Playing with my Vulva
When it comes to talking about sex and anything that falls into that spectrum, I never subscribed to silence. Because I never have the bird and the bee's conversation with my folks (hello, I’m Asian), I've learned a lot from reading, experience, and friends.
Porn was never a reference because that shit was obviously unreal.
There have been a couple of situations that have inspired me to write about this. But what prompted me was a warm Saturday, while watching one of my favorite women-leading series Grace & Frankie. In this episode, the two conducted a focus group for their new product and the reaction is very similar to the conversations I've had with my friends who felt uncomfortable with the subject.
It prompt me to blast the dialogue on social media: women and our relationship with masturbation.
I wanted to be thoughtful when processing my opinions about this social issue. My intention is not to only share my experience and personal relationship with this, but I asked my close friends to chime in this dialogue - friends who come from different walks of life.
My background definitely has impacted my thoughts on how I view sex. But as I continue to grow into my own person, I encourage all women to touch themselves.
I am a firm believer in discovery. What feels good for you, what makes you excited, and makes your blood rush.
This way, when it comes to pleasures with your partner, you can direct the person on how to please you because you already know what gets you off and going. As I go through the feedback, majority of the responses were based on their upbringing and culture:
I also feel really lucky that my parents taught me to be my own person and figure things out on my own. To appreciate my body: explore and get to know who I am and what I am - I love that I have open-minded parents. - Little Ball of Energy
I discovered what sex was when I was for and what masturbation was at ten. So sex and masturbation never felt like a taboo topic, I've always felt mature with it and accepted it for what it is. - The Perpetual Single Gal
Asian culture, at least for me, we did not talk about sex. Mom just said, "Keep your legs closed" or "You don't share that with anybody" meaning it should be for your significant other/marital partner type of thing. Or dad said, "Just focus on school" and nothing more when it came to sex or boys for that matter. They never mentioned it directly in a talk about sex or had a formal sit down, it was always casually or randomly - especially during a Rated PG13/R movie and there were sexual scenes or on TV or whatever. So masturbation or self pleasure was not part of that conversation. I mean there really wasn't a conversation. - Miss No Casual Sex
In all, this entire story has truly affirmed that a lot of our behaviors and thoughts surrounding a certain matter has to do with our childhood. While some of us deviate from our old perceptions as we age, the original thoughts came from our parents / culture.
I know I am not doing this story much justice, but maybe because there is no answer. Leaving it open-ended, where it just makes you think and observe this intimate practice closely? Or even better, sparking women to have these conversations with our girlfriends and continue to learn - unafraid and shamelessly.
My closing thought is this though: why is it so strange for a heterosexual woman to give herself pleasure when she craves those same pleasures from a man? In a weird way, masturbation is kind an act of feminism because we choose to give ourselves pleasure versus waiting for a gentleman to do so.
Written by Chary