Imagine this. It’s middle school. Everyone is obsessed with boobs. The boys can’t stop staring and making comments at every woman’s budding puberty. Every girl is begging for a B cup at minimum… or at least this was how it was before 2010.
The boys can’t stop making jokes about masturbating. They are no stranger to drooling over the senior girls with larger chests and developed figures.
But let’s be clear — if you were 12, rocking an absolutely barren chest and thinking… jacking off? What is that? Do girls have a ‘jacking off?’ — you weren’t alone.
This has long been the coming of age story for so many young girls. As it pertains to masturbation, of course.
So why is it that girls learn first about the self-pleasure of their male counterparts? And why is it that these same girls so easily step into their teens (and even twenties) with no concept of female masturbation.
This, along with a list of many other burning questions, is a product of something we like to the Pleasure Patriarchy.
The Pleasure Patriarchy: One Anecdote of Many
This is one story of female sexual awakening, painting a picture of the pleasure patriarchy in its truest form. And if you have a vulva between your legs, chances are this tale isn’t so strange.
“It wasn’t till I was in my early twenties that I learned about female masturbation in its full form. It wasn’t something you talked about with your mom, as female masturbation had famously seemed ‘dirty’ or what ‘freaks’ do.
In highschool, I remember learning about a girl who masturbated and everybody thought she was disgusting, promiscuous… the list goes on.
But today, as an adult female, everybody I know and their mom masturbates. It’s a common experience amongst all of us. So, why is it that young men are comfortable talking about the daily duties of their hand amongst themselves? And that when women speak of the same topic about their own bodies, it is completely taboo?
Well, I’d say it’s because the clitoris is not discussed. And that for far too long, female orgasms were not even a part of my vocabulary.
If that isn’t enough, when I lost my virginity, I genuinely thought cumming was when you got wet — like when your vagina self-lubricates during a naked rodeo.
Like, no babe.
I was so confused. Totally uneducated and letting my brain fill in the gaps. I didn’t even know what to take to Google. So instead, I decided to talk to my brother. Weird, I know. But if this isn’t the epitome of the lengths a girl must go to learn about sex, I don’t know what is.
I simply asked him “Did you learn about ejaculation or masturbation in sex ed in middle school?”
His response shocked me.
“Absolutely! Definitely learned about it. Boners, jacking off, how to hide your boner, all of it.”
I’m sorry. Full stop.
As a young girl I never learned about masturbation. I didn’t even know that girls could masturbate. And when I did, nobody wanted to be the high school girl that masturbated.
Did you hear about Shannon? She masturbates. Yup. How weird and gross, right?
By why? Why as women do we not learn any of this?
Well, it’s called a pleasure patriarchy for a reason. As part of greater patriarchal systems, this imbalance in sexual education and empowerment are surely a result of society’s drastically different expectations of men and women.”
Changing the Game, Suffragette Style
If the story above is ever to change for young girls as they mature, education is where it all begins.
Sex ed teachers, it’s time to talk about the clit.
Parents, take the talk a couple steps beyond the birds and bees.
It’s only then that penises and vaginas may explore pleasure on the same playing field. And let’s be clear, the benefits of this shift are more than hoards of women nurturing a relationship with their clit.
Sexual education and empowerment are long overdue for the vulva owners of this world. So, do your part and explore your nether regions in new and exciting ways. We recommend you start with a toy.