When I was 16, I played a particularly memorable game of ‘never-have-I-ever’ with a small group of my girl friends, and one of the things that came up was ‘never have I ever tried to masturbate’. Out of the group, only myself and one other friend raised our hands and admitted to trying it (albeit unsuccessfully for quite a while!!). I don’t know whether the others genuinely hadn’t masturbated, or whether they had and were too ashamed to own up to it. Either way, my friend and I were met with shock and disgust. I remember thinking that was so odd! Surely the others were curious too?
Living in an all-girls boarding house for 6 years gave me some insight into how teenage girls approach female pleasure and masturbation. There was an attitude that pleasure and orgasms were something that would be given to us by males at some stage. The idea that young women could take the matters into their own hands (pun intended) and explore their sexuality by themselves was so taboo. Why is this?
Masturbating is normal and natural for everyone, no matter their gender or sexuality. However, in the media and our society in general, males are portrayed as sexual beings and women as sexual objects for men. Vaginas are also depicted as being a bit gross (especially with periods) and are much more highly censored in media than penises. It’s no surprise then that girls are ashamed of owning their sexuality when they’re exposed to these messages their whole life.
If there was less shame and stigma attached with female pleasure, more girls would be getting in touch with their sexuality and know their own bodies and what works for them. And this would benefit everyone involved! Girls would be getting more pleasure AND they’d be able to teach their future partners what to do in bed, because let’s be honest, young guys have no more clue about the mysteries of the female genitalia than young girls do. So girls, don’t be scared or ashamed to explore your sexuality. There’s plenty of good websites out there with some handy tips and tricks (again, pun intended), and most importantly, have fun!