never liked getting help with my homework. I don't know whether
it stemmed from being an only child who spent a lot of time figuring
out things on my own, or whether it was due to the great luck of
realizing early that I was born smarter than everyone else. But
I would rather get it wrong a hundred times before finally finding
the right answer than get it right the first time with instruction.
And so, while many people learned about sex in one fell swoop via
an awkward yet well-informed lecture, I chose the slightly less
efficient route of piecing together Everything I Know About Sex
over about twenty-five years, relying on nothing but my keen observation
of the world around me. Which turned out to be kind of like teaching
yourself how to sail by walking across a desert.
Education, Years 0 - 6
journey started with Jason, who was my best friend in the zero-to-six
portion of my life. He lived next door in a house that I was not
allowed to enter due to an eclectic array of Jason's relatives,
none of whom were his actual parents, purportedly raising him in
between shotgunning Coors Lights and filing for disability. Jason
had a toothbrush at my house, which my dad made him use before driving
us to nursery school, and a weight problem that my mom tried to
counterbalance with baggies of carrots and celery that she handed
him as we headed off.
day, Jason's happy home was visited by a new family member -- Jason's
cousin, a worldly eight-year-old number made over by her large-haired
mother to look like a tiny transvestite. ("It's never too early
for body glitter!") Jason and I thought she and her multi-colored
eye shadow were beautiful, and one day, in the midst of an afternoon
mud-pie making session, Jason delivered some news:
a final acorn "chocolate chip" on my mudpie and looked
up. "You what?" I asked. "We humped," Jason
repeated. "You know what humping is, right?" "Yeah,"
I scoffed. "But tell me what you think it is."
he told me. And he was pretty much right, it turns out, save a couple
of details. For one, Jason told me that a man and a woman must "hump"
for EXACTLY two minutes if they wanted a baby. This misunderstanding,
I suspect, came from overhearing a complaint from a female family
member regarding the duration of an inadequate humping she had participated
in, but this is just conjecture based on, well, subsequent experience.
Anyway, Jason gave me the scoop, and while it turned out, mercifully,
that the humping that he and his cousin had participated in had
been of the fully-clothed, play-acting variety, the cat was now
out of the bag.
that was it! Now I knew it all! Anyone, related or not, could put
some things in some other things for two minutes, and then babies
were born. But, it turned out my education was not over.
School, Years 7-13
next few years brought a patchwork of new and exciting pieces to
my ever-expanding quilt of humping knowledge. One would think that
the dry-humping cousins would be the most upsetting piece of the
story, but that would not be true. My grandfather's testicles burst
into the picture in the late seventies via an accidental sighting
as they poked out of his far-too-short Dolfin shorts. No sooner
had I shaken off this experience than I walked into a conversation
about how my other grandfather, post-prostate surgery, had had a
pump installed in his very own set of gray, shriveled fellas so
that he and Grams could hump well into their eighties. So, okay,
two new pieces of information: pubic hair turns gray, and some people
like this humping business so much that they want to do it with
each other forever.
I had to know more. Jason's description of things, and the sight
of what I would be humping if I did hump into my golden years, made
me think I had not gotten the whole picture. So, being the intellectual
giant that I believe I previously mentioned I was, I turned to literature
for a more thorough understanding.
I went to my aunt and uncle's copy of Joy of Sex, which I
hid in their bathroom so that I could study the pencil-drawn renderings
of exuberant, undergroomed humpers. This shed some light on what
must be so fun about this whole thing -- it was like gymnastics!
Floor routines, but for couples! I loved Mary Lou Retton! Encouraged,
I did some further research, and came upon a new twist on the old
theme: the discovery of page 354 in Flowers in the Attic,
which did the public service of teaching nine-year-olds that incest
is actually super hot. (So Jason was right!) I rounded out my readings
with a much passed around, dog-eared copy of Judy Blume's Forever,
which covered more traditional acts of love like naming a boyfriend's
penis. It was while pitching ideas for what my friends and I would,
once we were out of fourth grade, name OUR boyfriends' penises,
(the current Duran Duran craze led to lots of Nicks, Johns and Simons)
that my Girl Scout camp counselor decided both Forever and
I should maybe be sent on home.
me the rule against reading!" I shouted as they called my parents.
"My mom was right when she said the Girl Scouts are a paramilitary
organization!" I yelled for good measure.
I had learned the mechanics: I knew what went where, and how you
could do it rightside up or upside down or in a hammock or with
a couple of friends or, if you had spent your blossoming years locked
in an attic, with a sibling. The point being that by the time my
parents, in hour eight of a road trip, turned down the Crystal Gayle,
adjusted their visor mirrors so they could make eye contact with
me, and asked, "Kristin, do you have any questions about, you
know, sex?" I was informed enough to snort "No,"
and go back to quietly fantasizing about getting fingered by John
PAGE 1 2
version for easy reading
material is copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission|