OK, People, Just Admit You Masturbate Already

While attending an eco-sex event two weeks ago, I met Justine Roddick, the owner of Coco de Mer, and daughter of Dame Anita Roddick, the founder of The Body Shop. Roddick, a lovely forty-something British lass, told me the story of an eighty-year old woman who stumbled into her Los Angeles store by mistake, and after several minutes of conversation, admitted to Roddick that she had never had an orgasm. The woman, whose husband been dead for just over a year, although a fantastic husband and father, had never quite hit the right button, so to speak. And as the woman explained to Roddick, people from that generation didn’t talk about such things.

My discussion with Roddick evolved onto the topic of masturbation, and the fact that most women do not like to admit they masturbate. While my good Catholic mother raised my sister and me to believe that indulging in such behavior is wrong for a girl, mind you, it’s apparently fine for boys, I dared to explore the concept in my early teens. After that first orgasm, I never looked back… but it did take me almost a decade to shake the shame that came with it. And had someone asked me when I was twenty-one or twenty-two if I masturbated, I would’ve replied with a strong “hell, no,” then probably followed up with some verbal diarrhea I had picked up from my mother about it being so “wrong,” but then again, only wrong for girls.

It took a lot of growing up, living life, and acceptance of myself as a sexual being to be able to admit to myself and others, that yes, I masturbate. And to quote a friend from brunch the other day, “Don’t we all?” Yes, we all do. (Except my mother, of course.) However, despite this fact, it’s still a taboo subject among women…even this open-minded, empowered generation of women. I have friends who can admit to strapping on a dildo and going eight-inches deep on their boyfriend, but they won’t dare say they masturbate, or even worse, that they enjoy it.

The truth is no one knows how to get you off better than you, so why not indulge in a little me time? Men are commended for their masturbation practices; they brag to anyone who will listen how often and where they’ve gotten away with masturbation. I once had a coworker who was very open about the fact that at 5pm everyday, he would “treat” himself and whack off in the men’s bathroom. No one seemed to think this was a problem, to the contrary, it became a running joke and he was all but high-fived for it. I wonder if I would get the same treatment if I double-clicked my mouse promptly at 5:25pm everyday. Probably not.

When I’ve tried to pull the topic of masturbation out of my most open friends, they’ve dismissed the idea with, “well, I have a boyfriend, so I don’t have to,” is a big response; “I’ll do it, only if I have to” is a close second. Seems to me the more sex you’re having, the more you might want to explore options with yourself…it can only lead to an even better sex life, after all. I even have one friend in particular who lived with her boyfriend of eight years, and who, when asked by him if she masturbated, flatly said no, she didn’t. The truth? She whipped out her vibrator every time he left the house. This wasn’t an insult to him, as she assured me he was great in the sack, but just that she knew what she wanted and how to get it in five to seven minutes flat. When I asked her why she couldn’t admit the truth to him, she couldn’t give me an answer. Was it religion? She didn’t think it was religion. Was she embarrassed? She didn’t think it was that, either. Simply, it’s just not something she thought was okay to admit to doing.

I, for one, have finally realized there is no harm in masturbation, and a lot of it. They tell us it’s good for us, so wouldn’t it be smart to do a lot of something that’s good for us? Despite my Catholic upbringing and my mother telling me adamantly from the get-go that masturbation is wrong, I do partake in it from time to time…actually more like several times a week, and if it’s a slow day without much going on, I’ll do it more than a few times a day. My relationship status doesn’t have anything to do with it, as I’m actually inclined to do it more frequently when I am getting laid on a regular basis. Maybe this makes me a selfish hedonist? I really hope so.

As for the eighty-year who luckily wandered into Coco de Mer that day? Justine sent her home with a bunch of goodies to try out. The next morning the woman called the store in tears…tears over her first orgasm. She had lived just twenty-years shy of a century and only then had she experienced her first big O. Despite characters like Samantha Jones from “Sex and the City” bringing female masturbation to the forefront as an acceptable way to kill some time, sadly generations of women have a long way to go on their own view of the subject in regards to themselves.

Before I left Coco de Mer, I thanked Justine for the great conversation and told her I’d be back very soon with my mother in tow. If my mom won’t listen to reason from her two daughters who managed to shun her rules on masturbation, then maybe a woman from her own generation can tell her what’s up. Hopefully, after that she’ll finally get all those references my sister and I make about my sister’s best friend being the shower head in her upstairs bathroom.

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    • libra

      nice article! im all for it, i guess some ppl don’t want to admit it bc they dont want their bf’s to feel guilty.

    • canonizer

      eco-sex?

    • trixie2

      lol..I’ve been doing this since I’ve been 6 or 7. Nothing I feel bad about or not admit to if asked.

    • erin

      i hate to say it, but i think that is one big favor “sex and the city” did for women: it’s much less taboo to talk about the subject now. plus, it introduced many of us to that wonderful device called the Rabbit!

    • JM

      Typical modern self-indulgent little twit, aren’t you? All the sexual revolution has done is prove that, given the same opportunities, women are just as badly-behaved as men.