At least this can't be blamed on men!
I was reading some articles on ABC Life recently and I was most interested in an article by Kellie Scott entitled 'More orgasms for women: It's time to close the masturbation gap'. That women aren't embracing masturbation like men do is no surprise, disappointing and sad, sure, but not really a surprise. What did come as a shock was the revelation that only one in four Australian women masturbate regularly, and that masturbation is largely uncommon in young women.
No-one is liable to be more disappointed in that statistic than men. Sure there are some who'd suggest that disappointment is a result of guilt, but I'd suggest that it's a result of compassion. If men are the ones masturbating more, they are sure to be the ones who appreciate the benefits and ultimately why they do it, so they are therefore the ones likely to be far more empathetic to what women aren't getting.
Perhaps men are the only ones who really understand that it's not about whether they are getting enough sex or not, but rather that there are benefits to masturbation beyond what they are getting from sex with a partner. Beyond the stress relief, the release, the better sleep and bolstered self-esteem that men potentially get through masturbation, they also get to understand what they want through sex with a partner. To men, if women don't masturbate, enough or at all, how can they know (let alone articulate) what they want? Yes, men are fickle creatures and they invariably see themselves being set up for failure if women aren't doing their part.
Blame is pointed squarely at religion, that sex-ed focusses on the biology rather than arousal, and that society and women have been indoctrinated that their genitals are not for their own enjoyment. Some might even be comfortable to blame the patriarchy or men in general, but men might find that a stretch when the fact is that men are probably feeling genuinely sorry for all the women who don't enjoy 'themselves' enough.
Gentlemen, are you even aware that many/most women don't even talk about masturbation? Of course, women might argue that it's not the kind of thing which has a place in normal conversation, but perhaps that's symptomatic of the problem. Men aren't scared to mention it or bring it into conversation ... they've invariably been doing it regularly since adolescence and they've known all their friends were doing it too, so it never represented a taboo never to be broached. With that in mind, why wouldn't men talk about something which has given them comfort and pleasure?
Women mightn't like to take advice from men, particularly when it comes to their own bodies, but there's possibly merit in humouring guys just a little. Sure, they don't have (or understand) female genitals, but they mean well and they certainly know more than a little about the upside of masturbation. So while they mightn't have all the answers about sex with a partner, they are liable to be veritable fonts of knowledge when it comes to solo-sex. With that in mind, men might offer poignant words of wisdom which will transcend all gender-related misunderstandings (about masturbation anyway!):
- If it feels good, why not do it?
- Don't overthink it, just enjoy.
- Make time for you.
- There's no need to rush if you don't want to.
- If you don't know what you like, no-one else ever will.
- God endorses this ... it's written somewhere near the end of all sacred texts.
You can't argue with that really, can you?
Not that Top Drawer Essentials is affiliated in any way with ABC Life, but I'm sure Tanya Koens (clinical and somatic sexologist and relationship counsellor) would love to hear from you with your love, sex and relationship questions. You can email her email@example.com . You can see more from Kellie Scott here.
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