How to Get Rid of Shame and Guilt After Masturbating

Did you know that May is Masturbation Month? This month, aimed at celebrating all things jerking off, started life with the first National Masturbation Day on 7 May, 1995, declared by sex shop Good Vibrations in honour of Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders (who was fired by President Bill Clinton a year earlier for suggesting that masturbation should be part of the sex education curriculum. Yes, really.)

It will not come as a surprise to anyone who reads my writing that I believe masturbation is a wonderful thing. (What else would the woman who owns over 150 sex toys say!?) Unfortunately, it’s still a highly stigmatised and under-discussed topic in society generally. This is particularly true when it comes to the subject of masturbation for women and people with vulvas, though all genders can be and are impacted.

I couldn’t find any reliable statistics on how many people feel shame and guilt after masturbating. However, based on anecdotal evidence, I am willing to bet it’s a significant number. So what can you do if you’re one of them? I don’t have any easy answers, because this stuff is complicated, but I do have a few suggestions for you. As always, take the ones that work for you and leave the ones that don’t.

Figure Out Where the Shame is Coming From

If you feel shame or guilt after masturbating, those feelings have come from somewhere. None of us are born with an inherent sense of shame about our bodies and our sexuality.

Often, it’s religion. Unfortunately, repressive religious teachings about sexuality have a lot to answer for. These teachings tend to be utterly unrealistic (“never have a single sexual feeling until you get married, then have amazing sex with your spouse right out of the gate”, anyone?) They are often laced with all kinds of factual inaccuracies. They’re also wildly hypocrital, because A) as we’ll see, most people masturbate, including those who rail against it, and B) sexually repressive religion is an absolute hotbed of sexual abuse and violence.

I’m a committed atheist and I’m certainly not going to tell you what your relationship with religion or God should look like. But I invite you to consider this: do you really think that, considering *gestures at the entire world being on fire in all of the ways*, God’s biggest concern is whether you enjoy some self-induced orgasms? Religious sexual shame is primarily a mechanism of control, particularly of women and women’s bodies.

Or perhaps your feelings come from a time when someone else shamed you for touching yourself. This shame might have come from parents or other adults in your life when you were young, from peers and friends, from regressive sex education, or even from sexual partners.

It’s also possible that you have had none of these experiences, and have simply internalised some societal messaging about masturbation. That happens to so many of us. It’s also possible that a collection of experiences have led you to where you are now.

Once you understand where your guilt after masturbating stems from, you can start addressing it. Whatever it was, start by hearing this: you’re not alone, and you’re not broken.

Get Educated

Ask yourself what you learned about masturbation when you were growing up, if anything. Where did those messages come from? Chances are they came from a place of stigma and misinformation, not facts. The absolute best way to combat misinformation you’ve been fed is so arm yourself with accurate info instead. That means it’s time to get educated on all things self-pleasure.

Some of the resources I recommend include the classic Sex For One by Betty Dodson, The Ultimate Guide to Solo Sex by Jenny Block, Getting Off: A Woman’s Guide to Masturbation by Jayme Waxman, Bang!: Masturbation for People of All Genders and Abilities by Vic Liu, and V: An Empowering Celebration of the Vulva and Vagina by Florence Schechter (a more general book about vaginas and vulvas that includes a section on masturbation.)

You know what? Let’s get started right now. Here some facts for you:

  • The vast majority of people of all genders masturbate at some point in their lives, and many do so frequently.
  • There is no “normal” amount to masturbate. Whether you do it multiple times a day, once in a while, or not at all, that’s all healthy and good as long as it is what works for you.
  • It is also normal to go through periods of masturbating more or less frequently. Hormones, physical or mental health and illness, age, disability, stress levels, pregnancy and birth, trauma, body image issues, relationships, living situations, medications, and overall happiness or life satisfaction are just a few of the factors that can impact how often a person masturbates… or if they do at all.
  • Huge numbers of people feel guilt after masturbating, but this is because of societal stigma, not because there is anything wrong with masturbation itself.
  • There is no clinical diagnosis of “masturbation addiction” and it is not recognised as addictive by the American Psychological Association. Some experts believe it can occasionally become “compulsive”, but unless your masturbation habits are seriously impacting other areas of your life, such as work, school, relationships, friends, hobbies, or health, it is highly unlikely that they are in any way problematic.
  • Masturbation is not physically harmful in any way. It will not cause you to go blind (do people still believe that one?), cause you to grow more body hair, cause your penis to shrink, or lead to infertility. If you have a vulva, masturbation will not “permanently stretch” your vagina or otherwise damage your genitals.
  • Masturbation is also not emotionally harmful in any way. (Though shame around it can be emotionally damaging – but that’s why we’re working on getting rid of that shame, not getting rid of masturbation!)
  • In fact, masturbation can have some positive health benefits! It can help you to sleep, boost your mood, relieve stress, relieve pain (especially menstrual cramps), and improve your self-esteem. For people with penises, a 2004 study showed that more frequent ejaculation correlated with a decreased risk of prostate cancer!
  • It is still okay, healthy, and perfectly fine to masturbate when you’re in a relationship. Any partner who tells you not to isn’t someone you should be with.
  • It is impossible to tell from physical genital appearance whether or not a person masturbates.

Reframe Masturbation in Your Mind

Now that you’ve identified the source of your shame or guilt after masturbating, it’s time to start reframing the act in your mind.

Instead of viewing masturbation as something shameful or dirty, how about seeing it as an expression of self-care and self-love? For many people, it can also be tremendously empowering. Think about it: you’re enjoying your body on your terms, no-one else’s input or participation required, and you can give yourself such incredible pleasure.

You might find your mind drifting back to those thoughts of shame and guilt. That’s totally normal. Reframing your thoughts and feelings takes time! When this happens, try to gently and non-judgementally notice the feelings and consciously guide your mind away from them.

Think about the other things you do to look after and pamper yourself. Perhaps you like to take hot baths, practice yoga, go to the spa, get a massage, eat your favourite foods, or just snuggle under a blanket in your comfiest clothes. Masturbation is no different. It’s a sensual and sensory experience that you do because it makes you feel good.

It can also help to focus on all the positive benefits you get from masturbation. Aside from the obvious – pleasure, perhaps orgasm – it might help you to feel happier and calmer, to be less stressed, or to sleep better.

In other words, this is all about teaching yourself – through repetition, affirmation, and positive reinforcement – that masturbation is normal, good, healthy, and absolutely nothing to feel guilty about.

Touch Yourself in All Kinds of Ways

When we talk about masturbation, we are typically referring to touching your own genitals for the purposes of pleasure and possibly orgasm. While this is wonderful, it can also be pleasurable and healing to touch yourself in all kinds of different ways. Why not try giving some love to your balls, labia, nipples, breasts or chest, or any other erogenous zones you have instead of going straight for your penis, clit, or vagina?

You can also get a lot of pleasure from touching yourself in non-sexual ways. Try stroking your own body, experimenting with different kinds of touch. Do you prefer a lighter or a firmer touch? Do certain areas feel good while other areas feel unpleasant to touch? All of this is such valuable information that you can take forward into both solo or partnered sexual adventures.

You could give yourself a massage (with or without a sexy massage oil), or experiment with solo sensation play toys and techniques such as ice, hot wax, Wartenberg wheels, vampire gloves, clips or clamps, sensory deprivation, or stroking with different textured materials.

Watch Others Masturbate

No, not in a creepy or “peeping Tom” way!

Again: the vast majority of people masturbate. Seeing other people do it, and observing the beauty and sensuality and hotness of it, can help to not only normalise masturbation and shed feelings of shame around it, but also to open up different avenues of pleasure that you may not have thought of.

The easiest way to do this, of course, is porn. If you go down this route, please seek out ethical and consensual content and pay for it. Buying directly from the performers is usually best where possible. Some people suffer from increased guilt after masturbating if they use porn. Please remember, though, that – as long as you are not watching content that is stolen or non-consensual – there’s nothing inherently wrong with it.

If porn isn’t your thing, how about a series of educational videos showcasing real masturbation techniques? I’m really into the content at Climax, particularly the videos about self-pleasure for vulvas. You can subscribe for a monthly fee to get access to the full library of content, or buy and keep the individual programmes you want. OMGYes is another hugely popular resource, though I haven’t tried it myself.

If you live in a location where such things are accessible and legal, you could even attend a hands-on masturbation class such as the world-famous Bodysex series of workshops.

Finally, if you have a partner or partners, you could experiment with masturbating in front of one another. This can be not just extremely hot, but also have that validating and normalising effect I mentioned above.

Visit a Feminist, Pleasure-Positive Sex Shop

If you’ve never visited a sex shop before, take a second to think about your idea of one. Do you envision something seedy, hidden away down a back alley and frequented by creeps? Think again! Many of today’s sex shops are erotic boutiques that are welcoming, inclusive, non-threatening, and pleasure-focused.

Visiting a good sex shop, whether to buy a toy or just to browse, can be a profoundly validating and healing experience if you deal with shame around masturbation. You’ll see a huge variety of toys, apparel, kink gear and more on display, showcasing all the different ways people like to get off and get it on (with themselves and with others.)

Some of my favourite UK-based sex shops are Sh! and Coco de Mer in London and She Said in Brighton. US-based readers have places like Good Vibrations’ nine retail outlets, Portland’s SheBop, and Babeland in Seattle and New York. In Canada, there’s Come As You Are and Good For Her in Toronto, and Venus Envy in Halifax and Ottawa. A quick online search will help you find your nearest feminist sex shop.

Can’t get to one or prefer to shop from the comfort of your couch (or bed)? My favourite online feminist sex shops include The Pleasure Garden and SheVibe.

Consider Seeing a Sex-Positive Therapist

Shame is an incredibly powerful feeling, and you might be struggling to vanquish it by yourself. If you are struggling to get rid of guilt after masturbating, it’s time to see a sex-positive therapist. You might go down the route of psychosexual therapy (sometimes just called “sex therapy” for short) or seek out a regular psychotherapist who is sex-positive and experienced in supporting clients with issues surrounding sex, masturbation, and sexual shame.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with getting some professional support. These issues are complex and you don’t have to tackle them alone. Be gentle with yourself and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.

Have you ever suffered from shame or guilt after masturbating? How did you handle it and do you have any tips or strategies to share that may help others dealing with the same thing?

This post contains affiliate links as well as non-affiliated resource recommendations. Image by Deon at Let’sTalkSex.

[Guest Post] My Sexless Pregnancy by K. Maira

One of the reasons I opened up Coffee & Kink to guest writers was to share experiences that I’ve never had or can’t/won’t ever have. From the trans experience as an erotic writer to fetishes I don’t share to aromantic identity and much more, my guest writers have generously shared their stories and made C&K a more vibrant and expansive place to discuss all the nuances of sexuality. Today’s guest writer is K. Maira, a pseudonymous writer who is sharing her experience of a sexless pregnancy and the solo sex life she cultivated.

As a lifelong childfree person, I’ll never experience the unique intersection of sexuality, pregnancy, and parenthood, so I am delighted to be sharing this fascinating and intimate piece with you all.

Amy x

My Sexless Pregnancy (Unless You Count with Myself!) by K. Maira

Sex during pregnancy is usually taken as a given. After all, if you’re pregnant you must have a partner, right? Well, not for me. While most people worry about sex hurting the baby in some way, I was thinking about all the orgasms I was missing out on. My baby’s father disappeared when I found out I was pregnant. But then again it was a one night stand, so I can’t say I was all that surprised. I was, however, very horny. And I wasn’t exactly on the dating scene with my ever-growing belly.

I had to give myself all my own orgasms and I’m so happy I did. It led me on a journey to sexual self discovery. I realized things about myself I would have never known otherwise. Only having yourself to make the magic happen for so long opens up a whole new perspective on sex. I’ll walk you through the journey of my masturbation-only pregnancy, trimester by trimester.

First Trimester

The first trimester is famously known for being three months of hell. The morning sickness and fatigue alone could put you on the ground. With no horndog of a partner breathing down my neck, I was able to completely relish in the woes of those first few months. I felt just fine looking like shit, my breath smelling of vomit and passing out before 5pm. No pressure to look and smell nice there.

On the rare occasion that urge did strike me, my fingers could just walk their way down my pants and enjoy. Nope, I wasn’t shaved, but my fingers didn’t care. I was able to fully enjoy my orgasm in a way I wouldn’t have otherwise. And I could do it on my time. There was no waiting for the guy to get out of work, or for him to drive over to my house. There were only orgasms on demand.

Second Trimester

Oh, the second trimester… it’s so much different than the first. It’s this one where the body feels an almost constant need for sex. I struggled with this for a while, craving what a man would give me that my toys could not. But never underestimate the power of porn. It’s the porn that got me through this trimester.

Being on a strictly porn diet taught me a lot about myself, and the sexual interests I didn’t know I had. I found myself watching a lot of lesbian porn and bi mmf porn. And oh, did it make me cum over and over again! I came harder than I had ever cum from watching those kinkier videos. I know these weren’t pregnancy cravings, because I still crave them and they still get me off.

Third Trimester

Sex in the third trimester gets a bit more complicated. I knew this – I had been pregnant before and had tons of sex during my past pregnancies. That big belly gets in the way, your feet are swollen and there’s constant pressure down there. While I used to solve this problem by opting for anal most of the time, again, it wasn’t an option for this pregnancy.

This is when I learned other ways of masturbatung could get me off. This is where the grinding came in. Grinding pillows, the arm of the couch, grinding whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. I’d never done it before then, but I’m so glad I discovered it!

I’ve added it to my current masturbation routine even though my pregnancy ended over seven months ago. You read that correctly – I’m quickly approaching 18 months with no sex, unless you count with myself. And it doesn’t bother me, because those nine months of solely masturbating has taught me how to better enjoy my own body.

Go Ahead and Enjoy Yourself

Here’s my advice: if you find yourself in a sexless position, go ahead and enjoy yourself. Experiment with new things and try a variety of porn. What you find yourself liking may surprise you. It’s possible to have a sexually fulfilling relationship with yourself! Have some fun and when you do enter into a new sexual relationship, you just may start having better sex.

I was a very sexually active woman prior to this last pregnancy, and was already leaning towards the kinkier side of the spectrum. During the last 18 months I’ve moved even closer to it. When I do decide I want to start having sex again, I know my sex life will be better than it ever was, because I’ve discovered new things about my sexual interests and about my own body.

Thank you so much to K. for contributing this fantastic post! You can pitch your own story here or chip in a few £ to the tip jar, which I use to pay my guest writers.

How Audio Erotica is Making Smut More Inclusive

Sofia Sins logo

Do you prefer to read your smut or watch it? Some people love written erotica, others love visual porn, and many of us enjoy a mixture of the two. But now there’s a third option that’s making waves and taking the adult industry by storm: enter audio erotica

Here are a few of the ways that audio erotica is making smut more welcoming, more inclusive, and more enjoyable for everyone. 

More ways to consume

Many people find written or visual porn inaccessible for various reasons. For example, for people who are blind or visually impaired, traditional porn videos are likely to be somewhat or completely inaccessible. While many sites offering written smut, such as Literotica, can be used via a screen reader, that’s not necessarily a super sexy or appealing option. 

But audio erotica opens up a whole new avenue of smutty enjoyment. The best audio smut is narrated by skilled voice performers with sexy voices (which can, of course, mean different things to different people.) Because quality erotica is for everyone, regardless of ability and whether they choose to watch it, read it, or listen to it. 

Pleasure focused and sex positive 

Much of the audio porn currently on the market seems to have been created by women and with female pleasure in mind. Whenever I’ve engaged with audio porn I’ve found the stories to be pleasure focused, consent minded, and overall sex positive. They feature safe and mutually pleasurable sexual scenarios. And when stories do feature an element of coercion roleplay or consensual non-consent, it’s generally made clear that they are fantasy, not reality. 

So much mainstream porn is focused on male pleasure and the male gaze. But audio smut creators understand that women, non binary folks, and queer people want quality erotic content just as much as cis men do… and they’re giving it to us! 

I’ve also found that audio porn trends much less towards using dehumanising terminology and artificial categorisation. Mainstream porn sites often use terms that are problematic at best, and downright sexist, ageist, racist, or transphobic at worst. I haven’t seen the same issue in the audio smut world. 

More options for creative scenarios

Don’t get me wrong, porn makers and performers can get VERY creative! But ultimately, visual content will always be limited by what’s possible (and affordable) to pull off on screen. Audio porn, though, allows for almost anything that the writers and creators can dream up. So if immersing yourself in a futuristic, fantastical, or historical scenario sounds up your street, or you fantasise about sexual acts that are physically or biologically impossible, you can find all of those things and so much more. 

More surreptitious

You (probably) wouldn’t watch visual porn while on the Tube or walking to work, right? And while it’s possible to sneakily read written erotica via a Kindle or smartphone app, there’s always the danger of someone looking over your shoulder. 

Audio porn, though, can be completely discreet. Just choose your story, pop your headphones in, and no-one will be any the wiser. You could be listening to the morning news or a perfectly innocent podcast, for all they know! 

This is also particularly useful for those who live with family, have roommates or children at home, or even have a partner who gives them grief about consuming erotic content. (I’ll argue forever that porn and masturbation aren’t cheating, but I know that’s a losing battle with some people.) Audio smut allows you complete privacy. 

Can be more ethical

There’s a huge amount of fantastic feminist, queer, consensually-produced ethical porn out there. I enjoy visual porn, but at this point I prefer to access it either from production companies I trust or directly from the performers themselves. 

For the average consumer, though, the “tube” sites are still by far the most popular way to access traditional porn. And while these sites do contain some good and ethically produced content, they’re also rife with stolen clips and even non-consensual videos. 

If you’ve ever watched mainstream porn and wondered whether the performers are really consenting or being abused or coerced, you’re not alone. It’s a real and valid concern. Audio smut means you can relax in the knowledge that no-one has been harmed for your enjoyment. 

Allowing you to insert yourself into the fantasy

When it comes to visual porn, it’s often more about the scenario than the individual performers for me. I find a wide range of body types and genders attractive, after all. However, sometimes I find myself distracted because I want to insert myself into the fantasy being played out on the screen, but I can’t find scenarios I like with bodies that look like mine. But when all I’ve got to work with is a voice, I can envision the main characters looking however I want them to look. Instead of the pretty narrow standards set by mainstream porn, you’ve suddenly got a whole world of potential. 

Audio porn makes it easier to mentally put yourself into the scenario. Since the action all takes place in your ears and your mind, you can immerse yourself and place yourself into whichever role takes your fancy. Do you want to be the whip-wielding Domme, the helpless maiden, or a member of the couple exploring group sex for the first time? Now you can! 

Sofia Sins actually takes this premise a step further. When you choose the story you want to listen to, you can read a little bio for each of the main characters and decide whose perspective you want to hear. 

Do you listen to audio porn? Whether it’s your go-to or you’re just curious, I’d love to know what about it appeals to you. 

FYI: today’s post was sponsored by Sofia Sins, a new audio erotica platform from the folks behind Sofia Gray. You can enjoy a 3 day free trial to see if you like it. After that, a subscription is just $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year. All views, as always, are my own! 

What is Ethical Porn and How Can It Enhance Your Sex Life?

I think porn can be a wonderful thing. 

People are often surprised when I say that. As an outspoken and unapologetic feminist, surely pornography would be against everything I stand for? Well, not exactly.

It’s true that the mainstream porn industry has a lot to answer for. Too often, the large “tube” sites profit from stolen content or non consensual content, including revenge porn and child abuse material. 

But there’s an alternative. If you’ve never explored ethical porn, you’re missing out on something that can be a wonderful addition to your sex life. 

Bellesa Plus ethical porn streaming platform

Today I’m spotlighting Bellesa Plus, a porn streaming platform that calls itself “The Netflix of Porn” and offers a “pay what you can” model costing from as little as $1 per month. The higher prices offer special perks, such as free sex toys and gift cards to the Bellesa Boutique (BBoutique), but the low entry point means you can enjoy more ethical adult content even if you’re on a budget. 

But What is Ethical Porn?

As with many of the things we consume, from food to media, people are becoming more and more concerned about the ethics behind their porn. Untangling exactly what constitutes ethical porn can be a minefield, especially given that the porn industry is still often defending its right to exist at all. 

Here are four things that I believe go into making porn ethical. 

Consent

This might seem like a bare minimum standard, but it’s missing from a shocking amount of mainstream porn. 100% of Bellesa’s content features consenting adults having consensual sex that has been consensually filmed. 

Performers have the opportunity to negotiate with their partner before filming starts, exploring their likes and dislikes. If a scene involves roleplay, performers will be briefed on their role in plenty of time to ensure they’re comfortable with it. 

And if, like me, you’re squicked by all the pseudo-incest (think: “step sister”) content that pops up on mainstream sites, you’ll be pleased to know Bellesa doesn’t do any of that. 

Chemistry and Connection

When I watch porn, I often gravitate towards amateur content because it feels so much more authentic. Whatever the specific acts that they’re engaging in, ultimately I want to watch people who truly like (or even love) each other, having hot sex that they’re genuinely enjoying. 

Many mainstream porn studios don’t give performers much choice who they work with. Bellesa pairs performers who truly have chemistry and actually want to have sex with each other. Because real connection and attraction makes for much hotter content and a much better working environment for the performers. 

Women as Subjects, Not Objects 

One of the things that will turn me off the fastest in any porn scene is seeing women being objectified. This is apparent in everything from the naming of scenes to the ways in which female pleasure is explored (or, often, ignored.) 

Ethical porn puts the pleasure of all participants front and center. In ethical porn, the women being depicted are full human beings with their own desires and erotic agency. In other words, subjects of pleasure, not objects to be acted upon. Bellesa porn is directed and produced by women, headed up by the inimitable Jacky St. James

A Safe and Respectful Working Environment

Making pornography is work, and performers deserve a safe working environment just as much as employees in any other industry. 

This can be as simple as prioritizing their comfort on set, such as making sure they’re well fed and hydrated. Sexual safety is important too, whether that’s ensuring plenty of lube is used or carrying out rigorous STI (and now also Covid-19) testing. And, of course, performers must retain the right to say no or to call “cut” on a scene for any reason. This goes back to consent. 

Performers should also be fairly compensated for the work they do. Making porn can be huge fun but it can also be physically and emotionally taxing at times. Performers are workers and deserve to be paid a fair rate. 

How Ethical Porn Can Enhance Your Sex Life 

Despite what naysayers might say about it, I believe that porn can be an extremely healthy and positive addition to your sex life, whether you’re single or partnered. When you make a point of consuming ethical porn, you can feel good about your viewing habits.

Here are three ways ethical porn can enhance your sex life. 

Get New Ideas

I recently experimented with a new kink activity with my partner. Why? Because I saw this specific act in a porn clip, thought it looked hot, and asked him if he’d be willing to try it with me.

Good porn has the potential to introduce you to new kinks, activities, and ways of having sex that you might never have thought of before. While you might not want to try everything you see, some things are sure to resonate. 

One of the things I love most about human sexuality is its infinite variety. Every single day, people are having sex in endlessly creative ways, many of which I’m sure I’ve never even thought of – and you probably haven’t, either! Ethical porn gives you a consensual window into other people’s bedrooms and allows you to draw inspiration from what you see. 

Enjoy Things You Can’t Do in Real Life

Perhaps there are things you fantasize about but can’t (or don’t want to) do in real life. For example, you might be a bisexual person in a monogamous relationship with a different-gender partner. Watching porn can allow you to express your attraction to same-gendered people without changing the relationship you have with your partner. 

Or maybe you have a particular fetish that your partner doesn’t share. If your relationship agreements don’t allow for getting that itch scratched with others, porn featuring your kink is another ethical and safe sexual outlet. 

It’s also valid to enjoy things in fantasy that you don’t want to do in real life. Let’s say you fantasize about gangbangs but consider the idea too risky to carry out in reality. Ethical porn is a wonderful way to enjoy your fantasies in a safe way that doesn’t carry any of the real-world risk that might come with realising them. 

Boost Your Desire

For many people, including me, arousal begets arousal. In other words, the more you masturbate, have sex, or consume erotic media, the more you’ll want to. The anti-porn crowd would say this is a bad thing, but I believe it can be just the opposite! After all, sexual pleasure is healthy and orgasms are good for us. Why not seek a little more of both in your life? 

So if you’re looking to get in the mood more often or more easily, pulling up your favourite steamy scene can help make that happen. Whether you watch alone or with a partner, the right porn can help to fire up your libido when it needs a little extra help. 

Want to Explore Ethical Porn?

If so, grab yourself a Bellesa Plus subscription. You’ll get access to top content from 50+ premium porn channels, unlimited 4K streaming, access to interactive sex education content, and unlimited access to over 600 erotic stories. You’ll also enjoy 24/7 support, discreet and secure billing, and an ad-free viewing experience. 

Best of all, you can get off to some of the hottest content you’ll find anywhere, and know that you’re supporting a company doing good in this industry. 

Bellesa Plus ethical porn logo

FYI: this post was sponsored by the good folks at Bellesa. All views, as ever, are my own. 

[Guest Post] Erotic Fanfiction as Sexual Exploration by Kelvin Sparks

Today’s guest post comes from a new-to-C&K writer! I’ve followed Kelvin Sparks (he/him) on Twitter for some time and enjoyed many of his writings. I’m delighted to be publishing this essay on the history and appeal of sexually explicit fanfiction!

Amy x

Erotic Fanfiction as Sexual Exploration by Kelvin Sparks

When discussions of fanfiction reach the mainstream, one of the go- to jabs is always to talk about erotic fanfiction as a punchline in itself. Even when fanfiction has its defenders, they often try to distance ‘the
good stuff’ from explicit works within the genre. This is something I don’t think is fair, not just because I think erotic work is unfairly maligned in general, but because of the history of explicit fanfiction as a safe space for people (particularly women and/or LGBTQ+ people) to explore sexual ideas and fantasies.

A Short History of (Explicit) Fanfiction

Although people have been a) interested in building on existing stories and characters and b) horny for pretty much the entirety of human history, fanfiction as we know it currently is rooted in the sci-fi fan
culture of the 20th century.

While plenty of people talk about Star Trek as having the first fandom in the 60s, many of the activities associated with this early fandom activity were derivative of more general sci-fi fandom culture. For example, Star Trek fan magazines (or ‘fanzines’) weren’t something original or exclusive to the fandom, but were simply more specific versions of sci-fi fanzines, which printed amateur writing. The difference was that Star Trek fanzines, starting with 1967’s Spockanalia, contained and popularised derivative fanfiction rather than original work.

Star Trek was also influential on modern fandom in other ways. For
one, the term ‘slash’, used to refer to same gender (primarily male/male)
pairings within fanfiction, comes from ‘Kirk/Spock’. While not all explicit
fanfiction is slash fanfiction and not all slash fanfiction is explicit, the
reputation of K/S (as the pairing was also known) fans was often as
smut-peddlers. While it’s hard to know specific details about the early
history of smut fanfiction—first-hand sources are hard to come by—we
do know that by 1978, it was prevalent enough that the editors of Star
Trek
fanzine Fantasia discussed the “rift between the porn-haters and
the porn-lovers”.

Fanfiction—and specifically smutty fanfiction—became more visible
as internet use became more common. While internets had been used for fandom since pretty much their creation— bulletin boards and mailing
lists were promenant in the 80s—the creation of the world wide web and
more widespread internet usage in the 90s drove some of the most
prominent fandoms of the period, such as The X-Files and Xena.

For the most part, fanfiction was kept in private archives, although the creation of Fanfiction.net and LiveJournal in 1998 and 1999 respectfully changed this. Fanfiction.net banned NC-17 fanfiction in 2002, and while
Adultfanfiction.net initially filled the void, Archive of Our Own (created in
2007) has become one of the leading alternatives. While AO3 doesn’t
hold a monopoly on fandom— FanFiction.net is still under use, and other
sites like WattPad have thriving fanfiction communities—it is one of the
leading communities, especially when it comes to erotic fanfiction, which
is still banned on FanFiction.net and is less prevalent on WattPad due to
its younger demographic.

Why Do People Like Erotic Fanfiction?

The main reason that people enjoy erotic and explicit fanfiction is
pretty clear—people enjoy erotic media! The real question here is why
do people enjoy erotic fanfiction over other kinds of erotic work and art?

Written erotica in general provides a space that’s low risk while being
explicitly erotic. A fantasy or desire may feel unapproachable or anxiety
inducing in real life, but fiction allows us to play with these fantasies and
desires in a space that’s totally controllable. If you like the idea of
bondage, for example, reading erotica about bondage may feel easier
than actually attempting to act out these fantasies because a book can
be closed at any time.

Written erotica tends to have an easier time expressing emotional aspects of sex than visual erotica (which isn’t to say that either is better than the other, just that they are different mediums), and for people who experience a lot or most of their satisfaction from the emotional aspects of sex, written erotica can feel more satisfying.

Fanfiction erotica can heighten some of the characteristics that written erotica already has. Because fanfiction is derivative, the audience for it already has a familiarity with the characters involved, as well as some kind of emotional connection to them. I would also argue that the writing side of fanfiction has a heavy focus on emotional continuity. In order to write a character so that they’re recognisable as their canon self but distinct enough to fit into a new universe, a writer needs to have a good handle on their interiority, meaning that fanfiction often becomes a very character-focused and emotion-focused type of storytelling.

Both the derivative nature of fanfiction and the internal tropes of the
genre can make it feel even safer to explore erotic ideas than conventional erotic fiction. Fanfiction archives often display information about the content included in the piece of fiction. For example, with Archive Of Our Own, pieces of fanfiction are given clear warnings for content like character death or violence, and authors can choose to tag works with various bits of information about their content, such as (for example), ‘Threesome – F/M/M’, ‘Rimming’, or ‘Rope Bondage’. This kind of archive system not only lets readers know about what content they’re likely to see, but allows them to search for specific or particular themes or types of content.

The nature of romance or erotica centric fanfiction often means that readers know that their preferred pairing (or more than pairing) will end up together, but the appeal of reading fanfiction is to watch the journey unfold. This safety—as well as the community built into fanfiction as a genre—means that it can feel like a safe space to explore ideas, both as a reader and writer and not necessarily connected to erotic preferences and practices. Plenty of people I know within fandom discovered that they were queer and trans through fanfiction, sometimes discovering it was even a thing because of fic and sometimes having their first encounter with depictions of what it was like to be trans/queer in terms of internal emotion be fanfiction.

My Experience with Fanfiction

No blog post would be complete without some personal context or story! I’ve drifted in and out of fanfic circles over the years, sometimes having periods of time where I write a lot of fanfic all at once and at other times not writing it for months or years at a time.

During my teenage years, I was pretty active in fandom, and used it as a space to explore my sexuality. It wasn’t so much an exploration of queerness for me. I’d already come out as trans by the time I started
writing fic, and I didn’t discover I was bisexual because of fandom. But
fandom and fanfic did allow me to explore my sexuality in other ways.

While I was already devouring romance novels prior to discovering
fanfiction, fanfic gave me access to stories and fantasies about
people outside of the cisgender, heterosexual, vanilla relationships that
I found in my my local library’s romance section. I was able to read not only
about transmasculine characters written by other transmasculine
people, but about polyamory, about BDSM, and about fantasies I would
never have come across in other circumstances.

At the same time, the fact these ideas were explored through characters I already knew and cared about made it feel far more approachable than original work with the same themes would have. It also gave me a built in audience when it came to writing my own erotic fiction, exploring what kinds of kinks, scenarios, and emotions I found compelling.

Kelvin Sparks logo for guest post about erotic fanfiction

About the Author

Kelvin Sparks (he/him) is a bisexual trans man who writes about sex on the internet. You can find him at KelvinSparks.com, or at @Kelvinsparks_ on both Twitter and Instagram.

Anal Doesn’t Hurt at All… On The “Cool Girl” and Sexual Expectations

I’ve been rewatching all four seasons of Crazy Ex Girlfriend over the last couple of months.

Fair warning, this post contains spoilers for all four seasons of the show, so if you haven’t seen it yet then you might want to skip this one.

Early in season 1, main character Rebecca attends a yoga class taught by Valencia, her love interest Josh’s long-term girlfriend. Naturally, the class turns into a musical theatre style song-and-dance routine which exists entirely in Rebecca’s mind. In this case, the song is I’m So Good at Yoga, a Bollywood parody in which Valencia boasts about all the ways in which she’s better than Rebecca. (“I kiss my own pussy, can you do that?”)

It’s a pretty funny scene that will speak to anyone who has ever had an overactive imagination about all the ways in which other people are judging them. But since this is a sex blog, I want to talk about this one throwaway line I wasn’t able to get out of my head after my rewatch:

“Anal doesn’t hurt at all /
Most times I prefer it.”

Given this show’s razor-sharp, on-point social commentary on everything from mental illness to dysfunctional workplaces to parenting, there is simply no way that creator Rachel Bloom didn’t know exactly what she was doing with this line. And that’s what I love about it – it’s another example of this show’s ability to pack SO MUCH into just a few words.

For me, this is a statement on the idea of the “cool girl”. Remember that expression, we’ll come back to it in a minute.

Sexuality policing and the male gaze

In this scene, we see the extent to which Rebecca’s insecurities are focused on what people – especially men, and most especially Josh Chan – think of her. One of the main ways in which she conceptualises Valencia as “better” than her is Valencia’s seeming willingness to behave like a male sexual fantasy. (Which makes it all the more pleasing when – big spoiler incoming – Valencia both becomes a much nicer person and comes out as queer, settling down with a girlfriend, in later seasons).

Unfortunately, we live in a world where women are judged on how well they service the heterosexual male gaze. We’re taught to judge ourselves and each other on our looks from early childhood. It’s no accident that 78% of girls dislike their body by the age of 17 (including 40-60% of elementary school girls). (Source.)

As we get older, our sexuality is policed, too. Be available, but don’t be a slut. Service male desires, but don’t have your own. Be simultaneously a virgin and a whore. The expectations put on women and those perceived to be women are immense, contradictory, and devastating from a mental health perspective.

The “cool girl”

If you’re a women or perceived to be a woman, you might have been described as a “cool girl” (or wished to be one) at some point.

So what is the cool girl (CG)?

Simply put, she’s a cis heterosexual male fantasy who doesn’t actually exist. The CG is down for whatever most pleases the men around her. She eats burgers without worrying about her figure (but is still a size four, of course.) She’s “one of the boys”, but still wears high heels and a full face of makeup. She’s “sexually liberated”, but only in so far as it pleases men. Her sexuality is about their desires, not her own.

The thing is, going back to Crazy Ex Girlfriend for a second, that when we get to know Valencia, it becomes apparent that she is so much more than just a CG. She’s pretty one dimensional and dislikeable in season 1, but we come to realise that that’s more due to Rebecca’s projection than her actual character. (Let’s be real, I’d probably also come across as a mega bitch if my partner’s ex reappeared in town after ten years with the express intention of breaking us up.)

But Rebecca is so insecure that she conteptualises Valencia as the CG – hot as hell, sexually adventurous, every man’s dream. But the viewer, and Rebecca, later get to see that Valencia is actually just as insecure and just as much a victim of the patriarchy. She has desires, needs, and vulnerabilities just like anyone else.

So about “preferring” anal…

For me, this particular line was entirely about Rebecca positioning Valencia as a cool girl who, naturally, would enjoy the same things cishetero men are supposed to enjoy. Naturally, the perfect CG would not only do anal, she’d prefer it.

Anal sex was a particular point of contention in some of my early sexual relationships. Eventually, I reluctantly did it because I thought I was supposed to do it. Because the women my boyfriends watched in porn did it, the women they read about in magazines “lad mags” did it, the other women they sneakily flirted with behind my back said they would do it.

I was in my mid 20s (and in a much healthier and safer sexual relationship) before I got the chance to consider whether it was something I actually liked. This might sound ridiculous, but that question had never particularly occured to me to ask. Because I didn’t think whether or not I liked it was the point.

Authentic desire vs. mainstream pornification

I don’t have an issue with pornography in and of itself, as long as it’s consensually produced and the performers remain in control and are compensated fairly for their labour. However, I also recognise that the mainstream porn industry has a lot to answer for, and one of those things is the fact that many teenage boys now think that pressuring their girlfriends for anal is normal.

Anal sex should be approached like any other consensual kink. If you’re into it, awesome – have fun. If you’re not, that’s totally cool too! I actually did come to enjoy it after those negative early experiences (much later and with a different partner). But that was only able to happen in a space of safety, care, and zero expectations.

I wish we could think of sex as a vast menu of potential options to choose from, rather than a space where certain acts are accepted. I have a lot of respect for Dan Savage and his work, but every time he says “oral comes as standard” it makes me cringe. There shouldn’t be any standards, beyond informed consent and mutual pleasure!

If we’re into anal sex, we should be able to express that and enjoy it free of shame or stigma. But it should be considered equally fine to say hey, anal actually does hurt and I actually don’t like it. When mainstream, male gazey porn is the first introduction many young people have to sexuality, especially when it’s not accompanied by comprehensive sex education, we end up in a place where young men come to expect a certain kind of “performance” from their sexual partners.

If you absolutely need a certain sex act in your life to be fulfilled, you’re within your rights to (and probably should) seek out partners who are also into that thing. (See: why I won’t date entirely vanilla people. There’s nothing wrong with vanilla sex and I enjoy it sometimes, but I need regular kink in my life to be happy and satisfied). But I really want to do away with the idea that any sex acts – penetration, oral, hand stuff, anal, kink – are expected or standard.

Sexual compatibility matters. But what that means will vary for every couple and every individual. Authentic expression of desire is what we should strive for, not matching some impossible male gaze standard.

Cool Girls don’t actually exist, and I love the way Valencia’s character arc slowly dismantles the idea one piece at a time.

I wasn’t expecting this piece about a throwaway one-liner in a TV show to run over 1300 words, but here we are! If you enjoyed this, you can always buy me a coffee to show your appreciation.

Fun and Sexy Ways to Celebrate Halloween at Home

Like so many other things, Halloween is going to look a little different this year. There won’t be any big parties, club nights, or trips to the dungeon. But there are still lots of ways you can celebrate! Since this is a sex blog, let’s look at a few fun and sexy ways you can have a fabulous Halloween at home.

Create some spooky sexy content

Whether you’re a porn performer, a cam model, or just enjoy getting a bit exhibitionistic with your lover(s) for the fun of it, why not create some Halloween-themed sexy content at home?

How much you want to lean into this is up to you. You could do your usual thing but swap out your regular outfits of choice for some witchy black latex, or you could get really creative and build a whole scene around a spooky scenario. Erotica writers could write some seasonal smut.

Fun fact: In researching this article, I discovered that the keyphrase “halloween porn” gets Google searched 170,000 per month on average. So what I’m saying is that there’s a market for this.

Dress up with your partner

Doing Halloween at home with your lover(s) this year? Spice (or spook) things up with some thematically-appropriate bedroom fancy dress.

Lovehoney have a fun array of inexpensive sexy costumes. I’m pairing the Fierce leather-look body with a purple wig for a witchy look.

Whether you look devilish in red or let your inner Catwoman out to play, you can tap into the Halloween spirit without ever leaving your bedroom.

Have a hot virtual party

Got a few trusted friends or playmates you’d be partying with if it was safe to do so? You can still get into the Halloween spirit with a fun online party. Get dressed up and show your outfits off to each other on cam, make some suitably ghoulish cocktails/mocktails, and maybe even have a costume contest.

Do something that scares you just a little bit

Have you got a kink you’ve always wanted to try, but been too nervous to actually go for it? The spirit of Halloween is all about playing with fear. So if you’re up for it and you want to, take the opportunity to try that thing that scares you just a little bit.

Naturally, the same rules for trying a new kink apply here. Communicate lots, do it sober, put every viable safety precaution in place, have a safeword, and only try edgy things with someone you feel completely safe with.

Have a virtual horror movie date

Virtual dates have come into their own more than ever before this year. If you’re not physically with your partner or have recently started dating someone new, you could have a virtual Halloween horror movie date.

(Or, you know, any other kind of movie. I hate horror, I’m just trying to keep this post on theme.)

You might not be able to snuggle up and hold their hand at the scary bits, but at least you can keep each other company wherever you are in the world. Looking for some inspiration? Check out this list of the sexiest horror movies.

How are you doing Halloween at home?

I’d love to hear any fun ideas you have to celebrate this year!

This post contains affiliate links. All views, as always, are my own. Want to support my work? Buy me a coffee!

How to Actively Unlearn Toxic Beliefs About Sex

“So many things to unlearn…”
– The Other Me

Our beliefs and ideas about sex, relationships, love, and life don’t happen in a vacuum. We are, all of us, steeped in a culture that is sex-negative, sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, and body-negative. Unless you grew up with parents who had unusually radical ideas, most of us reach adulthood with at least some baggage to unpack, some toxic beliefs to unlearn.

But how do you do it?

I believe unlearning is an active process. None of us can grow, change, and learn to do better without, well, doing. Sitting back and waiting for enlightenment never helped anyone, and it certainly never made any progress towards dismantling the broken system.

So you want to actively unlearn some of the toxic beliefs that are holding you back? Great! Buckle in and let’s go.

Be prepared to be uncomfortable

Unlearning is hard sometimes. If you expect it to be simple and comfortable, you’re not going to be able to engage fully with the process.

Accept it’s going to be uncomfortable. Acknowledge that, and welcome it if you can. Just like a little bit of muscular soreness after hitting the gym means you’re getting stronger, a little bit of mental discomfort means you’re expanding your worldview and opening yourself up to new ideas.

Interrogate why you think something

Why do you believe what you believe? Okay, interrogate that. Drill deeper. “I just do” isn’t a good enough reason. “It’s just a feeling” doesn’t count.

If you hold beliefs that you think might be toxic or not serving you any longer, ask yourself why you hold them. You might find that they’re what you were taught at home or in church or at school, but that they don’t represent your beliefs any more.

You’re allowed to change your views. In fact, as you unlearn the toxic thing you were taught, you probably will.

Don’t be (too) ashamed of what you thought before

As you learn and grow, you’ll inevitably at some point find yourself feeling ashamed. Perhaps you used to have a toxic or bigoted view that you don’t hold any more. Perhaps you are just suddenly very aware of how much you didn’t know.

Here’s the thing, though: none of us come into this world knowing this stuff. Our opinions, views, and politics develop over our lifetimes. That’s a good thing!

So if you’re a little bit ashamed of what you used to think or believe, that can be a useful tool for growth. But don’t let yourself swim in it. That isn’t good for you or for anyone else.

Remember: when you know better, you can do better. Growth and moving forward is the goal.

Have nuanced discussions with friends who have different experiences

I am not, of course, suggesting you put yourself in the path of people who wish you harm. Queer folks don’t owe it to homophobes to patiently educate them. Trans people don’t have to debate cis bigots to earn their humanity. And so on. But if you’re trying to interrogate your views about sex (or anything else), spending time with people whose experiences differ from yours can be surprisingly eye-opening.

One of the things I treasure about my friendship with Christine of Light in Grey Places is that we come from very different backgrounds and had/have wildly different experiences of sex and relationships. Yet we’ve always been able to have respectful discussions that have, I think, led both of us to learn some things from the other.

We also found we had way more in common than not – yes, we come at it from different angles, but ultimately we both value consent, agency, and equality.

Take the time to have nuanced discussions with friends you feel safe discussing these issues with. It’s one of the many reasons why sex-positive friends are such a gift.

Expand the media you consume

Expanding the things you read, watch, listen to, and consume is one of the best ways to expose yourself to more views and experiences. Start listening to sex-positive podcasts, add queer stories to your Netflix queue and to-be-read pile. Flood your social media feeds with the kinds of educators you want to learn from. Soak up their words and read the resources they share.

Expanding the media you consume can include porn and erotica if you’re into those things, too. Do you always watch porn with thin, white bodies? If so, try searching out a greater diversity of performers. Do you exclusively consume erotica featuring young, cis, able-bodied characters? If so, why not challenge yourself to check out content written by and for queer folks, trans folks, older folks, disabled folks? Simply expanding your horizons of what you consider “sexy” is a great step to take.

As you unlearn your toxic beliefs about sex, relationships, bodies, and more, you’ll probably find that you naturally start gravitating to a more diverse range of media.

Step away from environments that reinforce the problematic narratives

This isn’t always possible or easy, of course, and I don’t want to diminish the very real struggles – and dangers – that can come with separating yourself from toxic environments.

But if it’s safe and possible to do so, can you step away from spaces that reinforce the toxic beliefs you’re trying to shed? Can you see your bigoted family members less often, find a more open-minded church to attend, stop hanging out with that one friend who makes “edgy” jokes that are actually just offensive?

It’s hard to unlearn beliefs that are being reinforced every step of the way by people desperate to hold you back from learning and doing better.

But with a little effort and intention, we can all start to unlearn the toxic things we were taught.

The Quote Quest badge for a post on how to unlearn toxic beliefs about sex.

Today’s post is my submission for this week’s Quote Quest, a weekly meme by Little Switch Bitch. Click the logo to see what everyone else is writing about this week. This post is ALSO part of my #SexEdSeptember series! Want to support my work? You can do that by sharing this post or buying me a coffee!

Five Ways to Mix Up Your Masturbation Routine

If, like me, you masturbate regularly, you might sometimes feel like your masturbation routine is getting a bit stale. That just means it’s time to change things up! The good news that there are loads of things you can do to keep your solo sex time interesting.

Try some of these suggestions…

Experiment with different kinds of touch

Do you always touch yourself in much the same way? Try experimenting with touching yourself in different places, in different ways, and at different speeds and levels of pressure.

Don’t just go straight for your genitals. Try touching your nipples, inner thighs, stomach, arms or anywhere else that feels good.

Take your time, and pay attention to your body’s authentic responses.

Read some new erotica or watch some new porn

No judgement if you always gravitate to the same scene or the same story to get yourself off! But trying out some new erotic stimulus can be a great way to keep yourself out of a masturbation rut.

Try joining a feminist porn site or checking out some new sexy erotica. Keep an open mind and you might be surprised what turns you on!

Treat yourself to a new sex toy

Do you always masturbate with your hands or with the same toy? If you can, treat yourself to a new toy that intrigues you. Sex toys are one of the best ways to experience a world of different sensations all by yourself.

Try a powerful wand, a rumbly bullet, a silicone stroker or a prostate massager… or whatever most takes your fancy!

Try a new lube

If you’re not already using lube for your masturbation, give it a go! Lube isn’t just for partnered sex and it isn’t just for people who struggle with dryness. Lube keeps everything slippery wet and friction-free, making for a more fun and pleasurable experience. It can also add different sensations, keeping your masturbation routine varied.

I recommend a high quality water-based lube for beginners, but you can also experiment with silicone lube (don’t use this with silicone toys), oil lube (not latex barrier compatible), or warming and tingling lubes.

Have phone or cyber sex

If you have a lover you don’t live with, this one is easy. But if you’re single and feeling brave, there are chat sites, cam sites and phone sex lines you can use to enjoy sexy chat with another person while you get yourself off.

Remember: tip well if you’re using a paid site, and never give out any personally identifying details!

What have you done to mix up your masturbation routine?

The Masturbation Monday logo, for a post about mixing up your masturbation routine

The Masturbation Monday meme is run by Kayla Lords. Click the logo to see what everyone else is getting off to this week, and please buy me a coffee if you find my work useful! Plus don’t forget it’s #MasturbationMonth and I’m working with Lovehoney to bring you sexy content all month long.

Masturbation Monday: Media Myths About Female Masturbation

I’m a woman, and I love wanking! What I don’t always love, however, is the weird narratives that surround the topic of female masturbation. Here are some of the most persistent ones I really wish would go away.

Remember: not all women have vulvas and some people with vulvas aren’t women!

Most women don’t masturbate (or only do it very rarely)

Come on, we all know this is bullshit by now, don’t we? Newsflash: the overwhelming majority of adults of all genders masturbate at least sometimes. According to a survey by Tenga, American women masturbate an average of twice per week.

Of course, some do it much more often, and some much less. It’s all normal and it’s all cool!

Female masturbation is a full-on romantic night in for one, complete with candles and bubble baths

I’m absolutely not knocking it if this is your thing. You do you! But media depictions of women wanking tend to enormously overplay this one very specific vision of it.

I think this plays into sexist “women don’t like sex, women like romance!” tropes. Nope. Lots of women like romance. Lots of women also like orgasms. And sometimes the two go together, sometimes they don’t. Either way, based on the conversations I’ve had (and I talk about wanking with my friends probably more than your average person,) the number of women who masturbate this way is actually pretty tiny.

Confession: I am twenty nine years old and I have never once in my entire life masturbated in the bath.

Women only masturbate if they can’t get a man

Leaving aside all the heteronormativity of this, it’s ridiculous to suggest that the only time a woman would want to masturbate is if she cannot access partnered sex.

There are many great reasons to masturbate, whether you have a partner or not. Stress relief, pain relief, to help you sleep, to show yourself love and affection, or just because it’s fun! I firmly believe people in relationships should maintain a sexual relationship with themselves if they wish.

Masturbation isn’t a sign of not being able to “get” a partner. It’s also not a sign that a sexual relationship isn’t satisfactory.

Women masturbate by penetrating themselves with absurdly enormous objects

My masturbation probably involves vaginal penetration less than 5% of the time. Take out the times when I’m explicitly testing a penetrative sex toy, and it’s probably more like 1% of the time.

I enjoy penetrative play with a partner. Very occasionally I’ll go for it by myself. But really it’s all about the clit. and I know I’m not alone in this! A lot of people with vulvas enjoy vaginal penetration, of course. But for the overwhelming majority of vulva-owners, the clitoris is the key to orgasm.

For those of us who do sometimes or always use penetration as part of our masturbation routine, it’s usually with regular dildos (which can range in size from small to somewhat large) rather than the absurdly enormous rubber dongs you see in porn.

(Again: no judgement whatsoever if penetration with extremely large objects is your jam. I’m just saying it’s not anywhere near as typical as media portrayals would have us believe.)

Only weirdos and sex addicts own sex toys

According to that same survey, around a third of American women own a sex toy. (This may be somewhat biased by the sample chosen, of course – a survey of my friends would reveal that near 100% of people of all genders own a sex toy or seventeen!)

Sex toys are awesome and everyone who wants to should experiment with them, both alone and with a partner! Owning a sex toy doesn’t say anything bad about you. It says that you’re a sexual human being and a badass who owns their pleasure unapologetically.

Also, sex addiction? Not. A. Thing. So let’s leave that myth to die, shall we?

Women don’t like porn

Women are – are you sensing a theme yet? – individuals with individual preferences! Some women like porn, some don’t. Some women like more softcore porn, others like hardcore kinky shit. Many women like their porn visual, while others prefer to read erotica.

There’s an enormous spectrum of tastes, they’re all valid, and they’re not determined by gender.

What myths about female masturbation (or any masturbation) do you wish would die already?

The Masturbation Monday logo, for a post about female masturbation myths

If you enjoy this piece and my work, please consider buying me a coffee to help me keep this space going! This post also contains affiliate links. This post is part of the Masturbation Monday meme, owned and run by Kayla Lords. Click the logo to see what everyone’s getting off to this week!