Self Pleasure and Shame
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Self Pleasure and Shame
I CHOOSE TO SPEAK ABOUT SELF PLEASURE & SHAME
I’ve grown up with a lot of shame and guilt around self pleasure. I believe this has been a huge factor in a lot of the embarrassment and pain I have surrounding sex.
In high school sex ed, I was taught that I have a vagina (that was the word used to describe a woman’s entire genitalia 😳....anyway), I will get my period, I should block that shit up with tampons immediately and if I MUST have sex then I should use condoms or go on the pill. NOTHING was mentioned about self pleasure (aka masturbation), the importance of understanding my own anatomy as a woman, of setting boundaries for myself and my relationships and ultimately understanding what feels good, what feels rubbish and even sometimes quite painful.
Because there was no education or normalcy around self pleasure, it was an incredibly taboo subject between friends and family. At high school I remember conversations between my girl friends and I (which were few and far between) - the phrases “ew that’s gross” or “you do that? That’s SO WEIRD” we’re a common occurrence.
Instead of looking inside, getting comfortable in my own skin and finding pleasure within myself before going out into the world of sexual unknowns, I was thrown in the deep end and so much pressure was put on my first sexual encounters, whether that was a one night stand or a long term relationship. It was like we were supposed to just know exactly what to do to please each other without even knowing what we liked or what felt good within ourselves, and not having any language to communicate our feelings or our desires. From these unspoken misunderstandings came feelings of guilt and shame, I was too confused and afraid to ask for help, and at that point there probably wasn’t anyone to ask anyway.
From this shame and guilt around self exploration and exploring with a partner, I put up hard walls around feeling pleasure - instead I would feel pain or discomfort with most of my sexual partners, only adding to the distress towards my sexuality, and seeing any change as a lost hope.
It is only within the last year of breaking down those barriers that I have been able to explore self pleasure and feel ultimate comfort and ease within myself. I have realised that even with years of the same problems repeating, I don’t have to go on like this, and there are loads of people out there that have dedicated their lives to helping people like me. I am by no means fully sexually liberated, but I am at the beginning of a dedicated journey towards this. I believe that self pleasure is the first of many steps on this journey to finding the sexually empowered woman within and I will not STOP until I have found her.