Society still does not approve of female masturbation. (NINA LIN / THE STATESMAN)
Society still does not approve of female masturbation. (NINA LIN / THE STATESMAN)

When you sit in history class and study the past, it is easily understood that people’s mindsets have progressed. We are more open to cultural differences, other races and are becoming (slowly) adapted to different sexualities as a whole.

But all of this gets thrown right out the window when it comes to masturbation. We do not learn about it in health class among the puberty PowerPoints, and it is not like our parents really mentioned this in the “birds and the bees” talk (and we’re all the happier for that). You had to figure it out as you went along. If you are a girl, this process is three times harder. Masturbation for guys has sort of a wink-wink “I got you”- esque approval. Women, on the other hand, are subject to dirty looks and flat out denials of engaging in such behavior from their friends. Masturbation among women is almost a deviant topic–something that is kept hush-hush and not spoken of.

And in an age where self-esteem seems to be at a loss for most women, it is a terrible shame that we are not embracing the most basic form of self-love. How many articles and posts have been written about embracing yourself, loving who you are and celebrating every aspect of your being? We are as consistently exposed to many tips on loving yourself as we are to “getting the guy.” This is where the fault lies. The common stereotype follows that women who masturbate–especially those who masturbate often–are lacking in some way. We are missing out on a man and his goods, and it is our process of self-satisfaction that is driving any potential suitors away.

I suppose this extends from the idea that masturbation and sex are ideas that are separate but equal. You have one in place of the other-too much sex means just a little masturbation, and vice-versa. Masturbation is the pre-game, the minor leagues, if you will, before you enter into the bigger game and start hitting home runs. But in reality, aren’t the two inextricably linked? Masturbation and sex should complement each other, and add to the sexual experience. Masturbation really is the basis for sexual positivity. This is how you get comfortable with yourself sexually, because only you can set your own boundaries and understand where your comfort level lies. How can you communicate what you want from someone else if you don’t know yourself what that is? Isn’t it nice to know that you can make yourself feel amazing without someone else and then recreate that same feeling with someone that you trust? Let’s face it–if women were not shamed into avoiding sexual experiences or touching themselves, we would not have to fake all those orgasms we know we could get by ourselves.

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The truth is simple here–there’s nothing wrong with a little self-pleasure. It is something that everyone (okay, most) people do, and it’s the same as any other bodily function. We’re taking care of ourselves, and giving back attention to the person who needs it the most. This is self-love and self-awareness at a very basic, physical level. It’s not something that needs to be put down and shamed, but a topic that should be approached with kindness and an open mind. We are human–we are curious and a little adventurous and there is not a single person who should feel guilty about it. And if you can’t seem to acknowledge my point, I believe it would behoove you to indulge a little.

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