1. Jessica, 20
I used to think that babies were made when two naked people kissed.
I also used that think that a period was like a one-time thing—not only did it only happen just once in a woman’s life, it happened in a split second like taking a poop. So I’d used to wonder why they’d wear tampons instead of just using the toilet.
2. Michael, 34
The only thing either of my parents ever told me about sex was when I was about 5 and my mom told me that babies come out of a place on a woman’s body that only opens up once in her life. Thanks, mom. I imagined some kind of kangaroo pouch or even a trapdoor.
Otherwise, I learned about reproduction from reading the World Book Encyclopedia at around age 8. I specifically remember the line, “The penis is placed inside the vagina,” but I thought “vagina” rhymed with “Regina.”
When I told my best friend next door, he said, “No. That book is wrong. My parents would never do that.”
3. Matthew, 26
When I was in second or third grade or so, I thought sex was just two people peeing on each other naked. I thought that women could get pregnant at any time, but that getting married made it a lot more likely that you’d get pregnant. I hadn’t totally figured out the details there, but figured there was some sort of place where you’d sign up.
I don’t remember the moment I learned what sex actually was, but I do remember the various health classes we had between 4th – 6th grade cleared things up immensely.
4. Danielle, 10
One of the first times I remember learning about sex was the Now and Then movie where Chrissy’s mom has the sex talk with her and it’s about watering flowers with a garden hose. Her friends correct her later in the movie but it wasn’t helpful. For a long time I thought you got pregnant if you touched a guy’s pee and that is why there were boy bathrooms and girl bathrooms. I remember being very scared of using toilets for this reason.
5. Jonathan, 27
Our sex-ed teacher was this incredibly gorgeous woman. All we did was stare at her body. One time, she slid a condom over a banana and we were all slack-jawed. As a horny teen, I watched a lot of porn tapes, so being the idiot that I am, I thought giving a girl a front-wedgie would turn her on. It doesn’t.
6. Amber, 24
I saw the movie Cleopatra when I was like seven or eight, and I think there’s a sex scene. From then on until age 11ish, any time someone talked about sex, I figured they were referring to ancient history. Like, people only did that then, and now people do something else. Took me a while to realize sex has been the same for maaaaad long.
7. Melissa, 26
I remember a friend’s mom gave her a book about sex when we were 10 and it called vaginas “gardens” and penises “snakes” and told a story about the snake going in the garden to make a flower bloom. I remember being so confused about that.
When I entered 7th grade they made students and teachers at orientation take pamphlets on wet dreams, boners, and periods and my mom took mine and wouldn’t let me read it.
8. Eric, 29
I used to watch a lot of movies, and there would always be a scene where a man would have a woman cornered against a wall. He’d be looking down at her menacingly and she’d be looking up at him. So I used to think, “OK, that’s how babies are made.”
9. Jason, 30
I literally thought that the purpose of sex was to get pregnant. I had no concept that it was pleasurable, only that it was a means to an end. this is what happens when you are raised on nature shows and collect safari cards.
10. Angie, 32
I heard that a woman becomes pregnant when you piss in her asshole.
Someone else once asked, “Did you ever see a dick after sex? It looks like a semi ran over it.”
I couldn’t figure out what rubbers were, either. I had an older cousin who once wore condoms on his feet for Spirit Week. I asked someone what they were, and they said that rubbers were glow-in-the-dark pussies that you wear on your feet.
11. Adam, 28
My mom was a sex-ed teacher, so I didn’t have any misconceptions. What she didn’t teach me, I looked up. Plus, we weren’t Catholic, so that helped.