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How I Found Freedom With Masturbation After Trauma

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Editor's Note

If you’ve experienced sexual abuse or assault, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact The National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.

I was curious as to what my parents were hiding in the cabinet in the den of our house. I got a chair and went snooping. I found old records and books. One of the books was about sex. I sneaked it off to my room and when I had a chance, I read it. All I remember about this book is that it said that masturbation was a sin and you would be punished if you did it, by God. This scared the holy crap out of me.

See, I had been masturbating for years before I read this. I am not sure when it all started but I now had guilt and shame about it and fear I was going to hell.

During my childhood I was being sexually abused. I was exposed to sexual acts way beyond my years. This made my masturbation very advanced. I was reenacting sex acts on myself and on dolls, pillows and anything I could get my hands on. After I found out it was bad, and that God did not approve, I tried to stop.

The reality was it felt good. I found pleasure in the acts I was performing. When I was being abused, I was out of control. But when I was pleasuring myself, I was in control.

It was all very confusing that what I was doing with myself was bad, but I was being told what my parent was doing to me sexually was OK. The abuse was scary, and I really did not know how to feel about it.

As I grew up, I continued to masturbate with a significant amount of guilt and shame. I often would make promises to myself that I was going to stop so I could be back in Gods good graces.

My parents never discussed masturbation with me one way of the other. Once I made it to college, I had a conversation with a friend, and she discussed using a back massager to pleasure herself. I went right out and bought one. Wow, can I tell you what a great upgrade. The best tip I ever received.

I still had a significant amount of shame and did not tell anyone what I was doing. After I started having memories of my abuse and began therapy, my masturbation took a turn for the worst. I began to act out the abuse I had sustained and began hurting myself as a punishment. That type of abuse went on, on and off, into my 40s.

Every year I would make a new year’s resolution to stop masturbation, well into my 30s. I just could not get over how taboo it was.

I knew that I wanted my daughters to have healthy sex lives and that if they found pleasure first with themselves they could make better choices and ask for what they needed when it came to sex with a partner. I just could not find this freedom for myself.

Maybe because I felt so dirty from the abuse. I saw my body as bad and pleasure a betrayal of my selves.

When I was 47, I ordered a book about masturbation from my therapist’s recommendation, “The Ultimate Guide to Solo Sex: All You Need to Know
About Masturbation.” I read it all in one day. I was giddy with all the permission it gave to be unashamedly interested and aroused by your own body. I did not realize how much I did not know about masturbation and all that it could do for you.

You would not believe that I told everyone I could think of about the book and recommended they read it. For the first time I felt free to find pleasure with myself and to not be ashamed in meeting my own needs.

I now masturbate regularly and enjoy myself. I invested in
some good toys (still prefer a back massager, the Hitachi Wand is the best in my opinion, if you like a strong pulse). I talk more freely with my friends and therapist about solo sex, and I have given up on the guilt and shame and the fear that God will punish me. I do however worry that the upstairs neighbors can hear me.

I have come full circle and I am sad that I did not experience this freedom before now. I hope parents will speak with their children about the benefits of masturbation and how healing it can be. There is nothing taboo about masturbation. Absolutely nothing wrong.

I wish you solo orgasms that are so Mighty strong that your neighbors hear you.

Getty image by MixMedia

Originally published: March 22, 2022
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