A few of my female friends will openly admit to masturbation and far fewer would admit to owning a dildo or vibrator. I remember broaching the subject with a newer female acquaintance and her declaring with absolute pride that she had never ‘done that’; her whole attitude was one of distain and I remember feeling a bit sorry for her. However, she is far from alone with attitudes of disgust and lack of self-confidence when asked about masturbation. In addition, many women feel unable to masturbate as they lack knowledge of the female anatomy and unsure about how to self-stimulate. In contrast, it is widely accepted that men masturbate (even if infrequently) and if I were to ask my male friends about masturbation they would first think me strange for asking, but few would deny having ever engaged in the act.
Women are taught from an early age that they have no business ‘down there’ unless it is in relation to intercourse. I remember learning in a secondary school history class about young women being labeled ‘demonic’ or ‘witches’ when they had been caught rubbing themselves. In many ways, society still maintains an archaic attitude to female pleasure and women are taught that the only pleasure worth having must come from the touch of another individual. From an early age, we are taught that our own physical pleasure must be derived in part from another human being and to pleasure yourself is ‘distasteful’.