In an earlier and much more innocent time of my life, like plenty of other pre-adolescent Americans, I was completely clueless when it came to matters of sex. When I was three I lovingly referred to my genitalia as a “Virginia,” had absolutely no idea what the mystical penis looked like, and sincerely thought that actual intercourse was like slipping a hot dog in a bun—no humping required.
Am I the only one who had these laughingly inaccurate views of the birds and the bees?
Oddly enough, I started puberty before anyone else I knew in my little Chicago suburb. In third grade I had to deal with more boys snapping my bra than I had to deal with five minute homework assignments; my body grew much more quickly into adulthood than my mind.
Obviously, since I’m writing this column, I’ve learned a thing or two since the day I misnamed my vagina after a state. I now know that penises are, well, not exactly the most beautiful pieces of art. I also know that sex—at least good sex—is much more complicated than the placement of pig meat.
Ten years or so later, I consider my early physical maturity a blessing: rather than a strand of pearls or painfully high Manolos, cleavage is my accessory of choice. I also figured out that, no matter how much it sucked when none of the cute boys in my second grade class wanted to be my “boyfriend,” it was a title that would only give us an excuse to hold hands around the playground and maybe get our parents to take us to the Power Rangers movie together.
Although it took a while for my mind and beauty to blossom, at age 19, I could fill thousands of pages (or columns) with all of my dating stories if I needed to. A chapter here on the creepy, anime porn-obsessed, mustached guy in seventh grade that told the captain of our football team he wanted me to give him a blow job. A chapter there on how my faux cherry red hair sophomore and junior years of high school inspired countless “Do the curtains match the drapes?” inquiries on MySpace from boys (and, disgustingly enough, old men) across the states. Volumes upon volumes on unrequited love. A series of novels about the high school relationship from hell. A collection of short stories based on drunken college encounters.
We all have to go through the experience stage of our sensual maturity sooner or later. As much as I love them, books really can’t tell you everything you need to know about life. Here’s a sample of some gems of knowledge I’ve discovered through the past few very eventful years:
Sex does, in fact, make babies.
I don’t have a kid, but I’ve seen enough episodes of Maury to know that this isn’t some ploy made up by your mom to keep you from being sexually active.
Losing your virginity is underwhelming.
Most of the people I know who are V-cardless didn’t lose it on prom night or in any other clichéd romantic setting. My best friend in high school lost hers in my ex-boyfriend’s little sister’s room under the watchful eyes of a Jonas Brothers poster. A good friend from my dorm last year lost his to a girl he had met three hours earlier. Me? I was half drunk, half asleep, and didn’t really feel a thing. Don’t stress about having a perfect first time—because it probably won’t be.
Cosmopolitan doesn’t know what it’s talking about.
I know girls that refer to Cosmo as their Bible, and that kind of scares me. Every issue I’ve looked through has the same tip about putting a doughnut on a dick and nibbling on it during oral sex. I finally broke down and asked one of my best guy friends what he thought of it. His response? “I don’t really care as long as her mouth’s down there.” Keep it simple, stupid. We aren’t thirty-somethings attempting to spice up a boring sex life just yet.
Don’t have a “song.”
Not only is it really cheesy, but it also can ruin a completely good piece of music after a particularly messy breakup. John Mayer’s “St. Patrick’s Day” always seems to creep onto my iTunes shuffle in between tracks from my decidedly indie music collection and never fails to stir up anger about a relationship that, ironically enough, didn’t make it to St. Patrick’s Day after all. Save yourself the embarrassment and future mental breakdowns and stick to listening to the radio.
I’m not even close to an expert in sex or relationships, but I’m convinced that every day gives us an opportunity to learn something new, whether it’s the correct name for female privates or the last name of that guy my roommate made out with last night. I’m looking forward to sharing more of my slightly incriminating but always entertaining stories as we try to reach the ultimate college goal: physical and mental climax.
Libby Peck can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.