masturbation / November 2015: Taboos

Why is female masturbation still a taboo?

I find it quite strange, and also incredibly sad, that in this so called age of enlightenment there are still so many things that are taboo. And so many of those things are normal, everyday things.

To name a few:

  • Female masturbation
  • Anal
  • Women enjoying sex
  • Talking about our periods openly
  • STDs
  • One night stands
  • A woman going for a drink in a bar alone
  • Being anything other than heterosexual
  • Being a woman that doesn’t want a child

I could go on, but these are the ones that came to me without really having to think about it. How bad is it that our society is so judgemental of other people’s choices (and sometimes they aren’t choices) that I could come up with a list of nine things that are seen as taboo without having to over-think it.

I appreciate that most of these things are relevant to only women, I can only talk about things I have seen, or have happened to me, and I’m sure a man could write an equally long list about his experiences. I think it would look very different from this list. I wonder how many of the things he added would be taboo for a man but celebrated for a woman. There are at least four things on my list that are taboo for a woman, but either celebrated, or least accepted for a man – but that’s another story.

Out of all of them, one of the taboos that annoys me the most is female masturbation. I have always said that 50% of women masturbate and the other 50% lie about it. Perhaps this isn’t strictly true, but I think the majority of women masturbate. Why wouldn’t we? It feels amazing, relieves tension and at least if you’re doing it yourself, you know you’re going to get yours. You don’t even have to wait for anyone to take the hint and leave afterwards.

I believe a lot of women still don’t want to openly admit to masturbating because like a lot of things we do, we are judged for it. Woman who masturbate are either seen as sex crazy or unable to get a partner to do it for them.

The truth is probably neither of those things. It may be that you just don’t want the complications a partner would bring, or you might have a partner but just want a quickie with yourself. Maybe your partner is out and you’re feeling in the mood. Maybe you’re just bored.

And as for being sex crazy, I hardly think wanting an orgasm makes you a nymphomaniac; surely it would be crazier to leave yourself feeling tetchy and frustrated. What I can’t understand is why, generally, it is taboo for a woman to masturbate but it is widely accepted that men masturbate.

It seems somewhat socially acceptable for a man to announce to whomever he is in the pub with: “I had a great wank last night.” This is usually met with roaring approval from the other men, and awkwardness from women, (or even feign disgust). Imagine if a woman announced that – the men would leer and make suggestive remarks. Why? I would love to know the answer to that question.

I am not suggesting we should all go around making announcements like that, I am simply suggesting that should we choose to, it should not be such a big deal.

It is still seen as quite unladylike to enjoy self-pleasure, and even more so to tell anyone we enjoy it. Even the likes of Ann Summers, who clearly understand that women enjoy sex with others and themselves, make a point of saying that all purchases come in discreet packaging.

It would seem we are still so repressed underneath all the talk of enlightenment that we are still secretly ashamed of enjoying our bodies, scared that society will judge us as uncouth or sex mad, both of which seem to apply only to women who enjoy masturbation.

Of course, the one exception to the taboo seems to be if a woman is masturbating as a show for her partner. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with doing that if you want to, I just find it insulting that it is seen as ok to masturbate for a man’s pleasure but not for our own.

It’s not the Victorian era anymore, it is well known that women actually enjoy sex, why should masturbation be any different? I say women of the world, flick that bean and be proud to do so.

If you weren’t meant to play with it, it wouldn’t feel that good.


Born in 1982 in North East England, I knew from an early age I wanted to be a writer. Life got in the way, and the dream was out on the back burner, although never forgotten. I now write my own blog, write guest posts for other blogs and am planning on completing my first novel by the end of this year!


2 thoughts on “Why is female masturbation still a taboo?

  1. Great article, enjoyed reading it. Although I wouldn’t say it’s socially acceptable for a man to ever proclaim “I had a great wank last night.”


  2. Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it. Trust me, working as a barmaid, I hear that and much worse daily and no one bats an eyelid!


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