Featured Artist - April 2016: Lindsey Wright

     We're so excited to announce our Featured Artist for the month of April is Lindsey Wright! Lindsey is a Creative Writing student at Columbia College Chicago. She has taken our theme for the month, INTIMACY, and created work that is honest and personal and, often times, incredibly humorous. Check out her essay below that applies the theme in the form of self-intimacy. Look out for our exclusive interview with her next week!


Ramblings About Masturbation


      When I was thirteen years old, I had a giant blue stuffed bear which I very cleverly named Mr. Blueberry. While Mr. Blueberry was mainly a cuddly companion for me to wrap my arms and legs around at night, that wasn’t all he was. Oh no, no, no. At night, when my parents were asleep and the house ran quiet, Mr. Blueberry was no longer a fluffy friend. He was any man I wanted him to be. Most nights he was Nick Jonas, singing soft and slow melodies of cookie cutter, pop love ballads in my ear while I thrusted my hips into his fur. “Now I’m speechless, over the edge, I’m just breathless I never thought that I’d catch this, love bug again.” Other nights he was Brad Pitt, or early 2000s Frankie Muniz. Every thrust was harder and harder because I was seeking something...something new and exciting to me. Something that, for some reason, I thought that only I could experience.

      For about a year I thought that an orgasm was a no, a superpower that only I could achieve. Something about that was empowering. It was like knowing about a band before they went mainstream. I didn’t know that there was a word for what I was doing. I didn’t know why I felt the need to do it. I just knew that whatever this weird habit slash superpower was, it made me happy, it made me feel better.

      Of course my method at the time was rather flawed. It would take damn near an hour just to reach this so called superpower and by the time it was over I was exhausted and on the brink of tears but it was worth it...every single time.

      When I was fourteen my mother and I had a more in-depth version of “the talk” that she gave me when I was twelve. During this talk I learned a new word. Masturbation. Masturbation: the stimulation or manipulation of one's own genitals, especially to orgasm. (Shout out to My brain exploded when my mother explained everything to me.So you mean I didn’t discover this? So you mean, that explosion thing that happens in my hoohaa isn’t a superhuman power? I’ll admit I was rather disappointed, but also rather excited to know that my mother was completely okay with me doing it, and one thing that she said that day still sticks with me is…

“Don’t be afraid to touch your’s yours, embrace it, and never let some boy get to know it before you do.”

      Six years later I continue to think back on that quote every single time I meet a young woman who tells me that she thinks that women who masturbate are “gross” and “slutty.”

      My freshmen year of high school was a rather oddly new experience for me. I felt like everyone was fucking except me. Sex wasn’t an option for me in high school, not just because my parents didn’t want me doing it but because I had no desire to fuck someone I went to school with. Shit, most of the guys in our school rarely washed their hands after wiping their asses...So you KNOW there was little to no dick washing going on.

      One day, as I sat at the lunch table with my new friends, we went around in a circle and talked about how far we had went with a guy. I was surprised to hear that most of the girls at the table had had sex before. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t judge them...but I had never realized how naive I was until then. I thought all of us, having been raised in Christian households and having gone to Christian schools, were virgins. By the time the circle got around to me, I simply stated that I hadn’t even had my first kiss yet. The girls giggled and called me things like cute and innocent, and I did NOT go to high school to be called things like cute and innocent so I figured something was better than nothing: I told them that I masturbated. They laughed in my face and called me gross, and weird, and instead of taking those comments to heart, I came to the conclusion that dealing with those girls until my graduation would be a challenge and that I need to find better friends. I didn’t, but that’s a completely different story.

      I never have and never will understand why some girls are so afraid to touch their own bodies, but are willing to let any ol’ Joe-Sho touch them anywhere and anyhow he’d like. You’d be amazed at how many girls are so afraid of touching their vagina that they won’t even wash themselves properly when showering.

     Now don’t get me wrong, if you genuinely aren’t interested in masturbation that’s completely cool, but don’t bash and slut shame the girls who are.

      I’m an artist dammit, and to me masturbation is one of the most creative things I do. I can close my eyes and imagine that the hands sweeping past my thighs and up to my breasts aren’t my own. I can pretend that I’m being touched by that one hot guy I saw in the library, or Sir Thomas Sharpe who has just whisked me away to his dark decaying mansion that sits on the hills of Cumberland, or, of course, I could imagine banging Tom Hiddleston backstage at the Oscars after he’s just won an award for best actor. Whatever the fantasy, whatever the vision, I feel more connected with myself because I discover new and amazing things about my body with each and every time. To me, masturbation is not supposed to be something women should be ashamed of. Why is it that, while young men are expected to fap off at least every day, if a woman flicks the bean once, she’s odd? Why does the world see my vagina to be too dirty, even more for my own touch?

      I see masturbation as being a performance piece that only I will ever experience. I carve the piece out and mold it myself. I give it it’s shock and wow factor. I make it vibrant, and loud, and sexy, and when it’s all over, nothing but an explosion of lust, colors, and glitter will puff up in smoke.

      Girls I know will often tell me that they don’t “need” to masturbate like I do because they have men to do that kinda stuff for them, to which I reply with something along the lines of, “Cool, but does your man come in fifteen different colors? Four different speeds and over ten different patterns? No? Then hush.”

      I don’t have to worry about STD’s or pregnancy, I don’t have to worry about not liking the experience at all, but having to pretend like I do for the sake of my partner. I don’t have to worry about the fear of changing my mind only to have my partner go too far. It’s my creative way of saying that this is my body and no one knows it like I do! It’s my way of saying that I don’t need some dirty dicked dude to please me. It’s my way of taking back the three years of my life in which this body, MY body was touched without proper consent. This is my way of healing that wound. Embracing my womanhood and moving on...and it is NO ones fucking right to judge me for it.

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