If there’s anything I enjoy, it’s sparking conversations around pleasure, specifically female pleasure. Growing up, I was conditioned by our archaic society to view pleasure, especially self pleasure, negatively. For the most part, I was ashamed for even having feelings of desire. I vividly remember the first time I ever thought about masturbation as a curious teenager, I was concerned about the “wrongness” of it.
Today, discussions around masturbation and pleasure are fairly common but we have a long way to go. Luckily, we’re learning new things every single day about it, thanks to sex-positive doctors and creators along with sexual wellness educators. Dr Tanaya Narendra aka Dr Cuterus taught me that masturbation OBVIOUSLY isn’t wrong for your health while Leeza Mangaldas schooled me (and most of us) on prioritising female pleasure. How could we forget Seema Anand teaching us a thing or two about the intricacies of the Kamasutra?
In an attempt to do that, I decided to do something extremely fun with Team ELLE! Considering our unfiltered chats around sex and pleasure, I asked them about their masturbation journey and here’s what they had to say!
Sukriti Shahi, Beauty & Wellness Editor
I was in a relationship and so, never felt the need to masturbate, if you know what I mean! After I got married, my husband went on his deployment to a different country. The long-distance marriage was the beginning of my masturbation journey. Yes, I did start a bit late and that made me understand my body and pleasure better. It gives me the freedom to move things, pun intended, my way! I do use sex toys too because why not? I have tried a few different ones from MyMuse (Pulse is my go-to) and MsChief. I love the fact that these brands are now starting the dialogue around taking control of our pleasure. Some of these sex toys are good to use with your partner as well which is interesting!
Isha Mayer, Senior Digital Writer
I discovered masturbation when I was quite young but didn’t understand what it was at that time. I was very ashamed of it and thought I was a weirdo for doing it. It was when I grew a little older and came across an article online that explained female masturbation so well. And that’s when I realised what it was. This was also around the time when people has become more open to the idea of female masturbation. While there’s still some taboo around it, I know I can have that conversation freely with my friends and peers of my generation. I’ve recently started using vibrators while reading an erotic novel or listening to a steamy podcast, and boy is it magical.
Sakshi Rawte, Beauty Writer
I masturbated for the first time when I was 14, right at the time my hormones were raging and all over the place. Initially, I felt a little guilty about the whole act because I thought I was practically committing a crime. Like every other teenager, my journey began with porn that catered to the male gaze, so I’d find it extremely tough to orgasm. Later on, I discovered erotica and vibrators—the magical duo that make my life worth living! When it comes to sex toys, I have a soft corner for pulsating ones that stimulate the clitoris. Breeze from MyMuse is toe-curlingly surreal. While we’re lucky enough to have new-age brands like MyMuse, MsChief, Leezus and The Sangya Project offer us a variety of toys, it would be refreshing to see newer innovations.
Mansi Shah, Digital Editor
Having been brought up in a somewhat conservative household, I was not very comfortable with the concept of self-pleasure for a long time. In the due course of time, and because of the profession I am in, I was encouraged to at least think about it. Funnily enough, I got more adventurous with masturbation after I became sexually active with a partner. I would put this at around 23-24, age-wise. My fingers are nearly always enough but now I have toys and my god, my orgasms are intense. I usually watch porn but the options for female viewing pleasure are severely limited so I would really appreciate any help on that front.
Sanjana Suvarna, Junior Art Director
Unfortunately, I began masturbating a bit too late in life. It was only when one of my friends sent across a pocket vibrator from across the globe, did I embrace the whole concept finally. It took some time for my brain to adjust to the fact that this isn’t a taboo at all. Now, we’re pro self-love all day every day! Vibrators are definitely my jam, I have one that works best for penetration and clitoral stimulation. As for how to go about it, I don’t think I have a set rule yet, it completely depends on my mood. Sometimes, just some good music and some steamy flashbacks from the past do the trick for me. In my case, my imagination has proven to take me for a full joyride.