Here’s to the Forty Percent

Masturbation is a sin. If you do it, you will never be able to be satisfied by your lover. If you do it, you will become addicted to it and will never be able to control yourself, even in public. If you do it, you will be a dirty woman. If you do it, everyone will be able to tell. If you do it, you will never be forgiven in God’s eyes.

If you step on a crack, you’ll break your mother’s back. If you cross your fingers, it’s not really a lie. If you kill a spider, it will rain.

If you believe in the above misconceptions about masturbation, you might as well believe in superstitions, myths, and anything you read in Harry Potter, for it’s all equally grounded in fiction.

Do you really want to know what masturbation is? It’s the physical manifestation of the search for your own inner beauty. It’s relying on yourself to provide yourself with the pleasure that you may never receive from anyone else. It’s about developing the kind of self-knowledge you need in order to really become a lover of any consequence. It’s a tool for discovering what works and doesn’t work in the love department for you, because every single body responds differently to touch. How does yours respond, do you really know?

But most of all, it’s okay. It’s all right.

What’s shameful isn’t the act of masturbation. What’s shameful is that you’re being made to feel as if you’re still subjective to men, that you still need a man to be the woman you deserve to be. What’s wrong is the flagrant abuse of power and authority these people have committed when they’ve told you these lies about what masturbation is. What’s disgusting is this endless sense of embarrassment you’re expected to have about your body, and the lack of knowledge you’ve been provided.

What’s empowering is the realization that all we’re talking about is the sense of touch. That’s it, that’s all. There is no deity from on high that will strike you down for a stroke of your own flesh. I know, because I’ve yet to be turned into a lightning rod for the Almighty’s wrath, and the Lord’s had as many opportunities to smite me as I’ve had to wash my hair. I kid you not.

You will never get “too good” at masturbating. You will never exceed your limit. It will increase your ability to orgasm with your lover, no matter how many times you come alone. You will not be stigmatized if the world ever finds out. You will not get so addicted that you lock yourself in your room and never come out.

You will, though, learn to feel better about yourself. You’ll be better at managing your stress. You’ll be more confident when you’re displaying affection for your lover. You’ll develop curiousity about more sexual experiences. You will have a more open mind. You will better know how to be satisfied, and if or when you’re ready to share that with your lover, you might be astounded at how happy he (or she) is you’re able to help him (or her) better please you.

This lack of support, in the media or otherwise, for the notion of a woman pleasing herself is one of the last major hurdles we, as a sex, must overcome. It is time we demand what we deserve – a sense of self, and a sense of satisfaction.

If you don’t ever want anyone to know, then they don’t have to find out. You can keep it to yourself, and maybe one day you’ll want to share that with your lover, or maybe you won’t. But don’t deny yourself, not one minute longer. Don’t allow shame to control your life. Don’t allow others to make you feel you need to be judged by a higher power. Don’t allow them to tell you that you must continue labouring under the insecurity you’re so clearly feeling.

There are those who tell us that it’s a sin. Is it? Really? Is your perception of your god one that would leave you believing that he/she/it wants you to be less than completely in love with yourself? Do you believe he/she/it wants you to not feel beautiful, attractive, desired? Why would the creator have made the clitoris within arm’s reach? Why not just have the vaginal canal, instead, which isn’t exactly a convenient distance to reach with ease? You want to talk Intelligent Design, then let’s talk about how much we’re designed to please ourselves. Let’s talk about how masturbation and orgasms are the best kind of physical releases, best outlets for stress, that anyone in any condition can engage in.

In the movie Pleasantville, Joan Allen hears about masturbation for the first time in her life in her 40s. She runs herself a hot bath, gets in, starts to stroke herself, and she suddenly changes from a black & white character to a Technicolor character (literally). She explodes with pleasure, feeling the first orgasm of her life, and is overcome with waves of love – for herself. It transforms her as a woman. She awakens to her female desire and learns that she can be her own everywoman, that being subservient to the men in her life isn’t making her who she wants to be, that what she’s been looking for all these years has really been inside her for all that time. She learns that she has entitlements to her own happiness, and that she can now ensure that happiness by just showing a little tenderness towards herself.

It’s a sad thing that we’re taught, as a culture, that happiness comes from the people around us. It can’t. We can’t wait for others to enrich our lives. We can’t hope that the things they do or say will contribute to who we are to become. We must achieve that on our own, and if masturbation is a tool towards that, then I’m all about me.

As a society here in North America, we’re suffering from an all-time high touch-deficit. Meaning, more people than ever before go for days, weeks, months, and sometimes years without touching another person – be it a pat on the shoulder or a kiss on the lips. We’re so deprived already, that the notion of not allowing yourself to be personally pleasured through masturbation is nearly cruel and inhumane, and self-inflicted, at that. No one deserves to be alone, and no one should have to live without having that feeling of coming alive through an orgasm.

It’s not dirty, or shameful, or sinful. It’s a beautiful, empowering act. And sometimes, it’s just a damned nice thing to experience.

Take back control of your sexuality. Learn about yourself. Live a little. Ditch the shame. Embrace your femininity. Push the magic button that’ll change everything you feel about yourself. It’s the first step to becoming the woman you always wanted to be: Strong, sexy, confident, and self-aware.

For first-timers, instructions are here.