Masturbation: Girls, Let’s Admit It
Originally Published: March 17, 2005
Revised: May 9, 2013
It’s freshman year. I look pretty awkward in a shirt that has something suggestive spelled out on it, and I’m hoping my padded bra will really work its over-priced wonders.
I’m with a group of classmates, several of them boys who are bragging about their bimonthly shaving and daily jerking-off ritual. Their last comment elicits “ewws” from us girls, since we’re expected to act grossed out while they glorify their adolescent sexuality.
Eventually, one of the boys asks us if we ever “pet our bunnies” (what a poet!). We hesitate for a moment. We look in each other’s eyes for an answer: Would it be OK to say, “Hell yes, we masturbate”? Instead, we blabber in unison, “No, that’s so disgusting!” They knew from the start that we’d say no, because, well, girls just don’t masturbate.
It took me two years to proudly say, “Yea, I masturbate,” and to wonder why it was wrong for us girls to admit to doing something that feels so amazingly good. Masturbation doesn’t make us blind. It doesn’t hurt. And it certainly does not make us pregnant.
When I first started masturbating, I felt like I was doing something wrong, something “unnatural.” It was as if I was ashamed of what I was doing, even though I enjoyed it tremendously in the moment. None of my girlfriends talked about it, and everyone made it seem like girls didn’t masturbate. I thought I was the only girl doing it.
Boy, was I wrong. A lot of us masturbate. We all know what’s down there, and I’m sure a majority of us know what a clitoris looks like. (If you don’t, play some good tunes, grab a mirror, and check yourself out. It won’t hurt and it’s not dirty. We all do this sometime or another.) A lot of us also know that touching ourselves near the clitoris will provoke some great sensations. Some of us have been doing this since our preteen years, while others take longer to get the hang of it.
Girls have bodies, too. We have the ability to orgasm. And for too long we’ve been forced into silence and guilt about discovering and enjoying our sexuality.
Masturbation is a great way to relieve stress and sexual buildup. Plus, it’s a private, intimate way to achieve orgasm without risking pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease. When you are ready for sex, masturbation can help you learn what parts of your body are the most responsive, and what moves feel the best
So, what’s stopping us? Why do we feel ashamed to explore our own bodies, and actually feel really, really great in the process? Moreover, why are we afraid to admit that we masturbate?
I’m sure we’re all familiar with the sexual double standards. A boy who has frequent sex is called a “stud,” and his male associates look up to him. (While a girl, we know, is called a “slut.”) It’s less surprising for a man to cheat on his partner, and it’s common belief that men just have a raging sexuality that can’t be restrained.
But just because guys need to live up to a pumped-up standard of aggressive sexuality doesn’t mean that we have to be the polar opposite—meek, naïve, and sexually submissive. Just because guys need to prove and glorify their manhood through one-night stands, that doesn’t mean we have to suffer from these exaggerated expectations.
Girls have bodies, too. We have the ability to orgasm (and multiple orgasm: compensation for having only a peanut-sized clitoris). And for too long we’ve been forced into silence and guilt about discovering and enjoying our sexuality. I’m coming out of this position, because I’ve realized that I’m only contributing to this suppression of my sexual expression by being silent, guilt-ridden, and shamefaced.
So, let’s shock ourselves. Let’s shock those oh-so-sexually liberated men, and admit, proudly and confidently, that we don’t need another person to feel good about our bodies. Let’s admit that we’re strong enough, brave enough, and confident enough to not fear a taboo that works against us.
My name is Ana Bacic, and if it weren’t for all those gorgeous men and women out there, I’d probably be in a monogamous relationship with myself.
Editors’ Note: For a guy’s take on masturbation, check out ‘Masturbation: Guys, It’s Expected,’ by Lex Wolfe.
Photo via Flickr
Please login to comment on this story
Like many little girls, I wanted to be a ballerina—the epitome of grace, beauty and femininity. As a child, I’d flip through sparkly picture books, play with Barbie dolls and stare at TV screens as dancers pirouetted across stage; all […]
Read Story »
This past spring, I went to Storrs, Connecticut to attend the True Colors Conference—a conference all about supporting teens of different sexual orientations and gender identities. All of the bathrooms at the conference were transformed into “all…
Read Story »
Figures on bathroom signs. Aisles at the toy store. Gender is represented everywhere. Colors, clothing and careers are even assigned genders: blue and pink, pants and skirts, doctors and nurses. Gender is often thought of as an either/or—man or…
Read Story »