Over here at FD there is nothing we enjoy more than speaking to curious, creative and intelligent humans who are questioning the status quo and helping us feel more safe in this world. One such human who is shaking up the way we think and feel about the clitoris, is film director and creative soul, Vicky Jay. Recently we had planned to chat with this fabulous human over IG, unfortunately, the IG algorithm and several folx reporting our content (we’re looking at you Karen!) had other ideas and decided that we can’t talk about all the juicy conversations on IG live. Apparently, we’re a little too taboo, shaking up the stigma, and being just a little too radically cool. Sorry, not sorry!
So we sat down over a socially distanced chat with Vicky Jay and she shared a little about her film, Me and Her, a 30-minute documentary made in Byron Bay that explores women’s relationships with their clits (go watch it because it’s free for two weeks). We asked Vicky to share her tips about how to find pleasure and shake the shame from self love. We know you will adore this lady as much as we do!
FD: So Vicky, what inspired you to create Me and Her?
VICKY JAY: I am a lifelong feminist, I’ve always been into women and women’s rights and how we roll.
When I was quite young, about the age of 11, I learned how to masturbate with the shower head. At the time, I was very close with my mum, we were good friends, and I remember thinking to myself, my mum tells me so much so maybe she doesn’t have a clit because she hasn’t mentioned it to me. She tells me so much stuff, but she’s never mentioned this very important part of my body.
Despite this unspoken conversation with my mum, I was blessed and grew up with an extremely open group of friends and we knew everything about each other. And then, when I was eighteen years old I left to travel the world and I would approach other women with the same sorts of conversations I have held with my pals. I would ask them how they masturbate, or ask about their partner’s appendages, and they were very taken aback by the questions. I didn’t realise it wasn’t normal to talk about that.
These two events got me thinking about women and pleasure and the lack of it. People weren’t speaking and I was really interested in why they weren’t. I love clits, especially mine and so, one night, while we were laid in bed, I rolled over and said to my husband “I’m going to make a documentary about clits” my husband is so supportive he immediately said let’s do it and so we woke up the next morning and started producing it.
FD: And thank gawd you did! So, can you tell us about your relationship with your own clit?
VICKY JAY: When I first found my clit (insert all of the laughs) I went all out. It was a very close relationship. After the first year the shower head disintegrated and my dad had to get a new shower head installed, it was the worst day of my life. But on the topic of my own pleasure, I never ever felt weird in the way I feel, look, and what I do. Thanks to my group of friends who were so diverse and open, I never felt weird.
The biggest thing I found is that women won’t communicate what they need because they think that the way they get off is not normal. This comes up a lot in the conversations that I’ve had and in the documentary.
FD: How do people get off?
VICKY JAY: I learned to masturbate in the shower, I would stand on my tippy toes so as a result I can only orgasm if my legs are completely straight. So much so I get a leg cramp. My best friend, she can only orgasm if she’s on top and she gets herself off, nobody that I’ve spoken to gets off on penetration only. Another pal masturbates by humping the sheets in between her legs. Another dear friend has been in a relationship for two years, has never orgasmed and she fakes it. To get herself off, she has rub herself off on a really hard surface like a bed leg, table, or couch. She’s so afraid to tell her partner. A lot of my friends have to lay on their belly and hump their hand. But the thing I’ve learned through all of these conversations is that there is no ONE way to do it, whatever way you get off is absolutely perfect.
FD: Yes! Some nice ideas here for first timers to experiment with. So, what were some of the biggest challenges in the development of the film?
VICKY JAY: I was very lucky to have a couple of friends helping. It wasn’t that hard to get 53 women to talk about their clits. I would say my biggest challenge was to get shy women to come to the filming. I didn’t just want to speak to liberated people, I wanted to speak to shy, quieter women who wouldn’t normally speak publicly about their body and pleasure.
The other challenge was that I only had 20 mins with each woman on the day of filming so I wasn’t sure if i could get everyone to open up in 20 mins. For each interview I began with a couple of minutes where I would tell them something about my clit, or be relatable and make them know they’re not alone. From there it all happened quite naturally, when you give women a stage, or the microphone to talk about their story, I found that they’re ready to speak, they’re ready to get this story started.
There weren’t any major challenges, overall the interviews were beautiful and effortless.
FD: What have you learned personally, were there any particular stories or themes that emerged that surprised you?
VICKY JAY: We interviewed a 73-year-old woman who has never orgasmed or touched herself in her life. In her words, she said it’s such a shame that she’s missed out on all of that. She’s now numb and not interested in pleasuring herself. She was a grandma to our youngest interviewee who is 15 and she masturbates all the time.
I uncovered something quite confronting in the interviews with younger people, many reported that they could only orgasm through clitoral stimulation but they wouldn’t tell their partner. They are scared their partners will be offended, or that it will break the flow, or they don’t know what they want so they don’t tell their partner.
FD: Oh no! Come on gal pals, tell your partner what you need. What are some of the common issues that you see presented in the broader society when it comes to women and their sexual pleasure?
VICKY JAY: My dream was to show diverse stories, I didn’t just want to talk about people that love masturbating. I believe we need more education about the clitoris, female ejaculation, and what is, and how to orgasm. I knew about what a hard on or ejaculation was before I knew what the word clitoris was. Schools need to up their game.
There are also challenges presented by porn. A lot of the younger women feel weird about how they masturbate because porn shows something that they don’t necessarily get off on. From the conversations I’ve had, it seems like same sex couples have it more figured out than hetero couples. They tend to have more open and honest communication. Everyone I have chatted to, pan, same sex, they are way better at sex and talking about it.
Thanks to a lack of education and porn, men often don’t realise how important the clitoris is to women’s pleasure. Obviously, it’s not the only thing but it’s a major organ in our body. And it’s the only organ whose sole purpose is pleasure. I think that everyone could have better sexual encounters if there were better and more accurate representations of female pleasure in porn and mainstream movies.
FD: Yes, more messy, nuanced female pleasure depictions. Normal People was definitely taking a step in that direction. What information do you think young womxn need to know about pleasure?
VICKY JAY: Factually, the bean on the top (or exterior) doesn’t maketh the whole clitoris. She has beautiful long legs inside the vagina connected with the g-spot. My personal opinion is that you need to discover yourself, if you know yourself, you know what you need and once you have discovered your pleasure zones and what gets you off, you know how your body works and can share that with your partners. Read up about the clitoris and get to know all of the erogenous zones.
FD: Okay, so tell us, SO HOW DO WE GET to know our pleasure zones – for a first timer, can you talk us through flicking the bean?
VICKY JAY: Take some time alone in your bedroom or in the shower. Lock the bathroom door to give yourself some privacy and time to relax. With your fingers find your clit and explore different ways to touch it, and interact with it. Try massaging her in circles, try rubbing, tapping, you might want to try a vibrator. You will probably enjoy things a little more if there is a little lubricant involved. Coconut oil is pantry fave. Now give yourself time and don’t expect to be orgasming straight out of the gate, it’s worth knowing that you may not climax the first few times. You need to give yourself time to build into the tension and climax of pleasure. Don’t give up if you don’t love it straight away, go gently and ease into it.
On average, men and women ejaculate after anywhere between 4-7 mins of self pleasure. For some of my friends it can take anywhere between 15-20 mins. For your first time give yourself a good 20 mins to play and explore.
I recommend lighting a candle and popping on your fave Spotify playlist on (Editor’s note: we love Jonny’s playlists) And you might want to try ethical porn sites (look at Else Cinema or Four Chambers) if you need something to feel aroused.
But, when it comes to climaxing, you’ll know if it happens or not. The general rule is, if you think you orgasmed, you probably didn’t. Stay committed to play and you’ll find your way.
FD: What advice would you have to young womxn about becoming more in touch with their clit?
VICKY JAY: If you feel afraid to try masturbating, I don’t blame you! But if you feel afraid to feel pleasure or explore yourself, know that it’s not your fault. There has been decades of social conditioning to make humans feel guilt and fear about pleasure.
You must know that feeling pleasure is your human right. It’s not bad, it’s not wrong, it’s not dirty. Just like you use the other parts of your body for different functions, this is one of the functions of this part of the body.
If you can, express your fears, concerns or delight with a friend. But if you can’t, if it has to be your little secret, that’s fine, but build your courage and know that it’s so normal and beautiful. Always know that if someone makes you feel shame about self pleasure, that’s their issue not yours. If someone shames you, ask yourself why they would do that, why would anyone shame someone about self pleasure.