Ruth Davies-Mourby is on a mission to get her friends talking about masturbation.
“I’m the friend that would recommend you sex toys, I’ve taken steps to make my friends more comfortable talking about sex positivity,” she says.
The 21-year-old from London spoke to Radio 1 Newsbeat after Lily Allen kicked off the conversation earlier this week.
“It’s still such a taboo subject but it’s something most people do. So why wouldn’t we talk about it with pride and without guilt?” the singer asked listeners.
“Pleasure is something that benefits your health physically and mentally – it’s a shame that women feel like it’s something they can’t do or mention.
“There’s a lot of internalised misogyny so women feel like they should not be seeking their own pleasure,” she adds.
Ruth says she’s started feeling more comfortable speaking to her friends about masturbation in the past year or so, and it’s great to have role models like Lily Allen speak out and advocate female pleasure.
“We’re taught in school that male arousal is normal and natural, but we’re never taught about female arousal to the same extent,” she tells Newsbeat.
“We’re taught that women have sex for reproduction and nothing more.”
Lily puts it characteristically plainly: “If you’re hungry, you don’t wait until your partner gets home to have a slice of toast.”
“When a woman talks about masturbation, it’s always: ‘Well you’re clearly not getting sex from a male partner so you must be undesirable – or disappointed with your partner’s ability. It’s lazy, archaic and just not true,” she says.
“There’s a reason our bodies are made as they were. Women are given clitorises and G-spots – because they’re there to have orgasms with.
“You can do it yourself and then enjoy it with your partner. It’s quite a co-dependent attitude to pleasure – that we have to rely on someone else – when we’re perfectly capable of doing it ourselves.”
When it comes to things that make some people feel anxious or ashamed, Lily very much believes “you need to get it out in the open”.
She wrote about sex and her discovery of sex toys very candidly in her 2018 autobiography.
She’s now put her name to brand of vibrators and makes it known her title is “Chief Liberation Officer”.
The 35-year-old admits she doesn’t know whether it’s getting easier for younger women to talk about sex.
“Certainly amongst my generation it isn’t – and the older you get, the more inhibited people get about talking about masturbation,” she believes.
She also wishes she’d had more open conversations about masturbation when she was younger.
“I felt very alone and not very well-versed in this subject. And then going into my 20s, it felt like it was something everybody else was doing but nobody talked about and I didn’t engage with it.
“I felt I was objectified and a vessel for male pleasure when it came to my sex in my adolescence.
“It wasn’t until I committed to masturbation, self love and ultimately sex toys that I considered my own needs. And I’m in a much healthier place now at the grand old age of 35.
“I wish I’d come to terms with it much sooner, it would’ve saved me a lot of headaches.”
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