Scientific research from the University of Sydney has listed a whole load of health benefits that can come from masturbation. So how come women are so reluctant to admit to doing it? Our writer Megan has been poking around the issue…
Newsflash: women masturbate.
A recent US Study found that a pretty substantial 85% of women ‘flick the bean’ (I know, I know. Who actually says that?), and according to a poll by Bondara, 62% squeeze in three or more self-lovin’ sessions a week.
Getting your kicks in the bedroom is the most primal urge of them all, after like, drinking and breathing and stuff. Most of us have done it at some point, right?
So, the question begs to be asked: Why do so many women feel embarrassed to admit to sexually pleasing themselves?
Sex and relationship therapist Lorraine McGinlay puts it down to the fact that: “The dirty word in the sexual world for women is ‘masturbation.’ It conjures up images of dirty old men and is often coupled with feelings of guilt and shame. No woman likes to admit she enjoys it, especially to her friends.
“Some women just aren’t comfortable with touching themselves due to old limiting beliefs. Girls may have experienced an orgasm at a young age and not realised what that pleasurable sensation was, plus many of us are conditioned that anything sexual is sinful.”
Of course, some people just don’t fancy masturbating, and that’s just as normal as knockin’ em off like there’s no tomorrow.
Saffron, a 20-year-old student from Lincoln, doesn’t do it on the reg.
“I had a long-term boyfriend from pretty young, so I explored my body with him, rather than alone,” she explains.
“On the odd occasion I have masturbated, it’s been brief because I got bored. I’ve never been able to make myself orgasm, whereas I always could with him.”
But, for those who are partial to a little self-love, there is literally NOTHING to be embarrassed about, especially where guys are concerned.
As Sam, 21, a student, from Oxford says: “I’ve noticed girls tend to be quite closed off around the subject, but I wouldn’t find it weird if they did talk about it more openly.”
And Millie, 22, a waitress from Hull makes the point: “My guy mates have said to me they think girls should stop lying about it and just own up to masturbating, because they know we all do it.”
See? It’s totally normal; just own it. Shout from the rooftops that: ‘YEP, I do get myself off after a particularly steamy episode of Made in Chelsea. And what?’
But, just in case you need a little more encouragement, having an open attitude to masturbation can also enhance a woman’s sex life in general. Ah, your ears have pricked up now, haven’t they?
As sex and relationship expert, Lorraine, explains: “For some women it is the only way they can achieve orgasms. Practice makes perfect. Masturbating increases your ability to climax, which is something every girl should be able to do.
“It’s an excellent way of ‘supplementing’ your sexual satisfaction. Importantly, it can also serve as a communication aid, opening a dialogue in a relationship where one partner thinks everything is great, not knowing the other is unsatisfied. Letting your partner witness how you masturbate can teach them where they might be getting things not quite ‘on the button.’”
Masturbating can also keep the flame alive in long-distance relationships. Rosie, a 23-year-old fashion buyer from London, swears by it.
“Masturbating over video sex brings you closer because you both feel good after it,” she says.
“And it makes you want your partner more when you’re back with them.”
Basically, whether you’re in to it or not, masturbation is seriously nothing to be ashamed of. The only way we’re going to shake off the taboo around the subject is by being more open.
Lorraine says that: “Talking about it can only be a good thing,”
“It has so many positive effects, so get talking and tell your friends that masturbation makes you happier and healthier!”
Maybe if we all took that little pearl of wisdom on board, one day in the not too distant future, every woman will be able to sexually please herself- and not mind admitting it.
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