My grandma on my dad's side liked to come in while I was sitting on the toilet, doing number two, and tell me, "That's how your mommy had you! One day--poop! Francie came out!" I guess she thought it was cute or something. When I was done, I would stare at my own poop while it swirled around the green ceramic toilet bowl of my grandma's toilet, feeling vaguely disconcerted.
Francie Fuckin' Freaked
When I was about 7, my older friend Annie told me that the way a man and a woman had sex was that the man put his middle finger inside the woman's bellybutton and twisted from side to side. That's why they called it screwing. This really screwed me up because when I would sit on my dad's lap he would sometimes rest his hand on my belly and absentmindedly put his finger in my bellybutton. When another friend told me the truth about sex, I was totally grossed out. I told her that she was lying and proceeded to tell her about bellybutton sex.
Growing up I heard the term "screwing" to describe fucking. As I had only ever seen a penis when it was soft and it had looked quite large to me, compared to the small place between my legs where it was to go, I thought it was called screwing because you had to somehow "screw" the penis around and around to get it in there. I spent many hours puzzling over how this would actually be done. Did she rotate on top of him? Did he somehow manage to turn it around and around while staying in one place? Just how did a man manage to screw that big soft thing into such a small tight hole?
Strange Tales of Really Interesting Embarrassing Situations
I discovered masturbation when I was in the fourth grade; home from school with nothing better to do. It soon became a regular afterschool habit. I didn't have a clue what I was doing, I just knew it felt damn good. What really scared me, though, was my aroused, engorged, and very tender protruding clit. Not knowing what it was, but fearing I was harming myself, I went to my mother's biology textbook (she was a teacher) and looked through the parts on the human body. Of course no sexual or genital organs were included in this high school text. What was pictured was the large and small intestine. Ohmygod! I thought I was mutilating myself, and my intestines were coming out of my body. Each time I came, I tried to push my "intestine" back into my body. It scared the shit out of me, but didn't stop me from masturbating.
When I was around 8 years old I asked my mother what a homosexual was (she had called our neighbor one). She told me that "homo" meant "same" and "sexual" meant "sex." So I thought, "Oh my God! I am a homosexual because I touch myself! This is awful! I am going to hell!" A year later I asked my mother how homosexuals had sex with each other. She said, "Through their rectum." But she must have scratched her nose while she said it, because I thought she was saying that her nostril was the rectum. Since I had NO CLUE what a rectum really was, I was horrified once again. "Oh my God!" I thought. "That must hurt like hell!" So for years I thought that gay men were weird and disgusting because they fucked each other's noses. I was so relieved when I realized they were Buttfuckers and not Nosefuckers. I was also relieved to know that I was a homosexual not because I touch myself but because I like to touch other women.
No Objects Shall Enter
I have two funny stories about sexual misconceptions. The first one is not exactly about sex, but close enough: When my brother was about 15 years old, he was well aware that girls had periods. However, I think he watched a little bit too much TV, complete with maxi pad commercials with demonstrations. He thought that women's periods were blue, like the liquid they would show being poured into pads to demonstrate their absorbency! He'll never live that one down.
Another one is from when I first became a teenager. My friend and I were trying to figure out exactly what handjobs were, since some of the boys had been tossing around the term. (I had visions of rubbing a guy's penis back and forth furiously between my hands, as if to start a fire.) An older, more experienced girl explained, "Well, it's kind of like getting that last bit of ketchup out of the bottle. It's the same kind of wrist movement." This was back when glass bottles were more popular than those squeeze ones. Even though I'm in my late 20s now, I still can't help but laugh if I see someone giving a handjob to a glass ketchup bottle in a restaurant.
My mom, in that super-calm instructive voice she used to sound extra-casual, told me, "A man helps a woman to have a baby." She also said that "a man puts his penis inside a woman's vagina." So I spent a lot of time imagining a man and a woman on the operating table in the hospital, both flat on their backs, their legs scissored around each other. I figured the man's foreskin must form a suction cup that attached to the baby's head and helped to pull it out.
Dunno how funny this will be to you, but my friends find it hilarious (particularly when they're drunk): My mother was a categorical man-hater and all my life described how evil they were and how they would fuck you blind and leave you pregnant. So the first time I was naked with a guy wasn't until I was 22, and wasted out of my mind in order to deal with the fear my sweet mother instilled. So there we were, making out in the darkness of his room, and eventually he asked me to give him a handjob. I was so afraid to even touch his penis he had to gently guide my hand "down there," and when I touched it for the first time I was completely shocked that it was just oh-so-soft skin. I almost expected it to leap out and attack me. As I began to caress it, I just got so caught up in the moment... I couldn't help but exclaim in my drunken wonder of this thing I had feared: "THAT'S IT!!??" He was none too thrilled at my comment, not quite getting the profundity of the revelation.
Also Laughing at Myself Now
Just can't get enough of this "childhood sexual misconceptions" stuff? There are more girls' sexual misconceptions at www.thestranger.com/specials/fuckedinthehead2 .
Next week in Savage Love: Back to the ol' Q&A.