A to Z Theme 2016

For my 2016 A to Z theme I used a meme that I ran across on the blog of Bridget Straub who first saw it on the blog of Paula Acton. This meme is a natural for me to use on my memoir blog. It's an A to Z concept and it's about me. No research and nothing complicated. I'm given twenty six questions or topics to discuss that are about me.

In April I kept my posts short and uncomplicated. In the midst of it all you might learn a few things about me that you didn't previously know.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Curiosity Kid (Part 4) -- Sexcapades

Girl in shower
Girl in shower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

       What child doesn't become somewhat preoccupied with the topic of sex?   For that matter does that preoccupation ever go far from our minds in adulthood?   We look at the sexual content of much popular entertainment as well as the sexual fixation of the advertising industry.   Sex is and has always been on the human mind from the earliest years until the day we die.

       Sexual curiosity came to my childhood as far back as my earliest memory.   I suppose much of it is built into our genetic make-up and is fueled by what we see and hear all around us.   I remember puzzling allusions by adults to mysteries I could not comprehend, but I knew it all had to do with physical relationships and attributes of the human body.   Bit by bit I began to grasp some of the esoteric jokes and conversations that I would overhear from the adults and that even some of my peers would occasionally bring up.

       Always hoping for a glimpse of the hidden parts of especially the opposite sex I kept my eyes open just in case something might be revealed to me.   I would be titillated by the spinning ice skater, not realizing that I was not seeing the woman's undergarments but only a part of her costume.   When my mother would take me into the ladies room rather than send me alone into the men's bathroom, I would hope that just maybe I would see into one of the occupied stalls.  One of the heights of my kindergarten year was when Ruth Springer was removing her snow suit (anyone remember snow suits?) in the cloak room and she accidently pulled down her painties exposing her little bare bottom.   I'd never thought too much about Ruth before that day and from then on had a newfound respect for her.

       I went through the "You show me yours and I'll show you mine" phase through which many little kids pass.   A friend and I might hide in the living room curtains stripping down to our underwear until my mother wanted to know what we were doing and we'd hurriedly pull up our pants, emerging to announce innocently, "Nothing".    The curtains gave a false sense of security to us mischievous children, but my mother was not fooled by any of it.

       One of the milestones of my sexual awakening in childhood came when I was about five.  My mother used to bathe me and my sister, who was a year younger than I, together from the time we were babies.   I never gave this any of that much thought because she was my sister and I had no prurient interests in her--she was like my buddy and co-conspirator.  Taking a bath together was just a part of sibling life.  Then came a turning point in this activity.

        We were visiting my grandparents in West Virginia and my eight year old female cousin was also visiting at the same time.  My cousin held a certain intrigue for me, she being an "older women" so to speak and a girl who I found kind of cute.  We rarely saw each other since we lived some distance apart, but when she was around I wanted to be in her company as much as I could.

       When the time for baths came my cousin and sister headed toward the bathroom and I was right behind them only to be stopped at the door by my grandmother.  Peering around the door into the long bathroom where water was running into the big claw-footed bathtub, I could see my cousin and sister giggling and preparing to take off their clothes.  My grandmother stepped between me and the view and shut the door behind her.  It was made clear to me on that day that boys and girls did not take baths together.  No communal baths ever took place for me after that day.  I'm sure my mother and her mother had a discussion about it.   On that day one of the great mysteries and desires of my childhood would remain a mystery.

       Did you ever play "doctor" or other games related to sexual curiosity?   Did you take baths with siblings?     Do you think sexual curiosity is learned, innate, or a bit of both?


  1. Sex & my body were something to be ashamed of in my home. My mother is an unbelievable prude and I was screamed at for doing things with my 12th grade boyfriend that I wasn't even doing. So no, there was no playing doctor, I had no siblings to bathe with & I took a great deal of verbal abuse if I so much as kissed a boy much less anything else.

  2. The interest in sex is probably ingrained naturally to encourage us to continue the human race. A family can treat it honestly and answer a child's questions, or treat it as something to be ashamed of.

    The shaming is what sometimes produces 'warped/maladjusted' versions in adults. Perhaps that is something education isn't handling that well, as they give basic science facts, but don't explain feelings.

    Who should explain and teach it? I don't know, but leaving it to parents doesn't seem to work well either. . .

  3. I think children are curious about EVERYTHING and the difference between girls and boys is just one of those things. The evidence that people have been consumed by sex is revealed in the population. It wouldn't keep growing if people didn't like it!!! The population, that is...

  4. I am certain that the curiosity is part of our wiring.

    In the cloakroom, a girl whose name I barely remember (but will not post) and I pledged our eternal love and smooched in first grade...and it went on from there.

    I'm not sure I agree with D.G.'s take on education, either.

    The school I went to did a fair job on the biology, but I do not see it as the place of the school to teach about values.

    Do all parents do this poorly? Certainly not. Nor do they all do it well.

    I would agree with both DG and JoJo that shaming a child is not the answer.

    The sex drive is a part of us-to try to treat it like it's a bad thing is fallacy.

    I would imagine that the "shaming" more often than not comes in a strictly religious home. I'm just not sure it delivers the desired outcome.

    Even an atheist should want their son or daughter to approach sex responsibly.

    Open and honest communication is the key, but unfortunately, it's a tough discussion that often makes both parent and child uncomfortable.

  5. JoJo-- I think a lot of parents tend to be distrustful and paranoid about what their kids are up to. This probably stems from once having been a kid and knowing the things they thought and did. My parents were always much easier on me than toward my sister.

    DG-- The biological education that I received in school was helpful, but still it opened up new mysteries that I either unraveled through my own research or that were sometimes addressed with misinformation disseminated by friends who were often just as mystified as I was.

    Robin -- The perpetuation of the species is one thing, but much modern culture has taken things to ridiculous extremes. Movies seemed compelled to have unnecessary sex scenes and advertising is often almost as much about the sexual connotations of the product as the product itself.

    Larry -- As a single father of 3 girls I found the subject of sex to be an awkward one for me to address. I guess their mother might have provided them some information even though the example she set for them was often very bad. They seemed to survived it all and have pretty well adjusted lives now.


  6. I'm surprised- I didn't think guys our age could have this discussion without the Sears Catalogue lingerie section coming into it!

  7. CW-- A Victoria's Secret catalog back then would have been better than Playboy.


  8. Aye, that it would! But frankly, sneaking the Sears or Alden Cats out to the shed was adventure enough back then.

  9. Nobody mentioned National Geographic.


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