Spotlight

Sexual Awakenings

Image credit: Hope Docherty

I had no idea I was experiencing bisexual confusion at the time, with the blood rushing to where I had not yet experienced before or remembered feeling. Fireworks exploding in my brain and from my age, probably pants with the day of the week printed onto its cotton. It is not an aesthetic sexual awakening which could be illustrated or included in a coming-of-age Indie film. I was left breathless at the sight of Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake dry humping in the 2011 film, ‘Bad Teacher’. I told you it wasn’t going to be ornamental.

I re-winded and watched it again and again for weeks on end, nearly going cock eyed at who I wanted to stare at more. It wasn’t even a particularly passionate, graphic scene though it did foreshadow the lack of orgasm I would experience with future interactions in my long, treacherous path of dating apps and meeting up with the men from them. Was it Diaz’ dominant, cool charisma that lured me in or Timberlake’s pathetic fall at the ground Diaz walked on? I am not even slightly ashamed to admit that ‘dry-humping’ was almost definitely the first search I made into PornHub (it was before I had been educated on ethical porn okay, I was very young). Though, even with this passionate threesome I had going on between Diaz, Timerblake and I, it still took me a while to discover the big ‘O’ and how to conclude the sensation I had been experiencing. Maybe this is because Diaz hadn’t cum herself. 

Holly

I believe my sexual awakening happened in my early teens. I have always been a book person; I love books and the imagination that comes with them so, looking back, it seems only natural that my sexual awakening happened via a book. I had recently bought a Kindle using my birthday money and I went through Amazon downloading several books.  I downloaded an Austin book, a Dickens book, one containing vampires and one containing angels. The specific book in question is called ‘Her Dark Angel’ by Felicity Heaton. I don’t remember reading the synopsis of the book before buying it, but I do remember enjoying the storyline a lot. I also remember there being a lot of sex in it…detailed, good sex that added to the plot, instead of being there for the sake of it. 

I grew up in a medical household, and no questions were off limits, I knew about sex and I had read several children’s medical books. But I think this was the first time I started to actually think about sex and pleasure. I re-read the book a few times, before moving onto a couple of other books. I remember feeling slightly disgusted with myself that I was enjoying reading about pleasurable sex that excited me, and I don’t really know why. I have long since moved on from those thoughts though. Sex and sexual thoughts are natural and normal (between consenting individuals in a safe environment) and there is no need to feel ashamed or disgusted about them. I think there is still the stigma around sexual awakenings for young people, especially girls, as they come to terms with these strange new feelings. However, I did enjoy this book at the time for several reasons despite certain reservations at first, and I would still recommend it now.

Rosie

It’s quite hard to pin a single thing down because to me it’s all just one big cornucopia of cringe. I don’t quite know what it was about Zoe Deschanel in 500 Days of Summer. Actually I do, it’s because I was 13 and the idea of a girl with good music taste was all it took for my tragic little softboi brain. And I thought she was really fit, she still is to be fair. There were a lot of music videos that I remember being like very aware of sexually. I remember seeing Kylie Minogue’s Can’t get you out of my head or Rihanna’s Only girl and having my little heart race, bashfully averting my eyes from MTV when they came on when I was with my parents in the living room. If my dad caught me watching he’d make a little harmless joke or something which used to make me feel unbelievably embarrassed.

I think it was the confidence of those women that got me, it’s like in movies there would always be a femme fatale (Sarah Michelle-Geller in Cruel Intentions comes to mind) who was very assured and commanding. And that used to set my world alite even though they were usually the bad guys. Not hard to guess to be fair, that it was about confident, forward women for me as I sat there full of social anxiety, messy hair, braces and jeans my mum bought me dreading the idea of my dad coming in and watching the TV with me.  

Greg

Now this may make me sound like every straight teenage boy from the 80’s ever, but one of my early sexual awakenings was the iconic Princess Leia and Jabba the Hutt scenes, and I can promise that it wasn’t Jabba that got my motor running. As a little budding feminist, I didn’t really care that much about the blockbuster franchise, which almost certainly failed the Bechdel test, but I am open about the fact that I must have watched that film for those singular scenes with Leia a thousand times. At the time, I had no idea why I was so obsessed with those scenes, only that watching it made me feel really good. And, having no clue what a lesbian was or that I was even allowed to like women, I must have just chalked my obsession up to just wanting to be her. Cue years of sexual confusion and gender crises to follow. If the other formative sexual awakenings I had, like ‘Push the Button’ by the Sugababes, and certain scenes in Charlie’s Angels are any indication, then I either liked it when women were strong and independent; asking for what they wanted, or I kind of liked a bit of bondage. Either way, it definitely wasn’t the men’s performances that had anything to do with my sexual awakenings, or the high view counts on those scenes. Sorry, Jabba.

Caitlin

*some names have been changed for anonymity


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