There are ample examples of the display of sexual power exhibited by the masculine gender. Even the act of masturbation is oft thought of as a male past-time. With the advent of puberty and natural levels of testosterone, men also start early in mastering this art of self-gratification.
This also explains why Popeye had one too many muscles in his forearms.
But this article is aimed towards exploring this art in women.
Freedom of female sexuality may not be an issue of grave concern; still, it is a topic that is least discussed in the open and we are continually shamed for expressing it, by men and women alike. What a better way to control each other than to place restrictions of the libido that is a natural part of our life instinct?
When I first heard that a number of young women had nude photos in whatever shape or angle of themselves, password protected on their phones, it made me feel happy that they were comfortable with their bodies and content with their sexuality.
This Alanis Morisette “Thank You” video of being free in all her nudity is an inspiring example of the same.
When those same photos were blatantly hacked for public distribution and those famed woman were blamed for keeping them in the privacy of their devices, my blood came to a boil.
The cartoon may show a man but women, too, have been quick to blame partly because the onus lies on women to avoid a patriarchal scenario rather than focusing on the actions of the man to not hit and rape. (Yes, men get abused and raped too.)
- What to wear and avoid being called a slut
- How to avoid getting one’s drink spiked in a social setting
- How to behave and exude purity of a Virgin Mary or Durga Lakshmi
- Necessity of being in a group and walked home safely
- How not to stand alone in a corner waiting for a goddam bus to get home only to get honked by multiple cars because they think you are available for sex.
Ah, I digress on the last one but it’s a simple reality check on our day to day lives.
Why didn’t the woman prevent the crime? — is akin to saying — Why did she invite attention to herself by simply existing?
Women’s bodies are always in demand and certain sections of society will take every illegal measure to capture it for their benefit.
There are a plethora of ways I can explain why this blame is preposterous but Jon Stewart does it best. He makes note of plenty of horny men who have sent nudes of themselves to unwilling women. Besides some passing jokes, these men were still able to run for office, lead lives free of repercussions etc.
Personal Experiences and Psyche
Since almost all women experience some level of street harassment, and live in a persistent rape culture that shames women, not to mention pathetic lyrics of “Blurred Lines” and hyper-sexualization of female body parts solely for male arousal, a woman’s ability to feel comfortable with her sexuality does not come easy.
Shweta Basu, a National Award winning, talented female actress was recently shamed for making ends meet via prostitution whereas none of her “high-profile” male clients are even mentioned in any media outlet. Perhaps, the following 2 social experiments with statistically sound samples can provide some insight. In the former, the man seems like a trooper to win the advances of a few women. In the latter, the woman is largely frowned upon for her actions.
Morissette’s nudity in ‘Thank You’ is empowering whereas Thicke’s video depicting naked women prancing around suited and booted men cages us back into rape culture. On that note, I even find “Sheila ki Jawaani” song as a powerful anthem of a woman embracing her sexiness and vocalizing “my body, my rules” with lyrics like “I know you want it but you’re never gonna get my body.” Yesteryear songs like “Aaja Piya Tohe Pyaar Doon” similarly reflect a woman’s desire to make love on her own accord.
On the other end of the spectrum, “Munni Badnaam Hui” is the present-day reality of Shweta Basu and many others. There are similar horrors like “Chikni Chameli” and “Fevicol Se” where a woman is depicted as a piece of meat while she sings — “Bhooke sheron se kheloongi main” and “Main tandoor murgi hoon yaar.” Much like the West, the East is just as hypocritical to women in its sexualized depiction of them.
Having encountered perverts of varied age groups who didn’t hesitate to stare and grope even before I had fully developed breasts, my affection for men was minimal to non-existent through my teenage years. I can even recall some of the boys in my school who would try to click pictures of girls in our school skirt uniform and how repulsive it was to be privy to their comments about the images they shared.
On a different note, I secretly enjoyed singing lyrics like Lady Marmalade’s “Voulez-vous couchez avec moi?” in my room and feeling somewhat empowered by asking for something I wanted. This is also why Lady Gaga, with all her eccentricities, reaches out to a wide audience. Her music can be liberating in its upfront take on sexuality — “Alejandro” and its lines of “You know that I love you boy, hot like Mexico rejoice” and the single “Boys, Boys, Boys – we love you” — are also some of my favorites :]
When I did get more comfortable around loving, respectful men, I was finally happy to be in tune with my sexuality as a straight woman.
(Members of the LGBTQ community do face similar abuse and issues within their relationships).
And now when I do get aroused by a fairly attractive man on cinema or otherwise, that it is something no woman should feel the need to suppress, let alone be ashamed of.
Morality & Sexuality
As humans, we aspire to be loved and make love in ways we feel comfortable. It is not like my morning yoga routine is going to magically turn me into some ascetic monk.
To restrict us on how we should feel poses a setback to our personal growth and well-being. It is no crime to feel aroused, and the belief that the mere thought of touching ourselves will arouse the wrath of God or some supernatural invasion of aliens is utter rubbish.
One thing is for sure – waiting till marriage or not is a personal choice and forcing someone into an act they do not consent to should be penalized accordingly, man, woman or transgender.
‘Master’ing the Female Arousal
A great discovery of my life, apart from the fact that I have come to love my libido, is that one need not have prior experience of coitus (as Sheldon would say) to get in touch with one’s sexuality (*cough* me *cough* – insert Queen movie reference “mutual fund ki tarah sambhal rakha hai”). Sexual innuendos, ftw!
Our arms have evolved in better proportion than a T-Rex for a reason. Safe and healthy self-pleasing is a neat way of achieving a sexually happy society.
If regular self-pleasing inside the privacy of one’s home can help prevent men from constantly ogling women outside, I would encourage more to feel satisfied with a good ol’ whip of their hands down under.
The priceless question – what turns women on?
I cannot speak for all but personally, watching porn is not one of them.
This is because of the borderline porn scenes I have observed, the woman is a mere passive participant. The man always appears to be vibrating in bouts of seizure as if he has been electrocuted by inserting his penis inside a socket.
More importantly, porn is serious objectification of my gender. It is empty sex to only satisfy the male gaze. As a woman, it looks unbelievably unfulfilling and nauseating.
I’d rather imagine a scene where the woman has more of an empowering role in fulfilling her desires and both partners are deeply in love and she wants to rip his clothes off and……
(Got a wee bit out of control there…hehe)
Click on this link to see the brilliant comedian Louis CK talking about sex and explaining why women are left unsatisfied in the end.
Women — Below I will list some of the major pros of masturbation.
- No offspring
- No acquiring of diseases
- Reduced stress
- Better sleep
So women (and men) – let’s get in tune with our sexuality.
Even God gives his/her thumbs up hands down 😉