The quest for a word for “female masturbation” in Swedish

TREMENDOUS respect for sex educator Kristina Ljungros agreeing to be the photo on this story. (Photo: RFSU)

There is no Swedish word for specifically female masturbation.  (Is there an English word for it?  What world language is richest in words for this practice I wonder?)  Anyway now there’s a contest to come up with one:

The idea for the contest emerged after a member of RFSU – a national not-for-profit organization which aims to promote an “open, positive view of sex and relationship issues” – brought up the absence of a specific word for female masturbation in the Swedish language at a bi-annual meeting of the group in 2013.

Rather than sit around amongst ourselves talking about it, we thought we would launch a nationwide competition,” Kristina Ljungros, a spokeswoman for the association told The Local.


Two girls discuss their entry into the contest along the Munkbroloden in Gamla Stan, Stockholm (photo by SC/Helytimes)

(ht the great Tyler Cowen):

“Klittra”, “pulla” and “selfa” are among the suggestions…

And what does he think?

Why it’s crucial:

“But the absence of one commonly used word for female masturbation suggests that we still don’t have gender equality here in Sweden,” [sex education group spokeswoman Kristina Ljungros] added.

“Hopefully this is another step towards that”.

Wholeheartedly agree, and support this cause. I even have some nominees:

  • purså
  • murledunk
  • burlisnuff
  • klaam
  • snurtlinattan
  • självberöring
  • nerelek
  • hemligskratt
  • fittabråkade
  • kvinnlig glädje
  • “kröna lucia”

Readers, I beg you to email helphely at gmail with further suggestions.

What would Lotta på Bråkmakargatan make of all this? (photo courtesy the Lisa Larsson collection at the Wrenshall Archives Of Theatrical Posters)

My Swedish is so bad, I don’t even know the Swedish word for male masturbation.  But I know who does:

Filip and Fredrik.  Highly recommend their podcast.  Their English is fascinating, articulate and technically flawless yet wonderfully strange. They’re also so intelligent and funny they must be at the far end of some kind of spectrum.

But boys, if you’re reading, you MUST update your wikipedia photo.  I use this one instead:


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