Mindy Kaling can add “sexual liberator of the baby boomer generation” to her already impressive list of credits. The TV star/writer has acquired at least one lifelong fan for her attempts to normalize female sexual behaviour, in particular, the act of self-love known as masturbation, a.k.a shaking the dew off the lily.
Actress Beth Grant, who plays Beverly on Kaling’s TV show The Mindy Project, recently told Cosmopolitan.com that the show gave her the courage to admit she masturbates IRL.
OK. That statement needs context.
Grant was referring to last Tuesday’s episode, in which her character Beverly admits to getting handsy with herself regularly.
Said Beverly (during a business meeting, but of course): “I masturbate all the time. I did during this discussion.”
What was probably an off-the-cuff joke for the series’ writers turned out to be something of an A-ha moment for Grant.
“I’m from a generation where you don’t talk about masturbating,” Grant told the site. “Certainly you don’t do it, or if you do, it is a deep, dark secret. And it wasn’t until I was in college … I had a health class and they said, ‘Eighty-five percent of women and 98 percent of men do it.’ And I was like, ‘Wait, I’m normal?’ Because it was my deep, dark secret and over the years I had adjusted to it.”
That lightbulb moment back in college was nothing compared to the moment she read the Mindy script.
“I read that line and I was like, ‘Oh, dear god, dear god, I’m going to say this on national television. Oh my god, oh my god.’”
Who can blame her for getting excited? The sexual double standard that exists when it comes to masturbation can be a burden to carry. For men, it’s considered standard hygiene, whereas for women there still remains a stigma.
Grant clearly got over her trepidation.
“Well, not only did I say it with conviction and love it, but also I thought, I am free. That’s my deepest, darkest secret, and I am free.”
It may sound silly for a grown woman to consider normal sexual behaviour her “deepest, darkest secret,” but that’s really the point. It is silly. And high time we moved on to weightier subjects.
And maybe once we’ve leveled the sexual behaviour playing field, we’ll feel comfortable demanding equal treatment in every facet of human life.
Oh my god, oh my god…now that’s really exciting.