**Disclaimer: The following contains euphemisms for human sex organs and self-inflicted human sex acts. Some of these may be considered to be offensive or profane. Please hit your back button immediately if you even remotely suspect you will be moved to revulsion or tears of righteous indignation over mention of astrology or the notion that people, and women especially, can benefit from being aware of and in harmony with their own sexuality via self-inflicted orgasms**
Still here? Good.
Some people want to be missionaries for God. I want to be a missionary for masturbation. I want to visit all the other cultures of the world and tell them that if god/Allah/Buddha (though I totally get that the whole ascetic Buddhist way is about denying oneself pleasures, even when they are available) etc didn’t want us to do it, he woulda’ made our arms shorter, and that–I can only speak for women here, having never myself possessed anything more tangible than an honorary penis–when a woman knows how to come, from practicing on herself, she’s in for a highly rewarding, adult sex life.
Joycelyn Elders would be my matriarch, godhead, and source of inspiration, and I would write books and give lectures and sell bumper stickers that say “Elders is my homegirl.” Her effort to popularize masturbation as a sexual outlet for kids who’re too young to handle the consequences of genital sex was pure genius.
That nobody got on board with it is evidence of the shortsightedness and absurd repression of our culture.
That happened at a really pivotal moment in my girlhood. I was about 12 or 13 (or 10 or 11?), and had that wild, pubescent sex drive, and masturbated rather constantly. Thank god someone in the government, on TV, affirmed that what I was doing was ok, because if the sham of a text book my health class used was to be believed, masturbation was “no replacement for the real thing.”
Without Elders’s straight-faced, authoritative, acknowledgement of what I’d previously suspected, that masturbation was a totally valid, healthy sex replacement, and I was in no way old enough, or physically or emotioanlly ready to be a mom, or to be hitting the streets looking for penis, anyhow; who knows where I’d be now…
As a side note, I wonder if it’d been the suggestion of a white man it would’ve been taken more seriously. Just sayin’.
My early efforts at being a masturbation missionary consisted of buying the book, Sex For One, for a few of mygirlfriends who claimed not to masturbate, or to have tried, unsuccessfully. I did this in high school and the early years of college. I believe I might’ve bought a copy for my sister, Ellen. The book, in case you’re wondering, affirms and celebrates masurbation, providing drawings of all different types of vaginas, some history, etc, etc.
But even in the back of that book, where some letters to the author were printed, most of the tales of enlightenment or joy in masturbation were from men. I remember one in particular where a man used a magazine and baby powder to “make it with all different types of women.”
I was in this production of “The Vagina Monologues” in college that, if memory serves, only discussed the vagina and its pleasure and its depth and complication in terms of intercourse with other people. My hope, of course, is that Eve Ensler has added some bits about masturbation.
Men are encouraged to spank their monkeys, polish their poles, jack off, stroke it, bust a nut, etc, etc, as if it is a cure for boredom, (and maybe it is?), a rite of passage, another inextricable privilege of having a penis!
I don’t have the time or inclination to do a media study, but I’d be willing to bet something magical and significant that there are about a million times more media images of men pleasuring themselves than there are of women, excluding porn, of course, but maybe/probably there, too.
And every type of man is allowed to masturbate and be open about doing so. Women who do and who are open about it are branded feminists or crass or loose with that tongue-clucking, condescending, world-weariness that our repressed brethren are wont to employ.
No other readily-accessible pieces have been penned by eggheads either, apparently, because a number of key word searches in Google Scholar leave me unenlightened, and with results as zany as representations of women in horror films, and some psychological piece about “fear of the clitoris” and Freud. So even in academia, where NOTHING is taboo and no topic unexplorable, there’s a serious shortage of attention paid to masturbation, it would seem, in either sex.
So then I was thinking about that insanely popular and quasi religious (I believe?) book called Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus that was a self-help, marriage/relationships book that became popular at about the same time as Elders was part of Clinton’s cabinet. Having never read it myself, but being aware that my parents both did and wholeheartedly subscribed to the notions therein, I’ve never been particularly interested in it. My parents and myself are on opposite ends of the ideology continuum.
But then I wondered if there’s any astrological reason the people who wrote that book used Mars and Venus in particular. I think there must’ve been, though the two planets aren’t credited with specifically gendered energies, the characteristics that get attributed to their influence are typically labeled “male” or “female” in our (flawed and inadequate) Western conception of the richness and social importance of gender representations.
Mars is “ego, aggression, sexual drive, individuality, survival, yang, passion, courage, sports, competition, war, stamina, independent in relationships, conflict, force, vigor, mechanical ability”
and Venus is “love, relatedness, values, social urges, art, beauty, creation, attraction, luck, personal magnetism, money, nurturing mother love, sensuality, bonding energy, harmony and merging”
These are according to http://www.myastrologybook.com
S’what? Men, being from Mars, are full of vigor and conflict, which they are encouraged to take out on their penises. Women who’re from Venus are full of social urges and bonding energy and so can’t be associated with something as base as self pleasure?
It seriously blows my mind that it’s not 230% obvious that celebrating masturbation as a legitimate sex act is a farmin’ good idea, and SHOULD be addressed in school, with sex ed.
Let’s take it to the people. Who’s with me?