At a time when we're moving towards a society where sex can openly talked be about (well, more or less), woman's masturbation still remains a taboo. The idea of a woman pleasing herself seems so disgusting to our society that we pretend like such a thing doesn't even exist. Needless to say, the thought of having 'the talk' with their adolescent kids turns even the most self-assured of parents into a quivering mess. So it's quite natural that teenagers depend on their friends to answer queries that might not be 'safe'.
So, when Manik Rege's little sister turned 15, he welcomed her to adulthood by writing her a letter.
A letter on masturbation, to help her develop a positive and healthy attitude towards self-care. Keeping the channels of communication open, the Mumbai guy also told his sister that he's always there by her side to answer all her questions.
Read his letter below:
Congratulations on turning 15. And welcome to hell, I mean, puberty.Know that I’m here for you throughout your journey, and that I truly love you with all my heart and soul.I personally consider myself your parent as much as Mom & Dad do, and therefore, I believe it’s my duty to talk to you about certain sensitive topics which every parent should openly discuss with his/her growing kids.Surely, Mom & your teachers at school have explained all about how & why your body is going to turn into a nuclear power-plant, set to explode every single month for the rest of your life. On the basis of that assumption, I’ll skip to a more sensitive topic that is often ignored or held back during the discussions on sexual health.
I’m here to talk to you about masturbation.
Please don’t react like you’re hearing the word for the first time in your life. You and your friends have surely talked, gossiped & laughed about it at school. You’ve most probably been fed the wrong information in a format & language so filthy, it must make you cringe at the thought of touching yourself, even when your mind secretly itches to explore the wildness within.Now, before you freak out, I assure you that I don’t want to make you feel awkward or uncomfortable in any way.I’m not here to conduct a sex education class or whatever. I totally respect your private space, which is exactly why I’m writing this letter- to let you know that I trust you, and I’ll always be here for you whenever you need my friendship or support. I’m simply here to tell you that you’re not alone.
I was in the same situation 5 years ago, with thousands of questions bubbling inside my mind. But, unfortunately, I didn’t have anyone to answer them & make me understand in the right way, so it took quite some time for me to figure stuff out on my own. And, I don’t want you to go through the same confusion, which is why I’m here to tell you… IT’S OKAY.
It’s okay to want to touch yourself, and it’s okay to have weird fetishes & crazy dreams. In fact, masturbation is not only okay, but also necessary for your health & well-being. It gives you a chance to explore your body, understand your needs, and know exactly what hurts you & what turns you on. It gives you power over your body; it makes you your own happy boss. Maybe, that’s why masturbation, and specifically female masturbation, is still such a big taboo.
The realization that a woman, too, has certain desires & she can fulfil them without your consent, or your dick, strikes an unsettling chord in a society that has disempowered & objectified your gender since the beginning of time.
That’s the essence of the stigma of self-pleasure- it’s often, if not always, partial to us men. I mean, if boys do it, it’s just a part of the natural cycle they can’t control, but if a girl does it, it’s considered immoral, irreligious & filthy in every sense of the word.Well, if that’s the case, and if masturbation is really so ‘unethical’ that an author had to describe it as ‘the path to Satan,’ I suggest you should waltz your way to hell if that’s where your happiness leads you, and I’ll tell you why it’s totally worth the ‘punishment’ you might receive.First of all, with the exception of a few asexuals i.e. people who don’t feel sexually attracted to any gender- everyone in this world does ‘the thing,’ regardless of whether they accept it or not, because guess what? Everyone is a human being, and everyone’s body commands them to fulfill certain needs.
Secondly, you don’t need anyone’s permission to do or not do it, so it’s completely upto you. It’s your personal choice & human right. It’s completely free & safe. So, unless you get addicted to it or let it intrude your work, it cannot possibly bring you any harm or pain.
Thirdly, it helps you keep your relationships alive, because you can now let your partner know about your needs, and what he/she can do to satisfy them.Fourthly, it relieves stress, keeps away certain infections, and it also feels good, so like, why not?Lastly, unlike the situation 50 years ago, there’s an infinite number of books, articles, videos you can refer to for knowing how you can make the most of your ‘alone time.’ I kid you not, there’s even an app that guides you through the ‘game.’ What a time to be alive, eh?
My point is that there’s a great library of resources you can access to know more about the topic; all you have to do is open up & be bold enough to ask questions whenever & wherever they arise.
I say that, because contrary to the popular belief amongst adults, I personally believe there is no ‘right time & place’ to share certain facts, especially in today’s world where a little kid has access to all the information in the world, thanks to the internet.
The world has become so fast that you can’t wait for your kid to turn 18, and then sit him down on a sofa to give the long awkward talk on ‘girls/boys.’ You’ll only discover that your kid has already been stuffed with myths & misconceptions long before you can accept that his tiny brain even had room to accommodate them.
So answer those questions NOW- as and when they pop up. And appreciate your child’s curiosity rather than dismissing it. Cultivate the thirst for good knowledge, rather than suppressing the inquisitiveness which is simply a natural side-effect of growing up.With that promise of being a friendly guide to your younger generation, I ask you, dear Isha, to not feel ashamed or afraid to bombard all the adults in the house with your questions & queries. You have the right to know about how our bodies work, and as adults, it is our duty to give you the information you demand in the right way, regardless of the time & place of your queries.My last piece of advice as a young human being who has the same needs as you do, is that you should never feel guilty about putting your needs before everything else, because there’s nothing bad in wanting to feel happy & good about yourself, because you’re doing nothing wrong, and because even if you make mistakes, there is someone who will always trust you, respect your space, and understand what you can’t express in words.You know, I promised Mom I’ll be the friend she & Dad can never be for you. So, I’ll say this again, and I’ll keep saying it until it gets fixed in your head- You, my dear Isha, are never alone. You have my support, and you can be 100% sure that I’ll sincerely accept & appreciate all the decisions you take.
So, relax, dim the lights, google up Chris Hemsworth, and let your hormones take you on the craziest ride of your life.
Happy Play Time, my dear lady!
Yours in trust,