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If I search as far back as I can into the archives of my mind, I can say certainly and without hesitation that I have never been one for "moderation." When something is delicious, I want to taste it; I want to gorge myself on that taste until I can physically eat no more. If something feels good, I want to feel it. I want to experience that sensation over and over. There are so many things in my life (past and present) that I have felt this overwhelming, greedy compulsion for. (The list includes, but is not limited to: food, alcohol, nicotine, drugs, masturbation, porn, sex, and pain).
Often, it has taken me a long time to realise that I was addicted. If you take the time to observe people enough, it’s obvious that most of us are addicted to something. The definition of addicted is "to be physically and mentally dependent on a particular substance or activity." If you think about it now, I’ll bet there’s at least one thing, activity, or feeling you’re addicted to.
Over the years, the things I have craved and depended on have changed. Some are constant, and I enjoy them so much I doubt I will ever be free from them. I am enslaved by my passions. Some of them have hurt me, like taking copious amounts of drugs and being too weak to break off poisonous relationships. But through every hurt, a lesson is learned.
My addiction to masturbation started when I was very young, and I have carried it with me into my adult life. My earliest memory of this is from being around seven- or eight-years-old. I don’t know how I knew what to do (I didn’t even know what I was doing), but Barbie and Ken were naked in the bedroom of Barbie’s dream house and they were “making babies.” Out of nowhere, I felt a sensation “down there” that I had never felt before. I didn’t understand what it was and after pondering on it for a few moments, I just went back to Barbie and Ken and forgot about it. This happened a few times over the next few weeks until finally, one Friday afternoon after schoo,l I masturbated for the first time.
I lay back on my bunk-bed among my dolls and teddies and rubbed myself over my jeans until a warm, happy feeling spread right through my body. It started “down there” and seemed to spread through my whole body, even reaching my toes. My heart was beating hard in my chest, and my face was red and hot. I had no idea what had happened but I felt sort of guilty and knew in the back of my mind that what I had done was naughty. I didn’t dare tell my Mum, or anyone else. I wondered if it was normal. Could everyone make themselves feel that good or was it a special power that only I had? (Well, that was a question that wouldn’t be answered until sex education lessons in another two or three years.)
After that first time, I just couldn’t get enough. I was doing it three times a week. Any chance I got I would take myself off upstairs to "play dolls," and hope that my Mum didn’t tell me to take my little sister up to play dolls too. I would set up Barbie’s Dream House, tip the box of dolls over the floor and then lie down and rub myself over my trousers until the good feeling happened again. Sometimes I could make it happen four or five times.
I still didn’t completely understand what I was doing, but I sort of knew it had something to do with S.E.X. I wanted to ask my friends if they did it too but I was scared they would think I was weird and gross.
Very quickly, it became an everyday thing. Other things started to make my downstairs tingle just like that first time with Barbie and Ken; things like people snogging on the television, or accidentally seeing a page 3 girl in the paper. The feeling would come over me and I would have to sneak off to "play dolls." I started to feel really ashamed. These things didn’t seem to affect anybody else like they were affecting me. I did try to ignore the urges for a time but it just made me want that warm, happy feeling I got from rubbing myself even more.
Eventually, through Sex Ed in my last year of Primary School, I learnt that what I was sneaking off to do so much was called "masturbation" (or "wanking" as one of the boys told me) and it was apparently completely normal. They showed a cartoon about masturbation in the lesson. It explained the urges as "being turned on" and it told us the way boys masturbated, and said for girls it was stimulation of the clitoris which made them "feel good." There were lots of diagrams of penises and vaginas, but none of the cartoons were rubbing themselves OVER their jeans. Lots of the other girls in my class called out that it was gross and they would never touch themselves like that. All I can remember thinking after watching the video was: "I can’t wait to try it UNDER my jeans!"