Saturday

Campus Confidential

Tessa Bryant
Issue date: 4/3/09 Section: Opinion

I am going to let all of you in on a secret: I masturbate. Often. Even when I had a boyfriend, I masturbated (and he did too).

Let me pose a question. What is more shocking: a woman that masturbates, or one that is willing to openly discuss it in public?

As I'm sure everyone is well aware, I am an advocate of sex. Sometimes, though, I like to keep it a little more personal. Sometimes there is nothing better than having a little one-on-one fun, getting in touch with your own body.

Don't worry, I am not going to get into the gritty details of my self-pleasure. I won't discuss my technique. Or my schedule. Or my fantasies.

I feel it important, however, to discuss the stigma attached to female masturbation, like many other issues regarding female sexuality. Is it fair? No, but it is an unfortunate part of life. As women, we get the short end of the stick more often than not.

Society has been pervasively masculine-dominated for a large percent of recorded history.

Simply put, men tend to get away with more than women. Guys pick up a girl for the sex and he's congratulated. A woman does the same thing and she's treated like a slut. Boys will be boys, right?

An image of the "ideal" woman has been passed down for generations. Although the sexual revolution helped break the mold and women have come a long way, the playing field is hardly equal. Women are still held to standards that just aren't fair.

My friend Jay contends that this standard does not only apply to women.

"How many guys do you think would own up to it?" he asked. "If you're doing it, you're not getting any action from the girls. It's taboo for both sexes."

He has a point. People tend to cast a negative light on masturbation, even though sexuality studies suggest an alarming number (along the lines of 97 percent of men) masturbate. It is a natural act. Why treat it like something wrong, dirty or taboo?

There are depictions of masturbation in early cave wall drawings and in the art and writings of nearly every culture through history since that time.

I am going to let all of you in on a secret: I masturbate. Often. Even when I had a boyfriend, I masturbated (and he did too).

Let me pose a question. What is more shocking: a woman that masturbates, or one that is willing to openly discuss it in public?

As I'm sure everyone is well aware, I am an advocate of sex. Sometimes, though, I like to keep it a little more personal. Sometimes there is nothing better than having a little one-on-one fun, getting in touch with your own body.

Don't worry, I am not going to get into the gritty details of my self-pleasure. I won't discuss my technique. Or my schedule. Or my fantasies.

I feel it important, however, to discuss the stigma attached to female masturbation, like many other issues regarding female sexuality. Is it fair? No, but it is an unfortunate part of life. As women, we get the short end of the stick more often than not.

Society has been pervasively masculine-dominated for a large percent of recorded history.

Simply put, men tend to get away with more than women. Guys pick up a girl for the sex and he's congratulated. A woman does the same thing and she's treated like a slut. Boys will be boys, right?

An image of the "ideal" woman has been passed down for generations. Although the sexual revolution helped break the mold and women have come a long way, the playing field is hardly equal. Women are still held to standards that just aren't fair.

My friend Jay contends that this standard does not only apply to women.

"How many guys do you think would own up to it?" he asked. "If you're doing it, you're not getting any action from the girls. It's taboo for both sexes."

He has a point. People tend to cast a negative light on masturbation, even though sexuality studies suggest an alarming number (along the lines of 97 percent of men) masturbate. It is a natural act. Why treat it like something wrong, dirty or taboo?

There are depictions of masturbation in early cave wall drawings and in the art and writings of nearly every culture through history since that time.