Sophia from Australia
I went to an all girls catholic school so our sex education was abstinence is key.
The importance of virginity was magnified with an emphasis on if you lose your virginity, it has to be with someone you are in love with and cares about you. It wasn’t that we had to wait until marriage, which was probably progressive for a catholic school but that losing your virginity was special.
Because I didn’t really have anyone to talk to, I ended up not having much of an idea about sex for a long time. My best friend and I talked openly about boys and sex but she knew just about as much as I did. The only way we could learn anything was renting movies that had some kind of sex scene in them. I would go to the video store every week and read the back covers of all of the movies searching for anything with any kind of sex scene. We were still young so my mom would watch the movies with us and would either tell us to cover our eyes or make jokes whenever anything sexual came up.
I wish talking about sex could have been a normal thing. She could have made a comment about it that wasn’t trying to push it away. I think I would have done things so much differently if I had just been allowed to see it or to know more.
We had a family computer with internet growing up but I never thought to look for porn or any other online resources. There was one time I Googled something like cute boys and I didn’t clear the browser history or maybe I left the page open and my mom found it and asked “who’s Googling cute boys?” in front of everyone.
I was so embarrassed I never did it again.
There were two main things that I used the computer for, chat rooms and to play The SIMS. Normally I would just talk to friends in chat rooms or on instant messenger but one time when a friend was over, we went into a random chat room and started talking with some guy. It wasn’t anything crazy but he sent us a video with “gonads” in the name. Again, my mom found it in the browser history. I ended up blaming it on the other girl and she got in a lot of trouble.
I started playing The SIMS in sixth grade and I became obsessed. During school holidays I would play for eight hours a day. At some point, I figured out that you can make the characters have sex. There are two different options: “whoohoo,” which is fun sex and “try for baby.”
It was romantic in a way because a little jingle would play if the woman had fallen pregnant, the kind of jingle you would use to put a baby to sleep. Of course since it was a game you didn’t see anything when the characters had sex. When it was the woohoo option they would go under the covers and thrash around for a few minutes. You could also do it in different areas like in the car or in a hot tub.
Even if it’s just a game, The SIMS was good because it had variations of consent in a way. If you do something that someone doesn’t want, they stop you. You can’t force yourself on someone, you actually have to get through different stages. First you have to create a friendship with them and you have to wait and see if you get the attraction back. Once you get that, you can go for the kiss or the make out and then more and more until finally you can fuck. If you annoyed them though, you go back to the bottom and you have to work back through the levels. You couldn’t just go around fucking everyone.
I told my brother that you could do this in The SIMS and he told my mom right away. Of course after that, my mom took the game away. Every time I tried to access sex, it was taken away.
I was getting in trouble anyway because I was playing The SIMS way too much. At some point I thought ok, I need to go outside. I finally stopped because I realized I could be doing all of these things, but in my own life. Why am I building a character here, when I could make myself better instead?