educate

This Is How Masturbating Empowered Me

by Abi Turner

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by Nicole Zaridze 


Female masturbation. Yep, get all that cringing and awkwardness out now, so that we can talk about this issue properly and openly. Masturbation, when done by a woman, seems to have a lot of taboo attached to it. She’s seen as “slutty” or “thirsty”. Yet, there seems to be none when it comes to male masturbation. Why? Because when a woman does, it shows that she is open with her sexuality and is demonstrating a form of intimate self-love. I remember when I was on a school trip skiing and a group of boys, they were the ‘lads’, were joking about that they only get cramps when they were, as they put it, “having a wank”. When I made a comment saying that “I get cramps, but not when I’m doing that”, I was met with lots of disgust and everyone left the conversation. Double standards much? It is seen as much more shameful in this society for women to partake in the activity because people are probably worried about the power that we get when we do it. We need to start openly having these conversations with girls and young women so that when they feel like they are ready to explore themselves, they are able to do it safely and without embarrassment.

I don’t really remember the first time that I masturbated. I don’t even really remember how old I was. I don’t even know how that I knew it was a thing as such. But, somehow, I remember feeling ashamed and embarrassed about it. How was it possible that immediately I felt feelings of embarrassment when I had never even talked with other people about it? I think that the only thing that I can remember was doing in it the bath, probably because I also did the classic shower head thing. I do remember the first time that I talked to a friend about it. I don’t even know how we got on the subject. We were sitting on her sofa and on the subject of sex and she asked me whether I had ever done it before. I shyly admitted that I had and she told me that she had too. It was comforting to know that I wasn’t the only teenage girl trying it. I also remember recently having a long conversation with another friend of mine about it. We both talked about how it was so frustrating that is was such a taboo thing that there was so much stigma surrounding it. The next day, I bought my first vibrator.

 

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image source: Unladylike

I chatted with Emily Odesser, the editor of Teen Eye Magazine, executive assistant at Sad Girls Club about stigmas surrounding this discussion and she said, “Masturbation is amazing — the only part of it that bothers me is the name because it’s so unsexy and scientific. There are literally no other downsides. When you start to learn about all the way your body works and the different ways you can produce sensation, it makes sense why you start feeling much more comfortable in your skin. One one hand, you have the knowledge that you’ve learned how to make yourself feel really, really good, and then on the other, you’ve released these feel-good chemicals (dopamine! oxytocin! serotonin!) that swell your brain. Masturbation helps with body dysmorphia, it helps with future interactions with partners, it helps with sleep, with cramps, and best of all, it can lead to orgasms. It’s something that I would tell anyone with a vagina to practice, and practice often.”

There are many benefits to masturbation, including self-confidence, relieving menstrual pain, literal happiness, exploring your sexuality, no chance of pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. It helps your confidence because you become more in touch with your body, you find out what you like and dislike. You feel a sense of power when you do it because you are in control of your own pleasure and you are actively going against the stigma and shame that society has put on the practice. It also helps with confidence when you decided to have sex because you are able to tell the person that you are sleeping with what you like and how it’s done. It gives you more of a chance of having a good time in during sex. When you’re on your period sometimes menstrual cramps making you feel like you are actually dying, not even some chocolate can help you. But don’t worry, because masturbation has said to help relieve those cramps and pains; and it doesn’t run out like chocolate. As well as this, it has also said that it helps you to get to sleep. Exploring your sexuality by yourself is crucial because then you know what to do when it comes to exploring it with someone else. A total bonus of pleasuring yourself is that there’s no way to get pregnant or receive a sexually transmitted disease.

Unbound babes is an online shop for “rebellious women” and is a shop for sex toys. It also has a magazine with loads of different articles including things like ‘Masturbation 101’ or ‘Sexcopes’. I highly recommend looking through this website. Plus if you want to buy something from their store, the packaging is just plain brown packing, so no-one needs to know.  Another article that I really recommend is ‘A beginner’s guide to sex toys’ which is featured Teen EyeIt includes really important information that is useful for anyone who is looking to explore their sexuality with some store-bought stuff.

We want to break down this stigma that surrounds the subject and start having honest conversations about female masturbation. Why? Because we are living in 2018. There’s no need for any shame attached to a woman’s sexual identity. So, start having these chats with your friends because chances are that they are doing and feeling the same as you.

 


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MEET THE WRITER:

Abi is a passionate young woman who writes about her feminist beliefs and poetry about things that matter to her. If she’s not writing on her personalized laptop you can find her dancing in her room to Princess Nokia or Ms.Dynamite. She is never without a book at hand and is always ready for anything.

Follow her on Instagram @abi.t2 and Twitter  @abzzturner.

 


 

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