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Hard to Put My Finger On... Masturbation

Until as recently as the 1960s, masturbation was seen as a disease that required a cure. All sorts of horrific side effects and ailments were blamed on sex-crazed women and their sinful masturbation, from fatigue and memory loss, to hairy palms and blindness!

 

There was much advice on avoiding the causes of masturbation (heavy bedclothes, too early a bedtime, tight clothing) as well as it’s “cures”. For instance, Kellogg’s Cornflakes were originally created as a food that would limit the desire to masturbate! And true enough I do feel quite sluggish after a big bowl of cereal…

 

It wasn’t until the middle of the 20th century that attitudes towards masturbation began to change and society began to open up to the benefits of masturbation. The turning point was the publication of research by the renowned sexologist Alfred Kinsey following his surveys of the American public in the late 1940s and early 50s. His later work, ‘Sexual Behavior in the Human Female’, confirmed what he had suspected – that women masturbated and masturbated frequently! Hurray!

 

Studies such as these not only helped normalise masturbation among the female population, it also helped normalise sexual health research among the medical profession, where it had long been an area of healthcare that was stigmatised and neglected. Nowadays, there is a wealth of research into sexual health, and the vital role a patient’s sexual wellbeing plays in their overall holistic care.

 

However it has been my experience, that women as well as girls going through puberty, still feel embarrassed by masturbation, and feel their digital habits should be kept secret, for fear of ridicule.

 

Have you ever felt like this, perhaps at school when you were a teenager? And do you feel like masturbation amongst boys and men is normalised and but that this isn’t the case for us females?

 

It’s a difficult thing to put my finger on (excuse the pun!), because it is obviously, a private experience for everyone and so not something you would normally bring up in conversation at a catch up with a friend, or at dinner with your partner… but we absolutely should feel like we can at least mention it to our nearest and dearest without blushing! How else will we get good and honest recommendations for vibrators and sex toys? Apart from in my store of course!

 

I would be especially interested to hear if any of you have spoken to your adolescent children about masturbation and exploring their bodies? And is it the father who would speak to their boys and the mother who speaks to daughters? Comment below!

 

Anna.

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