sad woman holding phone

As a child I was humping things for as long as I can remember. Not sure if it started when I was three, or if I was two.

I used to lay on my tummy and hump my teddy, or my pillow, or my hands, usually at bedtime or naptime or when waking up. Sometimes I did this in front of family members in the living room, or in front of others in their living rooms. It was never a big deal really, just something I did that everyone around me ignored.

But then, when I was five, I humped my hands a few times at school during naptimes. Eventually, the teacher spoke to my mom about it. And I remember feeling very bad, frustrated, confused and extremely embarrassed after my mom had to then speak to me about it.

She never told me that what I was doing was wrong, only that I should only do it at home, or better yet, only in my bedroom at home, but definitely not at school. But nevertheless, going forward, my humping thing became a source of inner shame to me and a deep secret. I vowed to never let anyone see me rubbing, or playing with myself down there again. And I started living in fear of getting caught in the act.

It wasn’t until I was ten or eleven that I had stumbled upon the knowledge of masturbation as a normal and healthy thing.

While that knowledge did bring me some relief, it didn’t replace the inner embarrassment that I had about it. I vowed that I would never let anyone know that I masturbate.

So, I’m sixteen now, and my best friend, who also is my study partner in school, asked me how often I masturbated. She caught me off guard, but because of my past shame and embarrassment about masturbation, I answered that I didn’t do that and that I thought masturbation was gross.

She was surprised and exclaimed “What?!?! Everybody masturbates! How is it you don’t?” Then she told me that she doesn’t really know what her family thinks about it but that she is afraid that they think it’s bad. And she shares a room with her twelve year old sister, and so doesn’t get much of an opportunity to masturbate. Then she asked me if I ever even tried it and how I manage to not do it since she needs some way to manage to not do it with her sharing a room. I lied again and said that I’ve never tried and probably don’t know what I am missing. She told me I was lucky to have my own bedroom, and joked that maybe it should be me having to share rooms with her sister.

But now I am wondering if I should come clean and fess up to her and tell her that I don’t think masturbation is gross or disgusting, just that it is something I always felt embarrassed about so I lied.

I mean if her family thinks it’s bad, and if she even thinks her best friend thinks of it as gross, how is she going to feel in the future? Should I tell her that what I said I didn’t mean?

Wow, I have never thought about this before, but I am glad I don’t share a bedroom. How do other people who share rooms with their siblings masturbate? I am glad I am not in her shoes.

I wish there was a way for me to make it easier on my friend. Would it be weird if I were to tell her that when she comes to my place for school study sessions that if she wanted to spend some of her time masturbating, I would give her privacy and not judge her? Would it also be weird to suggest she can come over sometimes for a sleepover to get away from her sister and have a safe place once in a while to masturbate?

I also have one last question. A few years ago when I was at the park, there was this boy, looked around 4 years old, walking around a picnic table for several minutes squeezing and holding his left hand on his penis with his right hand wrapped around his left hand just underneath the wrist. He just stood in place doing that or walking around the picnic table area while his family was eating. Was he masturbating? I would like to think he was, it would mean that I wasn’t the only person to masturbate in front of others as a child.


  • Michael Castleman says:

    What does it mean to you to have a best friend? To be one? To me, it means honesty and a willingness to help the other person, even it’s a bit uncomfortable for you. Your history of shame over masturbation is totally normal. Most kids are enthusiastic masturbators, and stop doing it in public only because adults intervene. You were lucky. Your mom said it’s fine at home in your bedroom. Many many parents say it’s never fine, always a sin, always terrible. Imagine the shame those kids carry around … for example, your friend, whose family is very down on it.

    So now you feel shame about masturbating, and shame that you’re lying to your best friend. There’s NOTHING shameful about self-pleasuring, but it’s sad that you feel the need to lie to your friend. How you respond to this challenge is up to you, but it would certainly help your friend to know that you masturbate, that it’s normal and healthy, and that her parents’ view is not your view or your parents’. In friendships, except for rare things like keeping surprise parties secret, honesty is almost always the best policy. If I were you, I’d open up honestly to my friend. Think about it.

    Happy stroking—to both of you.

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