By Josey Vogels
You rarely see movies in which a young girl is caught red-handed doing strange things with her stuffed animals or discovering the joys of water jets, while masturbation jokes in movies aimed at teen males abound. Maybe it's because boy's penises stand up and demand attention. When it comes to our own anatomy, girls are less likely to get our hands in there and see what it's all about. Many women of my generation didn't start masturbating until their late teens and early 20s. Heck, some gals I know who are in their 30s still don't feel right about masturbating.
"My family always taught me that masturbation was a sin," Tricia tells me. "If you did it you'd basically die and go to hell. I didn't even know what masturbating was until Sex Ed in grade seven. But even after that, it had been instilled into my brain that it was wrong and bad, so no matter what people tell me, I won't do it! I can't! I'd feel dirty."
Despite the negative publicity, plenty of women managed to discover the joys of self-pleasure at a young age. Some of us stumbled into it by accident. "I was in the pool and one of the water jets hit me just right," recounts Claire. "I think I masturbated that way from the time I was eight or nine. I was on the city swim team, so I had an excuse to be in the pool all the time."
Deanna had the "secret" passed down from her grandmother. Well, sort of. "I was reading my grandmother's Redbook magazine when I stumbled across the advice section," she says. "A woman had written in, asking how to achieve orgasm. The writer responded in a simple and scientific way (finger on clit, fingers in vagina), so I tried it myself. When I first came, laying in my bed in the dark, I wasn't sure if that was what an orgasm was. So I did it all over again, and I realized that whatever it was, it felt pretty good."
We girls can be pretty imaginative, too -- many women I talked to say they brought in props. Julie tells me she started masturbating with a candle. "I rubbed it against my clitoris and then penetrated myself with it," she remembers.
Stuffed animals also make popular early sex toys, it seems. Heléne had a stuffed unicorn she used to get cozy with. "I used its horn…well, you know where," Heléne says coyly. "I would use my fingers on my clit with the tail of my Wrinkles stuffed dog pressing against the opening of my vagina," recalls Alicia.
Of course, with so little information available, it isn't always easy to figure out how things work down there when it comes to getting ourselves off. "I didn't understand that the trick to masturbation was to focus on the clitoris," Jessica admits. "When I was young, I'd just try to shove as many fingers inside me as I could thinking that the larger the object(s) inside me were, the more pleasurable it was supposed to be."
Thankfully, not all of us get negative messages from our mothers. Twenty-year-old Alexa says her mother actually confessed to her that she hadn't had an orgasm until she was 45 and bought her first vibrator. "I didn't want to wait 25 more years before I had my first orgasm, so I went out and bought a vibrator," Alexa tells me.
This is promising. If we can finally admit that women might actually enjoy masturbating as much as men -- we'll have a whole new generation of girls who learn this self-love stuff early on. And movies will finally feature scenes of young girls being caught red-handed with Wrinkles.
Happy Masturbation Month!