Feb 272013
 

This is a post by one of my Spring 2013 interns, Rebecca. Find more posts from her and other current and former interns under the Intern Corner section.Shanna

As we previously discussed, defining sex for ourselves unleashes a whole world of options.  Instead of adopting mainstream definitions, limits, fantasies, and desires, which are often saturated in far too many “isms” (you know…sexism, ageism, racism, heterosexism…whew…just to name a few), deciding to define sex for ourselves allows us to engage in our own experimental growing process.  But let’s be real for a hot second: coming up with new ideas, and having the courage to then try those new ideas out (solo or with a partner or two), is a lot harder said than done. For real, even trying out new phrases, to make communication sexy, is really hard to do.

So, after doing some serious googling, visiting some of my favorite radical (and not so radical) websites, I’ve compiled a short list of ideas to consider, sleep on, and perhaps even try…

So what’s the big topic numba’ one we’re going to talk about on this fine fine day?!

Masturbation.

Masturbating.

Becoming your own clit master.

Mastering the willy.

Caressing the cunt.

Polishing the penis.

Greeting the genitalia.

Masturbation, despite mainstream promotion, is not just a thing teenage boys do.  Oye vey! No no no!  Masturbation is far too fabulous to ever be dismissed merely as a “thing” and only permissible for one, very small segment of the population. Masturbation is masturbation, not a “thing,” and everyone, of all ages, genders, and sexual orientations can and do masturbate!

Although statistics on masturbation are difficult to come by (pun intended), especially regarding reliable statistics for trans individuals, “Current research shows that around 89 percent of women and 95 percent of men have tried masturbation at some point in their lives, regularly or not,” (Ms. Shanna Katz, Flying Solo). Hmm…some high numbers.

Masturbation is not unique to the adult population either.  In fact, children often engage in genital play as young as six months.

Despite the fact that masturbation is an abundantly common human experience, masturbation continues to be laden with shame. Perhaps we feel unique in our shower ritual.  Perhaps we don’t feel unique in our shower ritual but do indeed try to make it as quick as possible…you know…to not waste water. Perhaps we masturbate in front of our partner to get our romantic candle lit, hot tub, and blindfold filled evening going.  Perhaps we buy the quietest vibrator to make sure our roommates don’t develop an inkling of our late night habit.  Perhaps it has never even occurred to us to touch ourselves down there because it is so gross. Perhaps we tried it once and never again because, I swear, my parents have looked at me differently ever since. Regardless of our present relationship with masturbation, positive, negative, or somewhere in between, it is hard to completely and entirely shake the explicit and (more likely) implicit shame we learned regarding touching ourselves.

Now, before we continue to blindly adopt this shame-based perspective or continue to believe that we have already reached a state of total masturbation perfection and self-love acceptance(you goddess you), we may want to consider the following before abandoning the ship that is this blog:  Masturbation has some seriously (and I mean gravely) positive physical and mental benefits, and provides the opportunity for further improving your individual and partnered sex life for  the novice and cultivated masturbators alike.

Do you dare say? Hmm…intriguing…

“That just ain’t true:” What masturbation does not do

1. Reduce your sex drive.

2. Make you grow hair in odd places. Who thought of that?

3. Make you go blind.

4. Kill you. Really?

 

“Keep whispering those sweet nothings:” The positives of gettin’ jiggy with yourself

1. Masturbation is the safest form of sex there is. After all, it is tremendously difficult (READ: Near Impossible!) to get pregnant when you are getting off by yourself.  Additionally, sexually transmitted infections are also very hard to pass along when you are alone (READ: Impossible!).

2. Masturbating can be relaxing. Trouble sleeping? Try jilling-off before going to sleep.

3. Masturbating often reduces stress and boost that ever needy immune system of yours.

 

Tell me more!?

Okay.

4. Masturbation improves your independent sex life. Think of it this way: you are the most reliable person in your life.  You’re always around so you can get down with yourself whenever.  At noon on a Sunday, 2 a.m. on a weeknight, or all day long on the leap year! You are always down for sex when you want it, you can get as romantic or kinky as you like, no communication is necessary (unless you like talking dirty to yourself, of course).  You can go as hard, as soft, as quick, as slow, as feisty, or as loving as you like – you can get yourself off, no ifs, ands, or buts, exactly the way you want to.  Whew.  Now that is some good sex!  Masturbation is independence, baby.

And…

5. Masturbation can support your partnered sex life to be dynamic, fun, sexy, engaging, and/or fulfilling.  It is simple: if you know what you like, then you can let your partner know what you like. If you feel like your genitalia is as mysterious as your default prepackaged gas station indulgent, then probably so does your partner.  The more you know about your own body, the more you know about what feels good to you, the more you can support your partner (who is not a genie, guru, or mind-reader) in figuring out your body.  Masturbation gives you the time and space to explore your body, and figure out what turns you on.  Then you take that knowledge to your partner(s) and share the wealth. 

Masturbation is like eating.  The more things you try, the more restaurants you go to, the more you cook, the more you realize the cuisines you enjoy (American…Italian…Mediterranean), the way you like your veggies cookies (processed…or steamed…or boiled to oblivion), to the way you like to eat them (in bed perhaps?).  If you only tried sautéed beets, it’s really hard to say what you like, because you have nothing to compare it to.  And when your adorably sweet partner decides to cook you an adorably sweet Valentine’s day dinner and says, “Oh lover, what is your favorite food?” You will respond, “Uhhhh…beets?” And your adorably sweet partner will feel more lost than Milo and Otis in Homeward Bound.

Masturbation gives you more options.  Masturbation supports you as you explore your own personal definition of sex.  And wouldn’t it be cool to be able to say to that adorably sweet partner of yours, “Umm…I love creamy beet risotto, with a side kale and arugula with an Italian style miso-tahini spread with zest-filled lemon juice on the side!”

You just may have the most phenomenal sex of your life.

May 252011
 

As many of you know, May happens to be National Masturbation Month! I thought I’d write another piece on Masturbation in honor of such an important month.

Now, I know that for many people, masturbation is a private thing. When we were younger, we were taught to “do it” privately, as quickly and as quietly as possible, so that our parents/siblings/partners/etc didn’t walk in on us. This is why many people have been trained to orgasm as quietly as possible (regardless as to whether they are a louder or quieter orgasm-er or pleasure receiver), and it’s why many penis owners haven’t been able to figure out how to separate orgasm from ejaculation, making it harder for them (pun intended) to have multiple orgasms. Society tells us to be ashamed of “having” to masturbate when partnered, and we use very shaming language around masturbation in general.

Good news folks — I’m here to tell you that it is not so! Not only is masturbation a fabulous and fun activity to do on your own (whether or not you have a partner or two or three), but it’s a great activity to do WITH your partner. What am I talking about?

*You can both (or all) lie in bed masturbating together! It’s 100% safer sex, you’re still experiencing sexual pleasure at the same time, and you both (or all) know that you’re getting the exact kind of stimulation that you want.

*You can show off to your partner the type of stimulation you like, so they get a better idea of the type of touch, vibration and or/stimulation that you like! Next time (or post pleasure), switch it up, so you get to learn more about them

*You can masturbate when your partner is sore, tired, sleepy, frustrated, studying, etc. They can touch you, either passively or actively, so you still have some sort of connection together, even if you can take the time or energy at that given moment to have interactive sexual activity between the two of you.

*If you’re in a long distance relationship, masturbating over the phone or via skype can absolutely help keep some of the loving and/or sexual feelings going, even if you can’t do the things you’d like to do to each other.

There are lots of other reasons and ways to masturbate and involve your partner(s) at the same time. Whether you’re ringing southern bells, crossing the mason-dixon line, clicking the five finger mouse, saying hi to Rosie Palm and her five friends, choking the bishop, or some other such things, masturbation can be fun solo, with a partner, or in a group, and should be celebrated for the exciting exploration and revelation of sexuality that it is!

-Shanna

Jan 132011
 

Jamye Waxman

This afternoon, fabulous sex educator Jamye Waxman will be joining me on my Let’s Talk Sex with Shanna Katz radio show on 1100 AM KFNX. You can either listen live on the radio if you’re in the Phoenix area, or go to www.1100KFNX.com to stream it live. The show goes on at 4pm MST, and we’re going to talk toys, positions, masturbation and more, plus as always, we’ll have great giveaways! You can always call in toll free, so we hope to hear from you.

-Shanna

Nov 282010
 

This person had THREE questions, so I’m going to be answering them all together.

Question 1: Do all men and women masturbate?

Answer 1: Great question…and well, how would we even begin to figure out if all people masturbate? What if you masturbate once a year — does that count as actively masturbating? Or what if you do it every single day, but never even touch your genitals (some people can masturbate this way) — does that count as being someone who masturbates?

People are so unique and different that it’s incredibly hard to answer this one. Do MOST people, of all sexes and genders, try masturbation at SOME point in there life? DEFINITELY — almost everyone has experimented with masturbation.  But as far as who masturbates and how often? We cannot make big generic statements about that. Lots and lots of people masturbate; men, women, and people with other gender identities as well…some do it daily, others weekly, some do it when they’re stressed, others never masturbate when stressed. It’s constantly changing!

Question 2: How do you know when a woman has an orgasm?

Answer 2: You ask her. I mean, really, that’s how you can tell. Different women experience orgasm differently…sometimes the same woman will have different orgasms due to different types of stimulation — there is no way to REALLY just know. Now, usually moaning is good, there is often (but not always) a redder tint on their face/breasts called a sex flush, but these are also general signs of arousal. Sometimes someone will say “I’m coming” or “oh god oh god oh god” or “holy guacamole” and then suddenly be more still and quiet. Other people will want more stimulation post orgasm, so you can’t tell. Just ask. You don’t have to say “did you come/” but things like “how was that for you?” or “do you want me to keep going?” let you know if your partner wants some more/some different action.

Question 3: Can you get someone pregnant from pre-cum?

Answer 3: I get asked this all the time. Yes. Pre-cum, or pre-ejaculate, can sometimes contain sperm…this means playing “just the tip” or using the withdrawl method is not a sure shooting way to practice birth control/contraception. However, the biggest concern I have with the sharing of body fluids like pre-cum doesn’t have anything to do with sperm. Pre-ejaculate also can contain STIs (sexually transmitted infections) and you can give it to (or get it from) your partner.  An estimate 75% or so of sexually active people in the US have at least one STI — and most of them don’t even know it.  So your best bet to keeping both yourself and your partner safer from transmission is to put the condom on before the penis goes in the mouth, vagina or anus!

-Shanna

Have a question you want answered (anonymously)? Contact me and I’ll post the answer!