Please Yourself


When I was about sixteen I was sitting with some of my girl friends at school, eating lunch, talking about female masturbation, as you do. We read a statistic somewhere, probably on Buzzfeed, that 90% of girls masturbate but only 10% admit to doing it.

One girl piped up, “I would never do it! I think it’s dirty!” Then everyone else, me included, murmured in agreement: “Yeah, it’s gross!” “Who would do that?” Being young, naive and unsure of my sexuality at the time, I didn’t want to stand out from the crowd, even though we were all probably masturbating like crazy at that age!

Now, I talk about it openly and unashamedly with all my girl friends. Through these conversations I’ve realised a few things that need to change if we want to break the taboo of female masturbation…

  1. Sex Education

This is one of my biggest bugbears. Sex education is shit and didn’t prepare me for the world of sex at all. My sex education comprised of a teacher awkwardly demonstrating how to put a condom on a cucumber, followed by some weird scripted role-play about people at a festival talking about contraception.  Nothing about positive body image, nothing about different physical problems you might come across, nothing about pleasure. Just plenty of scaremongering and god forbid if you have sex, use a condom!!!! So we had to figure it all out for ourselves, which leads me to the next issue with where sex is going wrong…

  1. Porn

Pornography is just ‘some fucking’. It’s the porn industry that’s the problem
— Caitlin Moran

I recently watched the documentary, ‘Hot Girls Wanted’ (if you haven’t seen this, get on it now), which showed how much of porn is aimed at the male gaze. The woman’s orgasm often isn’t given a second thought, and what’s scarier still is that over 70% of porn includes violence towards women (but that deserves a whole separate rant). It’s fucking appalling to think that children have such easy access to porn nowadays and that this is where they’re getting their sex education. If young boys and girls are being led to believe that girls are there solely for the male pleasure, what hope do we have for maintaining female pleasure through sex? We desperately need to open up more discussions about sex and how great it is so this shit doesn’t carry on.

  1. The “Done Thing”

Society has discouraged us from discussing the subject of sex and female masturbation. Especially being British, especially being a British woman. We’re expected to be reserved, delicate flowers. I’ve grown up with these pressures and still blush when talking about sex, but it’s the 21st century. We all do it! Let’s stop denying it and just own it, girls!

Illustration by Hazel Mead

Illustration by Hazel Mead

Wank away!

P.S. I recommend The Bad Girl’s Bible. It gives great tips on everything sex and there is a page devoted to having better orgasms ;)


Article by Hazel Mead