Sid on Sex: Empower People to Own Their Pleasure

Photo of Sid Azmi by Tatum Mangus
Photo of Sid Azmi by Tatum Mangus

Sid Azmi is the owner of Please New York, an educated pleasure shop in Brooklyn. Her column “Sid on Sex” explores her ongoing entrepreneurial and personal journey, as well as the daily revelations gained helping all kinds of women lead satisfying, joyful sex lives.

Opening Please—an educated pleasure shop, as I call it—has been the most empowering and validating thing I have ever done for myself, personally, professionally, and spiritually. For the first time in my life, my interests, passions, skills, and visions of my future aligned themselves in the form of an open and nurturing space where I could uninhibitedly encourage transparent and non-judgmental conversations about sexuality.

 
“We lack understanding of what our partners enjoy mainly because we have yet to discover our own preferences.”
 

In my work at Please, I have encountered countless individuals who seek to expand their sexual experiences with their partners but have no idea how. We lack understanding of what our partners enjoy mainly because we have yet to discover our own preferences. In order to experience a fulfilling sexual dynamic with another human being—which is how society has conditioned us to think sex should be—it’s important to know how to please ourselves.

I give reasons in my conversations with these individuals about why masturbation works. I masturbate because it feels good. I masturbate because it is my mode of relaxation. I masturbate because it makes me feel sexually alive. I masturbate to transcend traditional missionary-style fucking. I masturbate so I can learn to be an incredible lover. (Has anyone said that out loud yet?) Most importantly, I masturbate so I can understand what my body likes and dislikes; to set boundaries for how I want my body to be touched and learn when my body is ready to be more vulnerable. I masturbate so I can create a pleasure roadmap so vast, it would be impossible for a lover not to please me. Since I’ve learned to masturbate indulgently and without shame, I have never had bad sex with anyone. Great sex is attainable to all; it just needs to start with you.

The discovery of masturbation, or what I would like to refer to as sexual self-care, may not have been as dramatic for most people as it was for me. Children engage in it as a self-soothing mechanism. My own little one described it as a “cozy feeling” as he casually “played with” his bits at the playground. His actions were childlike and completely non-perverted. His body and psyche were working collectively to naturally calm his nerves. By some point in our adulthood, almost all of us will discover that it feels good to touch our bodies and genitals. Behind closed doors, many of us revel in the joys of sexual self-care. We look forward to this time alone, when we can secretly indulge our minds and bodies whichever way it pleases us most. Some of us create rituals, whether it’s running a bath to romanticize the mood or searching for the porn video that will titillate our erotic minds the most.

 
“What if we began making these statements out loud: I am proud to say that I love masturbating and that I am able to please myself.”
 

But for many of us (including the younger me), it’s a guilty pleasure. Regardless of what I call it—masturbation, sexual self-care—the act of taking pleasure in our own hands makes many of us feel guilty and ashamed.

What if we quit shaming masturbation, or pleasure, or sex (solo, with a partner, or with many people at the same time)? What if, as a new beginning to an evolving sex life, we projected an unabashed and unapologetic pride in owning pleasure—as though it was another measure of success? What if we began making these statements out loud: I am proud to say that I love masturbating and that I am able to please myself; that it feels as satisfying as being able to afford my first car! I am proud of the fact that I can have multiple orgasms on my own or with a partner, just as I am proud of the many professional accolades I have worked so hard for. I am as proud to be an incredible, memorable, and indulgent lover as I am of being a nurturing, kind, and funny mother to my son.

I promise you that it is empowering to allow this most intimate enjoyment— pleasure—to be spoken of so openly with friends and loved ones, and to be celebrated as something all of us deserve. I invite you to try it out—to masturbate and say out loud that you do! Come visit me at Please, and I will gladly trudge through this with you—with a vibrator buzzing over our pants, looking out of big glass windows on a world where sex and pleasure are never shameful.

Also read part 1, Sid on Sex: Masturbation Is Self-Care.

We’re so glad you’re with us. We’re a community of women who are changing women’s media. That’s no small task. But because you’re here, we know that you care, too. For us to keep doing what we do, we need your support. So we can keep printing, posting and furthering our mission. With you.
Get the latest issue in print

No Comments Yet

Comments are closed