Strange isn’t it, that as a child, you thought about nakedness and body parts and how babies were made constantly and yet never felt guilty about it. As soon as you related those thoughts and feelings to the word ‘sex’, they become deeply shameful.

What a fucker. Just as you’re finding out how to operate the wonderful gifts that nature gave you it becomes shameful and guilt-ridden and OMG what the fuck have I just done!?

But you’ve outgrown Knight Rider, riding your bike non-handed and running through farmer’s fields and you need a new adventure (NB: Your future PM, Theresa May might have stopped at running through fields of wheat but you don’t have to. Sorry to ruin the moment).

Masturbation. It’s the most natural, harmless adventure of them all. And yet you stand at the bus stop in your high school uniform, apologising in your mind to a God you don’t really believe exists and promising, with all your heart, that you’ll never, EVER do it again.

(Note – you never said that about smoking a Lambert & Butler or accidentally aiding and abetting the accidental fire at the village playing fields. You’ve a skewed sense of what’s good and bad for you at this point).

woman laying on stairway grayscale photo
Photo by Dishan Lathiya on Pexels.com

Time moves on, and you’re still feeling so ashamed. So you decide that the less shameful thing to do would be to give it all to someone else.

Suppressing your enlightenment, discounting your knowledge, you feel naive and stupid and shy. You know nothing about sex because you’ve only done it with yourself. Because it’s all about performing for someone else, right? (just to ensure you understand my tone here, that last statement is absolutely and undoubtedly wrong!)

Anyway, it goes OK, because you’re ‘going steady’ and have been for some time and that seems all good.

But the first break up comes and goes and, armed with a Wonderbra, a bottle of Lambrini and a cheap pair of heels you become the person you think you aspire to be. You’ve read Bitch by Elizabeth Wurtzel, you’ve followed Madonna’s sexual dominance in the media and you’ve just discovered Courtney Love was a ‘Teenage Whore’…

But I hate to break it to you….that’s not who you are.

You’re more sensitive than you think and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. You want to feel loved and respected and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. You want to enjoy yourself and that’s nothing to be ashamed of.

I’m not advising you to wait a year. I’m not advising you to go steady. But I’m advising you to do it to experience it, not have experienced it. To enjoy the moment not the notch on the bedpost. To find a place where you feel safe and respected and in control. To say no if you feel like it. To say yes if you feel like it. To do it for you – not them, not what they think, not what they might say, not to be who you think you want to be, but for who you are right now.

This isn’t a performance issue – it’s an enjoyment issue. This isn’t their moment – it’s a shared moment. This isn’t right – don’t do it. This isn’t love – but it’s OK, that’s mutually understood.

Respect and be respected. Anyone who lives outside of that should live outside of your world.

Have fun. Play safe. Enjoy the ride. It won’t be smooth – but it will be eye opening.

 

My book, A Series of Unfortunate Stereotypes – Naming and Shaming Mental Health Stigmas is out now. Order here (for Amazon) or directly from the publisher here.

 

One thought on “What I wish I could tell my teenage self about sex and masturbation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s