Female masturbation is still something of a hidden, if not a taboo topic.
Men learn from an early age and are given permission to do so, with fond jokes abounding about what goes on in teenage boys bedrooms and why there is a surplus of single socks ( for those not in the know, socks are a boy''s masturbatory best-friend apparently! ;)
Girls 'playing with themselves' are not given the same seal of approval, even nowadays. We guess this is due to old attitudes that boys/men have more wilder 'urges' and that it's natural for boys to masturbate, but not for girls - which, of course it complete bumf as its natural for everybody to masturbate!
It's also to do with the different ways boys and girls are socialized. Girls are taught to be the nurturers, and as masturbation in self-centered ( in the BEST possible way!) it's seen as going against female 'giving' nature.
And there's the physical differences, of course. Male bits are quite simply visible, in 3 easy parts and right *there* to see and feel, whereas female bits are hidden and quite complicated!
But, despite these sometimes barriers to our learning to self-love, there's every reason for girls and women to masturbate and here's 6 of the best...
1. Masturbate to Learn
We reckon it's great for women in particular to learn about their own bodies' responses from masturbation.
Films and magazines give us unrealistic ideas of what sex should look and feel like - but there's no substitute for first-hand research.
Knowing what feels good makes it that much easier to tell a lover what we like - or even to show them.
2. Masturbate to Try New Things
Masturbation is a great way to explore new pleasures, at your own pace.
If you're considering playing with a first vibrator, but are not sure you'll enjoy the buzz, curious about anal play , but worried you'll hate it or drawn to a strap-on toy, but not sure you could work it, experimenting by yourself banishes all newbie nerves or performance anxiety you may have if your partner was involved.
3. Masturbate to Take the Pressure Off
Sh! Jessica Rabbit £40
Masturbation can also be good for women who find orgasms a little more elusive.
Taking some time out to yourself takes the pressure off and gives you time to explore and try out other styles of stimulation, like vibrators.
Vibrators boost circulation, and they can give the fast, consistent stimulation that can really help women get off.
Old friends the Classic Rabbit Vibrators, with their clit-hugging ears, are effective vibes if you find orgasms trickier to reach.
4. Masturbate to Feel Good
Masturbation is great exercise: it gets your pulses racing, your blood pumping and puts a spring in your step.
It's also got a huge feel-good factor - hormones released during arousal and orgasm make you happy and snuggly, so masturbation is the perfect way to give yourself a good-mood boost.
Depending on how it works for you, it can be a helpful way to get to sleep, or it can get you wide-awake and feeling energized.
5. Masturbate to Pamper Yourself
There's also a lot of benefit in taking some time out to pamper yourself.
If you're unusually busy or stressed, taking an evening to look after number one is a great idea.
Try a relaxing bath, or spoiling yourself with massage oil, tasty chocolate treats, some hot erotica, or a sexy sex toy - or two!
Set it up with all the care and attention you would for a hot date - then seduce yourself.
6. Masturbate For Fun
And - how could we forget - masturbation is fun!
You are your most insightful and sensitive lover, so go for it - enjoy yourself!