Swedish group wants to give female masturbation a better name


Radhika Sanghani


Photo: Atsushi Yamada

A sex education group in Sweden is looking for an alternative phrase to describe the sexual act, to help normalise female sexual pleasure.

The organisation has launched a competition asked for alternative suggestions to the phrase 'female masturbation' and will vote on the winning entry in June 2015.

"We are trying to put sexuality on the agenda - the positive aspects, not just the negative ones like sexual abuse. We want to focus on the good parts, the lust," Kristina Ljungros of the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education (known as RFSU) told a Swedish news site.

"When it comes to masturbation, people mostly think about just men doing it and we don't think of it as common for women. If we don't have a word in the language, how can we even talk about it?"


Entrants were told: "Please note that we are primarily looking for a word, not an expression."  

The RFSU has received more than a thousand entries since it launched the competition earlier this month – including 'klinka' and 'flick'.

'Selfie' also made it onto the list, giving a new meaning to the word that made it into the Oxford English Dictionary last year.

But the RFSU has narrowed them down to a shortlist of 34 words including 'pulla' and 'selfa'.

"So many people have been discussing the competition all over Sweden so it seems that people agree that there is something lacking in the Swedish language," Ljungros told The Local.

"The absence of one commonly used word for female masturbation suggests that we still don't have gender equality here in Sweden. Hopefully this is another step towards that."

She also said that the debate could be much more of a taboo in other countries, and that Sweden did have a "more liberal attitude to sex".

Previously the RFSU published research renaming the hymen a 'vaginal corona'.

The idea was to dispel myths surrounding the hymen, which is made up of thin, elastic folds of mucuous membrane just inside the entrance to the vagina.

It has no known function, and is not a thick membrane entirely covering a woman's vaginal opening, as is sometimes believed. 

Telegraph, London