Lessons Learned from a Childhood Spent Touching Myself
From the tender age of four, rampant masturbation was my secret shame. It took an awkward sex ed class at a Christian private school to inadvertently teach me I wasn’t alone.
Illustrations by Molly Walsh
I was watching a squirrel eating trash through a window one day in middle school when I learned what masturbation was. A school counselor handed out a piece of paper with a list of terms related to sex, and their most basic, textbook definitions — the best version of sex education they could muster at the Christian school I’d ended up attending due to a grand miscommunication with my parents. I started examining the list, which thus far was the most interesting part of the presentation. Herpes: “hmm, okay definitely want to avoid that one.” Condom: “yeah, I think I’ve heard of those.” Vagina: “got it.” And then I got to “Masturbation: The act of pleasuring oneself.” I read it three, four times. While the counselor went on rambling about chastity, purity, God and abstinence, I was gleefully reading the word “masturbation” over and over in my head thinking, “That’s what I’ve been doing!”
I started masturbating abnormally early, around the age of four.
I don’t r…
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial