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Am I the Only One Who Feels Guilty After Masturbating?

Photograph by Twenty20

Can we talk about masturbation for a minute? I know, I know — it's pretty scandalous for a mommy blogger to also be into self-pleasure. However, this study shows that 81 percent of women masturbate on average of twice per week! So, although the topic might be a little taboo, I'm talking here to fellow self-pleasurers (at least 8 out of 10 of you).

I will say, I was raised in a culture that pretty much deemed masturbation of any kind a bad thing. I remember chatting with my sorority sisters in college, where I found out I was one of the few who had never masturbated before. I think I sort of thought only guys did the thing. We see that in movies and TV: a teenager in the shower, a mom discovering "dirty" laundry, etc. But girls? They don't do it, or so I thought.

I've been married for 10 years now, so my husband and I have been each other's only sexual partners for a decade. I birthed all three of our children vaginally, so my lady bits aren't quite what they used to be. I actually talked to my gynecologist about improving my sexual life and she suggested masturbation almost like she was recommending I start going to the gym three times a week. She said it would not only work my muscles that have lost some of their strength, she said I'd be able to explore myself and get creative while finding out some new tricks that I could then bring into the bedroom with my spouse.

So, I gave it a whirl. I purchased one of those "pelvic floor" devices. While they do come with exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor, they also have vibrating functions for a little alone time. The first time I used it, I was pleasantly surprised. It didn't take me nearly as long to orgasm! However, just a few minutes after I finished, I was filled with intense regret.

I talked with my husband about my experience only to find that he was kind of turned on by my self-pleasuring session.

Sex has always been an intimacy shared with my partner, so leaving him out of it felt a little bit like I was cheating on him. Not to mention, the things I had to think about or look at while I was masturbating make me blush just thinking about them. That is a part of sex that is also completely new to me.

I talked with my husband about my experience only to find that he was kind of turned on by my self-pleasuring session. I think if he told me he masturbated, I'd be mad and grossed out. There are so many double standards to sex and this has got to be a big one! However, he helped me understand that I probably only felt that way because it was my very first time. If my intentions are to improve my sexual intimacy with my spouse, then how could it be bad?

I've now done the solo act quite a few times. I wish I could say I feel good about my new "workout regimen," but I still feel that same guilt and regret when I finish. I'm sure a psychologist would say it all has to do with the way I was raised to think about masturbation. But I'm not really sure. I think it's more to do with the fact that I'm spending some free time in bed without my lover, while my kiddos are at school.

I'm not sure if masturbation is improving my sexual function at all, but I will say it has moved sex to the forefront of my mind. My husband and I have had more sex than usual, so I'm sure he doesn't mind at all.

I'd love to hear from other moms out there. How do you feel about masturbation? Does it help your sexual function and intimacy with your partner?

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