Masturbation is great. So why aren’t women and girls talking about it? Why doesn’t this have a by-line?

Growing up, the guys around at school were often talking about masturbation- lots of jokes were thrown around and it was made quite clear that guys were weird if they didn’t.

Whilst not a daily occurrence, its far from surprising when male masturbation gets brought up in TV shows. So why not for women? When I discovered masturbation around 13/14 it was this big secret, something I could never admit I do.

It was never mentioned in my friendship group, nor by teachers in sex-ed (who at my school did discuss it with the boys), nor in any TV or films. No one was telling me it was ok, healthy, good for my mental health; so I kept quiet. Even now in my group of adult female friends it’s never discussed or mentioned. But the two conversations I have ever had about female self-pleasure have shown me both that others have had similar experiences to me, and that these conversations can be positive, lovely and empowering.

I believe that the shame and the silence comes down to not wanting women to be in control of, independent in, and empowered by, their own sexuality (without men). Sex is not just for the male gaze. So I encourage you to go out there and talk about it, you might be pleasantly surprised by what you learn.