I was a teenager in the years 2005 and onwards and I wish I knew then that being a teenager meant that my sexuality had a lot more to do with me than anyone else, any peer pressure applying friend or self-serving wannabe boyfriend. I am black and I am a woman I did not have the luxury of being able to speak without fear to my mother about my own sexuality, never mind sex and boys. I never really felt hungry for that conversation until I grew into the person I am now and still becoming and realised how much I have learned all by myself and how emotionally and psychologically dangerous that road was and potentially more dangerous now as I still travel it alone and choose at my own discretion who to tag along with me. I wish I knew then that masturbation has a name and is not just some therapy I can do on the sneak to release tension supplied by my surroundings or make me happy when YoTV couldn’t. I wish I knew then that masturbation is acceptable, is healthy and I wish I did it for longer before I engaged a boy to find the same high only to have him let me down and not give me what I in my lower teen years could so effectively give myself. I cannot wish to have known then how to talk to my parents about sex, sexuality and sexual relationships and the necessity to have a relationship with myself first, there was no way I could have realised that I needed such a conversation when I was a child. Physically I was just beginning to unravel what a pleasure it is to be within my own body, but I couldn’t stand looking at myself in the mirror if I had to look at more than my face which was the obvious cause of much cognitive dissonance.

I wish I knew then that my body was beautiful enough as beautiful as it was capable of pleasing me and precious enough to be shared with someone I trust, not someone I was afraid of losing because I wasn’t ready to ‘show that I really love’ them. I wish I knew then that I would be as comfortable with my carnal cravings and gentle feminine whims and whiles, I would have been more patient with myself because even though I am still getting to know myself now, I am doing it more consciously than I was growing up thus more confident with what I already know and looking forward to what more I will learn. I wish I knew then that my body’s ability to respond to sexual stimuli is nothing to feel guilty or ashamed about. I have only recently learned that often times the best part to reaching orgasm is actually the road one has to travel in order to get there and growing up the orgasm seemed like everything, thank goodness for growth because the female body is so well primed to experience sensations.

I wish I knew then that textbooks were not the best place for me to visually encounter a vagina for the first time. There is nothing more photo shopped and air brushed than a vagina illustrated in a textbook and no one is going to tell you to look at yours first, no, they will tell you to look at the textbook and use that as a template to find your way around your own damn vagina, the nerve.

My consolation for not knowing all this then is that now that I know it, my life and mind is ready to transform this data into usable information that is applicable to me and through my speaking freely and openly, hopefully it will become usable for the next young girl getting the pleasure to know her sexual body and mind.