Scarlett Says: MasturbateBy Scarlett de Winter
‘Don’t knock masturbation. It’s sex with someone you love.’
When I was a teenager, every conversation about masturbation would start and end with: ‘But obviously I don’t, I mean, it’s really gross.’ Somehow, in a world where sending pictures of your girl bits to another fifteen year old, or having someone’s hand down your top in a park was totally acceptable, the concept of getting yourself off was a complete and utter taboo.
This reticence only ever seemed to extend to girls. Whilst we furiously denied the idea that we’d ever do such a thing, it seemed utterly normal that all of our male counterparts were furiously wanking into Dunlop tennis socks at every unoccupied second.
Girls are hormonal, girls have sex drives and girls get horny. Yet there are no standing jokes about how teenage girls are always wanking in their bedrooms. It’s just another way in which totally artificial boundaries are drawn between girls and boys before they even really get a chance to work out who the hell they are.
As adults, that representation seems to flip around. The media representation would have us believe that every single girl worth her knock-off Mulberry has a shiny pink Rabbit in her bedside draw, while male sex aides such as Fleshlights are considered really, really icky.
Perhaps it’s because society is queasy about the idea of a girl having sexuality before she’s old enough for it to be useful to others. Suddenly when we’re adults, masturbation is sexy and cool. But the idea that we do it as children and young adults is totally unrepresented.
There is a consensus among teenage magazines and websites that masturbation is to be encouraged. It teaches to you to become comfortable with your body, shows you what it is that you enjoy sexually and provides the chance to explore without running the risk of re-enacting Juno having oozing sores on your lady parts.
My girlfriends split pretty evenly between those who do and those who don’t (and, I imagine, those who really just don’t want to talk about it, but I was very aware upon starting at university that it wasn’t something that was talked about. We’d come home and discuss in glorious details the one night stands we’d had, or how our boyfriends had gone down on us, but it would never, ever occur to mention over a glass of wine that you’d given yourself an incredible orgasm.
It’s wrong to suggest that everyone has to, or should, be masturbating. Just as wrong as suggesting that everyone has to go out and have sex. But that said, much like looking at your vagina in a mirror, learning to get yourself off is something that I feel strongly that every young woman should try at least once.
Women’s magazines have historically suggested that the way to approach masturbation is to effectively seduce yourself. Have a glass of wine while wearing lingerie, a long hot bath, rub yourself in massage oil and snuggle up with your Rampant Rabbit. Personally I don’t know a woman on earth who has time to do that when she wants an orgasm.
If you haven’t or don’t tend to masturbate, don’t over hype it. Instead, spend your commute home listening to your sex playlist (I really hope I’m not the only one neurotic enough to have a sex playlist) and don’t think about the heaving, sweaty central line. Think about that time your boyfriend stood behind you and kissed your neck whilst he dug his fingers into your hipbones. Think about what it would be like to kiss that incredibly pretty girl you occasionally almost flirt with. Think about how it would feel if your boyfriend gripped your hair just a little bit harder during sex, or think about binding his wrists to the bed with his tie and then teasing him until he begs for it.
Get home. Go upstairs. Take your clothes off, or leave them on. Face down; face up, on your side. Whatever feels incredible. Put your hand between your legs (and as much as vibrators are fun, there really is no better way to begin than with your own hand). Try your absolute to think about nothing other than your prettiest, sexiest, dirtiest, kinkiest or most vanilla fantasies.
Revel in the fact that it doesn’t matter how long you take, what faces you make, if the angle makes you look fat or if you’re wearing a pair of knickers that you’re pretty sure you’ve had since school. Revel in the fact that you, on your own, are perfectly capable of giving yourself massive pleasure. Revel in the fact that you can want and love and adore the person you’re sleeping with, but in that moment you’re also totally fucking fantastic on your own.