Blue from Panama
I first became aware of sex when I walked in on my parents. I used to go sleep in their bed all of the time when I was a kid. I was really good at sneaking in rooms without making any noise. So one night, I opened the door and my parents were having sex, doggy style. It took me a while to figure out what was going on, so I just stood there.
Then, everything came into focus and I realized I was seeing something that I shouldn’t be seeing. I slammed the door and ran back into my bed. My dad came out and checked the kids’ rooms but I pretended that I was asleep. He probably knew that I was faking it, when kids try to fake snore, it’s always obvious and over the top.
Then the next day, I went over to my friend’s house. We kind of shared part of our backyard and patio so we would spend a lot of time together. We were sitting on top of the table and I was describing what I had seen and doing the whole mimic of it.
At some point, I heard the patio door of my house open and I immediately changed to, “and the three little bears…” I was somehow aware that I was talking about something that I should not be talking about.
Funny enough, for my wedding, I flew my old nannie in and she started telling stories about me, especially about my sexuality. First, she started talking about when I lost my virginity. I was like how do you know that? She answered, “Who do you think washed your sheets?”
Obviously I changed the sheets but she was the one who washed them. Then, she started telling the story of when I was telling the neighbor girl about seeing my parents having sex. Again, I was like how in the fuck did you know that? She said that she and another women who worked in our house were sitting there listening the whole time. They finally decided to step in and stop it when I got into the more hard-core description and acting out part of the story.
In some ways, my family is pretty free spirited. My parents used to walk around naked, which is really super weird for most people. Because of this though, my brother and I were very comfortable with our bodies. At the same time, it’s strange because sex was not an open discussion. I never got a sex talk from my parents. No one even told me about periods. My first period, I got rushed to the hospital because my cramps were so bad that everyone thought I had appendicitis.
What I lacked in information, I made up for in curiosity. Around the same time I saw my parents have sex, I started playing some doctor games with a close friend from my ballet class. We were all really close and spent a lot of time at each other’s houses. One night, we looked at each other’s vulvas, spread everything and tried to get an idea of what was going on down there. The footboard of her bed frame also had this special shape. We would hold hands and straddle the footboard, pulling each other back and forth, rubbing our little coochies on the bed. We obviously figured out that this felt nice, but of course we didn’t know why.
Again around the same time, I started exploring a bit with some of my cousins. The first time it happened, I was coming out of the shower. My cousin, who was also just starting puberty, came across me in the hallway and said he would give me a dollar if he could look at me naked. He didn’t touch me, just looked. I thought it was great because I got a dollar and didn’t really have to do anything.
Then I had this sleepover with my female cousin. We were twelve and just starting to develop boobs. We knew that guys should not touch our boobs, but we were curious about sexual bodies. We started talking and she said she would let me look at hers, if I let her look at mine. Then, slowly, we went from touching each other’s super small boobs to touching everything else. I think I accidentally gave her an orgasm without knowing that was something that could even happen. I don’t think I even knew what an orgasm was until I was 19. We both kind of freaked out a bit; we got up and just looked at each other. We knew that something happened, but we had no idea what. We washed our hands and never talked about it again. There were other cousins in the room but I don’t think anyone heard or noticed it.
At least no one brought it up at my wedding.
If it wasn’t for me being curious and experimenting with my friend and cousins, I don’t know how I would have ever learned about sex. I didn’t get any sex ed from my school or from my family. Actually the person who gave me my only sex talk was the mother of the boyfriend that I lost my virginity to. She found out that we were having sex about a week or two after we started.
She sat us down and said if you are going to do it, do it right. She gave us the talk and then a box of condoms. Before that, I didn’t really have any idea about safe sex or condoms. I think my boyfriend had some but we didn’t use them all of the time.
It took until I was in university for my mom to ever bring up sex with me. I was living with my sister at the time and we got in a fight, so I moved in with my boyfriend. My mom found out and asked me if I was taking “my little pill.” I had no idea what she was talking about. She then clarified- the little pill so you don’t get pregnant. That was her safe sex talk, the only time in my life my mom acknowledged that I could be having sex. At this point, I had already had an abortion, so it was all a bit too late.
I wish I had more knowledge growing up, more sexual education but also sexual awareness education more than anything. I think it’s something that we all lack as women, or at least women of my generation. We didn’t get sexual education and then we didn’t know how to protect ourselves in dangerous situations. I ended up getting into a lot of situations where I should have learned to say no. I was playing with my sexuality, trying to discover my limits and when someone overstepped my boundaries, I didn’t know how to say no or stop it. At that age, you don’t have enough awareness of anything that is happening or know how to respect yourself enough above all. That put me in a few situations that I wish I could erase.