It was armaggedon. My older brothers had finally found my pink and purple diary, and almost immediately they had located the money shot page. In the midst of all my ramblings about how much I hated ballet class and how rad grilled cheese was, there lay words so filthy and disgusting that I shudder to this day just thinking about it. In my mind’s eye I still see that sentence. Written by six year-old hands that had just learned the correct way to hold the pen with the rubber Miss Piggy on top. "I want to fuck Eric Blankman."
Did I know what this verb meant, "to fuck"? Well, I’d seen Porkies and Fast Times at Ridgemont High-I was certainly more worldly than my classmates who didn’t have irresponsible babysitters. I knew "fucking" involved something very exciting between a girl and a boy, and I also knew there was a strong element of naughtiness about it. Naughty enough that when my meddling brothers presented my diary to my poor mother, I did the only logical thing I could do: I locked myself in the bathroom and sobbed shamefully for what seemed like hours. After much cajoling, my mom finally got me to open the door, and she came in and sat on the floor (I was on the toilet). She told me how sex was not necessarily meant for first-graders. It was for adults who wanted to express their love for each other. It involved sperms and tubes and eggs and sacs and all sorts of gross, complicated shit I was not even close to being able to comprehend.
My mom was progressive about the whole situation–she laid human sexuality out for me in an open and honest way, and tried to reinforce that sex is something wonderful and normal and nothing to be ashamed of. And you know what the result of that illuminating conversation was? I vowed to never talk about "fucking" in front of my parents ever, ever again. Somehow this sexual guilt in relation to my very liberal, loving parents has grown over the past 25 years to rival that of even my most repressed Catholic friends. Ever since that traumatic day, I have remained fastidious in the effort to virginize myself in their presence, going to great lengths to avoid any possible indication that I think about or talk about or actually have sex.
So, for instance, I’ve tried to steer my parents towards PG-rated fare for family movie night. Or, if I do happen to select an R rated film, the rule is that graphic violence is totally fine, but if someone so much as moans lustfully, the mission must be aborted. (Although there was that time in the mid-90s when my dad took me to a sneak preview of a new comedy by a local filmmaker who was getting lots of buzz-his name was Kevin Smith and the film was called Clerks and neither one of us was prepared to find out what "snowballing" was.) Or, when I was moving last year and my parents were coming to help, I wrapped my vibrator in various layers of clothing, put them in a plastic bag inside a tote bag and then guarded that tote with my life. The only rabbit my parents need to know I own is the one I use to open bottles of wine (which I always drink very responsibly, of course).
Things are still so bad, in fact, that I’m not going to tell them the topic of tonight’s story. They’ve asked. I think I’ll make something up. I might actually write a whole other piece to send to them just so we don’t have to relive any of this awkwardness ever again.
That said, I do want you all to know that my crazy sexual guilt does not extend beyond my immediate family. So, uh, Eric Blankman? I hear you’re married now and that you have a baby and you live out in the Midwest. But if that doesn’t work out and you find yourself in New York at some point, maybe you’ll wanna gimme a call?