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.*But your father wouldn't tell you.
And my wife wonders why I'm all f'd up. D.