Dear Readers: A few weeks back, Laughing at Myself Now suggested that I ask my readers to send in letters detailing their childhood misconceptions about sex. It sounded like a good way to lighten my workload, allowing me to get out of the office and enjoy some of this global warming stuff I've been hearing so much about, so I invited readers to send in stories.
Well! Far from lightening my late-summer workload, LAMN's idea crashed my server and ruined my appetite. The server crashed because so many people wrote in. What's worse, once the server was back up, reading and sorting all the misconceptions turned out to be more work than busting out a regular ol' column. And the misconceptions mail ruined my appetite because, gee whiz, about 400,000 of the e-mails were from adults who, as children, thought a man had to pee in a woman's vagina, mouth, anus, hair, pillowcase, or nose (!) to get her pregnant. One out of every two e-mails concerned the Daddy-pees-on-Mommy pissconception. So before we get to the mail, a quick thought for all the parents out there: For the love of God, moms and dads, when you have your "where do babies come from" talks, make it clear to your young'uns that piss plays absolutely no role in reproduction, okay? Unless, of course, you want your kids to make early, perhaps fetish-forming associations between sex and piss.
Okay, on to the mail....
When I was 7, one of my friends tenaciously held to the theory that babies were made when a man urinated into the woman's mouth. The humping part, my friend explained, which we all vaguely knew was part of the baby-making process, helped the man build up enough pee. I was grossed out and alienated from all adults after learning this. I couldn't understand why anyone would ever make a baby under such circumstances. Did grown women like the taste of pee? Troubled, I asked my dad how I was born.
"Well, your mother and I decided to have you and then...." He stopped.
"I'll tell you when you're 14."
Fourteen?! Unwilling to wait that long, I found a book in the children's section of the library about human reproduction and got my answer. The penis-in-vagina model was still disturbing to me at 7, but it was better than the my-mom-guzzles-pee model. So I was able to feel okay about being kissed by my mother again... until I learned about oral sex.
I was one of those brainy kids that read too much and understood even less. So it made "perfect" sense to me that if my penis got bigger, wider, and harder when I wanted sex, then it logically followed that a girl's vagina gets softer and opens up like the doors on Star Trek to accommodate me. Then, when I found out that gay men have sex by inserting their penises into each other's asses, it logically followed that, if you're gay, you must have an orgasm EVERY time you take a shit. At the time I thought it must be great to be gay!
I was about 12 when I started figuring out that I was gay. The popular theories at the time (as I understood them) all revolved around dramatic Freudian psychoanalytic revelations. My revelation was that I liked other boys because I still had my foreskin. I was apparently the only boy in the U.S. who was uncircumcised (it was the '70s). So I postulated that the psychological trauma of my embarrassing wiener had made me go fag. It was pretty humiliating to ask my mom to get me the chop job "for health reasons." Worse than that was the actual bloody mess that is a 12-year-old freshly circumcised penis. And still worse was the agonizing wait for the desire to hump girls to arrive.
It turns out that telling your mom you need a circumcision when you're 12 is actually more traumatizing than telling her you're gay at 19.
Cut Homo Over Phobia
My older sister kept a box of tampons sitting on the floor next to the toilet. I was probably 8 years old when I became interested in these strange little plastic tubes. I had no idea what they were for. The box had helpful visual diagrams that made it look like the tampons were meant to be inserted in your butt. I had no idea what a vagina was at the time. Wanting to be cool and grown-up like my sister, I began inserting tampons in my butthole. Only later did I discover that tampons were not for 8-year-old boys' rectums.
Really a Goof
I had my first orgasm in the bathtub. For months, the new hobby was indulged in the tub, under water, in a bubble bath. I'm the cleanest kid in town. But the itch gets the better of me in bed one night. All's going well, door's locked, the ever-more-familiar feeling of warmth is on its way, and... WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT WHITE STUFF?!! I concluded I must have cancer and this vile, pus-like discharge was my body's attempt to keep the disease from eating me alive. My terror over the copious amounts of cancerous goo flowing from my dick didn't stop me from playing with it. I'm extremely courageous that way.
Still Peeved About Not Knowing
When I was about 7, my 8-year-old older brother had the pleasure (or painful discomfort... I still don't really know) of seeing his first porno flick at our teenaged cousins' house. It was called Oriental Orgasms, and I'll never forget his exact words about it: "There were all of these Chinese guys getting their penises sucked by this one Chinese girl. Their penises all got real big, and then after awhile, CHAMPAGNE SPRAYED OUT OF IT!" After my initial "EEEWWWW!!" all I could think was, "So... is that where champagne comes from?"
Classic Underage Misconception
When I was coming of age, I lived alone with my mom. I was younger than my classmates, and too intimidated to ask about puberty. As a child with a vivid imagination, observing my horny dog led me to conclude that one day my erections would emerge from the outer layer of skin, like the dog's did. For a time, I was terrified of getting an erection, convinced that if not suppressed, my penis would "peel back" to reveal the true, slimy boner lurking inside.
Finally Learned a Canine Cock Is Different
One of the kids at my Catholic school was proud to teach the rest of us guys all about sex. He had peeked in on his mother and her boyfriend and explained it as follows: The man puts a balloon on his dick then uses his dick to insert the balloon into the woman's pee hole. Then he puts his lips to the woman's pee hole and inflates the balloon until it pops. He knew it popped because his mother screamed when it did. We believed him because his story was just too bizarre to have been made up.
Canadian Balloon Inflator
That's all the misconceptions we've got room for--but if you want more misconceptions, you can enjoy the overflow here. And before folks start writing in to complain that all the misconceptions in this week's column and on the web are from boys, that's only because next week's column is entirely dedicated to girls' misconceptions.