A Game That Wants To Teach Women How To Masturbate

A Game That Wants To Teach Women How To Masturbate

And here I thought people were joking when they said we’re slowly turning everything into a game. Nope. Gamification has a new target, and it’s female masturbation.

Now, masturbation on the whole has a stigma. Hairy palms, what have you. But some would say it’s especially bad with women given societal pressures to maintain purity. Purity, although an outdated and useless concept, is often seen as incompatible with a sexual woman. The stats from the graph above, taken from the Gamification website — which show that women aren’t so into masturbating — are used as evidence that there’s a problem with female masturbation. (Here’s some more statistics, if you’re curious.)

Enter HappyPlayTime, a mobile game that hopes to “rebrand the entire concept of female masturbation through education and light-hearted games.” It has what is probably the cutest vagina mascot ever — yes, I know that sounds absurd, but it does.

A Game That Wants To Teach Women How To Masturbate

Friendly, neighbourhood vagina. Jesus christ, you’d think this was a joke. But it’s not. They’re completely serious about tackling the issue. From the game’s website:

Sexuality is one of the most basic instincts of human beings. Being comfortable with your own sexual pleasure is a prerequisite to both being able to healthily accept pleasure from others, and pleasing others. How can you exchange pleasure with someone else if you don’t understand what your own body likes? That’s why masturbation, and learning how to masturbate is such a fundamental life lesson.

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.

Although the developers claim the lighthearted tone is intentional — they hope that by presenting female masturbation through something kind of comical, that they’re doing their part to erase some of the taboo around discussing female masturbation. If people laugh at female sexuality, then the taboo is magically gone? Err. I guess it’s a step above “denigration.”

And cmon. Look at this, which showcases some of the gameplay — what I assume to be segments of the game that teach you how to masturbate. I don’t know.

A Game That Wants To Teach Women How To Masturbate

But, beyond this, the stigma around female sexuality on the whole is tricky. What can be seen as “normal” amounts of masturbation? As compared to men? To quote game developer Merritt Kopas, the game runs with “the assumption that if women aren’t doing the same things as men or as frequently as them, that there’s something wrong with them.” Lillian, a friend of mine, makes another astute observation: “Sex and masturbation are already gamified. Competitive. Who can be the best at sex who can find the most g sposts. It’s not helpful.” Couldn’t “gals, you can do better!” be seen as shaming, too?

Here’s game developer Anna Anthropy chiming on on the game:

there’s this unfortunate idea of “sex positivity” i encounter all the time that essentially just shames people for not having enough sex and pressures them into doing it more. making masturbation into a universal competition is going to achieve only that: people are going to get pressured into using their bodies in the ways that are arbitrarily defined as normative.

Another thing: not all women have vaginas. This fact makes the game exclusionary. Still, it’s obvious that the game is well-meaning and there are some issues worth trying to solve here. Schools do a shitty job of teaching anatomy and talking about women’s sexuality is difficult. I’m just not sure this specific game is the best approach for that stuff.

That, and… I’m not sure about you, but gamification is just about the last thing I associate with “sexy”.


  • “Another thing: not all women have vaginas. This fact makes the game exclusionary”

    Was that a joke? I can’t tell if that’s a joke. Not so much the “some women don’t have vaginas” part. I get that. Some men don’t have penises. It’s understandble. But was that meant to be taken as a serious argument?

    A game about vaginas excludes women who don’t have vaginas. Just think about that for a bit…

  • Woah woah, not all women have vaginas!?
    Is this true, or are you just yanking my chain? Did I completely miss a sex-ed class back in high school?
    I’m so confused right now.

      • Even so. Having the sexual identity of a woman doesn’t make you a woman. I think the word “queer” is now used to refer to this /gender/. But “woman” is not a gender definition is a sex definition which is based solely on physical traits. People are taking the political correctness way too far.

          • No, it’s completely PC.

            If you don’t have a Vagina, you’re not a woman. Legally, sure, you can go through a process and be called a woman, but you’re not really, you’re a dude, who may have chopped his bits off and had them stuffed up inside you to create some type of hole that is called a “vagina” – but it aint the same.
            BTW – I’m all for transgender peeps doin their thang, but the PC hype is ridiculous.

            Google “Fallon Fox” to see just how stupid the transgender argument has become.

          • The comment in the article may have been inserted for PC reasons but it is far from wrong.
            The term ‘Gonadal dysgenesis’ may provide a start for your wiki research and the start of your enlightenment.

          • What about people with parts that can’t quite be described as male or female? Or people with near complete both sets of parts? It is rare, but real.
            What about them?

            An don’t say the chromosomes, because there are conditions caused by missing the second sex chromosome, or by having an extra one. These are the most frequent causes of the above situations too.

  • I am not even going to look at the author. I am just going to guess that it was Patricia.

    Because no-one else would post such a bullshit article.

    Edit: Well look at that! I was right. Oh boy! Why do they even pay you!!!

  • Hey look, a game trying to teach people to be comfortable with their sexuality.

    And Hernandez is offended by it.


    • “Another thing: not all women have vaginas. This fact makes the game exclusionary.”

      I think I know where this is going…

      • I always thought it was one of the things that separated women from men… the other being a penis

        How could I have been so wrong?

    • What is even less surprising is that she is commenting on something she has seemingly not even ‘played with’. ( Pun intended.) The fact that men do not have a vagina and that we are also excluded fails to offend her. This is sad for all humanity (Patricia is not human which excludes her).

  • “Another thing: not all women have vaginas. This fact makes the game exclusionary.”

    Man, you just aren’t happy unless you can nitpick enough until you find one group of people excluded from something. What’s next, having a go at a prothestic maker for making a cyborg hand, but it’s excluding all the people who needed a foot instead? God dammit

  • I freaking LOVE kotaku. And I was excited to open this article and see how the developer was tackling such an interesting and yes, taboo subject.

    Instead I had THIS thrown at me… I have never felt the need to complain about much on this site, but this is the first time I have officially complained to the Kotaku team. Very disappointing article, and it’s a shame it’s written by someone who generally gets pinned for similar issues.

  • “Another thing: not all women have vaginas. This fact makes the game exclusionary.”

    is anyone else as disturbed by this as I am? I mean fair enough anyone within this group is well with there rights to feel this way but why is it something the author is worring about?

    (no ofence ment to anyone but i’m super drunk at this point and coundn’t come up with a better way of wording my comment)

  • If people laugh at female sexuality, then the taboo is magically gone?

    Do you think all of us guys left the taboos of wanking by being completely serious about it?
    What you can joke about more often is a lot easier to accept in society.

    Also I welcome this kind of education. It’s the 21st century and I still meet women who avoid the topic or claim they don’t ever masturbate, as if that’s the moral way to be.

  • Patricia here’s one for you, what do you call someone without a vagina?

    Not a woman, by scientific definition. Screw all your political correctness and personal agendas, its science talking baby.

    (no offense intended to transgender by this statement, just using science you can choose to identify however you wish.)

    • So long as they still have the rest there it’s perfectly fine to refer to someone without the external feature as a Woman…

      • What a world we live in…

        No. If you have a pair of breasts, and a vagina, that makes you a WOMAN. You’ve been born with the reproductive systems of the female member of our species. Just because some people wish they didn’t have vaginas or have some mental problem where they think they’re the opposite gender doesn’t change their biological features and reverse their fucking gender.

        Shit, some furries think they’re literally members of another species, no less retarded. Are we gonna listen to them too?

        • Don’t know if he is being a white knight. If a man wants to identify as a woman and call himself one then I really don’t care. It’s their choice.

          And it’s really not the issue with this article. There are SO many but the definition of man or woman isn’t one. Which I guess makes the missing the point part correct.

        • Yes, it is a very silly thing for Patricia to pick on. But you guys are being unfair to intersex people who believe it or not… may not have vaginas AND still be otherwise considered to be a woman. Google it.

          • I have zero issues at all with intersex people. A former housemate, the cousin of my ex and a friend for life, was changed from woman to man when he was 14. We lived together for 2 years and I trust that man with my 9 year old son, the most valuable thing in my life. There’s many people I’ve known longer who I would never leave my boy with.

            However, what I don’t like here, is Patricias white knighting of the topic. She has proven time and time again she has barely any well informed knowledge of the topic and constantly jumps the gun on the ideas. How she has put it here, was just ridiculous, she should have clearly stated transgender people as well as dual gender people, unfortunately Patricia as always, fucked it up.

  • Freaking americans and their crazy ‘SEX IS BAD!’ approach to every form of media. How about you grow up? Can’t believe how ridiculous this article is.

  • “Another thing: not all women have vaginas.”

    This has to be the most stupid thing I’ve read all year. Brb checking my privilege.

    In before banned and 20 downvotes from Reddit whiteknights.

  • What? I really don’t think those stats are … uh … altogether accurate. I have plenty of female friends, and let me tell you, they beat off all the time.
    And what’s the point of “teaching” people? If you’re interested in self-stimulation, you’re already really fucking good at it. In fact, no-one will ever be as good at it as you. People have either worked that universal human truth out, or they haven’t. A mobile game won’t help people feel less self-conscious about their body and sexuality.
    And “not all women have vaginas”, eh? Good. They can tackle that one in paid DLC.

  • Not all women have vaginas?

    Do they have sandwiches???


  • If I were a psychologist I would say that due to your obsession with the subject matter (this article is actually about the exclusion of transgenders, not really female masturbation) tells us Ms Hernandez that you are secretly a gay man living in a womans body… the obsession factor is ridiculous. Get help my dear. Freud and Eriksen would have a field day dissecting your sexual orientation white knighting obsession…

  • Not everybody has hands. So I guess that makes pretty much every video game exclusionary. And a lot of people are blind, which makes the entire medium of cinema exclusionary. Honestly, what a stupid, stupid thing to say.

  • “Not all women have vaginas. This fact makes the game exclusionary. Schools do a shitty job of teaching anatomy.”

    No, just your school did a shitty job of teaching anatomy. . . or you completely werent paying attention.
    What the hell is wrong with you Patricia? I think you seriously have issues.
    And Kotaku, do you check these articles before theyre posted? Or if you dont run the story Patricia will nail you for discrimination?

    • I have a permanent ‘1’ in the top right corner of my screen due to a Hernandez article, the one about the tattooed vagina. Before I could check a response, Serrels or someone (not blaming them, it was appropriately removed) removed the article and I was unable to check the article. But now, I have a permanent ‘ONE MESSAGE’ alert thanks to Ms Hernandez and her journalistic hackery. Thanks Pat, btw, can you equal up your sexism and start doing some articles on lesbians and straight people as well please? All this gay man white knighting is really feeling rather biased.

  • Masturbation is great and every one should do it more often. I bet the world would be a far more relaxed place if everyone just jerked off every day or two. I’m not even joking.

    • Well, its scientifically proven to reduce stress levels. So why the hell not. Before every war meeting, before every battle, there should be giant private rooms for everyone to walk off into for 30 minutes ‘special time’ lol

      • I can just see entire wars being averted because once everyone’s finished up, they won’t be cranky anymore. ‘Let’s go to war!’ ‘Nah, fuck that. I’m going to have a shower and jerk off. Then I might have a nap.’

        • “World war 3 has been avoided because Michelle Obama just gulped down alllllll the anger. ALL OF IT.”

  • “…not all women have vaginas”

    What? I think then we probably need a new definition of “woman”.

  • As a gynaecologist, I have to support the statement that truly some women do NOT have vaginas. And I’m not talking about transgender persons either.

    Look up Müllerian agenesis as an example, where an embryological defect fails to form the female sex organs.

    There are also chromosomal abnormalities in which a 46XY (ie genetically male) person can be born with a vagina. They are missing the gene which switches on formation of the male genitalia – look up Swyers Syndrome.

    Still, tenuous argument to post in an article… The vagina mascot is pretty cute.

    • While your information is undoubtedly factually correct, the unfortunate part here is that Ms Hernandez in no way had thought of anything this eloquent or well put. She simply meant ‘Men who think they’re women’.

  • I just registered an account on this site specifically so I could say how stupid this is.
    Why does everything have to be bad? If the game is a bad idea then it just wont sell- period.

    You mention than gamification is the least sexy thing. I must beg to differ..

    • I just registered an account on this site specifically so I could say how stupid this is.
      You know what else would be stupid? Registering an account just to leave a comment, when you don’t need to register an account to leave comments 😛

  • As a man who had his share of partners ashamed or afraid of their own sexuality, I wholeheartedly endorse this game.

    This article edges the thinking of radical feminism that “sex-positive feminism” is actually an invention of men to keep women tied to their “filthy” sexual desires.

  • @”Not all women have vaginas” part.

    We have both sex and gender. Someone with a vagina would be of the female sex, but could identify as the male gender, as their brain patterns may line up closer to that of a cismale, which would effectively make that person feel like a male, but with a female body.

    This article tries to acknowledge the transphobia and transsexual erasure usually inherent in the media, but it just isn’t the issue here. This game appeals to the female *sex*, not the female *gender*. Sure, the pink colour scheme could make it problematic for transmen, but I don’t think that’s what the author was thinking about when they wrote that comment.

    Long story short: Tried to fit a square problem peg into a round article hole.

  • I can imagine Hernandez’ reaction to these comments would be “oh no those privilege-unchecked Australians are all transphobes” but I doubt that’s the case. Some people just like scientific accuracy.

  • I really don’t understand this article, I actually find it extremely upsetting. As a woman who has struggled their entire life with feelings of guilt around my sexuality, I saw the title of this article and thought “Oh what a neat idea!” I really don’t understand how you managed to find something wrong with this game? If a woman feels that masturbating less than once a month is perfectly fine for her, then I guess she won’t play it. If a transgender woman doesn’t have a vagina to masturbate with, then I guess she won’t play it. Why be offended that these people can’t enjoy a game which is designed to help a certain group of people? A while ago someone wrote an article about games that were designed to help people through depression. People who don’t have depression will get nothing from them, so should we complain about that too?

    I think this game sounds great, and I actually want to go check it out. Sure it may seem really silly and strange, but helping women have a little laugh about sexuality is a great way to help them relax and realise it’s no big deal.

    • Oh an a commenter on the Gamification website pointed out that telling women they can do better may be slightly shaming, the creator of the game’s response: “Yes, I agree! Now I see that was really short-sighted on my part. 🙁 I’m probably going to amend that graphic sometime this weekend. Thank you lots lots lots for pointing this out.” So… problem solved?

    • Welcome to Hernandezville, where there’s always something to get offended by.

      She seems to have it in her head that if something isn’t tailored with transgendered or gay men in mind then it isn’t worth a place in the world. She started out with some good points and some well written articles but kept getting more and more extreme until she became her own self contained joke.

      • Yeeah I noticed a few of her tame articles getting a bit of hate for no real reason, and I really wanted to defend her and tell everyone to grow up. But THIS… THIS… I CAN’T HELP YOU IF YOU WON’T HELP YOURSELF PATRICIA!

  • “Not all women have vaginas. This fact makes the game exclusionary”
    In which case such women wouldn’t be playing this game. It’s perfectly ok for someone, somewhere, to make a game that doesn’t actually cater to every single group of people in existence. This article could have been so much more if you hadn’t fallen back into your usual controversy-seeking and white-knighting habits, Patrica.

    As for what constitutes “normal” for women and masturbation, I think it depends on the individual. If some woman masturbate less than once a month, and are happy with that, then that’s normal for them. If others masturbate 30 times a month, and are happy with that, then that’s normal for them.

  • Stop writing, it’s really not working out for you.

    …not all women have vaginas“?
    Brilliant. -_-

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