends! The stigma of female masturbation isn’t going to disappear if we as women don’t start talking about it openly and freely.