Episode 12: Masturbation

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In this episode we explore that most natural, but also taboo of subjects: masturbation. For as long as she can remember, Kerri Knox masturbated. As a young child, she quickly learned that touching her genitals anywhere but in private would bring a reprimand. The message from her parents and siblings: masturbation is bad. So though she masturbated a lot, she usually rushed to get through it and that diminished the amount of sensation she could feel. The feeling of numbness carried over to her sex life. As she grew older, she grew frustrated knowing that there was more, but not knowing how to access it. Join us this week for our masturbation episode. You’ll hear about Kerri’s early experiences with masturbation and the process of awakening to sensation through the practice of orgasmic meditation.

Transcript

"Masturbation"

Announcer: This program is intended for mature audiences only.

[music]

J: Hello, and welcome to a Taste of Sex; a reality audio show on life in an orgasm-based community. I’m J. Join us this week as we explore that most natural, but taboo of subjects: masturbation. Tune in and turn on.

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J: Each week on a Taste of Sex, we peek into the private lives and thoughts of community members who live and work together at One Taste Urban Retreat Center in San Francisco. On this episode, you’ll hear the story of Kerry Knox, her relationship to masturbation, the secrecy and shame that surrounded it and the reconciliation that has started through a practice of orgasmic meditation.

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J: It’s strange, isn’t it? Our genitals are just one part of our body, but unlike our legs, arms, hands, or feet, our genitals have special status. We do not touch them in public. We don’t even mention them most of the time. And yet they store the dichotomy of human existence: that of pleasure and also pain. Through our genitals, we experience the shame, the discomfort and the thrill of wanting sex, love, and connection. For many people, self-stimulation is their earliest genital experience. But like the body parts that make it possible, masturbation is a mostly a verboten topic. We pretend and hide and deny that we do it. On this week’s episode, we go in. Here’s Kerri Knox.

Kerri Knox: There’s never a memory of not masturbating. It was just always something that I did. It would be like, “What was your motivation for eating when you were a child?” It just always was. But there was a detachment that I had these sensations, and I would bring myself to orgasm, and go about my business, and there was never, like, there was never a real connection there. I don’t know how to describe it, but I guess it was a loss of connection to that through societal like, “Don’t touch that, don’t go there, don’t talk about it.”

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Kerri Knox: I obviously didn’t feel guilty about it when I first started it, but later on, I learned to feel guilty about it. But I learned that masturbation was not something that you did around the house and in front of other people. That was always kind of a sore subject. My parents were not very open-minded, so, you know, a small child masturbating on the couch while watching TV was not their idea of appropriate behavior. I distinctly remember times that they would say things like, “Go to your room to do that,” or something like, “Don’t touch that.” Things like that. Of course I was the youngest of four children and I had four older brothers and sisters who were quite a bit older, and I’m sure that they went to my parents and it was like, “Ew, gross, Kerri’s doing it again! Yuck!”

[music]

Kerri Knox: So I distinctly remember times where, actually most of my life, that I would maybe be masturbating in the bedroom, and I was always on the look out or listen for somebody coming around the corner who was going to catch me, and it was always like, “Oh! They’re going to catch me! Oh my gosh!” And so I had this little defense mechanism that if anybody started coming down the hallway, nobody every knocked on my door, they would open the door and I would take my hands out of my pants really quick and feign that I was sleeping. So I had this whole little thing around, “Oh I was just sleeping. Hi Mom.”

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Kerri Knox: There was a time where I actually learned what it was when I was reading. I distinctly remember the exact time that I was at the library. I was somewhere between 10 and 12. I was a voracious reader as a child. I read J Blume and I don’t know if you know who J Blume is, but she wrote specifically for teenage girls and she had all kinds of little things that teenage girls went through. She mentioned that there was a character in one of her books who was masturbating and she used the word and described what it was and it was like this epiphany that, “Oh my gosh!” It’s like, “Wow, there’s a word for it!” And it’s, like, something normal that people do. I don’t even know that I had any relationship between masturbation and sex. And even to this day, to me, they’re almost very different things. Like, I may have an urge to, like a sexual urge, but, like masturbation and sex are not necessarily like a connected thing. There was definitely less charge around masturbation and it was a familiar friend, where sex was new territory for me. There was a lot of, I guess, wanting attention, although I didn’t realize that’s what I was doing at the time that I was starting, beginning, to have sex. Where masturbation was certainly not for attention seeking, it was for my own pleasure.

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Kerri Knox: I’m not able to have an orgasm with a man. I’ve only been able to have orgasms with my own hand. And the way I come to orgasm is really like tensing my whole body and coming very quickly and I’ve always tried to come very quickly and have that sensation really fast. And I realize that a lot of that tenseness and wanting to get it over with really quickly stems from that lying in bed, masturbating as a child, listening for the door and just wanting to get it over with quickly so I don’t get caught. It’s like this getting caught kind of guilt thing going on there.

J: You’re listening to a Taste of Sex we’ll hear more from Kerri Knox after this short break.

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J: This is a Taste of Sex.

Kerri Knox: I’ve been involved with One Taste and learned about orgasmic meditation and took the first course, the opening course, about three months ago. But I’ve been doing the practice very consistently for about a month. At first it was something that I did because I knew somehow in my intuition that it was good for me, but not knowing why. And I was doing it because I wanted healing and because this is part of the process that I need to get there, and just somehow in my deep intuition knowing that. And then it started to get fun and like, “Let’s go, oh, gosh this is fun,” and, like, wanting to.

J: How is it to bring very deliberate, intentional attention to your genitals.

Kerri Knox: It’s very confronting, especially the first, maybe, 15 times that I did orgasmic meditation. It was extraordinarily confronting, very tense, had a lot of emotional things happen during the first few times that I did it. A lot of emotional things coming up for me. I cried the first few times. Just a lot of emotion around it, a lot of tenseness. The emotion came from not having a lot of sensation and not maybe feeling as much as I wanted to, and starting to feel some sensations right towards the end. And I really had a lot of emotion come up around the sexual experiences that I’ve had, that I always tend to feel like I don’t get a lot of sensation out of it; that the guy gets more sensation and that he’s done, and I’m barely warmed up, and barely getting started. So that came up a lot for me because the orgasmic meditations are timed to where they’re done in 15 minutes. So right at the end, I’m just starting to feel like, “Oh yeah, that this starting to get fun,” and then it’s done.

J: A lot of people say, “Oh! Orgasmic mediation, it’s manual stimulation.” So what’s the difference between it and masturbation? So I’m wondering maybe if you can answer that question.

Kerri Knox: The woman not doing it to herself completely puts you out of control, and having just be with what it is rather than to be controlling. What is, is the main difference. And also the difference, I think, is attention. Unless you’re quite conscious, giving yourself manual stimulation, you’re probably not going to be completely in a space where you’re going to be completely aware and conscious of every touch that you’re doing to yourself. Feel like I’ve learned more about my genitals in the month that I’ve been here than I probably have in my entire life. I’m just feeling what touches are good sensations for me, what touches don’t feel like good sensations. Things that hurt, things that feel good, specific spots where I have more sensation than I do in other places, what it takes to get me aroused more, just a better knowing of what the sensations are that I’m feeling and where they’re actually coming from. I could actually describe probably a lot of sensations that were surprising. One specifically that comes to mind is the feeling of having my clitoris stroked and really feeling that energy build up in my genitals, and then that kept building up and building up, and then he slipped off my genitals and just feeling it release and dissipate out. And that was a really interesting sensation.

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J: Recently you took a weekend retreat course here at One Taste called Love, Orgasm, Taboo, and at the end of it, you read an essay that you had written to your genitals. I’m going to have you read what you wrote.

Kerri Knox: I’m sorry that over the years I’ve harassed you, hated you, kept you in secret, blamed you, let men have their way with you and generally felt nothing but embarrassment and disgust for all of your fluid, smells and massive volumes of magenta ooze that occurred on an ever-predictable monthly basis. I know that I’ve treated you horribly in the past, but the time has come for us to become friends and lovers again. I don’t know exactly what I need to do in order to get you to regain my trust and to heal your wounds, but I’m willing to do whatever it takes for us to have the intense, intimate, fun-filled relationship that we were always meant to have. We’re here at One Taste right now and this is the first step in my commitment to honor you and to repair the rift between us. I feel as though I’m stumbling blindly in the dark and all that I can do is to trust that my intuition and my soul will point me in the right direction. I hope that my attempts will be enough for you to one day forgive me.

J: You’ve been listening to a Taste of Sex. You can find us on the web at www.personallifemedia.com. For more information about One Taste, check us out at onetastesf.com. Music on this episode was composed and performed by Aharon Bulsta. I’m J. Tune in and turn on.

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