According to the “New York” magazine, an overwhelming 92 % of women admit they have touched themselves. Vibrators are now mass-marketed by condom companies, leading to a boom in sales. Hell, there’s even an app available for female masturbation. The app, called HappyPlayTime features a floating vagina that gives anatomy lessons and techniques – a real play on the old Vagina Monologues.
Yet, in the wake of our heralded sexual revolution, there is still a stigma attached to female masturbation. Have we really come as far as we believe? I don’t think so. And I would counter, that the reasons behind this are more systemic than personal aversions or unfamiliarity with our lady bits.
Studies are showing that female masturbation can protect against cervical infections because when women masturbate, the orgasm “tents” or opens the cervix.
In many studies, women who experienced more orgasms, and overall greater frequency and satisfaction with sex – with a partner or not – were shown to have greater resistance to coronary heart disease (CHD) and type-2 diabetes.
There are so many advantages to having a healthy pelvic floor. In the “plateau” stage of orgasm, the pelvic floor gets a real workout. The clitoris surges with increased blood pressure. Muscle tone, heart rate, and respiration all increase. The uterus “lifts” off the pelvic floor, increasing pelvic muscle tension and strengthening the entire region, as well as your sexual satisfaction.
Since you’re in control of your body when you masturbate, you can learn a lot about who you are. You can cultivate positive feelings about your awesome body, which gives you confidence from the inside out. Masturbation also has the potential to heal the memory of past negative sexual experiences and replace them with positive ones.
What is more threatening to the male ego than a woman who is sexually liberated enough to please herself?
This is why the practice is taboo. It threatens to undo the thread that binds our patriarchal society together: the notion that women’s sexuality is something to be repressed. It is dirty – dangerous even – unless it is being neatly packaged for the entertainment of men.
It explains the paradox of why prostitution is illegal, but pornography is not: Men (not all, but a great many) desire to control the female body and channel it for their own purposes. And we have internalized their misogyny as evidenced by the cultural tendency to deride female masturbation….as if it were something to be ashamed of. Keywords: “As if”
My take? Giving yourself a hand when you need some loving is no more perverse than fixing yourself a sandwich when you are hungry. It is a biological need, so I say, happy playtime, ladies.