Carter and Wish

It Took Me Six Years To Learn To Masturbate

Carter and WishI don’t remember when the first time I discovered what masturbation was, but I know that I was aware of the concept long before the practice. I don’t have any stories of four year old Bex being scolded for slipping their hands into their pants at Thanksgiving dinner, or a tale of twelve year old me getting intimately acquainted with the jets in a hot tub. I don’t even remember the first time someone told me about it, I suppose I just always kind of knew it was something people did, even if I didn’t know the specifics. What never occurred to me, was that I was people, and it was something I could do too.

I remember art class in seventh grade, I sat just close enough to overhear what the cool kids were talking about. Today, the boys had focused their attention on the prettiest girl there, with her long black hair and denim cutoffs. They were pestering her, as preteen boys are wont to do, asking her over and over “how many fingers” she could use. I listened close, hoping they would say something else to give me a hint of what they were talking about, and how she was keeping all these boys attention. It was years before I realized what they were actually asking, at the time all I could tell was that the answer was definitely dirty, and for some reason I wanted to be able to brag about how many fingers I could use.

I remember in sophomore year of high school, when my history teacher canceled our test because the school had run out of printer paper. My two closest friends and I exchange sly smirks and nudge our bags under our desk, hoping no one noticed the bulging folders of paper inside them. We had spent our afternoons for the past few weeks in the library, scrolling through LiveJournal pages printing out the filthiest smut we could find. Some stared our favorite TV characters, others featuring members of Motley Crue, or Gun’s n’ Roses. Some was cute and romantic, some explicit, and one featured a goth being fucked with a crucifix in a confessional1. It was all very gay, and very hot, and I never jerked off to any of it.

Junior year I had my first girlfriend, she used grind against her teddy bear while watching Disney Channel, every night at 9.2 We used to take turns taking charge, I already knew I was interested in playing with power but I didn’t know enough to recognize that I was very clearly already the top in that relationship. During one of her brief stints of dominance (which seemed to get shorter every time) she instructed me to jerk off. This was a new thing for me, so I did what I figured you were “supposed” to do, and shoved my fingers inside of me, knowing nothing but “how many fingers can you use?” and the fact that it felt kinda good if I curled my fingers forward.

I got up to 3.

The first cis guy I fucked didn’t make me come. It’s not surprising, I had never made me come, but if I was doing this sex thing, I was damn sure I was going to make sure I was doing it right. Rumor had it, “doing it right” included orgasm. I sat on the floor of Borders, reading everything I could find in their Sex & Relationship section, and they all said the same thing: If you want to have an orgasm, learn to do it solo first, then you’ll know how to teach your partner. “But I don’t like doing it solo” I’d whine “I just don’t enjoy it as much. “It’s a waste of time.” “I feed off of my partner’s energy.” …and a million other excuses.

I'm An AdultI bought my first vibrator in freshman year of college, a plastic slimline from Spencer’s Gifts. It was important that I own a vibrator, I assumed, because that was exactly the kind of thing adventurous, sexy adults do. I was 17. I’d slide it over my bits just to get used to the sensation before slipping it immediately inside of me. I wondered why it felt better on the outside of my body, when sex was clearly about penetration. I watched mediocre porn and tried to match the movement of the toy to the activities on screen. That was also the kind of thing sexy, adventurous adults do.

The process of buying that first vibe made me curious, there were so many options, and because I’m a nerd I wanted to understand all of them. The best way to do that, it seemed to me, was to use them. A vibrator gave me my first orgasm, and nearly every one since. As my sex toy collection grew, so did my masturbation habit. Finally it was something I actually enjoyed, finally I had learned how my body worked.

I always thought of masturbation as a replacement for sex, something designed to replicate it as closely as possible. Instead, for me, masturbation is a separate practice entirely. Partnered sex is all about our dynamic, it’s in my head, its nerve-wracking in the best way, and its performative. Masturbation is relaxing, my arousal is intense and in my body, I have orgasm after orgasm while nearly perfectly still and silent.

Today is the first day of Masturbation May, and although a combination of dysphoria and the impending end of the world means I’ve probably jerked off less than 20 times since November,3 I have a new We-Vibe Wish, a sparkly new Carter, and a new favorite Bonus Hole Boys scene to watch. I think I’m going to go celebrate.

  1. Which I suppose could also be romantic… []
  2. I later found out she had a AB/DL (Adult Baby/Diaper Lover) kink. Which, ya know, makes sense. High School me wasn’t squicked by the idea, but didn’t quite know what to do with that information either. []
  3. vs. nearly daily in the past []

About Bex

Bex talks about sex, a lot, and feels this is the only way to reduce the stigma and lack of education surrounding it. When they're not trying to save the world, talking about sex to strangers, typing frantically, or sticking things in various holes they are usually indulging the other facets of their geekery.

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  • Tzipora

    Thanks for sharing your story and experience. It really says a lot about how much sex education is lacking in this country, especially about masturbation.

    I guess I never realized how lucky I was in a sense- I literally can’t remember when or how I discovered masturbation or even when I had my first orgasm because it’s something I’ve been doing as long as I can remember! Seems to surprise a lot of people to realize very, very young folks with clitorises can orgasm (no idea how it is for penises since I can only speak for my own experiences). Though my own early knowledge of masturbation has always been kind of tinged with shame because I was sexually abused at a very young age (my very earliest memory is of trying to escape abuse by an older boy my aunt babysat and being slapped for telling her what happened. Ugh!) but honestly I have no idea if or how much abuse had to do with it. I may have started even before anything happened.

    I definitely laugh when I remember my childhood masturbation now (especially having worked through so much of the abuse stuff). I didn’t know what it was called and when I was really little I remember telling my parents “my hienny is happy” lol! Makes me laugh because I mean, that’s a remarkably apt description of orgasm and masturbation for a 3 or 4 year old, right?

    I’m also oddly grateful for unmonitored internet access at a young age. Or at least how lucky my own experience was. There used to be this website in the 90s called All About Sex. I have no clue how o found it (and I’m so glad that THAT is what I found to satisfy my curiousity versus all the porn and things kids stumble on today) and it was a very legitimate sex education site geared towards kids and teens and very pro masturbation. In fact my favorite part of the website was definitely the “I Got Caught” stories which frankly were basically smut. I know I found them before I knew I was a lesbian (it was one of my hints. Haha. I only wanted to read the stories about girls/ folks with clitorises) and I came out super young like age 10-11! I think before that I literally masturbated because it felt good. It wasn’t sexual really. Though hard to say honestly. But those stories definitely were the first time I remember really getting aroused and feeling wet and whatnot. It’s a shame that website no longer exists (think they had legal trouble honestly). But I’m so grateful that beyond those dirty stories I had a really good sex education source and one that was so incredibly pro masturbation. It was also pretty LGBT friendly as well, as I recall. Pretty exceptional honestly for its time.

    I also got my first vibrator from Spencer’s! But when I was only 12 or 13! At 18 I walked into my first pretty awful sex shop and got sold this wildly overpriced (and rather large, like 1.75 at least which seems like an awful first toy recommendation…) jelly rabbit monstrosity. Breaks my heart a little to think that’s many peoples first sex toys. Ugh. But hey high five then to you and so many other awesome sex and sex toy bloggers who are hopefully helping to change the world.

  • I really like your writing style and thanks to Dildorks I could hear you reading the post in my head, which was super rad.

    Reminds me of my own story. I must have found out about masturbation when I was like 8-9 – that’s when I got Madaras’ puberty work-books. They were all-around great, but they didn’t go into detail about the hows of masturbation. I assumed it was harder than coming with a partner like it’s super hard to tickle yourself. Since my body was usually one big disappointment when it came to physical prowess I assumed, I’ll have to wait for years for a boyfriend who would “give” me an orgasm. I probably rubbed my clit a bit, but since I didn’t even understand arousal, it was as interesting as rubbing my nose, with the added bonus of oversensitivity.

    Imagine my surprise when I felt tall-tale pulsing in my vagina while playing with my butt and clit a couple of years earlier. I didn’t even have a concept of butt sex. I was a hormonal fetishist, following a “weird drive”. Sticking things in my butt just felt right (I’m so lucky nothing got sucked in, so lucky). Once I came I knew.

  • Great article. I’m single and and have alot of sexual frustration, so i actually masturbate at least three times a day.
    So its sadly hard for me to view this month as special. But i hope it motivates others to jerk off more often, because i do think its a great experience. 🙂

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