Pro Hoe- Sexual Liberation for POC
sexual wellness in communities of color


I was feelin' so good I had to touch myself

5 personal accounts on first time masturbation

The first time I can remember masturbating was around the age of 12. Well, rather, I would more accurately equate my initial exploration to touching myself under the covers, cautiously exploring my clitoris without much emphasis on reaching an end point. I didn’t possess the knowledge of bringing myself to climax, but it was inexplicably riveting to allow my fingers to caress, explore and ignite something inside of me. It was very much the experience of touching a forbidden fruit and I would give almost anything to go back to the first few times I was acting from a place of pure impulse to discover a brand new sensation. These days, sometimes the romance/courtship with one’s self is lost and masturbation takes the form of a mundane routine that has taken the shape of reliability, self-sufficiency and a lack of patience. AM I RITE? My initial journey to self pleasure was sparked by the sexual maturity of my comrades. After being fingered on my next door neighbors couch followed by too many dry humping sessions to list, it was in my best interest to learn how to get off before I allowed that valuable treasure to be dictated by a sexual partner.

Forget about lube, sex toys and HD porn. All I had to work with was our huge dial-up family computer that was positioned in our living room facing the front door. My best bet was to imbed my mind with as much visual sexual content as possible before I heard my dad’s keys wedge themselves into the front door. I’ll admit that the thrill of being walked in on with my panties pulled down to my thighs heightened my climax and forced my mental/physical connection to ignite at the speed of light before I would be interrupted and left on the brink of orgasm. 

Do you remember the first time you masturbated? I asked a few POC: male, female, gender fluid, heterosexual, homosexual people about their first memories of masturbation and I’ll admit that some of the familiarity is uncanny.

J, 24 yr old Gay Male: 

“So I first remember playing with myself when I was about 12. I’m pretty sure I was looking at men and women on our family’s computer. It wasn’t necessarily porn, but just people I found sexy, although I probably found the images of men more appealing. Most of the experience seemed more about creating imagery for me to get off to. I don’t think I really understood what I was doing to know what was really happening physically.”

“I can mostly remember being nervous about somebody coming up the stairs, lol. For sure this was one of the first moments I started to be curious about the size of my dick in comparison to other penises. I somehow found that I preferred a pointer finger and thumb stroke rather than the full palm wrap. When I finally climaxed, nothing shot out, lol. So my first time was a pseudo orgasm.”  

Does the way you first began exploring and pleasuring yourself influence the way you approach your sexual practices currently? I can assert with confidence that my amateur manner of using two fingers to massage my clitoris has graduated to a new level involving a heated “rabbit” vibrator, lots of porn and zero interruptions. Or on rare occasion, in front of my partner or my new favorite: masturbating via FaceTime. 

Also, during which point of our formative years does our sexual attraction begin to favor one or more of the sexes over the others? For this man, his affection towards visual representation of men over that of women was perhaps a signifier of his sexual preference before even knowing where the impetus for his own self-pleasure and/ sexual arousal stemmed from. 

N, 30 year old straight female :

“I was around 12 years old and grew up extremely religious with so much shame around masturbating. But, I was horny AF so that made for quite the conflicting foray into solo play. I took my mom’s back massager, which, in retrospect, was really a giant vibrator. The entire head of it had different vibration patterns and heat settings. I didn’t even know what I was doing or “how” to masturbate, I just knew when the vibrating head was on me and in me, it was euphoria.”

Growing up, I didn’t particularly experience shame around masturbating, but rather, there was a lack of sexual conversation, period. In recent discussions with other first generation POC, it appears that most of us were initially exposed to sex through various forms of media. Please tell me someone else got off as a child watching the sex scene in the film, “Soul Food”, lol. 

When my mother gifted me my first sex toy last Christmas, she confessed that she wished she would’ve spoken to her children about sex at a much younger age. Her disclosure inspired me to think about what that conversation would’ve looked like as a young adolescent and how it would’ve shaped my self love/care rituals. Have the initial shame and attempts to disguise the very natural development of one’s body followed us into less than stellar adult sexual practices? It probably explain’s why some of us fail on the most basic level of communicating sexual desires.

D: 27 year old Queer female:

“I was nine years old and stayed home “sick” from school on purpose because I’d accidentally rubbed up against something the night before and it felt so good that I wanted time to try it again uninterrupted (Because of my big ass judgmental family, I never got “me” time). I spent the entire day masturbating and feeling like I would eventually reach orgasm but it didn’t happen. So, I tried for months and finally I came. It was the most terrifying experience of my life. I thought I broke myself and was going to get in trouble, lol. Not to mention that my vagina was so raw and sore afterwards”

Not a sore pussy! I don’t recall how long it took me to climax the first time I touched myself, but really, ain’t nobody got time for three hour sessions. See, the way my wrists and hands are set up, lol, I can commit to 20 minutes maximum. That includes the 17 minutes it takes me to find a porn video that gets me off. 

I’m particularly grateful for this woman sharing her story, because like myself, she is first generation Senegalese-American. As much as I would like to think my parents were progressive in the sense that they encouraged me to pursue a career in the arts and didn’t force me to worship any specific religious deity, there is no way on God’s green earth that my father would’ve openly spoken to me about masturbation, let alone let me stay home from school when he, “worked so hard for us to have this life.” lol, y’all children of immigrants know the “Coming to America,” spiel. 

 C, Cis-male:

“I was forever encircled around shameful/embarrassing stories and narratives against masturbation and pleasuring one’s self sexually. Curiosity motivated me more than my shame ever did. So one very late night, within the privacy of my room closet, I gave in to the sexual explosion that was pent up inside of me. It was quick, it was powerful, it required little to no fantasy at all, and I haven’t had an orgasm quite like it ever since. Confusion, relief, excitement, curiosity, disgust, shame, and fear are some emotions that I directly correlate to my first time.” 

None of our sexual experiences can perfectly mirror the practices of others. But, we can relate to all people on a basic human level of personal discovery. The joy, or even shame, that can be released from uncovering your own sexuality for the first time is unique to each of us. Yet, we are all the same in our attempts to better understand sexual desire and its impetus. This commonality alone should remind us that although our sexual preferences are personal to each person, the universal lust to find our own sexual identities should supersede sexual stigmas and stereotypes that try to define and divide us. 

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