Between The Sheets: University Women Talk Masturbation

Regardless of increasing sexual empowerment, women in today's society still face stigma surrounding their sexuality. Let's talk about it. Between the Sheets is an SFU Her Campus series where SFU women can be empowered through reading the thoughts and experiences of women like them, and anonymously contributing their own! We deserve a space where we can feel comfortable and confident with expressing our sexuality (regardless of how sexual we are), and it's time we make one.

 

To kickstart this project, we asked you about masturbation, somewhat of a dirty word when we're talking about women it seems. So many of us grow up feeling like we should be ashamed for fulfilling our own sexual needs, but we shouldn't have to be. It's normal and healthy, and a woman should be able to do what she wants with her body (whether she chooses to masturbate or not) without feeling uncomfortable or insecure.

 

Read what women had to say about their first time and their experiences talking about masturbation with others....

 

It was the summer after Grade 9. I have very few friends (like 1-2) and my boyfriend who I can speak about with masturbation. I’m open about sex with my boyfriend and experimenting in the bedroom, but it seems like masturbation is a “weird” topic and treated differently than sex. In high school, it was a subject used to embarrass or shame people, so I don’t feel comfortable bringing it up a lot, it’s very private. My parents also have always treated sexuality as something to be guilty about/keep a secret, so all those factors kind of make it difficult to talk about it openly.

-FASS, 2nd year

 

I was twelve when I first started masturbating. In my experience, talking openly about masturbating has been difficult.

-FCAT

 

Around 6 years old - I talk about it quite freely with anyone who is comfortable (not so much my family).

-FASS, 5th year

 

I was in my late teens, if I remember correctly and I started to explore out of curiosity. I don't really talk much about masturbation, but it's so great when you find a group of ladies online that ARE talking about it and sharing links to their favourite toys because then I feel like it's actually okay to talk about. I find that sometimes when guys on dating sites, etc, ask about masturbation it feels like they're looking for juicy details to add to their own spank bank rather than taking an interest in my pleasure, so it's liberating when women share!

-FCAT, 5th

 

I have never properly tried

-Environment, 2nd

 

Started when I was 16 or 17. Only recently do I feel comfortable talking about it and even still I only talk about it with very close friends or if I notice other people are very open about it (which is few). Even with those few people, it's very general topics. More about porn, or how masturbation impacts relationships, and broader topics around masturbation but rarely about anything specific, like what I like. I don't talk about specific kinks or quirks about intercourse except with sexual partners, so I suppose it's similar in that way. When I realized the song "Love Myself" by Hailee Steinfeld is about masturbation I mentioned that to friends and one (who mind you is sexually active) said "ew gross" and was very awkward about it. From conversations like that one I've learnt to not talk about it openly unless I know the person is very open and non-judgemental.

-FASS, 4th

 

First did it around 16-17 years old. Only ever talked about it with my best friend or girl friend.

 

I think I started in grade 8. I was beginning to have troubles sleeping and I guess I just naturally started to explore to pass the time. My friends at the time had had conversations about how they thought masturbation was gross and would never do it, so I never felt comfortable discussing it openly. I remember I would even feel dirty for doing it and would (well into high school) harshly limit it as if it was something bad. Late high school, I opened up with a friend about it and it was refreshing for both of us to finally feel as though it was normal and okay. It was also nice because we were able to give each other tips too!

-Environment, 2nd

 

As a teenager. Probably the only times I've had serious discussions about masturbation was during high school sex-ed class. My male friends and I will often joke about masturbation, but never discuss it in a serious manner. I hardly ever joke, much less talk, about masturbation with my female friends.

-FCAT, 4th

Thank you to all the women who sent in their responses this week. Come back next week to read about our most embarrassing sex stories! You can send in anonymous responses and requests here (link to: http://i.sfu.ca/BcnUPh ).