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?!
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!?
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.
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.