I Thought Only Boys Masturbated: How to Celebrate Pride in 2021
Masturbation. My cheeks used to flush at the mention of the word, or at the mention of sex at all. I didn’t even realize I, an AFAB person, had the ability to masturbate until I saw the movie Lady Bird. I was seventeen.
Flash forward to June 2021, and I just received a large box in the mail from ~Blush ~ containing two vibrators, a set of dilators, and a surprise dildo that you read at the end. This time last year, I didn’t even have the vocabulary to ask for these toys. I was also living with my parents.
Now, I rent an apartment in Philadelphia with four other queers. Four out of five of us are trans and use they/them pronouns, myself included. I masturbate whenever I want. My roommates and I talk about everything from sex to capitalism because we have cultivated a judgment-free environment. For the first time, I’m learning what healthy relationships look and feel like, and I’m starting to truly love myself. It’s Pride Month and there is no better time to be queer.
In order to understand how I left my shame around sex and queerness behind (mostly), we have to go back to where it all began.
When I got home from the movie theatre, I casually strolled up the stairs to the only shower in the house, trying to hide how much I was freaking out. Imitating the scene from the movie, I sat under the bathtub faucet with my legs spread, just like Lady Bird did.
My heart was on fire, I was sweating, and I felt sick to my stomach. Lady Bird seemed to have such a good time when she did this in the movie, why did I feel like I was going to vomit? The water felt rough and painful as it splashed my bare legs. I felt so aware of my naked body, even though the shower curtain and door were closed. I was terrified someone knew what I was doing. Someone was going to walk in. I was going to be caught masturbating. My mind became a feeding frenzy of anxiety and I had to turn the faucet off. Disappointed in myself, I sat in the bathtub thinking about what I did wrong.
On multiple occasions throughout the rest of high school, the bathtub faucet and I stared each other down, eventually getting comfortable with one another. This was the beginning of my relationship with my body and my sexuality. Every time I masturbated, I felt ashamed afterward, but I also felt like I was floating on a damn cloud. How could something so bad feel so good! Or how could something so good feel so bad? My fear of being judged or labeled a slut by my small-town high school held me back from my own pleasure and pushed me further towards self-hatred.
Despite having a long-term serious boyfriend at the time, my first orgasm was in that bathtub. I had my very first orgasm lying on my back all alone in a cold bathtub and I felt really ashamed about that. I proceeded to only finish a handful of times in my almost three-year relationship with said boyfriend, whom I regularly got off. I thought this was as good as it was going to get: we hook up, he finishes, I don’t, I go home and finish alone.
My Queer, “Therapist’s Dream” Apartment
(literally, my therapist actually called our apartment that)
Let’s bring it back to June 2021: my boyfriend dumped me more than a year ago, I have a lot more therapy on the books, I’m surrounded by a loving queer community, and I even had my first gynecologist appointment. I have grown so much, and the amount of love and compassion I have for my younger selves now is astounding. Finding queer people who continually show me love and compassion despite my trans identity has been life-changing in more ways than one, but most surprisingly in my sex life.
As I spend more time with sex-positive queer people, my shame continues to fade into the background. “Masturbation” doesn’t seem like such a dirty word anymore, either. I’ve said and heard it too many times; it’s just a part of life! The more masturbation and sex are normalized in my queer apartment, the better my sex life and relationship with myself becomes.
I feel more confident in my body just from spending time exploring it without shame. Knowing my body so well has helped me figure out what I want from my partner and how to communicate that. The best sex of my life has always revolved around strong communication and respect, not around previous experiences or outward appearances. If I had known jerking off would help me have better partnered sex, I would’ve started way earlier!
Loving Yourself is Radical!
This Pride Month, I’m prioritizing masturbation. If you’re a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, I hope you’ll take the time to love yourself this June. I’m getting dressed up for myself in new lingerie, lighting some candles, and taking my time to continue getting to know my own body. Members of the LGBTQIA+ community have spent so much of their lives feeling ashamed of who we are and who we love.
I’m tired of shame and I know you are too. We deserve pleasure. We deserve self-love and understanding of our bodies. We deserve time to ourselves in a world that works so hard to put us down. We deserve orgasms okay!!!! I’m here to remind you that there is nothing shameful about having a good time by yourself, and Pride Month is the perfect excuse to prioritize your beautiful queer/gay self.
Disclaimer: Although the following items were gifted, this review is 100% our own honest opinions.
Wellness Dilator Set
Due to extra tissue surrounding my hymen, I am not yet able to use any penetrative toys, or even a tampon! That’s why when Kendy asked me if I would be interested in doing some reviews, I asked for the Wellness Dilator Set.
I was honestly pretty terrified to try the dilators out because I’ve had some really uncomfortable and painful experiences surrounding penetration. I was pleasantly surprised by the “Satin Smooth, Body Safe Silicone”, which made inserting the dilator much easier than I expected. The dilators are for real satin smooth.
As someone who hasn’t had a lot of involvement with penetration, it’s very reassuring to know that these dilators do not contain any fragrances, phthalates, paraffins, or latex. I felt completely safe the entire time I was using them. One of the best parts about this dilator set is the non-threatening, purple design complete with heart-shaped bases. As soon as I received the set in the mail and held it in my hands, my anxiety decreased exponentially.
I was successful in inserting the first dilator, but I am still for sure intimidated by the larger sizes. My only complaint is that I wish there was one more in between the first and second size, but that’s just me being picky. I can’t wait to keep using these!
Disclaimer: The following reviews were completed by my two queer roommates because their bodies are compatible with penetration, so the reviews of these toys will be more in-depth than if I did them. They were able to use all of the features of these toys.
Avant Pride P1 Freedom
Initially, I was a bit nervous to use the Pride dildo, because I was unfamiliar with the shape and rely mostly on vibrators to get myself off normally. I was surprised at the texture and level of firmness– it was a lot floppier than I expected, very soft and smooth, and the suction cup is stronger than most I’ve seen! I wasn’t put off at all. The toy is especially silky once you add lube (cannot overstate the importance of lube even just in solo-play!). Since the diameter changes along the shaft and ends in a more bulbous shape, I can attest that you can get a whole lot of use from this toy with different motions: not only the classic in/out and up/down kind of play, but rotation has a role in the drama as well. While the Avant Pride P1 Freedom is a more classic “acoustic” kind of toy, I didn’t miss my vibrator at ALL because the dildo is so versatile.
Luxe Rabbit Teaser
Cutie alert! The Luxe Rabbit is definitely less intimidating than some other, larger, rabbit toys– this teaser is non-penetrative, which allows for some versatility. I wasn’t thrown off by the cord attached to the battery and remote (since the rabbit is quite small I had to fish it out of my sheets by the cord once). The intensity of the vibration was a very pleasant surprise! If you’re looking for a deep, powerful vibe that is easy to conceal or travel with, this is your toy for sure. I had to get over a mental block where I wasn’t sure how the rabbit was meant to be used (ears up on the clit? Ears down and bunny nose on the clit?) before I understood that you can use a vibe however you want! Erogenous zones on the neck, torso, and yes, between your legs are all pleasurable options. My main takeaway: though the Rabbit Teaser is small, it packs a serious punch!
Hop’s Trix Rabbit
I had been on the lookout for my first rabbit vibrator for a while, and the Hop’s Trix Rabbit smashed any expectation I could’ve had. I was initially drawn to the dual motors in each arm of the toy, and HOO BOY, did they pack a punch. With more rhythm and vibration settings than I could even count (or maybe I just lost track when I found a nice one), there’s no end to the varied experiences that this toy can provide. The silicone of the toy was surprisingly soft and bendable, which I worried would be its downfall, but I actually ended up loving this quality! The external stimulation arm moves around during use more than any other vibe I’ve had, creating a super-pleasant full-body sensation rather than the more targeted vibration that external-specific vibrators usually give. Though it’s a little hard to incorporate into partner play, it’s definitely my new favorite option for a night alone!
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