Spanking the monkey. Jerkin’ the gherkin. Slapping the salami. There are hundreds of euphemisms for male masturbation, most of them funny, most of them known. While masturbation among men is generally perceived as normal, common, and even necessary, female masturbation is still one of the most taboo of subjects (up there with our periods and our difficulties with orgasm).
Even with our girlfriends we don’t go there. A woman will spill every detail about the mind-blowing sex she had the night before, but the out-of-this-world orgasm she gave herself? Not a word. Though this could also be because she’s not having them: According to a recent study conducted by sociologists at the University of Chicago, only 38 percent of women reported masturbating during the previous 12 months (compared to 61 percent of men).
What gives, ladies? Taboo or not, masturbating is just about the best thing you can do for your sex life, not to mention your overall health and mood. If you’re among the majority of women who haven’t flown solo lately, it’s time to take the plane out for a spin. For those of you who’ve mastered the art of self-love—just as with sex—you can always benefit from trying something new.