caught masturbating

March 22, 2020

I had my hair permed for the first and last time when I was 10 years old.

An hour or two after we returned home from the hairdressers, my mother caught me masturbating in the lounge room. In 1986, it was acceptable for 10-year-olds to get perms, but not to masturbate in the lounge room, so when she caught sight of me, my mother let out a kind of shocked wail.

“Oh, Shelly,” she said. “And you looked so pretty with your new hair.”

I realised in that instant that I could either be pretty or I could be sexual, but I couldn’t be both. And I should never, ever masturbate in the lounge room.

Michelle Dicinoski
By our own hands