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Column: The power of female masturbation

by Hazen Prevention and Outreach Services
Tue, Oct 24th 2017 11:00 am
Photo provided by Hazen Health Center
92 percent of women masturbate in one way or another. While many stick to the tried and true tools of their own fingers, there are also plenty of different kinds of sex toys that can help women get their satisfaction. No matter a person's gender, masturbation, is totally normal and healthy.
Photo provided by Hazen Health Center 92 percent of women masturbate in one way or another. While many stick to the tried and true tools of their own fingers, there are also plenty of different kinds of sex toys that can help women get their satisfaction. No matter a person's gender, masturbation, is totally normal and healthy.

How often do you hear other women speaking honestly about masturbation—whether or not they do it, or how. We’ve all heard about men masturbating, but what about women? We see men masturbating in shows and movies all the time, but we rarely see that happening when it comes to women. Some shows are starting to include female masturbation, but usually those shows are geared toward women. So, why is the act of female masturbation so often concealed underneath the concept of silly euphemisms, like “flicking your bean”? 

This form of self-pleasure can also be represented as a form of self-care, yet modern society often illustrates this act as if it’s sinful or harmful to the body. 

Did you know that female masturbation has been proven to provide many health benefits, such as the improvement of one’s mood or the enhancement of the overall quality of both physical and mental health? For example, masturbation can release sexual tension, reduce stress, help manage sexual complications, relieve menstrual cramps and muscle tension, improve pelvic floor strength and help you to sleep better. Trust me, the list goes on. 

Additionally, masturbation can provide women with the opportunity to understand their body sexually without having to actually engage in sex with a partner. The release of endorphins that accompanies an orgasm can alleviate pain and make a person feel happier. Masturbation is a form of safe sex, and thereby grants you the freedom to have an orgasm without encountering the risk of getting pregnant and/or contracting an STD.

However, masturbation still requires proper personal hygiene, just like any other sexual act. The vagina and vulva are moist areas that are highly susceptible to different types of infections that can be aggravated by unclean hands, fingers and toys. It’s recommended that people wash their hands and toys prior to and after masturbating, as well as using water-based, un-flavored lubricants that are safe for sexual contact. You can also ensure proper hygiene during masturbation by avoiding the use of things that are not safe and are not designed to be in sexual contact with the human body. 

So what else can you gain from masturbation? Well, you can enter an undiscovered realm that enables you to become familiar with the areas of your body that you like to have touched (also known as erogenous zones). You have the control, so that means you can figure out how much pressure feels good, or the speed you like it. You can even introduce these new discoveries to future partners and achieve an orgasm much easier. 

Since anyone can benefit from the gift of sexual satisfaction, why is male sexuality normalized and not stigmatized? Let’s think about it. Women are much more susceptible to being shamed and humiliated if they express any enjoyment of sexual acts. So ladies, treat yourself by pleasuring yourself. You deserve it. 

Once you’ve reached a stage of comfort with masturbating, feel free to engage in it as often as you like. It’s nearly impossible to masturbate too excessively, unless it’s interfering with your ability to go to work, attend classes, fulfill personal responsibilities or sustain a social life. If you realize that you can’t function in your regular daily activities because of excessive masturbation, then it’s recommended that you schedule a consultation with a therapist. So whether you think masturbation is va-jubilation, procrasturbation or ecstasizing, you are ultimately just touching yourself. You’re enjoying sensual and sexual pleasures that your body has to offer.

Interested in hosting a program on self-love and masturbation? For more information on self-pleasure, masturbation and healthy sexuality programming, please reach out to the Center for Select Respect, within the department of Prevention and Outreach Services. 

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