The Weird Sexual Lives Of Young Girls

Young girls are perhaps the most sexual of all human beings. They do a variety of weird and seemingly unexplainable things.

How do I know they do these things? It’s because I did them. Most of my friends did them. And unless times have changed — or I am completely delusional — I assume they are still happening.

They pretend to be genitals.

Yes, you heard me correctly. Perhaps I had a very lecherous group of young friends. We were seven years old, all girls. We used to play a game called, “I’m your penis.” The rules were simple. One player would insert her head in between the other player’s legs. That player would lock her legs around the head, looking down at the other’s face. This talking head was supposed to be the penis. The conversations would go something like this:

“Hello, Cara, I’m your penis,” Penis would say.
“Hello, Penis.”
“How are you feeling today, Cara?” Penis would ask.
“I’m feeling good. How are you feeling, Penis?”
“I’m feeling a little tired,” Penis would say.
“I’m sorry. Do you like it down there, Penis?”
“I get lonely sometimes,” Penis would whisper.
“How is your wife, Leslie?”

All the penises had wives. The wives weren’t vaginas though. They were other penises –girl penises. Out of all the penis wives, Leslie was my least favorite. She was condescending.

I remember the first time I played “I’m your penis” with a boy. It was my friend’s brother. He was nine, but was as tall as an 11-year-old.

I put my head between his legs. It was the same, except there was a bump in the place that was supposed to be smooth. I was nervous talking to him because I was afraid I wouldn’t be an authentic penis. He already had a penis — a real penis — I was squishing it with my neck, the zipper of his cargo shorts was digging into my throat. At first I didn’t talk. I was afraid he would say something like, “A penis would never say that.”
He didn’t. He just smiled when I talked but didn’t answer me back. I thought maybe he didn’t know how to play the game. Finally it became so uncomfortable, I told him that I had to go and meet my penis wife, Martha, for coffee.

So we switched.

I remember the rush I felt when it was the boy’s turn to be my penis. He didn’t put his hands to the sides like the girls did. He wrapped them tightly around my ankles. He rested his head between my legs. He was breathing on my stomach. Suddenly I didn’t want to play.

Why did we do this? We wanted to know what it was like to have a penis. We just wanted to talk to our penises, to see their faces. Little did we know, this game was the complete opposite of interacting with a penis. It should’ve been called “Talk to a Vagina.”

They role-play sexual intercourse.

I remember when I discovered what sexual intercourse was. My mother told me point-blank, we were standing in my younger brother’s room after a Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood marathon.

The next day I went over my best friend’s house and immediately told her. She seemed confused but intrigued. She finally said, let’s play “House.” I wasn’t sure what she was doing. We ended up in bed together, under the covers. She was lying on top of me, breathing heavily, my thigh between her legs. Her hot breath smelled like Doritos, and I leaned away when she whispered into my ear. We were in first grade.

“The baby’s asleep,” she panted. We were still playing House.
“No, I don’t think it is. I’m going check on it.”
I pushed her away and rolled off the bed.
“I just said it’s asleep. Come back in bed,” she whispered.

Playing “House” had a different meaning after that.

They masturbate excessively.

When sixth grade boys made jokes about the newly discovered miracle called masturbation, I was the girl who always knew what they were talking about.

I had grown up watching A Baby Story with my mother, so I had seen dozens of births, all from the crotch camera seated directly at the vagina. I was just doing what I thought bodies were supposed to do: have orgasms and have babies. It all seemed so beautiful and wonderful and normal.

I learned to masturbate early — anywhere from a high chair to a car seat. My favorite place to masturbate was while watching Mr. Rogers. I don’t see the appeal now — maybe it was the inviting way he changed into his sneakers or that zippered cardigan sweater. Nevertheless, a part of me felt relieved when he died. He had seen too much.

I’ve talked to friends who have confessed to similar stories. So what happens? Why do the perverted games stop as girls get older?

I think they stop when girls learn that talking about their own sexual desire is inappropriate. For me it was around age nine. I talked about masturbation with more girls from ages six to seven than I did from nine to 19.
When girls first become interested in boys — usually around age 11 — they imagine them as penis-less beings, Ken dolls. They judge them by their haircuts or choice in polo shirts.

Later they learn that they’re supposed to be afraid of penises. That it is normal, that they can get things from boys if they deny them enough — that there is reason to deny because not denying means physical pain and humiliation and only sluts don’t deny.

But in the process I wonder if in denying we were denying our bodies, if we were denying the chance of sexual growth. We learned that we were supposed to be wanted, not to want. So eventually attention became more interesting to us than sex.

Honestly, for me, the feeling of turning someone on, being desired, is one thousand times better than sex will ever be. And maybe this is true for many women. But what does this all mean?

All I know is maybe these weird, confusing sexual experiences we remember (or try to forget) from our childhoods may actually help explain some of our sexual desires now. Maybe we should stop trying to repress what we really want and all play a round of “I’m Your Penis.” TC mark


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  • Allison

    I used to feel so, horribly guilty about doing things like this. It used to keep me up at night and make my face hot with anxiety. When I was 12 I had to tell my mom about the stuff I used to do at 9 and 10 because I thought it might mean that I was a lesbian. My mom told me it didn’t mean anything.

    • LazyReader

      Ditto that. I still feel a blush and degree of shame when I think of this one neighbor girl who was the primary co-participant in these games–30 years later!

  • Piper


    • Kennedy

      Way to be insensitive.

    • minicardi

      seconded. wtf?

      • JK

        What part, exactly, don’t you understand?

  • Michelle Garcia

    Good to know that little kid me wasn’t alone in all of this perverse nature.

  • Alexandra

    This is quite beautifully put. Perhaps now female sexuality is once again becoming equal with men. I don’t truly understand why society is so uptight about nudity and sexuality, since I’m a product of it, but I can’t help but see that you can take away the negative power of “bad words” by just saying them. So you’d think it would probably work with sexuality. *shrugs*

  • M

    oh my god i love this and can relate too damn well

  • airial

    Reblogged this on The Sex-Positive Parent and commented:
    This is a really brave post to write. And it’s amazing how radical it is to talk about girls having an innate sex drive. The most compelling statement to me is this: “We learned that we were supposed to be wanted, not to want. So eventually attention became more interesting to us than sex.” This is a very succinct way of describing the process of gender conformity. I have often felt that my sexuality is supposed to be limited to being wanted. That all I’m supposed to want is to be wanted. Which has never been the case. Ever. And that has been a huge challenge. I hope this post is read widely and discussed. The conversations that stem from it should be fascinating.

  • Gaby Dunn

    I loved this. Have you seen the comedian Rachel Feinstein’s bit about playing a game with her friend called “Mr. Company?” It’s kind of like your “House” story, but hers is way more fucked up and awesome. It struck me the first time I heard it because I never knew other girls played in that way. The shame or whatever comes later. Great read.

    • Aura

      Do you have a link to it?

  • Emma

    Can totally relate. I got up to a lot of naughty stuff when I was little, and I shudder when I think about it now. I knew it was kind of wrong but I enjoyed it. I’m so glad I’m not alone.

    • M

      BAH! Me too. I played lots and lots of ‘weird sexual games’ when I was a little girl…i’m so glad to known other girls did too. Decades later and it still freaks me out to think about.

  • Guy

    This is was fantastic!

  • Male Perspective

    I found this article to be very strange. Not bad. Not good. Just strange. I wish I could say that I learned something from this but unfortunately I didn’t. I’m genuinely surprised that so many girls relate to this so in that regard I’m glad you shared.

  • denkely

    The weird sexual lives of young first world girls?

    • disembodiedprose

      So non-“first world” girls *don’t* have weird sexual lives? Ok…

      • denkely

        Not like this they don’t. I’d know seeing as I live in a 3rd world country.

      • Dana

        With great Internet access…

    • Nicole

      No. I’m a girl living in a rural province in a third-world country and I can totally relate with this article.

  • Mercedes

    I would be lying if I said reading this didn’t make me feel uncomfortable. But that’s probably because I didn’t discover my sex drive until my late teens. And also because the majority of my friends were guys. All in all, a brave thing to write about. Perhaps one day all females, not just feminists, can feel as comfortable about their sexuality as males do.

    • Dan

      I guess that’s the day where some females are confident in their sexuality, some females are insecure and scared of it, some repress it strenuously, some hate theirs and think it leads to evil and harm, and others navigate their own understanding outside of cultural norms.

      There is no monolithic male sexuality and many males are extremely uncomfortable with their sexuality until they figure out how to relate to it.

      • Mercedes

        Well then I should have tagged on a *generally* to my sentence. I’ve just never had a male friend who was uncomfortable with his sexuality so pardon me for believing that.

  • O

    Wow I thought I was just messed up or something

    • T

      I’m LOLing at this comment out of all the others. ME TOO. hahhahahaa!

  • Boolio

    This is sick and wrong. You are a pedophile if you think that crap like this should be published on the internet. Thanks for giving all the sickos out there something to get their jollies to. Who are you? You should probably go to How Not to Sexually Attract Predators School.

    • MerPond

      you should probably go to, or invent that website. Or kill yourself.

      • disembodiedprose

        This is possibly one of my favorite comments ever.

    • ChillOut

      There is nothing sick or wrong about it. In fact, I commend it. Everyone’s experiences are different, but there is nothing wrong with speaking out about the fact that young children – particularly girls, who are supposed to be so “clean” and “innocent,” are actually highly sexual. Psychologically speaking, children are naturally sexual. This has been proven–it’s a fact, and you should really do your research before bashing a piece like this. Toddlers masturbate for physical pleasure, and young kids think about and sometimes participate in sexual experimentation with their friends. All this writer did was put into words her story, which many other people can relate to. If her doing so helps even one person feel more at ease about their own “guilty” past, wonderful. It was worth writing.

      Your attitude is exactly the kind of thing this article is trying to combat; the closed-minded, sex-is-dirty denialism that prevails in this country when it comes to sex and sexuality.

      Most importantly, there is nothing in this that is advocating pedophilia, or even child-on-child sex. It’s simply stating facts: kids have sex drives from an early age and they do some things that they are later taught are “bad” and “wrong,” but it’s really not that unusual, so people should stop being ashamed of their own past–whatever it might contain.

      I think it was well written, and I commend the author for her courage to share.

      • Paulina

        Amen to that.

    • Tk

      You, Boolio, are an idiot.

      • Abigail

        well said!

    • Asnkjdna

      can’t agree more.

  • S

    What a relief to know I wasn’t the only kid who experienced these sort of things. Thank you!

  • girly

    oh my god i relate perrrrrfectly had no idea this was normal….

  • Meow

    This is actually fantastic. I can totally relate to this, and honestly, reading about how other women’s girlhood sexualities were similar to mine makes me feel better about my adult sexuality. So thanks for that! This was beautiful, keep on writing!

  • girly

    ps be quiet everyone who says this is weirdly sexual or encourages pedophilia… stop being a judgmental prick and read a less liberal blog if you think this shouldn’t be on the internet


    My first kiss on the lips was with another girl in kindergarten on the bus. We wanted to know how the mouth kiss felt.

    • alice

      Is that you? My first kiss was with a girl, on the bus in elementary school…

  • Brianna

    Thankyou. I grew up wondering if my childhood was ruined because of this. It’s nice to know I’m not alone. Reading this ment a lot to me.

  • Only L<3Ve @

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  • lc

    I didn’t really experience sexual feelings of any kind until like…13 or so, but I don’t think that was the case with all of my friends. I’m sure it starts earlier for some people for one reason or another. But we definitely played “I’ll show you mine if you’ll show me yours” and dared each other to kiss various people in our group, same and opposite sex, both of which, for me anyway, were fueled by curiosity, not sexual feelings.

    I mean, once I did have sexual feelings, I felt fairly guilty about them until I worked through all that junk that society puts on young women.

  • Sarah

    Very interesting article. I didn’t do exactly this, but I did have a lot of curiosity. We played games when we put the naked barbie and ken dolls on top of each other and such. It’s weird to think that children think like this, but it’s true and it should be acknowledged.

  • lydia

    Thanks to soap operas and puritan parents, I though sex was just getting naked and making out with someone in a bed. When we were 7, a childhood friend and I wanted to “practice” once for the real thing one day. I have no idea if she remembers but, unlike a few years ago, I don’t think I’ll deny it if it ever comes up. Apparently this shit is totally common.
    I also masturbated all the time on a massage chair our family once owned not knowing at all what it meant to have it feel good.

    Woo. glad that’s out of my system.

  • Bethanie the Wookie

    I loved this. I didn’t have a penis game, or even any equally freaky friends. I thought I was totally alone in the fascination with self exploration at a young age.

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