Why Talk about Masturbation?
Sex ed and I go back a long way. When I embraced sex ed as an actual career choice, one of the things I knew I needed to talk about and advocate for was masturbation, and especially female masturbation. Okay, okay, I get it: I am perfectly aware that probably most of you can’t see why masturbation would need advocates in the first place. Isn’t masturbation the most natural thing that everyone does with their own bodies? Isn’t masturbation one of the few things that cannot be taken away from us? It is, or at least it should be. But it’s not “given” to us to begin with. Our parents, teachers, and friends don’t even talk about it, religion deems it a sin, and movies and popular culture don’t give us any positive role models of strong women doing it.
If we see any characters on screen or print who are engaging in solo sex, they’re usually “caught” doing it. The way masturbation is represented in media is always as a punchline, it’s scripted to lead to a whole list of ridiculous and laughable things that happen next. Masturbation is either for desperate and pathetic women, or for horny guys who can’t get laid. That’s what movies and magazines tell us. We’re taught to make fun of and laugh at someone for being caught with their pants down. That’s the presence of self-pleasure in our society, and these are the stereotypes we’re brainwashed with on a daily basis.
I am sure, most of you get it: masturbation is great for you (if you’re already reading this, if you’re on this website, you are probably someone who’s at least curious and wants to explore self love and self pleasure). But why would you need to read a whole book on solo sex? Because undoing all the damage from our childhood years, puberty and young adulthood doesn’t happen overnight. Because these is too much stigma and shame in our society, and the scars and wounds we all have need work and effort to be healed. I think taking the time to read a book of female solo sex is a radical act of self-care and of standing up for oneself. Because you deserve to reflect on it, evaluate your experiences, and actively think about masturbation.
Jenny Block is the author of O Wow: Discovering Your Ultimate Orgasm and Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage, and she frequently contributes to The Huffington Post, Your Tango, Playboy, Ask Men and many other places. If you want to find out more about the author, I highly recommend you visit her website. She is a feminist sex educator, writer, and speaker, and if I were you, I would make sure to attend some of her workshops and live events whenever she’s in town!
About Solo Sex
Most people don’t know much about the female anatomy of pleasure, because not so long ago we used to deem clitoral orgasm immature, and call it not a “real” orgasm. We’ve all felt incomplete and broken for not being able to climax from penis in vagina sex. Even I didn’t know about the internal structure of the clitoris until a couple of years ago. Nobody gave us the memo. We’re all mostly in the dark. Most vulva-owners cannot experience it solely from penetration. Jenny Block explains why that is in this VIDEO. There is nothing wrong with you if you need more than thrusting in and out.
But what’s even more sad is that most people don’t give themselves permission to explore their bodies, what they like and don’t like, what works for them and what doesn’t. And this is where masturbation steps in. It’s the ultimate way of improving your partnered sex life. But that’s not even the main point. I know all of us feel this pressure of performing, of being a better lover, of being great in bed. But the truth is, you should be your best lover. And you should masturbate for yourself. You are good enough and you deserve pleasure. Period. Being in a relationship doesn’t mean you should stop having solo sex.
With a foreword from Betty Dodson, the woman who first started talking openly and publicly about masturbation in the 70s, The Ultimate Guide to Solo Sex is going to take you on an emotional and powerful journey into the history and science of masturbation. It’s going to dwell on the personal stories of more than 150 women she interviewed for this book. This collection of experiences and sharing about masturbation is priceless and I don’t think can be found anywhere else in the literature. You are going to be fascinated, moved and maybe even brought to tears hearing these messages. But what you will end up taking home is that you are not alone. You are not a freak. You are normal. There are others out there. Others who struggle, others who have questions, others who don’t have all the answers. Others who are trying to undo the shame their parents or partners have brought upon them.
Jenny’s book offers a number of resources and tips on how to further explore your sexual pleasure, and is going to leave you empowered, ready to make a change and love yourself more.
I highly recommend you get The Ultimate Guide to Solo Sex from a small independent bookstore, or even better: a local sex-positive sex store. One of the places where you can find the book is at Good Vibrations. They’ve even started a book club on Goodreads, where Jenny personally answered questions and joined discussions.
Who is The Ultimate Guide to Solo Sex for? I would say every woman: of every age, sexual orientation, or background. But don’t dismiss this book as just a read for women. It will give major insights into female masturbation to everyone who has a female partner, everybody who has a female daughter, or anyone who wants to better understand sexuality and understand female experiences with solo sex.
If you want to get more book recommendations and suggestions from me, go to my Goodreads profile.