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The Sensual Fantasies of Lonesome Masturbating Beauties

The portrayal of sensual female masturbation in isolated settings were a beloved subject of ukiyo-e artists. This applies to the Edo period (1600-1868) but even more so to the Meiji period (1868-1912).


Often self-satisfaction in shunga is performed by hand, but sometimes with the support of a device such as a harigata (dildo), Women are also depicted experimenting with wooden objects, a sword handle, vegetables, sea-cucumber, and masks of the long-nosed demon-god Tengu.

Love letters

They are frequently shown looking at other couples, gazing at ukiyo-e prints of actors, or masturbating while secretly watching others or reading shungabooks. It is striking that the males and females shown masturbating while looking at shunga are clearly reading the text as much as examining the pictures. This, similar to the depictions of women reading their love letters, emphasizes the erotic power of the written word.

sensual female masturbation

Masturbating woman‘ From the series:’ Genji of the East, Charm of Flowers and Birds (Kachõ yojõ Azuma Genji)‘, c.1837 Designed by Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1865)

A design from a sleeve book depicting ‘a secluded masturbating courtesan while reading a shunga book‘ (c.1840s) by Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1865)

sensual female masturbation

Female masturbating with dildo‘ (c.1823) from the series ‘Makuro Bunko’ (literally: Pillow Collection)‘ by Keisai Eisen (1790-1848)

sensual female masturbation

Female and male masturbator‘ (c.1840) from the series ‘Shunshoku Irifune nikki’ by Utagawa Kunimori II (act. ca.1830–1861)

Tomioka Eisen - Poetic Interlude

Masturbating Woman‘ (c.1897-1899) from the series ‘Yakumo no chigiri (Poetic Interlude)’ by Tomioka Eisen

sensual female masturbation

Manual masturbation‘ (c.1899) from the series ‘Izumu no chigiri‘ by Terazaki Kogyo (1866-1919)

Masturbating woman with dildo‘ (c.1900) from an untitled series by Ikeda Terukata (1883-1921)

sensual female masturbation

Sensual girl aroused by the contents of a shunga book‘ (c.1890s) from an untitled series attributed to Tomioka Eisen (1864-1905)

sensual female masturbation

A peeking woman stimulating herself while observing an intimate couple in the other room‘ (c.1897-1899) from the series ‘Yakumo no chigiri (Poetic Interlude)’ by Tomioka Eisen (1864-1905)

sensual female masturbation

A housewife is penetrating herself with a tortoise-shell harigata (dildo) attached to her heel while being spied upon by a soldier standing behind a curtain‘ (c.1890s) by an unknown Meiji artist

sensual female masturbation

Female playing with herself while watching two copulating bitches‘ (c.1910s) by an unknown Taisho artist.

sensual female masturbation

Young masturbating female getting inspired by a shungabook‘ (c.1910) by an unknown Japanese artist

sensual female masturbation

Young male and female both masturbating while observing intimate activities in the other room‘ (c.1900/10) by an unknown Meiji artist

The following video also includes shunga with masturbating women:

Mijn film (Solo Women)

Click HERE for a closer study on the Tomioka Eisen design of the sensual masturbating female in this post (fifth panel)…!!!

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