3 Moms On Why Masturbation Still Matters As a Busy Parent


We want to take some space to celebrate a part of life that often gets overlooked for moms — Self-pleasure.

We live in a culture that often de-sexualizes motherhood. Moms often feel pressured to appear 100% dedicated to their children with little room for their own multifaceted identities. And one massive part of being a human is your sexuality.

So what does it mean to be a mom and to be feeling yourself? There aren’t a ton of nuanced cultural models showing us the way here.

For some inspiration, Louise Head spoke to three moms:

  1. Jo, a wellness blogger and women’s life coach.
  2. Melissa, founder of Sex Positive Families.
  3. Jess, a queer, femme mother of two, about their relationship with motherhood and self-pleasure. Here’s what they have to say.

Why is masturbation vital to you as a busy mom?

Melissa: Masturbation is a huge stress reliever and natural way for me to relax. I wear many hats as an entrepreneur, parent, and partner. Masturbation allows me to spend time immersed in my pleasure and connection to my body.”

Jess: Masturbation helps me tap into the sensual woman in me that doesn’t get to come out and play very often these days.

Jo: A lot of women go through this feeling that I’m a mom now. I can’t pleasure myself. Or, all my pleasure belongs to my children, all my joy belongs to my children, and that mentality was always dangerous to me. One of the things I discovered about masturbation is that it’s something I can give back to myself. It’s a way of honoring my body, of acknowledging my joy. It’s a gift that I can give back to myself. As a busy mom, I deserve not only to feel good physically through fitness or eating well, I not only deserve to feel good through my family life or with my partner, but I also deserve to feel good physically in my body.

How has having kids changed your relationship to self-pleasure?

Jess: Having kids has made me more in tune with my body. My last child was born at home with midwives at my side. The whole experience changed how I feel pleasure because I know exactly where I’m feeling pleasure. Epidurals numb everything, so being able to feel all of my body and muscles contracting gave me a mental roadmap of my body that I can follow when masturbating. Now I know where all the hot spots are!

Melissa: My body has experienced pregnancy and childbirth twice in the last 21 years. As a result, the changes my body has encountered along the journey of parenting have at times led to lower libido, less confidence in my appearance, impacts to my mental health and physical pain related to body changes. Reconnecting with my body during these experiences hasn’t always been easy. I’ve had to be intentional about the time and attention I put toward my pleasure–sometimes related to sex and sexuality, other times focusing in on non-sexual experiences that bring me joy–and not feel guilty about the process. Raising kids and juggling the many other demands within life can sometimes feel in direct conflict with attention to self and pleasure, but I’ve been parenting long enough now to realize that if I’m not taking care of me first, nothing else and nobody else will be cared for. So it’s imperative that I prioritize my pleasure routinely.

We live in a culture that really de-sexualizes moms and often promotes mothers being selfless caregivers who can’t prioritize their own needs. How do you fight that cultural pressure?

Jo: Once you become a mom, there’s this idea that you can no longer be sexy. Birthing a child is technically physical trauma so as a mom you look at your body in a completely different way because of this trauma. Trauma is an event that changes your perception in the world — motherhood and the fact that your body is changing changes the way you see yourself. You no longer see yourself as this sexual creature. I don’t see women like myself with stretch marks or looser skin looking sexy. Magazines and the media don’t label them as hot so how am I supposed to connect with this idea that I can also be sexy?

For me, I think sexy means beautiful, confident, strong and knowing yourself. It doesn’t mean sex to me. It just means this energy of confidence in yourself when you walk into the room.

It took saying, “You know what media and social media? I’m so over this idea that as a mom, I can’t be myself, I can’t celebrate myself. If self-pleasure or stepping into your sexuality is a form of celebrating yourself then why the hell not? Why as a mom am I denied that?” And when I have to ask myself who is denying that [pleasure] from me, I was like, “Fuck that’s myself…I’m the one who hit that subscribe button, and I can unsubscribe to that narrative any time I want.”

Melissa: I’m a big believer that time is always available; it’s a matter of how we prioritize our time. This society does a good job of imposing shame on acts of self-pleasure and sexuality. It also can construct a lot of barriers and stressors that can move us further away from our bodies and our wellness. I remind myself of this regularly, so I don’t internalize shame or guilt if ever I feel too exhausted or out of touch from self-pleasure. I recenter myself by things like journaling, deep breathing and openly communicating what I’m feeling to my partner and those closest to me.

Now that you have kids, what tends to get in the way of masturbation?

Jess: My partner’s changing schedule and the daily grind of chores and general Mom business wears me out. Sometimes I’m just too tired. To make the time I try to schedule it for when I know I’ll be alone. Like in the shower, or while my partner is at work, she works nights, and make sure the kids go to bed on time.

Jo: Are you using it now to cope? That can be one of the things to look out for. There are days where I’m like, “Ah I’m so over today. I just want to masturbate all day long. I just want to make myself feel good. Don’t bother me.” So I think I have to self regulate sometimes and just ask myself, “Am I doing this because I’m pleasuring  myself or am I doing this because I’m trying to run from something?”

I think what can get us in the way of trying to connect with [pleasure] is thinking that our pleasure as a woman is designed for somebody else and is supposed to be given to somebody else and I think that can be dangerous. That messaging has to be reframed and rewritten.

What advice would you offer to other moms who are struggling to reconnect with masturbation and themselves as sexual beings?

Jess: My best advice is to take time for yourself. Especially the stay-at-home mom’s like me. It’s easy to get wrapped up in a routine. And it’s even easier to forget the woman under the Supermom identity. Take time to remember the beautiful things about yourself inside and out. And seduce yourself! Don’t be afraid to look in the mirror and tell yourself that you’re sexy and deserving of pleasure. Take a hot sensual bath with yummy smelling oils and lose yourself in the moment.

Melissa: I stay connected to sex-positive content and thought leaders like Afrosexology, Emily Nagoski, Erika Lust, and Jet Setting Jasmine, to name a few. Their content challenges me to prioritize my pleasure, stay connected to my body, address old traumas, and it stimulates my senses. I also raise my children in a sex-positive way, which means we’re equipping them with the knowledge and tools that help them understand bodies, consent, pleasure, sexuality, relationships and the world around them without shame or taboo.

Doing so can feel like a rebellious act in this culture, but it’s important that my children position themselves for healthy, satisfying sex lives, regardless of how they choose to pursue and express themselves into their futures. I also regularly incorporate small acts of self-love like writing affirmations to myself and affixing them to my bathroom mirror, relaxing naked after showers for as long as feels comfortable, consuming my favorite foods and drinks regularly, and keeping quality lube on hand.

There is no one way to claim your pleasure. If it feels good, that’s enough. It does not have to be justified, explained or approved by anyone else. Pleasure is your birthright. The more we pursue it as parents, unapologetically, the more effectively we are modeling our value and worth, which can give permission for the children we raise to do the same.

Jo: One of the first things I would say is that motherhood is just womanhood. There’s no need to separate the two. It’s part of a woman’s journey should she choose to embark on that road. Stop isolating yourself as “just a mom” thinking that other women won’t be able to relate, or see you or hold space for you as you talk about certain things.

[Also], I will tell [my kids], “Mom needs about fifteen in her room.” It’s the same as, “Mom needs to take a shower for 15 minutes. Mom needs to take a phone call for 15 minutes.” I think the more mothers can get comfortable with placing boundaries around their time and the more they can communicate that openly with their children, the more the children will be so accepting of it. And they don’t need to know what you’re doing behind closed doors.

After speaking with these insightful moms, it’s clear that culture sometimes pits motherhood against self-pleasure, making you feel as if you have to choose between the two. However, these women are finding creative ways to own their sexuality and integrate it as a beautiful piece of motherhood. For the moms who don’t get asked nearly enough about their own pleasure, how do you tap into that creativity? What really makes you feel sexy? How can you make a habit of saying no to guilt and shame when you need to put your pleasure first?

Maybe you can try out your new line, “Hey, mom needs 15 minutes,” and go have a little date with your fave toy and some lube.

3 Moms On Why Masturbation Still Matters As a Busy Parent originally appeared on Rumble & Buzz

The Truth About Masturbation


Wank, blanket drill, frig, herkin the gherkin, jack-off, jill-off, jerk-off, rub one out, pump a gusher, beat the beaver, flick the bean, solo-play or pleasuring, self-pleasuring and self-loving… these are some of the many words used for erotic self-stimulation, or masturbation.

Society’s long history of repressing masturbation shows that sexual self-pleasuring has been prevalent for centuries. Highly demonized, it wasn’t until the end of the Victorian Age that research first proved masturbation to be a natural activity. Even today masturbation is still viewed as a sin for some segments of society, but, more than ever, it is transitioning from an evil practice of “self-abuse” (which leads to hairy palms and mental illness) to a health promoting, self-care activity.

Sexual pleasure is our birthright. We are hardwired for this pleasure from conception until death. As humans, we innately gravitate towards what feels good and away from pain. Touching yourself for pleasure is normal!

Who masturbates?

Whether single or partnered, studies clearly show that adult men and women masturbate. Upwards of 90% of men report self-pleasuring, and, depending on the study, so do between 50-90% of women.

Why solo-pleasuring?

People masturbate because it feels good… period!

But there are other incentives for solo-pleasuring. Exploring their bodies allows people to find out what feels good, and allows for self-sufficiency in the orgasm department. When people orgasm, oxytocin (which is a hormone that causes bonding) is released, which enhances their self-love. Additionally, masturbation won’t lead to STIs or pregnancy.

Do people in relationships masturbate?

Many people believe that masturbation is only for singles and if partnered people masturbate it means that they are dissatisfied with their sex lives. To the contrary, there appears to be a positive correlation between couples who masturbate and satisfactory frequency and enjoyment in their coupled sexual experiences.

Studies show that men and women masturbate as an addition to their partnered sex lives, either because, well, the mood struck when their partner was absent or they just wanted to experience some pleasure without having to expend the time and energy it takes to have a partnered experience.

How does masturbation benefit couple’s play?

When individuals personally know their turn-ons, they can then share what feels good with their partners. One of the best ways to share this information is to masturbate in front of their mates and allow them to see first-hand (pun intended) how to do the job.

Additionally, the ability to be self-satisfied will take pressure off partners when they are not feeling up to sex and during times of illness, injury or separation.

What are the health benefits of masturbation?

Hopefully, the previous information helps you feel better about self-loving. But if you are still not convinced, here are some health benefits that will surely inspire you to add masturbation to your self-care routine:

  • Orgasm/ self pleasure
  • Blood circulation
  • Decreases pain
  • Sleep & relaxation
  • Burns calories
  • Endorphins / improves mood

Masturbation, which generally leads to orgasm, increases endorphins, decreases pain perception, aids relaxation, burns calories, and improves mood, circulation, and sleep.

It brings blood flow to genitals, keeping both men’s and women’s sex organs healthy. Women will enjoy less vaginal atrophy and improved lubrication, especially during perimenopause and menopause. In men, masturbation resulting in ejaculation helps keep their prostates healthy and decreases prostate cancer risks. Also, frequent erections help maintain strong erections, bringing truth to the term use it or lose it!

The Truth About Masturbation originally appeared on Rumble & Buzz

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