The Daily Northwestern

Between the Sheets: Our lips are not sealed

Tonya Starr, Columnist

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In case the title was unclear, this is a column about female masturbation. Still with me? Good.

In just six short weeks, I’ll be moving to a strange, frigid city where I’ll live by myself in a cheap apartment and probably masturbate a lot. I’ll also microwave convenience store food, take up smoking and befriend the neighborhood cat as I pursue some serious journalistic endeavors a la Lisbeth Salander of “Dragon Tattoo.”

So how does a girl keep herself warm on a long, cold, lonely night? Well, it depends on the girl. A 2012 study from the Kinsey Institute found that only 77 percent of women age 20-24 have masturbated, whereas 92 percent of men have done the deed by that point. Women just nearly catch up from age 24-29, when 85 percent of us are playing under the blanket (or in the bathtub, or while watching “Game of Thrones”), but then we see a very disheartening trend: As women get older they masturbate less and less, but men maintain a steady rate until the age of 70.

My immediate thought is that women stop touching their own special place when they find a partner to touch it for them — or when it’s been ravaged by childbirth and they’re too tired to touch it anyway. My second thought is that this is a downright shame because, despite what some horrible articles on Askmen.com say, women do not only masturbate because they’re lonely and insecure. We masturbate whenever we want, even when we have a partner, because we know ourselves better (and if we don’t, we should). Single or not, we all need to take some alone time to get in touch with our deepest selves and acquire an arsenal of masturbatory tricks that we can consult for the rest of our lives (I bet we could even keep up with men in that “after 70” bracket).

So whether you’re Natalie Portman in “Black Swan” reaching under your pink nightgown for the first time or a seasoned toy collector looking for a new game, here’s some tried and true advice master-bater herself:

1. Get a vibrator.

Just do it. You know you’ve thought about it like a hundred times. Just go to one of those sex shops off the Berwyn stop, pick one up and stop fretting about it. I got something called a “Posh Rocket” a few years ago as a reward for landing my first freelance gig, and it was the best $20 I’ve ever spent. Mine’s about 6 inches long with three settings and friendly, pink silicone casing, and I wouldn’t give it up for the world. Take a break from midterms and treat yourself to something nice.

2. If you’re too scared to get a vibrator…

Then you’re a coward who’s missing out on the greatest joys of life. But if that’s your deal, I’ve had some excellent experiences with candlesticks.

3. Get in the mindset.

Seriously, this is so important. Nothing dries up your mojo like a text from your mom or a reminder about a morning meeting. Turn it off, lock the door and settle into whatever feels good (lingerie, a baggy tee shirt, nothing at all). Tell your housemates you’re doing work and mustn’t be disturbed, play something soothing and get on with all the hollering and moaning you like.

Email: tonyastarr14@gmail.com

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