sexcar

I was fourteen years old the first time I watched porn.

Before I saw a “p” go into a “v”, the closest I got to sexual enlightenment was a scene from that Howard Stern movie, Private Parts. A woman calls into his newly-created show and professes her love for the radio host so, as a gesture of gratitude (I’m guessing?), Howard agrees to have sex with her on-air. The woman straddles an amplifier in her living room while Stern makes this low, continuous humming sound into the microphone, vibrating the speaker. I can’t necessarily say that it evoked a cataclysmic sexual awakening, but Stern and the notorious speaker scene did induce a harmless curiosity about sex, masturbation and a woman’s fleeting ability to find sexual pleasure.

I realized I needed something more than Howard’s hair and a woman’s fame obsession if I was to understand sex and my own sexual desire. I needed more than an over-the-air orgasm, played out on a movie that highlighted a polarizing man’s impressive media career. I was in search of “real” sex, and while I wouldn’t necessarily consider porn an accurate representation of healthy sexual activity, I will say that it was a great way for me to learn, without actually touching someone else (or someone else touching me).

I was in my friend’s basement, and there were four of us. She was one of three daughters and her parents were those “cool” parents who let us drink in their house and didn’t seem to mind if boys paid a visit. Her parents were the exact opposite of mine in almost every way — loving, careless, healthy, somewhat oblivious — so I was able to explore at her house and feel comfortable at her house and, well, not feel like I was one minute away from being squished under high expectations, strict rules and religious ramifications.

Her parents were gone and we — myself and my three girlfriends — raided her mother’s closet. I’m not talking her expensive dresses or her designer jeans. We raided her “naughty” closet. I was wearing ass-less leather chaps; another friend was wearing this impressive, red leather number that tied tightly in the back and accentuated her highly developed breasts. We saw her dildos and vibraters and impressive collection of multi-colored condoms. We walked around her intimidating house in her mother’s sex outfits as if they were fleece pajamas. We playfully whipped one another with her pocket snake whip and threatened to handcuff ourselves to one another. We weren’t embarrassed or self-conscious or anything other than playful and free and curious.

I can't tell you how many times I have put on something from Victoria's Secret and so desperately wished I was that girl again. She was free and unapologetic and in love with a body she didn’t completely understand. She made no apologies for her size or shape, and she didn’t compare her form to a fictitious standard of perceived perfection. I miss her.

We then opened her kitchen cabinets and climbed on her kitchen counters and grabbed as many bottles of alcohol and high-sodium snacks as our adolescent arms could carry. We walked down her three flights of stairs, leather rubbing and squeaking and probably chafing but I’m sure I’ve blocked that out and settled into their movie room because, yes, they had a movie room.

We had intentions of watching something more PG: a rom-com or horror movie, perhaps. But, instead, we found ourselves searching the “adult” section and someone ended up picking a pornographic film. I had a can of cold Chef Boyardee Ravioli in one hand, a bottle of whiskey in the other, my legs folded as my ass settled into a couch through my borrowed-without-permission ass-less leather chaps, watching a man having sex with a woman on the hood of a white car.

I remember looking at her while simultaneously talking with my friends. I remember wondering how she must be feeling — possibly strange but certainly pleasured. I couldn’t imagine another human being physically inside of me, going in and out in order to stimulate a feeling I knew I had never felt yet. I remember thinking, “That must be nice” and I remember silently wishing that, sometime soon, I would feel what that woman was feeling (sans the white car).

It was eye-opening but nonchalant. It was interesting and sort of hilarious, but it was mundane and it wasn’t sensationalized. My friends and I didn’t start making out or touching one another, we just sat there and talked about a fourteen-year-old’s problems while two consenting adults were having sex on her parents’ oversized television. We were treating sex like a normal part of life; never worthy of an honorable mention or a carefully crafted cautionary tale. I thought to myself, “This is nice. We’re adults. We’re thinking and acting like adults and look, there are two people having sex and no one is making it a big deal.”

Of course, it didn’t take long for me to realize that what happened in my friend’s basement that night was not an indication of adulthood, but an anomaly I would be forever chasing for the rest of my young adult and adult life. I long for that kind of mindset; where we view sex as a normal, healthy part of life that bleeds into every other facet of our existence, instead of a sensationalized, taboo act that should be scrutinized and judged.

I wish we were all fourteen-year-old girls, eating cold ravioli and watching two consenting adults getting it on while we wear leather chaps and corsets; unimpressed by a natural act and defiantly unwilling to allow shame and stigma to shape our sexualities.

Or better yet, I wish we could just be adults. I wish female sexuality wasn't demonized and I wish a woman wasn't made to feel less than for expressing a healthy, natural part of her being, by a society that benefits from that exact part. I wish that I could bottle up the nonchalant, natural curiosity of four fourteen year old girls and somehow pump it into a culture that slut shames. 

Oh, how I wish.

More from BUST

ADVERTISEMENT

'Sticky: A Love Story' Is The Pro-Masturbation Doc We've Been Wet-Dreaming Of

New Fall Issue d217c

Make Love Not Porn Curator Sarah Beall Talks Vintage Style: BUST Interview

My Dating Life As A Trans Woman: BUST True Story

Danielle Campoamor is a writer living in Seattle, WA. You can find her work in The Seattle Times, Bustle, Romper, Salon, BuzzFeed Ideas, xoJane, The Huffington Post and more. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Support Feminist Media!
During these troubling political times, independent feminist media is more vital than ever. If our bold, uncensored reporting on women’s issues is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $25, $50, or whatever you can afford, to protect and sustain BUST.com.
Thanks so much—we can’t spell BUST without U.

 DONATE NOW