Love Yourself: What Sex Ed May Not Have Told You
The clitoris is the only body part that’s only purpose is for pleasure. It has been determined to have around 8,000 nerve endings, almost double what is found in a penis. Why are cisgender women so often discouraged from masturbating then?
For cisgender men, masturbation is seen as inevitable, as a right of passage during the teenage years. While that idea in itself can be problematic, it is highly perpetuated. For cisgender women, masturbation is seen as a deviant act, weird, and sometimes even dirty - and not in the sexy way.
I acknowledge that some people would not be comfortable masturbating for various religious or cultural reasons as well, and that is fair. What is not fair is when cisgender women are considered lesser for existing opposite to these conventions and being comfortable with masturbating.
I think one of the important reasons to consider masturbating is so you can find out what your body is like, and what sexual contact you enjoy. Then you can better articulate your wants to your sexual partners (if you choose to have sexual partners that is). Masturbation, even with toys, is not always a direct replication of sexual acts with a partner, but at least it can provide some insight. It can be a great option if you are in a long distance relationship or away from a partner, but still want to be intimate though they aren’t with you.
There are also many health benefits to masturbation. Helpful neurotransmitters are released upon orgasm including oxytocin, endorphins, and dopamine. Oxytocin decreases stress levels, endorphins reduce pain, and dopamine reinforces events as pleasurable.
The better you understand your own body, the more likely you are to notice if something has changed and is wrong. Many different health concerns with the vulva and related reproductive organs are marked by a change in vaginal fluid, but fluid also varies from person to person and during different times in the menstrual cycle. If someone doesn’t know what their normal fluid is like, it can be difficult to determine if there is a problem or not.
Plus, masturbation is just fun, and don’t we all deserve some fun in our lives?
Jess Keller is a staff writer for Concept: The Magazine. Head over to the BBQ that is the Concept: Staff page and meet the rest of the family.