By Vianca Masucci
I have a new routine. Recently employed, I ride the bus every day from 8:37am and 8:58am to get from home to work. As I get on the bus, I put my hater-blockers on and pop in my ear phones to enjoy a bit of Pandora’s finest offerings. My station of choice? Beyoncé with a Jazmine Sullivan variation. (Yas, gawd!) It’s the perfect combination of sexy and sultry and before I know it I find myself biting my lips, swaying to the beat, and animatedly mouthing along to the R&B stylings of some badass bitches. This disturbs some of my fellow riders (who are pH-14 basic). They’re not disturbed by the dancing itself but, instead, they’re shocked by the audacity of someone who looks like me claiming their sexuality in public for myself and not a punchline. As an expressively queer woman of color with chocolate skin, large kinky hair and a bunch of junk in the trunk—and the back seat and the front seat and strapped to the roof rack—folks are not comfortable with my modest displays of sexuality. This is because society has told them, like me, that there are limited ‘accepted’ sexualities and only certain bodies are entitled to them.
Society has probably told you this too. As QTPoC, we hear bullshit like that all the time. We’re told that our desires are dirty. That our love is wrong. That our bodies need to look a certain way. That sex isn’t for us. When these messages are inlayed in a majority of spaces that we access, it’s hard to not internalize them and even harder to shake them. But there is a pleasurable way to claim your own sexuality and love yourself….
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Yes, masturbation! What better way to be feelin’ yourself than to feel yourself? Masturbation may have a bad reputation thanks to all of mainstream culture’s body policing and depictions of masturbators as pie-fucking losers. But it’s wonde–fucking awesome. No, flicking your bean is not shameful, bad, or wrong. Yes, spanking the monkey is like a dress rehearsal for wrestling the ape but it is so much more than just that. Lone boning is an opportunity for you to become aware of your body, discover what gives you pleasure, and normalize behaviors and ideas that society tries to make foreign to us.
Most of us reach for underneath with intention of coming and then going. Much muff, but no fuss. Granted, with masturbation you have the freedom to be as hasty or nasty as you so choose. But, masturbation is an amazing tool of self-expression and self-esteem building. So, slow it down sometimes and make love to yourself. Start with some foreplay. Don’t just rush to your genitals like a dog with a bone. Down, Lassie! Become acquainted with your body. There are erogenous zones all over you; you’re missing out on all the fun if you play with your junk exclusively. Get to know your body with your hands. Take time to massage your body from head to toe, paying particular attention to your established erogenous zones and trying out some new ones. Really understand what your body feels like and how touch affects different parts of your body.
Next, sit down with a bottle of lube and have at it. Rub your genitals all over as though you’ll one day be asked to re-create them with clay. Discover the sensation of clenching your vaginal and/or anal muscles while you poke away at your insides or rub down your outsides. Different permutations of touch and sensation are vital to study as well. Be kinky and try stimulating yourself with different objects. Though the feeling of skin-on-skin contact may be Disney-style enchanting, the texture of other materials may produce an equally amazing (or better!) sensation. A couple of my favorites to rub on her vajesty are: a bag of beads, a silk scarf that can be wrapped around the hand, and fluffy loofahs. Another way to generate different sensations while double-clicking your mouse or yanking your wank is to let your groin, not your hand, do the work. This goes for twats as much as cocks. Straddle something and hump away, rub your groin against your bed, or even just screw your hand. Masturbation is really the only forum for total freedom in sexual exploration. So, don’t feel shy about really, really touching yourself. It’s like dancing in the mirror — nobody is watching so you have free reign to get a little freaky.
Speaking of mirrors, don’t be afraid to watch yourself. If the thought of watching yourself have solo sex makes you cringe, you’re precisely the type of person who this sort of play can benefit. It’s your body; don’t be afraid to learn how it functions on an intimate level. Strip for yourself and look at what you’re working with. Dance along to a song that makes you feel sexy. Return your own lustful gazes. Watch your body react to touch. Tease yourself by acting out your fantasies to your own reflection. It may seem strange at first but, regardless of what society tells you, you are as much of a sexual being as you want to be. Take in your own sexual appeal.
While masturbating, don’t neglect to tune into your fantasies. The most intimate part of your sexuality is your sexual psyche. Allow your mind to wander and let this fantasy dictate your play. Clamp the nipples, plug up your ass, pretend to be Harry Potter or whatever. Try some quirky shit and see if it turns you on. In connecting your mental sexual self to your physical sexual self, you’re gaining a comprehensive awareness of your entire sexual self. Appreciate who you are—there is beauty in the unique, the queer.
With that said, go forth and (finger) pop till you can’t stop. If pleasure is not incentive enough to inspire you to rub one out, know this: masturbation and orgasms promote the brain’s release of endorphins which reduce stress and make you feel happy. If there is anything that we need right now as QTPoC, it’s some stress relief…and the abolition of the white supremacist heteropatriarchy. Stick it to the man by sticking it to yourself. After all, you know what they say: every time a queer cums, a racist right-winger loses an inch from his penis.
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Hailing from Newark, New Jersey, Vianca Masucci is a health advocate working to eliminate health disparities in underserved populations. Her voice is influenced by her experiences navigating this world as a queer, Afro-Latina with a thousand-year-old soul and an insatiable appetite for social justice. Her Meyers-Briggs personality type is IDGAF.