Sarah from the United States
When I was a kid I used to spend every summer at my grandparents’ house. They lived in Indiana and had this two acre property with a white, one level house. My grandma was a bit of a hoarder so the house was always filled with a bunch of knick-knacks and weird crap. Out behind the house, there was a hill that went down to a little lake, which was one of my favorite places to play.
One night at my grandparents’ house, I was in bed trying to sleep and I ended up kind of brushing my vagina with my hand almost by accident while I was moving around trying to find a comfortable position. I had touched my clit just slightly and it felt really good. I was like wait a second! What!? What is this? I had no idea a part of my body could do something like this, I kind of just stumbled upon it. I had no idea what masturbation was and no one had ever talked to me about anything related to sex. The memory is still really strong and clear, I even remember the pajamas I was wearing. They were these matching top and bottom button up shiny pajamas with clouds on them.
After realizing it felt good when I touched myself, I started doing it a lot, probably about three times a day. Sometimes I did it in bed but my favorite place was always the lake. The water was pretty murky so no one could really see what was going on under the water. I would hang out on my own in this kind of hidden spot and sneakily take the crotch of my bathing suit and move it to the side and masturbate in the water. I thought I should maybe hide what I was doing but I wasn’t sure why.
After the summers with my grandparents, I would go back home with my mom. We lived in this apartment complex with a few other families, one of which had a daughter my age. We would hang out a lot and kind of do the normal kid things. I don’t remember if I told her about this great new thing that I had figured out or if she had also figured it out on her own but after I came back we started doing the classic things like play doctor and explore these new sensations together.
At least one time I can remember, we were in her living room basically humping stuffed animals together. We just did it because it felt good and we didn’t know any better. At some point during the stuffed animal humping, her sister walked in on us and made a really confused and concerned face and sound and walked out of the room immediately. I am not sure if they ever talked about that afterwards, I imagine the conversation was probably pretty weird and funny.
It was all just so innocent. I would be touching my vagina next to my friend who was also touching her vagina and it was beautiful because nobody ever told us it was right or wrong. I just kept humping things and touching my vagina happily without a care in the world. For us it was no different than any of the other games we would play.
I had a very special childhood also in the way that my mother abused me for fifteen years until the police took us away so I didn’t really have very much supervision or guidance growing up. I didn’t have any parent telling me touching myself was bad or telling me what masturbation or sex was or what I should or shouldn’t do. But at the same time, my mom also had boyfriends and had sex with them not in front of me but it was very open so even if it wasn’t discussed, I kind of knew it was happening. It wasn’t like anything was hidden from my sister and I. I also watched any kind of television I wanted, so I learned a lot from that. I would watch scary movies a lot and there was a film called Hell Raiser II where it showed two people having sex in hell and found that really hot and thought about that scene for a long time.
Learning about sex from the media and from what I would see from my mom wasn’t the best but at the same time, I didn’t have any of the typical Midwestern sex-negative training that a lot of people around me had. A few friends of mine grew up with a huge church influence and for them, everything was really scary and guilt ridden and it took a lot of them a long time to get over that. There are lots of bad things that come with my childhood but some of the good things may have to do with the fact that I don’t have that kind of normal social baggage. I never had any feelings or input that sex or masturbation was right or wrong or good or bad. I didn’t have that shame, only eagerness and curiosity.