I started masturbating when I was five. Before I fell asleep, I would lie in bed on my stomach, my yellow cloth doll between my legs. I'd grind on the head of the doll, fantasizing about a giant ice cream cone (really), until a mysterious, magical feeling radiated up and out from my core.
When I was 10 years old, I confessed to a girlfriend that I liked to touch my breasts until my nipples got hard. She replied, "Ew!" But isn't the first and truest love self-love? Thankfully, we have come a long way from the days of my youth.
My mother snapped, "Why would anyone buy the cow when they can have the milk for free?" To be compared to livestock made me feel like a useless possession. I had intelligence, right? I had wit and a depth of emotion and experiences to share. Surely my modesty wasn't the only bargaining chip?
Mary Roach is funny, and very deft at speaking about difficult topics without descending into smut or anaesthetising the audience with euphemism. And yet I came away from this talk feeling quite undernourished.