Em-URGE-ing Voices

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The Revolutionary Act Left Out of Most Sex-Ed Programs

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December 4, 2013

I was perusing the internet as I’m wont to do and I discovered an article that made me scream. I wasn’t sure if the scream was in excitement or terror. The article? It was about a university in North Carolina, Elon, which is going to have a class on masturbation. A class that students can take to learn about masturbation.

Although it hasn’t been confirmed yet if this class at Elon will actually happen, I think it has the potential to be revolutionary. Finally, a sex-ed class that will focus on anatomy and pleasure, not how to prevent pregnancy. I’m not the only one who got shoddy sex-ed in high school. The fact that it was almost always penis centered (how to put on a condom!), always about preventing pregnancy (because everyone is straight!) and nothing at all about bodies and masturbation.  

Most people if they’re privileged enough, have to wait till college to learn about sexuality and sex. And even then, sex ed in college is not all that great. When it’s LGBT inclusive, it tends to solely focus on MSM (men who have sex with men). How many times have you heard a sex ed instructor tell you that lesbians needn’t worry about HIV because their risk for contracting it is very low? Or when the instructor assumes everyone is cisgendered and practices only penetrative sex. Hearing about masturbation in a sex ed class happens as often as snow in March. It’s ironic considering that masturbation (solo masturbation at least)  is a great way to get sexual pleasure without the risk of STIs and unintended pregnancy. I think masturbation gets overlooked because people don’t think of it as a valid form of sexual expression. It doesn’t have to be either abstinence or sex with someone else.

We, as a country, are terrible at discussing sexuality and bodies, various bodies not just the thin-cisgender-able bodied-ones. We are so terrible at it that we  investigate teachers for saying the word vagina in a biology class. But now we just might be a little less terrible if this class on masturbation is indeed for real and will be inclusive. But for those of us who can’t be at Elon university or who wouldn’t feel comfortable being in a class like that, I have 5 easyish tips for you on how to masturbate. You’re welcome.

Step one: Before you do anything at all, I would like you to please strip naked and look at yourself. Stand in front of a mirror if you want and just look at your body. Admire your self. Look at the body you live in and realize how unique you are, you are one of a kind, not even your identical twin has the same body as you. When do you ever get a chance to stand still and admire your body? Take the time and do it. This is not the time to point out “flaws”, no, this is the time to marvel at the fact that you have this body that is yours and yours alone, to do with as you please.

Step two: Gather all your stuff you need to masturbate. You know what they are, sex toys, lube, music etc. Speaking of music, I put together some music to get you in the mood. Check it out, add to it, compile your own if it’s not to your taste.

Step three: Get comfortable. Whether it’s your first time or your millionth, it helps to relax. But don’t get too worried, sometimes relaxation will come once you start exploring your body. Try not to think about your worries, bills, responsibilities, whatever. Just take this time to live in the moment. Pay attention to your breathing. Just be. Music often helps with the relaxation. Getting comfortable/relaxing is important. Not all of us have the luxury of laying around the house jacking off until we get carpal tunnel. You are a busy person, with too much to do and not enough time. But just this once, lay down your worries, sit, or stand or whatever position you favor and just relax. Think about what you are about to do. Think about how delicious that first orgasm will be. How your skin might feel cold at first when you first touch it. How your nipples might get hard. The goosebumps. Think about exploring your body and maybe discovering a new erogenous zone. How exciting is it to touch your body on your own terms? Yes, relax, thats it.

Step four: Now touch yourself.  I hope you kept the lube close by. Doesn’t matter where you start. This is about you and what feels good for you.

Step five: This is where the sex toys (if you have any) and other materials come into play. Use them! Go to town on your sexy self.

I realize that masturbation is a touchy subject (pun intended).  In a perfect world, everyone who wanted to masturbate would be free to do so and there would be no shame/stigma attached to it. There are a lot of reasons why people don’t do it : medical reasons, religious teaching, cultural norms, lack of desire. For me, it used to be both religion and cultural norms. There’s absolutely nothing that gets our puritanical panties in a bunch and our pearls tightly clutched in our fists quite like masturbation. And if it’s young women doing the masturbating, the panties get even more bunchier. Male masturbation is not nearly as taboo a topic as female masturbation. We have sexism to thank for that. (It’s why movies like “Turn Me On,  Damnit!” don’t get made in Hollywood.) The first time I masturbated, it was fun and liberating and even though I didn’t have an orgasm, I still enjoyed it. Because I was able to give myself sexual pleasure without “The Mighty Wang of Power” that is the heterosexual male penis. For a young teenage girl, I found that to be very empowering. Masturbation is wonderful and sexy and a valid form of sexual expression. Once you do it enough, you might not need this guide, you may decide to skip some steps or add your own. The important thing is to do what feels right for your body. Get wanking and remember, you have a right to pleasure!

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