Inside the Pussy: The M-Word

I am currently a junior at Swarthmore College studying Economics. “Inside the Pussy” is a column about daily awkward sexual experiences and sexual encounters. Because I am far from a sexual goddess, many of these stories will detail my flops and failures in trying to find love, recover from love, and get it on. It is updated on a weekly basis.

There is such a huge stigma about female masturbation. A lot of people still think that it is impossible for women to masturbate, and thus, that sex is primarily a male act. The stigma surrounding female masturbation is often related to a fear of an independent and empowered female sexuality. As my own personal contribution to help break this stigma, this piece is about my experience masturbating.

The first time I masturbated was while watching Even Stevens on Disney Channel—you know, the weird Disney channel show with the two arguing siblings, Shia LaBeouf and Christy Carlson Romano. I somehow knew that what I was doing was conventionally considered an icky and private thing to do, so I just masturbated upstairs in my room while watching Even Stevens every night after dinner. One night, my mom caught me during the episode where Louis saves Internet superstar, Blake from choking, and he gets famous. My mom and I were both silent for a second as I removed my hands from my genitals and looked at them in horror, thinking “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?” She quickly said, “Doing that will make you go blind,” before slowly closed the door.

Around that time, my vision started getting very bad. I needed thicker and thicker glasses, and I started getting astigmatism in my left eye! Despite my growing concern that masturbation was the cause of my declining eyesight, I still couldn’t stop jacking off. I silently freaked out about this for about three years of my life, until I finally Googled it and found out that blindness due to rubbing one out was not even an urban myth. Just last year, I asked my mom why she told me that. Her response: she thought it was funny. So I guess I know how I’m going to scar my own kids who are likely to inherit my myopia.

Even after I discovered the lack of correlation between masturbation and vision, it still felt dirty to joke about it, even though boys my age would joke about their masturbatory habits in public. For me, masturbating felt dirty for a long time, probably because is an act so often associated with male power. It felt wrong that I derived such selfish pleasure from touching myself as a woman. We often associate masturbation with shame, because it is such a private act. However, masturbation should not be something that causes shame (except for Catholics). Female masturbation should be normalized. Women should know that it is OK for them to pleasure themselves. Owning our sexuality gives us power as more than men’s possessions.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to own my sexuality and to see masturbation as a tool that makes me feel good with no guilt attached. Even Stevens is no longer the pornographic content of my choice, but I’ll always remember Shia LaBeouf fondly.

Next up, some Tinder date experiences!

Featured image courtesy of fansshare.com.


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