It causes acne and blindness, hair grows on the palms of your hands, and you are stripped of the ability to have children. The myths of masturbation are endless and well known. Yet among women, the infamous M-word is only recently losing its never-talked-about status. In many ways, masturbation is the final frontier of women’s sexuality and feminism.
This was evident on a recent episode of the Tyra Banks Show. A female audience member declared, "I masturbate." There was an audible gasp from the crowd and even I was blown away. I’ve never ever heard any woman admit to it. Sure, there are articles in Cosmo about it and doctors have dispelled all those terrible myths, but how many times have any of us actually heard a woman say she does it?
Men do it all the time and they’ll readily admit to it. Male masturbation is so culturally accepted it’s the subject of prime time TV plots. There’s a whole industry based on the fruits of men’s masturbatory labors: sperm donation. Do any of us blanche, or even pause, when we hear a man confess to “whacking off” or “beating the meat” or any of the numerous terms for self-gratification? But women who do it, who openly enjoy sex, are termed sexually deviant “sluts.”
I don’t know a single woman who wouldn’t say she deserves the same rights as a man. Those same public rights extend to our private rights to love and enjoy our bodies. Masturbation is healthy and natural. As human beings, we constantly seek pleasure and do so many costly things to feel good.
Masturbation is a completely free way to achieve pleasure and better know one’s sexuality. It is not a symptom of perversion or self abuse and should not merit shame in any women.