Sex Column: Becoming Positive About Sex Positivity

CW: Mention of sexual trauma, slut-shaming

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I don’t masturbate.

Now, as a self-proclaimed progressive woman living in the 21st century (and in a single room), I realize how odd that may seem to those who rub one out on the daily. It may also appear contradictory when one looks at my tracklist of sexual endeavors, with hit features such as BDSM, public sex in garages, and “that one time I tried anal and realized it wasn’t for me.”

I’m a sexual person, and I love sex in (almost) all forms, but I’ve never learned to be comfortable with sex with myself. When I would masturbate, it was usually for the viewing or listening pleasure of my partner at the time. It never occurred to me that while I defined myself as “sex-positive,” I was still missing that integral part of self-love.

I can attribute that to a lot of reasons: Maybe it has to do with the fact that I’ve dealt with a lot of sexual trauma in my life, or the fact that I grew up in a country where slut-shaming is prevalent and enthusiastic conversations about sex are considered taboo.

Either way, I’m growing a little weary of letting my past restrict my sexual experiences, or of only having “sleep-gasms” (Yes, females actually do this, even if their experience may be a little less “wet”!). While my journey to self-pleasure is just starting, here are a few things I’ve learned and am looking forward to try:

1. Body positivity can help, A LOT. Although that manifests in different ways for different people, I highly recommend getting reacquainted with your body in all its naked glory. I personally feel much more at peace with my sexuality when I’m able to strip down and stare seductively at myself in the mirror. I especially love throwing on my beloved white-lace, barely there lingerie and swaying my hips to the beat of my favorite bedroom jams.

Call it cliché or a bizarre exercise in narcissism, but there’s something about this that really gets me going. Forget about your infamously bad dorm room lighting. Put on some sexy tunes, and revel in your nudity (or semi-nudity).

2. Get excited about toys! I’m sad to report that there is not a single sex toy currently stashed in my underwear drawer (or anywhere else). That obviously has to change, right?

Luckily, I chanced upon what could potentially be my Holy Grail — Spectrum Boutique, a sex-positive toy store based in Detroit that is inclusive of all identities. Their website is funky, bright, and reminiscent of, another site I frequent often. This comforts me a lot.

As I’m scrolling through their merchandise, I’m drawn to the sleek dildos that scream “G-spot heaven” to me. Or the Noval Dual rabbit vibrator, which promises to consistently stimulate the clitoris while providing penetration. (As a double-whammy type of gal, I’m definitely hooked.)

3. Educate yourself. It’s unfortunate that many sex-ed classes are sorely lacking in the how-to-pleasure-yourself department, but it’s never too late to learn!

If you’re having sex with other people, try to take note of what pleasures excite you the most, then apply the same techniques to yourself. I never even knew the knee-buckling, breathtaking potential of having my G-spot tickled until I started having regular sex with a partner who, bless their soul, really knows what they’re doing.

You can also take advantage of the Internet, which is full of people sharing different techniques that work for them, some of which will hopefully work for you, too. I recently invested in a subscription of something aptly named OMGYes, a site aimed at “exploring how [vagina-owners] can find greater sexual fulfillment.”

I now have access to 62 refreshingly explicit videos of women teaching me how to masturbate, demonstrating techniques that I haven’t even heard of. It’s awesome. My only wish is that they could be more inclusive, like Spectrum Boutique is.

That’s my journey so far. I’m now waiting not-so-patiently for my toys to arrive in the mail and can’t wait to continue sharing my experiences in the articles to “come” (wink).

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