Sunday, 29 September 2019

MORE EDUCATION FOR MASTURBATION

Neither George nor I can remember the first time that we orgasmed, though we are fairly certain that it was not before we were 16. Now, let’s go back to the high school of penises we mentioned in our first post. Considering that only 35% of the people who answered our Instagram polls could label the biological parts of a penis, these dick doodles were not an exercise of scientific expertise. These penises had one purpose: sex. And because we condemn sexual intercourse among underage pupils, let’s assume that the majority of this sexual curiosity was developed independently. These dick drawings represented the wonderful world of masturbation.

So, in short, unlike myself and Georgie, I’m imagining that most boys were orgasming much earlier than the age of 16, or at least trying to.

I remember a sex education lesson in Year 8 where we were shown a one-minute cartoon video of God shaking his finger through a dark cloud at a boy that was touching himself. And then the sun came out from behind the cloud, God nodded and opened his hands out, and the video explained that it was actually OK to masturbate.

I started to explore what was 'down there' from a young age. At the time it wasn’t something I was doing intentionally, I just knew it was a personal area but it felt nice. It was a comfort thing, like the way some people suck their thumbs or twiddle their hair. It was innocent and not a sexualised act at all. But even then, I was unsure if I should be doing it. I knew that your privates were ‘rude’ and you weren’t allowed to show them to other people, but beyond that, I was in the dark as to what I was doing. I didn’t know if other people did what I did too, or if I’d discovered some weird secret about our bodies that I wasn’t supposed to know. 

The video opened a new line of thought: perhaps it is normal to do this. Maybe I'm not the only one!  But I was unsure: it was a boy in the video, not a girl, and no other girls spoke to me about it. 

In our Instagram poll, we asked whether any of our followers had experienced negative feelings (shame, guilt, worry, stress etc) surrounding masturbation. More than 80% of the 'yeses' were female.

In all the years that I’d masturbated, I had never orgasmed. I think the main reason for that was because I didn't know girls could. And perhaps I was a little scared, too. I had also never touched myself without knickers on, so I really didn’t know what was what, or where the ‘nice feeling’ came from. My anxiety surrounding masturbation was so intense that even at 16, I convinced myself that if I fingered myself internally, I was morally corrupting myself in some way. It had to be somebody else that did that to me. Illogical, right? As though my body had some amazing finger-detecting program installed. 

Meanwhile, I always thought I was weird because I never actually liked touching myself, skin-to-skin. A bit like how you can’t tickle yourself with your own hands because you know they’re your hands, I didn't like the feeling in my fingers (and still don't). Who knows why, but it was the case, so I accepted pretty early on that masturbation wasn’t for me.

I know, how foolish.

I don’t know how I managed to avoid vibrators for so long, but it actually took one being gifted to me as a feel-better-soon present for me to become a sex-toy owner. I was convinced at first that it wouldn’t be as good as someone else pleasuring you.

Again, I know. How foolish.

This gift was not half-hearted. With twelve different settings, internal and external options, three different intensities and two differently-shaped ends, it’s safe to say that it changed my life. I will repeat. I am not exaggerating.

That vibrator. Changed my life.

Ladies: I’m sure most of you were not as dumb as me, and already know this. But, if you're like myself and George, you probably never actually learnt about female masturbation, and never got the opportunity to talk about it, or feel comfortable talking about it. You may have just opted to avoid it altogether - it's not negatively impacting your life; you're not missing out because you're not making yourself orgasm; right? 

Wrong. You deserve sexual gratification as much as the next person.

If, by any chance, you don’t really believe the hype, or fancy yourself as someone who is quite indifferent to masturbation, please remember my one piece of advice: 

It's time to act. 

Masturbation rocks and it's okay to think so. It's okay to do it. It's more than okay. It's incredible. Do not deprive yourself because you've been okay this far without it or because we've accidentally conditioned ourselves to believe it's more of a man's discipline. And if you're not really sure how: get a vibrator to do it the work for you.

Hazel out x

I can vouch that vibrators do change lives, as the owner of a fair few myself. However, I can understand the apprehension about buying one: there’s the awkward thing of going into a sex shop and catching the eye of the assistant who knows why you’ve snuck around the back. And the potential (if you have a baby face like moi) of being ID’d. How embarrassing. My social anxiety screams “Nope” in five different high-pitched, clashy keys. 

But, to be honest with you, after the first time, it’s seriously not all that bad. In fact, I came out with my first toys (a hot pink rubber dildo with rabbit ears and a mini rabbit vibrator) giggling with relief and excitement. It was fun! 

It helped that I didn’t go alone. Georgia (who, funnily enough, became their next hire -- as you will know from our sex shop story blog) was definitely the reason I went in at all. I would’ve chickened out if I’d been by myself, for sure. 

If you are too shy to ask anyone to come with you, then you can also order online. Cut the middleman and get door-to-door delivery. (If you live with your parents, maybe make sure you’re in the house for the estimated delivery time… just to avoid some unnecessary conversations and questions...)

So, as much as knowing that 62% of you said you also experienced shame and anxiety before/when/after masturbating comforted me in that I wasn't alone, I also felt a bit sad. Whether you voted 'yes' in reference to the first time you’d masturbated or if you still struggle as an adult with these feelings, it’s definitely something that should be flagged up. 

Like Haze, I'm happy to admit that I wasn’t aware or educated enough to understand why or what I was doing. And, the fact of the matter is: if I was learning more about sex education in terms of pleasure (the no.1 reason people have sex, alone or with a partner) as opposed to the procreation aspect, maybe that 62% could be 22%. Maybe we could have all been at ease with ourselves and in tune with our bodies far earlier.

Instead of a one-minute God-related clip stating “it’s okay to fornicate!” I wish the entire hour was dedicated to teaching us about where pleasure comes from, why and how people orgasm, and the emotional fears and stresses you may encounter along the way. When I was 14, I needed to know more about masturbation and sexual pleasure than how I could make a baby! 

Fortunately, I’m all caught up on those lessons thanks to bloggers, books, feminist essays, Red magazine, activists, actually having sex, and social media. Oh, and these sources also helped me to learn about sex toys, LGBTQ+ relationships which is hetrifying to even think that we weren't taught about at all; thank u Florence Given for this fab-u-lous coined word. Check it out on Urban Dictionary here – and the plethora of different attitudes towards sex out there… essential parts of sex ed that the curriculum decided to skip entirely. So, thanks again interweb. You rock. 

We hope you have found some pleasure in reading about masturbation. The more we talk about it and normalise it, the more comfortable we can feel doing it. And we are big believers in self-love!

Happy wanking!!!

Love, George and Haze x



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