In the 19th century when women were suffering from hysteria (aka sexual frustration) the prescription was to have the doctor stimulate them to orgasm. Which of course wasn’t even termed orgasm because women were supposedly unable to climax like their male counterparts. We sure proved them wrong!
This treatment was super popular for the ladies but the doctor's really suffered —hand fatigue. Given how primitive Western medicine was I can't even imagine what the treatment for carpal tunnel must have been.
"It's alive! It's alive!" Frankenstein hysterically screamed.
The vibrator was officially created. The creation of electricity combined with the pain of the doctor's hand fatigue did wonders for the women who loved the benefits of a masturbation prescription. I can only imagine the excitement and relief the first vibrating dildo had on our ancestors. Except, it was called a "personal massager".
The celebration didn't last long. When Nudie's came along to the theaters publicly outing the personal massager in pornographic settings, our favorite little (well big) love device became socially unacceptable.
The etymology of the word masturbate means to defile with the hand or to commit self abuse.
Western culture, with strong pious roots, really had a lot of guilt and shame over pleasuring ourselves. Therefore, it is much more sex-positive to refer to masturbation these days as solo play, self pleasure or playing with oneself.
Today, solo play for women is still less socially acceptable, promoted and talked about despite the numerous health benefits for both men and women. It’s especially important for developing young girls to feel just as comfortable with self exploration as their male adolescent counter parts.
When considering the commonly used phrase, “Men give love for sex and women give sex for love,” adolescent girls should be more encouraged to have an outlet in their sexual self exploration, so they are less likely to make that trade. Socially acceptable solo play will also give adolescent girls sexual confidence and education about their developing bodies as well as lowering their risk of teenage pregnancy and STDs.
The benefits of solo play for all genders are numerous.
We can take some of the edge off masturbation by learning how to communicate educationally, openly and with humor. Using playful, less technical names for masturbation such as, a few strokes of the pearl or jerks of the gherkin can bring some light heartedness to what may be an uncomfortable subject to talk about.
Let's give ourselves permission to say, "Yes! Yes! Yes!" to masturbation…er…I mean solo play for both women and men alike. The more we learn about ourselves the more we can understand another and communicate clearly what our needs are in the realm of sexual pleasure.
Author: Heather Dawn