Female masturbation is still rather taboo in our society. Although there is a plethora of studies on male masturbation, the number of studies about female masturbation are scarce. There are some myths and facts about female masturbation worthy of discussion.
Age and religious beliefs and affiliation have been found to have a significant relationship between masturbation and women. However, the book Our Bodies, Ourselves, first published in 1971, talked about how masturbation is a convenient way to experiment with and get to know our bodies. Moreover, women who masturbate are more confident, more knowledgeable about their bodies, enjoy more fulfilling sex lives, have better marriages, and have better overall health, according to certified nurse midwife Carrie Levine.
Unfortunately, female masturbation has been demonized along history and many women feel shame and guilt, which prevents them from enjoying the self-gratification that comes with masturbation.
SOME MYTHS & TRUTHS
Myth: Males are more sexual and are in more need of a sexual outlet than women.
Truth: Females are sexual beings just like men. Although men are more straightforward than women in their sexuality, women place more value on emotions when it comes to sexual arousal. Emotional connection is a positive catalyst for the sexual desire of women which makes women’s sexuality and sexual drive more complex than those of men. Nonetheless, sexual desire in women is also shaped by the environment and their cultural context. Latinas may be at a higher risk of having negative or repressed notions about masturbation due to our strict cultural socialization and marianismo—the adherence to the virtues of the Virgin Mary, which are highly revered in our culture.
Myth: The perfect orgasm happens with a male partner.
Truth: Freud argued that clitoral orgasms are immature and that mature women reached orgasms through vaginal stimulation. But what did he know, never having experience a female orgasm? The truth is that women have been socialized to think that the sexual desires of men are more important than ours. Moreover, many women indicate that reaching an orgasm through self-stimulation is more fulfilling. The 8,000 nerve fibers of the clitoris are designed only for sex and its enjoyment.
Myth: Masturbation is unhealthy.
Truth: Masturbation is perfectly fine, acceptable, and healthy. Female masturbation has many health benefits:
- Natural Infection Fighter: Masturbation helps prevent cervical infections and relieves urinary tract infections (UTI): during masturbation, the cervix opens and acidity rises and also new fluid goes up, sending good bacteria to the cervix and old fluid comes out, flushing bad organisms out. During a UTI, masturbation relieves pain and also, the lubrication from masturbation brings in good organisms which may help mitigate the infection.
- Good for Your Heart: Masturbation improves cardiovascular health and lowers the risk of Type-2 diabetes.
- Sleep Aid: Masturbation helps with insomnia by releasing dopamine (the “feel good hormone”), followed by the release of oxytocin and endorphins, which have a calming effect that helps us fall asleep.
- Good Pelvic Exercise: Masturbation strengthens the pelvic floor. The spasms produced during an orgasm exercise the whole pelvic region, lifting the pelvic floor, which leads to better sex and improved urinary health. As the pelvic muscles get tighter, orgasms become stronger and more enjoyable (for both). Also, stronger pelvic muscles help women avoid involuntary urinary incontinence.
- Improves Your Mood: Dopamine and epinephrine, which rush through our bodies during sexual arousal, boost our moods, thus increasing self-satisfaction and overall quality of life.
- Stress Reliever: Masturbation gives us pleasurable “me time” and relieves emotional stress.
- More Love for Ourselves: Masturbation nurtures our emotional and physical needs and increases our self-awareness.
- Stronger Sexual Relationships: Masturbation can also help us to strengthen our relationship with our partners. Sharing masturbation, teaching our partners how to satisfy us, or asking them to assist us to reach an orgasm through masturbation if we are still not satisfied after coitus can help keep the communication lines open and maintain arousal.
Female masturbation is perfectly fine, normal, and it is your right. In spite of the negative notions that may have been imposed on you by our culture, masturbation is a safe and healthy way to enjoy our sexuality. Just like men, we are entitled to engage in sessions of self-sexual gratification at our demand. Meet three women who enjoy masturbating:
Sex and achieving orgasm is VERY important to me it is great to relieve stress and makes me feel fulfilled as a woman. I am multi-orgasmic, which means that my mini orgasms are great and usually in crescendo, getting me more prepared and eager for the right one, until the big “O” is achieved. After this, my muscles relax, and I fall sleep. —Liana S., Panama City, Panama
Reaching an orgasm is a reward to any woman. Being recently divorced and not really knowing how dating works these days, I am not really out there seeking any companion to be intimate with and enjoy sex, so I do masturbate and that is perfectly fine. It is a natural thing for a woman to do. I have no stigmas about it. It helps me relax as well. —Carmen R., Denton, TX
I take “sex-breaks” during the day. I take a few minutes from my time and masturbate almost daily. It helps me relax and recharge. It helps me concentrate better after I am done. There is nothing like masturbating. Sex with my partner is wonderful, as he is a very gifted lover, but masturbating feels completely different. It’s a feeling that I don’t have to share with anyone, and I get to feel all the sensations and pleasure 100%. I love it! —Tricia S., Washington D.C.
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