In my Gender & Sexualities class we watched the music video She Bop by Cyndi Lauper. I’d never watched the video for the song before so I didn’t put together that it was about masturbation. (Although after watching it, it was pretty obvious.) We talked a bit about how the song was put on the dirty list after people realized it was about masturbation, which helped lead to the current parental advisory stickers which I think(?) are still on CDs.
Yes, the song is about masturbation. But why is masturbation inherently dirty? One perspective was that it fucks with the heteronormative view of pleasure. Women getting themselves off without the help of men, what kind of magic wizardry is this? For a long time women weren’t even thought to have a real sexuality. Have you ever seen the movie “Hysteria” or read about Hysteria? Women were literally prescribed orgasms to cure a series of behaviors they were exhibiting. They would make appointments at the doctor to been masturbated by the physician and it wasn’t sexualized because how could something like a woman’s pleasure be sexual? The history of female sexuality is very interesting and very depressing, but (currently) pretty empowering.
Why? We’re still trying to figure out if the g-spot exists or what the hell a woman’s orgasm is good for, but we’ve also got tons of open communication about sex, women-specific sex toys, sex blogs, and shows about female sexuality, among other things. Women are learning that they can get themselves off all by themselves, with their hands, or with the aid of a toy. Perhaps even (shock/awe) with another female partner.
This brings me to my favorite form of masturbation which is conveniently a method that is both properly set up for beginner and advanced masturbators. Edging for Women.
What is edging? Edging is the process of playing with yourself until you heat a peak of arousal, and then stopping before you orgasm. Doing this over and over again can help build up a more powerful orgasm. If you have difficulty reaching an orgasm it can also take some of the pressure off of HAVING an orgasm, making it easier to have an orgasm. Still following?
Edging is great for beginners because it forces you to become in tune with your unique body. Something that everyone should do prior to having sex with a partner, I believe. When you masturbate you have to pay attention to how your body feels. Is this working for me? Is that? How about this? You have to know the sensations as you get closer to an orgasm. Your body temperature, how you might curl your feet or close your eyes tighter, if you start to sweat, if your heart rate rises. You’ll notice when you touch yourself it feels differently. You can feel it building. Knowing exactly when you’ll reach the point of no return is the point, and with practice you’ll get there.
It’s great for more advanced masturbators because you can play with this system indefinitely. You can push your body to the limits and back off again. When on the edge you can experiment with how anal or clitoral or vaginal play influences you and how you feel. Because you’ll be very aroused, the slightest touch of your nipples or dragging a finger along your abdomen might take on a whole new meaning. While it’s still about exploration, it’s also about self-love.
You’re in control of when you orgasm and that’s a pretty powerful feeling. And the more you do it, the more you’ll be in tune, and the more you’ll know what YOU need to get off. You can bring this knowledge back to a partner if you have one, or you can continue to expand on your own knowledge for your own benefit.
Masturbation is powerful and women shouldn’t have to depend on their partner to get them off.