How We Learned About Sex

Hocus Pocus: Max is a virgin

When I watched Hocus Pocus as a child, I became very confused about the part where “a virgin” needed to light “the Black Flame Candle.” I asked my mother what a virgin was, to which she replied, “It’s somebody who likes people but not that much.” And that was that.

This explains why Clueless‘ best line made very little sense to me.

So she only kind of likes cars?

While growing up, I always knew that there were “private parts” that you weren’t supposed to show anybody. I knew kissing people was not allowed, but I also knew that I couldn’t wait to be able to do so. It confused me that people seemed to believe this could lead to trouble.

One day, at a fairly young age, I watched GoldenEye and saw that scene where Xenia is trying to have sex with James Bond. (She was also strangling him with her legs in another scene, but I’d rather not go into that aspect because it would probably open up an insight door I don’t want to look inside right now.) I wound up rubbing myself on a pillow for a while, which felt good, but I was completely perplexed as to why I wanted to do it and what exactly was going on in the sex scenes of that movie that made me feel so…weird.

xenia goldeneye

Eventually, I came across some porn popups on the Internet sometime around fifth grade. I would seriously just click popups for hours – I was a strange kid, I know — trying to figure out why these people were doing what they were doing. It was like being given a pie chart with none of the pieces labeled; I had no clue what was called what, except I knew I liked boobs and that the men in these videos were a little scary. I finally asked some kids at school and it was explained more explicitly to me. Tada! Now Sam knows about sex.

We learned about sex in varying ages, at varying stages and with varying results. Here are our stories, featuring accidental viewings of hardcore pornography in elementary school, awkward car rides and so. much. pee.



I got the sex talk at an early enough age that I convoluted the details in my own brain, and I had to get it again because I was caught explaining it to other kids completely wrong. I specifically remember telling A BUNCH of my friends that sex was when the man and the woman peed on each other, and whoever got the most pee on them got pregnant. Only it was usually the woman on account of the fact that the man had a much more effective apparatus, ergo his peeing skills were much greater. You know, NORMAL STUFF LIKE THAT.

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    • Julia Sonenshein

      Random thought: The Gloss teaches sex ed would be catastrophic.

    • Ashley Cardiff

      I’m always relieved to see this was horrible for everybody.

    • Anne Marie Hawkins

      My parents tossed me a book and each of them told me to ask the other if I had any questions about it, so, naturally, I consulted the encyclopedia, was horrified but not surprised by puberty as the first girl in my grade to develop, genuinely despised every moment of co-ed sex ed – which I spent staring intently at inanimate objects – and became unreasonably uptight on the subject until I was somewhere in my teens and decided to rebel by becoming reasonably uptight about it.

    • Nik

      I didn’t know about the “p IN the v” situation until I was 14 o.O
      Thanks, 8th grade sexual education videos! The animation was see-through. I recall being shocked and thinking “but how does it get in there?!” (When I lost my virginity at 19, I thought “yeah, that’s not gonna fit”.)
      I thought the penis went between the partner’s thighs and humping ensued. That’s what I gathered from watching soft core porn on HBO and Cinemax =/
      My parents cancelled those channels once they found out about it lol