Pleasure is your right. I love to say that because it’s true.
Most of the time, I get quite surprised faces in response to that sentence—and I get why. It takes ages for women to unlearn what they have been taught to be sorry for or ashamed about.
Self-pleasure for women has been marked as wrong, dirty and totally inappropriate for centuries. But guess what? Men have flagged it like that, since women were excluded from almost all sectors.
The entire world of sexuality has been considered as man-reflected, so women’s sexuality has been seen as defective, different, and therefore…not quite as good.
But male masturbation is not such a big deal today, right? We know men joke about it all the time—in public. It’s funny and most importantly we know they give themselves pleasure from puberty to death.
Well it’s the same for women. Or at least, it should be.
(But you’ll say it doesn’t seem so).
A recent survey on masturbation done by Tenga, owner of the feminine brand Iroha, shows that 57% of people aged 18-24 masturbate weekly, which is apparently higher than any other age group. The same study, which we were talking about with Alix Fox before, also shows that, out of the 13,000 respondents ages 18 to 74 in 18 different countries, 84% admit to self-pleasuring — 92% of men and 76% of women. But—and this shouldn’t come as a surprise—55% stated that they never talk about masturbation.
That’s quite a gap between doing and saying. There is also quite a gap between men and women doing.
Women’s frequency is on the lower side with 34% of women reporting that they masturbate a few times a month and only 22% reporting that they do it every week, at an average of 4.1 times per week.
Gender norms results? I think so.
We are trying to change the way female sexuality has been perceived and thought about for centuries. It’ll take time, but we’ll get to sexual equality. We’ll bring that 76% to 92%–or even more.
Talking about the all positive effect that self-pleasure has, from being a stress-reliever to being good for self-esteem and the fact that it’s totally healthy, is not enough.
We have to break the circle of shame around the act of female self-love.
In the past few days in NYC, friends and colleagues of Women of SexTech community have been facing that publicly. MTA wanted to ban female sexuality ads because they were considered “offensive”.
Female sexuality must not be marked as offensive or wrong any longer.
If you have desires, if you touch yourself, if you use sex toys, if you want sex and if you enjoy it, you are absolutely normal. That’s wonderful and totally fine.
You can start breaking the glass ceiling around female pleasure by telling your boyfriend, your partner, or people around you that you masturbate (or that you would like to try). You can share ideas or fantasies or techniques! What matters is that you talk about it (and shut down any negative feelings about it).
Additionally, if you live around Germany and you are curious about learning how to masturbate, you can attend a workshop like the one that took place at University of Bielefeld (which made quite a buzz).
Things are changing. And women are leading this change!
You are born entitled to pleasure in whatever way your body receives it, in whatever contexts afford it, and in whatever quantities you want it. E. Nagoski