John Gray got rich off the chaos that exists in that weird little world of relationships, by telling us that men were from Mars, and women from Venus. It’s true. We have so many differences it’s a wonder we ever crawl under the covers together. But we do, and still, we speak entirely different languages. It’s a pity we don’t have those interpreter-on-the-fly headphones in our ears like they do at the UN – it’d make hooking up a hell of a lot smoother, don’t you think?
I sometimes wonder who my audience is comprised more of: men or women. The chicks who read me tend to like my feminist attitude that doesn’t get clouded with antagonism towards men, and that’s awesome.
But the men who seem to read me tell me they’re here for, I don’t know, a different take on sex, but most importantly, the fly-on-the-wall perspective of the modern female’s mindset.
So, it’s no surprise I’m getting asked a lot of questions by those guys right now about why women are resistant to masturbating, why some (a staggering 40%) just flat-out won’t masturbate. I’m saddened I’ve heard nothing from the women who don’t, but perhaps the notion of lacking the sexuality and curiousity it takes to be a masturbator is incongruous with reading sites like these. Let’s hope not.
That said, I’m going to tackle that question here and now, but from a point-of-view directed to the men in my audience. There are some commonly accepted reasons for why so many women are hesitant to touch themselves, but I’ve got a few perspectives on my own. I think this topic’s far more complicated than most people allude to. I think it’s a societal problem that encompasses everything from religion to upbringing to media.
Let’s start off with the commonly accepted perceptions of why these women resist the urge, and my take on them.
- Dirty Girl Syndrome: These are the chicks who think that if they touch themselves, it means they’re dirty or slutty. This is one of those things I think we can lay the blame for squarely on the media, and on our parents. In the media, even now, it’s only the promiscuous women that are portrayed as masturbators, whereas every guy is commonly accepted to jack off, like it’s a male right of passage. Kim Catrall’s character on Sex & The City is an obvious example. “Of course she masturbates. She’s a whore.” God forbid we ever hear about Oprah owning an assortment of vibes. It’s almost as if we’re still left with the impression that sexually desireable, successful, independent women don’t need to “Jane off,” as one of my readers has dubbed it. And oh, do I beg to differ.
- Addicted to Self-Love Syndrome: There are those who can’t help but think that if they get into the mode of masturbating, they’ll become addicted to it and won’t be able to stop. Unfortunately, these testimonials we get of women who masturbate twice a day, for half-hour stretches, etc, aren’t doing a lot to change the Resistors’ mindsets. These are likely the women who do have strong sex drives, who are scared at the intensity of their desires, and who fail to realize that not masturbating is making it worse. They don’t realize we’re sexual volcanoes, and without a release, we tend to blow – or just shut down entirely, which is more often the case. They don’t learn how to regulate that pressure, how to cope with it, and that the more familiarity they acquire, the better they will be able to handle the pressure mounting in times of arousal. Instead, they feel the intensity, get scared, and everything shuts down. They don’t experience orgasms, and don’t know how to get there, and are scared of reaching one.
- All Or Nothing Syndrome: “If I masturbate, I won’t be able to come any other way.” These are the people who fail to understand balance. I’m amazed at the number people who ask “Is it possible to get too good at masturbating?” I don’t know the answer, and maybe it is possible, but we have to take into consideration that your touch isn’t ever going to be the same as someone else touching you. This is why it’s not only nice, but smart, to masturbate for your partner. They can learn how you make yourself come. You can take it a notch further and make them have their hand over yours as you do your own “dirty work.” The thing you never, ever have in masturbating is the element of surprise, and that’s the element a lover brings to the table. This mode of resisting is essentially a lack of faith in their lovers. Nothing more. These might be the people who obsess about things and get really intense about anything they commit to, and they might just not know how to achieve balance. Instead, they avoid trying masturbating so they don’t need to find out if, in fact, they can balance masturbation with partner sex.
- Obligation to Partner: These are the ones who think they have to save their excitement for their partner. They know they have issues with orgasms, and they think that if they pursue one alone, they’ll never get to come with their lover. They’re also the people who don’t understand that orgasms take skill, take developing. The more you learn about sex, about yourself, the more pleasure you’ll find. They don’t realize that the human body doesn’t have a quota for pleasure. This is as much borne from ignorance as it is fear and bewilderment.
- It’s a Substitute for Sex: These are the women who don’t realize that masturbation influences a lot of who we are as lovers, what we’re willing to try, what our confidence level is with ourselves, our bodies, and our performances.
And that is that, some will tell you. That’s all that’s preventing women from touching themselves. But they’re just whack if that’s what they believe. Like I’ve said before, there’s so much more to it, whether we want to accept the blame as a society or not.
Let’s take one example. I’m sure every man who reads this has, at some point or another, had someone say to him, “Suck it up. Be a man.” How did that make you feel? Unable to express concerns or fears? Ashamed to be weak? Forced into the stereotype of being Manly Man when, for once, you just wanted to be human and feel whatever was hitting you?
It’s no secret, vulnerability isn’t exactly encouraged in men. And let’s face it, no matter what you want to say about the media today or the modern woman, sexuality is NOT encouraged in women. We should be pretty, alluring, gorgeous, but God forbid we be overtly sexual.
Chris Rock said it best, as a father, your ONLY responsibility is to keep your daughter off the pole.
Men may want a woman who likes to fuck, who will do the things that are borderline dirty, sexually experimental, but ultimately, we’ve all been raised by fathers who shared Chris Rock’s POV: We have to stay off the pole.
So, we’re raised with hearing tidbits like, “That’s not ladylike.” Personally, I’m not Fluffy-Miss-Feminine. I’m in touch with my femininity, but as a kid, I hated Barbies. I disliked dresses, and I heard, all my life, “That’s not ladylike.” When it came to sex, I believed there were certain ways I had to behave. Masturbation was my secret shame until I was in my early 20s, when I learned my boyfriend loved the fact that I did it, when I heard him tell me how much he admired my confidence and my ability to admit it. He told me it made me a strong woman. I began changing my perspective then.
For women, we have to battle so much bullshit we’ve been fed about what a woman is. Until the media begins embracing the idea that masturbation for women isn’t something exotic that only promiscuous chicks do, that stereotype is going to prevail. The fear and shame and apprehension will remain.
And you can’t tell me that men, when they were boys first discovering their sexuality, didn’t also feel like they had a secret, like it was a sin. We’ve all heard the stories of boys playing under the blankets, hoping not to be caught. It’s the same deal with women, but we’re on a different timeline. Men peak at 18, we peak at 32. Of course it’ll take longer to reach the point of comfort with masturbation. Many women don’t get there until their 20s. Hesitant women need to feel like their lovers aren’t trying to get them to perform like a porn star when they’re asked to masturbate. They need to know they’re not being perceived as someone dirty because they’re touching themselves. Unfortunately, that support isn’t as common as we’d like to think. And also unfortunately, a lot of guys are pretty lousy at requesting things from their lovers without making it sound too dirty or risqué. And that, again, becomes a communication issue.
Like I said, this is a huge, huge topic with vast implications, and it’s not a problem that will go away overnight. The media is responsible. Parents are responsible. Lovers are responsible. And the women, in their ignorance and fear, are responsible. So how does it get fixed?
I haven’t a clue. With time, I guess, and with the media, and parents, and lovers, and women all getting on the same page.
Just a second here, I need to glance out the window and check if pigs are flying yet. Hmm, not yet. So, yes, the problem persists. I’ll give some thought on how a woman might be persuaded to learn the fine art of self-love, but I honestly don’t know where to begin just now. It’d be interesting to hear feedback on whether anyone’s had success on that front. Care to share?