Guilt and Self-Touching

Kate Millet "Beyond Politics? Children and Sexuality" in Pleasure and Danger edited by Carole Vance [1982]

If we did not have the great power of autoeroticism, we would never come to any conclusions, form any tastes, or find many sources of energy, not only erotic but creative — the self, the psyche, or the mind as it reaches out to the world in works, ideas, or things made by the hands in art or craft. But all too often autoeroticism goes under the nasty name of masturbation in the patriarchal family. Thus named, masturbation is practiced for the rest of a lifetime in secret guilt and shame, or is "rehabilitated" by those providing therapy.
Questions of shame aside, when I hear the word of "masturbation" the focus is genital and when I hear the word "autoeroticism" the image is of any part of the body in contact with other parts of the body; it's an expansive notion.

And so for day 1670