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?