Inspired by The Shape of Water, we survey the various ways female self-pleasure has been portrayed. I n pornography, female masturbation is a mainstay. Male fantasy dictates that it is almost always a titillating act for a man to watch before placing himself in the action. Accordingly, it tends to serve as an appetiser to the main dish of penetrative sex.
There is lasting shame involved in this spectacle. Fast Times at Ridgemont High — Everybody remembers this scene because of the fantasy: Phoebe Cates emerges from a swimming pool in slow motion and removes her bikini top. There are other less memorable masturbation scenes involving liver and chicken, too. The reason that this movie is the more significant of the two is because the masturbation scene is very tastefully done, and yet in its original form, it controversially garnered the film an NC rating, only because, as argued in the documentary This Film is Not Yet Rated , it deals with both homosexual desire and female sexuality. The main evidence: American Pie was released in the same year with an R rating. Despite the fact that guys tend to enjoy watching a girl pleasure herself, only the most sadistic of men could be turned on by Naomi Watts crying and painfully attempting to get off. By the time I actually bothered to watch the scene many years later, it was less shocking than I expected.
In the Name of Feminism, 28 Movies and TV Shows That Feature Female Masturbation
This just in: women masturbate! It's totally normal and healthy! Everyone does it! So, now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's talk about on-screen female masturbation scenes—which are pretty few and far between compared to their male equivalents because for some reason people get super uncomfortable with the idea that women like sex. And more specifically, like touching themselves.
But female masturbation remains a taboo subject. This has filtered through to the big-screen with representations of female onanism few and far between. Instead depictions of the act of masturbation have largely been confined to male experiences and used for comedic purposes. Although this is still a male-dominated space, there are filmmakers who have approached female masturbation in a way that gives genuine, non-exploitative treatment to the subject.