We talk about everything with our friends. Or at least we thought we did. Weird-looking discharge? Not a problem. A sex position that didn’t quite go to plan? We’ve discussed it. An aggressive stomach cramp that’s about to lead to immediate diarrhea in our mate’s bathroom? Not even remotely embarrassing. But masturbation? Well, masturbation still felt taboo.
So we set up an anonymous email account and encouraged everyone we knew to login and create drafts detailing their masturbation habits. And this feature is the result. The reality behind how women in their twenties, thirties and forties are really participating in self-pleasure.
We hope you find it as interesting as we did…
‘I’m single, 34, straight (ish), have masturbated since I was 11 after I accidentally flicked the porn channel on and it was the 11pm free preview and showed two women fondling – it was magical. And I’ve been hooked to girl on girl porn since. Pornhub is my site of choice, I like the clear layout of categories and the search feature so you won’t end up watching something you really didn’t want to see. In terms of frequency, it totally depends on my mood. Lockdown has been very up and down; one week I can be a two-three times a day lady and then some weeks I don’t have any sexual urges at all. I only own one vibrator – the classic, pink, rampant rabbit and I like to masturbate when lying on the sofa (usually in a Netflix hole and need the distraction) or in bed before sleep – I also enjoy a nice bath session. And I always touch myself when I’m with a lover/partner as part of our sexual antics.’
‘I never really even considered masturbation until I was 17 and had been invited to my first ever Ann Summer’s party. I came home with a pink glittery vibrator and my then-boyfriend was keen for us to give it a go together – thanks to that baby I had my first ever orgasm and it was G-L-O-R-I-O-U-S. Since then I’ve always kept a vibrator in my underwear drawer, it’s something I only use when I’m the only one home – I get into bed, play some decent music on my phone, and spend maybe 10-15 minutes with myself. I don’t tend to watch porn, mostly because I have no idea where to find the good stuff (i.e. the videos that don’t focus on a woman being penetrated in every hole available), but do have a fantasy I tend to refer back to when I need it which involves a steamy shower and a male crush).’
‘I’m single, straight, 30 and mum to a three-year-old. I never really masturbated properly until my friends bought me a vibrator when I was around 18 (I think) as a ‘joke’. Best joke present ever. I started having sex at 16 but I don’t think I ever actually came until I used the vibrator and even now I only cum when someone goes down on me. I use Pornhub and only ever really watch the passion hd videos, but I always find the sex a bit too fake so I always watch it with the sound off because the OTT noises put me off. I have found a few erotic stories online and I prefer to read them because then I can picture it with whoever I want in the starring roles. I have a bit of a fantasy about having my wrists tied to the bedposts so I sometimes just play that out in my head – sex is the only part of my life where I like the idea of being totally dominated by a man. I’ve never really discussed masturbation with a partner and I don’t tend to touch myself during sex but I think that’s more of a confidence thing and maybe something I should work on! ‘
‘I’m very open when it comes to masturbation (no pun intended). I let go of any shame attached to it a long time ago because I realised there is so much power in unshackling our own sexuality – beyond the benefit of feeling good, the psychological benefits are huge! I became acutely aware of the different gendered attitudes towards masturbation during high school. The boys couldn’t stop talking about how often they wanked but to mention *shhh… FINGERING* as a girl was steeped in shame. Even as a young teen I thought this was bollocks. And the funny thing was, none of us girls had a clue how to masturbate anyway. I don’t know if we even knew what the clitoris was. Fast forward to 18 and I’m buzzing myself to bits in bed. I had my first orgasm with an Ann Summers vibrator and not my then-long-term boyfriend. Fast forward again to 26, and I’m in another long-term relationship but this time equipped with an arsenal of toys. I watch porn occasionally but I find it can distract me from centering myself in the feeling of my body, and I only watch lesbian porn which I know is quite common for women but may also lean into my… curiosity. The frequency of masturbation varies depending on stress, my cycle, how much sex I’m having, how many sex scenes I’m reading in books (my biggest turn on – I’m doomed in a library). But one thing always stays the same: whenever I engage in self-pleasure, I never regret it.’
‘I’m 30 and in a relationship, but masturbation isn’t a topic that is openly discussed between me and my partner as it feels very personal and almost taboo. However, I would like to be more open about it. I don’t think I started masturbating until my late teens, around the time chat rooms and chat roulette became a *thing*. My go to site is Pornhub, I always look for the same thing which is general threesomes with a focus on two women or girl-on-girl. I feel this gives better pleasure because it focuses on the women which I can relate to. As I’ve got older, I’ve also got into massage porn – it was a complete accidental find,but now I very much enjoy it. I can flit between using a vibrator or simply my hand, this all depends on how much time I have and what mood I’m in. I’ve also been partial to a very strong shower head at times!‘