Many animals masturbate frequently. In The Compass of Pleasure,
- Chimps make dildos out of tree bark and branches
- Female porcupines walk over branches to stimulate their genitals
- Dolphins have been seen wrapping eels around their penis.
I’m not suggesting interspecies sexual encounters, and I’m not sure why the author counts the dolphin eel encounter as masturbation and not sex, but you get the idea.
You have to applaud the creativity of the orangutans and the porcupine. making their own tools for pleasure. That puts sex toys in a whole new light in a way, maybe it really is natural to use our creativity to fashion tools to enhance our own pleasure. I love to collect these stories of animals and how they have sex or masturbate because we have so many sexual hangups about masturbation that i find it refreshing and permission giving to hear about how many species like to get their rocks off. It feels freeing to me.
So my challenge to you is next time you touch yourself know that you are part of the glorious animal kingdom and are just doing your part to feel good, which it turns out is completely, totally natural.
What happens if you relaxed into the naturalness of the act, gave yourself a little more permission and space to feel good about it, instead of something that you sort of need to rush through, and functionally get through to get to the part where you blow before someone discovers you.
There are so many layers of shame that we all have in this culture where we are told so often that to touch yourself is bad wrong dirty or just kind of lame, what happens if we could shake off another couple layers of that shame and guilt? What if we understood those emotions as an intentional result of fabricated cultural stories that are put onto us to control our behavior and create social order? What if we admitted that underneath all that we are all just animals who like to experience pleasure in our bodies, and that is ok?
Next time you touch yourself why don’t you play with taking some extra time with it, really linger, breath deep and choose to really enjoy your animal body. Know that you are part of a larger experience of animals and humans, all around the globe, throughout time who like enjoying pleasure in your body and remember how darn normal and natural it is!