Growing up I was a very sheltered child. My parents kept everything from me and me from everything. No sleep overs, no parties, no hanging out with friends. This of course led me to an extreme naivety, or even ignorance. I still to this day have no idea what the birds and the bees are. While others little girls were talking with their moms about their first menstrual cycle and about where babies came from, I was given an American Girl book, and left to figure it out on my own. At some point in my young life (around the third grade) people started talking about it during recess, on the playground. Well since I knew so little about it I was tuned on all frequencies. I wanted to know what I didn’t know and be smart like all of my friends. The things I learned at that age… I think I must have also been very gullible.
One of the first descriptions I heard was about a hot dog and a bun. It was simple and made since to me at the time, because at that age the anatomy of girls and boys was far from my mind. I remember when I was told about this a very good friend of mine had pulled me away from everyone else that we were playing with, and sat with me on the swings far away from all the other kids. She told me that she wanted me to be up to date on the knowledge of life, and didn’t like that I didn’t know something everyone else did. I accepted this quickly and was one step short of grabbing pen and paper. It seemed like a note taking opportunity. Needless to say I learned differently as I grew up. I can’t pin point the exact moment that my knowledge changed, even though I do remember going over the concept in health in both my middle school and high-school years. But even when I learned about the differences I still clung to some of my childish ideals about sex; for example I didn’t want to “have sex”, I wanted to “make love”. My world was raised around Disney princesses, and that was what I wanted my life to be!
I guess it would be a little too corny to say we can’t always get what we want, but that’s the truth in my case. When I learned about sex, really learned about what it is and how it works, I lost that childish innocence and that desire for a fairie tale. When I was 15 everything was taken from me. While other girls were gushing over their first times, I was lost in the horror of mine. There were no rainbows and butterflies, fireworks and angel choirs. There was the cold bed of a truck, the pleas for it to stop, and constant reassurance that I would like it. Needless to say I didn’t and felt I never would. Sex no longer was a romantic and beautiful thing to me, it was a dark thing that haunted me and made me feel less than I was. I didn’t sleep around after that, contrary to the belief of my high-school peers, rather it took me a year to share that with someone again, and very few since then. I had difficulty making an emotional connection between the act of sex and the person I was experiencing it with, because even though it lost its value, part of me still wanted a fairie tale.
I find myself frequently comparing myself to stories I heard as a child. When it comes to my discovery of sex, I find myself in the shoes of the Princess and the Frog, but rather than I be the Princess, I’m the frog. I see it as me having kissed the wrong Prince, only to find out he’s a witch who turns me into a frog, and I had to kiss a few other princes to try and get back to what I truly am. I think I finally found my prince, because sex now has a meaning for me, and I have that emotional connection that part of me has always been yearning for. Of course, I honestly wouldn’t change a thing about how I learned about sex though, because it made me who I am today. Gave me the strength that I have, and the caution I think I need. Learning about sex was more than just the physical aspects; it helped me learn about me.