It was seen as a huge leap forward in breaking down taboos around self-love and female sexuality. Sex toys are the best way to become a much better lover.
With toys, you can learn how to explore your entire body with greater patience and skill, understanding how to prevent immediate escalation to penis-centric masturbation.
Sex toys help you break down cultural barriers in a safe, private setting and help us understand not only our bodies but our selves. More important, however, is that is cripples empathy; for experience is the best route to understanding and understanding is the source of empathy. I believe that a lack of empathy due to the increasingly narrow range of acceptable behavior for straight men is the source of a lot of violence in this world. Toys can also help men learn to delay orgasm, remain hard after orgasm, and have multiple orgasms.
Of course. This is a huge fear for many straight men. What would it mean to enjoy it? What would it mean to even explore it? What would I do if I did enjoy it? As the treatment of Donald Trump showed, it is more acceptable for straight men to sexually assault women than it is for them to explore all aspects of pleasure in a consensual way. The box of behaviour for straight men is frighteningly narrow, and this negatively affects not only men, but the people and the world around them.
Do you think it's useful to frame this argument in a way where women are regarded as 'liberated' and men as not, or is this issue more complex? Like all behaviour, it gets increasingly complex as you get increasingly granular. Dissecting my personal relationship with masturbation and how family, culture, psychology and experience all collide to create my unique perspective and experience would be a daunting task—and equally daunting to do the same for you. My main point is that the door for women is much wider and more inviting for women than it is for straight men.
Women have 50 years of impassioned critical thinking that support and contextualise this sexual pilgrimage in a positive way. While gay men have perhaps the most sophisticated and progressive dialogue around sexuality and identity, straight men have not embraced or benefited much from this progress. In general terms, masturbation has been successfully recast for women as part of an empowered life. This is not the case for straight men. In general, men are very ashamed of their habits, worried what others will think of them, worried that certain acts, if known, will have huge social consequences.
In general, women are much more comfortable owning toys, talking about them and incorporating masturbation as a healthy part of their lives. It is very ironic to say this when so much of our culture objectifies and stereotypes women, but in this area, straight men are in the dark ages and women have at least has their enlightenment.
Do you think that men and women are repressed in different ways? For example, it is regarded as normal for teenage boys to masturbate, whereas it is shameful for girls. Men also talk more openly about watching porn. But certainly straight men and women have very different experiences of sexuality in our culture. Everywhere women look and often in their day to day interactions, they are sexualised and trivialised in ways that men rarely experience, let alone understand.
Even now, we have rampant slut-shaming at best and rape and extreme violence at worst. Straight men cannot begin to understand what it is like to live in that world and retain a positive and healthy outlook towards oneself, sex, relationships and humanity.
One of the great misconceptions, however, is that somehow male sexuality is accurately represented and male needs are adequately met in this world. So most straight men live in the sexual and emotional straight jacket that the media custom-fits for their particular insecurities around masculinity. Do you think the shame surrounding male masturbation comes down to the content of pornography, and a fear that women have that their partner will try to emulate sexually aggressive moves?
The issues that have been more relevant are tied to a sense of betrayal as desire is directed towards someone that is not them, that does not look like them, that does not do the things in bed that they do. It can also be tied to a sense that any redirection of desire compromises the fidelity of intimacy: and this is strongly tied our a culture of monogamy.
A surprising number of women I spoke to acknowledged that being desired is the primary erotic trigger for them. Finally, I think many women want to be involved and included. That masturbation is in any way a reflection of your overall identity. Masturbation should be considered as an opportunity for creative sexual brainstorming and seen as a pathway for personal growth, health and sexual prowess rather than as a quick, reclusive act of quiet desperation.
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