And Other Hotel Masturbation Songs You Know by Heart.
My formable teenage years began in the early Eighties. This milestone took place absent of any revealing sex education from either of my parents. Come to think about it, there was no mention of sex at all growing up. There would be no birds and bees flying past my window. In fact, it would seem that the subject of sex itself was systematically (and successfully) removed from existence in every form of media. From R-rated movies to the much needed prerequisite of any teenagers, MTV; it was all barred from the eyes of the curious. My father went as far as rerecording movies on VHS and editing out any sex scene (however benign). Talk about dedication to a cause. One of the skillfully edited videos that comes to mind is Purple Rain. My fifteen-year old eyes never watched Prince get it on with Appollonia. What the hell else did I miss? This is a tragedy I remedied in my adult years.
Although sex talk was non-existent in my house growing up, this—by no means—suppressed my curious appetite for carnal knowledge. Being a woman, I possess the inheritable genetic ability to snoop. I’m a firm believer that criminal cold cases would go the way of the Dodo if more women were detectives. That said, my semi-honed teenage investigative skills lead me to a secret stash of Playboy, Penthouse, and the occasional Hustler magazines. After the initial shock of seeing completely naked women splayed out, I began to actually read the articles. Perhaps a narrative would shed light on this whole sex… thing.
Unbeknownst to me, this was my introduction to erotic stories. I was already an avid reader of teenage romance novels. Once, I found a book called Wifey by Judy Blume on my step-mom’s bookshelf. It was Blume’s first adult novel; and although the sexual encounters were vague by today’s standards, I found Sandy's, the main character, sexual awakening fascinating.
Side note: Wifey has been my sex bible of sorts, and I read it every year—mostly for nostalgia purposes. In my youth, my step-mom remained vigilant in removing copies from my room as I kept finding ways to get another one. Looking back, I guess this was the ultimate game of ‘cat and mouse’ that kept her investigative skills honed, while at the same time, trying to perfect my hiding skills. I view it now as a win-win. I’ve replaced at least six books in four decades as some were also loaned out, but understandably never returned. I have one in my bedside drawer. If you read just the first page, you’ll understand why I kept reading.
I should stop here and confess that perhaps I was mistaken. There is one discussion I recall when it came to sex education—the precursory talk before having my menstrual cycle. It was a one-and-done conversation complete with a box full of things a preteen might need; including instructions on how to use the products. Looking back, I don’t believe there was some agreed upon precept by my parents to not discuss sex with me. It’s just a general discomfort talking about sex to your children… so why bring it up? This is, no doubt, some sort of ingrained paternal hinderances to avoid the uncomfortable situations. Moving on…
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