Women generally aren’t comfortable talking about self-pleasure. Yes, I’m talking about masturbation, but it’s so much more than that. It involves being in control and exploring our own physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual and sexual needs. Many women don’t prioritise or give themselves permission to experience it.
Men have this naturally inbuilt and more importantly, self-pleasure is approved and encouraged by society. They participate and watch a range of sports and leisure activities, create private spaces for themselves like “man caves” and are given permission to sexually explore their own bodies and be sexual beings.
Despite women sharing this need most will need to teach themselves. Society has taken a strong position about women experiencing self-pleasure. Our mothers and the generations before them weren’t taught and many never experienced it. Their entire lives were based on the premise that they were born to serve and satisfy others.
Modern women need to learn about self-pleasure and pass this knowledge down to the next generation. We need to encourage them to fully explore themselves and open themselves up to life’s possibilities. Hopefully generations to come will be educated and empowered, encouraging self-pleasure to be approved by society, regardless of gender.
So, to start with, many women neglect self-pleasure by simply not allowing themselves alone or quiet time. This should be an essential part of each day. Concentrate on your breathing and heartbeat, allow thoughts to flow through your mind like clouds being swept away by the wind. Allowing yourself this time steadies, calms and rejuvenates the body, mind and spirit.
Women should also create a space as their our own private sanctuary. When we need alone time we need to give ourselves permission to go there and breathe in the peace and stillness. The experience should be similar to taking a nice, long, uninterrupted bath with no technology or other distractions.
Another element of self -pleasure is doing simple things for yourself. Women are instinctive nurturers and often this takes preference over caring for themselves. To achieve it, it can be as simple as taking time to read or going out into the garden with a cuppa and literally taking time to smell the roses.
Then there’s the element of physical self-pleasure. This includes touch and masturbation. We need to learn about how our bodies and brains work and offer ourselves permission to explore our sexual thoughts, fantasies, wants and desires. We should know what body parts react to what types of touch, what we like and what turns us on. Most importantly, women need to ignore society’s condemnation concerning their sexual and erotic self and lead a charge into a new and improved way of thinking.
This change of mindset is urgently required. Currently, many male partners feel responsible for their ladies sexual pleasure. In reality, they aren’t. Women should know how to bring themselves to orgasm, be fully in control of their sexuality and remove sexual pressure from their partners.
This shift will empower women and take sexual pressure off men to “perform”. Sex should be about experience, not performance. Women should be responsible for their own sexual gratification and self-pleasure will help them achieve this. This will level the equilibrium that women aren’t responsible for their sexual satisfaction and that men’s sexual experience be based on performance.
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Kim is a writer and SHESAID's resident psychologist. A self-proclaimed tomboy who understands more about relationships and men than she ever will about glitz and glamour. Follow Kim on Google+.