Written by Bùnmi.
The first time I felt shame about the fact that I masturbate is when I heard a group of pastors that came to my secondary school to evangelize condemn it as a sin. They gave vivid descriptions of hellfire and how it is waiting for sinners, especially masturbators. I was scared and I also felt ashamed. I was pretty naive then and thus easily coerced, so, hearing their words made me think of myself as a dirty, unworthy person. I confided in a few of my friends then and one of them said “it’s so shameful, it’s not what should be said to people.” So I kept it in. I kept mum but the urge to masturbate never left. On the occasion that my index finger found my clit, I couldn’t help but rub it till I reached the desired climax. I used to wonder what exactly made it sinful. A friend that I asked said it connected me with demons because sex is spiritual and to do it without a partner must mean there’s a demon involved. After that, whenever I touched my clit, I would imagine a demon was in my clit, giving me so much pleasure. I didn’t hate the demon.
After secondary school, I got into university and my first roommate, who was quite self-righteous, told me she hated masturbation. She said she’ll rather sin by having sex than masturbating. She asked me if I did it and I told her no without flinching. The shame that was planted in secondary school germinated at that moment and I gradually began to find myself repulsive. I thought of doing plastic surgery to make my vulva look better because I used to think it must be desecrated with my frequent touchings and whoever I married wouldn’t want flabby lips (thank goodness I have unlearned internalized misogyny.) Another day, I was so repulsed by myself after I masturbated that I told God to make me barren if I ever masturbated again. The tether to the oath got loose fast.
The shame made itself comfortable in me because I found myself among friends that were ardent Christians. So, in a bid to make myself likable and prove that I was not sinful but worthy enough to be their friend, I joined them to condemn masturbators to hell. I joined them to describe how hot hell would be for folks that masturbate. Life went on like that. Condemn in the open, indulge in the closet.
I can’t recall what led me to Twitter but I found myself spending a lot of time on the app also and because I followed women mostly, I noticed feminist tweets on my tl. I saw women that were unapologetic about their bodies and most importantly, they praised masturbation. It surprised me because it was the first time in my life that I’d read about masturbation in a positive light. The part of me that yearned to be seen latched on to it like a leech and before I knew it, I went deeper on Twitter. It didn’t take me long to realize that I enjoyed scrolling through Twitter feeds rather than spending time among my so-called friends that gossipped, lied, and backbit but drew the line at the SIN that is masturbation.
Seeing these women on Twitter gave me the courage to masturbate without feeling repulsed. I shivered in my climax with my whole mind trying to enjoy it instead of feeling disgusted with myself. I reveled in the pleasure and I let myself feel the goodness of legs shaking orgasm. I explored the ways that I felt comfortable masturbating. I tried inserting my fingers into my vagina like they do in pornography but it did nothing for me. Maybe it’s because my fingers couldn’t go in because of how tight my vagina was. I tried rubbing my clit on my pillow but it didn’t work either. Then I discovered how pleasing the index finger is on the clit when I was alone in my room one day and was touching my vulva. It was not for masturbatory purposes but I realized how convenient it was to run my hands through. So, I decided to try the index finger the next time I masturbated and I’ve stuck with it since.
Sometimes, I masturbate to stories on Literotica, and less occasionally, I masturbate to pornography but they rarely pique my arousal because of how perfectly stationed pornographic sex tends to be and how much women get exploited and abused in the process. So, what I enjoy masturbating to are erotic stories or erotic scenarios that I brought up in my head. Strangely enough, the scenarios are never about me. The characters in my made-up scenes are usually faceless, it’s what they do that interests me. I have never been eaten out, but I love watching it, reading it, and fantasizing about it.
Scenario A: A woman is sitting on a pool slab, her boyfriend is swimming, then he comes to her, kisses her, takes off her bikini bottom, spreads her legs, and proceeds to drag his tongue through her slit as the introductory act to the pleasure he’s about to bestow on her. She screams in pleasure while holding his head and cumming into his mouth.
Scenario B: A woman is naked on the bed waiting for her partner. He enters the room, sees her in a doggy position, licks his lips, moves to her, holds her by her waist, brings out his penis, strokes it, proceeds to put it in her but changes his mind at the last minute. Instead, he squats and extends his tongue out to eat her from the back. The woman’s legs shake from orgasm as she creams into his mouth.
I think of these scenarios with glee.
A friend offered to buy me a dildo one time but I declined on two grounds: a. I didn’t trust him enough to accept such a gift from him, b. I couldn’t imagine a sex toy that big inside my vagina. I was scared and nervous and I told myself I didn’t seek pleasure to that extent. I preferred the convenience of rubbing my clit with my index finger till I reached climax. Honestly, as much as I am looking forward to debuting sexually, it scares me. I was having an unusual discharge one time and a doctor prescribed pills that must be vaginally inserted and I couldn’t do it. The pills couldn’t even go in, they stayed right at the edge. If I couldn’t get small pills in, how would a dildo or a penis enter? How painful would it be?
Maybe I’m getting too comfortable with my index finger but what’s a girl to do? Moreover, doing it with my index finger means flexibility and mobility. I can go whenever I feel horny without the ceremony that a dildo and a man require. Steady, easy orgasm.
After my transformation from being ashamed to being free, I told another group of my friends and they couldn’t believe it. They thought it sinful. They said ‘I will never try it in my life because it’s disgusting.’
‘Well’, I replied shamelessly, ‘I see it as self-loving and it’s weird that you allow other people to touch you but you see touching yourself as disgusting? Crazy.’
My shamelessness couldn’t be shamed. It can’t be shamed.