Real-Life Crisis: Masturbating Makes Me Feel Dirty

September 30, 2019  |  

Woman peeking out from under duvet

Source: KOLOstock / Getty

By: Nicole Collins

When I was 11 we had an illegal cable box which housed premium channels like HBO, Cinemax, and the four pay-per-view channels that existed in 1999. Unbeknownst to my parents, this cable box changed my life. It exposed me to the world of masturbation.

Actually, I remember the word masturbate from a Tales from the Crypt movie that came out when I was 9. A woman chanted “2-4-6-8 you can watch me masturbate.” Of course, my sister and I shouldn’t have been watching that at our ages, but I had young parents, OK. I didn’t know what the word meant but I knew it was something I shouldn’t be saying. Still my younger sister, who also didn’t know what the word meant, yet knew its forbiddance, would repeat this chant whenever we were alone. One day, my cousin two years my senior, my younger sister, my mother, and I were in the kitchen as my mom was making spaghetti. The aroma of the pasta mixed with shenanigans that cousins partake in must’ve put my sister at ease because she started reciting the chant in front of my mom. I remember my mom whipping her neck back so quick as her eyes bulged out of her head that I thought the stirring spoon was going to fly across the room. My mom screamed, “I better not ever hear you say no sh-t like that again.” But of course she didn’t explain why.

Back to ’99. Late one night when everyone was asleep, I got a glimpse of HBO’s Real Sex. I watched as two men and two women discussed and demonstrated masturbation. I was intrigued and giddy, getting away with watching grown ups discuss grown up activities surrounding a forbidden word. I remember my curiosity leading my fingers to places I had no clue how to work. I also remember stopping because I could hear my mom’s voice reminding me that my deceased grandfather was always watching me and I couldn’t fathom the idea of him in heaven watching the apple of his eye being filthy and engaging in naughty adult activities.

You know how someone tells you about something you know nothing about or never even heard of, then all of a sudden it appears everywhere? Well that was kind of my experience with masturbation. Once Real Sex opened my eyes to this self-pleasuring act, I noticed it being talked about more and more, but never in the same way as the four adults on HBO. Now I was getting my limited information on masturbation via inhibited conversations surrounding sex or, shall I say, have-no-sex-until-marriage education in catholic school. Masturbation was sex according to the religious authorities instructing me and it was clear we better not question that notion. Masturbation was “sinful,” “dirty,” and “we ought not play with our bodies in that way,” a religious teacher once explained. “Plus, it leads to the act of fornication,” he continued. This stuck with me — as did the concept of confession. What if you were told that every little explorative thing you engaged in was wrong, and not only did you have to mentally reflect with images of a blonde-haired, doe-eyed Jesus being upset with you, you also had to subject yourself to telling every single detail of each lusty, forbidden experience to a priest? A man who, in your young eyes, is the closest you’ll get to Jesus. And don’t forget, lying is a sin so you better tell the truth and nothing but because Jesus is watching. Talk about shame and trauma.

As an adult I’ve learned that masturbation is healthy, recommended for a happy life, and makes your skin glow. Not to mention it keeps you sexually satisfied while keeping f-ck boys at bay. Yet, I can only seem to force myself to enjoy pleasuring myself enough to reach an initial climax and then it’s back to doom as my body is still shaking from my lubricated fingers. I thought it might get better once I became sexually active, but no. I thought it might get better after leaving the Catholic church, still no. I hear stories of women experiencing self-induced cumming sessions giving themselves up to 10 orgasms per session and I look at them like super heroes. I can’t get passed one and that one makes me feel icky. I still feel dirty and wrong, like someone’s watching me pleasure myself whilst shaking their head in sorrow. Who am I to be able to please myself? (Sarcasm). I want to have a self-induced cum session of 10 orgasms back-to-back and I want to be able to enjoy it.

I’m on a mission to break the chains that keep me from experiencing this type of fulfillment. So, because I’m a filmmaker, I created a character, Misty, who is also trying to break the chains of religious guilt so she can enjoy an orgasm. My hope is that as Misty works through her masturbation issues I can work through my own. Let’s just say the process is ongoing. Check out the short below and tell me if you can relate.

 

Nicole Collins is an actress, Filmmaker, mental health advocate, host and mother from Louisiana who currently resides in Los Angeles where she creates content for Black women that touches on taboo subjects. More of her work can be found at www.MagnoliaAProductions.com. Follow her on Instagram at @j_nicolecollins.

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