How uncomfortable do you feel when the word ‘Masturbation’ pops up? Or more correctly, how uncomfortable do you feel accepting that women masturbate? Well, like other social stigmas, masturbation remains one of the least spoken topics when it comes to women. It’s natural for a woman to pleasure herself but it isn’t okay for her to talk about it. It’s time for us to understand that masturbation is completely normal because comforting our own selves with sexual pleasure is not a sin! In fact, it is the best way to know about your body and its sexual requirements without getting into any complications that come as a result of indulging in a sexual act with the opposite sex.
To deal with the taboo, and to get us comfortable with the topic, five girls from Mumbai have started an initiative called OMH (Oh My Hrithik). The initiative is spread across social media sites and allows girls to share their sexual fantasies. The platform allows girls to talk about the least spoken and least socially accepted sexual fantasies and share their experiences. We spoke to Kriti Kulshrestha, one of the five founders about her journey till now. Here’s what she says…
How did you get the idea to start this female masturbation initiative?
We started on 6th March, 2019 with an idea to remove the stigma and taboo associated with the subject. Women often feel guilty and start questioning their own morals after they indulge in the self-pleasure act. After experiencing similar situations and talking about it to each other, we realised that it is an antidote to all the after feelings. We then created this judgment-free space for women to come forward and share their experiences, aiming at making it normal.
Why is it named as Oh My ‘Hrithik’?
We named it Hrithik because he’s one of the most desired man and this would give us a bigger audience and a connect.
What workshops have you conducted to increase your audience?
So far, we’ve conducted interactive sessions in Delhi, Jaipur and Mumbai.
The response we received from our interactive session in Delhi was exactly what we had expected, at first, which is, that girls felt hesitant to open up about it but by the end of it, we had quite a lot of girls sharing their experiences and were willing to help us take it forward.
When we spoke to the girls at Miranda House, we realised that we are on the right path, because speaking about it lightened the heaviness and scandalous environment that surrounds these kinds of topic. Everyone really opened up and shared their experiences. We again repeat that the purpose is to remove the shame and anxiety factor out of the equation of the act of fantasizing and masturbation. Right now, we are just thrilled that an institution like Miranda House has conducted this kind of an exercise.
We had another interactive session in Jaipur on the 26th of April, 2019 which again received a positive response.
Mumbai too had a positive reception to the message, though the name of the campaign was questioned at first. But after explaining the reason, we received a good response and support from a lot of college girls who understood the problem at once and resonated with it. Recently, we even conducted our third session on the International Masturbation Day, on the 28th of May.
Why and how do you think your initiative can bring in awareness and the much-needed change in the stigmas related to female sexual pleasures?
Our platform, we believe, will bring in awareness and the much-needed change to the various stigma surrounding female fantasy and self-pleasure, because by creating a digital community for girls, we have provided them with a judgment-free space where they can openly talk about their fantasies and this talking would ultimately normalise and destigmatise this very act. They will become more confident and aware about their own bodies and in turn, shed the guilt and anxiety harboured inside them.
Also, we plan to promote our content by sourcing it from different people and we will maintain certain content where we will not titillate but delve into our fantasies and what they mean to us.
Suggested Reading: Hugs Help Boost Children’s Brain Development, Says Study