Out of My Mind

The Musings of a Woman Who Thinks Too Much

Nelle Engoron

Nelle Engoron
May 01
You can email me at "nengoron@gmaildotcom" & follow @NelleEngoron on Twitter. My archived radio shows on last season's Mad Men are available (for free!) at: www.blogtalkradio.com/madmentalk **My "Mad Men" commentary for Season 5 is on Salon rather than here -- go to http://www.salon.com/writer/ nelle_engoron/ to find all my Salon articles. **My book, "Mad Men Unmasked: Decoding Season 4," is available on Amazon in both e-book and print versions.** I'm a writer/editor/consultant who lives in the SF Bay Area. I write about all kinds of things, but am particularly intrigued by movies, relationships, gender issues, belief systems and "Mad Men." (Scroll down left sidebar for links to a selection of my blog posts.) I'm working on a novel and a memoir, neither of which is about Mad Men!

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MAY 28, 2009 11:07AM

Too Lazy to Masturbate: How Technology Has Screwed Us Up

Rate: 46 Flag

women in window st malo

 (St Malo window - Photo by K.)


I’m scanning The Daily Beast when the title “The 30 Year Old Orgasm Virgin” catches my eye.  Curious about other people's "erotic-neurotic" memoirs since writing my own,  I kicked off my cyber-shoes and settled in for an intriguing read.

It turns out to be the tale of two orgasm virgins:  A sort of "When Maura met Mara" story (but not in that fake woman-on-woman porn kind of way).  Instead, Daily Beast blogger Maura Kelly uses the excuse of critiquing the book, Thanks for Coming:  One Young Woman’s Quest for an Orgasm by Mara Altman, in order to confess her own late-in-life discovery of sexual pleasure.  

As a book review, it’s a quickie:  A mere 4 paragraphs are devoted to raking Mara-the-writer over the coals for such sins as waiting until page 240 (of 377) to finally purchase a vibrator and experience the big O, an event that Maura-the-critic cleverly calls “anti-climactic” by the time it arrives.  She finishes off Altman thusly:  “Were she a particularly funny or talented writer, she might have pulled off being a tease for so long, but I lost my readerly erection by about page four.”  Ouch.  Damn, baby, I thought I made you feel good in bed!

With her writerly competition thus beaten off, Maura proceeds to the real point of her blog post:  Telling the rather odd tale of her own “awakening” in her late 20’s, one accompanied not by fantasies of George Clooney or some other stud-du-jour, but memories of her dead mother. 

This revelation, which is actually rather moving in Kelly’s writerly hands, is nevertheless preceded by a description of men’s “Spank Banks” of masturbatory fantasies that sounds as if she read about them in an anthropology textbook rather than ever having had a sexual fantasy of her own.  So far, her tone in reviewing Altman’s book has been both “more fucked up than thou” and “more healed than thou,” but as she goes on, her naïve-sounding statements begin to tilt her in one direction more than the other.

And who does Maura blame her own late-blooming orgasm on?  Why, her Irish immigrant father and the guilt induced by her Catholic upbringing.  In other words, the usual suspects.  To paraphrase Maura herself, Pardon me if I lose my bloggerly erection reading that. 

(What was it she said about Altman?  Oh yes:  “…her personal story isn’t especially compelling—she doesn’t delve in a meaningful way into the existing literature, scientific or otherwise, nor does she have very interesting insights.”)

But wait!  It turns out that her doppelganger Mara actually has the opposite story:  Her parents were Berkeley hippies who were so open about sex, she rebelled not by avoiding it (she lost her virginity as a high school senior) but by not seeking self-pleasure.   

Now I haven’t read Altman’s allegedly boring book like Kelly has, but just at first blush, I find that story potentially more interesting, if disturbing:  Clearly if you have children, you can fuck them up by what you encourage them to do as much as by what you forbid them to do.  (Damn, that sounds like fun – why didn’t I ever get around to having kids?)

Me, I had an upbringing similar to Maura’s:  Raised by a guilt-inducing Irish Catholic mother who was sex-phobic and then further screwing the pooch for myself as a teenager by becoming a Christian Fundamentalist and sucking up doctrine that considered even passionate kissing a sin outside of marriage.  As a result, like Maura, I waited to have sex until I was well into my 20’s.

But I didn’t wait to have an orgasm.

And therein lies the rub:  It’s not that these women stayed virgins, or even that they tried to make themselves come but couldn’t.

It’s that they didn’t even fucking try until their late 20’s!  

And when they finally did…they went straight to the vibrator.

Not so strange, you say?  Of course, millions of women happily use vibrators.  What’s strange is that Maura makes it clear that no other option was even considered.  In fact, she seems to believe that, unlike men, all women require some form of outside help in order to have an orgasm.  To quote her blog posting:


 Altman, a former Village Voice staff writer, had “always hoped some man would hit a bull’s eye and save me the trouble of exploring myself.” I know plenty of women who have felt the same way. Perhaps this expectation is another iteration of traditional gender roles; maybe it comes of the belief that men are more sexually experienced. But that’s not because they’re particularly sexually talented as a gender, but rather because the mechanics of male masturbation are so much simpler. Dudes don’t need electronic devices purchased at stores with names like Good Vibrations, books with names like Sex for One, or DVDs called Viva la Vulva.


Uh, dude?  Neither do women.  You have a number of other possibilities at your disposal.  Two of them typed this blog posting.

Now trust me, I’ve spent my share of time explaining things like records you have to turn over to hear the rest of the music, or having to be in front of a TV at a set time in order to catch a particular show, or that people once lived quite happily without being in constant electronic contact with everyone they’ve ever met in their lives.

I’m aware that times have changed since I was a young woman, and people who are significantly younger than me have come to depend on a lot of devices that make their lives easier, to the point that they think of them not only as necessities but as eternal truths that have always existed.

But outsourcing your own orgasm?  

Thinking the only way a woman can get off is to turn on...a battery-powered device?  

Never ONCE in your life having reached your delicate little texting fingers down between your legs and, well, typed out a few instant messages to yourself?

I can’t imagine it.

I know manual labor is out of style, but is this generation literally that fucking lazy?

Bartender, a round of Betty Dodsons for the house, stat!

I had arguably the same sex-phobic childhood that Kelly did, and back in an era (the 1960’s) when there were no alternative sources of sexual information like the internet, explicit TV shows or Judy Blume books.  Hell, we barely had sex ed, and it certainly didn’t cover the topic of masturbation.  And it was not something we girls talked about with our friends, as Kelly and Altman both say they did.  We were out there alone like Edison trying to invent the light bulb.

Yet despite all this, I was only eleven years old when I had my first orgasm.  And it didn’t take a vibrator.  Just a bike.  There followed all kinds of explorations and achievements, ones that weren’t recognized by badges from my Girl Scout troop, but certainly helped me be

“Considerate and caring,
Courageous and strong, and
Responsible for what I say and do”

…just as I promised every time I raised my three-fingers in the Girl Scout oath. In fact, I was such a responsible girl that I took it upon myself to find out all the ways I could make myself have an orgasm.  I also didn’t think that our Girl Scout motto, “Be Prepared” meant to stock up on Duracells for a dildo, but to be aware of any chance I had to give myself some brownie points.

But it seems girls aren't taught to be self-sufficient or resourceful any more.  Not to mention they must not feel even a fraction of the sexual desire I felt in my teens and twenties.  If I hadn't taken matters into my own hands as an adolescent, I would have proved that spontaneous human combustion is no myth.

Honestly, what I felt at the end of Kelly’s blog was sad. Damned sad.  So I say to her, Altman and all the young women like them:

Come on, girls.  Give it a good, old-fashioned try.  You might be surprised to find out what a really great lover you can be.

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"bloggerly erection"

Worth it just for that one perl ;)
"I know manual labor is out of style, but is this generation literally that fucking lazy?"

Don't you mean CLITorially that lazy?
What a good piece of writing and a review I would agree with. Natural curiosity compelled me to search out my orgasms, and in fact, creativity became my very satisfying quest.

I love your admonishment to them for not even thinking to use their digits.

Highly rated
"Clearly if you have children, you can fuck them up by what you encourage them to do as much as by what you forbid them to do. "

Truer words have never been spoken. That which you do to excess is against which they will likely rebel.

I fear humorless tea-totaling born again Christians surrounding my death bed.

Where's the fun in that?
silk great post. I had visions of these young women putting their blackberries on vibrate so these could text and climax at the same time.
Well said! Yes, what is WITH young people today relying too heavily on things like calculators, cars, iPods, mapquest, and the like to show them the ways of the world... for chrissakes, learn simple math (rounding to easy numbers helps for a ballpark guess), walk or ride a bike, hum to yourself or listen to your surroundings, get lost and find your own way with landmarks or just explore if you're not in a hurry, and for the love of God, use your fingers to get off!!

Now that I think of it, all those old-fashioned things I just catalogued will help a girl in bed....hmm...

Rated enthusiastically (with my favorite sex toy), for the bits that make me long for a super sexy power outage.
Fantastic post.

As a woman in my early 30s, I feel I have to go on record as saying neither Maura nor Mara speak for all of us. Nor, for that matter, for most of us. Tracking back and reading Maura's article was just kind of sad. I don't think the lack of self-exploration is a matter of being lazy, it's a matter of being dull.
Thanks for all the comments! I had fun with this. After posting it, I realized I could have written, "When I was a kid, I used to walk a mile in the snow to masturbate!" Well...it's almost true.

Aphra and Gwool - just keep giving your kids mixed messages. That'll teach'em.

Stellaa, I've heard that phrase quite a few times but feel I'm just beginning to understand it. It does conjure expecting the orgasm to come to you vs. going to it.

OE and Mr. E (the rhyming pair): ha!!

Buffy & Raving, I confess I don't get the lack of curiosity... or, well, just plain horniness. did they put something in their cereal when they were growing up?

AnnMarie, of course I know not all young women are the same. I'm having a bit of fun with this. There are trends in young women's sexuality that I find really disturbing when I hear about them, though. I wonder where the fun, joy and exploration has gone.
Well Nokia, Samsung, Motorola and LG have come out with phones that do everything else.....
Seriously, an excellent post the title of which pandered to my baser interests and the content of which was actually illuminating. Thanks.
I'm largely a "by hand" kinda girl myself.
I usta be a hand kinda gal myself until I got too fat.
"But outsourcing your own orgasm? " Genius!

I read that article yesterday too and I concur with everything you said here. I was scratching my head thinking, my fucking God, how is that you can go through several decades of life without using what you were born with for something so wonderful, and free! There is something disturbing about such a lack of curiosity, deeply disturbing.

Battery operated devices are great but there is something to be said for au naturel method.
I sure can't speak for the young people of today, but do so relate to the Irish Catholic guilt as a young girl, being told that masturbation wasn't a nice thing to do or that nice girls don't do "that," or it is a mortal sin and displeasing to God...having to confess this sin to a priest, so humilating...you know how it goes.

But then, all of the above and more, just made the masturbatory climax that much sweeter, from a very early age on...(sans battery operated gadgets and the like). I am an old fashioned girl.
A bike... with a banana seat? : ) Cool post. --rated--
(found this on reddit)
Unfortunately most people have no imagination unless it comes with batteries.
I was just coming by to say that I couldn't believe you didn't get an EP for this, but I see that you have!
God, NOTHING is better then fingers, tongue and in rares cases teeth! (just from my humble experience) Toys are fun and can add some fun but nothing can replace good ole "hands on" play!

And sometimes Ice cubes!


So Rated!
I was thrilled when they came out with vibrating toothbrushes!
I loved this post and will for the record state that I am not a fan of vibrators at all. Who wants be reminded of the sound of a dentist's drill while achieving a climax. Not me. Even if my mouth is wide open. Excellent writing and a well-deserved EP. I like you, Silkstone. You are one smart woman and a talented writer. Digg and Reddit anyone? I'm on it.
As someone for whom it takes a fair amount of effort to climax, I can tell you that pressure from my partners absolutely plays a role in my decision to use a vibrator. Sure, I can get off using the conventional methods, but other ways involve less time and fewer wrist cramps. At least in my opinion, I think that vibrators are seen as the shortcut. And this generation is all about the shortcuts and laziness.

Of course, the other problem may be that most of my partners have been men in their early 20s. Sigh.
I loved your post! Wonderfully written, and I was nodding in agreement with every point you made, save one, which I will get to. Plus, you made me much more interested in reading Mara's work than Maura's too-common story.

Now for the "save one":

I grew up in a sexually repressed household (I know, hard to believe, huh?). My own digital explorations were rare, and I was not very familiar with my own body. I was an adult before I ever plunked a mirror down there and dared to look at what I had always been taught was ugly and dirty. (Turns out, it's not. Who knew???)

I was unable to achieve orgasm with my fingers. It took a vibrator for the first one, and not just any vibrator, but the one I have dubbed the manly name of "Jack Hammer." Yes, it took the good ol' Hitachi Wand -- that paradoxical device that elicits alternating thoughts of both Oh God, I can't stand to get that thing even near my clit! and "Fuck, isn't there a higher setting on this thing? I'm so numb I could have a root canal!" -- for me to achieve my first orgasm.

After that, it got easier. Now, I prefer the feeling of my fingers to that of a vibe, and if I use a vibrator it is the Eroscillator, which feels like the closest thing to my own fingers.

But, like all classic American cars, sometimes we need a battery-assisted jump start before the damn thing will run on its own. So I can totally relate to finding one's own "O" at the business end of an electrical device.

Great post. "There's the rub." Was that, as we call it, a Freudian slip?

As I wrote on another post today, a had a fling with a seat over the wheel of a school bus. My bike was only my pal.
I've always hypothesized that if I used to some whiz-bang gadget with various bells and whistles my body might get so used to it that I would then require said gadget forever more. I prefer self-reliance.
Good for you silkstone, this is fucking smart.

It is not the technology; it is the culture. You can beat the shit out of your weaker classmate, but you cannot say "fuck." Most parents are ignorant, superficial and delusional hypocrites who get their information from TV. Our culture deamonizes love. Girls are instructed to look for money, rather than natural physical attraction to boys. Their basic emotions are so suppressed by this fucked up inferior culture.
This was so wonderfully written, not to mention very funny. While I long ago mastered the art of hand and fingers, I have to admit to being a fan of the Hitachi Wand. It's pretty darn amazing.

@Dana, Drat - I see you beat me to a first mention - I really did start this comment about 3 hours ago before work called me away. Hey, two recommendations are definitely better than one, right?

As an aside, and from another perspective, I have a great fondness for my strap-on and... ok, yes, I know, dildo and vibrator do not equate to the same thing. Rated!
When I was four or five and discovered the pleasurable uses of a pillow, my mom told me I would hurt myself, thus destroying her credibility. One of my daughters first three words was mommy, daddy, vulva, which shows how good she was at infant exploration. "Sweetie, that feels good, doesn't it. That's your vulva."

I so enjoyed this article. I never talked about it with my best friend. Twenty years later she told me she never knew girls could do that until after she was married. Obviously I should have been a better friend.
Her dead mother? Yikes-a-lordy.
When I was a young teen, I read a book called _Our Bodies, Ourselves_ (remember this one?), which highly recommended masturbation to learn how to climax, to learn the sensations and know what you want. Their claim was that if we practiced and learned, it would vastly improve our sex life with partners. 'Tis true.

Vibrators? Not me, not ever. Very impersonal.
love this article! haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa...i'm not lazy, and i've tried it all...still, there's nothing quite like full-speed and battery-operated...duh...my husband gets a kick out of it!
Love the way your mind works--what a great post. I'm happy to report that I taught my daughters quite early that if they have an itch, they've got a hand and scratch away. They knew exactly what I was saying. But then I read OE Sheepdog's comment and had my first laugh out loud for the day. Maybe these young women can have it all.
This essay is fried gold. Thank you so much for sharing it.
So many thoughts are racing through my head (and I haven't read the other comments yet, because I have no room in the brain left after reading this hilarious and G spot-on post.

Loved this: "(Damn, that sounds like fun – why didn’t I ever get around to having kids?)"

And this: " Two of them typed this blog posting."

And I loved about a hundred more lines. This is some of your best writing.

I have to say, as I neared the end of your post I was imagining a new Iphone commercial : *Got an app for that.*
I recently had sex with a woman who'd not had orgasm with a man inside her until the age of 48. She's masturbated and pleased a number of men but it never occured to her she could set it up so she could be pleased. She's turned out to be one of the best lovers I've ever had since she is so totally honest. I am now in a cue with at least one other guy, but I don't know if I'm in front or behind him, but it doesn't really matter. The girl is making up for lost time and I am very happy to be the recipient, which goes to show it is never too late! I'm having much more fun than with any "old pro."
wow! I go away for a few hours and this thing explodes. Wait, that doesn't sound right. (You write about sex and suddenly every comment sounds suggestive. It's like that old wedding shower party game....)

anyway, I was stunned to come back and find this on the cover and also all your comments. I hope to respond to some individual ones in a while when I have more time but just wanted to say thank you so much for all of them. Several made me laugh, and I'm also glad to hear I'm not the only woman left who prefers things the old-fashioned way. Altho I do understand about some women needing some help, at least to get started.

Back later - keep those comments, er, coming!!
Fucking great - really enjoyed myself reading this - smiled the whole time. Just terrific!

The line: "Two of them typed this blog posting." was perfect.
Love it, love it, love it. Both the post and the subject. If everyone would just fess up, we'd realize that it is one of the funnest things we can do alone.
Really terrific post. I have to agree: the contraptions, the few times I've ventured in that direction, have never done it for me. Like diet desserts or silk flowers, just can't do it.
Perhaps for Mara there was some disconnect between everything above her navel and everything below. For some folks there is in fact a complete disconnect with everything from head to toe, not recognizing the connection between mind and body, nutrition, sounds, textures, temperature, interactions with others, sleep, air, environment, and feeling well. Some things have to be direct taught. My current husband, the best lover in the world, was the ecstatic recipient of the years of (uh, I'm blushing), "wriggling" I did starting, if you can believe this, in my CRIB (I remember, literally, pleasuring myself in my toddler jail, face down, spread eagle like a tree frog clinging to a rockface in a windstorm, having the time of my eeny-weeny life), that continued for a couple of decades... Eventually I did get out of the crib, into the playpen, ran from the end of the upstairs hallway and jumped up into the pine-cone four-poster, down on the shag rug in front of The Brady Bunch and the Big Valley and Little House on the Prairie and the Partridge Family, and Happy Days, and then rocking out to (fill in your favorite LP from the 70s), etcetera, etcetera. Talk about rug burn on the insides of my knees!! But here was my own missed connection for a while: I thought I couldn't have an orgasm with a guy until my mid-20s when one day, I realized, I'd already had hundreds and hundreds of them, just didn't apply the same strategy to sex with my male lover! Talk about duh.
So my husband was really turned on by my having done the berber-and-grind, but I was also turned on by his advice to try my hand at it. Alright, guess all I needed was his suggestion — whatever way the ideas come to you, it's okay. It's fabulous, and I've managed to avoid carpal tunnel surgery thus far. Have to say, though, it's all been pretty swell all the way along.
Now, as we continue on our own, sweet, 'digital' age, perhaps masturbation, like nostalgia, just 'aint what it used to be.
fingers don't work for me, my personal space is sensitive and the added texture is painful- or well...I don't think they do...it might be fine now? I'll have to do some studies ;)
ironically, the most expensive piece of non-computer equipment I've ever bought is on the way to my house now and it's suppose to mimic fingers...you're right, there is something very wrong with that, but *eh* I guess I have more faith that a machine will last as long as I need, skilled typist here, but ssris for a looong progression some days
and it has a vibrate setting if all else fails
As fun as vibrators and toys can be...why just this afternoon...it was the sound of her voice. Just that.

Imagination, fingers...don't really need much else.

I prefer your title than that which was bestowed by TPTB. Yours was wittier.

I am all for the natural hand action but for those who are especially avid practitioners there is the danger of carpal tunnel syndrome so using mechanical aids might be advisable. Can you imagine the conversation in the workmen's comp office: "so, Miss, ah Ms. Golightly, this injury to your wrist has been diagnosed as a repetitive motion injury?"

"Well, yes, I guess that is how it happened."

"And this will impact your ability to perform your job?"

"Yes, I can only type with one hand now."
I can't possibly answer all the individual comments, but want to say again that I've read and appreciated them all. My, but you are a responsive group! (Yes, Lea, all those double entendres were put in deliberately.) I do want to say a few things:

First, I get that women have different sensitivities -- both what gets them off and also what their bodies can tolerate. But I do find it a bit puzzling when people say they're too sensitive to be touched by fingers so they use a vibrator!! I find the latter to be quite harsh and intense, whereas the use of fingers can be moderated to a nearly infinite degree. And either one can be used to apply more indirect stim, if direct stim is too much (as it is for many women and almost any woman at various moments). I also will echo the women who talked about using other things like pillows, bedding, silk lingerie, you name it. Anything you can rub against can work! I say...use your imagination and see what you discover.

IME, women can fall into thinking they can only "get there" one way. It's my personal theory that starting off with a vibrator as a means to orgasm reinforces that thinking, because they are so intense and reliable for generating orgasms. I think that can literally short-circuit (pun intended) finding out the myriad other ways to experience sexual pleasure, including orgasm. (But needless to say, there's a lot of pleasure to be had leading up to or even aside from that.) Other methods - with or without partner - may take longer or require more creativity, but that's also their beauty. They put you in touch with your body and your feelings to a greater degree, IMO, because they require you to pay attention in a different way.

I'm just generally a fan of exploration and sensual awareness. I feel fortunate that I had an apparently misspent youth finding out all the ways I could make my body feel pleasure. I learned a lot and I think became accustomed to feeling those things so that when I finally started having sex with partners, it flowed fairly well right from the start and only got better. There's all kinds of research showing that women who learn to self-pleasure reliably also enjoy partner sex much more (including are more orgasmic) although whether it's cause or correlation is still unknown. Anecdotally, I do feel the more I learned about my body on my own (even after I started having partner sex), the more at ease I was with it and with being truly present in my body during sex.

I laughed at all the references and jokes about carpal tunnel and other RSI's. (It made me think of the Seinfeld ep about the hand model who lost his profession because he masturbated so much his hand became a claw.) But FTR, a known cause of RSI's is...vibration! So be careful out there....
After reading this I ran out and bought a copy of Mara's book. It's wonderful. She's funny and real and I completely identified. I wonder why women can be so tough on each other...Maura's review seems based on jealousy that Mara had a book deal and she didn't. Now that I've read Mara's book, I know why.
I feel the urge, ahem, to speak up for a very effective stimulation vector that appears to have been passed by as maybe a (excuse me, can't resist) johnny cum lately? I speak of course of the hand held shower massager/head, very effective in the pulse mode. Barring the existences of such an apparatus I can attest to the use of the tub faucet in a pinch, calibrated to the proper temperature and force. Just make sure no one in the house flushes the toilet.
WOW! My mom had a barstool in the kitchen. The middle was raised 'just a bit' but enough that if I sat there and rocked back and forth, I could orgasm several times. I was about 10 or 11 when I discovered this. And yes, the old Catholics also but the Czech kind not Irish. I will never forget Sister Mary Rita Claire telling me that I was "an occasion of sin to every boy or man who looks at you."
I cried till mom told me what a compliment it was.
Didn't get a Girl Scout badge for that but it sure was a badge of honor or... something.
Great post
@aBlonde - Oh Goddess! I had forgotten that - the shower was my very first masturbation tool (and it wasn't even the kind that had a massage head).
Awesome post.

I keep hearing Teri Garr in Tootsie, "I'm my own woman! I'm responsible for my own orgasm!"
Silkstone - Fantastic - especially loved: "...your delicate little texting fingers down between your legs and, well, typed out a few instant messages to yourself?" Sometimes I'm even too tired for that. Does the new iPhone have an application?
men can't hold a candle to women when it comes to sexual capacity. it is a joke to even debate. even in the hands of a "master" male orgasmic ability is minimal--not even on the same scale. The ultimate pleasure is pleasing the women and then reaping the benefits in terms of her appreciation and affection. Personally, I believe in the 5 to 1 rule. That is five orgasms on the women's part to every one for the male. It is subject to change based opon whether it is enough to satisfy the female.

That is why God invented Jacuzzi jets. You can often find me, when I am in my jacuzzi, with my legs up over the edge, my ass plastered against the wall, and a jacuzzi jet pulsing away at just the right spot.
I started giving myself orgasms when I was 11- with my hands. Vibrators are good for what I call "porno orgasms" when I just need to get off fast, the hell with the journey! When I want something fulfilling, intense, and drawn out, I use my hands.
Dana and other women who love shower "massages": You must watch the video I'll put in a link for below. Actually, anyone who liked this post will probably find it funny - it's Jay Mohr on the differences between men and women in regards to masturbation:

hello, i'm thirty-one and i've been masturbating almost as long as i can remember. i used to swipe my dad's porn. so, fear not, i think this is a load.

i think this is mostly fallout from the feminine mystique. male masturbation is a smidge more intuitive, but not by much. but male masturbation has been discussed a lot more and the language is all there already. it wasn't that long ago women were getting hysterectomies and vibrators from doctors. female desire wasn't talked about: it was treated. woman, please thyself! it's really ok, we swear!

and i know this wasn't your intent, but i don't think it's right to challenge anyone's uh... choice of equipment. i've been reading about elena kelly's sexual reassignment, and i would never tell her she's too reliant on technology for her happiness. it would be great to enable each other to pick up (or cut off) whatever tools are right for the job.
LOL. I had my first orgasm in high school fantasizing about being alone on a desert island with a friend who later played Father Mulcahy on MASH. Yes. Didn't even need to touch myself - look, ma, no hands! Not only are the women you write about lazy, the seem to have seriously inadequate fantasy lives.
Hawley, you may be unique in all the world as the only woman ever to have William Christopher induce an orgasm for her. (Or was it Rene Auberjonois from the film?)
That's not laziness. That's serious self-loathing.

"Ooh, touch that nasty thing? Not me!"
Just wanted to respond to the last few comments...

bstrangely, I hope you know that this was written humorously (and with exaggeration), although I do have some serious questions underneath. I certainly support every woman's right to do what she pleases, including what pleases her physically.

Hawley, I'm with Dana. I'm staggered that you first got off fantasizing about either one of those guys - they've both always seemed so asexual to me! (And of course, I'm curious which one it was)

Vonnia, I think for some women, that's true. But not all.
This is absolutely hilarious! Wonderful!
Thanks, Steve! Glad you enjoyed it.
Well I'm twenty five and I've been accused of all kinds of things, but not knowing how to use my fingers isn't one of them. I perfected the art as a young girl. And now they got skill :) We aren't ALL too lazy to get our hands dirty and fingers wet...
I just love your refreshing and laugh-out-loud writing style:

"Considerate and caring,
Courageous and strong, and
Responsible for what I say and do”

"…just as I promised every time I raised my three-fingers in the Girl Scout oath. In fact, I was such a responsible girl that I took it upon myself to find out all the ways I could make myself have an orgasm. I also didn’t think that our Girl Scout motto, “Be Prepared” meant to stock up on Duracells for a dildo, but to be aware of any chance I had to give myself some brownie points. "

Wow! Now--to my point: I would like to invite you to write on a completely different topic, as a comment on my blog: http://open.salon.com/blog/berrycomposer

What do you think ART is good for? What does it mean to you? How has it been part of your life? This doesn't necessarily mean big art --like symphonies---it can be any sort of art you care about---like your own wonderful writing for example.

best wishes, Chuck
Does the iPhone have an app for this...?
Interesting critique on the reviews, but your critique on vibrators seems to be specific to your own experience with them. I masturbate fairly regularly and use hands, vibrators, men, whatever is around. I don't think use of technology makes me boring or is indicative of a lack of self-awareness. And I mean- how often do you drive? or take a subway? or use a cellphone? a long leisurely walk is pleasant, but sometimes I don't have the hour or two that it can take me to achieve orgasm manually. And because it usually takes me that long to come if i'm being DIY about it, if I didn't start using vibrators at an early age I would have missed out on many, many orgasms that I was able to have thanks to my trusty vibrating friends.