How Sex Was Explained To Me By My Peers In The Third Grade

shutter_kids whispering

Because I was a child in the era just short of having the internet available to me at all times, I had to learn about sex by culling small pieces of information from movies, romance novels that I found in my friends’ moms’ bookshelves, and from the bits of misinformation that my friends volunteered. The third grade was a particularly pivotal time in the expansion of my sexual knowledge, and three people in particular shaped my understanding of how to have intercourse.

Madison Cohen

I just want to first of all point out that Madison Cohen was a sexy damn third grader. He rock climbed or some shit so he had fully developed abdominal muscles at age eight. This was very confusing for me, and I had weird sexy thoughts about him but didn’t know how to express them. I had this strange and inexplicable desire to touch his stomach and then play Jenga with him, and only him. Once, we both got sent out in the hallway for being disruptive in class (even though I was painfully shy, I still managed to talk back), and he showed me some pictures he had drawn of naked people. “Sex is touching boobies until milk comes out,” he told me. I didn’t look forward to this.

Julia Johnson

Julia Johnson had an older sister and arguably taught me the most accurate information about sex. Well, closest to the realm of accuracy. For instance, Julia Johnson explained to me, sort of, what a blowjob is. “You put his penis in your mouth and then he likes it.” “The whole thing, in my mouth? How?” I was completely incredulous. Julia, however, sagely and calmly responded with “Don’t worry, your mouth will get bigger before you have to do this.” I also want to point out that since there were two Julias at my elementary school, one was called “Hot Julia” and one was called “Funny Julia.” Guess which one I was?

Hannah Schwartz

I very clearly remember Hannah Schwartz sitting on my parents’ bed (we were watching a movie in their room, probably something weird like an old musical because Hannah wasn’t allowed to watch normal movies like Aladdin), when she and I began to discuss male-female interactions. She giggled and told me “The boy puts his wiener in the girl’s vagina and pees!” We laughed hysterically, and I wondered how the wiener got into the vagina, since as an eight-year-old I didn’t understand the mechanics of what was going on down there. Vagina versus vulva was a nuance that was lost to me. I also wondered how Hannah knew this, since there wasn’t any sex in musicals and I couldn’t figure out how she had come to this information.

The knowledge passed to me from my peers left an indelible imprint in my memory and shaped my sexual identity much more than say, real information. As a result, I’m pretty sure that I’m still doing it wrong.

What misinformation about sex did you hear during your youth?

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    • Fabel

      Oh god. Lunch table in 2nd or 3rd grade, with my two friends (one a boy, one a girl). The girl is acting worldly or something & says we don’t know how babies are made, I think? (I don’t remember how, or even if, this was relevant to the conversation.) The boy says, & I quote, “I know! I put my thing in your thing, & KABLAM, you have a baby!!” (He said kablam, for real.)

      • Fabel

        Also, I mean, I guess he was pretty accurate.

      • baxiwolecexo

        мy coυѕιɴ ιѕ мαĸιɴɢ $51/нoυr oɴlιɴe. υɴeмployed ғor α coυple oғ yeαrѕ αɴd prevιoυѕ yeαr ѕнe ɢoт α $1З619cнecĸ wιтн oɴlιɴe joв ғor α coυple oғ dαyѕ. ѕee мore αт…­ ­ViewMore——————————————&#46qr&#46net/kkEj

        Then again my parents informed me of the fact that Santa wasn’t real
        about the same age and boy did they get some angry calls from parents at

      • Julia Sonenshein


    • Joanna Rafael

      Everything I know about sex comes from that dirty joke about dad parking his limousine in mom’s garage.

      • Julia Sonenshein

        And there was something about headlights, too, right? LIke headlights = boobs? I don’t know.

      • Joanna Rafael

        YES. I wish I remembered. Should I find a third grader and ask?

    • Anonachocolatemousse

      I grew up with mildly conservative parents who were oddly open about sex and all things pertaining. The bought a book, the name of which escapes me, that laid out EVERYTHING (and I mean everything) and they read it to me when I was 5 or 6. I of course promptly went and told several people at school how babies are made.

      Then again my parents informed me of the fact that Santa wasn’t real about the same age and boy did they get some angry calls from parents at school!

      • Julia Sonenshein

        Oh my gosh I can’t imagine processing that information at 5 or 6!

    • Nerdy Lucy

      In first grade, my friend’s dog had puppies, and she told me that it happened because “the boy dog got on top of the girl dog and jumped up and down.” This was as much as any of us knew, and we had no idea how to apply that to humans.

      • Julia Sonenshein

        I just picture a boy jumping on a girl, Dr. Seuss’s Hop on Pop style. YIKES.

      • Nerdy Lucy

        Yeah, that’s pretty much the idea. Bizarre.

    • anna

      i must have had some idea, because i remember thinking it had something to do with a bed and a man and a woman. the man would put his head at the end of the bed with his legs touching the woman’s and the woman would put her legs on top of the man’s and i don’t know, a magical light would fuse penis to vagina?

      i just remember begging for a sibling and my mom saying no, and that daddy doesn’t want anymore kids. then i glowered at her and said “well if daddy won’t help i’ll get phil (her best friend) to do it! i’ll get you pregnant in your SLEEP!”
      my poor mother. she just looked at me calmly and said “please don’t.”