True story, about my painful sexual awakening, resulting in lost friendship.
The following story isn't a masturbation story with a "happy ending" (pun intended). Rather, it is a true-life story about masturbation/unconscious seduction which ended in ... well ... embarrassment for both parties. I thought it important to write this story to show the bittersweet side of masturbation experiences - they don't all end in orgasms and being "best mates forever".
I was 22 at the time and my friend Eric was 19. Eric was the younger brother of my closest friend, Dudley. Eric wasn't exactly good-looking. He was short, pale, had a bad knee, and was starting - even at his tender age - to put on weight. He was growing his hair long. I asked him what his college friends thought of his hairstyle. He bluntly replied they thought he was a "homo".
Previously, Eric and I had exchanged letters/emails and in one of the letters he wrote that I was "a beautiful and handsome man". So despite the fact he disliked the way he looked, I guess he thought I looked all right.
I thought Eric was good-looking when I first met him (a couple years earlier). But he had lost the slender athletic build which originally made him attractive. He was having some troubles in his life. Namely, a girl he fancied (the younger sister of his sister-in-law of all people!) didn't fancy him back. Eric assumed girls didn't/wouldn't fancy him because of his defective looks. Nevertheless, I still liked Eric as a person and thought he had a certain charm.
I had reached a stage in my life where I was intensely curious about sexuality and masturbation. Or rather, that is to say, I was interested in what my peers thought of masturbation. I grew up in a very strict Fundamentalist Christian home and when it came to sex there was a total information blackout. I assumed that nothing I knew about masturbation could possibly be accurate, so I decided to ask a friend. This is where Eric came in. He was the first pal I felt comfortable enough asking about masturbation. To be honest, it was kind of exciting, just bringing up the topic. I didn't register Eric's discomfort.
Nevertheless, the friendship continued ...
Eric came over my house one day to hang out and play chess. We had a relatively good time, although I was disappointed that he wasn't "sporty" and we couldn't do anything athletic together, like walk to the man-made lake near my house.
I felt strangely energized around Eric. I couldn't explain why at the time. I was extremely ignorant about all things sexual (despite being an anatomically correct male of 22 with no known health problems!). I did masturbate, but only by rubbing my penis against a mattress until I came - I never used my hand. I also didn't realize that males normally masturbate by applying hand to shaft.
What I had figured out was that merely touching my male friends (in innocent places, such as on the arm or shoulder) was pleasurable and weirdly exciting for me. I had been experimenting discreetly for a few years. I once got a boner, merely putting my hand on Dudley's shoulder while standing next to him. Fortunately, we were facing the same way, so I assume he noticed nothing.
I wanted to take things further with Eric. But I wasn't conscious that what I was doing was "sexual" or might be seen in such a light. When Eric came over, in greeting I hugged him from behind (put my hands around his waist from behind) and said: "Mm, that feels nice". I got a boner from doing this. I don't know if Eric felt or noticed my boner. But, looking back, I can see how a straight-laced Christian guy in his late teens (Eric was from the same kind of conservative religious background as I was) might start feeling disturbed.
As Eric and I hung out that day, I continued to flirt with him innocently. (Not even aware I was flirting). I bought up the subject of masturbation, but Eric didn't want to discuss it, so I respected his wishes and dropped the matter. Eric made noises about going home (I guess he was already feeling awkward) but then suggested we play one more game of chess. I agreed. I didn't mention masturbation again. However, I continued to act ... well ... seductive ... seductive without realizing it? I guess "seductive" is the only word that fits.
While Eric was sitting in a chair in my room, for example, I lay down on my bed very invitingly and continued talking to him. Also, right at the end of the visit, I kissed Earl on the hand and kissed his cheek and asked him to kiss me. He point-blank refused. That was fine; I didn't press him. I apologized for being an "ass-hole". On some level, I realized I had offended Eric, but I wasn't sure how. I didn't see kissing (kissing on the cheek or on the hand) as sexual, merely affectionate. I didn't know what I did to upset Eric. He accepted my apology and hopped into his car. I assumed everything was fine ...
Several weeks later, Eric refused to take my phone calls. Or, rather, he'd answer the phone, but refuse to talk at length. He said he'd email me instead. I had no idea he might still be feeling angry at me or embarrassed.
Eventually, I got a long email in my inbox informing me that I had been "acting gay" on our last get-together. Earl said he was embarrassed, not offended (I clarified this when talking on the phone to him later). Apparently, he had some bad experience in the past and didn't like "being approached by men".
On an intellectual level, I understood everything he said. It was very fair-minded and perfectly valid. Hats off to him for being honest and direct. However, on an emotional level, I was mortified, shamed, embarrassed, devastated, humiliated - there aren't enough words to explain the avalanche of painful, confused emotions I felt. I actually thought about killing myself.
Eventually, I couldn't cope with the pain of all these emotions, and the infinite self-blame, guilt and self-reproach I felt. I was remorseful. The burden of guilt and shame (that I had accidentally tried to seduce somebody without even realizing it) was so great that I actually ended my friendship with Eric and never spoke to him again. This is ironic, since you'd think he would be the one to feel emotional and choose to break off all contact with me.
I attribute the unfolding of this event, and the way I felt about it afterwards, to my rigid religious upbringing. Anything to do with sex, I was taught, was dirty, negative, wrong and bad. Eric's rejection of my unwitting flirtation made me feel deeply ashamed - it added an extra layer of shame to the shame I already felt. I became depressed and sought out refuge in social isolation.
Since this story, I'm happy to say, I've moved on. I've learned to think more objectively about religion. I have a happy, well-adjusted sex life and many friends. But for years, this unhappy experience with Eric haunted me and I felt as if I was a terrible person because of it.
The worst part is I lost a valued friend, since neither of us could talk about the experience, without becoming defensive.