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I apologize for this potentially obscene question.

Can the terms jack off or jerk off be used for female masturbation? If not (which is my intuition), what would be the not too poetic vulgar slang equivalent? By too poetic I refer to expressions such as spank the monkey, choke the chicken, etc.

I checked online dictionaries, and most of them don't expand on the usage, and some of the definitions in the Urban Dictionary imply that jack off primarily refers to male masturbation, but do not provide the female counterpart.

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I think jack off and jerk off are both primarily American. In the UK, toss off works for both sexes. –  FumbleFingers Mar 12 '12 at 22:20
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I've always taken the "toss" in toss off to be a reference to the ejaculate, so I'd find it slightly more jarring than the alternatives in reference to women. –  Russell Borogove Mar 13 '12 at 0:50
    
Remember not to be too poetic, not nursery rhymes even. ;-) –  Kris Apr 22 '12 at 23:00

7 Answers 7

up vote 18 down vote accepted

I'm not sure how widespread it is but jill off (a reference to Jack and Jill) is sometimes used.

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I use and endorse this terminology. I've seen it fairly widely used, and it's fairly self-explanatory. –  Russell Borogove Mar 13 '12 at 0:53

You should use "frigging", "frig", "frig yourself", or "frig off" (although this has a different meaning too, similar to "fuck off", but not as rude). The vulgar usage refers to female masturbation, but the dictionaries seem to have looser definitions. This is the term used universally in translations of the Marquis de Sade to English.

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I'll admit I didn't know that was a real word. I thought it was a kid's way of saying fuck without getting in trouble. –  Mr.Wizard Mar 13 '12 at 8:30
    
@Mr. Wizard: it works this way, but the etymology is from "frick" like "friction", rubbing, not as a corruption of "fuck" which comes from a root meaning an act of percussion. –  Ron Maimon Mar 13 '12 at 17:34
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The etymology isn't certain. frig may derive from OE friga, "to love"; and that may derive from the Norse goddess of love Freya or Frigga. In British English it does mean the same as "fuck", and is almost as vulgar. –  Andrew Leach Mar 14 '12 at 2:10
    
@AndrewLeach: Noted, thanks. –  Ron Maimon Mar 14 '12 at 5:37

I vote for touching oneself. (Best political party ever?)

I assume there’s some particular reason you want to avoid the word masturbate—too clinical, perhaps. If you’re looking for a euphemism that isn’t ostentatiously vulgar, I think touching oneself fits the bill, without sounding terribly childish. If you’re working on erotic fiction, masturbation does sound oddly forward; touching, rubbing, fingering, and other literal actions are all common, cromulent alternatives.

And for the love of all that is good in literature, never, ever call a vulva a sex. It’s not cute.

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For females, I've heard the phrases petting the kitty and rubbing carpet, but they do not seem to be in very common usage.

Slightly less poetic might be bushwhacking. You could also consider beating the bush.

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Thanks, but I think these fall into the category of "too poetic", don't they? :) –  Armen Ծիրունյան Mar 12 '12 at 20:41
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@ArmenTsirunyan: All the phrases that I can think of (or make up) for females would probably count as "too poetic" - I can't recall any that are more vulgar. EDIT: I recalled a more vulgar (to me) one. –  FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Mar 12 '12 at 20:44
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I use bushwhacking to refer to a southerly (netherly?) haircut. –  cornbread ninja 麵包忍者 Mar 12 '12 at 21:12

I wonder what other languages (more specifically cultures) have to say about this. Obviously English is seriously lacking in this department, mostly due to its cultural history I'd imagine. The closest thing I could think of is 'pelvic massage', which was considered the cure for 'female hysteria' in less enlightened times. I think this is a prime candidate for a borrowed word, if anyone could find an appropriate one.

My friends and I often say 'rub one out'; 'one', being an orgasm I suppose (or "hysterical paroxysm" in pseudo-science lingo). We use it in a gender neutral sense, but as you alluded to, there are so many (fun) choices for males, that we mostly use this one specifically for females.

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I would mention "diddle, which is mentioned as a female alternative to "masturbate" alongside "jill off". By the way, it bears an assonance to "dildo", which is normally connected with female masturbation. See http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/diddle

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Diddle is often used transitively or reflexively. "She was diddling herself." "He was diddling his secretary." Note that the transitive use often refers to sexual acts beyond mere masturbation and has connotations of illicitness. –  Malvolio Jul 20 '12 at 18:13

Cunnidigitation, a la prestidigitation?

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protected by RegDwigнt Mar 13 '12 at 9:45

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