Friday, August 05, 2005

Sex Ed, self-taught

I was never what you would call slow. Dense, maybe, but not slow. I chased girls at two, stole kisses at five, and copped feels at eight. Despite my forwardness, I didn't understand what it was all about until high school. At three, I asked my mother where I came from. "Ask your father," she said. My father has never been one to lie, but he's never been a talkative cuss, either. When I asked him, he pointed to my mother's middle and said, "From there." Huh? From her belly?
Back to my early misconceptions in a moment. My Dad never sat me down for the Big Talk. Instead, when I was eight, he took me to the library and pointed me in the right direction. I checked out David Reuben's Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* with my father's blessing. The trouble with this book: it assumes its reader has a decent fund of sexual knowledge to begin with. In those days, you couldn't find words like cunnilingus and fellatio in the dictionary (not our dictionary back home, anyway!) Masturbation sounded like a worthwhile avocation, but damned if I could figure out how I was supposed to do it. As for cunnilingus, I only knew about one hole Down There, and it baffled me why anyone would want to get his tongue anywhere near it. (In my ignorance of the vagina, I had discovered the rim job.) Some time in junior high, I learned about vaginas. No pictures, mind you. I gleaned additional useful information from Xaviera Hollander's book Xaviera! (sequel to The Happy Hooker). My sexual education would have been complete if Xaviera! had had pictures. Somewhere along the way, I acquired some very romantic notions about sex. Intercourse would have to be with a girl I loved. We would spend all night together and wake up in each other's arms. I also vowed that I would not see my first vagina in a nudie magazine (we're not talking bush, by the way -- I'd seen that in the movies when I was five). Rather, I would see my first vagina in the, erm, flesh. Stubborn as I was (I made good on those promises), I refused all opportunities to examine hard core smut magazines. Still, I was curious as hell. This led to some uniquely twisted dreams. You women, you don't know how lucky you are. You're surrounded by phallic images. You probably learned to recognize a penis before you ever examined your own package with a mirror. I'll bet you never had a nightmare wherein you pulled down a man's pants and discovered . . . fill in the blank. Among other things, I dreamed of broken lightbulbs, sliced watermelon, pigeons. A baseball. Or maybe it was a softball. Back to three-year-old me. My Dad has just pointed to my Mom's belly. "From there." "From there? From where?" "Down there." "From her belly?" "Yeah," he said. "From her belly." "But there's no hole there." "Sure there is." So I racked my teensy brains. What hole? The only hole I knew about was the belly button hole. I'd discovered it not long before, and found out I could seriously tweak my parents by coloring in my belly button hole with a ballpoint pen. My father even tried to spank me for it, and stopped because I kept laughing. He dubbed me "Iron Ass" after that. The belly button hole? I had to protest my disbelief. "But it's too small!" "It gets bigger," he said, and left it at that. At last, I knew where babies came from.
And my wife wonders why I'm all f'd up. D.
*But your father wouldn't tell you.


Anonymous keith said...

Oddly enough, my little lad is just getting curious. Our new dog is a randy little bugger (little does he know he has a date with the vet soon, when his current health problems settle down) and James is curious what's going on.

He reckons he's trying to lay doggy eggs on his leg. With that image, I haven't the heart to start chipping away at his innocence...


8/06/2005 07:14:00 AM  
Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

But the poor mutt is so vigorous, he keeps scrambling the eggs?

As a kid, what always disturbed me was how dogs ended up backwards towards the end of their conjugal rites. I couldn't see how I'd ever pull off a stunt like that.

8/06/2005 07:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was funny. I didn't really learn about sex til I was in HIGH SCHOOL, so you can see why I was really, really, really F'd up.
When I asked my mother about babies, and where they come from and all about periods etc, she started drawing a picture of a naked woman, drew lots of hair and started laughing uncontrollably. See what I mean?

8/06/2005 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

Somewhere along the way, I was told it was better to give them TOO much information. They'd tune out on the details, but come away thinking they'd been told the truth. (And it is the truth, but nothing they can get their little heads around.)

That's what we did with my son. I think he first asked at age 5.

But we finally got him to knock on the bedroom door this year, having convinced him, FINALLY, that the sight of his parents having sex would forever scar him. ("WHAT? You mean you have SEX?" Never assume anything.)

8/06/2005 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger Jeff Huber said...

Well, not to play "can you top this," but...

When I asked my mom what the F word meant, she told me it was something animals did in the woods.

Took me quite some time to get that straightened out!


8/06/2005 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

Good one, Jeff! And here I thought all they did in the woods was poop it up. Guess the wilderness is more fun than I thought.

As my AA counselor* would say, "Thanks for sharing."



8/06/2005 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger Aelfthryth said...

that was hilarious. the pictures were a tad disturbing. I believe I shall nightmares tonight. My mom told me that a hole would develop below my belly button and that's where babies would come up. I kept self examining, but I still haven't grown a gaping baby-sized whole anywhere on my belly.

12/21/2005 04:06:00 PM  

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