I don’t know about the rest of you, but personally, all of my previous male romantic partners indulged fully when it comes to masturbation. They’d tell me all about how they thought about me while jerking off. Or, even worse, I’d inadvertently walk in on their “morning ritual” and learn with my own eyes just how much they liked to masturbate.
For years I (falsely) assumed that my partners didn’t feel sexually satisfied. I also thought that they must just crave sex way more than I do.
However, I recently read about a research study that blew my beliefs right out of the water.
Each year, the sex toy company TENGA conducts what they call the “Self-Pleasure Report.” The company surveys over 10,000 men and women from nine different countries to learn more about their masturbation habits and feelings about self-pleasure. However, the results tell us so much more than what you’d think.
The most recent edition of the US survey found that 91 percent of men masturbate, whereas just 78 percent of women do so. However, it doesn’t just end there. The survey also found that, on average, men masturbate roughly 15 times per month whereas women only do so about eight times in the same timeframe.
While you may think that these stats can easily be explained by a difference in libido between men and women, most social psychologists would argue that it’s actually social norms, not sex drives, that ultimately impact this difference in masturbation habits.
After all, most guys I know see masturbation as natural, healthy, and unavoidable. For them, it’s a normal expression of manliness and a great way to relieve stress.
Women, though? Not so much.
Personally, my parents taught me that discussing sex was faux pas. Furthermore, admitting that you have a healthy sex drive or browse porn is basically equivalent to identifying yourself as a slut. And, not surprisingly, it turns out that TENGA’s survey revealed the same thing: Nearly 60 percent of women believe that it’s unacceptable to talk about masturbation, and 40 percent of them lie about if they masturbate when talking to friends, family, and even their own partner.
Once again, I feel like this all goes to show that sexism is alive and well in our country. Not only do we receive less pay than men and deal with their sexual advances everywhere we go, but we can’t even explore our own bodies without someone calling us uncouth.
So, ladies, I think it’s time to start reclaiming our sexuality, don’t you? After all, several of my exes say that masturbation is great stress relief — and between COVID-19 and Kanye West’s plans to run for president, I’m definitely feeling stressed.