The Shush Words

Last night, I contacted a friend about my recent article, worried I might have put a little too much out there. I thought of all the people over the years who have accused me of sharing too much and couldn’t quite get past the fact that I was writing about sex, orgasm, and masturbation in a public forum. Because although I do my best to be transparent and not worry too much about how my words will be received, there are times when I feel especially tender and vulnerable and fear what others may think. Her reply, as usual, was beautiful and kind and encouraging and, as her responses often do, made me brave. And I share it now, because she’s right. We live in a culture where the president of the United States is allowed to talk about grabbing women by the p*ssy, but women are condemned when we speak about our sexual lives. According to a recent survey, most women don’t even know the proper names for all their genital parts. This needs to change. This is my friend’s response…


In our culture, these are the shush-shush words and topics we shouldn’t mention unless we’re porn stars. God forbid a woman actually has, or wants to have, a healthy sex life. Just don’t talk about it. We’d rather you stay insecure and suppressed.

Rina, the real question here is: do YOU want to mention masturbation? Is it pertinent to what you’re trying to express? To me, it’s in context to what you’re speaking about and presents an angle on how far back and personal/real this struggle has been for you.

You’re right, there are going to be people who think this is way-over-the-top-crazy-definitely-OMG- too-much. Just cause it’s the word it is. It makes me want to find them in Walmart, walk sweetly to their buggy, and start belting out the word masturbation to the tune of the national anthem like Mariah Carrey at half time. But, you know, those same people might just think you’re over the top anyway. Hold on, okay? Just a sec… I’m looking for the middle finger emoji.

Changing people’s perspectives or even just challenging them with new ideas and thoughts has never been easy. Your boldness to tell your truth and be real about your story does this with or without the “M” word.

You make up your mind, girl. Then totally call me if you see any torches or pitch forks coming your way. I’ll head right over, ready to kick some ass.


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