Today I'm going to be blogging about something very different from my usual posts. I've been wanting to blog more about issues and topics that are important to me or that I feel need to be discussed more, and up until now my anxiety has always made this difficult. I've decided that I'm now ready to blog about these kinds of topics as I wanted Raiin Monkey to be a space where I can blog about the things I love and my everyday life, however I also wanted my blog to be a sex-positive one that reflects my feminist opinions and values. It has always bothered me that there are so many taboo topics of which discussion is discouraged in society, and one of the ways to end this stigma is to not be afraid to talk about them. I hope you all enjoy reading!
May is a month which marks several awareness days; it is National Bike Month, National Strawberry Month, Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month and so much more, but what many people don't know is that it is also National Masturbation Month. This is a time to encourage something which is a perfectly normal and healthy thing to do, to remind people that no matter how society makes us feel about it, the majority of people masturbate. Although the discussion of masturbation is taboo in regards to both men and women, I believe that there is a lot more stigma when it comes to women and masturbation.
Growing up, boys at school would openly discuss and joke about masturbation, even parents would laugh about discovering that their sons were doing it and it was something that was quite regularly shown on comedy movies aimed at teenagers and young adults. The only time I ever heard girls doing it being mentioned was at high school, when boys were laughing at terms such as 'flick the bean' like it was the funniest thing they'd ever heard! None of my female peers felt comfortable discussing masturbation and it was never discussed in sex education (although we all know that not much as discussed in sex ed)!
As I got older and began to talk more openly about sex with my friends, I found that although they were happy to chat about their sex lives, masturbation was still something that was never brought up. Even as adults, so many women are embarassed to chat about masturbation because it has been ingrained in us that it's inappropriate and as a consequence a lot of women feel ashamed even to the point that they are discouraged of trying masturbation. Studies have found that only 40-60% of women masturbate, versus 95% of men (source), however the results may be lower for women as they are not confident in admitting they do it.
Society teaches girls and women that exploring their bodies and embracing their sexuality is a negative thing. Due to this stigma, lots of adult women grow up without knowledge of what the female anatomy looks like and without understanding much about their own sexual response. I think that masturbation should be something that is mentioned in high school sex education classes and that the outer female anatomy should be on the sex ed/biology curriculum, not just the uterus and the ovaries. As the National Masturbation Month poster above states, there are lots of benefits to masturbation and it is a great way for people to get to know their own bodies. Self-love is something that should be promoted and conversed about more and it is definitely nothing to be ashamed about!
Masturbating has a positive effect on both our physical and psychological health in so many ways! It is a massive stress reliever, as it causes the release of chemicals in the brain called endorphins which make us feel happy and can reduce pain. For women, masturbation can help reduce period cramp pain because of the increase of blood flow into the pelvic region of the body and can also help reduce urinary tract infections. It helps to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and is said to relieve back pain. For men, it is believed that it helps to keep the prostate gland healthy and free from infection, and may even prevent prostate cancer. Overall, for both men and women, it helps maintain the function of the reproductive organs and is also an energy booster. Basically, masturbation is awesome!
The more people talk about masturbation, the less taboo it will become and more people will be encouraged to learn more about their bodies, their pleasure and their sexuality. Masturbation is natural and fun, can be done with your partner or on your own, and there's so many toys out there to help make it a more interesting experience.
Thankyou for reading!
I hope you all enjoyed today's post, go and give yourself some self-loving! :)