I own very few sex toys.
Historically, I've found sex toys somewhat intimidating. I bought my first sex toy in my late teens — a large, cheap purple jelly vibrator from Spencer's Gifts at the mall (the only place I knew to find sex toys). I didn't really enjoy using it. The vibrations made my genitals go numb after a few minutes, and it was too big and rigid to feel good inside my vagina.
We've made some creations on the themes of sexual empowerment and anti-oppression that we want to share with the world! Feel free to print as many of these as you'd like and distribute them wherever. Enjoy!
These colorful bookmarks with phrases about consent and sexual empowerment are great for event goodie bags, gifts for bookish friends, etc.
2017 was a tough year for the United States. Like many of you, we here at Pleasure Pie asked ourselves, "WTF should we do?" as things spiraled downward on a national level. Should we drop the sex-positivity stuff and do more direct political engagement? Should we stick to what we know, and push for a culture of consent and healthy sexual expression at a time when the need for this is even more visible than usual (with the "locker room talk" and allegations of sexual assault against so many politicians and celebrities)?
By Nicole Mazzeo
I am currently reading submissions for the masturbation zine that we’re making, and I love them so, so much! I am teary-eyed big-smiling and holding my hand to my chest as I read because it is so touching. I had no idea how powerful hearing about people’s experiences with masturbation would be for me!
But the reason I’m writing this post is to tell you that I am EXTENDING THE DEADLINE TO SUBMIT! You now have until May 25 to submit a piece.
Don’t be intimidated by how amazing I just made all of the submissions sound! We love submissions that are honest, open, and clear. You don’t have to be a professional writer to submit a piece. We just want to hear about your experience of masturbation, because that is fascinating in itself!
Submissions can be anonymous or not, up to you.
Click here to read the full prompt & submit a piece!
Update: This zine now exists! You can find it here.
We’re making a zine about masturbation! Why?
Last summer, I was at a sexuality-focused retreat where public sex was allowed, and I wanted to try masturbating in a very public place because I thought it might help me get over some of my shyness and discomfort with sexual expression. I was nervous, so one of my friends said that she would do it with me. Then I mentioned it to a few strangers at lunch, and they were all about the idea, so it turned into a little group of us, all reclining on lawn chairs by the pool, for a masturbation session. We all started touching our individual vulvas – we were all vulva-owners – and my friend looked at me and was like, “What’s with the underwear?” I think she thought I was being shy because I was still wearing underwear, but it was actually that I usually prefer to touch my vagina through fabric for a little while before transitioning to direct vulva contact, especially if I’m not using lube. I told her this, and she was like, “Well then, by all means, I’ll get us some lube!” She quickly came back with a round of lube for everyone, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and we all went about our business.
This experience made me realize: I pretty much never see other people masturbate. Because of that, I don’t know how you all are doing it! And I want to know.
So that is what this zine is about – sharing all our masturbation techniques, routines, stories, visuals, etc.
Tell us how you do it!
Submit a piece of writing (nonfiction preferred), art (ideally based on true experiences), photography, a diagram, etc. by April 30, 2016 to potentially have it featured in the zine. Submissions can be anonymous or not, up to you!
How do you masturbate?
Do you use lube? Toys? Erotica? If so, what kinds?
Where do you always touch yourself? Sometimes touch? Never touch?
Do you have any rituals (i.e. certain times, locations, etc.)?
What do you think about during it? People you know? A partner? Someone you were sexual with before? A crush? Friend? Acquaintance? Stranger? Celebrity? Imaginary person? Vague imaginary person? Something else?
How does your body feel/react? Do you usually orgasm? Does it ever hurt or feel uncomfortable? How does it compare to being sexual with a partner (if that’s something you do sometimes)?
You are welcome to answer some, none, or all of these questions in your submission.
We are looking for submissions from people of all genders. Must be 18+.
Submit a piece at pleasurepie.tumblr.com/submit or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please share widely with anyone you think might be interested in submitting a piece!
Thanks so much! :)
Anonymous Pleasure Pie contributor
Is sex dirty? Is enjoying sex a bad thing? Is it only okay if you always do it with the same person? Or if you’ve made a forever commitment with them?
Why do we have so many restrictions on our sexual enjoyment? What are we afraid might happen if we embrace sexual pleasure?
I got really into religion when I was thirteen. At that time I also happened to be going through puberty and becoming very interested in the possibility of interacting sexually with another person. But my religious role models were sending me some firm messages about the need to control one’s sexuality in order to live a moral life. And I took all the values they taught me very seriously.
So I tried not to masturbate. That usually worked until just before my period each month when my hormones would go wild. But I didn’t know anything about hormones, so every time I masturbated and then got my period the next day, I thought god was punishing me for what I had done.
I determined that I needed to stop giving into my sexual (and sinful) urges. I thought that if I could make myself feel ashamed enough, this tower of shame would serve as a self control replacement when self control didn’t cut it. When this method didn’t work, I just kept adding shame to the top of the shame tower every time I slipped up.
Luckily for my young faith, I was never intimate with a person (other than myself) who knew how to make my genitals feel good (what, was I going to tell them what felt good? Ha!). So for that and other reasons (i.e. I was uncool) my sexual interactions with other people were rare.
But that stretch of clueless boyfriends/no boyfriends ended when I was 17. By this time, I was adamantly against the idea of experiencing any kind of sexual pleasure until I was married. But this one guy pressured me endlessly and eventually I gave in.
In my attempts to switch from demonizing sex to having a satisfying sex life, I was surprised to find that I couldn’t orgasm when I was with another person. During sexy times, I found myself having terrible anxiety. I worried about all sorts of things: whether or not I was pleasing my partner, the smell of my genitals, my heaps of overdue homework assignments, etc. And I wasn’t thinking at all about what I wanted or how I could enjoy what we were doing.
I was also afraid to seem like I was enjoying it, even when I kind of was. I know now that whoever I’m hooking up with wants me to enjoy the things we’re doing together, and would probably even be turned off if they thought I wasn’t. But at the time it didn’t even occur to me that part of the point was for me to enjoy it. I thought I would seem gross and porn-y if I expressed that I had any sort of sexual inclinations. I was beyond terrified of putting my true sexual feelings out there for others to see.
My boyfriend would ask me for a lap dance and I would freeze. I had taught myself to hide any trace of my sexuality from my self expression (and I was especially intentional about hiding it from my dancing, since I always heard people lamenting the hyper-sexualized music videos of the world today). Now I was supposed to just switch that off? I imagine this is how many couples who wait until they’re married to have sex feel once they try to embrace sex in the context of their marriage.
So I began a journey of reclaiming my sexuality. I read articles upon articles about sex positivity. I came out as queer*. I visited sex shops and bought a vibrator. I sampled many kinds of erotic media. The list goes on.
Now, eight years later, I’m still unlearning my internalized shame. And I’m up against a culture that has taught me that women aren’t supposed to want or enjoy sex. But I’ve finally learned to ask myself: What do I want? What would feel good or be fun for me?
I indulge in cozy blankets with an erotic story (tailed to my interests!) and have great sexy time with myself. I communicate my desires and sexual fantasies to my partner and – get this – we try them out! I give myself room to experiment with things that I don’t know whether or not I’ll like.
These simple practices are what embracing pleasure looks like for me. It’s appreciating the sexual aspect of who I am. It’s unapologetically saying that I’m horny**. It’s believing that my experience of pleasure is a good thing – something to be celebrated, not something to repent or hate myself for, not something to see as less important than my partner’s pleasure.
I like sexual pleasure. And that’s okay.
*Well, I still haven’t come out to everyone.
**It took me years to be able to use that word without just dying on the spot.