I’m Not Bitter: ESS EEE EXX

by The Morrigan

May 19, 2011 | Filed Under Random Silliness, The Morrigan | No Comments

May 18, 2011

I’m Not Bitter

My parents recently moved to town to be closer to me (sweet, eh?) and my mother was obliged to clear out decades worth of stuff in order to downsize.

One of the treasures she unearthed was a long forgotten second hand copy of Our Bodies, Our Selves.  She bought it used years ago when I hit puberty and she knew she’d have to come clean about the facts of life pretty damn soon.  If you knew my mother, you’d understand that this was a traumatic moment for her.  Until I was well into my 20s, she couldn’t even utter the word sex.  She always spelled it out with a hiss — “ESS EEE EXX”.

As time marched on, she knew she’d have to tell me something lest I think I was bleeding to death when I got my first period, but when push came to shove she couldn’t bring herself to do it.  Instead, she skulked off to a used bookstore and furtively purchased this book to bring me up to speed even though the thing was already years out of date when she acquired it. I think that may even be why she acquired it – how racy could it be if it was written a decade earlier?

Then she got it home and read a bit of it.

She was so horrified by its contents that she hid the book away in the fervent hope that (a) I’d never find it and (b) I’d have a vocation for the church so the subject of sex need never come up. She wouldn’t even throw it out because she was convinced that the garbage man would somehow trace it back to her and tell all the neighbours that she knew what fellatio was.

I guess she thought it was finally safe to trust me with this sort of subversive literature because a few days ago, she gave it to me.

After perusing it myself, I think she did the right thing.  This would have scarred me for life.

Revolutionary for its time, the authors of this appalling tome advocate frequent self-abuse as a way to become familiar with the concept of orgasm and to get comfortable with what turns you on.  Great advice as far as it goes but then, almost as an afterthought, they added the following comment: “Sex toys can add to the experience and enhance pleasure.”  Apparently, you don’t even have to buy an actual sex toy. Just about anything will do.  If you’d put it in your mouth, it’s OK to use it as a masturbatory aid and you shouldn’t feel awkward, ashamed or silly doing it.  “Rejoice in your womanhood”, they repeatedly urged me, “and let yourself experiment”.

Now wait just a minute.

For dinner this evening, I had mashed potatoes and gravy, three bean salad and a chicken leg:  I was delighted to put those things in my mouth but I’m not prepared to shove them up my kitty.  That goes double for the sad, wrinkled parsnip of indeterminate age currently residing in my crisper.  I may be desperate but I have not reached the point where I’d consider having congress with vegetables.  You won’t be seeing me strolling speculatively through the produce department of my local supermarket just yet.   No doubt that day will come but for the moment, the legumes of the world are safe from me.

The book recommends squatting naked over a mirror in order to become more conversant with the appearance of your genitalia.  “You’re a woman,” trilled the authors, “and you are beautiful.  Explore your body.”

Well, OK. If you say so.  Here goes nothing.

Holy Mother of God, what the hell is that?!  Is it supposed to be that colour?  It looks like something I’d bring home from the butcher to feed to the cats.

Yeef.  If I’d seen that at age 13, I’d probably still be on Thorazine.

Hmm…if this is their idea of beautiful, clearly they’re not setting the bar very high.

They devote PAGES to masturbation – and I’ll bet you anything this chapter convinced my mother that if I ever found out that masturbation existed, my life would be ruined.  She feared I would be doomed to an eternity of compulsive wanking and pictured me skulking around unsavoury neighbourhoods at all hours in a stained raincoat, on the lookout for a dark corner and the slightest opportunity to stick my hand down my pants.  I’d never go to university and no man would ever want me.  I’d die a lonely old spinster with carpal tunnel syndrome and crippling laundry bills.  “Oh hell no”, thought my mother grimly, “Not on my watch.”

Keep in mind that this is the same woman who told me I couldn’t read Seventeen magazine until I actually was 17 so I’m pretty surprised she didn’t drop down dead by page ten of this thing.

The chapter about having sex with another person even has pictures.  OK, they’re drawings but memorable nonetheless.

In one of them, a hippie couple is entwined in a fog of bliss (and probably weed).  He looks like one of those scrawny artistic types with bacne and Birkenstocks.  He has a straggly beard, long wispy unwashed hair and a non-threatening physique. You know the type:  he carries his guitar everywhere and croons bad folk songs at unsuspecting females until they sleep with him just to shut him up.  I suppose I shouldn’t judge – after all, here he is about to get laid.

The lucky lady with him has rolls of fat, presumably to impress upon the reader that this is what real women look like.  Which is fine.  Laudable even. On the other hand, none of the real women *I* know have pubic hair that begins at the knee and continues to the belly button.  Or if they do, they haven’t said a word about it to me.

The authors invited me to view this illustration as a celebration of love and sexuality and by God I tried but for the life of me I couldn’t shake my conviction that what I was seeing here were two mangy orangutans wrestling.

I studied the drawing more closely.  They think this is a celebration of love?  Really?

Then again, these are the same people who promised me I’d see something beautiful if I squatted over a mirror, so I guess the lesson here is “consider the source”.

You’d think that the wanking chapter would have been as bad as it could get, but I have to hand it to these women: their minds are even more lurid than ours.

 

The next chapter was about STDs but remember, this was back before the days of AIDS when the diseases you could contract were non-lethal and relatively easy to deal with.  They called them “venereal diseases” and even provided helpful slang like “the clap” and “a dose”.  But before they got to that part, they started with something truly horrifying.

Yup.  Crabs.

Let’s put this in context, shall we?  My mother’s goal in life was to keep me pure and that meant keeping me as ignorant as humanly possible without having people think I was mentally defective.  She told me nothing about ESS EEE EXX at all.  In fact, when I finally found out where babies came from I thought somebody was having me on.  I had no idea that people even had hair down there, much less that they could serve as hosts for a different species.

This book could have cleared all that up.

Once more unto the breach came the same artist, this time lovingly enlarging an intricate drawing of a pubic louse.  It was HUGE.  If my mother had been wise, she would have read me bedtime stories out of this chapter.  If I had seen this thing at puberty – the authors just assumed everyone would realize the illustration was not to scale but I wouldn’t have known the difference – I’d’ve been convinced that a nest of gigantic lobsters would immediately colonize my crotch if I so much as glimpsed at a penis.

She could have scared the pants on me in one fell swoop.

Thanks to the synonyms these filthy bitches provided — crotch critters, Sandy McNabs, snatch monsters, gentlemen’s companions, pants rabbits, dick scorpions – who could blame me for misunderstanding?  I mean really:  they sound enormous, don’t they?

At this point, I was becoming almost fond of whoever was providing the illustrations.  Clearly, alcohol and/or illicit substances were involved. I couldn’t wait to see what s/he would come up with next.

I was doomed to disappointment because for the next chapter – pregnancy and childbirth – they hired a photographer.

Remember that whole squatting over a mirror episode?  At least I could put the mirror down and walk away but just try to un-see a close up shot of a baby’s head crowning. I dare you.  Yeah, yeah, the miracle of birth and all that, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.  http://www.midwife.nu/birth-pictures.html

Viewing this caused me to immediately (a) slam my legs shut (b) wince and (c) involuntarily perform 400 kegels in 35 seconds.

Of course all of this is moot now because (a) I’m really outdoing myself in the Marathon of Hope and (b) my mother has changed her tune.  She’s constantly nagging me to “find a man before she dies” and doesn’t seem to be satisfied with my standard response to all of her observations on my life (“Shut up old woman, or I’ll put you in a home”).

In an effort to get her off my back – but really to get some juicy material for this column and 36 hours’ worth of epic entertainment — I joined a dating website.  I posted my picture and within 2 hours, I had 187 messages.

Turns out spinsterhood is my choice!  Who knew?  It’s raining men out there and I’ve got my pick of the litter.

Or is that the Cream of the Crap?

You be the judge:

 

I WILL find you 

Till next time,

Morrigan

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