Encourage Girls to Masturbate
The clitoris is the reason most women
are able to orgasm at all, yet sex-ed
programs bury its superpower in clinical
Maybe we’re embarrassed by the little
wishbone-shaped structure, whose only
function is to make women feel good.
The penis, on the other hand, also has
the more utilitarian responsibilities
of expelling urine and semen.
In the first sex talk I had from
a grown-up, I was told sex was special.
It sounded a little ominous, like a big
responsibility, kind of like First Communion.
Something to take seriously and not mess up.
It was years before anyone suggested to me
it should be fun — and “fun” was far from
the focus of ninth-grade sex ed.
We learned about STIs, unplanned pregnancy,
and the basics of consent, sure, but next
to nothing about how to masturbate or have sex.
I was one of the lucky few students to receive
education that extended beyond slut-shaming
and exhortations to abstinence.
But I was on my own when it came to getting
to know my clit and its 8,000 sensory nerve endings.
Even those who would like to see pleasure
addressed in sex ed tend to think of its
inclusion as icing on the cake, a nice bonus.
Our collective failure to discuss the pleasure
of sex is far more sinister than prudish.
Sex-ed curriculums that omit it aren’t just
incomplete. They’re dangerous. When we neglect
to teach young women and their partners that
sex should feel good, and should be fun, it
becomes something for men to request and women to submit to.