All right ladies, get comfy because it’s time for some girl talk.
Female masturbation is rarely discussed, and when it is, it’s viewed as a kink in the male gaze. Even writing this feels taboo, but why?
Men talk about self-pleasure all the time; I bet your guy friends have made jokes about masturbating and everyone just laughs as if nothing is out of the ordinary. Even the media has accepted men as sexual beings, but women are still only objects in their fantasies.
I took to interviewing my friend here at UConn about her own experiences with this, as she was the one who finally convinced me to buy a vibrator, a great decision I now recommend to all my friends.
Before we dive into her thoughts on the matter, let’s get one thing straight: everyone masturbates, whether it’s every day or once a month, we all do it. Shake off the nervous laughter, and let’s get into it.
I know Annaliese to be a very open person when it comes to talking about anything related to sex, but I was curious how she got to that point. It took me buying a vibrator to feel comfortable talking about my body and pleasure openly, and I’m nearly 20.
My first question was obvious: why did Annaliese decide to get a vibrator?
She started by explaining how she had been having trouble getting off a few years ago, and found herself in a sex shop in Amsterdam, “and I thought if not now, when?”
“Young girls grow up and they don’t know how their bodies work, so they are missing out on a human experience.”
Now, we can’t all go to Amsterdam to buy a vibrator, but I was actually away from home in Provincetown, MA in a random sex shop (not an uncommon store in Ptown) when I bought mine. Maybe it’s a “right place, right time” kind of purchase because no college girl wants to order a vibrator on her parent’s Amazon Prime account.
I proceeded to ask whether or not she was embarrassed to buy something so risque, but unsurprisingly she was not embarrassed in the slightest.“I feel self-pleasure is a topic boys talk about when they’re like 12 years old, it’s not nearly as taboo as it is for women.” There is an obvious inequality here, and while I do see more and more influencers bringing up sexual health, there is still a general gap in acceptance and education. Annaliese adds that “young girls grow up and they don’t know how their bodies work, so they are missing out on a human experience.”
So how do we bridge this gap? The bottom line is that it needs to be destigmatized. Annaliese recommended talking about it more in the media, and just among your friends, “slowly people will become less shy to bring it up.” We then discussed sex ed in schools; teachers don’t need to bring up pleasure, but they should work on body inclusivity, and be more open to discussing female anatomy, as it is much more complex than male anatomy. Lastly, we talked about how the sex industry is tailored to men, and there should be more female influence because women aren’t aroused the same way men are. Women are also taken advantage of and mistreated in this industry, but if it were less stigmatized maybe we could begin to solve these issues.
By not owning our bodies we are, in a sense, giving into the patriarchy. Men own our sexuality by having society tell us what we should and shouldn’t do, but this isn’t a hard issue to combat. All you have to do is be confident in yourself and your sexual needs. You don’t need to buy a sex toy if you don’t want to, even though I promise you won’t regret it, but don’t shy away from these conversations; that’s all it takes to start changing minds.