…yeah, that was a lame title. But oh well.
So I’ve been thinking. The other day someone mentioned Masturbation Month to me, and they mentioned “flicking the bean” as a term for female masturbation. And I was all, “Ew, don’t call it that!” But… why? I’m a big fan of lots of terms for lots of things, and a huge proponent of the, “It’s just a word” school of thought about profanity. I believe, as a writer, that words have powers we don’t even fully understand, that the ways in which we interpret them arise as results of the social and political systems from which they stem and that they can be the banners of inequality, prejudice, and outright hate. But I also believe that a word can only go so far and that if one chooses to let it roll of one’s back without taking personal offense or letting the roots of a nasty epithet affect the way in which you perceive the symbolized idea or object… then talk away! I don’t need to scream and cause a fuss if I hear someone use the word “cunt.” Actually, I rather like “cunt” because it’s fun to say and, if you ask me, it refers to an anatomical entity of great energy and influence. I like mine. I think in general they’re fabulous. All hail the cunt!
But “flicking the bean” just bugged me. It still does. I guess it carries connotations of a lack of respect for the vast and still very-little understood power of the clitoris. It’s a small-but-mighty organ, and as a small-but-mighty person myself, I have always found words that imply that things or people that are small are therefore, by extension, ineffectual, not meant to be taken seriously, or “cute.” The way I see it, cute is one thing, and being small is another. Sometimes they go together. But petiteness, in a human or a human’s organ, does not imply, “Gawwww look, it thinks it’s people!” So I guess the term “bean” as a name for the clitoris irks me on that level. It makes female masturbation sound kind of adorable in a slightly gross way, like you’re playing with your food because you’re bored. Which isn’t to say that women don’t masturbate when they’re bored–we totally do! And it’s awesome! But this term just feels… not derogatory so much as dismissive. Silly, even. Perhaps in some way tied to a silly Rowan Atkinson character that really does not inspire much in the way of wet panties to anyone I know… Weird.
And I get that terms for masturbation aren’t universally exalted. It’s a “dirty” act that we’re supposed to be ashamed of, to mock, to call stupid names. But that’s the issue, right? That’s a problem. Masturbation is fun, easy for most, almost entirely safe. It burns calories. It makes you happier. And the more we call it ridiculous things and don’t even attempt to give it any kind of dignity, the more clunky and dismissive monikers it will collect. “Choking the chicken,” for instance, is one of the standbys for the male practice, and it’s not exactly implying that this is something cool people do, nor that the male genitals are awesome organs, indeed. So I’m not trying to say that the patriarchy is dismissing my female fapping, per se.
I guess I just don’t like “flicking the bean” or any variation thereof, and it’s troublesome to me that there are so few alternatives commonly used enough that if I brought one out in conversation, people would know what I meant. There’s “rubbing one out” of course, which can sort of apply to all sexes, and I personally have enjoyed using “mashing the muff” in my time. I also enjoy “rubbin’ the nubbin” on occasion. But these aren’t widely used phrases. What I’m saying is, we need more. I need to learn more. PLEASE, INTERNET, GIVE ME MORE AND BETTER TERMS FOR WHAT I DO AT HOME ALONE!!!