When I was 10 years old, I confessed to a girlfriend that I liked to touch my breasts until my nipples got hard. She replied, "Ew! That's masturbating." From my friend's apparent disgust at the "m" word, I felt ashamed for what I had done, and subsequently didn't ever bring up that topic again with girlfriends until college, when I was already sexually active. Junior high and high school girl gab sessions were, however, filled with talk of what we did to boys and what boys did to us.
Not to sound like a fortune cookie, but isn't the first and truest love self-love? Thankfully, we have come a long way from the days of my youth. In fact, there's a new app that's geared towards girls and women called HappyPlayTime that gives valuable information on female anatomy, sexuality stats that will make us feel good about ourselves and masturbation techniques. Tina Gong, who launched the app, which is still in development (and the only one this reporter can find to date) writes on the HappyPlayTime blog that "loving your body in every way is not a sin." Taking the shame out of self-stimulation for girls and women can only be a positive thing. As Gong reports, 20% of women masturbate before bedtime to help them fall asleep and 44.4% of women first masturbated between the ages of 10 and 14 (so I guess I wasn't a total freak -- good to know). Gong's mission is not only to give us tingles (though yes, you will find instructions on where and how to touch yourself for maximum pleasure), but to dismantle the stigma associated with female masturbation, especially for women discovering their sexuality (like my younger self). How many of our moms taught us about clitoris stimulation while giving us "the talk"? And as Gong blogs, knowledge is both power and pleasure:
Being comfortable with your own sexual pleasure is a prerequisite to both being able to healthily accept pleasure from others and pleasing others. How can you exchange pleasure with someone else if you don't understand what your own body likes? That's why masturbation, and learning how to masturbate, is such a fundamental life lesson.
Unfortunately for many women, there has been a cultural stigma that blocks access to self-stimulation. HAPPYPLAYTIME is here to eliminate this barrier as much as possible. By talking openly and lightheartedly about female masturbation, we are taking the first step to becoming truly sexually liberated.