I distinctly remember the first time I masturbated — it was after reading a book about puberty when I was 12. I was lying in bed and I had an erection. I didn't know about masturbation yet, but I did know about things like oral sex. For some reason, I thought, "I wonder what it feels like..." and tried, unsuccessfully, to get my penis into my mouth. Instead, I put saliva in my hand and put it on my erection — I thought of it as a simulation of my mouth.
My masturbation career has been short, so far at least, but it has been very, very good. I guess there's just something about masturbation that once you start you can't stop, and no matter how many times you do it, it still feels good.
My nearly 9 years of masturbation have been plagued with misinformation. I keenly recall one of my early experiences: I was watching Saturday Night Live, and Dr. Joycelyn Elders was being portrayed, just after all the hoopla over her now-infamous remarks. At that time, I had just turned 12 and had been getting erections for some time, but was still uncertain exactly what they were good for other than embarrassment. Speaking with my parents on anything sex-related was, and still is, difficult.
Well, I'm not Methuselah by any means, but from the looks of things, I'm a bit older than a lot of the other Biographers. I came of age in the late '70s/early '80s, and the culture was very different then. There was no Internet. Personal computers were still owned primarily by hobbyists. Television was pretty tame. And masturbation was just not talked about.