Dear Dr Pam,

The other weekend I caught my flatmate masturbating. I knocked on her bedroom door and when she didn’t answer I just went in. She embarrassed-girl-mainwent mad and hasn’t spoken to me since. I know she must be embarrassed, but giving me the cold shoulder is a bit harsh. How do I get things back to normal? Thanks, Charlotte xx

Hi Charlotte,

Bless her, I’m not surprised she’s mortified as we tend to live under the ridiculous illusion that women don’t masturbate. Of course they do and self pleasure is a fantastic sexual release as well as a great way to learn about your body.

Since she obviously isn’t taking this in a light-hearted way and treating it as something that shouldn’t really matter, please give her time to get used to the idea that you caught her red-handed so to speak.

Spare her blushes and give her time without judging her – you can do that by trying to act as natural as possible around her. Let her know that it hasn’t upset you by your relaxed attitude.

When you’re both around keep the conversation light and simple and away from sex and more specifically self-pleasure (obviously).

I’d bet you my favourite vibrator that in another week she’ll be back to normal. One day she may even joke about it.

If she was a he, you’d both be laughing about it. But you’ve found that masturbation is still such a taboo topic for many women.

Best wishes, Pamx

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