How I Learned To Masturbate At 5 Years Old

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age you first masturbated

You might have wondered when kids start masturbating for pleasure and, honestly, the answer might surprise you. The age I first masturbated was five years old. It was definitely before I entered primary school and so this is when (and how) 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, "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 said 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 a 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 at the age I first masturbated.

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 known any better.

I'm sharing this story about the age I first masturbated even though it is very personal because I want to help normalize masturbation. I don't want you to think that because I've been masturbating since I was four or five, I'm over-sexualized, and that's why I became a sexologist.

No, I have just as little or as much sex education than a lot of my clients. The saving grace was that I caught up in the last seven years of my life, running my practice for the last five, and then having my training, the last two.

Masturbation has helped me to be a more empowered person even when I had no names for the act, no names for my body parts.

Learning about our bodies and that our sexuality is ours are good things. The more comfortable we are with our bodies and with our sexuality, the better it is for us to start from in learning how to in turn express and then share it with our partners later on.


Dr. Martha Tara Lee is Founder and Clinical Sexologist of Eros Coaching in Singapore. She holds a Doctorate in Human Sexuality from Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality as well as certificates in practical counseling, life coaching and sex therapy. For more, visit

This article was originally published at Eros Coaching. Reprinted with permission from the author.