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Sex and Sin City - Female Masturbation... There's an App for that

SEX AND SIN CITY

Sex and Sin City is an ongoing feature by STRIPLV writer, Lilith Diana, as she shares with us her spunky and erotic look into her sometimes informational, sometimes steamy moments and thoughts on sex.

By Lilith Diana

FEMALE MASTURBATION...THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT

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I started masturbating at a very young age. So young, I didn’t really know I was masturbating. What I did know, was that the cold, soft faux silk of my nightgowns trailing across my vagina felt way too good, and combing through my new patch of pubic hair to get to that warm, moist place between my legs felt even better. And despite not really knowing that what I was doing was masturbating, instinctually, I somehow felt that I should be ashamed of what I was doing.

After I finished, I’d bury my nightgowns at the bottom of my laundry hamper and would sneak out of my room, tiptoe over to the bathroom to wash my hands – ridding the scene of any evidence. Night after night, this was my routine. And for whatever unsaid reason, I eventually felt so much guilt about my secret nightly pleasure session, I stopped – cold turkey – and didn’t start masturbating again until I was 17 years old (a four to five-year hiatus). 

By the time I turned 17, I knew what masturbation was, and I knew that I liked it, but in my house it was considered wrong. Due to my parent’s religious beliefs, they thought and taught that it was lustful; it was shameful, and it was something you should never do. But, I didn’t know this because someone had sat me down and told me this. I knew they felt this way because someone sat my brothers down and told them these things. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled I didn’t have to endure such a lecture. However, I do find it interesting that my sexually-charged brothers would be told this, but it was obviously assumed that my sisters and I didn’t need the same chat. Why is this? Did my parents and church leaders not believe that we were just as sexually charged? Did they assume that girls don’t touch themselves? I don’t have the answers, but what I do know is that masturbation helped me learn about myself and love myself. The pleasure that I got from touching my nether region kept me sane as an adolescent and made sex more comfortable and pleasurable as an adult.

I feel lucky that my hiatus was only five years. Sure it was a fucking long time, but there are plenty of women that never enjoy self-stimulation. Either they feel too guilty to enjoy it or they feel too shameful to even try it. Both situations are sad. Masturbation for both sexes is completely normal and healthy and is certainly nothing to be ashamed of, and I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Tina Gong, a designer and front-end developer, is creating a female masturbation app called Happy Playtime. The app will feature a cartoon vagina named “Happy,” that educates women on how and where to stimulate and touch themselves, encouraging them through the motions by saying things like, “Oh my, I’m getting all hot and bothered.” “Being comfortable with your own sexual pleasure is a prerequisite to both being able to healthily accept pleasure from others, and pleasing others,” Gong said on the Happy Playtime website.

Although a cartoon vagina might sound silly, Gong’s philosophy on female masturbation and mission to help women feel more comfortable with their own sexuality, is noble. I recently chatted with Gong to get more details about the app. Here’s what I discovered:

Q: What made you decide to create this app?
A: I saw within myself, and the girls around me, that there was this repulsion to sexuality. This was happening even at an age where one would have imagined that we would be open about it. We never talked about it, and if it did happen to enter into the conversation, it was either not in a serious context or in some dismissive manner. I felt like a black sheep for doing something that was natural. The idea had been brewing in my head for a while. I wanted to create a game that was both educational and kind of hilarious at the same time. I mean, what the hell… Why not have a cute, dancing vulva?
Q: Did you grow up with masturbation being sinful or guilt-ridden?
A: Yes, even though it was not stated outright most times, the fact that there was this silence about it, caused a lot of stress. This happened in both my family life and amongst my friends. 
Q: What made you passionate about sexuality, self-stimulation and masturbation being a natural and healthy part of life?
A: I felt like it helped me understand myself. It helped me know what I wanted sexually in a partner, as well. One of the biggest things I try to emphasize is that one has to have a strong inner foundation. Masturbation is basically a part of having that foundation, sexually.  I think it’s really sad that there’s this pressure to deny that we are sexual beings. It is not natural, and when we don’t have a healthy understanding of sex, it comes out in the worst of ways. In general, my life has always been a constant searching for unity. And this inability of sexuality to come together with life, with a public identity, its role as something taboo, something to be hidden away from all the other “clean” portions of our lives, has been one of the biggest emotional pain points for me. Oddly enough, I just read an article on Camille Paglia’s view on porn, which is interesting, since it offers the other viewpoint – sexuality as the only refuge from other areas of life:  “I continue to support and defend pornography, which I believe exposes the deepest, darkest truths about sexuality. As an industry, pornography also helps to rebalance the modern psyche: middle-class workers are trapped with their tyrannical machines at home and office. Pornography, with its surging animal energies and guiltless display of the body, brings the flame of organic nature into that mineral wasteland.” [Read the full article, “Camille Paglia: ‘It remains baffling how anyone would think that Hillary Clinton is our party’s best chance’” at Salon.com.]
Q: I think it’s safe to say there’s a difference in information, education, perception and/or acceptance between male and female masturbation. I mean, you don’t see apps teaching boys/men how to masturbate … Why do you think this is?
A: This isn’t everything – nor the root cause – but I think women are more so attached to the concept of innocence. But there’s a twisted view of “innocence” as being totally asexual, which I don’t think is true. It’s unnatural. When I think of my female role models, like Anaïs Nin, who, along with her wild, feverish sexuality, also had a deep innocence – maybe it was because she was so internally driven, and it made her pure, in a sense. She seemed to go through life untainted by the will of others. I also think it’s really important to have strong female figures that are sexual, but on the contrary, are not sexual objects. Anaïs was a great example. She was a woman that wasn’t just adored for her sex, but also openly expressed her own desires, her wants, her lusts, and thus she becomes a subject. Sex is just a part of her, but not all of her. Sasha Grey and Cindy Gallop, in more modern times, are also leading the way.  What I’m trying to get at here is that it’s more difficult when you’re young and female to accept your own sexuality – I can’t speak for everyone, but it was for me. I don’t think boys have nearly that difficult of a time accepting their sexuality.
Q: How will Happy Playtime try to eliminate this cultural stigma that blocks access to self-stimulation?
A: HPT’s design and branding was highly calculated. It was meant to bring back innocence to masturbation – the idea that it’s all just good, clean fun. It was also meant to be totally ridiculous, so ridiculous that you almost can’t take it seriously, until you realize that the game takes itself pretty seriously (and yet doesn’t!). The character has this strange personality of being totally cute, and yet kind of a pervert. And then you throw in outdated language only your grandparents would use (like “moist,” “shenanigans,” etc.) and some lame dirty jokes. Someone once told me that it was like talking to me, but in cartoon vulva form. Cool. We push the mission without pushing too hard. We push with humor, with fun, and lots of good intentions.
Q: I get the impression that through a cutesy and fun look, and open and lighthearted direction, Happy Playtime is almost like a game where you progress through levels, or “Lessons”, in this case. Is that right?
A: Yep, you are on the dot. Levels include using different techniques, more anatomy, etc.
Q: Can you reveal any other details about the other “Lessons”?
A: Well, the goal of each level is to orgasm. You just learn different ways to orgasm as you progress. We are working hard on lots of additional features. A demo and crowd-funding campaign for all of this was released in the fall.
Q: We all know iTunes and different app stores have restrictions and regulations, including adult content. How will you disseminate Happy Playtime?
A: The demo is meant to be playable in your browser, but we are nevertheless going to push for the full game in app stores, I think. It will be more educational than sexy really, so we’re crossing our fingers…

I am crossing my fingers as well! To keep up with Tina Gong, “Happy,” and the Happy PlayTime app, visit www.happyplaytime.com for more details.


XOXO, Lilith Diana Sin City Sex Blog

For more from our “Sex and Sin City” author Lilith,
like strip club reviews, sexy events in Sin City,
and a peek into her own sex life,
visit: SinCitySexBlog.com
and follow her on Twitter@LilithDiana.

 

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