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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

For someone that has had very open and honest relationships recounting personal sexual experiences with friends, masturbation was actually one of the last topics I felt comfortable communicating about. Throughout junior high and high school, some of the best tea was spilled in my hot tub with my closest friends. Who we were Snapchatting, our first kiss stories, and movie dates we held hands on…you get the idea. I specifically remember a night when “fingering yourself” came up and if any of us had tried it. We all exchanged glances and—with hesitancy—collectively agreed it was weird and we obviously did not and could NEVER imagine liking that (oh, how naive). We awkwardly moved on to the next topic. At the time, I wanted to push more to talk about it, I can recall being honestly confused and wanting to ask questions. We were all curious, but embarrassed. 

Why is it that we shame something that feels good? Why did we convince ourselves that it is “weird” if girls do it? Why doesn’t anyone talk about this? I am not totally sure, but the feminist and gender studies major in me would say it has something to do with the patriarchy and the socially constructed shame around female sexuality. If you need someone to tell you it is okay, not weird, and not something to be ashamed about and that a lot of women (and people of all genders) do it, here it is. 

The best way to battle these taboos is to talk about them. Normalize them. 

Both in and out of the bedroom, masturbation has its benefits. First and foremost: it feels good, simple as that. It can also help clear our minds and relax. Whether that’s before bed when you need a good night’s sleep, when you’re stressed and you need a break, or you are quite frankly just in the mood. Not to mention, the more time we spend getting experience with what makes us feel good or orgasm, the better. This strengthening of awareness enhances our understanding of our bodies, therefore benefits our experiences with our partners. It is much easier to articulate what feels good when you have had the chance to try it out yourself. 

Thinking about that junior high, hot tub, masturbation conversation with my friends now, I honestly laugh. I have since bought vibrators for all of them, as well as plenty of other friends. I recommend the Plus One bullet, especially if this is new and uncharted territory, and this is not an ad (yet). Those same friends swap stories, tips, and thoughts on personal pleasure now. It has been added to the list of topics we discuss over coffee, in the hot tub, or on FaceTime. That is the type of progress we, as young women, should strive for and that is the type of personal growth that stems from candid conversations. 

The moral of the story, this is your sign to buy a vibrator.

Jade Gray

U Mich '24

Jade Gray (she/her) is a first year double majoring in Political Science and Women and Gender Studies on a Pre-Law track. She is a sunset enthusiast, avid latte drinker, and proud cat mom. Jade is a Virgo who enjoys reading, traveling, and yoga.
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