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Lynn Harris

I have a rule, admittedly a bendy one, against writing about my sex life. TMI, people, TMI. The nasty, I believe, is generally best confined to journals, so if you really want the skinny, you can snoop in mine. (Though the times when it's likely to be most interesting are precisely the times when I'm least likely to have alone-in-bed journaling moments. Sorry.)

Problem is, when it comes to the topic of masturbation, my inner Hays Office meets my outer feminist. I mean, add the age-old taboo against self-pleasure to the age-old taboo against any female pleasure, ever, and you sure don't get, well, off. (And it's surely no fair that we still have to say "female masturbation" the way we say "male nurse.")

Fortunately, I've come up with a way to reconcile discretion with liberation. Even as I bend over backwards, suggestively, to avoid talking about myself, I shall offer the following mini-salute to the still transgressive act of… "making soup." Or of, let's say, "making my garden grow." Or, if you people haven't caught on by now, "making panty pudding."

In other words, what better way to talk about female masturbation than to find a better thing to call it than "female masturbation?" I surveyed my pals for words they've heard, and here are the results. And may I say? Gentlemen, you may have more cultural freedom to "burp the worm," but the ladies have way more adorable euphemisms. Such as:

  • pink spelunking
  • scrambling the eggs
  • peeling back the petals
  • going on a date with Mr. Right (unless you're a lefty)
  • running up the Con Ed bill
  • flicking the bean
  • dating Miss Michigan (look at a map, people)
  • she-bop!
  • giving myself a raise
  • playing the French horn ("What we called it in youth orchestra." -- a friend)
  • working out at the Y
  • playing clitar

What fun! So empowering -- and so much better than revealing intimate things about myself! In fact, I got so caught up in the spirit that I made up some euphemisms of my own. You can totally borrow them if you want. Such as:

  • really enjoying horseback riding lessons at Elmbrook Farm in Concord
  • discovering the hidden power of detachable shower massage spigot at age eight
  • getting into bed alone but then blowing off my journal

Lynn Harris is the "Dating Dictionary" columnist for Glamour and co-creator of



In our security-focused world, it’s nearly impossible to masturbate in
complete privacy while putting one’s own life and that of others in

Until now. Read on to find out how you, if female, may practice the
ancient art of self-love in a speeding vehicle. This guide is meant for
entertainment purposes only.

First, get on the interstate and find a desolate stretch. Do not try
this during rush hour or on a holiday weekend!

Speed up to 80 or 90. Now, unzip. It helps if you’ve worn a skirt, preferably with tights. Turn down the music (too distracting) and start thinking about whatever it is you usually think about and doing whatever it is you normally do, but over your underwear. Fixate on the horizon to avoid distraction.

Note that it will take approximately 14.7777 times longer than usual.
When you think climax is imminent, check to make sure the road is clear and put the pedal to the metal, raising the speed to or above 100 mph. Now, climax. (Note that advanced users like to experiment with hitting 100 mph and the climactic peak *simultaneously*, which lends a whole other metaphorical element to the experience, but should not be attempted by amateurs.)

Now, continue on to your destination and remember: Bragging about it when you get there is one-sixteenth of the fun!

*Frequently Asked Questions*

What if a Semi pulls up alongside my car? If a Semi passes you, you will become aware that the driver can probably see in the car. Go ahead and incorporate truck driver voyeurism into your fantasy by imagining Ashton Kutcher in a mesh cap.

The over-the-underwear (O.T.U.) technique doesn’t work for me. Can I still do this? In special cases, the underwear can be removed, but under no circumstances are toys to be employed. Use the “one second rule” to test the efficacy of your preferred method before your trip, while the car is safely parked. If you can return your hand to the steering column within one second, your method is fine.

What if I involuntarily close my eyes while climaxing? This was one of
the more important questions during the research stages of this project. The subject doing the research was able to keep her eyes open at all times, but every person is different. Think of it this way, it’s not a bad way to die!

Not only is Lindsay Robertson, fantastically wonderful, she's also the intern for Gawker and the doyenne of her own Website, Lindsayism, which just launched today, actually.


Tracy Weiss

The best present I ever received was a gleaming silver bracelet from Tiffany's … with a sparkling vibrator to match. My roommate gave me the perfect birthday gift, two accessories all women need -- expensive jewelry and a guaranteed orgasm -- the gifts that keep on giving.

I was once harder to crack than Fort Knox. My inability to come left suitors angry, annoyed, or often tongue-tied. Literally. I watched Lovelines and recoiled as Dr. Drew explained the lack of fireworks spawned from moments where your uncle touched you in your no-no spot during childhood or more likely, uneasiness with your partner or sexual activity in general.

Was he kidding? Had he ever met me? I wasn't uncomfortable getting naked at all. My only uncle lived in Arizona, too far to cause any repressed memories. Not that I can remember anyway. I loved every minute I spent in the carnal world... from delicate lingerie to occasional roll playing, sex was my favorite sport!

So why no, O?

I didn't know either. Rather than doing a hands-on investigation, I did what every woman does in times of frustration. I faked it. And I'm good, fellas. Good in an "I'd like to thank my agent and the academy" kind of a way. Yet, for all my mock moaning and simulated shaking, I got bored.

My blasé attitude about masturbation faded. Men change light bulbs, build stuff or catch mice. But sometimes, the only one who can *click* your mouse right is you. Never send a man to do a woman's job.

I can spend a whole day doing nothing but me. Who needs to pick up a man at the bar when you can stay home and grind against the banister? Private showerhead time is some good clean fun.

We have the better end of the stick. The male means of masturbating seems so clinical, something routine. Me touching me is never routine. It's comfortable, yet distinctive each and every time -- something that cannot be said of other sexual encounters.

Morning stubble never chafes my sensitive skin when I sweep myself of my feet. Nor do I crawl around in early morning darkness groping for the black thong that always blends in with his carpet.

Don't get me wrong. I love good ol' fashioned lovin'. Issey Miyake cologne still makes me wet and I still have a craving for the cock. Instead, I date men who aren't threatened by machinery. And don't get angry when the cable remote is mysteriously missing its AA batteries.

Tracy Weiss, New York City newbie and consummate bar star, believes that strippers can be crack whores with flabby asses as long as they have a nice pair.


Kathie Fries

Sometimes when I masturbate, I have a panic attack. I do so many repetitive motions already with my right hand at work, that I am quite certain masturbating will increase my chances of carpal tunnel syndrome. When I was younger, I remember being paranoid that my right forearm would appear larger than my left, and everyone would know. Oh, and during my first visit to a gynecologist, I was absolutely sure the doctor would be able to tell. I've tried the ambidextrous thing, but I'm sorry, using my left hand does not feel like someone else, it just takes longer. I have a healthy relationship with a couple of my fingers. Keeping it simple is the way to go. The great thing about women is that we don't need all the visual stimulation men do. My brain is its own adult fantasy View Finder and can switch between Weird Al Yankovich (he used to be an architect), that gorgeous kid from Y Tu Mama Tambien, and I am ashamed to say it, well you know, er, Bill Clinton. But, like anything else, masturbation is not anything close to the real deal. When you boys know what you're doing, it's a hundred times better than any vibrator with bells and whistles inspired by deliciously large black… Uh, right.

This is Kathie Fries debut on the Black Table. She was inspired by a deliciously large black... Uh, right.


Jennie Dorris

When I was five, I touched a part of me only known as "my privates" and thought it felt good. I asked my mom if it was like tickling. She looked horrified, and said no, that I should never do that again.

At ten, I read Seventeen like the Bible and never forgot a letter to the sex writer. A girl had been masturbating, and her mom had caught her. The sex expert (probably sassily called sexpert) had written into the young woman, and said that what she was doing was a very normal part of growing up, and a very safe way to explore herself.

Seventeen was barraged by letters after that, and from what I remember, the editor was fired. I also can't remember a single reference to masturbation after that letter. A lot about making out with boys.

It also may be of interest that I had no idea what sex was until really, really late in the game.

So at five I disregarded what my mom said, and continued this odd practice that seemed to me like tickling, but better. I had no idea that I was supposed to associate this with boys, or whatever the hell sex was. In fact, I didn't know you were supposed to think about something or someone specific while you were doing it.

And how heartbreaking it was when someone clued me in as to "why I was masturbating."

I remember I didn't know whether to take it as a compliment or not when a boyfriend said he felt bad for picturing me when he masturbated. I remember not taking it as a compliment when my last boyfriend could not believe that I did not own a vibrator. "For your birthday," he said, "I am going to buy you the biggest dong out there."

I'd tried using a purple glittery vibrator one time. It was huge. And funny that it was unavoidable to think about having sex with a boy though I was using a throbbing glittery cock.

Now, to keep up on a dish-y girls' night out, we talk blatantly about our clits, how much we love guys with tongue rings, and how we've found new vibrators with ribbed spirals that are just so great.

But I think the real feminist bad-ass was a five-year girl, dreaming about nothing and touching a part of her, that at least for that time, had nothing to do with boys.

Jennie Dorris is the prettiest thing in Colorado. She is also publisher of Knot Magazine.


Amy Blair

I was raised Catholic. And despite the fact that it's well known that wafer-eaters choke more chicken than any other religious group, we're an uneasy bunch when it comes to masturbation. Despite my loss of Faith over the years, I just can't shake that Catholic guilt complex when it comes to masturbation. For you Jews and Muslims and other assorted heathens -- believe me -- it's not easy.

I've found that it helps ease the guilt to just face my problems head-on. To get over the issues associated with having pre-marital sex, I've found that it helps to play a round of "The Dirty Priest and the Innocent Catholic School Girl" during foreplay. Likewise, when it comes to masturbation, I find it helpful to think of Bible stories as fantasy fodder. It's like how someone with a fear of heights might force themselves to go to the top of a tall building to get over their phobia. I call masturbating to the Bible "facing my fears."

Genesis, in particular, has some excellent material for these purposes. The Garden of Eden is always an easy choice for quick release. Sodom and Gomorrah makes for some nice fantasies as well, and Joseph and the Eunuch's Wife is an old standard, except I have to change the ending a bit for that one.

My all-time favorite, however, is Noah's Ark. In this fantasy, I play Noah's wife. Except Noah looks like Colin Farrell, the animals are out of sight in another area of the ship, and all Noah wants to do is have wild, orgiastic sex for forty days and forty nights. The flood adds an element of danger that can't be beat.

I know that some Catholics might think that this is wrong. But everyone has to deal with their issues in their own way. Nobody's knocking depressives for taking Prozac, right? Besides, I'm burning in hell, anyway. While I'm here, let me masturbate in peace.

Amy Blair is one of the naughtiest women on the planet. When she's not dating homos or having orgasms of Biblical proportions, she's busy at work looking at Craig's List.


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