The Art of Self-Pleasure
I remember how exploring my sexuality at a young
age has led to my current relationship with sex
and my knowledge of masturbation.
Gustav Klimt – Masturbation
One day when I was around 7 years old, I used my
fingers to spread apart the skin between my legs
and feeling the softness of my vulva.
As my finger pushed harder and quicker,
each touch magnified an intense yet
comforting sensation. My breath deepened
and relaxation washed over me.
Always a fan of pleasuring myself for the sake
of the greater good — and I’m between relationships,
so why the hell not make myself happy?
I spent a week masturbating to better inform you on
what it’s like and for the greater good of science[!]
After a week of letting my fingers call the shots,
I realised that the overall effects were minimal
and were more noticeable after a morning
masturbation session than an evening one.
After getting a little action in the morning,
I felt a bit more focused and determined
throughout the day, but only to the point of
getting one or two more tasks completed.
Another surprising side effect? I found myself
making better choices for my body. I chose workout
classes over wine glasses and I ate more moderately.
Getting off in the morning probably just made me
feel sexier, and I am sure coupling that feeling
with my recent weight loss just subconsciously helped.
It’s an activity which makes you feel great, costs no money,
and doesn’t damage your health. What’s not to love?
Yet it’s very easy to fall into a wanking rut,
where you do the same old routine, bring
yourself to a nice if unexciting orgasm and then
get on with whatever you were doing before.
We want better than that for you. We want you
to have an earth shattering climax.
Hurrah us, for we are frisky and free in the bedroom. Or so it seems at first blush. We’re increasingly relaxed and risqué between the sheets.
We play with toys and dress-ups and spice up our intimacy in ways that would give joy to the late Dr Alex Comfort, author of The Joy of Sex, the landmark 1972 illustrated sex manual that’s modelled on a recipe book.
Women are claiming to have had it off with more people than they did a decade ago. A sign, researchers say, that the old sexual double standard is crumbling.
One of the study’s investigators said the results suggest we’re “shifting towards a more feminist model of sexuality. Women’s needs are being met more readily or they’re more assertive about meeting their own needs.”
Much as I wanted to applaud this apparent progress, I sensed in the statistics a more complicated, less rosy, narrative.
Sure, more women are getting their rocks off without feeling the sting of shame or moral judgment. Yet a quarter of them didn’t orgasm the last time they had sex.
Don’t Forget Your Vibrator
When you think iconic vibrators,
you have to think of the Magic Wand.
Often colloquially referred to as “The Hitachi,”
the toy has a storied history going back to the
late ’60s and is known to be symbolic of the
sex-positive feminist movement of the ’70s.
While I only knew of the Hitachi as an ugly hunk
of plastic often found in friends’ moms’ bathroom
drawers, I was shocked to discover that the Hitachi
actually had a pretty badass feminist backstory
Initially marketed as a general body massager for
sore muscles, the Magic Wand quickly gained a cult
following in the early ’70s for the off-label use
as one of the best vibrators for clitoral stimulation.
While the popularity as a vibrator eventually caused
Japanese electronics giant Hitachi to take their name
off one of their most recognizable products, the success
of the Magic Wand would be impossible without its e
arly roots in the appliance industry.
Its discreet appearance as a household item is perhaps
the reason for much of its early success among
And the fact that it wasn’t overly phallic freed it
from perpetuating the belief that women needed a
dick inside them to feel pleasure.
Not only was it easier for women to buy (What if they
really just wanted to soothe their sore necks?)
but the type of orgasm the toy provided was all
about a woman’s pleasure and not the kind of
penetrative sex that is so masculinist.