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Let’s talk about female masturbation… Part II

Hello! I’m back as promised to give you the second part of this article. For those of you who haven’t read the first part (where I share my personal experience with masturbation as a child) here’s the link.

Do you know that today (May 28th) is Masturbation Day, the day that celebrates the right to self-pleasure? According to Wikipedia, this day was first declared National Masturbation Day in 1995 in the USA in honor of Joycelyn Elders — who held the position of Surgeon General (basically the highest position responsible for public health matters in the USA) until 1994 when she was fired by President Bill Clinton for suggesting that masturbation should be part of the curriculum of sex education classes. This celebratory day was later extended to the entire month of May, which became Masturbation Month.

Moving on with my story. Shortly after discovering that masturbation was something natural and healthy I began experimenting more with my body and my sexuality, discovering eroticism and pornography (which 20 years ago you could watch on some generalist channels after midnight and a few years later on cable channels), but mostly fantasising while using my own imagination. I would masturbate to experiment and discover how to obtain different forms of pleasure, to enjoy moments of solitude, to relieve stress and tensions of daily life, to pass the time, after getting horny with some erotic scene from some soap opera or while, on the sly, I watched those films that were shown after midnight and that my mother said were not appropriate for my age.

I don’t remember the first time I had an orgasm, I don’t have the slightest idea, in fact I don’t have any memory of the times when I didn’t know that feeling. When I started to experience sexuality as something that involved physical contact with another person I already controlled the rhythms of my body quite well. I remember well the first time I had an orgasm while making out with a boy (my high school boyfriend), with my clothes on. I remember him asking me if it was my first one (orgasm) and I answered “of course not”.

A while ago someone sent me this cartoon:

I wonder if the person who sent it to me thinks that sex education is unnecessary at an age when many young people have already started their sex life or that talking about masturbation to young people is unnecessary? I look at this cartoon and think that: “fucking” and knowing how to give pleasure to your partner are two very different things, that sex is not only penetration, that the fool who asks the teacher the question may not have anything to learn about self-masturbation but probably does not know how to touch a vulva, etc. I think sex education should be taught in schools and that the curriculum should go much further than contraceptive methods, the reproductive system and family planning — after all 99.9% of the times we have sex it has nothing to do with procreation and everything to do with pleasure, intimacy, sharing, vulnerability, desire, eroticism, excitement, passion etc.

At the same time my friends were also starting their sexual activities with partners but nobody talked much about female pleasure. With more maturity and the loss of some taboos the conversations about sex and pleasure began to increase and I started to realize that some friends had never had an orgasm, this was especially true for those who also had never masturbated. I really think I can count on the fingers of one hand the conversations I had with friends about masturbation before I reached 25, not to mention the fact that female masturbation was never a topic of conversation in mixed groups. But I think I remember that possibly in my adolescence and early adulthood I heard about “ wanking “ at least twice a week.

In mid-2019 the phenomenon of the Satisfyer Pro invaded social networks, conventional media and dialogues between friends. Here in Valencia (where I live) even in the street sometimes you could pick up pieces of conversations about this new vibrator. For me the most interesting in this phenomenon weren’t the reports about the efficiency of the sex toy, nor the way it was constantly out of stock; the most interesting was the banality with which women finally started to talk about self-pleasure. Suddenly a lot of women (when talking about their experiences with the famous clitoris
stimulator) admitted publicly that they masturbated. I mean, this brought the topic of female masturbation into public space, with a normality never seen before.

Among the reviews I read and heard, the most common ones told how some women, thanks to this device, were finally able to discover what it was like to have an orgasm and how others were super happy to now reach the climax in much less time (many of them mentioning “2 minutes”). Although I’m happy for all of them I can’t help wondering if this is just one more pseudo-solution of the kind that our accelerated and hyper-consumerist society tends to produce. I think it is a false solution because I believe that the problem starts from the fact that these same women have not spent the necessary time discovering their own bodies, their own vulvae, their own clitorises, have not practiced enough self pleasure to know their own tastes and rhythms. The Satisfyer Pro helps them to have an orgasm, but if the device runs out of battery there goes the possibility of having the desired pleasure.Or worse, probably in a sexual relationship with another person they still don’t know how to guide the other person on how to give them pleasure.

Personally this particular device has not piqued my curiosity, I’ve never had problems reaching a self-induced orgasm, and as for speed I usually try to make the pleasure last longer and make the orgasm come later, but if I want I can also have an orgasm in less than a minute. Maybe I’m lucky and I know that we are all different biologically but I find it hard to believe that those who really practice can’t perfect the technique.

Going back to the beginning of this reflection I think that if female masturbation was part of the conversation about a healthy sexuality without taboos, that if we talked about this subject in a less modest way, that if among girl friends there was space to share experiences and talk openly about pleasure, that if in sex education classes we talked about other subjects that are also important (besides those already talked about), maybe less women would complain that they do not have satisfactory sexual relations. Because it is clear that it is important that our sexual partner takes our pleasure into account, but if we don’t know what it is that we like it is very difficult for someone else to figure it out.

I’m not leaving questions for you today. I encourage you to leave any questions or comments that you feel are relevant. Because we need to start talking about this as we talk about recipes, sports, and other everyday things. If not now, when? If not you, who?

Happy International Masturbation Day for you all!

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“questionallers” seeks to encourage questioning, leading us to think “outside the box” and no longer do things just because that’s how they were done up to this moment.

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Ana Margarida Fialho

Ana Margarida Fialho

Accessories designer among many other things. Interested in writing, gender-neutrality, veganism, solidarity, sustainability, holistic health and philosophy.

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