I’m lying on the table, vulnerable, cold and full of some jelly substance. She hands me a towel to wipe up. She finishes listing all the dating apps and sites she was scrolling through this weekend. “So he says to me, you must have someone who’s taking care of your needs then if you’re still single”.
My aesthetician always has been pretty open and candid with me. I don’t necessarily appreciate it because I don’t like opening up to everyone, especially when my legs are literally open, but she has a hard time reading my uninterested facial expressions.
“So I say to him, I’ll have you know I don’t have anyone taking care of my needs – I’m fine being alone right now”. Again, I wasn’t sure what was encouraging her to speak as she lasered the rest of my vagina for hair removal.
“Who says we need a man to take ‘care of our needs’ – we’ve got enough toys for that and we’re not animals like they are. I mean, I don’t use toys or masturbate but some of my girlfriends do”.
I start to think about how many of my girlfriends have admitted to masturbating and I shit you not, out of 5 close friends and an additional 10 close-ish friends, I’m one of the 2 women who ‘takes care of her own needs’.
I think back to how the man in my aesthetician’s story reacted to a pretty woman being single: he assumed that she must have some side man keeping her sane and providing her with pleasure. As if men are the only sources of satisfaction. Did he forget women have hands too?
We forget the possibility and importance of self stimulation and the empowerment we give ourselves when we don’t leave this joy solely in the hands of men. This isn’t an anti-men rant or anything, I just think that men never forget what their hands are capable of while women are ashamed to move below the belt alone. I love men and appreciate their sexual autonomy and I think it’s important we mimic that pleasure awareness.
Normalizing masturbation for women also eliminates the time we waste in bad situations; rather than having a friends with benefits set up with a horrible ex, you can “maintain yourself” with no emotional or personal liabilities and risks. It sounds a bit futuristic and disconnected to rely on toys or yourself to get off but it should definitely be an option, and option that is considered by women as much as men. Masturbation has the ability to teach you about yourself, learn what makes you feel good and what doesn’t.