Hanna from Finland
In Finland, nudity is always right there in front of you because you go to the sauna with your family every week. You go with your cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and siblings so you never end up wondering what adults or the other gender looks like naked because you just know; you have seen naked people ever since you were born. Even though there was always nudity around, it was non-sexual nudity. For my family, it was like sex didn’t even exist. My mom didn’t even tell me anything about sex until after I was already having sex and had already gone out to get my own birth control.
What I missed out learning from my family, I just ended up learning in other ways. My grandparents were farmers and so I would spend my summers on their farm. There were cows and all other kinds of animals and when you are on a farm, you see certain things. I was probably four or five when I saw a cow being inseminated and cats fucking. It’s just this farm thing, things happen and it’s not a special or notable occurrence. It did give me a bit of an idea though about what all of these parts were for.
Around this time, like a lot of other kids, I was playing doctor with my friends. In terms of gender, my friend group was pretty equally mixed but I only wanted to play doctor with the girls. I wasn’t at all interested in the boy parts; only the girl parts. Just exploring someone’s between the legs area gave me this weird feeling in my pelvis that I really enjoyed. Of course now I know it was the feeling of being turned on, but at the time I didn’t know what it was and didn’t have a name for it. But I was totally into it. I often pushed my friends into playing doctor; there were even some times where I might have even pushed too much. I was really adamant and maybe a little aggressive or forward. I also have a younger sister and once I was spying on her and her friend playing doctor and I again got this weird feeling in my pelvis but I didn’t know what to do with it. I didn’t have this idea that I should touch somewhere to touch the feeling it was just there.
There was one friend in particular that I used to play with a lot, I was touching her vagina and she said she didn’t like it because it kind of hurt. I think when you are so small, the vagina is really sensitive so you can’t really put things in it. But then I found out that the asshole worked better so I started putting my finger inside her ass. I don’t know when I had learned this, maybe from cows or something but I had figured out the concept of penetration so I think I was just trying to find a place to penetrate. The vagina didn’t work and I hadn’t heard about the clitoris so that part of the vagina wasn’t interesting because there was no hole, so I just moved on to anywhere else I could try to penetrate.
Another one of my really good friends was a boy and even though we were always playing together, we would never play doctor. I was just never interested. We were always playing more “boy stuff” like building houses in the forest and driving his pedal car. We had great times but I never wanted to play doctor with him, instead, I just wanted him to tell me that he loved me and he never did. I think I got this from TV or something; that this is what men and women do, they tell each other that they love one another. I wanted to play doctor with the girls but with the boy, I only wanted him to love me.
I loved to play doctor but the games totally ended when I went to school at seven years old. My friends and I never talked about it and never played in that way but there was this shame around my game, I somehow got the information that it was something that was not ok. Soon after I stopped, some of my parents’ friends came to visit. They had a son who was one year older than me and he and I played family together; he was the father and I was the mother. He started telling me about this thing that adults do and he explained to me. We had a Finnish name for it, ähkiä,
when you make this grunting sound. The word might not actually exist, it could just be a word that the kids in my circle used, probably because they heard their parents making this agh agh agh sound. It’s a very onomatopoeic word for that sound. It’s maybe a mix between a grunt and a moan; though moan is often sexy but ähkiä is much broader, it could for example be the sound you make when you take a dump. So he told me about the things that adults do when they ähkiä. He explained that the man took the penis and put it into the vagina. Then he asked if I would like to see his penis. I kind of hesitantly said ok but as I said, I wasn’t really interested in penises. Maybe because I didn’t have a smaller brother and all of my cousins were all girls so there was no penis around except my dads and dad’s penis is just not interesting. We had this walk in closet in my room so we went there and he was showing me his penis and he asked me to touch it. I did but it was kind of gross and I just wanted to leave. Then later everyone was at the sauna and after the adults finished, we decided we wanted to go to the sauna together. It was kind of controversial because I think we were at the age where we were still kids so our parents probably thought it’s just kids going to the sauna but I got the feeling my mom was a bit unsure if this was ok because he was a little bit older than me.
When we came out of the sauna to the shower room, he said let’s try to do this thing now where we put the penis in the vagina. I was kind of backing into the corner and he was coming towards me with his penis. It made me feel kind of uncomfortable, it wasn’t turning me on at all. I was just a little bit scared so I said I need to go and pushed him away. It was scary. I don’t even remember what his penis looked like I just remember that it was scary and I didn’t really want that. Afterwards my mom told me that it’s not ok to play with your private parts. I don’t really remember what she said but I remember that I felt kind of like embarrassed and thought maybe she had even seen us. Afterwards I got the idea that sexuality was somehow shameful and for the next few years I didn’t search out or participate in anything sexual with other people. I think this too much penis too soon was too shocking and then also having this guilt of my mom talking to me about it was too much.
Even though I stopped trying to push for sexual situations to happen, I was still incredibly curious about my own anatomy. One time my best friend and I were wondering if you bleed from your vagina when you have periods, where does the pee come from? Is it the same hole? Now I would just Google it but we were really confused at the time. We decided we would try and pee and see where the pee came from and I found out it was a different hole, which was really interesting and way better than Googling it. I have always kind of been the person who just goes and figures it out if I am curious about something. I also read a lot and I would read almost any book I could get, even if they were adult books. By the time I was nine I was reading books with sex scenes and they kind of turned me on but I never tried to do anything about it. I was just enjoying this feeling that would develop in my pelvis. There were also these magazines they had in Finland for young people that usually had two or three erotic stories in each issue. I would read these stories for years and get this feeling in my pelvis that I didn’t know what to do with.
When I was thirteen, I was home alone and I had already read about orgasms somewhere and I knew people had them but I had no idea what it was really. I was reading this erotic story and it got me horny so I decided ok now I am going to find out what this orgasm thing is. From my reading I knew that I needed something I could use as a dildo. I found this travel case for a toothbrush, which was perfect because it wasn’t too big and I figured I might be able to fit it in. I had used tampons so I could kind of gauge what I was doing. I started with the toothbrush case and touching myself, I didn’t know what I liked, I didn’t even know what a clitoris was. And then I just came! It couldn’t have taken that long because if it had, I would have probably given up. I remember so well just lying in bed looking at the ceiling thinking OH MY GOD HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS! Something opened in my sky. After that I masturbated every single evening for many, many years. I don’t know how it took me so long to try.