Female Masturbation. Masssstuurbaaation. Unlike other words, that one doesn’t exactly roll off your tongue. You kind of have to gag it out. Go ahead reader, say it out loud. I don’t care if you are in I.V. Theater. It will probably wake up the slacker sleeping next to you. But you won’t want to say it because masturbation is an awkward word, in both its pronunciation and character. When I think of the word, I think of a cold steel slab and a brightly lit room. Am I off-base? If ever the term should come up in an academic context, the instructor seems to hiss it, even if they are trying to be nonchalant about it. The sad conclusion to this seemingly random tangent is this: Masturbation is the only word girls have for it.

When I read Brian Saso’s article (“Troubled ‘Duke Nukem’ Masturbator Challenges All Females.” Daily Nexus, Nov. 16) on his first masturbatory experience, and his challenge to the female community to step up and represent girlish self-pleasure, it definitely got me thinking. Why is it that whenever the topic comes up among my girlfriends there is always that nervous giggle and cringing face? Among my close friends, I have only actually discussed it with a few, and in most of these situations, the friend reveals in a hushed voice that yes, she too masturbates. These conversations always seem illicit and shocking. I get the feeling that most girls masturbate, we just don’t shout about it like boys do. Guys talk about it like the weather or a good steak. After pondering the subject for a couple hours, I realized that it’s because we girls have no euphemisms for it. Forget the years and years of the repression of women’s sexuality! We simply can’t drop it into conversation because we have no slang for it. Guys call it, to name a few: jacking off, beating off, strokin’ (also a great Billy Squier song), yanking the chain, hitting the ham, oiling the pogo stick, wanking … the list goes on. Girls have… “touching myself”? Ewww. Uhhh, I can’t think of any. Oh wait! Cyndi Lauper wrote a song about female masturbation called “She Bop.” Great one, Cyndi. So, now I issue a challenge to the female community of UCSB: Lets get inventive! Let’s come up with some slang of our own. And we can do better than “She Bop.”

Camille Santochi is a senior religious studies major.