Eliminating Shame – Masturbation May

Masturbation May is half over already! I have seen some exciting posts from other bloggers about the fun they are having to celebrate, the struggles they have had in the past, and reflection on what Masturbation May means to them. I will close out this post with a few links to some awesome pieces on masturbation and what it means to them.

I have another post drafted around the story of my masturbatory evolution and how it ties into being body positive but have been working on the confidence to post it. Starting with an explanation of what this month means to me is a good start!

Part of my drive behind this blog is helping others become more comfortable finding information about sexual topics, discussing sexual topics, and decreasing the shame that continues to be involved. We all need to share our struggles, our desires, and make decisions about our bodies with accurate information.  We need to ask questions without shame. The shame is the most important issue to tackle!

Merriam Webster defines shame as “a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety”. We have all experienced feelings of shame in situations where it is warranted such as after we have mistreated a friend but we have all also experienced feelings of shame for countless other reasons that are not warranted. How shame is experienced in our childhood continues into our adulthood.

As children we are taught substitute words for our genitals. Pee pee, privates, and dinky are more accepted than penis and vagina. When a child is seen holding their privates and tells their parent they need to use the washroom they are whisked away to do the deed. When a child is touching their genitals for any other reason the response is “don’t do that it’s dirty” teaching children parts of their body are dirty. Dirty enough that we shouldn’t say their real names or touch them. In my opinion the first step in eliminating shame around any sexual topic is to raise children that know what their body parts are called. Properly labeling our genitals allows people to communicate when something is wrong not just pleasure, which seems to be what fuels the shame. If a child can say “my penis hurts when I pee” they are going to get their needs met better than a child that has been raised not to talk about their privates.

As we go through puberty our bodies experience so many new feelings. We are divided into groups of boys and groups of boys and given the awkward sex ed programming at school. We hear about getting our periods, basics of reproduction, and are usually taught these things by an adult who is clearly uncomfortable. A safe space to learn and ask questions is not provided. Pleasure is not discussed. How to properly take care of your body is not discussed. With these basics being avoided it is no wonder masturbation is not discussed and because it is not discussed it must be embarrassing and shameful. If we could bring in sex educators to create a safe environment, engage youth in learning about their bodies, and teach them how to properly care for themselves they will be able to make choices from a health standpoint rather than out of shame or just not knowing.

When we don’t talk about our bodies, pleasure, and how to care for ourselves we can’t expect people to take care of themselves or make healthy decisions. Why would we bring up masturbation when we can’t even voice that me have a yeast infection without being embarrassed? This short discussion doesn’t solve the problem but I hope it encourages you to think about how you treat these topics in your own home, with your friends and family, and in your day to day activities. I hope that you put forth the effort to challenge your own feelings of shame and find a way to discuss the topic with your doctor or partner. Baby steps at first.

Eliminating the shame around masturbation starts with being educated about and comfortable with discussing our bodies. Until we start working on this in our own lives we can’t expect others to be doing it. We need to model healthy behaviour for youth and for other adults. When we bring up an uncomfortable topic and are supported in the discussion it makes it easier to continue to do so. To ignite change we need to continue to have those conversations.

I have been trying to support other creators more in the past month through Patreon but also want to start sharing more of others content. Here are a few pieces that other bloggers have shared around masturbation that I have enjoyed, reread, and reflected on. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do

Let Met Smell Your Fingers – A Memoir – This piece speaks for itself. Veronica writes thoughtful toy and book reviews but this is a piece I revisit when I think of my own masturbatory evolution and the stigma attached. Thank you for sharing such personal details and moments with us Veronica – these are the exact pieces needed to help us all be more comfortable discussing masturbation and continue to normalize it.

Including Kink in Masturbation & Self Care – This was a piece I read a long time ago and there were many “aha” moments as I thought about incorporating kink activities into solo play. I have always been aroused by others stories of kink and longed to experience something similar however it took quite a while to fathom that I could engage in these activities alone. I recently shared this piece with my husband to explain some of my interest in kink and how it could be centering to include various activities in solo and coupled sessions.

The American Sex Podcast – Recently opened episode 41 by answering a listeners question about solo kink activities. They chatted about their own introductory activities into solo kink. Their Patreon supporters are getting a great gift of The Butters from Peepshow Toys. Sunny was one of the first sex educators that I started following and it is always exciting to hear about what they are up to now!

Self Love Is Self Care – I close with a post that some more vanilla folk will relate to. Cynthia Loyst shares her expertise with viewers of The Social (a Canadian daytime TV show) and on her website. Cynthia encourages her readers to find their pleasure whether it be reading erotica or eating the cupcake. She ends this post in reminding her readers that they are not alone.

I close with that sentiment with my own readers – You are not alone!

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