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 seven, 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.
your mother and I decided to have you and then. . . .” He
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 seven, 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.
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!
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
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.
Homo Over Phobia
older sister kept a box of tampons sitting on the floor next
to the toilet. I was probably eight 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 eight-year-old boys’ rectums.
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
Peeved About Not Knowing
I was about seven, my eight-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?”
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.
Learned a Canine Cock Is Different
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
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.