In the words of Samantha Jones (Season 4, Episode 8), "When I RSVP to a party I make it my business to come."
I've never been exactly clear on where exactly the difference lies when I talk to other women who do the whole, "sex as a marital duty or a necessary evil of sexual economics" approach to orgasms. It came up recently at work because one of my coworkers is getting married soon, and we were discussing whether or not she was going to do a bachelorette party or not. We were tossing around ideas that didn't involve going to a banana hammock strip club
(That gif has nothing to do with anything except it makes me laugh and involves bananas).
The suggestion was raised of possibly doing a sex toy party, and then another female coworker was all, "I've never owned a sex toy before." At which point my reaction was this, which it usually also is whenever I hear women use the line that they have a vibrator or some other sex toy but it's only for, "when I don't have a boyfriend."
Somehow I missed out on the bullshit that a lot of other women apparently received when growing up about masturbation being some horribly shameful thing that you shouldn't ever do. I tend to have a lot more in common with men I talk to when we talk about masturbation. (Hey, sometimes it happens. You know, once you've gotten past all the small talk about the weather and such.) At some point around middle school, it was a mind blowing realization like, "hey, that feels really good if I press things up against my genitals. I wonder what would happen if I kept doing that."
After that, I spent a lot of time figuring out what felt good and what didn't as far as my genitals were concerned. Results were: most things felt pretty good, but some things felt a lot better than others. I also learned an important lesson on clearing ones Internet browsing history, especially when sharing a computer with the rest of ones family. But ultimately realized that it was possible to give myself pleasure, and that I could do it fairly effectively by myself, and repeatedly if I wanted to.
When I eventually started having sex with other people, I had a solid 5 or so years of masturbation already logged in. There were all sorts of new fun things to experience and try with other people, but I knew the basics of what I liked and what would work to get me off. Maybe that's a bit where the Domme thing eventually came out, but even in more vanilla situations it's been very helpful to be able to sort of orchestrate sex and the positions I'll be in and the type of penetration or stimulation I'm getting.