Do you masturbate? For many women this can be a deeply taboo subject.
I remember the first time my mother and I had a conversation about masturbation, it was during a women’s retreat weekend. The broader topic for the morning had been about the images that women have about themselves.
Somehow the discussion had drifted into sex images and how we view ourselves as sexual beings.
My mother and I have had conversations about sex since I started my period, so I was very comfortable speaking about sex with her. As I grew into adulthood we talked about partners, positions, emotions and feelings about sex and body image.
What was really striking to me during this workshop was realizing that this was the first time we had talked about masturbation.
During that discussion with my mother and the other women present, I began to understand that for some women, even talking about masturbation is not comfortable, let alone practicing it.
Masturbation doesn’t have to be taboo. Sex is a normal part of life. Enjoying sex should be a normal part of life as well.
As women, it is important for us to know how to please ourselves so we can share that information with our partners. Or we can please ourselves if we are not in a sexual relationship.
According to WebMD.com, “More than half of American women 18-49 masturbate at least once every 3 months, according to a study from The Kinsey Institute, and that’s true for single women and those who are coupled up.”
Masturbation helps the mind and the body. As a woman masturbates, circulation is increased not only to her pelvis and female organs, but to her entire body. Masturbation also releases endorphins, creating pleasurable and stress-relieving feelings.
As a woman moves into her forties and fifties, masturbation can ease the vaginal symptoms that occur during perimenopause and menopause.
According to Judi Chervenak, MD, an obstetrician/gynecologist at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, “the vagina can actually narrow, which can make intercourse and vaginal exams more painful.”
Masturbating, especially when a water-based lubricant is used, can help reduce that narrowing.
It can increase blood flow, decrease some difficulties involving tissue and moisture. Ultimately it can enhance sexual desire. WebMD.com reported.
Masturbation can improve a gal’s sex life. She can take her time and explore her body to learn what she likes and doesn’t like, without pressure. She can take all the time she wants, without feeling rushed or without focusing on her partner’s needs.
She can also experiment with different positions that increase her pleasure. Articles like “5 Moves That Are Great for Masturbation” in Womenshealthmag.com can give great suggestions for new ways to self-pleasure.
As women, it is important that we know ourselves mentally, emotionally and physically. Sexual awareness and masturbation are part of that journey to self-knowledge. It is fine to experiment with yourself, as well as with a partner. It is a healthy part of life.
Dr. Daemon Jones