I was looking on the Daily Telegraph website today, actually I was looking for reviews of a shite comedy series that started last night (the review was good, the public comments echoed my own thoughts…nice to know it’s not you), and at the bottom of the page there were various links to other pages on the website.
And then I remembered the one dirty little secret we’re all harbouring. The one thing we can’t talk about, even amongst our closest female friends. Female masturbation.
Obviously there are conditions attached to this: vibrators are fine – we can discuss vibrators, go and buy them together, attend hen nights where we have to rescue a vibrator from a stripper’s butt cheeks using only our pelvic floor muscles (I don’t go to many hen nights – but that’s what happens when you’ve finished glazing your own commemorative mugs, right?). Only a prude would admit to not owning a vibrator. They’re sexy! And fun! Sexy fun! And empowering! And that one with the ears once featured in Sex and the City! So we’re fine with that.
But we never discuss female masturbation, on its own, without a purple, glittery, revolving phallus, without a man present, just for the sake of it.
I can talk about it, if someone else brings it up in conversation (which rarely happens), but I have to force myself to swallow my discomfort first, and I’d never bring it up myself – why is that? The topics of conversation I’ll cover with my closest friends know no bounds – except this one. Is it just too personal? Because that’s how it feels. I managed to get one friend, who will discuss her bowel movements with me at the drop of a hat, to admit that she masturbates. But only when she’d drunk the best part of a bottle of wine.
But why the double standard? Men talk about wanking all the time. A male friend “knows a guy” who prides himself on the number of times he can fit a wank in during a day at work. His record is 23.
Twenty-three times in one working day? That doesn’t sound like fun. That sounds as close to self-flagellation as you can get on an industrial estate in Croydon. But nonetheless, his wanking prowess is a point of pride.
But is female masturbation actually taboo? Or am I the maiden aunt clutching her pearls while all the cool kids go off to masturbation raves in warehouses, where they take loads of ketamine and frig themselves silly?
As Telegraph Wonder Women’s agony aunt Dr Petra Boyntonpoints out, masturbation itself isn’t taboo – it’s talked about far more in sex education and in the media than say, 50 years ago. Instead, the problem lies with how we discuss it, and the language we use. “In the UK, the discussion focuses on products (toys) and performance/aspirational messages around spicing up your sex life. But, we don’t talk about how to masturbate or how that might be interpreted within a relationship.
“Masturbation is happening and we talk about it but the media/self help market uses language in quite a limiting way, which actually means it’s not a taboo but can be difficult to talk about.”
Masturbation is fine when it’s for the purposes of male titillation. But WHY? Does female desire, on its own and without a purpose (to make babies, or to please a man) make us uncomfortable? Are women not allowed to be horny, just because? And why do women refuse to talk about masturbating even when they are just in female company? We are the generation that talk about ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING. But not this.
It’s almost like there’s a conspiracy we’re all a willing part of, a refusal to discuss female masturbation sensibly, lest all the women discover their clitorises, drop what they’re doing and start furiously wanking in the nearest cupboard. But that would be ridiculous, wouldn’t it?
Not that I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about the subject, no really I haven’t… but it does seem that the writer has a good point. For instance, the word ‘wank’ conjours up a very male specific image, and yet there is no universally accepted female equivalent. Why? And as the writer says, it’s one thing that women don’t talk about it in front of men, but women seemingly don’t even talk about it to other women, not that I’m suggesting that I talk to other men about wanking…. not that I’d have a lot to say on the subject anyway! Well, you know what I mean.
Maybe this secrecy/taboo element is why it turns men on to think about women ‘pleasuring’ themselves, or maybe it reassures us that women do actually like sex and they aren’t just going along with the whole charade to stop us getting grumpy. Women may scoff at this but it is very odd to us men that something as simple as self-gratification is such a taboo subject. Men discover wanking at a relatively early age and apart from those of us who enter into slightly unorthodox agreements with our partners, most men will carry on jerking their cocks until such time as they die, or cease to function sufficiently.
To us it’s a no brainer, we wouldn’t even take offence if we are termed a wanker (as long as it’s said in jest) because we all know we are, it’s a common interest, like porn or football (actually I don’t like football). So to us, it’s a peculiar thing that the vast majority of women are so coy about it, or actively claim not to indulge themselves. I’m forty three now, and in all my years I can only recall one instance of a woman I knew talking openly about it and that was at school (a girl called Bridget talking to another girl about rubbing herself against her pillow, or something… truth be told school is a long time ago now).
Anyway, I think the article said pretty much everything, I hope you enjoyed reading it.
Last night’s weigh-in was not as bad as I feared it might be, following my first ‘holiday week’. I put on 2.5lbs, but I was more than happy with that, thinking that over a two week period I could easily have put on 7lbs. So it’s back on the wagon now, and now of course rather than 3lbs to go until my 28lb milestone (2 Stones in English money) it 5.5lbs, and I’ll have to lose 3lb before I get any other treat of course… Still that’s not really that bad. I lost 4lbs the first two weeks I started (8lbs in total), so I reckon it should be reasonably do-able. We’ll see.
Well, I can’t sit around typing all night, I have some pussy worship to attend to!