Welcome to the thirty-third installment of Queer Your Tech with Fun, Autostraddle’s nerdy new tech column. Not everything we cover will be queer per se, but it will be about customizing this awesome technology you’ve got. Having it our way, expressing our appy selves just like we do with our identities. Here we can talk about anything from app recommendations to choosing a wireless printer to web sites you have to favorite to any other fun shit we can do with technology.
Header by Rory Midhani
Okay, okay. I know I spent the entire month of May talking about masturbation. But I’m never finished with masturbation, and masturbation isn’t finished with us (ever) and now there’s an app. That’s right! There’s literally an app for that. Happy Playtime by designer Tina Gong will be an HTML5 game compatible with both computers and touch screen devices that will teach you how to masturbate. The goal is to take the stigma out of masturbation for women:
Unfortunately for many women, there has been a cultural stigma that blocks access to self-stimulation. HAPPYPLAYTIME is here to eliminate this barrier as much as possible. By talking openly and lightheartedly about female masturbation, we are taking the first step to becoming truly sexually liberated.
Happy Playtime will basically have tutorials for getting off. But hold your clitori, it’s not live yet. It’s still in development but you can sign up for notifications so you can be one of the first people using it.
I have weird feelings about this app? Because the feelings are a mixture of very strong positive feelings and very huge questions.
I love that people are talking about masturbating. Love love love it, because it’s super healthy to masturbate and half of the sex questions I field can be solved with a good ole wank. I love that people out there are seeing how guilty and shameful some women feel about masturbating, or that some women don’t really know where to start; that’s a huge problem, and a fixable one.
I also really like that they acknowledge that this app does not have the research resources to make this app apply to trans * women, though they do not deny that trans * women are also women who also masturbate. In fact, they point to a zine that’s more equipped to handle those questions. What I don’t like is the super girly vibe that is this site, because not everyone who has a vagina is a woman. But not everything can be everything to everyone and this site is clearly designed for cisgender women and they say so. I get it – you only have the resources and experience to address one facet of this problem well instead of multiple facets of the issue not as well. That is totes valid.
I guess my real huge eyebrow raise comes from the idea that all vulvas work the same. I can’t wait to see how the app handles it – do they say these are just the basics and in the end you’re going to develop a technique all your own? I think I’d be more solid on the app if their current website and promotional material reflected that a little bit more. Not all masturbating looks the same at all.
I also think infantalizing the clitoris is a little weird? Let’s be real here, that clitoris looks like a baby. And also it looks like this and I can’t unsee it:
There are other apps for masturbation (not in Apple’s app store, of course), but I’m excited about this app because of the kind of attention it’s getting. You know I’m always down to talk masturbation and I’m always double always down to talk tech and masturbation, and if nothing else this app will have started a valuable conversation.