I first masturbated when I was four or five years old. It was definitely before I entered primary school and so this is how I remembered when it happened.
My sister, who is one year younger, was the one who taught me how to masturbate. So if I was five, she was four. If I was four, she was three.
My sister came to me, and she said in Mandarin (paraphrasing from memory): "Hey Sis, I know if you did something you'd feel good."
I asked: "What?"
She revealed: "If you take the bolster (a long pillow), you put it between your legs, and squeeze your thighs, and kind-of snake your legs around the bolster, and lock them in your ankles. Next you squeeze really hard, and then you rub your privates (she really meant clitoris) against the bolster. You have to rub really hard. You will feel good at some point."
I was like... "What are you talking about?"
I tried it, and I didn't feel anything besides pain in my ankles and frustrated. I went back to her: "You must be lying. Nothing happened. You show me!"
My sister demonstrated the moves to me.
I admitted, "That's what I did. I still didn't feel anything!"
My sister ordered: "No, no, no. You don't give up. Just keep trying. Even when you're tired, you just keep going."
As a kid, the thought of even giving up was not an option because if my sister could figure out something, then surely I could too because I'm one year older than her. There was definitely a competitive element going on as kid.
I went back to my room (and bolster) kept trying and trying until I did feel something good. I experienced my first orgasm.
I didn't know it was called the orgasm. I didn't know what we were doing was masturbation. I didn't know we were rubbing on the clitoris. I did not know any of these terms. But I knew it felt good.
After some weeks, I began to become curious, even a tad worried, if what we were doing was dangerous because after all, I was still a kid. I don't know what are this heart-beating and this flushing of blood within my body was good for me. I decided to ask my mom.
I planned it so I caught her at the right time. She was lying on the sofa watching TV, and then I lay on the floor next to her. She was just above me.
I asked her during a commercial break: "Hey mom. I want to show you something my sister taught me. I don't know how to explain it. I need to show it to you."
She nodded and I proceeded to demonstrate our unique masturbation technique to my mom.
To her credit, she said, "Oh that. It's okay. It's normal."
Because of that one sentence, I felt relieved that it's okay to feel pleasure and to continue masturbating.
She didn't smack me on the head. She didn't tell me to stop because I think if she had, I probably would have not knowing any better.