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Feel Guilty After Masturbating As A Woman? 3 Ways To Stop Feeling So Ashamed

For men, masturbation is a straight-up rite of passage. It feels like every blockbuster comedy has a joke about a suburban mother coming to terms with her pubescent son's "crusty sheets," and every male comic has a bit about "yanking it" to porn. Despite some strides made in mainstream culture (think of Broad City's raunchy jokes and pop jam "I Love Myself" by Hailee Steinfeld), that widespread level of acceptance hasn't quite caught on among women yet, and so if you feel guilty after masturbating, you definitely aren't alone.

Many cultures around the world have had a long history of shaming or not celebrating women for their sexuality. Even if you consider yourself to be an open-minded, sex-positive person, it can be tough to unlearn ingrained beliefs about sex and sexuality being unclean, taboo, or discouraged by your family, religion, or society.

Your relationship to your body and your sexuality is an ever-changing thing. The way you feel about masturbation right now isn't necessarily the only outlook you're ever going to have. If you'd like to change your perspective on solo sex, there are some steps you can take to adjust your mindset. Self-pleasure doesn't need to come with a side serving of shame any longer.

Accept That It's Totally Normal

We live in the age of sex toy subscription boxes and feminist porn. There are articles, books, and even TV shows about women who masturbate, so let those be further reminders that masturbation is totally innocent.

You most likely first had the impulse to masturbate at a young age, possibly before you even knew what you were doing. That's how normal it is. Children figure it out without having ever seen a porno or even knowing what sex is.

It's possible that when you did reach for your nether regions, a parent told you, "Don't touch your Volvo!" (that's what I called my vajay when I was little) because you were in front of people. Or maybe they shamed you entirely for it. Either way, we're taught to explore our bodies in private only, which can sometimes lead to some lasting, subconscious shame spirals that should not exist. The antidote? Accept that we all masturbate.

Reframe It As A Feminist Act

If you still can't quite come to terms with the weird, engrained guilt you feel about touching yourself alone in the privacy of your bedroom, think about the men in your life. (Except not your dad or your brothers, ew.) Your boyfriends, male friends, and male co-workers can all talk and joke about jerking off with each other. Or rather, they can joke about jerking off to each other.

Masturbation is funny to men, because society told them so. It's similar to the way guys send shameless dick pics to women, and are shamed on the internet for it way less often than women are victims of revenge porn. Sometimes, it seems like a man has to be Anthony Weiner-level inappropriate to feel any sort of shame around attaining sexual pleasure.

Let that infuriate you, and subsequently give you permission to see yourself to the land of the big O solo. Masturbating proudly is one tiny step towards equality, you know? Forget the shame and congratulate yourself for pleasuring your lady parts because men do it all of the time.

Plus, when dudes masturbate, it actually makes a mess. So if anyone should be embarrassed, it should be them.

Talk To Your Friends About It

Depending on how open you and your friends are about sex stuff, this might totally weird you out, and I hear that. But if you're around a group of women who can talk openly about masturbation, you're going to realize that it's a lot less taboo than society makes it out to be.

You don't have to share the details of exactly how you splay yourself on your bed and what you use to start your engine, but you could talk about masturbation in a casual way to normalize it. If you have a particularly open friend, maybe she's the first one you mention it to.

And if that's still too cringe-worthy for you, listen to a podcast or read a book about women and self-love... the physical kind. Try Corinne Fisher and Krista Hutchinson's podcast "Guys We F*cked," which is a self-described "anti slut-shaming podcast."

The main thing to overcome when thinking about shame and masturbation as a woman is, well... all of society. The world we live probably in gave you a lot of "bad habits" around the way you perceived masturbation.

If you want to stop feeling ashamed of masturbating, as an individual you can work on overcoming that voice telling you that you are doing something wrong or dirty when you take a few minutes out of your day to please yourself.

When that voice peeps up, shut it down. Whether that means reframing the act as feminist one, or Googling an article like this one to remind yourself that touching yourself down there is normal, just tell that voice to "shh" and be on your way to Pleasure Town. (Except maybe don't call it Pleasure Town. That sounds like a terrible porn and kind of kills the mood.)

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