It seems only right, I suppose, that my first post back from a very long blog-cation would be about masturbation. It’s one of those words that still today leaves people eyes wide shut! Or mouth wide open! And when I say ‘people’, I am not excluded from that collective.
I got Showtime Online this summer! Big news there–not really, but in any case, I now have access to the shows people are always chatting about in social media or by the water cooler. Ray Donovan was the one who made me crack open my cheapo wallet, but along the way I also found Shameless and Masters of Sex.
After binge watching Ray Donovan and Shameless I needed something else to entertain my lazy summer, and low and behold I found Masters of Sex. Okay so let me be honest, I saw the title and immediately thought hmm, this might teach me some new positions or at best turn me on, so I clicked on it. Thirty minutes into the first episode of season 1 did very little for me. Perhaps I was just disappointed because it didn’t have the raw raunchy stuff I thought I’d see, so I clicked off.
But then a couple of weeks later I clicked on it again, and, well, I’m hooked. Here’s what I like, first off, I’m a visual person and so I naturally like the 50s wardrobe the cast wears in each episode, then there’s the way the women deliver their dialogue with such intention, and most of all I love that I get to see how pleasure is studied from a scientific perspective. Before I got truly committed to the show I had no clue that the characters William Masters and Virginia Johnson are based on the real Masters and Johnson who pioneered the study of human sexuality. While I know the show is mostly fictitious, it is an added bonus for me to know that it is touching upon real topics that occurred in history.
The way I see it, this show is showing me how women were seen as incomplete without men, down to the very core of their own sexuality. In one episode you see a woman in a laboratory masturbating with a dildo while doctors on the other side are flabbergasted at the very fact that she can get off all on her own without a man. Obviously sitting in my livingroom in today’s world I see this as comical, but can you imagine living this life back then for real??? That meant that if you pleasured yourself it was taboo and wrong. Oddly enough I think that view is still the same today. We are a shamed society on many fronts and pleasure-shaming certainly does not take a backseat.
Take a flashback with me to a few months ago. I was conversing with a woman who has a young daughter, pre-k age to be more accurate. The conversation went roughly like this, “I always keep an eye and ear open to what they’re doing in their rooms, you just never know. One time I caught her rubbing against the sheets and I asked her why she was doing that, and she replied “mommy it feels magical”.” And then I, as a curious non-parent asked “What do you tell her at that age?” and the woman said “I know it feels magical, but it’s not good for you”. And it was her response that has stayed with my subconscious these past few months. It’s been sitting in the back of my mind waiting for the right moment to pop back up.
The thought popped back up again when recently I came across this video by Laci Green. Basically the video is expressing the detriments that can occur from masturbation-shaming and the positives that come from embracing it whether you’re a child or an adult. And it got me thinking again about the mom who told her daughter “that’s not good for you”. So here’s what I am wondering, would I be deemed a bad mother If I were to tell my daughter, “yes honey, it does feel good doesn’t it? I want you to know it’s okay if you do that, but only if you do it privately at home just for you to enjoy.” Would this be tempting the evils of the world to come and snatch my baby girl? I don’t know.
But when I detach myself from the “what if” I were a parent bit, I see a deeper layer hiding beneath. I see perhaps a young girl who has just discovered what it means to please herself in the most innate manner. I see a young girl who clearly understands what feels good to her. I see a young girl who is audacious enough to put words to her feelings and verbally express it. I see a young girl who has decided for herself what she deems pleasurable, and above all, that she is capable of initiating and executing pleasure all on her own without the aid of another.
So I leave you with this, parents and non-parents…At what age would the scenario below be okay?
Mother: “Did you finish your homework yet?”
Daughter: “Yes mom”
Mother: “Okay continue pleasing yourself, dinner will be ready in 10 minutes”.
Daughter: “Okay, thanks”