Tuesday, 22 December 2009

The M Word

A couple of weeks ago, whilst channel surfing on Austar late at night, in desperate search of something to watch, I came across Live Nude Girls,* which is definitely not what you’re thinking, despite the fact that it stars Kim Cattrall. It’s a movie, apparently about a bride-to-be on the night before her third marriage, having a girls night in with her girl friends. At the point when I started watching, they were having a candid conversation about masturbation, their fantasies, how long they’d be doing it, the fact that one of them didn’t do it at all, and a very interesting point came up. One of the women made the observation that you see young boys jacking off in films all the time over postcards and Playboy and being Peeping Toms, and yet you never see anything about girls doing the same thing.

So I know it stems from the fact that a woman’s sexuality has always been a source of shame in society since homo erectus but this is ridiculous. It’s the twenty-first century, for goodness sake, isn’t it time we got over these huge double standards?

I found out about masturbation by reading a book, in year 10. And no, it wasn’t the Karma Sutra. It was a historical romance (and a great book, btw) with some fairly detailed descriptions of a young girl’s discovery of love, sex and herself in Renaissance Florence (and how she sleeps with Michelangelo.)

Possibly because I’m not middle-aged and about to married, but I've never had such a bare-bones conversation with any of my girlfriends (about masturbation), even though I can talk to most of them about anything and everything, and have done in the past. But masturbation has only come up once in any of those conversations, and that was in passing. I’d really like to know if my friends do it too. We’ve talked about threesomes, our periods, kissing other girls; why should it be such a big deal? Why is this something we feel we have to write away to Agony Aunts about to ask if this is natural, these feelings, these urges? Why isn't this part of sex ed, of those conversations where women compare great sex, part of something that isn't the sealed section in Cosmo?

I’m not usually the kind of girl who brings this up, but this is outrageous. Why can’t we be proud of ourselves? Don’t we have the right to make ourselves happy too?



*omg, this blog is going to get so many more misdirected hits now...


Arielle said...

I don't believe any girls would be sleeping with Michelangelo. That dude was gay, and a major asshole. Rafael, on the other hand...

Just a girl said...

Ha ha. It wasn't trying to be a particularly historically accurate book in that sense. Mind you, the man she was married to was also gay. Funnily enough ;)

Mmm, I like the name Raphael...


Celise said...

Funny you should mention that. I think there's this stigma about openly talking about sex here in America. Like a hush-hush, gov't cover-up or something. LOL. I imagine if we lived in Europe, where it was more open, talking openly about sexuality wouldn't be a problem.

Due to the fact that we can't talk about it comfortably, I think that's how teens get pregnant or why people can't "come out of the closet". It's a natural part of life. I don't know why it has to be such a taboo topic.

Drop a tear in my wineglass said...

Celise is right, I think sex is more openly discussed here. I had sex-ed in eighth grade, and not just "where do babies come from/ this is how you put on a condom", it was really about everything, from sexual diseases to hiv/aids, to masturbation; male and female, pornography, sensations of arousal, kissing, french kissing, petting, fellatio, orgasms, anatomy and everything else. If you wanted to, you could, like I did, join this group called E.L.L.E.N. (Swedish acronym) which is like a discussion group for girls where you discuss all of these with themes every week, like birth control, menstruation, masturbation, sex, etc.

I consider myself really lucky, honestly, to have been able to learn all these things at 14 and build up a sane picture of what sex, etc. is/ can be.
The whole transition from sexually inactive to active (I know, Juno hates that expression too) became so much easier for me and for many other girls because of this, and so I really think it's an essential part of a teenager's education.

Though I do have to say, that as much as I learned from school and E.L.L.E.N. some things are just best discussed with friends or by watching sex and the city.

sara said...

Really? I swear being in America sex was talked about just as openly as back in Australia. Not sure how either/both compare with Europe but still.

I think it depends on who your friends are. I mean just for example, Chantal talks about masturbation all the time. All. The. Time. And about fluffy bunny vibrators and such. -shrug- I wouldn't say discussing it makes me uncomfortable per se (otherwise I could never speak to Chantal again, haha) it's just not number one on my list of things to talk about when there are so many other more interesting topics of conversation..!