First Hand Experience : Feelings, OH SO MANY FEELINGS

Do you remember your first time?

Not the first time you had an erection, a hard on, a boner, a stiffy.

The first time you recognized that you masturbated. When you knew the word and you knew you were actively engaging in the act. Sometimes we ‘discover’ masturbation—in that moment not familiar with the term—and then learn the term’s meaning and rediscover that we’ve been doing it for quite some time. Sometimes we discover the term. . .and then try it out, er, with varying results.

. . .and sometimes it isn’t mentioned at all. It’s simply not talked about, among, around, or with anyone you know. Classmates say nothing about it (erections, sure, but that’s it). Parents never even allude to it. Relatives don’t even talk about sex with others, much less sex with self. Church doesn’t try to testify about it, in any direction, and like parents abhor allusion (or so it seems).

But books mention it. Non-fiction texts in the local library discuss it in detail, and some even identify the multiple health benefits of masturbation (regardless of gender or sex). Even the children’s library section has an actual book about puberty and sex and WOW there are references to discovering masturbation that are exactly what a curious teen needed.

Maybe you can relate: growing up in a culture that was very taboo about sex, but expected us to be safe about it, and to already know about it. Maybe you can relate: the sex education class in 5th or 6th grade, which adults expected was ‘enough’ and educated us sufficiently to navigate everything that. . .well, everything we really wouldn’t delve into until many years later.

That’s why we need to talk about it. That first time. Several others times. It’s an act of open social rebellion against the taboo.

So that first time. . .

. . .because, yeah, I’d read that book in the children’s section. It was more the fascination with the biology of it than ‘ooooo! I can make a mess voluntarily!’ There we so many questions and clearly no one was going to answer them for me.

. . .it was with some obliviousness. By that I mean, I was oblivious to thinking about anything other than that (at the time). My friend could’ve walked in on me doing it. His mom could have walked in. One of his sisters could have walked in. But at the time, well, none of that was a consideration in my adolescent skull.

. . .I was at a friend’s house. They lived on a lake, and we just finished swimming and boating for the afternoon. That may sound like we were living it up in the Hamptons, but this was just northern Wisconsin in the summer. Think canoes, a Laser sailboat, and an island within easy paddling distance. Giant lake. Wet. Very, very wet. Before we could eat dinner, it was time to shower, dry, change. I remember dropping my shorts on the bathroom floor (duh, door locked) and thinking about that book I read (and all the books I read). . . and wanting to try out what I’d read. Something about forming an ‘O’ with your hand, around your dick, and stroking it up and down. It seemed a little raw at first, and clumsy: like I should know how to do this thing but hadn’t been taught how to do it, or that I’d been taught very, very poorly. My dick kept getting harder, and with a looser grip there was less of a raw feeling and more of a sliding sensation. Then I felt this pulsing rush and worried that I’d broken something inside myself by going at it! That momentary panic before that pulsing felt like a rush of relief. Ohhhhh. THAT’S the ‘orgasm’ thing that the book talked about. Damn that was scary. Wait, what’s this white stuff coming out? Wait, WAIT! DID I break myself? Oh crap! WHAT if I BROKE myself! Is it GLUE? How the HELL did my body make GLUE?? Temporary terror. Temporary embarrassment: I am not asking my parents about this, I’d be mortified! They are DEFINITELY going to laugh at me if I ask them ‘does my dick make glue?’ It would be a couple days before I could get to the library and read/reread some of those nonfiction texts in the adult section. . .and breathe a sigh of relief to know that I was neither broken nor somehow squirting glue out of my dick: I was ejaculating (I wouldn’t know the term ‘cum’ until nearly a decade later) and it was normal. In fact, I felt exhilarated: this meant I was able to reproduce! ADULTHOOD in my HANDS!

Maybe your first time was similar: filled with surprise, panic, embarrassment, terror, excitement. If you’re reading this, no matter what your first time was, you didn’t stop, and neither have I.

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