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My Masturbation Story

My Masturbation Story

By Dr. Martha Tara Lee for

I first masturbated when I was four or five years old. It was definitely before I entered primary school and so this is how I remembered when it happened.

My sister, who is one year younger, was the one who taught me how to masturbate. So if I was five, she was four. If I was four, she was three.

My sister came to me, and she said in Mandarin (paraphrasing from memory): “Hey Sis, I know if you did something you’d feel good.”

I asked: “What?”

She revealed: “If you take the bolster (a long pillow), you put it between your legs, and squeeze your thighs, and kind-of snake your legs around the bolster, and lock them in your ankles. Next you squeeze really hard, and then you rub your privates (she really meant clitoris) against the bolster. You have to rub really hard. You will feel good at some point.”

I was like… “What are you talking about?”

I tried it, and I didn’t feel anything besides pain in my ankles and frustrated. I went back to her: “You must be lying. Nothing happened. You show me!”

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My sister demonstrated the moves to me.

I admitted, “That’s what I did. I still didn’t feel anything!”

My sister ordered: “No, no, no. You don’t give up. Just keep trying. Even when you’re tired, you just keep going.”

As a kid, the thought of even giving up was not an option because if my sister could figure out something, then surely I could too because I’m one year older than her. There was definitely a competitive element going on as kid.

I went back to my room (and bolster) kept trying and trying until I did feel something good. I experienced my first orgasm.

I didn’t know it was called the orgasm. I didn’t know what we were doing was masturbation. I didn’t know we were rubbing on the clitoris. I did not know any of these terms. But I knew it felt good.

More from YourTango: 4 Reasons Why Women Should Masturbate More Often

After some weeks, I began to become curious, even a tad worried, if what we were doing was dangerous because after all, I was still a kid. I don’t know whether this heart-beating and this flushing of blood within my body was good for me. I decided to ask my mom.

I planned it so I caught her at the right time. She was lying on the sofa watching TV, and then I lay on the floor next to her. She was just above me.

I asked her during a commercial break: “Hey mom. I want to show you something my sister taught me. I don’t know how to explain it. I need to show it to you.”

She nodded and I proceeded to demonstrate our unique masturbation technique to my mom.

To her credit, she said, “Oh that. It’s okay. It’s normal.”

Because of that one sentence, I felt relieved that it’s okay to feel pleasure and to continue masturbating.

She didn’t smack me on the head. She didn’t tell me to stop because I think if she had, I probably would have not knowing any better.

More from YourTango: Does Masturbation Count As Sex?

I’m sharing this story even though it is very personal because I want to help normalize masturbation. I don’t want you to think that because I’ve been masturbating since I was four or five, I’m over sexualized, and that’s why I became a sexologist.

No, I have just as little or as much sex education than a lot of my clients. The saving grace was that I caught up in the last seven years of my life, running my practice for the last five, and then having my training, the last two.

Masturbation has helped me to be a more empowered person even when I had no names for the act, no names for my body parts.

Learning about our bodies is a good thing. The more comfortable we are with our bodies and with our sexuality, the more we can learn and share it with our partners later on.

Subscribe to my three free videos I am releasing as part of Masturbation Month here!

Dr Martha Tara Lee is Founder and Clinical Sexologist of Eros Coaching in Singapore. She is a certified sexuality educator with AASECT (American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists), as well as certified sexologist with ACS (American College of Sexologists). She holds a Doctorate in Human Sexuality from Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality as well as certificates in practical†counseling, life coaching and sex therapy. She is available to provide sexuality and intimacy coaching for individuals and couples, conduct sexual education workshops and speak at public events in Asia and beyond. For more, visit

This article originally appeared on†My Masturbation Story: I Got It Figured When I Was Five!.

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3:40AM PDT on Aug 22, 2014

If it feels good, do it! Old moral sermons regarding this have no place in today's society. Love your body, it can only do you good :-)

3:55AM PDT on Aug 20, 2014

Monika K :" No child should masturbate. " Why not?

2:09PM PDT on Aug 16, 2014

Good to have an open opinion about this without spreading guilt or shame!

8:43AM PDT on Aug 13, 2014

I think religious entanglement must be quite a hard issue for someone to confront, followed closely by perhaps guilt over being caught etc.

6:16PM PDT on Aug 9, 2014


4:53AM PDT on Aug 6, 2014

Some people have mentioned religious opposition to it. I can only speak for Christianity and I acknowledge that denominations such as the Catholics have a lot of hangups concerning various non-biblical rulings that various theologians and popes have made over the years, but...

Masturbation in itself is not a sin. It's true that there was a guy in the Old Testament who got in a lot of trouble over it (Onan, hence the expression onanism), but his actual sin concerned the reason why he did it (Genesis 38, if you're bothered).

Really, the problems only surround the circumstances in which you do it. In doing it, are you then unable to fulfil your marital "obligations"? What do you think about when you do it? Neither avoiding having sex with your partner, nor imagining having sex with someone else, are signs of a healthy relationship.

On the other hand, if it doesn't affect your relationship - you have sufficient sex drive and you are not committing adultery in thought - then it doesn't have to be a big deal.

2:34PM PDT on Jul 16, 2014

No comment.

6:50PM PDT on Jun 22, 2014

Very true, Catrin K. Often a child can become very unnerved depending on how a parent reacts or even overreacts.

Pamela W, luckily, (at least in some cases,) there is often more openness these days, although it can depend on which country one is living in and sometimes religion can be a factor. Some religions are also more open than others.

Barry T, to which Pamela was your reference directed at? Pamela T or Pamela W?

8:45AM PDT on Jun 19, 2014

I don't have a problem with normalizing masturbation or sharing personal stories. OTOH, this is a bit of an odd story ... almost incestuous. I can't really imagine kids of any age showing their mothers how they masturbate (Look Ma, BOTH hands - and a pillow!); it doesn't ring true somehow but I wasn't there so who knows?

I think I'll go play ... by myself ...

p.s. Pamela: I like women who masturbate; I think most men do, even if they don't know it LOL. I think you need help, seems like you have a lot of unhealthy anger going on.

9:25AM PDT on Jun 14, 2014

Interesting story

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