This post is part of my ongoing Masturbation Month series. Check out more posts from this series here.
This isn’t an erotic story, but it is an intimate one; one which I finally feel ready to share with you.
To this day I have vivid memories of the first time I reached orgasm, mainly because it was a traumatizing experience. At the time I wasn’t even in double digits and the whole experience sort of happened by instinct. Children begin touching their genitals for pleasure between 3-6 years old, but it doesn’t become ‘goal oriented’ until around the point of double digits, so I suppose objectively I was a bit out of the norm.
My bed-sheets were my initial ally. I somehow realized that by squeezing my thighs around the sheets while rubbing them close I could gain some pleasure but my first orgasm was an entirely different experience altogether. Afterwards I went to the toilet and suddenly realized that I couldn’t urinate. In the moment, young, uneducated, and completely alone, I seriously feared for my well-being. I thought I had ‘broken’ myself and I didn’t know how to fix it.
I considered going to my mum in tears (like most young, scared girls would) and begging her for some insights or reassurance, but I didn’t. For some reason while I didn’t understand exactly what had happened to me I did have a strong sense that what I had done was wrong. By my very first experience I had already somehow associated masturbation with shame.
For some this might have been the breaking point, but for me it represented a learning curve. After I realized that I could eventually urinate after having my ‘time with the sheets’ (a then unnamed experience), I kept on doing it. The sensation, even then, simply felt too good to shy away from and masturbating naturally and frequently became part of my daily schedule.
As I got older I started exploring other items, trying to refine my alone-time and exploring orgasms without really understanding them. My lack of knowledge didn’t hinder my abilities, though, and I became rather adept at achieving self-pleasure as time went by. Eventually I managed to acquire a small, circular pillow which had a cover that looked vintage grandma and ruffles around the edges to boot. I can’t tell you how I came to own this pillow but what I can tell you is that it gave me some of the best orgasms of my early-teen years. Over time I gained an emotional attachment to this pillow and I still think back to it fondly. It was always there for me, was perfectly shaped, and worked fantastically with my body.
Throughout my teen years my masturbation method was pretty consistent and became much more frequent; I would grab my pillow (or the sheets, if it was in the wash), shove it between my thighs and squeeze and rub myself to my eventual release. I did this three times a day. But, honestly, despite the frequency of my masturbatory habits I was still clueless.
By this point in my life I knew I was masturbating but I didn’t realize that I was reaching orgasm each session (I was) and I felt like a complete freak. I had always heard of boys masturbating, but girls doing so was unheard of. If ever I heard about women masturbating (typically through the media, typically involving a dildo and used as a joke) it never involved clenching a pillow between one’s thighs. To some degree my childhood fears had stayed with me; I felt like I was broken.
When Mr. Peaches and I first discussed masturbating as barely-legal teens you’d have thought I’d never touched myself at all (despite my three-a-day habit). I timidly asked him how female masturbation worked, he didn’t know. He asked me to tell him what, if anything, I did. I said I didn’t want to say. I was pretty certain that my method of masturbation was completely abnormal; that I was freakish for getting my jollies from a floral pillow. I even asked him was an orgasm felt like. When he explained it I tentatively said that ‘maybe’ I had had an orgasm. I had been regularly reaching orgasm since that very first experience.
Because the sensation of orgasm was never explained to me I had no frame of reference for what an orgasm was. All I knew what that once you had ‘the Big-O’, as it was known, you would definitely know. In my case that didn’t work because my masturbation sessions had never lacked an orgasm, so they never felt out-of-place or stand-out for me. When I did finally connect my masturbation habits with the term ‘orgasm’ it was hard to reconcile the two and not feel a bit disappointed. Silly, I know.
Then, one day, it happened. My granny pillow got put in the wash and came out as a clumpy, lumpy mess. The stuffing inside had succumb to years of overuse and my mother was adamant in her conclusion: “This manky pillow is so old now, Emmeline, It has to go”.
How could I protest? At the time I still didn’t tell her that I used that pillow as part of my rather comprehensive orgasm habits and I was a pretty timid teenager.
Just like that my favorite pillow, the literal object of my desire, was gone.
I tried to return to my sheets. It wasn’t the same. I tried other objects. They paled in comparison. I tried a teddy bear. I apologized to my teddy bear for the attempt. Suddenly orgasms stopped becoming consistent and so I started to realize what they were. Not just that but what they had meant to me. Turns out I was a pretty horny teenager, but it wasn’t until I was deprived of my release that I began to identify as such. Around the same time Mr. Peaches and I started to try having sex. After many difficult doctor’s visits I was diagnosed with Vaginismus.
Using dilators wasn’t a sexual experience for me, but trying to build up to PiV sex did force me to play around with my conventional masturbatory methods and explore my body further. I purchased a vibrator. I failed to enjoy the vibrator; it was too big. I got another. Too small. Mr. Peaches and I then invested in a larger bullet vibrator and it changed the way I viewed sex and masturbation.
Introducing vibrators, I suddenly realized that there were more ways to explore my pleasure and they could be much more intense, passionate, and inclusive. As I worked through my recovery period I became more outwardly confident about sex, self-taught myself the knowledge that I was lacking, and enjoyed even more steamy masturbation sessions. Although I was nervous, I eventually did disclose to Mr. Peaches how I liked to reach orgasm and while penetration alone wasn’t going to cut it. Mutual masturbation became part of our sex sessions and it remains an integral part of it to this day.
Filled with shame and tied down by self-imposed secrecy from the very beginning, I could have very easily gone the other way and shied away from masturbation (and my sexual desires) for the rest of my younger years. But diving into my sensations, enjoying my body and eventually coming to retroactively embrace my desires has brought me a sense of well-being and empowerment that I wouldn’t trade for the world.
If I could impart some advice to the young, terrified me, trembling in the bathroom so many years ago, it would be this: Your body is amazing and what you’re doing is not shameful at all. Sometimes people may judge you. Your education may fail you and society may try to make you feel like you’re some kind of dangerous pervert. But never listen to the voices around you, listen to the sensations in your body and embrace, wholeheartedly, the self-love that you are fostering.
With the internet making erotica, porn and sex education so accessible nowadays I hope that young girls don’t struggle with themselves as much as I did. But, for anyone who is still dealing with feelings of shame relating masturbation, please, take my message to heart and allow yourself the benefits that masturbation provides. As the popular meme points out, it’s sex with someone you should (at the very least) try your best to love.
Until the next review,