TW: sexual descriptions, rape, self-harm, anorexia, mental health, surgery
Let me share a secret with you:
The first time I masturbated, I was 13.
I started having sex when I was 15.
It wasn’t until I was 19 that I had my first orgasm.
Did you know that May is Masturbation Month?
Even though the month is mostly over, I thought I’d add my voice to the hat and talk to you about reclaiming masturbation.
In that six year gap between when I started masturbating and when I first orgasmed, I didn’t get what the big deal about sex was, nor did I understand why I kept fantasizing about it.
I would play solitaire on my bedroom floor and dream about being won in a poker game or being someone’s pet or being forced to clean while wearing a tiny little maid’s outfit and no underwear, or…it was always something kinky, and I was always the submissive.
Inevitably I’d end up in the hot tub; not really understanding how bodies worked or what to do, and then would position myself over one of the jets so that it would pound directly…into my cervix.
Which I always found horribly unpleasant.
But I would always try again because, while I didn’t know how this whole sex thing was supposed to work, I had heard people joke about shower heads/water jets so I knew those were supposed to feel good and I knew that penises went in vaginas so clearly the water was supposed to go in me like a penis would and my lack of pleasure was just because I wasn’t used to it yet – right?
Despite the frequency of my fantasies, I always viewed sex as this foreign thing that you “had to get used to“. My fantasies never involved any actual sex, it was the lead-up that I fantasized about, the power imbalance, the chemistry and the tension. My fantasies were about the kink dynamic, calling people “sir” or “miss”, about cages and whips. I had some understanding that my views on sex weren’t the same as my classmate’s, though I always assumed that I’d learn to enjoy it or learn to pretend.
When I first made out with my boyfriend (in the back row of a movie theater, of course), I had to stop because I was laughing so hard. I couldn’t stop wondering how he would react if I bit down on his tongue, hard, and then growled in his ear. Hurting him appealed way more to me than his slimy tongue in my mouth moving against my slimy tongue.
Touching genitals was a means to an end. A way to use or play with power, a way to get what I wanted, but it was never the actual thing I desired.
Back then, I didn’t know trans was a thing you could be. My body never felt “wrong” to me, I just recognized that I was not right in it, that gender was confusing, and that sometimes my body insisted on doing things differently than I wanted. All the discomfort I felt about my body was shrugged off as me just being a teenage girl – after all, what teenage girl actually likes her body? The thought of someone actually touching my genitals held absolutely no appeal to me (nor did me touching theirs) in part because I felt so disconnected from even the potential of liking my body.
Eventually I got a chance to try having sex. Slimy Tongue Biter (who I had long since split up with) and I were sleeping over at a friend’s place and sharing the bed. We were making out, naked except for my underwear, and he was rubbing his penis on me through my underwear. He was hard and dripping wet and I…was bored. I liked the power I had over him in that moment, but that was it, so I sent him to the bathroom to finish himself off and I got dressed again.
My friends were all fucking at this point though, and they all seemed to love it, so I again just figured that I’d “get used to it”.
The first time I actually touched a penis, instead of just allowing it to rub on me, he ended up raping me. I tore from vaginal opening to clit and there was so much blood and I didn’t have the words to explain how this experience wasn’t okay, that I wasn’t okay, so when I showed up to school the next day I smiled and told everyone that I loved it. I spent the next five years flinching whenever I saw him or heard his name and I tried to act as though everything was fine. I didn’t say anything. I learned that sex was awful and painful and that I didn’t want to touch a penis ever again. I thought what I experienced was sex. Was all that sex could or would be and I didn’t want that. I stopped eating and starting self-harming way more than before.
Between my already-nebulous relationship to my body getting even worse with age, my severe depression, and my belief that rape and sex were synonyms, I decided I had no interest in sex at all, though I was completely unaware of the asexual identity/community at that time. Being touched sexually would either make me have a panic attack or dissociate due to the combo of body dysphoria and trauma that I was experiencing but, since I had no clue how to articulate this to my girlfriends, I kept having sex for years, and kept hating it. At best it was…not awful.
Shortly before I left for university, I broke up with my girlfriend. It was a toxic relationship for both of us and it had been from the start. I was relishing the opportunity to not be touched at all, and what better way than moving 300km away from everyone you know?
Skip ahead 8 months.
I had learned that trans people exist and was reaching an understanding of my identity. I hadn’t self-harmed or starved myself since leaving my hometown. My body didn’t feel wonderful, but I was starting to speak to it for the first time since I was a pre-teen.
A friend and I decide to go out dancing and drinking all night. She and I make out and it feels good. Later that night we fuck each other for five hours straight and it is glorious. For the first time in my life, I have an orgasm. And then another and another. I don’t know how many I ended up having.
For the first time ever, I understand what sex could be. Being fucked by her helped teach me that there is a world of difference between sex and rape.
Thanks to transitioning and a fuuuuuuck ton of therapy, my body and I now get along great. It looks how I want, my PTSD is negligible, and I love sex. And masturbating.
It was so much work to get from where I was to where I am now. So much. I’m so glad that I put in the work because I honestly don’t think I’d still be alive if I hadn’t.
Masturbation is a way to fully be in my body. A way to remind myself that sex can be pleasurable and wonderful – even for me. On days when I feel like I can’t accomplish anything, masturbating reminds me that I have reclaimed my goddamn body after abuse and trauma, that I have reclaimed how it looks and moves and works. That I own this body, not simply take up space in it.
For me, masturbation looks a specific way.
- There is something inside of me, usually vaginally. This is either my fingers or a toy.
- Sometimes there is something inside my butt, too. This is either my fingers or a toy.
- Either my fingers or a toy is being used on my clit
- Watching porn (preferably) and/or sexting
1 and 3 are mandatory. I honestly can’t remember the last time I masturbated without a combination of internal and external stimulation (before I had surgery).
Post-surgery I had to wait seven weeks before I could put things in me again. That was seven weeks of trying to get off in a new way, only sometimes managing, and of me suddenly feeling once more that me and my body were wrong. Suddenly I felt thrown back into my 19 year old body, as though all the work I had done for so many years had just been wiped away by the surgeon’s one sentence: “no penetration until you see me again”.
Being told I can’t put things in me isn’t just saying that I can’t orgasm the way I prefer (though that’s bad enough). It’s taking something valuable away from me and telling that that I may not have it. It’s you becoming the gatekeeper of how and when I am allowed to reclaim my body and identity or to practice self care. It makes me feel like I don’t belong in my skin again.
This is what I’ve been missing. This is what I have worked so hard to be craving.
After I catch my breath I take the finger out of my butt, switch the Silk Medium for the Small, and get myself off two more times. Each time makes me cry again.
I am back.
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