“Masturbation is our first and natural form of sexual activity and if that’s inhibited or damaged, then we suffer for the rest of our lives.”
– Betty Dodson
May is National Masturbation Month
The act of masturbation, although generally universal, remains shamefully taboo. Even in our often hyper sexualized society and especially for women and non-binary individuals. It is likely the last sexual activity to be apprehensively discussed amongst peers although it is the very first sexual activity we will ever experience (at least for many or most of us) and hopefully our most familiar one. When it does come up in conversation, it is often facetious or deemed an act saved for those who lack partnered sex. It is socially discredited as a valid act of sex. But…
Masturbation is real sex.
Through masturbation we explore both an innate desire for pleasure, as well as the subtleties of our individual and unique appetites. Masturbation and the simple act of touching our own bodies opens up a much needed dialogue with ourselves. It invites us to find comfort and acceptance in our bodies, these vessels that as long as we know them, will be the primary catalysts in all that we do both within the realm of our sexuality and outside.
“Masturbation is not only an expression of self-regard: it is also the natural emotional outlet of those who…have already accepted as inevitable the wide gulf between their real futures and the expectations of their fantasies.”
When we allow ourselves to embrace the spaces we occupy, when we allow ourselves to embrace ourselves completely; we can only benefit from our experiences in oneness. It is not an act of guilt or loneliness. Masturbation is an act in power. It is a performance steeped in self-education and self-love. When we invite ourselves to become familiar and comfortable with our own sex, we are also inviting those we choose to share it with to allow access to that same empowerment; that same knowledge to create and decide our own fantasies, desires and boundaries.
I invite you. Explore, discover and create what feels good for you. Whether it is normative, supple, exquisite, odd or deviant; all forms of your sex and pleasures are valid as long as you make the space to truly know them. If the yearning and interest is there, don’t let shame hold you back from trying something new.
You’re not alone.
Furthermore, if masturbation does not interest you, you too, are not alone. The capability to understand one’s identity needs not to be drenched in the guilt of validity only through mainstream sexuality. We are all capable of sexiness and sensuality, as well as the ability to give those words our own individual meaning.
Let’s rewrite and recreate the ways that we communicate with our bodies and each other. Knowing ourselves is empowering. Let’s share that feeling with those around us, those lessons in oneness, those explorations in fervor. Let’s open up the spaces for discussion, education and celebration of our unique gratifications, needs and wishes.
Communicate with yourself and each other.
I am always grateful to hear your stories, your quirks and your questions.
- More Masturbation Education:
- 7 Myths About Women and Masturbation from Everyday Feminism
- Masturbation Facts & Tips from Afrosexology
- Stickin’ It To the Man By Stickin’ It To Yourself: Finding Body Acceptance Through Masturbation from BGD
- Learn a New Orgasm: How to Upgrade Your Masturbation Technique by Betty Dodson
- An Asexual’s Guide To Masturbation from Asexuality Archive