Masturbation Nation, or how mainstream culture forgot the woman’s wank
Why is it that masturbation seems to be the domain of men? We’re told endlessly that young boys need to get their rocks off, subjected to TV comedy shows that talk of teenager’s sheets literally cracking in half from caked-on semen, and fed joke after suggestive joke about piles of tissues on boys’ beside tables. Now, I’m all for wondering sardonically whether every nineteen year old lad really suffers from ‘night-time hay fever’. but bitches, please: where are all the cultural references to us giving something back to number one?
It seems to me that the huge boner of male puberty has been obscuring female desire for a little too long. Because although we all seem to have agreed that men tugging on their bits doesn’t make them blind after all, everyone seems a little bit - well - embarrassed at the idea of those delicate little girls just out of school uniform enjoying a bit of sexy exploration themselves. Sex ed still seems a bit squeamish about mentioning it, instead leaning heavily towards the boys - and you may as well keep waiting for any Hollywood reference to female fannying around, with ‘boys and tissues’ getting a regular look-in these days, where girls wander around in pretty little skirts and morph innocently from sweet young rosy-cheeked things into lovely slices of marriage material or generic sluts obsessed with men. Either way, their sexualities revolve around waiting for whoever’s penis will come along to fill the hole in their lives (ahem) that they can’t fulfill themselves.
Women’s magazines discuss masturbation in the context of ‘finding out how to make sex with your boyfriend better’, but lads’ mags might have it right here, in their riotous celebration of self-love and all its fodder. The soft porn proffered by Zoo and Nuts has no guilty little disclaimer on it stating that this might make you ‘enjoy making love to your girlfriend’ more. The problem pages aren’t the only places where masturbation comes up, wrapped up nicely in a saccharine package of ‘getting to know your body’ so you can ‘pass on the tips to your partner.’ What about just, like, having an orgasm because you feel like it? Because you’re tired or you’re hungry and there’s no food around, or because you have a guilty crush on some really inappropriate friend, or because that kid from Twilight has got just about old enough to fancy? Does everything have to be about planning ahead for when an actual dick gets stuck into you? Because I thought we were living in an age when even women were allowed to do DIY.
Masturbation has been ruined by that wonderful concept ‘feminine mystique’, which has been almost unexpectedly detrimental to the wider feminist cause. Those sweet, ethereal beings wouldn’t do anything as human as masturbate, surely! Thank goodness - then let’s not bother producing any cultural material that supports the fact that female masturbatory practice exists. Let’s never mention it again.
Day after day, we see women with impossibly long tongues lolling out of their mouths as they crawl through Ann Summers advertorial, but we hear very little of actual, realistic sexual experiences normal to women everywhere. Whips and chilli-based lube are almost supermarket talking points, but even a decade after the Rampant Rabbit was famously celebrated by the characters of Sex and the City, wanking women are still barely producing a whisper on the sex scene. One of the consequences of this is that porn continues to be totally shit for women, so we need to change something before we actually die from saturation of repetitive, objectifying gang bangs that make women touching themselves look like cheeky little minxes putting on a show for their male counterparts.
Come on out, girls, and admit that masturbation is a fun part of your sexuality that is all your own, and doesn't need to be legitimised as 'practice sex.' Men cast away those aspersions years ago now, and we're lagging disappointingly behind. Let’s hear it for a masturbation nation!