David from the United States
I grew up with a single mother so when I was young, I would spend the week at my grandmother’s house, then go home with my mom on the weekends. It was really heart breaking for me to be torn from one place to another, I always had to say good bye to someone. When I would leave my grandmother and aunt I would cry, then when I would leave my mother I would cry again.
By seven I got tired of going back and forth and I told my mother I couldn’t do it any more, my place had to be at home, no matter if someone was there or not. I think my mother understood, I made a really compelling argument for a seven year old. From then on I had a key and I would go home by myself and would be home alone until late in the evening. I had lot of leeway growing up but I didn’t have any sort of influences or anybody that I could learn from. I was just alone so much. I felt like I wanted to know more about life in general but without siblings or older friends, I had to invent the world for myself.
I was also a super nerdy kid and was obsessed with learning everything I could. I would read the encyclopedia just to have things to say to people if I ever got the chance; especially the sports section. I didn’t care at all about sports but it was what everyone else was interested in so I learned enough to be able to talk about it. After getting to a certain age, that curiosity I had towards everything narrowed in as a curiosity towards sex. I just wanted to know more and I guess I really wanted to have an advantage. I knew I would be dating eventually and I didn’t want to be in this situation where I would have to perform and I wouldn’t know what I was doing. I wanted to have as much knowledge as possible. To this day, nothing fascinates me more than things that I don’t know. If I don’t know something, then I really go all in and I try to figure out as much about it as possible.
The other side of the coin was this was the 90s, a time when stand up comedy has reached it’s apex. Basically every big comedy club that exists now, started then. You started seeing stand up comedy on TV for the first time and you had the first famous female stand up comedians. All they could talk about and make jokes about was premature ejaculation. They pretty much destroyed my sex life, I remember being really offended before I even had sex. It really sort of turned into this block for me, I was so self conscious about coming too soon, it just completely fucked with me. For a while I wasn’t coming with partners because of how much this was in my head. Now of course I see that it could have been more enjoyable for everyone involved if I had instead come too fast because then we could have just had sex again instead of all of my partners just getting frustrated at me. We could do this all day as teenagers. Female comedians didn’t mention that shit.
By the time I was thirteen, my interest in sex was on full throttle. In Chicago they had Wabash Ave, aka- Book Sellers Road. It was nothing but bookstores from one end to the other. Every day after school, I would ride the train down there and I would start at the first book store and go to the adult section, straight to the sex books.
I would pick out four or five books, throw my coat on the ground and sit there for hours reading. I read a few pages here and there, a few pages every day until I finished a book, then until I had finished all of the books in the shop, then go into the next shop and do the same thing. Then I would go back to the first shop and they would have some new books and over a period of years I read everything. I would do this until the stores closed at seven or eight, every single day, for all four years of high school. I was there religiously.
I don’t think anyone ever asked what I was doing or acknowledged me in any way. I don’t remember anyone bothering me at all. I also never really told any of my friends what I was doing and when I started to have girlfriends, they didn’t know either. I had a couple of friends that would go with me to the bookstores once or twice. They would see that I was reading a book about sex but usually just once. They didn’t know I was going every day, they didn’t know how long I was staying there. Maybe even the employees didn’t really grasp that this was the same kid that was there before, I bet a lot of them worked part time. Plus, this was right in the middle of down town so you had hundreds of people coming in the door every day. I also don’t remember seeing many other customers in that section either, but maybe I just didn’t notice or maybe they were too afraid to go into the adult section with a kid sitting there in the corner. Who knows maybe hundreds of people used to go into the bookstores and buy books just to watch the kid in the corner reading sex books.
Any time school was canceled or cut short, I would go to the bookstore and instead of having five or six hours, I had eight or nine. I just grabbed a sandwich and camped out there for the day. I don’t know if you were allowed to eat in the bookstore but I would sneak bites while reading. There is actually something romantic about reading about fisting while it’s cold and snowing outside. You got your coco, taking a sip and they are telling you about how to properly curl your knuckles.
There was one book I will never forget, it had one beautifully illustrated page of a giant vagina with little lines and arrows explaining what each part was. It’s almost like it was a pop-up book. It was just a really intricate, almost 3D style painting that really broke down the whole thing. I had this photographic memory so I would memorize what all of the different parts were and would memorize them. Then the next page went into really high detail about cunnulingus, the role of the clitoris and the hood so I had a really strong foundation before I ever even had sex.
Even if I had read probably hundreds of different books about sex, of course nothing ever prepares you for when it actually happens. You could know everything there is to know but then to actually go and try to do it is a completely different thing. It’s still a hell of a thing getting a penis in a vagina, especially if the girl is a virgin, you can read whatever the fuck you want, but it isn’t going to help you there.
Or the first time you put on a condom… Which way does this thing even go? Trying to put on a condom in the dark the first or second time, or even the fifth time you have sex or hell, even now! Especially me, I wear glasses and of course while having sex I take them off so I can’t see on top of everything else. It’s tricky. It’s like Donald Rumsfeld said, you have known knowns and known unknowns then you have unknown unknowns. You know there is going to be some stuff you know, some stuff you don’t and then there is some shit that is completely unexpected. You’re in there, you’re both naked you got your condom on, and it’s not going in. You’re trying different angles and it’s just not happening. That’s something that’s not covered in books.