PostSecret is a weekly blog featuring homemade postcards portraying people’s secrets. The postcards are mailed anonymously, and the secrets range from cute and funny to pathetic and heartbreaking. I stumbled across PostSecret in 2005 and became hopelessly addicted. To commemorate my six-year anniversary of PostSecret addiction and because some secrets are too awesome, crazy, or stupid to be forgotten, I am going to pick my favorite secret from the blog each Sunday and share my thoughts on it.
This week’s favorite: Unskilled at Masturbation
I didn’t know how to masturbate until I was 19 and would have happily lived a masturbation-free life if my friends hadn’t intervened. As a child of strict, conservative Chinese parents, I just didn’t get into the habit; if I found myself with spare time, I read a book, went on a run, or (after I went to college) got drunk with my friends. In my scope of experience, sex was something that happened between two (or three or four) intoxicated people at a party, not a solitary activity.
It wasn’t until the summer after my first year of college that I discussed masturbation in a personal context with my friend N for the first time. She told me that she’d been doing it regularly since she was 12 and was aghast that I had not done likewise. “Dude, what is wrong with you?!” she yelled. “You need to figure that shit out.” To confirm my ignorance, I had the same conversation a few days later with another friend IK, who expressed similar dismay. “You need to lock yourself in a bathroom with a vibrator, take a nice, hot bath, and stay in the bathroom until you have yourself an orgasm,” he told me. It was a rude awakening, a jab to my ego. I felt ashamed, as if I’d been on the verge of figuring out the alphabet only to discover that everyone else had been reading novels for years.
It wasn’t until November of my second year of college that I finally decided to take the plunge and get it over with. I got in bed one night, snuggled under the covers, slipped my hands down my pajamas, and tried my best to think sexy thoughts. None came to mind. I conjured images of what some of my friends masturbated to–gang bangs, spanking, and being tied up. When that didn’t do the job, I simply thought about naked, hot men. But for some reason, I had trouble envisioning their anatomy below the belt. So I gave up and passed out.
It took a few more days and at least one more try, and when it finally worked, I felt proud–proud with my newfound skill, and more importantly, proud that I’d caught up to everyone else. I was so pleased with my accomplishment that I noted it (and at least several subsequent iterations of the accomplishment) in my journal.
Since then, I’m happy to say that I’ve caught up on those lost years of autoerotic gratification and become, in my own estimation, an aficionado of orgasms. For this, I have friends and peer pressure to thank.