My first strong memory of getting an erection is from when I was 4 or 5 years old. My mom and I were walking around in a department store, and she happened to notice I had a tent in my pants. This seemed to embarrass her a little, but being so young it didn't embarrass me at all. She asked me if I had to go to the washroom, and because I didn't, I said no. But back then, I didn't even know why my penis got hard and stuck out like that. I just figured it was what happened when I needed to urinate, and I gave no more thought to it.
Around the same age, I was playing in my bedroom by myself. I was hopping on the bed when I decided to try standing up on the bed and fall face-first onto the bed. I remembered the thrill of falling forward like that and my body hitting the bed. It was exciting, as it made my heart race, but safe as it was my soft bed I was falling onto. Then for some reason I decided to take off all of my clothes and do the same thing. I don't know why I felt compelled to do this, but I did. Then my mom walked by my bedroom and noticed me undressed and scolded me a little and told me to get dressed right away, so I did. Although I didn't think this at the time or for years later, looking back now, I would say that this was probably my first aborted attempt at coming to understand that my body (not necessarily my penis in particular) could give me a special pleasure I had never experienced before.
Many years passed and I never really gave any more thought as to why my penis got hard and stuck out like that from time to time. I just thought that was normal. By around age 12, I had learned the basics of sex education from my parents, my school, and my friends, but I didn't realize that an erection necessarily had anything to do with sex. One night I was watching a call-in sex-education TV show called "The Sunday Night Sex Show," hosted by a knowledgeable lady named Sue Johanson. She was using many complex words, including the word "masturbation". I had no idea what these words meant, but I sure was curious. Without any embarrassment I went and asked my parents what "masturbation" meant, among other words, telling them I heard them on that TV show. They wouldn't tell me then, but they didn't seem upset that I was watching that show, nor did they try to make me feel bad for asking these questions. I'm glad they didn't react negatively, because if they had, at that stage in my life, I think it definitely would have shaped my view of sex and masturbation as something negative.
A few months later one of my friends, who was a guy about 16 years old, was over visiting. Still being curious as to what that word meant, I asked my friend in front of my dad: "What does 'masturbation' mean?" They both looked at each other, and together explained to me that it was when your penis gets hard and you rub it up and down until sperm comes out. They explained it in a serious tone and never said anything to indicate it was bad or that I should or shouldn't do it. I remember later that day, when my friend went home, I went into the bathroom to try out this "masturbation" thing. I lay down on the floor and pulled my pants and underwear down. I already had an erection. I used my left hand with my thumb on top and my other four fingers underneath my penis, and I rubbed up and down gently. This felt great, and in moments I felt my very first orgasm and saw my very first ejaculation. At that moment I knew I had just discovered one of the most amazing feelings I have ever had. I didn't know at the time just how wonderfully life-altering this discovery would be — it was essentially my sexual awakening. I didn't feel any guilt, but I knew that it was a private thing and I didn't want my parents or friends to know I was masturbating. Of course, looking back now, they must have known, given how my dad and my friend helped explain it to me.
From that point on, I masturbated every day or every other day. At first it was always in the locked bathroom on the floor; then I realized I could do it in my bedroom when I went to bed and use some tissues to clean up. I didn't vary my technique very much in those young teen years, and I continued using my left hand just like the first time, even though I was right-handed. To this day my dominant masturbation hand is my left. I experimented with many things. I used different things on my penis, from my mom's facial moisturizing cream to shampoo and even toothpaste (which was painful). Once I cut a hole in a box for my penis to fit through and then dumped hotel ice into the box surrounding my penis, which felt amazing — until the ice started to melt all over myself. Once I even coated my penis with school glue and let it dry to try to give it a hard shell. That, of course, didn't work too well and was a real mess to clean up — but it didn't hurt me at all, since that kind of glue fortunately didn't stick well (which I knew at the time).
Around the same time that I discovered masturbation, I noticed that I started feeling some physical attraction toward other boys my age. Before this, I was attracted only to girls. I started fantasizing about other boys masturbating themselves and of me masturbating them. Though I never discussed masturbation with my friends nor did I ever try to make those fantasies into a reality, I still felt attracted to certain boys, and I began to realize it was more than just physical attraction. I remember I asked my dad what "homosexuality" meant, and he pulled me aside and explained in a dead-serious way that it was when a man had anal sex with another man and that it was bad. At the time it sounded dirty for me to even imagine. Of course, since my dad never defined it as anything more than that, it never occurred to me that I might be gay, because I wasn't interested in anal sex and I was also attracted to girls.
When I was 17 years old I discovered the term "bisexual," and I knew I had found the right word to describe my feelings at that point in my life. I joined a gay/lesbian/bisexual youth group and was quite active and interested in it. That's where I found my first enlightenment, acceptance, and a few years later, my first boyfriend. He was my first for a lot of things, including my very first sexual act with another person: masturbating ourselves side-by-side. Looking back, it was a wonderful experience to have that connection between the wonder of my first discovery of masturbation when I was 12 with my first sexual act with my partner also being masturbation. He also commented how wonderful this was, as he hadn't done that with another guy before, either. As my relationship with my boyfriend progressed through the couple of years that we were together, I came to realize that I could really only be truly fulfilled in a relationship with another man, and so I now use the label "gay" to describe my sexual orientation. But as I often tell people, a word so small cannot hope to capture the essence of who I am as a person. Although I accept who I am, I am only out of the closet to my friends and not my family yet.
My boyfriend also introduced me to the joys of rubbing my testicles through my scrotum while masturbating. Before this, I never paid attention to my testicles, as I had always associated touching them with pain from when I was kicked there in my early school years. Now I can't imagine masturbating without groping my testicles. Throughout that relationship and after it, solo masturbation continued to play an important part in my life. I discovered JackinWorld and thought it was great to have such a reputable resource to use to understand more about masturbation, techniques, and sexuality. By this point my favorite technique was to use the "fist" method. I started trying the "Stop & Go" method when I was about 25 years old. I couldn't believe that I hadn't thought of that before! It remains for me the ultimate technique which every guy should know about. With that technique I learned to "edge" and to stay there as long as possible, even to the point of separating orgasm and ejaculation and having multiple orgasms, though I am still trying to perfect that ability. I think that would be one of the ultimate masturbatory and sexual abilities any man could possess.
In my early 20s I started keeping track of the date, time, and length of each of my masturbation sessions and even giving them a rating. At the end of the year I would combine all the data and look for patterns and connections. I still do that to this day. When I'm older I'll be able to look at all of this data and see how my sex drive and orgasms have changed over time.
When I was 25 and 26 I decided to try some "masturbation challenges." Little did I know that I would enjoy them so much that they would last a whole year! I attempted 11 different challenges, everything from only using other objects for stimulation for seven sessions in a row to collecting and measuring how much semen I released each time I masturbated for 3 months and freezing it each time until I had half a cup full. In one challenge I also tried abstaining from masturbating completely for over 30 days — and succeeded. When I was a teen I couldn't last more than 10 days without masturbating. I documented each and every one of these challenges, and I learned so much more about my sexual self than I thought I would. It was during one of my challenges that I had my very first "wet dream." It felt very intense, and I have had only two more since.
Now that I'm 29 I'm still enjoying masturbation in all of it's forms. I notice that I masturbate a bit less often than in my teen years and early 20s. Nowadays I masturbate every 3 days or so, compared to the daily or every-other-day routine I had before. Variety is really the spice of life, and the best orgasms I have ever had were ones where my mind was doing most of the work. From countless techniques and states of arousal, to the ever-growing knowledge of the pulse of my own physiological sexual response, to the fine art of edging and the quest to be multi-orgasmic, I hope to continue to enjoy masturbation for many more years to come.
To me, discovering masturbation is the beginning of one of the many special and important journeys we have in our lives. It is often the first realization of our sexual self, with every other sexual experience stemming from it. Masturbation was the first sexual act I experienced, and I experienced it countless times throughout my life, even when in relationships. When I'm much older and my time has come to leave this world, it will probably be one of the last sexual acts I will experience. It will be a personal sexual journey complete and with all of its countless nuances of memories, and I will always think of masturbation with a warmth in my heart and a smile on my face.