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Clutch Your Pearls

I’ve been thinking a lot about masturbation.


I’ve been doing it a lot lately, not having a girlfriend/lover/special friend and all.  At times it’s frustrating, because I want someone else’s hands, lips, and legs on and around me. But for the most part, masturbation and I get a long great – and why wouldn’t we? It’s safe, you can’t get pregnant or contract any STIs, there will be no awkward “after” phase, where you wonder if you should call the very next day or not. Bonus: it makes really conservative people squeamish and makes their faces turn red, and I live for that shit.

Masturbation is great. Especially now that I have a phone with 4g and I can get the “good” videos on my favorite porn site. Aside: Can we talk about porn for a second? So I’m all in the mood to love on myself and it takes me like 10 to 15 minutes just to find good inspiration. I don’t like to sit through a whole 17 minute clip, but I do like a good storyline, because those straight-to-sex videos, where it comes on and the lady is seductively rubbing baby oil on her ass while she sticks it in the camera and the guy is like “ooh yeah baby, let me see those tits,” right before he rams his cock down her throat? Uh, no thank you.  And oh my god, can we talk about Black porn? Why does it suck SO BAD? Especially Black lesbian porn. You can see the damn weave tracks, bullet wounds…ugh, I’m so over it. It’s always titled some disrespectful ass shit: “Ebony slut licks ghetto pussy,” and it’s always gutter and grimy and NOT FOR BLACK LESBIANS. #fuckracism #fuckpatriarchy #fuckthemalegaze. Please believe I will be writing another post ranting about Black Lesbian porn in the near future.

But back to me. So, I have been masturbating for…oh, I don’t know how long. I want to say since I was seven years old. My mom dropped me off at my dad’s for the Christmas holiday, and I guess he lost track of time or something because I walked in the living room and right there on the floor under the Christmas tree was the LaToya Jackson issue of Playboy. Once he realized what I was gawking at, he quickly snatched it up and took it into his bedroom, and just continued on as if nothing happened. Yeah, we were one of those families that didn’t talk about sex.

But let me tell you, when he went to the store the next day to pick up some things for dinner, I searched the apartment high and low for that magazine. And man, I found quite the treasure. No, literally. I found a big, brown, intricately-carved treasure chest of dirty magazines and stacks of VHS porn.

From that point on, my life was never the same. Unless the pictures were of two women, the spreads never really did anything for me, so being the avid reader that I am, I would read one of the letters to Playboy (though I preferred Penthouse letters), or I’d put a tape in (being very careful to remember where it started so I could rewind it back to the exact moment so I wouldn’t get caught), then I’d get my stuffed Bert (yes, that Bert. He had a perfect shaped head), or another stuffed animal, or whatever pillow was nearby and hump my little hormones away. When I was at the point of climax, I would crack up laughing because it tickled like crazy. Oh god, I was filled with so much joy.

And then I’d instantly be filled with shame. I just knew I was doing something wrong. The feelings of joy, then instant shame continued for many years, into my adulthood. Even after I started having sex, pleasing myself carried more embarrassment for me than having sex with whomever my boyfriend was at the time. As an adult, I would draw the blinds, turn down the picture of my Great Grandmother – which didn’t work because I always felt like she was watching me, as if she would spend her time as an ancestor, up there with her husband, Billie Holiday, Paul Robeson, Dorothy Dandridge and whomever, worrying about me pleasing myself. But I could just hear her say in her sweet, condemning voice “Bless your heart baby, you’re such a little freak.” It tore me up…but not enough to stop masturbating.

I don’t remember what led me to stop thinking of masturbation as a bad thing. I think it was a Human Sexuality class I took in undergrad. We discussed the types of devices people would use in order to stop young men from masturbating – Google that shit. Talk about torture.

We also talked about how sexually repressed we are as a nation and how that has actually hindered our progress. We live in a very sexually repressed society, and especially when it comes to women, self-sexual pleasure is taboo. Not being able to talk freely about something so natural leads to a lot of internal conflict, misinformation and sometimes unhealthy, destructive behavior.  I didn’t want to be a part of that anymore. And frankly, I was tired of feeling bad for something that I loved to do that wasn’t hurting anyone. Going through random long sexless droughts didn’t hurt either.

And this is where I am now. I’ve been single for quite some time – longer than I’m used to, and I have to say I’m enjoying the experience for experience’s sake. But damn, it seems like after I hit 30, my hormones have been off the chain. In the past I had a pretty low sex drive (which probably had more to do with my internal conflict around my sexuality), but my ex-lovers would be sad to know that these days I’m usually horny 29 days out of 31. I’m really not a casual sex kind of person. I believe the best sex happens when it’s with someone you share deep emotional feelings with – and someone you can trust to handcuff you to the bed and not rob you blind, or take pics of you to post on Instagram, Snapchat or whatever app the kids are sexting with these days

Anyway – sex  with random people: not really my thing. And since I am single, it’s all on me. Well, it’s really all on Simone. That’s the name I’ve given my pillow. It’s a name that reminds me of a sexy Black Martinique woman. I’ve tried the vibrator thing, but it just doesn’t work for me. I guess I’ve become attached to the method I’ve been using for almost 27 years.

Masturbation is a beautiful thing. It’s the ultimate “me time,” it teaches you what you enjoy sexually, and it gives you a sense of empowerment. I think that when we talk to our kids about sex, we need to portray masturbation in a positive light. To pass our shame and sexual hang-ups onto our children can only harm them in the future.  And if you’re still harboring some internal conflict/guilt about masturbation, I encourage you to work towards, uh, releasing it, if you will.

Quiz time: Name five songs that deal with masturbation. I’ll start with an easy one: Tweet’s “Oops (Oh My)” That’s a favorite. Especially the video. Those chocolate brown thighs? Yes ma’am! Think I may go celebrate right now…


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