The best birthday gift I ever received from a friend came in a little blue box. On the box was a little post-it-note that read, “go fuck yourself”.
For all those worrying about my choice of friends, the message wasn’t antagonistic. It was instructional. Why? Inside the box was a vibrator.
After overcoming the initial shock of the gift, and receiving words of encouragement, I decided to take the post-it-note seriously.
Armed with a few free hours and an empty house I set to work trying to figure it out, and well for the sake of modesty, let’s just say the gift was well-received. By no means was this the first time I attempted to masturbate but it was definitely my most successful endeavour.
I first learned about female masturbation through a Cosmo magazine I found lying around my house. Before then, it hadn’t even occurred to me that girls could or do masturbate. The article had only mentioned the word, so while it sat in the back of my mind, it was still something I didn’t know how to do, and at the time I wasn’t curious enough to find out. Eventually as I got older it was something I thought about more and more, and eventually tried after relentless googling and looking at diagrams. Pretty sexy right? Unfortunately, each time I tried I immediately felt bored which was followed by a wave of shame for what I’d attempted.
What I felt isn’t uncommon. In a recent study on female masturbation, 70% of the respondents said they felt guilt. Another study revealed that while 90% of males have masturbated to orgasm by the age of 20, only 60% of women have. The statistics don’t seem fair, especially considering that orgasm during adolescence through masturbation is positively linked to achieving orgasm through sex as an adult. Not only do orgasms improve your sex-life but they are also linked to stronger immune systems and lower stress levels. Not to mention they just feel good.
Orgasm during adolescence through masturbation is positively linked to achieving orgasm through sex as an adult.
Masturbation wasn’t something me or my friends ever talked about in high school so all I had in terms of knowledge was a bunch of disembodied statistics. It wasn’t until I got to university that I learned many of my friends did, in fact, masturbate. Many friends were shocked when I told them I didn’t masturbate. Through talking with my friends, I became envious and competitive. I didn’t like the idea that they were experiencing something that I hadn’t. Looking back on my past attempts, I didn’t think I could do it manually so I joked to one of my best friends that she’d have to buy me a vibrator for my birthday. She listened and gave me the charming gift with the post-it-note. She inadvertently gave me my first orgasm (or rather the vibrator did). That was the first moment where I could really admit that machines do rule the world.
While I can and do give credit to the mechanics of the vibrator itself, I know that if it hadn’t been for the open conversation I was able to have with my friends I never would have had the confidence to even buy a vibrator. I would have just felt ashamed for wanting to masturbate and for not being able to finish by myself. Some people can’t orgasm because of biological reasons and that’s totally ok, but everyone should have the option to explore the idea free of shame.
While women are working to have the same rights as men through championing equal pay and workplace equality, one other way we can fight for equal rights in our personal relationships is by reclaiming our sexuality. Women should have the freedom to talk about masturbation as much as men and they should reap the same benefits – Orgasm.
Men are expected to masturbate and during sex, the “natural end” is when they finish. By masturbating, women can realize orgasms are possible, and hold their sexual partners to higher standards. Our orgasms during sex shouldn’t be an afterthought. To prioritize orgasms in sex, we must prioritize orgasm while masturbating. By opening the lines of communication around masturbation, we lower the stigma associated with it and create educational opportunities which ultimately lead to empowerment.
All and all, if you want to get your bestie a gift that’ll get you a lot of bang for your buck (pun intended) consider helping her become a more empowered female—buy her a vibrator! “Go fuck yourself” post-it-note optional, but highly encouraged.
Header image source: https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2016/01/100343/30-day-masturbation-challenge
Tessa Warburton is an Online Contributor for MUSE Magazine.