Over the course of the last few decades, much has changed in society’s view of masturbation. We have had the development of sexology as a separate scientific study to help people understand and reclaim their pleasure. Yet there is still a long way to go when it comes to normalising self-love and solo play, especially when it comes to women.
While sex is a taboo, women’s sexuality is an even bigger one and remains less discussed. The biggest myth that exist is that women don’t masturbate. Masturbation is normal for everyone, not only does masturbation bring pleasure but also allows a person to familiarise themselves with their body. Add to that the fact that masturbation has several health benefits as it releases many happy hormones that help relieve stress and sleep better.
There are no concrete medical reasons as to why people shouldn’t masturbate. However old cultural notions and myths are still very much widespread. While there is a lot of why one shouldn’t masturbate, we have tried to bust a few of them and tell you why you should.
Myth 1: People in relationships do not masturbate
A big myth around masturbation is that solo play is for single and sexually dissatisfied people only. Self-pleasure is often labelled as a replacement for partnered sex. But hey that is not true. People masturbate whether they are in a relationship or single. Masturbation is often a part of sexual activities between partners. So, remember masturbation is for everyone.
Myth 2: Masturbation kills your sex drive
Masturbation does not kill your sex drive. It does quite the opposite though. It increases the chances of having better sex. Through solo play, you can discover the pleasure points of your own body. Also, the cultural ignorance of the clitoris has almost brushed it off our mind that there is an organ whose sole purpose is pleasure, and how so many people don’t even focus on it. Clit-stimulation is one of the most common forms of masturbation amongst women. Studies have shown that the orgasm of the solo variety, in fact, increases one’s confidence and chances of better-partnered sex. The more your body experiences orgasm, the more it will crave climax in every form.
Also read: Female Masturbation: Politics and Pleasure
Myth 3: Masturbation causes several health problems
In an attempt to keep people away from self-pleasure, it is often propagated that masturbation will cause health problems. That is wrong. On the contrary, masturbation has several health benefits. Studies show masturbation releases chemicals like Dopamine, Serotonin, oxytocin, and other happy hormones in your brain. These in turn help you relieve stress, sleep better, boost your confidence, and help you stay focused.
Myth 4: Women can get pregnant if they masturbate
This myth is fairly common amongst teenagers and the younger generation who have just discovered the world of self-pleasure. A major reason being the lack of comprehensive sexuality education in our country. For anyone to get pregnant, the sperm will have to enter your body through the vagina and fertilise the egg. Or in the case of partnered masturbation, there should be pre-cum as it contains semen which contains the sperm. So, unless there is no sperm and no egg, there can be no pregnancy!
Myth 5: Women masturbating is dirty and immoral
Women’s sexual urges have been repressed and regarded as ‘abnormal’ throughout history. In the 19th century, women with ‘excessive’ sexual urges were diagnosed with ‘female hysteria’. The ‘dirty’ and ‘immoral’ labels are attached to masturbation in a bid to control women’s sexuality. Like any other normal bodily function, there is no moral law governing self-pleasure.
India is 3rd in the list of countries that consume the most porn. Furthermore, of the total traffic on Pornhub from India, 30% of them are women. Even with India’s porn consumption numbers skyrocketing female masturbation is still something that is swept under the carpet. So much so that several mainstream e-commerce platforms have had to resort to selling their vibrators as body pain massagers. This is because the patriarchal society legitimises female sexuality only when it is in response to male desire. Repressing women’s sexuality has been central to maintaining patriarchal order.
The attempt to spread awareness around masturbation has been ongoing and is slowly giving rise to a positive attitude towards masturbation despite societal barriers. Despite everything, there will always be people who think masturbation is something wrong and dirty. But remember self-pleasure is normal and natural and should be embraced.
Featured Image Credit: Ritika Banerjee for Feminism in India