“Here is the most natural thing in the world – our own hand on our own genitals, doing something that gives us pleasure and harms no one, practicing the safest sex in the world – yet we feel guilty as thieves, our sense of self lessened when it should be heightened by mastery and self-love.
Masturbation is not, after all, a difficult skill, like learning to play the violin. The hand automatically moves between our legs in the first year of life. Something, someone gets between it and our genitals so early that most of us cannot remember. A message is imprinted on the brain, a warning so fraught with fear that long after we are grown, even after we have allowed a man to put his penis inside us, to touch our genitals, we are ambivalent about touching ourselves. We may do it, but it is a physical act against a mental pressure – this delicate movement of our fingers that is only effective when the mind releases us. Sweet as orgasm feels, we are not left with an enhanced sense of womanliness; we have won the battle but lost our status as Nice Girls.
Masturbation used to be called the great taboo for women because it was sexual satisfaction outside of a relationship. Masturbation meant a measure of autonomy, and nobody wanted women to have that much control over themselves.”
Nancy Friday: Women on Top: How real Life has Changed Women´s Sexual Fantasies, p. 19.