Apparently masturbation is not considered a gender neutral term in Sweden. Last November, The Swedish Association for Sexuality Education (RFSU) recognized that the country had not yet found an accepted turn of phrase to define a woman’s private sexual activities, while there are quite a few words in Swedish that represent male masturbation. Interesting. As a result of said realization, the organization hosted a public competition to find an appropriate word to define the female version of the solo sex act.
After months of submissions, which resulted in 1,200 emails alone, The Swedish Association of Sexuality Education dubbed “Klittra” the act of female masturbation over the weekend. According to a statement released by the organization to The Local, the term ‘Klittra,’ ‘highlights the importance of the clitoris for pleasure.” Ah, the creativity of a play on words. Though I guess if there has to be a specific term for female mastubation, I would definitely take Klittra over the runner ups ‘pulla’ and ‘runka.’
As a young woman born and bred in the United States where sexuality is heavily discussed and is gradually becoming more openly accepted, it still amazes me that in other countries, female sexual desires are still considered taboo. I took sexual education during my senior year of high school and masturbation was discussed regarding both men and women solo sex. A discussion regarding my sexuality and desires was always an open door; it was my choice whether or not to walk through it.
RSFU representative Kristina Ljungros is pleased with the developing term, and hopes to see it in the next edition of the Swedish dictionary. “When it comes to masturbation, people mostly think about just men doing it and we don’t think of it as common for women,” she tells The Local, “If we don’t have a word in the language, how can we even talk about it?”
Despite whether or not a society believes a female’s sexual desires are warranted, they are natural emotions that should be discussed and understood.As humans, men and women alike are naturally sexual beings. This is a conversation that needs to be had, and I hope that awareness has sparked due to this new word development and that female sexuality is able to be discussed a little more openly.