It's been a big year for female masturbation! Between Broad City's Ilana demonstrating her pre-masturbation ritual and pop star Hailee Steinfeld's sex-positive anthem, there was plenty of love for loving yourself in 2015. But perhaps no one demonstrated more appreciation for the art of getting off as much as the good people of Sweden, who decided to pay homage to female masturbation by creating a whole new word for it.
"Klittra," the newly minted Swedish phrase for solo sexual play, ended up topping the list of Sweden's most-used new words for 2015, according to the Local. After it was agreed upon by the Swedish Association for Sexuality Equality in June, the word joined the likes of "cosplay" and "douche" as one of the country's top terms for the year, along with phrases like "kulturell appropriering" (cultural appropriation) and, perhaps unsurprisingly, "mansplaining."
"They are telling us something about not only Sweden but about the world, I think," Lena Lind Palicki, a spokeswoman for the Swedish Language Council's New Words Group, which compiled the list, told the Local.
While female masturbation certainly isn't a new phenomenon, talking openly about it is. So is the increasingly outspoken demand for more focus on women's sexual pleasure, which is exactly what the word "klittra" is meant to emphasize. As the Swedish Association for Sexuality Equality noted earlier this year, the term was chosen because it "highlights the importance of the clitoris for pleasure" in a way the original Swedish word for masturbation, "onanera," does not.
"The idea is that you need new words for a new society, and these kinds of norm-critical words are very popular," Palicki said.
That could be because they reflect popular ideas and changing cultural norms, especially when it comes to making women come. 2015 has been a landmark year for praising the female orgasm and closing the orgasm gap, with stars like Nicki Minaj and Amy Schumer — as well as women around the internet — speaking out about the importance of getting off while female.
Women are also speaking frankly about the "how" of getting off, which means showing reverence for the clitoris. As the storied origins of the word "klittra" do indeed accurately reflect, research has shown that clitoral stimulation is integral to achieving orgasm for more than three-quarters of women. We can only hope, then, that the women of Sweden (and women around the world, for that matter) are doing what they say.
h/t The Local