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.

17 thoughts on “Here's to the Forty Percent

  1. Pistachio

    I just made a post on masturbation a day or so ago, but you did it much more eloquently than I did. I commend you.

  2. AlwaysArousedGirl


    I’m planning on/working on teaching my kids that it’s a part of normal life. And encourage them to do it as much as they like.

    Girls especially need to know that it’s ok.

  3. Laura

    Wow, alwaysarousedgirl, your kids? That’s very cool! How old are they? I think that’s a really good thing to do. I also think parents should be a little more open on sexuality in general, or at least not turn of the TV or blush when someone kisses on a movie.

    Great post, Steff. I know that there are a lot of women out there who don’t masturbate, but still, I can’t really imagine it. It’s a wild thought for me. Well, maybe it’s worse in America – you guys over on the other side of the ocean have some pretty weird ideas on what’s right and wrong. (No offence intended)

  4. Horny Old Guy

    I couldn’t agree with you more! One of my favorite subjects and favorite activities for over 50 year!. I truly feel sorry for those that think there is something sinful, abnornal or unhealthy about doing it.

  5. Anonymous

    this is fantastic advice in general, for any woman:

    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.


  6. AlwaysArousedGirl

    Laura…they are little. I’m not pushing it, you understand. Just letting them know it’s ok, when they bring it up.


    Steff…you’ve got a nice discussion over at Figleaf’s site now too! Nice work!

  7. StripGoddess

    “It’s the physical manifestation of the search for your own inner beauty.”

    I’m going to quote that somehwere. I like that. 😉

  8. scribe called steff

    pistachio — thanks! 🙂

    always aroused — good to hear you’re gonna incorporate that into parenting. the only thing i ever heard about masturbation as i was growing up was when my brother got suspended from his Catholic private high school for standing up on top of the dumpsters, shouting out Ozzy Osborne lyrics, and simulating “air masturbation” for all to see. apparently it was inappropriate behaviour for a grade nine student.

    i still remember my parents SCREAMING at my brother for it ‘cos it was “pick-up” time after school and all the parents saw it — they felt it reflected badly on them. i just remember thinking this masturbation thing was probably a horrifically bad thing to do, but didn’t know what it was.

    ironically, that’s about the first time i started getting aroused in life and doing the dry-humping-pillows thing, which i didn’t even know was masturbation for a year or so, probably. ignorance = bliss, especially if you’re catholic!

    Laura — you mistake “over here” as being one big place — Canada has WILDLY DIFFERENT perceptions on shit than America… All sex of all kinds were legalized here back in 1969 — and in the USA in 2003, I think it was, or 1998… Pretty fucking recent, either way. Swinger clubs are now legal in Canada, et al. The USA is indeed pretty timid at times about sex. Very.

    Catholicism and other backwards religions are often at fault for this, I’d say, and that’s a worldwide thing.

    Horny Old Man — Yeah, ’cause you just KNOW it’s limiting their quality of life, but they just can’t see that. It’s very sad indeed.

    Anon. -C — thanks for liking that paragraph. It’s really how I feel. I spent too much of my life waiting for friends, lovers, and family to hand-deliver me happiness, and in the last two or three years, well, I woke the hell up to reality and created it for myself. Whether it’s doting on yourself with a shopping spree or lubing up in front of the TV, it’s all about spending time with you, for yourself, and no one else. That’s important, no matter how you slice it.

    Aroused — Tee hee. Girl gets around! 🙂 I’ll tell a story sometime about how I first heard and learned what a blowjob was, from my Mom, at age 8. It’s hilariously cute and would be a fun way to tackle the question yourself when that happens. 🙂

    StripGoddess — Thanks! I thought it was a little corny, but still very much true. I can’t imagine talking to a man and telling HIM it’s his quest for his own inner beauty, he’d probably snicker long and hard, so it’s definitely a girlie look at it all. Heh.

  9. M


    thanks for these posts–you’re bringing much-needed attention to this topic. I can’t wait to hear your guest-blogger’s male perspective (I think you mentioned on figleaf’s blog..)

    I agree with StripGoddess–that quote is a great way to think of it. Sure, it’s girly and perhaps a little new-agey, but it’s fitting.

    AAG, I applaud you for being conscious of this with your kids. I think a lot of parents who might even be ok with their kids masturbating don’t touch it b/c of their fear of boundaries (privacy-wise) being crossed. (Remember that scene in Parenthood where the kid comes out with his mother’s vibrator?) My parents never prohibited anything, but they never initiated discussion about it, either. Thank god for natural curiosity and honest friends!

    I could go on, but I’ve probably taken enough space already. Thanks again, and keep up the good work!

  10. scribe called steff

    M — Thanks. 🙂 Actually, Figleaf has tentatively agreed to be one of my male guest writers. Whee!

    I was shocked this topic drew the audience it has. People seem pretty intently interested, and I’m glad.

    AAG — Oh, boy. You’re pushy, you know that?

    All right. I told the story on my old blog once, and I will probably recycle it within a post sometime, but here, I’ll cut and paste it here for you.


    Watching Steve Martin’s “The Jerk” one day when I was 8, back in the early days of the VCR, there was a joke about a blowjob. Mom howled. I didn’t get it.

    “Mom, what’s a blowjob?”


    “A blowjob, what is it?”

    “Oh, that’s when a woman sucks on a man’s penis, dear.”

    “Ew! Why would she want to do that?”

    She shrugged and said, “Ah, you got me, sweetie. You got me.”

    Her casual nature made me think blowjobs were no big deal, not necessarily desireable, but certainly not a big deal. We went back to the movie, and this time, I got the joke.

  11. Laura

    Steff, you said “you mistake “over here” as being one big place — Canada has WILDLY DIFFERENT perceptions on shit than America… ” etc.

    Of course I know Canada is pretty different from USA; you’re two different countries. But you’re still on a damn island together pretty far from everything else. And when USA is as big as it is, it would be difficoult not to be influenced no matter where you are, and you guys just have to walk over the borders. And when I hear stuff from USA like that they are going to stop teaching anything sexual and have meetings with teenagers where they are to promise to not have sex before marriage, I get a little worried.

    We always hear about weird fundamentalistic christian stuff from USA. Never from Canada, though, but when I read your post, I thought that maybe you are influenced a bit more than us. Every country is different and has its own story, but if the world police live in your backyard, maybe that could have something to do with it, because I have not heard much about that stuff in Europe, and never, ever in Norway. I can not imagine it either, so I thought it had to do something with where you live. The religion is the same everywhere, but the people are different. Or it just have something to do with your drinking water. 😉

    When I think of it, I didn’t mean America, but North America.

  12. scribe called steff

    I’ll admit, you’re right, but then, Norway and Denmark have two of the healthiest attitudes on sex in the world today, bar none.

    We certainly do get influenced by the Yankees, and today’s election is going to be a MASSIVE deciding point on where sexual attitudes in this country go for the next 5-10 years. Jesus, I hope the Conservatives lose their shirt. Unlikely, but who knows.

    I don’t really envy sexual attitudes across Europe as a whole, but there are pockets of Europe where the attitudes are definitely enviable, and you’re in one of them, absolutely.

    Norway’s one of the places I’d really like to visit one day. You guys have a lot of RIGHT things going on there.

    Did you get a load of the guy’s comments in the posting on Why 40% of Women Don’t Masturbate? He said if they LET women masturbate, men will be even more sex-starved! Go tell him what you think, chicks! UN-fucking-believable. Judging by his blog, I think he’s serious.

  13. virgin

    You know you sometimes you have guy friends. They’re great friends, but you’re just not interested in them as anything more. That’s kind of how I feel about me. Makes it harder to enjoy, ya know?

  14. scribe called steff

    Yeah, I can understand that.

    Have you tried moaning loudly as you do it, though?

    I’ve been surprised at what throwing some volume and dirty talk into my masturbation can do to me. At first I felt weird, but then it got hotter, and certainly built up the fantasy factor. Give it a spin.

  15. Anonymous

    There’s nothing God won’t forgive. It’s other people that make us feel guilty. As a man I’ve engaged in this activity and sometimes it’s very hard to resist, but when I matured enough to stop I started becoming successful with woman. My relationships haven’t necesarily been successful, but at least now I have two daughters and to me that’s a great accomplishment.
    The same individuals who make one feel guilty about self-discovery are likely to make one feel guilty about all sexual activities. Personally, wouldn’t it be wonderful to find someone that you were so comfortable loving that you could explore yourselves and each other together.
    If your comfortable being by yourself then you should do it. A woman can always buy flowers for herself, but isn’t always more wonderful when someone buys them for her, especially when she loves that someone. The real issue is having the the patience to find someone we care about, but what is really even more difficult is having the patience to make sure they care about us before we give ourselves to them emotionally as well as physically.
    What children really need is to be taught early in life about how to have healthy social and sexual relationships and to have this knowledge when they are reaching physical sexual maturity. In third world countries girls are married and having children at fourteen and fifteen. Masturbation was invented to postpone sexual maturity. If you eat a candy bar will anyone know? If you eat five hundred or a thousand most likely someone will. Parents and teachers teach children many things, but for some reason it seems very difficult to teach children about reationships and sexuality.

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