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This episode of Sexplanations is sponsored by masturbation outfitters,  However you get it up, get down, get off, get into it, they have something to enhance the experience.  


The thing about being a sexologist is that people are more likely to talk to you about their sex lives.  I remember two very specific instances of this.  I was in my early 20s, a budding sexologist, and within the span of a week, two separate women told me that they started orgasming at a very young age on the playground.  

On average, people experience their first orgasm during or after puberty.  I think these two women were in elementary school, age six, maybe eight, definitely before puberty.  Anyway, the one told me that she orgasmed from swinging.  Here's a clip of swinging on a swing if it helps to note the leg movements and how that might activate the genitals.  

I could have guessed at an explanation then, squeezing the thighs, putting pressure on the clitoris, but I didn't know if it was something anyone else experienced or if she needed to do anything about it.  I filed the story away in my head and stayed curious.  Someday, I'll have an answer.

Then, like I said, so soon after that, a second woman in a completely different setting from a different part of my life asks me if I know anyone else having orgasms from swing sets.  I was so excited because I do, but I let her finish.  She explained that when she was little, she'd climb the metal structure, the beams that create a frame for the swing to hang from, and something about the angled climbing motion would cause her to come, I think even ejaculate sometimes.

My recall on this is fuzzy.  Here's what I can tell you that doesn't rely on my memory.  In 1976, this woman, Shere Hite, published one of the largest studies of female sexuality, and from the data, organized masturbation into six major styles.  Here we go.  1) lying on one's back using one's hand to stimulate the clitoris, whole vulva, sometimes anus.  That's 73% of the population.  Two, 5.5% masturbate doing something similar but lying face down on their stoomach.  4% press some thrust against soft objects like a pillow or the bed.  3% masturbate by rhythmically clenching their thighs together.  2% use water massage like a showerhead or faucet in the tub, and finally, 1.5% masturbate from vaginal entry alone.  The remaining 11% of her 3000 participants masturbated in some combination of these.  

The swingset experiences shared with me fall into the fourth category, known as thigh rubbing or thigh clenching, or cross leg masturbation in porn searches.  Here's how Hite's participants described it.  "When I masturbate, I sit up in my chair on the bed, cross my legs, right over left at the knees, and use the pressure of my inner thigh exerting all the energy in my body and centering it in my genitals."   "I masturbate by rubbing my thighs together, usually lying down, but it can be done sitting up, in an office, on a bus, while swinging."  This person adds a little more context to her testimony, "In my teens, I branched out into public masturbation in boring classes and during the sermon when I was a member of the choir.  All I did was cross my legs and squeeze the thigh muscles together repeatedly for two or three minutes, but even with the utmost control, it was impossible to avoid slightly convulsion at the moment of orgasm, which I would disguise by a coughing fit or having to lean over and scratch my leg." 

The stories on reddit follow the same themes.  "I masturbate by rubbing my legs together.  I essentially create muscle tension on my clitoris until I orgasm."  Yep, rubbing, muscles, orgasm.  Another post reads, "I actually can't yet orgasm using any other masturbation method," and adds, "For better results, also press your belly."  I love the internet.  

I'll explain how all of this works.  Let's go back to the swinging example.  Going forward, swinging entails tightening the thighs so that they're aerodynamic.  Going backward, the knees are bent, entailing a different contraction.  With every swing, there's another flex and relaxation of the muscles in the legs, all the way up into the pelvis.  The pubococcygeus muscles or pelvic flooring that holds everything in place, stops you from urinating when you don't want to.  They get engaged.  They too flex and relax, contract and contract, stimulating the vagina and the anus in ways that can be totally arousing.

Additionally, those muscles clenching may put pressure on the internal erectile tissue.  The (?~4:04) or roots of the penis, (?~4:06) of the clitoris.  A second explanation is that pressure on the crotch from the legs or something between them like a thick support beam can stimulate the genitals.  You can line up the seam of your jeans on your labia so it tugs on the clitoral hood, which slides across the clit head and (coughing noises).  Hands-free orgasms!

Conclusion: there are many ways that people experience arousal, pleasure, and masturbation, some with their thighs, rubbing, clenching, crossing.  No one way is right or better.  Stay curious.

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Do you taste like grape?  I don't know how to have a (?~5:33) in the age of coronavirus.  Did it look like a (?~5:36)