This is a guest post from a very brave woman who thought she would share her experiences after I started a discussion on twitter about children exploring their sexuality. If you would like to be part of my The Other Women series and write about your sexual identity, contact me! Your story can be silly, sexy or sad. There is no normal and all points of view are invited to join.
I had turned 8 years old during a move across the country with my family. My military father was being transferred from the shipyards of eastern Virginia to the rolling hills of northern California. We were moving away from family and friends to start a new life on a military base outside of San Francisco. Boxes were unpacked and at my mother’s urging, my brother and I left the safety of our apartment to seek new friends. Mom had said that the family in the next building over had a girl around my age that I should seek out as a playmate.
Shannon was a few months younger than me, a grade behind me and had a great room full of toys and books. One book she was very proud to show me was called “Where Did I Come From?” which was an explanation about reproduction told in cartoon-style sketches and an easy language for kids to understand. I had never seen anything like this book and was immediately intrigued. My mom had never really explained sex to me but I got the general gist; a man and a woman was needed and it had something to do with the inherent differences in our lower bodies. Until I read that book I didn’t even know the proper names for the sexual organs; growing up in the South, one was taught that those words aren’t uttered in polite society. “Tallywhacker”, “Hoohoo”, “Bottom” were the preferred nomenclature. My grandmother said “teetee” instead of “peepee”, presumably because the “P” word meant PISS where the “T” word stood for TINKLE, which was far more polite.
As my head tried to get around these foreign concepts, I noticed feeling strange sensations when I read the book and looked at the pictures.
Once, we played House and I was the mom and was pretending to put Shannon to bed and she asked to be read The Book. As I read it, I couldn’t help but notice that her hands were moving under the blanket, around the area where her crotch was. I didn’t say anything but my cheeks flushed red and knew that The Book made her feel funny too, but she didn’t care. I don’t remember how we got into the conversation, but eventually she turned me on to rubbing myself against things, sliding down the stair railing, spinning around the jungle gym poles with my legs wrapped tightly around it. During a sleepover she was even so bold as to grind against a Coke bottle as it lay on the floor.
Eventually the indirect stimulation was overpowering and we put out hands down out pants, rubbed fast and hard, held our breath, legs straight out, toes pointed and PUSHED…and the tingles just washed over us, like when a car goes over a hill really fast and your stomach does a flip-flop. We would lay on my pink shag rug, panting, fanning ourselves with Rick Springfield album covers, until we caught our breath then we would do it again and again, taking turns, until it felt like my heart was going to beat right out of my chest from the exertion.
I found my father’s Playboys and penthouse magazines while looking for socks to borrow. We got a new set of encyclopedias that had clear plastic page overlays of the human anatomical systems. In 5th grade, we were shown movies in school about what happens during puberty and what your period was. We would watch love scenes in movies like “Endless Love” and “The Blue Lagoon” and we would talk about them during sleepovers, eventually acting them out with each other. I even picked her up and carried her, just like a boy did to his girlfriend in “Up the Academy”. We never told anyone, although I think my mom had her suspicions when I would come down to dinner, red-faced and sweating after being in my room for hours.
After a few years, her dad got reassigned to the city and we saw each other infrequently, then my dad got reassigned to Texas. We rented an aging ranch-style house that was plopped in the middle of an upper-class neighborhood. My brother and I knew that we were out of our element compared to these wealthy kids but we tried to play it off. The whole family was experiencing culture shock and at age 11, I was losing the fight to stay a tomboy. I made friends with some girls that I would be attending school with that fall and did as best as I could to not make waves. I enrolled in the same dance school as the other girls and tried to assimilate into their idea of style, even thought I was clueless. (I lived less than an hour from the Pacific Ocean and had no idea what OP and Lightening Bolt clothing was.)
There was ONE thing I knew about, that maybe they didn’t. I had arranged to sleep over at Paige’s house and then her plans changed, but her mom said I could still come over and hang out with her younger sister Kelly. I don’t remember how we got on the subject, but there we were, on the fold out sofa bed and I was teaching her what had been taught to me, rubbing, grinding, breathing. She seemed a bit quiet, but I just figured she was shy and didn’t know what to do. The next Monday at school, I approached Paige’s circle of friends and they turned their backs to me and never spoke directly to me again. I immediately knew why. My mom never said anything to me, so I assume nothing was ever said to her, the matter and I were just… dropped. I got a deep sense of shame about what had happened and I wondered if Shannon had also looked for another “playmate” and had gotten busted for it. I never told anyone about this until I was in my 20′s, when a friend was looking for validation for her OWN childhood experiments.
I lost my virginity at age 15 but I didn’t let anyone watch me orgasm again until I was 19, and I eventually married him. I wasn’t going to share that with anyone else that I felt couldn’t handle it! I have been in a lot of different sexual relationships, was a swinger with a former boyfriend and experimented with various forms of B/D. I have never had the desire to be with a woman. That experience is part of me, but it doesn’t define me. It just was what it was.