Woman’s autoeroticism is very different from man’s. In order to touch himself, man needs an instrument: his hand, a wo/man’s body, language… And this self-caressing requires at least a minimum of activity. As for woman, she touches herself in and of herself without any need for mediation and before there is any way to distinguish activity from passivity. Woman “touches herself” all the time, and moreover no one can forbid her to do so, for her genitals are formed of two lips in continuous contact. Thus, within herself, she is already two – but not divisible in one(s) – that caress each other.
IRIGARAY, L. 1977. The sex which is not one. In: I. SZEMAN and T. KAPOSY, eds. Cultural theory: an anthology. Sussex: Wiley Blackwell, pp.449-454.