I have bad news for you Avery, some day your joyful innocence will be poisoned with the hormones of puberty. My intention is not to take away your struggles, but instead to make sure you don’t feel alone in your suffering. I can only share my own stories and hope you can find comfort in the company of my pubescent nightmares.

Unfortunately the time-line of my memories are fogged and will be far from accurate. An accurate account would be a great help for you, but my memory has it’s reasons. Lets just assume all of these stories range between the ages of 10-12 years old.

My first feeling of arousal happened in church. It was during the moment where the adults embrace each other and exchanged their “Peace be with you’s”. I had summoned the courage to participate in the ritual because I had a crush on a young woman behind me. I wanted to know what her skin would feel like touching my own. I also admired the way this woman dressed and felt conflicted by my fascination in her garb. She turned at the waist and twisted to shake the hand of a person on the other side. As her hand reached over, an opening between the buttons of her blouse was formed. This secret window framed her soft bare flesh and the bottom edge of a white lacy bra perfectly. Her body shifted towards me and her hands reached out to clasp my own. She gave my small single hand a sensual two handed clasp. I felt the warmth of her flesh travel throughout my entire body with a direct destination to my groin. I heard her voice but none the words she used (a theme that would continue to haunt my love conquests for years to come). I excused myself to use the washroom, and I sat on the toilet alone waiting for the protrusion to pass. I told my family I was constipated, they gave me laxatives and I spent the day alone with diarrhea and erections. Every Sunday at church, I would find the same body with a different face and repeat the behavior. Still to this day, church gives me an erection.

Not long after this, I had my first nocturnal emission. My Mother promptly washed my sheets and said “Don’t worry about it, it happens”. I didn’t have the courage to ask, “what is it?”. I never had a repeat occurrence cause I accidentally stumbled upon masturbation soon after. I was taking my bath with my action figure toys. I liked taking baths, cause it felt very private and selfish, like I was in a secret lair. I would always bring toys, and my body would become the playing field for their adventures. I loved the notion that they could breath under water, an ability I envied greatly. I had one female G.I. Joe, that I named after my school yard crush Ashley.  The typical scenario would be, the male G.I. Joe’s captured her, and the Ninja Turtles would aquatically sneak attack them to save the day. This occasion, I decided that each Hero would be awarded a kiss from their damsel in distress. I closed my eyes and pictured the women in pretty clothes at church kissing me; my hands new what to do next. I never brought toys to the bathtub again, they had been replaced.

The first entry into my jerk bank.

I had only confided in one person about my new discoveries. Well actually he confided in me first, since he was a year or two older, and just as confused as I. It was a huge relief to learn that his penis was able to do similar things. He would sleep over and we would masturbate late at night in the same room. It was comforting more than it was sexual. I started to look forward to our little jerk-off (pun-intended) sessions. Until one fateful evening changed the course of my puberty permanently. It was at Mike Ramel’s house, and a half dozen of us were having a sleep over to celebrate his birthday. Everyone was taking turns telling a secret and it was mostly frivolous gossip about who kissed who at the dance last week. I thought I would be the coolest kid on the block and I told them everything that my buddy (who wasn’t present) and I had been doing. They all stared at me in silence, it was the longest silence of my life. At the moment, I felt judged and ashamed. Looking back, I bet they felt on the spot to discuss their own explorations. As a group, their silence banded them together and they took the path of least resistance. In their blank stare they unknowingly fast tracked my insecurities. I hated myself for masturbating, and I decided to hate my jerk-off friend as well. I forced myself to feel like a victim of his curiosity and naively dismissed him as a predator of my innocence. From there on out, I never discussed my sexuality with anyone until it was much too late. Confusion and fear compounded exponentially with each ejaculation. I began masturbating non stop, I would even sneakily jerk in the back of the family van while driving to distant destinations. The more shame I felt, the more drastic and unhealthy my sexual actions became. I don’t understand why nobody caught me, looking back I think I intended to be caught.

For the most part I survived, but I still act out with progressively outlandish desires, and often times, I still feel like the weird freak at the sleep over.

Good luck Avery. I can promise you will suffer, but I beg you to accept, that you will not suffer alone.


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