Carole Radziwill, of Real Housewives Of New York fame, says that being able to give herself an orgasm "saved" her from hooking up with too many people. Radziwill told US Weekly at Evine After Dark's first anniversary celebration (which she co-hosted) that “[Masturbation is] a way to understand what your body needs and wants, and also do it in a way that is healthy, that it saves you."
When she was in her teens and 20s, she said, Radziwill didn't feel an urge to hookup with multiple partners because she knew that she could be in charge of her own pleasure, either with her hands or with a vibrator. “I just felt like if I wanted to explore my sexuality, I was okay to do it on my own,” she told US Weekly.
While it's great that Radziwill felt empowered in her sexuality, masturbation didn't have to "save" her from having multiple partners — because there's nothing wrong with having sex with as many people as you want (as long as you have their consent). "Sex number [has] historically [been] used as a way to shame people for having 'too few' or 'too many' sexual experiences," Shadeen Francis, MFT, a marriage and family therapist who specializes in sex therapy, previously told Refinery29. In an effort to become less negative or judgmental about sex, many people have moved away from keeping track of how many people they or their partners have had sex with, she said.
It doesn't seem that Radziwill intended to imply that it's bad to have sex with lots of people. She told US Weekly that masturbation always felt empowering to her and that she wouldn't let anyone shame her for her sexuality. But, the idea that someone would have to be "saved" from having multiple sexual partners is inherently shaming anyone who has had sex with several people. It's a form of casual or unconscious slut shaming.
Women commonly face this kind of underlying shame about their sex lives. If someone they slept with suddenly stops calling, people may say that it's because they had sex too soon. If they have casual sex with someone just because it feels good, they might be called promiscuous or slutty. And, as Radiziwill shows with her comments, it's considered dangerous or unbecoming for a woman to have "too many" sexual partners. "When a woman says, 'I'm entitled to a good sex life, and I want it, and I like it,' it's seen as being risqué," Kristin Zeising, PsyD, a sex therapist in San Diego previously told Refinery29. So, let's make one thing clear: Masturbation is fun, but no one needs to be "saved" from having sex with multiple people.