I was taking a look back at the very first days of my blog and realized that this August will be 10 years since I began blogging. I have to say, the musings of teenage Amy were quite hilarious (and kind of awful, to be honest). In some ways I amaze myself with how ahead of the curve I was without knowing it. In other ways I am laughing (more like cringing) at my teenage self! Oh, how far I've come since then.
I thought I'd share this essay I wrote my first semester of college. Our English teacher, one of my favorites at California College of the Arts, had us write stories about childhood memories, or something like that. I decided to write an essay about my silly aversion to sex after learning what it was. Obviously my view on the subject, as well as my writing, has changed.
For your reading pleasure:
When I was younger I thought sex was just passionate kissing while you were in bed, naked. This I learned from Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis in their risqué, Top Gun sex scene; the first sex scene I had ever witnessed. (My parents were terrible at proper censorship and therefore I had access to such things.) One day, when I was in probably the second or third grade, my dad and I were watching TV and he began to give me what might commonly be referred to as “the talk”. I’m not really certain how the subject came up but what my dad told me wasn’t exactly the typical “where do babies come from” talk.
At this point I already knew that babies came from sex. Instead of a talk about fertility, I got more of an anatomical biology lesson on sex. My dad told me that a man sticks his penis into a woman’s vagina and sperm from the man fertilizes the egg, which eventually makes a baby. This was definitely not what I saw Tom, Kelly, or any of their cohorts doing when I saw sex on television and at the soft age of seven or eight I found this entire idea to be totally unnatural and wrong. I had yet to go through puberty and although I had experienced crushes on boys I never had the urge to have sex with any of them. I just didn’t understand how a penis would, could, or even should go into a vagina and I didn’t like it one bit.
Most of my friends admittedly never officially had “the talk” like I did. There was enough sex in the media and popular culture that they learned everything they needed to know from TV, books, and their friends. Because I was the friend who actually got “the talk”, I was the one who got to enlighten them with the penis-in-vagina reality of sex. I’m not sure if they felt the same way about it as I did. We never really talked about it. I suppose that was because we were all a bit uncomfortable with it. We also didn’t know all of the details about boners, ejaculation, uteruses, etc., so we were all silently curious as to how exactly the whole thing worked. Did a man use his hands to put the penis into the vagina? Where did the sperm come from? Does it hurt when a penis is in your vagina? How does a penis reach all the way to a woman’s stomach so that it can fertilize the egg? There were so many things we didn’t know but none of us were about to ask our parents any of these questions. I especially wasn’t going to because I didn’t want to know. As far as I was concerned sex didn’t concern me because I didn’t want to do it.
Not long after the incident with my dad my younger brother, Tim, actually posed the question “what is sex” to my father. In anticipation for what my dad was about to tell Tim, I ran upstairs to my room, closed the door, and put my N’sync CD in my stereo at full volume because I just didn’t want to hear it. Sex seemed unnatural and made me uncomfortable. I couldn’t understand why my brother wanted or needed to know about it. He was younger than me and he had seen Tom and Kelly in Top Gun just like I had. I almost wanted to warn him. Hey Tim! You don’t want to know about sex! It is icky!
Naturally I got older and went through puberty. Puberty and hormones definitely contributed to making sex more appealing and not scary anymore. I came to accept sex as something everyone, including myself, would, could, and should engage in. I mean, if you really think about it, sex is sort of disgusting. It is the exchanging of bodily fluids by two people using parts of their body commonly associated with going to the bathroom. One could imagine how a third grader, especially one corrupted by the passionate, on screen relations of Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis, might find the idea foreign.
My previous feelings of being scared of sex seem pretty ridiculous to me now. In fact, I find my former phobia of sex to be kind of humorous. Nowadays I am completely comfortable talking about, thinking about, and considering the reality of sex. I suppose that just shows how much I have matured since the third grade, something I’m quite proud of.