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Sweden Just Made Up a New Word for Female Masturbation

Masturbation slang has typically belonged to men. Now women are taking it back … with portmanteaus.

Image via Flickr user Sorian

Spanking the monkey. Choking the chicken. Rubbing one out. Flogging the dolphin? Our culture is full of lovable/painful slang used to describe the ancient art of masturbation. But for many women, “jerking off” never seemed to translate across gender. Crazy! That’s why a group of people in—of course—Sweden came together and heroically invented their own term for female masturbation: klittra.


According to The Guardian, the team at The Swedish Association for Sexuality Education wanted to come up with a term that celebrated female sexuality. So they developed klittra, a portmanteau of clitoris and glitter. For the researchers, “klittra” focused on two key parts of women’s desire: the clitoris, the historical epicenter of sexuality, and glitter, which actually… makes no sense.

Image via Flickr user Dossy Shiobara

Whatever you think of “klittra,” its existence is symbolic of serious social change. Historically, women weren’t encouraged to masturbate, and those who did, were shamed. Many people thought women weren’t even capable of masturbating. It may be almost impossible to imagine life without it now, but the vibrator is actually a 19thth century invention. Who knows how women survived without it?

For far too long, women have struggled to live under the brutal oppressive mantle that is masturbation slang. But the shackles of oppression are slowly starting to lighten, thanks to the good people of Sweden, and a proud circle of female masturbators.

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