Aubrey Plaza Breaks Film's Masturbation Taboo

by Maitri Suhas

On Tuesday night on Conan, Aubrey Plaza discussed her on-screen masturbation scene for her upcoming movie The To-Do List. To which I say, HELL YEAH. Not only because it's high time we stop freaking out about girls pleasuring themselves, but because it's great to see Plaza be so candid about the act of female masturbation in an interview. She held her own! Sure, it was a little awkward, but just look at Conan. He makes everything awkward.

Even though there is a "boys will be boys" attitude towards dudes masturbating, there still isn't a mainstream acceptance of the idea that women can actually enjoy sex, and further, enjoy it by themselves. In fact, many times the act is referred to as "female masturbation," as though it's a whole different animal than "male masturbation." It's "normal" for men to masturbate, even when they're in the womb, apparently. But even though 92 percent of women say they masturbate, they shouldn't be talking about it! Remember when Jocelyn Elders, a Clinton administration aide, was fired for suggesting that masturbation should be taught as a means to avoid riskier sexual activity? Because god forbid a woman talk candidly about the benefits of self-love.

Not that there haven't been masturbation scenes on screen, but none as real and normal as Plaza's. The latest was Natalie Portman's spooky scene in Black Swan where her attempt to touch herself is interrupted by her mother's presence. That's twisted. Mad Men's Betty Draper gave herself a little afternoon delight on a washing machine, which is racy for the period the show is set in, but not for today. Plaza's performance in The To-Do List will hopefully help correct the notion that masturbating is something abnormal or raunchy. Because we could all love ourselves a little more.