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Free Female Masturbation From Shame!
June 7, 2013 2:50 PM   Subscribe

HappyPlayTime seeks to rebrand the entire concept of female masturbation through education and light-hearted games (...) At the heart of all this is HPT’s mascot: the pink, fleshy, and gleeful personification of a vagina.
posted by Omnomnom (160 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
I think we'd have better, uh, compliance on this issue if we stopped calling it all "vagina." Vaginas just aren't nearly as interesting what with their relative lack of nerve endings. Remember: vulva, it's what girls have down below.
posted by asperity at 3:08 PM on June 7, 2013 [21 favorites]


I've never had the idea that female masturbation is considered terribly shameful. I've seen women freely discussing masturbation with each other, like it was no big deal. Certainly when it comes up in pop culture, it's almost always presented as a sexy thing. (I Touch Myself, pornography, etc.) Male masturbation, by contrast, is almost always depicted as comedic, sad or just plain gross. (American Pie, There's Something About Mary, etc.)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:14 PM on June 7, 2013 [25 favorites]


"46.6% of women masterbate less than once a month every year. Gals, you can do better!"

Because ladies, whatever or sexual interests, habits, or desires happen to be; clearly no conversation about them would be complete without addressing how woefully insufficient they currently are.
posted by Blasdelb at 3:15 PM on June 7, 2013 [77 favorites]


I'm fine with this post but is there some reason not to label it NSFW and drop the v word below the fold?
posted by bearwife at 3:15 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


bearwife: see post title.
posted by 7segment at 3:16 PM on June 7, 2013 [37 favorites]


What blasedelb said.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:16 PM on June 7, 2013


Also, isn't it kind of funny that underneath the big stat about how women should masturbate more is a note that most women who masturbate less are in long term relationships?
posted by Going To Maine at 3:18 PM on June 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


"drop the v word below the fold"

(Snicker.)

(I am sorry.)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:20 PM on June 7, 2013 [34 favorites]


Why don't we just free all masturbation from shame? I mean, the shame burden is admittedly not distributed equally across sexes, but why not aim high?

The anthropomorphized vagina can have a friend with pubic eyebrows, a long nose, and some wrinkly but curvaceous jowls.
posted by jeisme at 3:22 PM on June 7, 2013 [7 favorites]


Can the Gamification of Female Masturbation Remove Its Social Stigma?

At last it has been found: the ultimate link-bait headline.
posted by ook at 3:24 PM on June 7, 2013 [28 favorites]


Good thoughts on this by Anna Anthropy. http://www.auntiepixelante.com/?p=2066
posted by picklenickle at 3:26 PM on June 7, 2013 [7 favorites]


I'm having a hard time buying the premise that women masturbate less because of shame. They can get sex easier than men (on average) and may have lower sex drives (again on average). Both of which are perfectly fine and dont require the intervention of a cartoon vagina.
posted by ishrinkmajeans at 3:26 PM on June 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I agree that the whole premise of this is somewhat askew. You can buy vibrators at the shopping mall. You can even buy them at the supermarket. Hardly seems like women wanking is the most shameful thing in the world.
posted by Jehan at 3:27 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


They can get sex easier than men (on average) and may have lower sex drives (again on average).

These are canards.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:28 PM on June 7, 2013 [36 favorites]


They can get sex easier than men (on average) and may have lower sex drives (again on average).

These are canards.


Yes, exactly. Ducks get sex easier than men and have lower sex drives.
posted by neroli at 3:31 PM on June 7, 2013 [46 favorites]


This project has my vote!
posted by cjorgensen at 3:35 PM on June 7, 2013


They can get sex easier than men (on average) and may have lower sex drives (again on average)

Yeah, believing both of these things made me feel like I shouldn't have to masturbate because it should be easy to get laid and like there was something wrong with me for being super good-to-go a lot of the time. These ideas definitely contributed to a sense of dirtiness for being so interested in sex when I was younger.

Also, for people saying there's no sense of shame, I was pretty into sex for a long time and yet I was so ashamed of my own desires and my body that I was afraid to buy a vibrator until several years after I got married and for a long time I'd only use it in the dark when my husband was away. I've gotten over that but I'm not someone who's uncomfortable with sex in general, I just felt pretty ashamed about this particular thing. It's kind of related to how much stuff in Cosmo and similar magazines focuses on Tricks to Drive Him Wild and stuff; for much of my life I was a lot more comfortable with sexual activities and generally being a sexual person if it was in the service of someone else's desire.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 3:36 PM on June 7, 2013 [44 favorites]


asperity: "I think we'd have better, uh, compliance on this issue if we stopped calling it all "vagina." Vaginas just aren't nearly as interesting what with their relative lack of nerve endings. Remember: vulva, it's what girls have down below."

Yeah - I caught myself today saying "Vagina" when I meant "Vulva" and I couldn't even remember the proper term! :( I think I ended up saying Labia, but I knew that wasn't quite right. Le sigh.
posted by symbioid at 3:37 PM on June 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


So is there any way we can use female masturbation to reduce the shame of gamification? Because in my circles, anyone still using the word "gamification" is (rightly) subject to some pretty heavy social stigma.
posted by straw at 3:38 PM on June 7, 2013 [31 favorites]


Yeah - I caught myself today saying "Vagina" when I meant "Vulva" and I couldn't even remember the proper term!

Oh yeah I corrected someone on this today! She was like "I have an ingrown hair in my vagina and it hurts" and I got all pedantry police and was like "IN your vagina? Huh" and she was like "well no obviously not really" and I was like, oh, okay, labia, I get it." I actually do think it's important not just to call all female genitals "vagina".
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 3:40 PM on June 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


Ducks get sex easier than men and have lower sex drives.

Ducks have exploding penises and corkscrew vaginas. Let's not call it 'easier' just yet.
posted by delfin at 3:40 PM on June 7, 2013


Someone thought that using an encouraging animated mascot was a way to make something less embarrassing? Did these people even see an educational video or after school special as kids?
posted by cosmic.osmo at 3:45 PM on June 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm all for reducing shame in sexuality. Not sure that rebranding, gamification, and mascots are the way I'd go about that, personally, but whatever works, I guess.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:47 PM on June 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Caution: HappyPlayTime may suddenly accelerate to dangerous speeds.

HappyPlayTime contains a liquid core, which, if exposed due to rupture, should not be touched, inhaled, or looked at.

If HappyPlayTime begins to smoke, get away immediately. Seek shelter and cover head.

Do not taunt HappyPlayTime
posted by Smedleyman at 3:47 PM on June 7, 2013 [21 favorites]


Overall it's an admirable goal, but can we please just leave a little bit of shame/taboo mixed into sex? Not for moral reasons, it's just hotter that way.
posted by dephlogisticated at 3:49 PM on June 7, 2013 [14 favorites]


That's why when I was younger I would only date Catholics.
posted by cjorgensen at 3:51 PM on June 7, 2013


That's why when I was younger I would only date Nuns.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:52 PM on June 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


drop the v word below the fold

Oh good lord it's just a freaking body part.
posted by donnagirl at 3:53 PM on June 7, 2013 [26 favorites]


It's pretty well established that men have higher sex drives but I couldn't find very much supporting evidence that women have an easier time getting sex but in my experience this is at least somewhat true because men usually have the burden of initiation and courtship. Look up promiscuity and sociosexuality on wikipedia for reference.

But again this is the average. If your results vary masturbate as much as you want. I was just pointing out that their data of lower women masturbating didnt prove a problem.
posted by ishrinkmajeans at 3:53 PM on June 7, 2013


Anyone else think that mascot looks remarkably like a penis with a hole in the frenulum?

I mean, I hate to go there, but at first glance at the page, I presumed they had two mascots, one for each gender, and actually looked around a bit for the female version.
posted by pla at 3:53 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nope, I definitely saw lady parts. Happy, bouncy lady parts.
posted by custardfairy at 3:54 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ducks get sex easier than men

Easier? Really? You ever fight your way through a crowd of drakes without losing your erection? I THINK NOT.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:56 PM on June 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


Masturbation as it relates to women is an even bigger taboo to discuss

Many women are perfectly comfortable owning and discussing sex toys. Wikipedia says a sex toy party "is a usually female-only gathering where participants learn about and buy sex toys". And yet male sex toys are gross and for pervert losers! And funny enough this company is planning a vibrator add-on. What would their socially acceptable male sex toy addon be?

Why don't we try to imbue everyone with a healthy, happy, informed and broad perspective on sexuality? Is female masturbation really one of the main aspects of sexual dysfunction in our society?
posted by crayz at 3:57 PM on June 7, 2013 [9 favorites]


My original comment made it sound like I thought a project like this was pointless, and that's not really the case. If it does girls/women any good, I'm all for it.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:57 PM on June 7, 2013


Given the vague description of the game, will I have to make further assumptions about people on the bus frantically wiggling their finger on their phone?
posted by njohnson23 at 3:58 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why don't we try to imbue everyone with a healthy, happy, informed and broad perspective on sexuality? Is female masturbation really one of the main aspects of sexual dysfunction in our society?

Nope, it's just the one this post is about.
posted by donnagirl at 4:02 PM on June 7, 2013 [28 favorites]


You know, to really kick this masturbation thing into overdrive we not only need to gamify it, we need to link it to social media. You know, "I just jilled off; click here to Like!". Or maybe "retweet if you've got a second set of batteries for the rabbit". Cuz nothing promotes masturbation like social sharing; let's go viral! (Note; Google+ branding is a work in progress; "+1" is at odds with our core message of the solitary vice.)
posted by Nelson at 4:07 PM on June 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


It's pretty well established that men have higher sex drives

No, it's a piece of received "wisdom" based in nothing much besides social prejudice.
posted by jokeefe at 4:15 PM on June 7, 2013 [32 favorites]


People who brand masturbation as shameful are stunted weirdos. I'm proudly masturbating right now, and mobile technology means I can travel to work and enjoy metafilter.
posted by Mario Speedwagon at 4:16 PM on June 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


[Folks, if you have to talk about the thread's presentation or question why it's worth talking about, you know where to go. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 4:17 PM on June 7, 2013


It's pretty well established that men have higher sex drives but I couldn't find very much supporting evidence that women have an easier time getting sex but in my experience this is at least somewhat true because men usually have the burden of initiation and courtship. Look up promiscuity and sociosexuality on wikipedia for reference.

New recommendation is stop deliberately trying to derail the thread.
posted by shakespeherian at 4:22 PM on June 7, 2013 [15 favorites]


Canadians of a certain age can now sing along with We're Talking Vulva (excerpt*).

*May contain vulva.
posted by maudlin at 4:28 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


"It's pretty well established that men have higher sex drives but I couldn't find very much supporting evidence that women have an easier time getting sex but in my experience this is at least somewhat true because men usually have the burden of initiation and courtship. Look up promiscuity and sociosexuality on wikipedia for reference.

But again this is the average. If your results vary masturbate as much as you want. I was just pointing out that their data of lower women masturbating didnt prove a problem.
"

We have plenty of people here who believe dumb myths about sex without you rehashing something you heard in a bathroom/on wikipedia once.
posted by klangklangston at 4:33 PM on June 7, 2013 [24 favorites]


let's go viral!

Perhaps, in this context, we could come up with a different idiom? Masturbation is, after all, a way to avoid "going viral."
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:38 PM on June 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


Virist.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:44 PM on June 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


Look up promiscuity and sociosexuality on wikipedia for reference.

How about you look up "dopey made up bullshit perpetuated by the patriarchy" anywhere on the internets, bro.
posted by elizardbits at 4:51 PM on June 7, 2013 [70 favorites]


Maybe my favorite thing right now is that both commenters who wanted to explain something about female sexuality to us needed to resort to wikipedia to do so.
posted by donnagirl at 4:56 PM on June 7, 2013 [17 favorites]


Wikipedia, 91% edited by men.
posted by Jehan at 5:03 PM on June 7, 2013 [12 favorites]


Real related posts, presented without comment:

Related Posts
Being broken pays October 1, 2012
Poking at Cow Clicker May 26, 2011
What if you could live your life over again? December 31, 2010
The Post That Cannot Possibly Go Wrong December 22, 2010
25 cents, same as in town March 14, 2010
posted by ersatzkat at 5:13 PM on June 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


Vulvayvay.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:15 PM on June 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's pretty well established that men have higher sex drives

And hotly debated, for a number of reasons, from acculturation to not being good at measuring things. This is also the branch of science that had trouble capturing bi-men in a laboratory setting.
posted by Phalene at 5:21 PM on June 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


I'm hunky dory with masturbation, but clicking the link in the OP and being presented with "5 points" for "checking in" made me profoundly uncomfortable.
posted by trunk muffins at 5:22 PM on June 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


That is some weird monetization. Reminds me of Gaia.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:30 PM on June 7, 2013


She's got the whole world in her hands.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:31 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


The notion that female masturbation needs to be freed from shame is obviously pretty silly to anyone under 50---buying a vibrator is as obligatory for college frosh as attending a first kegger. But I do congratulate the designer of this app/VC-hunting-device for coming up with a frame that will make people feel *righteous* about whacking off/giving her money.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 5:41 PM on June 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


It's apparently still illegal to sell sex toys in Alabama. It used to be illegal in other states, but those laws have been struck down.

The teaching of science-based sex education in public schools is still a subject of great contention for many people. Lots of kids grow up not knowing the proper names or functions of their own body parts.

Plenty of shame around sex in this country, anecdata about sex toy parties and friends who talk about it notwithstanding. Acting like a survey that offers some evidence counter to one person's experience couldn't *possibly* be true because anecdata while handwaving other anecdata (that you admit you can't even find actual evidence for) seems illogical and foolish.
posted by rtha at 5:43 PM on June 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


The bizarre thing is that reviewing the WP articles referenced shows that the relative sex drive question is not well settled, not that it is "well established". So, yeah...

I'm kind of uncomfortable trashing WP in this context, because well, neither of the two articles linked seem to support the OC's point or be written directly by the minions of the patriarch.

Anyway, I like the little heart for a mouth on the character, but I wonder whether gamifying your private sex habits will actually have the reverse affect by introducing extrinsic motivation for the activity.
posted by smidgen at 5:44 PM on June 7, 2013


Free Female Masturbation From Shame!

I read that as "Free! Female Masturbation From Shame" and thought it was kind of a weird and possibly fucked up post for MetaFilter. Damn you, experimental 60’s teaching methods.
posted by bongo_x at 6:14 PM on June 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


[We all know that the libido thing is a complete derail, right? If not: it's a complete derail. Flag and move on. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 6:31 PM on June 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


Just being honest here: I don't understand the need for this. If it helps someone, then great—but is there really a stigma around female masturbation (any more so than there is around masturbation in general)? The Victorian era ended over a century ago.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 6:43 PM on June 7, 2013


The need is "If it helps someone, great." Isn't that enough?
posted by donnagirl at 6:46 PM on June 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think the stigma is a lot less widespread, and probably disproportionately so among white, middle-class non-religious liberals (which make up a good chunk of the Mefi demographic) but sex education is a joke in much of the country, and the Mefi demographic is very far from being the majority of the English-speaking world.
posted by restless_nomad at 6:47 PM on June 7, 2013 [11 favorites]


This educational tool is useless! Me and my educated social set already know this stuff! Everyone must know it!

Y'all sound like masturbation hipsters.

also I got a friend who wears Debbie Harry's merkin
posted by klangklangston at 6:47 PM on June 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yeah, or you could say that same thing the smart way at the same time, I guess.
posted by klangklangston at 6:47 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, that was a weird answer.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 7:02 PM on June 7, 2013


I wish the OP featured the actual link to the site, because that gamification website doesn't really add much context to the content of the site itself and is kind of a gross clickbait-looking place
posted by winna at 7:07 PM on June 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I mentioned on Facebook the other day that my 12-year-old had begun to show signs of puberty, including moodiness and these rages where he's really angry but doesn't even know what he's angry at. A gay male friend of mine commented that masturbation can be a great outlet for that emotional stress, and this started a conversation about masturbation: when began; what said to children; etc. I commented that my son has a Very Good Book about puberty that includes a section on how pleasant and perfectly natural masturbation is, and my gay friend said, "You should go even beyond that, give him a gift basket with some decent lube and soft washcloths for cleanup."

This sparked quite a conversation, including some of my friends who are lesbians raising sons who said, "Until you said that, I never realized such things would be necessary, but it's obvious now that you mention it."

But it also got me thinking about how we progressive liberal types tend to tell kids that masturbation is OK but private, but we assume they'll basically figure it out on their own. But if you think of masturbation as a normal part of exploring and developing sexuality, maybe it is a good idea to go beyond that.

Still thinking about the gift basket. Also, going to pull The Book to the top of the stack on his shelf and put a tape flag on the masturbation pages.
posted by not that girl at 7:07 PM on June 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


Every twelve year old boy's dream: a masturbation gift basket from mom!
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 7:13 PM on June 7, 2013 [56 favorites]


Yeah, Rocket Surgeon, that's my reaction, too. Even in our sex-positive, body-positive family the idea of having that conversation with a kid who has developed quite a bit of modesty in the last couple of years is more than a bit daunting. If I do it, though, I'll let you know how it goes.
posted by not that girl at 7:16 PM on June 7, 2013


Most boys aren't going to want to think of their mother while they get off. If I got that gift basket, I would be initially mortified and it would be a turn-off to think of my mom thinking about me masturbating.

But context is everything. I never required permission (or lube) or thought of it as a horrible thing, some kids might. Even the book is totally alien to my experience, so it's hard to judge.
posted by smidgen at 7:22 PM on June 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


"You should go even beyond that, give him a gift basket with some decent lube and soft washcloths for cleanup."

I mean I just I mean wha I mean
posted by nathancaswell at 7:25 PM on June 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


also I got a friend who wears Debbie Harry's merkin

Always touched by her presence, the dear.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:26 PM on June 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


Yeah, I'm not trying to lay a judgement on you not that girl, but the idea strikes me as really funny. I came up in a Roman Catholic family though, and even considering that I don't think my thoughts deviate to far from the norm, but if it's normal in your family that's cool. Just maybe don't try to be like the mom in that masturbation PSA, because awkwaaarrrrrd
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 7:34 PM on June 7, 2013


Rocket Surgeon: "Every twelve year old boy's dream: a masturbation gift basket from mom!"

Anonymous package addressed to offspring with information and accessories? Use the tracking info to make sure they're home and you're not when it arrives.
posted by the_artificer at 7:37 PM on June 7, 2013


Yeah, the supplies aren't really necessary, but if you want to provide them anyway, just place them in a not-obvious-but-not-hidden-place, like in a bathroom cabinet, maybe towards the back. No giftbasket or note, just leave them there. He'll find them eventually, and use them if he wants to. There's plausible dependability on both sides—nobody knows how they got there, nobody knows where they went. Excruciating conversation avoided.

Also, please tell me that these Facebook conversations about your adolescent son's developing sexuality occur via private message.
posted by dephlogisticated at 7:37 PM on June 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


Basket stocked and left innocuously in shared bathroom, as if it could be there for any reason at all. Never mentioned.
posted by donnagirl at 7:38 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sure, it's easy for women to get sex, so long as they don't care if that sex turns out to be rape. Which may have a tiiiiiiny bit to do with why women don't jump random men to get all that wonderful sex that's just waiting for them! Stupid women! Worrying about their safety!

(also, can we not turn a discussion on women and masturbation into MEN HAVE IT SO BAD WE NEVER GET SEXXING WAAH WOMEN HAVE IT SO EASY? Please?)
posted by emjaybee at 7:40 PM on June 7, 2013 [8 favorites]


I'm not sure how playing with an app is gonna help me play with my body, when I could just play with my body. Some sex toy shops have workshops for this sort of thing...
posted by The Biggest Dreamer at 7:43 PM on June 7, 2013


If you don't know how to start to play, or someone has told you you shouldn't play, and sex toy shops are not legal where you live, it might be useful.
posted by donnagirl at 7:46 PM on June 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also MeTa.
posted by donnagirl at 7:48 PM on June 7, 2013


But! on topic! I am a little taken aback by Happy Pink Vulva Lady, but it would be kind of cool to have some education out there about different techniques, which is what the game proposes to include. Many people think women all masturbate the same way (usually the porn movie way) but different things work for different women. Seeing it in a game might reassure a girl/woman that she wasn't "doing it wrong". Don't laugh at that, because I have actually seen advice columns scold women who used Technique A, because the columnist thought it was not nearly as effective as Technique B. Or even that Technique A was "immature" because the person had been doing it the same way since adolescence. Lots 'o bullshit out there.
posted by emjaybee at 7:48 PM on June 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ah yes, "immature". One of my favorite frequently used descriptors for female sexuality.
posted by donnagirl at 7:50 PM on June 7, 2013


I'd pay for an app to teach me how to ejaculate.. just sayin
posted by The Biggest Dreamer at 7:54 PM on June 7, 2013


I have no problem seeing the value, even though I'm clearly not the target audience. Whenever sex comes up on the blue I am left with the sinking feeling that my existence is some how out of phase with a better version of reality where I'm getting laid constantly because I know everything about sex and how to not be constantly ashamed and embarrased of it. And I'm a dude, so, like, everything I've ever read and seen in movies and on television tells me it should be so simple! How do I get there from here?
posted by Lorin at 7:54 PM on June 7, 2013


The site where you ask that question is colored green.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:04 PM on June 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


in the 90s my lesbian elder family member gave me a "becoming a woman" basket - hot water bottle for cramps, pads, tampons, panty liners, and a book. the book was general "you & your changing body" stuff - including a chapter on masturbation. as soon as i read it i knew it was trouble, but intriguing. it didn't teach me anything new, but it did teach me that what i was doing had a name and that there was maybe a more direct way to get there and that it wasn't just a thing i invented to get to sleep. i hid that book for months, maybe up to a year. then it was found. and i had to take it to the burn bin. and my family member was chastised. and i had to pretend that i had just read about masturbation and had never done it. and i had to repeat that lie to my 55 year old male bishop (i was 10 or 11).

so, maybe the general situation is better than it was in the 50s or whatever, but i'd bet that there are kids in religious homes all over the place hiding books and other things, hoping that this won't be the wank that sends them to hell. i mean, groups like this are speaking at schools. i've seen chastity pledges/memes go around on my facebook wall that include masturbation in the list of sins. there's plenty of guilt and shame still being peddled.
posted by nadawi at 8:18 PM on June 7, 2013 [19 favorites]


oh - and not that girl - if there's a friend of yours that your son trusts - a cool uncle maybe - he can give him a quick, awkward, but informative talk about lube and such (or, you know, leave this link up on the browser). i agree that it's not a mom job, but - it takes a village!
posted by nadawi at 8:22 PM on June 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


Jesus Christ I can't think of anything I would want less in this world than a gift basket from my mother with lube and a jizz towel. Maybe cancer.
posted by Justinian at 8:24 PM on June 7, 2013 [15 favorites]


That said, every growing boy should see Andy's jerkin' the gerkin' link which nadawi posted above.
posted by Justinian at 8:27 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm definitely looking forward to buying my daughters their first rabbit habit or hitachi or whatever. I love the idea of a "becoming a woman" basket (though I'm crunchy enough that I'd include, like, a diva cup, too).
posted by zorrine at 8:34 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


The phrase "not a mom job" has many useful applications in a thread about masturbation.
posted by custardfairy at 8:34 PM on June 7, 2013


I'm having a hard time buying the premise that women masturbate less because of shame. They can get sex easier than men (on average) and may have lower sex drives (again on average). Both of which are perfectly fine and dont require the intervention of a cartoon vagina.

You can get bad and unenjoyable sex from a lot of men pretty easily. But not many women fantasize about being rutted on or jackhammered by just any guy w/ a peen.

I think a lot of women have sex drives comparable or higher than that of men, but it's reduced by being emotionally and physically unfulfilled by their partner. And also, a lot of men lie about having STDs and try to persuade women not to use condoms, so of course it's harder to find someone trustworthy you'd want to continue to have sex with.

But if a woman wants to find someone who attempts to use her body to paw at while he gets off in her hooha, no skill, effort, etc. necessary, well, yeah, that's easy to find. But is it worth it? Nope.
posted by discopolo at 8:35 PM on June 7, 2013 [13 favorites]


so, maybe the general situation is better than it was in the 50s or whatever, but i'd bet that there are kids in religious homes all over the place hiding books and other things, hoping that this won't be the wank that sends them to hell. i mean, groups like this are speaking at schools. i've seen chastity pledges/memes go around on my facebook wall that include masturbation in the list of sins. there's plenty of guilt and shame still being peddled.
You know, that's true, and my earlier comment should really be limited to my own experiences. I can well imagine that there are women growing up who don't have access to the idea that masturbation is normal.
posted by Jehan at 8:42 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


You know, that's true, and my earlier comment should really be limited to my own experiences. I can well imagine that there are women growing up who don't have access to the idea that masturbation is normal.

So true. i also suspect that to some extent, maybe men didn't like the competition and worried women would cheat or leave them for guys who were
better in bed, or would prefer self-pleasure to sex with men. Maybe shame re sex and masturbatiom was just used as a tool to keep women down or from finding sexual agency. There are plenty of women who are told that sex with a man is not going to be as pleasurable after a vibrator. There are plenty of guys insecure about competing with a fake dick that not only stays hard but vibrates at various speeds and can quickly produce an orgasm. with so many guys treating the clitoris like a button they need to keep pushing to make the woman "go off," who not really great wih criticism, well, of course everyone will try to make women feel ashamed and perpetuate shame to keep her from finding out what really feels good.
posted by discopolo at 8:55 PM on June 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: plenty of guys insecure about competing with a fake dick that not only stays hard but vibrates at various speeds and can quickly produce an orgasm
posted by nathancaswell at 9:05 PM on June 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


with so many guys treating the clitoris like a button they need to keep pushing to make the woman "go off,"
You ever seen somebody jab the buttons in an elevator really impatiently? I swear that's where they learn it.
posted by Jehan at 9:08 PM on June 7, 2013 [12 favorites]


drop the v word below the fold

Why are people afraid of perfectly reasonable clinical terms? Vagina, vulva, kidney, lung, anus, nostril... they're just human parts. They're the correct names, the names children should be taught the very moment they can speak, and I'm rather offended by the notion that correct clinical terminology would be considered NSFW.
posted by MissySedai at 9:50 PM on June 7, 2013 [13 favorites]


Vagina, vulva, kidney, lung, anus, nostril...

Is that from The Animaniacs?
posted by bongo_x at 10:05 PM on June 7, 2013 [7 favorites]


Why are people afraid of perfectly reasonable clinical terms? Vagina, vulva, kidney, lung, anus, nostril... they're just human parts.

I like kidney and lung. Kidney beans. Iron lung. Easy peasy!
posted by discopolo at 10:12 PM on June 7, 2013


Nah, just basic inventory. Also, part of my ''penis is not a dirty word'' speech, given to teens when I volunteered at Planned Parenthood.

Here we are, talking about shame and female masturbation and WHOOPS, hey, can we hide that dirty word? My irony meter exploded.
posted by MissySedai at 10:18 PM on June 7, 2013 [12 favorites]


Ok, the reason I posted this was, it made me want to try masturbating again.

Masturbation was never mentioned at home. my mom was really quiet about sex topics, my dad not, but obviously lacked the female perspective. Once, when I told my mom about pleasuring myself with a showerhead she got worried I'd injure myself.
So, not exactly covered in shame, but not open either. At 19 I remember having to look for "the other hole" to put some meds in, because I'd never explored it before. Things went on in that vein. I knew it was ok, what I didn't know was HOW.
Seriously, I never found a method that worked and eventually around the age of 30 I just gave up on it and all the serious self help books.

Anyway, gleeful vagina made me laugh and a silly app with a ridiculous mascot to diddle with seems just the right level of playfulness for me. Maybe I'll try a few things!
posted by Omnomnom at 10:39 PM on June 7, 2013 [12 favorites]


Phalene: "It's pretty well established that men have higher sex drives

And hotly debated, for a number of reasons, from acculturation to not being good at measuring things. This is also the branch of science that had trouble capturing bi-men in a laboratory setting.
"

Where do I send my phone number and email address then? I mean, two great tastes that taste great together - SEX and SCIENCE!
posted by Samizdata at 1:06 AM on June 8, 2013


I should clarify here I am structurally an outie, but everything is negotiable. Having parents that would lie in waiting so as to catch me during yet another enjoyable self-hot hot hot-loving moment caused me to really have a lot of hang ups over taking matters in hand. Nothing helped for that but some lovely lovers that rolled such activities on a mostly mutual basis into our regular funtimes. Which was tragically far past the origination of my sexual identity. I still swear my little sisters burst full formed from my mother's forehead...
posted by Samizdata at 1:11 AM on June 8, 2013


This thread = eponysterical.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:24 AM on June 8, 2013


I'm not sure how to say this and be clear that I don't mean this in a salacious way (I guess that's how), but this has been a strong interest of mine since I was a (male) child.

I say "child" because I had a book series on sexuality aimed at teenagers which I ordered on my own when I was eight (and my surprised parents paid for and decided, well, this was just another of my precocious interests) in 1972, which I read carefully and continued to study for years, and it was obvious to me right away that there was an amazing, inexplicable, and disturbing double-standard between boys and girls about sex. And, as I later began puberty and began masturbating, it was especially obvious because, at that place and time, it was almost unheard-of for women to masturbate. Female masturbation was culturally invisible. I mean, it wasn't even something the adult sources I had access to talked about very much, if at all. (There were a lot of bestselling books published about sex in the 70s, and quite a few of them involved female sexuality — but it was always about the elusive female orgasm and how to have sex that resulted in orgasms and never about masturbation.)

When I was a teen, in the late 70s and early 80s, young women were basically not allowed to be sexual at all. And by that I mean, of course, that being sexual and being sexually active was seen as "slutty" (ugh, I hate that word with the heat of a million exploding suns), but also that girls weren't even allowed, it wasn't even a part of the discourse, to be horny, to actually have a libido that wasn't "romance" and kissing where the actual sex part was some kind of thing that girls and women suffered through because men like it. This was how things were understood then, and in that context, there was no room for female masturbation, none at all. It was unnecessary (see earlier unfortunate comments), un-feminine, and any girl/woman who did it was suspect.

Keep in mind that as late as nearly mid-century they still involuntarily institutionalized and performed hysterectomies on women to cure "nymphomania", one of the signs of which was thought to be masturbation.

None of the partners I had during my teens and twenties masturbated, or at least admitted to masturbating. I took a human sexuality class at a community college in Dallas in 1983-84 and there was outright skepticism and hostility from the women in the class about female masturbation, and the men were just titillated, seeing it as something exotic. But it was discussed in several contexts, because there were studies that showed an inverse correlation between female anorgasmia and masturbation along with some reported therapeutic benefit of masturbation for curing anaorgasmia.

From that point on, this was something I discussed with my partners, other people I knew, I saw it as a marker of our culture's views and dysfunctions about female sexuality and I was therefore very sensitive to in its depictions in popular culture.

Cyndi Lauper's 1984 "She Bop" and Divinyls' "I Touch Myself" were each, in their different ways, cultural milestones. Both amazed and horrified people. In 1984, Lauper's song, even with its obfuscation, was very popular but the idea of female masturbation, especially in the context of a happy, quirky song that many thought had a young audience, was quite threatening to many and it was easier to just wave the subtext away (as has so often happened in popular music). The Divinyls 1990 song was overt and, yes, even in 1990 it was threatening and shocking to many.

I still vividly recall the 1992 film Single White Female. It's been twenty-years and just thinking and writing about it still makes me extremely angry. In it, the key early scene that's designed to foreshadow, to create a horror foreboding, and to reveal that Jennifer Jason Leigh's character is scary and wrong and not normal is where Bridget Fonda hears some noise, perhaps moaning, in the middle of the night and leaves her room to creep through the apartment to the partly opened door of Leigh's character's bedroom, where she sees her masturbating. She might as well have been killing puppies.

The whole premise of that movie is really a version of the fear of a female sexual predator (in this case, of the "she wants to steal my boyfriend" version that is the female side of this sexist trope) and that masturbation scene is designed to show that this is a woman who is all perverse sexual appetite ... she even, gasp, masturbates. Who knows what she will do next?

The 1998 film Pleasantville has a memorable scene where the daughter introduces masturbation to the 50s-era mom. It's a telling scene in many respects and I think there were people who found it unsettling or even shocking at the time. I loved it because I thought it was incredibly subversive in directly linking this Ozzie and Harriet mom masturbating with the strongest escape from a black-and-white stultifying patriarchal conformity, literally roses bloomed (a metaphor, yes, but also a reality in this fantasy world) and bright color spread across the gray landscape.

While issues about self-reporting and cultural standards of shame badly complicate matters, there's still good reason to believe that the rates of female anorgasmia were quite high in the 50s and then have steadily decreased to much lower numbers today. This corresponds to increasing rates of self-reporting of female masturbation during this period and, interestingly, there was a period of a couple of decades where many women reported that they "learned" to masturbate via their male partners.

Also consider the history of the medical sexual stimulation devices for women and the corresponding visits of women to physicians for the "release" of "stress" that would otherwise cause "hysteria" during the first quarter of the twentieth century. Consider that a) this was amazingly not presented as being sexual and presented as not being orgasmic, and b) that women weren't thought to be able to do this on their own.

Make no mistake: women have always masturbated, of course. But the cultural acceptability of female masturbation has varied over time and this does affect rates of masturbation and, importantly, self-image and sexual awareness.

Yes, male masturbation has also always been stigmatized. But it's quite different in that it's grudgingly accepted in a "boys will be boys" sense where female masturbation has never been and still is not.

I think that from our perspective today, it's hard to recognize or believe how strongly female sexuality was repressed in American culture during the middle-part of the twentieth century. That represented a high point of this repression and it's been a long, slow recovery from it. As is often discussed, the permissive attitudes of the late 60s and early 70s was not really about female sexuality at all, it was mostly about men telling each other it was okay to have sex with as many women as they'd like. During that phase, the optics of female sexuality were all from the male's side, women were still mostly passive (men were, and sadly still are, expected to "make" women come while, in contrast, men can come on their own). It's really been since that time that there's been any normalization of female sexuality on its own terms, as something good and natural in itself, and this has been largely due to the hard work of feminists who've tirelessly fought to culturally reclaim female sexuality for women.

It is simply not the case either that female masturabtion has been widely acceptable and, arguably, widely practiced in our culture for many decades nor that it is free from stigma today, or, even, that it's as free from stigma as male masturabtion. There's been some big cultural changes well within living memory and there's still a lot more that can be improved.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:05 AM on June 8, 2013 [43 favorites]


At the Signe of the Crosse in Saint James's Street,
When next you go thither to make your Selfes Sweet,
By Buying of Powder, Gloves, Essence, or Soe
You may Chance get a Sight of Signior Dildo.
You'l take him at first for no Person of Note
Because he appears in a plain Leather Coat:
But when you his virtuous Abilities know
You'll fall down and Worship Signior Dildo.
From 1673, written by the Earl of Rochester.
posted by winna at 4:18 AM on June 8, 2013 [9 favorites]


Random: last night I introduced someone to metafilter for the first time and they looked up the site on their phone. This post was on the top of the page. "What is this weird website you use?"
posted by Erberus at 4:57 AM on June 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'm not trying to lay a judgement on you not that girl, but the idea strikes me as really funny.

It is a really funny idea, to give a gift basket (perhaps not literally a basket) for masturbation to your pubescent son. And yet I think there's something real under there. Like, I didn't find out about decent lube until I was in my early 20s and had already had maybe 10 lovers, both male and female. The first time I tried anal with a lover, somebody bled and we both cried. I have a friend, a middle-aged mother of four, who is too embarrassed to buy her own birth control. These things shouldn't be.

I think the underlying question my friend was getting at was not so much "seriously! gift basket from mom!" as something about how do we go from an embarrassed mumbling about "it's really OK, you know, but we're only going to tell you in the vaguest possible way what it is," to some kind of sex ed that really is positive and educational about what really matters in sex, which is how to make it enjoyable for yourself and your partner(s), in a hot and respectful way.

For what it's worth, we also talked about having a trusted adult male friend help out. I found myself wishing for Keanu Reeves in Parenthood to come along and take care of it for us.
posted by not that girl at 5:18 AM on June 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'm fine with this post but is there some reason not to label it NSFW and drop the v word below the fold?

The v word goes in the middle of the folds. The c word goes above the folds and the a/b words go below the folds.

(never gonna read the read the phrase "above the fold/below the fold" quite the same way ever again).
posted by drlith at 5:57 AM on June 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


bearwife: "I'm fine with this post but is there some reason not to label it NSFW and drop the v word below the fold?"

7segment: "bearwife: see post title."
There are more reasons for us to be circumspect about sex than just shame, and many of them are very good reasons.

I like dirty jokes, heck I even like dirty jokes related to my work, the gender field in my profile is one of them - immediately parsable by maybe a couple dozen people on Earth - but I don't tell them around people who I am in a position of power over ever, I don't tell them around the workplace ever, I don't tell them around people I'm not already familiar with on that level ever, and I have indeed not been silenced all my life. Despite the fact that I make and love dirty jokes, it still makes me extremely uncomfortable when my boss tells them no matter how artful the delivery or funny the joke is. In addition to the fact that even though I really like my boss and generally love the familiar atmosphere he works hard to promote, I don't really want to be familiar with any boss in that kind of way - and even if I did I would still not want to be part of the boys club that naturally develops with that sort of thing that is exclusive to other people who felt that way. It creates a really fucked up dynamic that forces familiarity, much less sexual familiarity, on people who don't want it and can't afford to be 'that bitch who can't take it.'

bearwife not wanting to create an atmosphere that includes - presumably not work related - discussions about vaginas on her screen; is a totally reasonable thing. Whether or not that is reasonable for the blue to be able to accomodate is another discussion entirely, but this pile-on on bearwife is pretty sick.
posted by Blasdelb at 6:58 AM on June 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


It wasn't a pile on, though. And it's been stated, over and over, that if you're worried about what people see on your screen, you shouldn't look at MeFi. And finally, and most importantly, vaginas aren't dirty or shameful or needing to be hidden. I was offended by the request that a body part I have was perhaps so awful that naming it shouldn't happen where people could see it. Vagina vagina vagina vagina.
posted by donnagirl at 7:04 AM on June 8, 2013 [11 favorites]


Vaginas are neither dirty nor shameful but, like penises, they are still not appropriate for display in most contexts for other reasons. I don't myself think that the request is one we should accommodate, but this is all still some pretty fucked up projecting onto bearwife.
posted by Blasdelb at 7:13 AM on June 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Probably a better discussion for the open MeTa thread if you want to have it.
posted by donnagirl at 7:15 AM on June 8, 2013


This should be going to metatalk probably, but no vaginas or vulvas for that matter are "displayed" here in any context. The request, as donnagirl pointed out, was for the word vagina the be "dropped below the fold".
posted by moody cow at 7:21 AM on June 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


As the OP I understand bearwife's request; however to make the post SFW I would have had to put "masturbation" below the fold, too.

So I would have had to find a more roundabout description of the main topic of the thread and in the end it just seemed weird to pussyfoot around the issue with the context of this post!

Also, as I understand it, the fromt page is not SFW, and so I decided to post both words above the fold.
posted by Omnomnom at 7:27 AM on June 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


it just seemed weird to pussyfoot around the issue

I see what you did there.
posted by sonika at 7:29 AM on June 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


[As much as there is site policy on this, the policy is that it's general fine to have words like "vagina" and "masturbation" above the fold and we use NSFW largely as a warning against "boy there sure are obviously really naked people on the other side of these links" situations, not taboo language itself. But, yes, it's for Metatalk if folks really want to discuss this, so maybe just let it be in here.]
posted by cortex at 7:31 AM on June 8, 2013


As for the 'mom kit', if I had kids, I would give them $50 to spend on babeland.com or something, and let them research and choose their own stuff. I would not look at the final order, nor would I open the box, just discreetly leave it in their room.

Sites like that tend to have a 'for beginners' section in any case, and I would trust my kid to stick to that and away from the fucking machines and electrostim stuff.

The only thing worse than a wank basket from the parents is maybe being interested in a prostate stimulator (or whatever the non-standard female variant on that is...though maybe a butt plug is it anyway) and having the parent say "well, what did you want to buy, honey?"
posted by softlord at 7:55 AM on June 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


(men were, and sadly still are, expected to "make" women come while, in contrast, men can come on their own). It's really been since that time that there's

Women can have a clitoral orgasm or vaginal, which require full penetration. Both feel different. And a woman can give herself a clitoral orgasm on her own using a vibrator and whatever she needs to think up to produce the conditions for orgasm, but it may be harder to get the ideal penetration rhythm by yourself using a vibrator. Also the feeling of being wrapped in the arms of and around the body of someone you're in love with and deeply attracted to is not easy to replicate. That stuff makes a great orgasm possible.
posted by discopolo at 8:08 AM on June 8, 2013


I honestly (and I'm laughing but I'm not joking) do not understand why kids and teens masturbating need any more accoutrements than a book saying you won't go to hell and, for guys, the obvious stuff already in every bathroom. No consumer goods are necessary for getting off. Though I am not a parent, I would hate for any kid of mine to think that they were somehow underserved in the jerking off department without x, y, and z.
posted by skbw at 8:22 AM on June 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Women can have a clitoral orgasm or vaginal, which require full penetration. Both feel different. And a woman can give herself a clitoral orgasm on her own using a vibrator and whatever she needs to think up to produce the conditions for orgasm, but it may be harder to get the ideal penetration rhythm by yourself using a vibrator. Also the feeling of being wrapped in the arms of and around the body of someone you're in love with and deeply attracted to is not easy to replicate. That stuff makes a great orgasm possible."

Yeah, I wasn't disputing that subjective experiences of orgasms vary — I was, instead, pointing out that how we talk about male and female orgasms reveals a sexist asymmetry. Men come while women are made to come. There's exceptions to this, but it's the general shape of our discourse about gender, sex, and orgasms and it reveals quite a bit.

Or, alternatively, if your argument is that there is, in fact, some biological asymmetry here that makes it actually the case that for the most part women are made to come while men come on their own, then that's the other side of the coin, the assumption that there's not similar variation in male orgasm and denying that it can be for men as much a matter of being made to come. I don't think you were making that argument, but it's hard to tell.

The point is, the differential usage reflects greater male agency and lesser female agency with regard to orgasm, which in turn reflects cultural (mis)understanding of male and female sexuality.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:30 AM on June 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Orgasm of the Planets
posted by moody cow at 8:32 AM on June 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Women can have a clitoral orgasm or vaginal, which require full penetration.

That distinction itself is a Freudian construct, assuming that vaginal orgasms were a "mature" sexual response. As the structure of the clitoris was studied and better understood, the distinction collapsed. I think the standard is now that vaginal and clitoral orgasms are not distinct from one another.
posted by gladly at 9:03 AM on June 8, 2013 [6 favorites]


I didn't go there, moody cow and gladly, because I don't think it's helpful to deny people's subjectively different experiences, which in this case is pretty common, and which I think discopolo was describing. But I absolutely agree that it's important to repudiate the biological argument and especially the related Freudian one.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:14 AM on June 8, 2013


I honestly (and I'm laughing but I'm not joking) do not understand why kids and teens masturbating need any more accoutrements than a book saying you won't go to hell and, for guys, the obvious stuff already in every bathroom. No consumer goods are necessary for getting off. Though I am not a parent, I would hate for any kid of mine to think that they were somehow underserved in the jerking off department without x, y, and z.

There is a bit of an attitude that you have to buy a product to legitimize something. We were raised to think like that.
posted by bongo_x at 9:21 AM on June 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was hoping this would be the female equivalent of JackinWorld.com NSFW (techniques etc), and was disappointed to find it wasn't.
posted by Elysum at 9:27 AM on June 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


I honestly don't know this, so this is a genuine question:

is it possible that lube is more needed/vital/important/whathaveyou for masturbation if one is a male who is circumsized?
Not many of the men that I know are, so I wouldn't know who to ask in person.
posted by Too-Ticky at 9:28 AM on June 8, 2013


I honestly don't know this, so this is a genuine question

Seems like a perfectly legit question for AskMe -- a thread about female masturbation not so much.
posted by moody cow at 9:35 AM on June 8, 2013


Wait, let us not forget Portnoy (circumcised), who fucked his family's dinner. I guess $50 at Babeland might have forestalled that problem. MIGHT.

Joking aside, Too-Ticky, there's spit, there's all sorts of stuff in the bathroom, lotion, soap, or what have you, and if that doesn't work for you, then 12 is PLENTY OLD ENOUGH to go procure(!) whatever it is you prefer. The idea that even a 10-year-old can't get hold of some lotion is kind of funny, if one remembers just for a second whatall we were up to at 10. The homes where a preteen can't get $2 of pocket money are probably NOT the same homes where parents are contemplating what intro. accessories might work best.

Books. Books are the answer. More books at age 8, fewer apps later.
posted by skbw at 9:38 AM on June 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


moody cow, that's a good point.
posted by Too-Ticky at 9:41 AM on June 8, 2013


Cyndi Lauper's 1984 "She Bop" and Divinyls' "I Touch Myself" were each, in their different ways, cultural milestones. Both amazed and horrified people.

Cite? I remember both songs being incredibly ubiquitous, but I don't recall anyone being horrified. Do you have any links for that?
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 10:42 AM on June 8, 2013


i don't have any link for it, but both songs were forbidden in my house and the houses of other religious kids i knew. the church dance dj was relieved of his duties for playing i touch myself (another church dance dj lost his position by playing OPP). the songs were absolutely everywhere, yes, but partially because there was some pearl clutching over it.
posted by nadawi at 10:49 AM on June 8, 2013


Somehow I never got the memo that She Bop was "offensive" and about masturbation. Seriously, this is my first time hearing it. I'm kind of blown away by it.
posted by Fleebnork at 10:58 AM on June 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Tweet feat. Missy Elliott - Oops (Oh My)
posted by bongo_x at 11:10 AM on June 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


oh hey, i like when that song comes up in dj hero 2 and had sort of wondered what it was. thanks!
posted by nadawi at 11:28 AM on June 8, 2013


Cite? I remember both songs being incredibly ubiquitous, but I don't recall anyone being horrified. Do you have any links for that?

She Bop made the PMRC's Filthy Fifteen. It was even the impetus for the creation of the Parental Advisory sticker. MeFi talked about it here in 2009.

Now, I don't know how old you were in 1985, but I was 15, and you can bet your sweet bippy that people were outraged as all hell about this song. It was banned from our school's dances, there were a number of breathless news spots about "music today", some radio stations were picketed because they played it...all in all, it was ridiculous and hilarious, and not too different from any other outrage surrounding music and musicians.
posted by MissySedai at 11:37 AM on June 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


How about you look up "dopey made up bullshit perpetuated by the patriarchy" anywhere on the internets, bro.

This is a convenient thing to say because it's so difficult to disprove. Men and women behaving differently? Must be a lifetime of brainwashing by the patriarchy.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:32 PM on June 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


It seems very unlikely to me that men and women's behavior would be exactly the same if we removed societal pressures. It's trivial to show why this would be the case; we have different average levels of various hormones and such which are proven to influence behavior. But it's also impossible at present to separate out those societal influences so anyone claiming they know with certainty how we would behave in the absence of those influences is probably trying to sell you something.

tl;dr biology is hard. Sociology is hard.
posted by Justinian at 12:53 PM on June 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


that exact point is being hammered into a fine paste over on meta and doesn't really need more space in this thread, does it?
posted by nadawi at 2:31 PM on June 8, 2013


Seems like that's not really a site-related discussion which belongs in Metatalk.
posted by Justinian at 4:14 PM on June 8, 2013


[It is, as I have said above, a derail that we would really appreciate people letting go. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 4:15 PM on June 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'll add, too, that if HPT is actually interested in freeing masturbation from shame, rather than wooing Bay Area VCs, they'd do well to look at sites like this, which actually communicate about sexuality to audiences where the topic is taboo, rather than deploying an explicit cartoon which is aesthetically calculated to charm exactly the people who are buying Rabbit vibes for their pubescent daughters.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 8:09 PM on June 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


That distinction itself is a Freudian construct, assuming that vaginal orgasms were a "mature" sexual response. As the structure of the clitoris was studied and better understood, the distinction collapsed. I think the standard is now that vaginal and clitoral orgasms are not distinct from one another.

Having experienced both... Um, yeah....they feel different. Having experienced both multiple times in the past year and in years before (so thanks for the little ditty on how my lady parts work, bro) they do feel different. Amazing and different.
posted by discopolo at 10:00 PM on June 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


nadawi: "that exact point is being hammered into a fine paste over on meta and doesn't really need more space in this thread, does it?"

Mmmmmmmmm. Paste.
posted by Samizdata at 10:47 PM on June 8, 2013


ha, I actually go by eatpaste elsewhere and thought you were making an eponysterical joke.
posted by nadawi at 10:56 PM on June 8, 2013


Having experienced both... Um, yeah....they feel different. Having experienced both multiple times in the past year and in years before (so thanks for the little ditty on how my lady parts work, bro) they do feel different. Amazing and different.

You also appear, bro (I'm a woman, so I guess we're calling each other that these days?), to be completely ignorant of how women were shamed for decades if they were unable to achieve "vaginal" orgasm, i.e. from penetration alone. They may feel different, but biologically, one is not distinct from the other. Dismantling the ignorance around the clitoris and assuring women that needing clitoral stimulation isn't immature or selfish is key to promoting women's understanding their body's sexual response. Claiming that a vaginal orgasm is separate and distinct from a clitoral orgasm, perpetuates the harmful dichotomy that an orgasm from penetration is superior.
posted by gladly at 6:52 AM on June 9, 2013 [6 favorites]


Clicking through, I'm kind of disappointed that this isn't operational yet, but it seems pretty cool!
posted by corb at 8:03 AM on June 9, 2013


You also appear, bro (I'm a woman, so I guess we're calling each other that these days?), to be completely ignorant of how women were shamed for decades if they were unable to achieve "vaginal" orgasm, i.e. from penetration alone. They may feel different, but biologically, one is not distinct from the other. Dismantling the ignorance around the clitoris and assuring women that needing clitoral stimulation isn't immature or selfish is key to promoting women's understanding their body's sexual response. Claiming that a vaginal orgasm is separate and distinct from a clitoral orgasm, perpetuates the harmful dichotomy that an orgasm from penetration is superior.

1. Never said one was superior to the other, just different.

2. Why pretend it's the same feeling when they both feel different?
posted by discopolo at 12:49 PM on June 9, 2013


"Why pretend it's the same feeling when they both feel different?"

No one argued here, at all, that they're the same feeling. You wrongly inferred that gladly asserted that, but she didn't.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:15 PM on June 9, 2013


Actually, whether there is a meaningful distinction between the "vaginal orgasm" and the "clitoral orgasm" is a live debate in the medical literature (see e.g.), and the concept of the vaginal orgasm is used in a lot of research.

But I love that you non-gender-specified guys feel like you can just jump on discopolo for appearing to contradict some fourth-hand "debunking" you read somewhere once. Real cool.
posted by grobstein at 5:37 PM on June 9, 2013


The whole premise of that movie is really a version of the fear of a female sexual predator (in this case, of the "she wants to steal my boyfriend" version that is the female side of this sexist trope) and that masturbation scene is designed to show that this is a woman who is all perverse sexual appetite ... she even, gasp, masturbates. Who knows what she will do next?

What's worse, The MPAA encourages this perspective through their rating system. As I recall, the documentary This Film Is Not Yet Rated showed how they slap a harsher rating on films which depict female sexual pleasure, while violence against women gets a pass.
posted by homunculus at 6:05 PM on June 9, 2013 [6 favorites]


I think one of the main problems is not so much shame (although that is a factor, of varying degrees depending on the social milieu you grew up in) as it is the fact that there's hardly any education out there for women on *how* to masturbate.

I would imagine it's fairly easy for boys to figure out how to masturbate on their own (even if they're not the best at it). Their genitals are on the outside. They can do a range of things and it will feel good. Problem solved. By contrast, sex ed classes, at least in my experience, all focus on the vagina as the site of sexual activity. There was literally no mention of the clitoris other than "this is what this part is called" on the diagram. In class, I was basically led to believe that there is a vagina, there is a penis, and there is penetration, and that is sex.

I didn't know what the hell the clitoris was in relation to pleasure until I was around 19, and I happened to have attended a high school with comprehensive sex ed. Considering that the vast majority of women are incapable of having an orgasm from penetration alone (and a good deal for whom penetration actually gets in the way of their reaching orgasm), that is basically condemning women to trying to figure out how to masturbate without having any roadmap of how their bodies actually work. It's like if we led boys to believe that they can reach orgasm if they pet their noses and then wondering why they masturbate less as adults. Granted, some women do get off through penetration alone, but they are in the minority.
posted by adso at 8:42 PM on June 9, 2013 [8 favorites]


Your comment, grobstein, is impressive in that almost everything in it is false, including what you imply your citation supports.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:04 AM on June 10, 2013


Art Nouvulva: Vintage ‘C*nt Coloring Book’ is all kinds of gynocentric NSFW
posted by homunculus at 12:44 PM on June 10, 2013


The book is actually titled Cunt Coloring Book, for some reason the article linked above bowdlerized it.
posted by Nelson at 4:12 PM on June 10, 2013


I honestly (and I'm laughing but I'm not joking) do not understand why kids and teens masturbating need any more accoutrements than a book saying you won't go to hell and, for guys, the obvious stuff already in every bathroom. No consumer goods are necessary for getting off.


This is not true for a significant portion of women, particularly young ones. A minority, probably, but I don't think this group should be ignored in a thread about encouraging a better understanding and acceptance of female masturbation.

Which is not to say that parents need to buy their kids vibrators, at all. Just wanted to make it clear that "consumer goods" are indeed required for some people to get off.
posted by randomnity at 7:54 PM on June 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


bearwife: I'm fine with this post but is there some reason not to ... drop the v word below the fold?
That's pretty offensive.
posted by IAmBroom at 4:06 AM on June 16, 2013


discopolo: That distinction itself is a Freudian construct, assuming that vaginal orgasms were a "mature" sexual response. As the structure of the clitoris was studied and better understood, the distinction collapsed. I think the standard is now that vaginal and clitoral orgasms are not distinct from one another.

Having experienced both... Um, yeah....they feel different. Having experienced both multiple times in the past year and in years before (so thanks for the little ditty on how my lady parts work, bro) they do feel different. Amazing and different.
Dammit, discopolo, didn't you read the notice? They're not different! Clearly, you've been duped by Freud's patriarchial nonsense...
posted by IAmBroom at 4:31 AM on June 16, 2013


Ivan Fyodorovich: Your comment, grobstein, is impressive in that almost everything in it is false, including what you imply your citation supports.
grobstein makes three assertions. All seem legit. And the citation definitely, obviously, clearly supports his argument.

Ironically, your statement seems to describe itself.
posted by IAmBroom at 4:41 AM on June 16, 2013


Why Don't Women Masturbate More? Logistics.
posted by homunculus at 11:19 AM on June 24, 2013


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