My God but we were innocent little wretches

I have noted before, and it is no exaggeration, that when I was a young boy who first became aware of certain hormonal urges, my male friends and I would feed our need for sexual stimulation by perusing the lingerie pages of the Sears catalogue.

Page after page of bras and panties on pretty ladies was about the limit of our smut exposure.

And then Playboy appeared on the newsstands and they showed much more than the Sears folks did. Like the nipples that sat under those bras, and the fact that pretty ladies sat down on grown-up bums.

No mention of anything ‘down there’, however. That had to wait for the advent of Penthouse, which was quite unabashed about letting a fellow know that ladies had a pubic area. By that time I was already old enough to know that, so I didn’t find it all that remarkable that pubes should be on display.

Today, of course – and this is what I was leading up to – it is no holds or particular interest barred. Thanks be, needless to say, to the Internet. As a consequence, Penthouse has already gone under and Playboy (which today seems about as sophisticated as National Geographic is struggling to hold on. I forgot to mention, referencing NG, that when I was a kid, you actually could see pictures of bare breasts in that mag, but only if said breasts were on dusky-hued women. That, by the way, was just fine with us. Breasts were breasts regardless of hue.

The Internet makes ‘everything’ available for children of all ages. And not just static photos, either, but filmed action of people actually ‘doing it’, with all the huge number of options for ‘doing it’ graphically illustrated in little filmed vignettes. It doesn’t matter what your ‘special interest’ (won’t say perversion, that might seem judgmental) might be; you can find it on the Internet. Give it a try. Think of something kinky, raunchy or just plain disgusting to your sensibilities and punch in the words and you’ll find a cornucopia of references.

I don’t write this out of experience, you understand. OK, I have looked on occasion, but all in the name of science and sociology, y’see. But seriously, evidently the amount of time wasted in workplaces by porno-surfing is huge. That’s why a lot of businesses have been forced to restrict the computer access of their employees.

Now, I’m not being judgmental. Chacun a son perversion I believe, provided you’re not hurting anybody. At the same time, however, there is a psychological jading phenomenon that comes about to too much exposure to certain acts and behaviors. Initially this can lead to wanting more, but ultimately it can result in boredom, lethargy, or a desire to act out in real life with the belief that something is being missed in life. Such a manifestation can take a toll not only on marital or relationship contentment and fidelity, and also (sorry guys) on virility. Nothing can make you soft faster than being bored.

And frankly I do think this has an effect on young people who may not be ready for the wide-world of bizarre behavior. I know I wouldn’t have been in my teen and especially my pre-teen years despite the fact I was a tiny bit sexually precocious. I was limited in what I knew and probably blessedly limited in what I wanted to know at that time.

Sears’ panty-clad ladies were turn-on enough for me.  But, we live in a much more overt society in which little is hidden. We also live in a vulgar and too often unseemly society. As I say, I am far from being prudish. In fact, I’m pretty cavalier about “the old in-out”, but I also believe that there is a time and that time comes when we’re sophisticated and informed enough to know what our personal standards are.

Most kids aren’t. A lot of adults aren’t. But, hey, porno’s a big business and it won’t go away as long as people troll in the neighborhoods.

 

 

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11 responses to “My God but we were innocent little wretches

  1. Your post brings back some not-so-fond memories. My mother and stepfather had Playboy subscription. My mother also subscribed to Cosmo. Being curious as well as hormonal, I looked at both. My mother, a teacher, said that once someone learned to read, there was no point in hiding things from them. My stepfather, a generation older than she, felt differently, and spent time trying to tell me why reading these things would injure my character. He forbade them. Both were flabbergasted when I one day asked my mother what exactly an orgasm was…

    She turned beet read and stammered something which made no sense to me and I resolved that she was not as liberal about reading as she pretended to be nor would I ask her any further questions on this subject.
    I wish parents could be honest about their discomfort concerning sexuality with their kids and help them find age appropriate materials.

    • I’m sure a lot of parents in the day were nonplused when hit with an honest question re something like orgasm. Suddenly all the liberality goes out the window when they realize their children might just be sexual beings. I recall the first time I had a wetdream. I was mortified and laundered my own sheets so my mother wouldn’t know about it.

  2. Sorry for the misspelling “read” should be “red.”

  3. I’ve only accidentally stumbled upon a porn site once. After that I was always very careful about wording my searches. I did once however click on a blogger’s link although she had expressly warned about it. Maybe that’s why I clicked. It was so vulgar and disgusting, I stopped reading that blogger entirely. I’m NOT afraid of being judgemental: Nothing about toilet activities is sexy in any way. YUCK. YUCK. and YUCK.

  4. My mother’s answer to many of my questions were to “look it up” (meaning in the dictionary). So I did. Often. And was keenly aware of her “I don’t know” responses and wondered if she had actually ever had sex and given birth to me, or if she really was as dumb as she made herself out to be.
    I also think a little covering and mystery is much more sexy than baring it all.

  5. We were naive. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Discovering sex was totally awesome. I can’t help but wonder, with the exposure they get today, what it will be like for kids. Girls giving blow jobs because it isn’t sex. Or doing anal because, hey I’m still a virgin… Really?

    Of course the question begs asking – how prevalent is that type of behaviour? From what you get from the media, it’s all one big orgy in the high schools. I can’t help but wonder how true that is, though obviously kids are way more savvy about sex than we were.

    • A little naivete isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Ignorance, however, is. Girls are still getting knocked up. What’s that all about. At least in pre-pill days there was some excuse. Anal sex isn’t really sex? Yeah, right. That’s like Clinton’s blow-job defence. And probably there are nowhere near the rampant sex orgies amongst teens that we’re led to believe.

    • Jazz, I knew all about sex from an early age. My brother found Dad’s Playboys and we used to pull them out when the parents were away. I mostly read the comics. I still remember my favorite one. I also studied the centerfolds to try to figure out what the deal was. Also I found and read a Harold Robbins novel years before I actually had sex myself. We also had The Sensual Woman in our house and I had read that when I was maybe 10. That was a LOT of information for a 10-year-old!

  6. Actually, aside from the nekkid ladies, Playboy had some excellent cartoons. Among the best after New Yorker.

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