We all remember our first lessons about sex.
Maybe you remember hearing about it from your sweaty P.E. teacher in fifth grade. Or perhaps you picked up on it after the 700th time your mom told you to “cover your eyes” during certain parts of movies. It’s quite possible that your first encounter with sex was after you discovered your brother’s porn downloaded to the desktop of your home computer one day…
Okay, tbh, these all happened to me. (SERIOUSLY DUDE, THE DESKTOP!? Stream that shit!)
No matter the source, hilarious encounters and misunderstandings with new ~terminology~ has provided us with a universal human experience: for a certain part of our adolescence, we all have no idea what the fuck everyone is talking about when it comes to “the sex.” So, in honor of Sex Week @ The Rival, I’ve decided to make my peers drudge through repressed memories and recall their very first impressions on foreplay, babies, and everything that comes (ha) in between.
1. “I thought that there was a bone in the penis and that’s why it was called a boner and you could break your penis.”
2. “There was a girl in our class who was absolutely dumbfounded to hear that balls hung out of the body– like, for the entire 4 hour seminar would not stop asking questions to confirm that the balls were, in fact, outside of the body.”
3. “I took a class (‘health’) in summer school before freshman year started. So that was my first experience of high school. I had one of those teachers who made us all say ‘penis’ and ‘vagina’ in unison to ‘get comfortable.’”
4. “In 5th grade the girls and boys split up for ‘learning about our bodies’ and we watched some sort of puberty themed music video about our changing bodies. I remember they summed up the entire feminine experience of adolescence by putting a skinny gray rectangle next to a pink hourglass shape to visualize what was going to happen to us. I can’t imagine what they told the boys.”
5. “When I was younger, I tried to tell my older friend that my family was Lesbian because I didn’t know that people from Lebanon were actually Lebanese. I couldn’t understand for the longest time why she told me I shouldn’t say that or what was so funny. I kept insisting I was Lesbian.”
6.“When I was very young, I asked my mom what the tampons she carried around in her purse were for, and she, not wanting to get into it, just made something up — that they help women pee like boys. Don’t know why she went with that explanation, but that’s what I had in my head for years until that puberty lesson when I found out you people just start spontaneously bleeding out on a monthly basis… Oh also, I’ll stay off the record. I don’t need an employer googling my name and seeing that I think tampons are for girls to pee out of.”
ON “THE SEXUAL ACT”:
7. “My teachers spoke vaguely of the sexual act, wherein a man enters a woman’s vagina and ejaculates, but nothing of how it all actually went down, so for a while, I just kind of imagined it as this thing where a guy shoves his soft (the days of middle school, wind induced erections were still some time out) penis into a lady, and some sort of chemical reaction or something would just trigger ejaculation in a guy and that was the end of it. No motion or anything — just kind of put it in for a second, let whatever reaction play out such that you emit sperm rather than pee, and then pull it out, like a pleasureless gas pump you turn on and off at will. They should really include the concept of humping in elementary school curricula for the more literal minded students like me.” #pleasurelessgaspump
8. “90% of being a grade school boy is laughing at sex jokes that make sense to absolutely no one involved. So pretty much grades 4-7 are constant anxiety that you didn’t get a sex joke. Oh and also, if someone pretends that something looks like a penis, you better laugh.”
9. “I heard in high school that butt sex was two people rubbing their butts together.”
10. “Because I went to Catholic school, the most frequent description of sex was not ‘penis goes into vagina’ or anything that logistically would tell you about what sex was, but instead was always described as a ‘perfect union between man and woman.’ I always pictured like two little fairy nymph angel things kissing on a cloud to the chorus of a thousand trumpets.”
11. “In like 5th grade once, this kid in my grade told everyone how sex works. According to him, sex is when a guy and a girl like hug for a while and then he pees in her mouth. This was later proven to be untrue.”
12. “I don’t think I know anything about sex. Everything I know about health I know through WebMD and Cosmopolitan (which I sneakily hid from my mom back in the day).”
ON ORAL SEX:
13. “For a while I was pretty sure that oral sex is when you talk about sex.”
14. “I first encountered the term ‘oral sex’ in a Time Magazine article concerning shifting attitudes about teenage sexuality around fifth grade. Since my idea of something being ‘oral’ was like giving a presentation to class or something, I had it in my mind that oral sex was just saying really naughty things to each other. That article mentioned that it was the most common sexual activity within an age group of ~13-16 or whatever and that was only a few years out for me. So, as a rather shy kid that wasn’t a great talker, I remember becoming even more nervous for middle/high school knowing that I would probably be miserably bad at having ‘oral sex’ with people. As if I needed more insecurities during puberty.
15. “Going down on men is treated as an obligation, but reciprocating for women is treated like an option. Not okay.”
16. “Everything I knew about birth control came from a Yaz commercial I saw once.”
17. “When I was in 7th grade, one of my friends told me that you could use anything plastic as a condom so we used to make fun of each other for our moms putting sandwiches into ‘condoms’ (sandwich bags). One of the guys even started having his mom put sandwiches straight into the paper bag for his lunch because he was so afraid of getting made fun of.”
18. “Anytime I saw girls taking birth control in high school I automatically assumed they were having sex. Then I found out a lot of girls took it to get rid of acne/control hormones during their period.”
19. “I thought that birth control stopped women from having babies for the rest of their lives so it really used to freak me out.”
20. “Don’t open condoms like bags of chips… That’s how George Costanza opens them on Seinfeld. You know how when you open chips like that, they fly everywhere? Yeah, things end up on the floor and no one wants that.” ………….
ON THE FEMALE ORGASM:
21. “What is it supposed to feel like or look like? NO ONE TELLS YOU. EVER. GUYS DON’T KNOW THIS AND GIRLS DON’T EVEN KNOW THIS. It’s not even like a thing that you can get an idea from in TV/movies or in Cosmo.”
22. “I read an article when I was like 10 that said females couldn’t have orgasms and it was reinforced by some clickbait link a few years later that said ‘OMG! A woman just had the first orgasm in history!’ And I’m an idiot so I totally believed it (but I didn’t click the link because I was godly afraid of viruses).”
23. “Pornos are the worst because the majority of them dedicate like half the video to guys being pleasured by the girl. So, didn’t know oral sex for girls was a thing for years.”
24. “I once had a guy ask me if girls always ‘faked it’ during sex or if they actually orgasmed– and I was like, honestly, usually not but guys just climax and then it’s over, and usually you just don’t say anything. This is my biggest complaint about sex in general. Treat yo’ partner right and make sure she gets her jollies too.” #giveherjollies
25. “For a few years when I was a lot younger, I thought you could sexually transmit any disease, which I thought was really sad because that means diseased people couldn’t have sex and that made me sad for them.”
26. “I remember having a disproportionate fear of STDs (think Mean Girls: ‘Don’t have sex, because you will get pregnant and die!’). Welcome to Catholic education! I still remember talking to my friends and just discussing the inevitability of catching some debilitating STD if one was the ever have sex. Condoms couldn’t save you, nothing could save you! Gonorrhea was lurking just around the corner, Herpes was hiding under your bed, and Chlamydia couldn’t wait to steal my youth away from me! Also, please don’t cite me as a source for your article.”
27. “I went to Catholic school, so no one ever talked about condoms or birth control or anything. Though one time we did get a talk about STDs with some nasty pictures of genital warts.”
28. “Someone told me that if you don’t have sex or masturbate at least once a day, that your penis would shrink.”
29. “There was the common one that a guy’s penis size was equal to the length from the base of his palm to the top of his middle finger, so for a few days guys kept glancing over at guys’ hands. It got weird.”
30. “My friend told me that since a penis was a muscle, you could do exercises to make it bigger. I believed him but I didn’t try any of them, but I’m like 95% sure that he did.”
^^^ I split all these up like they were from different people, but if we’re being honest, they were all from the same dude.
32. “When I was in middle school, I thought that twins/triplets/etc. were made by people having sex multiple times in the same night before any single embryo had a chance to develop.”
33. “I once believed that babies were the result of a certain amount of kissing. You had to hit like a certain threshold of spit and that’s why married people had babies. Because they’d been kissing for longer.”
34. “In school, we had a brief talk about sex, but in the context of how babies are made in my religion class in middle school. This involved an uncomfortable conversation with my religion teacher, who spoke with us about her sex life with her husband. No one asked any questions after her talk.”
35. “In my high school health class we watched two different ‘miracle of birth’ videos because my teacher wanted to know which one students preferred. We also watched a portion of one of them in reverse. We watched the baby go back in.”
36. “Watching YouTube reviews of sex toys is hilarious and terrifyingly informational on this subject.”
37. “RT about sex toy reviews on YouTube. They are super fun, def. going to help in making my final sex toy choice.”
QUESTIONS THAT STILL NEED ANSWERING:
38. “Butt plugs?? I’m still confused about what they are/what is their pleasurable function?”
The More You Know. <3
Note: some submissions have been edited for clarity. However, the content is real as f***.