Self-Pleasure & Sexual Health

What was the weird myth you heard about masturbation growing up? You’d grow hair on your palms? If you did it regularly, your vagina would ‘stretch out’? That you would become infertile? Or maybe nothing that dramatic, but the subtle cultural cues that had you believe that female masturbation, aka self-pleasure, was somehow shameful.   

Many girls live in this reality, then continue carrying shame about their bodies and pleasure, sometimes for an entire lifetime. However, self-pleasure is actually one of the healthiest things you could do for your health!  The benefits of masturbation include: decrease stress, relaxation, better sleep, higher self-esteem, more body confidence, relief of menstrual cramps, and strengthening muscle tone in your pelvic area. As long as masturbation doesn’t interfere with your everyday life, it’s healthy and totally normal. If these facts were promoted as much as the damaging myths, imagine how different a girl’s experience of pleasure and her body would be!  

Even if women don’t believe self-pleasure is wrong, many are taught to believe that they don’t need it in a committed relationship. Untrue! Studies show people don’t masturbate because they feel unhappy with their sex life. In fact, self-pleasure only helps your partnered sex be better. When you get to know your own body, you learn what feels good and what doesn’t. This opens the door to communicating with your partners about your pleasure and helping them know your body better. It also gives your partners permission, or perhaps inspiration, to communicate their desires more clearly to you.   

But let’s put partner sex aside for a minute. Self-pleasure also gives you a sense of body autonomy. You have control over yourself, your body and your own “ooooo” face, which can feel quite liberating. Telling women (directly or through subconscious cues) that their pleasure matters less only leads to believing this myth! But you can dismantle this bs every time you practice self-pleasure.  Putting your own pleasure first is a practice. A practice that ultimately will make you not only more confident in your own skin but a more generous and fulfilled lover when you do choose to engage with partners.   

So, it begs the question... if self-pleasure is such an important aspect of a woman’s sexual health and health in general, why doesn’t society teach girl’s about this topic. Why isn’t self-pleasure covered in every sex education class? Well, for starters, society has not generally been women’s best friend. Financially independent and sexually free women were still getting murdered in the USA in 1693! Not to mention the little detail that white women couldn’t vote until 1920, Native women not until 1947, 1952 for Asian women and not until 1963 for Black women!  In 2020, we still have women’s and trans womxn’s rights threatened in very real ways, but that’s a post for another day. In other parts of the world gender-based violence and murder of women is still condoned by several governments.  All this is to say that it shouldn’t' surprise you that default society shouldn’t be trusted when it comes to the myths it tells about an empowering practice like self-pleasure. However, you get to tell yourself and your friends and your kids a NEW story and create a new culture. A culture that promotes sexual health for women. A culture that raises daughters to feel safe and empowered in their own skin. Where girls get to know their own pleasure and feel in charge of their bodies.  And a culture that raises boys to respect and honor female pleasure and the life-giving power of the womb.  

As a superhero, I’m passionate about many topics, but female sexual health is a major concern for me!  I understand the stigma women and young girls must overcome to create positive relationships with their yonis. I implore you to commit to making pleasure a priority, loving your body, and educating others about the topic. Let’s bust some shame, take some names, and remember to vote #Yoni4President by signing my pledge here!