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Fight Capitalism One Wank at a Time!

Two fingers dipped in small jar of honey

Masturbation is inherently anti-capitalist. I've been playing with that concept for the last month and have come to really believe that masturbation is a great way to fight capitalism, white Supremacy, the patriarchy, and have fun doing so.

"But Auntie!" you protest. "I just touch myself because it feels good! It is not a political act."

Yes, dear reader, but it is. Let me explain.

Masturbation as Anti-Capitalists

Capitalism, as it manifests in the northern hemisphere (as well as elsewhere) puts the means of production in the hands of a few, and the profits in even fewer greedy paws. The vast majority of us have to work for someone else in order to pay bills, keep a roof over our heads, and eat. In the United States, we have disbanded many unions and lost our ability to bargain with employers effectively. For most of us, this means we live paycheck to paycheck and work in awful conditions.

We have gone further an rebranded needing a second or third job to make ends meet as a "side hustle." The "side hustle" is glamorized as a demonstration of a person's commitment to getting ahead financially. The reality is, we are just working for another exploitive employer to make rent for a landlord with unfettered ability to raise rents, evict us, and fail to maintain properties.

In pursuit of a better "side hustle" or more money, magazines and blogs are offering horrible advice like, "How to hack your sleep schedule to be more productive," and "5 Scientific Brain Hacks to be More Productive." Blick! (I purposely left out the links to these articles because they suck.)

The reality is, you do not need to be more productive! The "moral superiority" of the super productive person is rooted in Puritianism and harnessed by capitalism to make you believe that if you are not productive all day, every day, you are not worth as much as someone else who is. This belief is used to shame people struggling to pay bills by promoting the idea if they were just "more productive" they could "earn" the right to leisure. It is also used to justify cutting social safety net programs like food stamps, disability insurance, and government-supported health care because people who use these services haven't earned them. But we will strip teachers of the ability to deduct supplies for the classroom so that billionaires can deduct their jet payments. AAaaah! I could rant all day.

Back to masturbation. When you masturbate, you are not productive. You are taking time to do something just for you.* You don't even have to buy anything for this activity (although I am a fan of lubricant and some sex toys). You most likely masturbate just because it feels good or you need help getting to sleep. So, masturbation is anti-capitalist.

Fighting White Supremacy and the Patriarchy

Masturbation is also an attach on white supremacy and the patriarchy. Most of us grew up hearing that only some people are worthy of sex and pleasure. Those people are thin, young, able-bodied, White, pretty, and mostly cis-men. Advertising, diet culture, religious groups, and probably even your parents stressed that sex wasn't for everyone. Most of us get messaging that sex should happen only under the following conditions, 1) you are in love, 2) you are young, 3) you are able-bodied 4) you are thin and pretty. Further, most of the time masturbation is depicted it is of teen boys (think American Pie or most American sit-coms). Women, older people, disabled folks, fat folks, BIPOC folks, and others are not supposed to want sex or to masturbate. I just interviewed Joan Price for the Fat Chicks podcast and when she put out the first book about sex for folks over 65 the online comments and comments by interviewers were largely "ewww" and "who wants to have sex with a dusty grandma?"

The drive to make the vast majority of us fee guilty about our bodies and desire serve several purposes. First, bodily dislike or hate drive a trillion+ dollars of the American economy alone. The diet industry accounts for $73 BILLION a year in the United States. Add on the beauty industry, cosmetic surgery, and therapy to help people navigate their relationship with a body they hate, and we are into the Trillions.

Second, if you feel disconnected or shame about your body, you are easier to manipulate. The current onslaught of anti-trans and anti-abortion legislation is counting on people not wanting to stand up and say, "I deserve human rights. I deserve respect. I will demand legal protection for my body!" Many folks don't want to shout publicly for their rights because they still have internalized shame about their bodies.

Masturbation provides an avenue to embrace your body. The more time we spend with ourselves naked and getting comfortable with who we are, the less likely we are to have shame about our bodies. The more we get comfortable touching ourselves and the more joy we find in our bodies, the more likely we are to fight for our bodily autonomy and accompanying right.

How to Wank for Liberation

Not everyone is comfortable giving themselves pleasure. A lot of us carry a lot of shame around our bodies. So here are a few tips to start undoing that shame and getting more comfortable with yourself.

  1. Spend more time naked! This might be taking a few extra minutes in the shower to feel the water run over your bare skin. It might include gardening topless! The more time you spend naked with yourself, the more comfortable you will in your own skin.

  2. Practice forgiving your body. Our bodies will change. Most of us will have changes we are not happy about (trust me on this!). Recognize that this is just part of aging and growing. Thank the parts of your body that support you and forgive the parts that you have said mean things about.

  3. Schedule masturbation. A lot of us won't do something routinely unless it is on a schedule. If you find yourself going for weeks without a good masturbation session, schedule some time for a wank. Put a reminder in your phone so you get a notice if you forget.

  4. If you want to add lubricants or toys to your masturbation session, support women, BIPOC, and feminist toy stores. DO NOT BUY YOUR SEX SUPPLIES FROM AMAZON. Trust me, Jeff Bezos does not need to profit from your masturbation (and if you think of supporting Jeff Bezos when you buy sex stuff, it will send you running from Amazon). Not sure of a good sex toy and lube vendor? Check my "Resource" page on the blog for good vendors.

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