Sometimes I like to look back on my life and reminisce about important events that have happened to me over the years. Like when I learned to ride a bike. Or when I shaved my legs for the first time. Or when I graduated high school. Most recently, however, I recalled the first time I composed on the single key piano. You know, dialed the rotary phone. Double-clicked my own mouse. Tested the plumbing. Wet my own whistle. Okay, enough with the euphemisms; I'm talking about the first time I ever masturbated.

Ashley Garmany pondering with a Miller LiteTo say that I was a late bloomer in life would be an understatement. Most of my formative years were spent obsessing over the television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer and eagerly awaiting the new Spice Girls album. I was actually quite modest as a youth, growing up on the cookie-cutter streets of Loveland, Ohio (a town known for, well, a lot of white people). The idea of masturbating was never really that appealing to me, but once I got to college, I got a ton of flak for not doing it. Some kids get peer pressured into drinking and drugs; I got peer pressured into masturbating. It wasn't until I was almost 21 that I threw caution to the wind and played the clitar.

Now we all know the last time I had sex, Prince's "When Doves Cry" was topping the charts and Top Gun, starring a young Tom Cruise as a man on a journey to find himself, was number one at the box office. The same could be said for most of my early college years. I didn't really put out for anyone…even myself. I decided that if I was going to finally engage in some self-love, it would need to be memorable.

I was good, but I wasn't great. No offense to myself, but in all reality, I'd had better.What I needed to do was set the mood. So I put a little Kenny G on the old CD player, lit some aromatherapy candles, and poured myself a glass of sweet, luscious cabernet (circa 1973). Things were going along great, but I didn't want to rush into things. So I talked to myself for a little bit, pretending to be interested in what I was saying, all the while plotting the next move for how to get me in the sack. Eventually, things started to heat up. However, as I was rounding second, I felt myself pull back. I didn't want me to think I do this with just anyone. I wanted to respect myself and not think of me as a whore. So I told myself that I wasn't a skank, hoping I would shut up. I'll tell you what, I was THIS CLOSE to dropping the L-bomb. Finally I quieted down and then proceeded to make sweet love to myself.

Afterwards, I smoked a post-coital cigarette and sipped the rest of my wine. Quite frankly, I just wanted to get the hell out of there and take a shower. But I kept asking myself what I was thinking and how I felt. Was it good for me? I had to be honest: I was good, but I wasn't great. No offense to myself, but in all reality, I'd had better. And no, I didn't want to spoon. At that, I started to cry, which only made the moment that much more awkward. So I told myself that I had to go, but I'd give myself a call here in the next few days. I knew I wasn't really going to call.

Later on, I realized that I'd forgotten my underwear in my room. But I mean, who goes back for the underwear? I wasn't about to go get it and give myself hope that maybe we had a future. I wasn't ready for that type of commitment.

Over the years, I've perfected the art of masturbation. When you find yourself perpetually single, it's the only truly safe way to get off. What with STDs on the rise and Tiger Woods back on the market, a girl's got to protect herself. Which is why, when I'm asked to speak to young women about sex and relationships, it's not diamonds that I say are a girl's best friend, it's your dominant hand.

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