A Brief History of Sex (According to Me)

Hey, sweetie…let’s make love….Honey?
[…snoring…]

It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment I started to think sex was weird.

Maybe it was when we had that first health class in fifth grade and the creepy teacher passed around a maxi pad, urging us to discuss the feelings we had about the opposite sex and our changing bodies.

Maybe it was when my best friend informed me on the playground that Brian and Heather were making out in the trees next to the jungle gym.

In either case, I was left confused and mortified–probably because I thought getting your period only meant your life was cursed for all eternity (not too far off with that guess), and unless ‘making out’ meant a secret hide-n-seek game involving deciphering codes on a pirate’s treasure map, I wasn’t interested.

I can’t remember who told me exactly what sex entailed, and I’m not clear on what my reaction was when I found out. But I have a feeling it went something like this:

Friend: Then the boy puts his–

Me: NO! Nononononono! [plugging ears] I can’t hear you! lalalalalalalalala!

Friend: …and then the girl–

Me: Ahhh! AHHH! Stop! Stop talking! Oh, god! I just want to die!!! ahhhhhhhhhh!
[running away, flailing my arms and screaming at the top of my lungs]

Once I hit middle school age, the whole concept still struck me as being generally ugh-y and super icky.   Sex was this big mystery and I wasn’t sure I wanted to find out its secrets. Even innocent games of Spin the Bottle gave me panic attacks.  The bottle would spin in slow motion and I’d squeeze my eyes shut and silently pray, “Please don’t be me! Please don’t be me!”  My greatest fear was to be banished to a dark closet with a cute boy, fumbling around in the silence.  Sure, I had my crushes. I played my share of ‘kissing tag’ on the playground. I could understand the attraction part.  But I always felt a few steps behind the other kids whenever it concerned actual sex.  It all just seemed way too complicated and painfully embarrassing. First, why would anyone purposefully want to do that? And second, if I was ever going to do that, it could damn well wait until I at least loved the boy. Or didn’t think he had cooties.

College was filled with more confusion, bad dates, casual relationships here and there. Mostly, I spent my time in the library, holding out hope of finding my Mr. Right and not Mr. He’ll Do For Now, I Guess. Who knew libraries weren’t exactly a hotbed for singles looking for love?

Then in my 20s, I finally met the love of my life, my husband.

When you’re still in your 20s, sex is almost a constant need. You enjoy it, you look foward to it. You think it’s the greatest thing since microwave pizza. Finally you find someone that actually wants to do it with you all the time and you don’t mind! So you try to top yourselves with the sexathons:

“Hey, honey! Wanna do it again? I know! Let’s try and do it seven times in one day! We’ll break a world record!” or “Hey, honey! I just made a bologna sandwich. Wanna do it?” or “Hey, honey! It’s 2 pm. Wanna do it?” Sex is fun and giddy and full of lustful anticipation.

Then you get married, and a few years go by; you start to think, “Hey, let’s have a baby!” Suddenly sex completely transforms from this thing you once enjoyed immensely to this thing that hangs over both of you like a big black cloud sucking every ounce of pleasure out of your romantic relationship.

And if you’re like me and can’t get pregnant to save your life, sex becomes another chore. A long, drawn-out-over-two-years chore full of charts and temps and pinpointing ovulation and the phases of the moon.

“Hey, honey. Sorry, but we have to do it tomorrow at 3:15.” [sighing heavily]

“Huh? Well, I can’t, I’m at the gym then.”

“Nope. It’s 3:15. We only have a 14 hour  window for ovulation. My egg has already descended the fallopian tube and it’s waiting for your sperm. So the optimum fertilization time is tomorrow at 3:15. Oh and we have to tilt my uterus at a 45 degree angle, say a few prayers, light a sage incense, and then dance naked around a fire chanting Kumbaya under the new moon.”

“Again? Aw, man! Didn’t we just do all that last week? Great. Just great.” [heavy sigh]

I finally not only got pregnant but stayed pregnant. Nothing short of a miracle for me with my medical history. Also a testament to the hundreds of times we had stressful mechanical sex for the sole purpose of merging egg with sperm every cycle for over two years. Isn’t it romantic?

After a long labor and emergency c-section, my son arrived, healthy and perfect. It was at my first post-op appointment with my OB/GYN that taught me the next phase of sex: After kids.

Me [excitedly]: So…when can we have sex again? Once the stitches heal?

Doctor: Ha! Sex? Oh, no, no, no. You won’t be having sex again for awhile, trust me. [chuckling to himself]

Me: Because of the stitches?

Doctor: Because of your baby.

After my son turned four, I gave birth to my daughter and met with my doctor once again.

Me [excitedly]: So…when can I go on birth control again?

Doctor: Birth control? For what?

Me: For when we start to have sex again.

Doctor: [snickering] Ha! Sex? Oh, no, no, no. You won’t have to worry about that. You have two young kids under the age of five! Ask me again in about four years! [laughing so hard he starts to gasp for air]

Now my husband and I are forging ahead into new territory. We’re both in our early 40s. Our kids are much older and less reliant on us so we have more quality time alone.  We could have all the sex we want.

But now we’re just too damn tired.

Me: “Hey, honey…pssst…so…you wanna…”

Him: “Huh? Wha? Oh, I guess I was sleeping just then. What did you want?”

Me: [….snoring….]

Him: “Honey, wake up, what did you want?”

Me: “Oh…sorry I just nodded off there, too. Um, yeah, did you want to do it tonight or next Tuesday night?”

Him: “Well, Conan looks good tonight, he’s got Will Ferrel on so…aw, what the hell. Let’s do it! Honey? Honey!”

Me: [….snoring…..]

Him: “Yeah. We’ll do it Tuesday for….for…..[yawn]….suuuure….[…snoring…]

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71 thoughts on “A Brief History of Sex (According to Me)

  1. Haha! The romantic sweet nothings you say during moments of intimacy such as, “Shut up dammit, I think I heard something on the baby monitor. Is the monitor even on? Maybe the batteries are flat? Should we check the batteries? …”

    1. Nothing says ‘let’s have hot passionate sex!’ like thinking you hear your baby crying on the monitor. My son cried nearly nonstop for his first six months so yeah, sex wasn’t on the agenda much. Just sleep. Still is, oddly enough…

  2. Funny as hell! I was nine I think when one of the newspapers had a miniature sanitary pad attached—for ‘awareness’. Well, all it did was send us boys into a tizzy wondering what it was. We knew it was something women used, and according to the TV ads, women had some mysterious ‘blue liquid’ that needed blotting. A friend—a few years older than I—explained the whole thing.
    I’m not sure if I ever want children. Not if they’re gonna change everything that much.

    1. Oh my god. What a way to discover a maxi pad, through your newspaper! Traumatic, I’m sure. I wish I still believed it was for blue liquid and nothing more. My innocence was shot to hell with that first health class. Someone had to tell me about it though, my parents certainly never would have (they grew up in the ’30s and ’40s where sex was something people did in twin beds fully clothed)
      Children don’t really change much, go ahead and have some! Ok, that’s a little lie, they do change it a lot in the early years…but then old age and being tired is the main reason you don’t want to have sex so it all evens out.

      1. The three stages of marital sex:

        Stage 1: The “anyroom” stage wherein the hubby and wife will have relations in any room of the house, since they are crazy for one another.
        Stage 2: The “bedroom” stage where decreasing privacy and doldrums dictate that sex only happens in the bedroom.
        Stage 3: The “Hallway” stage, where the hubby and wife say “F- you!” as they pass each other in the hallway.

  3. That is funny, and entirely too true!

    I’ll never forget when I was 7 or 8 – in Catholic school – one of the boys in my class stole a “pad” by vandalizing the machine in the girl’s restroom. We were all laughing until all the boys got pulled into the Principal’s office (one tough nun). I never knew what that thing even was till I was in junior high. 🙂

    1. Hmm….’one’ of the boys stole the pad? It wasn’t you? 😉
      It is probably a good thing you didn’t know what it was for until junior high. I knew about way too many things before junior high. I could have happily lived my life without knowing any of them until high school to be honest.

    1. Yeah…finally it’s the two of you..alone again. You can’t wait to get to turn off the lights, hop into bed…and lie awake worrying about your kids away at college and THEIR sex lives!

      1. Well, now this is good to know that things will get better, Susie. So once my kids have their own apartments in about…what….20 years we’ll have lots of sex again? Problem is, one or both of us will be dead then.

  4. This is hysterical, Darla! And so sadly true. History the way it was meant to be told.

    I must admit that William Powell and Myrna Loy make me think more of martinis and witty banter than the beast with two backs. But that’s just me.

    1. I had no idea who those two were in the picture, I just wanted a picture where one of them looked like they were asleep. (I’m thinking it’s Myrna Loy. I can sleep with my eyes open, really confuses my husband.) And if they don’t make you think of the beast with two backs, but banter and alcohol, it’s the perfect picture for this post, because that sums up my life lately.

      1. You can sleep with your eyes open? What a handy talent to have (if a bit creepy). Now if you could only say “Ooh baby, yeah, you know what I like” in your sleep, you’d have the perfect setup for those nights when you’re tired and he isn’t.

  5. Is it wrong that I was more excited about this post than I am about sex? 😉 LOL, but seriously, you’re worth the wait, Darla!

    Okay. Enough with the creepy comment. I really am so impressed that you can write about this in your same funny way without crossing any lines (not that I have any lines, but…). Oh and your doctor sounds like he has a great time mocking new mothers. Geesh. 😉

    1. Ha! Your first line kills me. Yes, this is the first sign, Jules–and you’re only just starting your 30s!

      I am thrilled you were impressed because it was very difficult to almost cross the line and dance around it using only G-rated words. My family might read this so I had to keep it somewhat clean.

      My doc was maybe a few years older than me (looked like Noah Wylie of ER) and had two kids of his own under the age of four at the time. I think he was simply relaying his own dreary sex life with us.

  6. I had tears streaming down my face I was laughing so hard. Funny thing is you don’t need kids to put the kabbash on marital sex….no indeed you just need life to do that.

    Wonderful!

  7. You totally nailed it! I still remember going to my husband as he woke up one afternoon in the middle of his work week of night shifts. I had been using one of those ovulation prediction kits after our first try didn’t take, and it said, “Go!” I asked him if he wouldn’t mind if we fooled around, since I was ripe. After months of trying, this time it took. Seven months later, delivered by emergency c-section, my son had his first helicopter ride to a bigger hospital where he moved into their NICU for about 3 weeks. Since then, sex has definitely become an endangered species.

    Very accurate and very funny piece!

    1. I’m guessing it’s entirely too accurate for most of us. I was hoping some of you wouldn’t be able to relate at all so I could pretend there was hope.

      Oh my god, we went through absolute hell to get pregnant with both kids. I had several miscarriages along the way, too (right before I had my daughter) My son, it took about 2 years, then one day, I broke down one final time. I was crying hysterically, praying and leaving it up to God/universe/whatever/whoever. We decided to completely give up trying. And, guess what? Yeah, you know what I’m gonna say: we got pregnant that very next cycle we stopped trying. People told us that would happen but I didn’t believe it until it actually did!

  8. And once again you write a post wherein I am asking myself, “wait . . . is she me? Did I sleep-write this post? Or has she been spying on me my entire life? Because all of that up there . . . totally my life.”

    I remember that mechanical “we have to do it on tuesday” planned out sex. Boy was that joyous. We actually got pregnant both times after an unsuccessful “it’s too much pressure!” bout that didn’t take, and then just rolling over and doing it the next morning. Because we wanted to. Not because it was planned or timed.

    Then the babies came and my doc told me I was good to go after 6 weeks and I was like “like hell, stay away from me, I’m exhausted.”

    Now the kids are older, I’m still exhausted, and I usually just wanna take a nap. Glad it’s not just me!! 🙂

    1. I confess, I am spying on you, Misty. I hope you don’t mind, but really, you’re giving me all these great post ideas so it’s worth it, right?

      After I had my baby, I had an IUD put in. I could have all the sex I wanted and not worry about popping a pill every day! We could do it all the time and not worry about getting pregnant! Yeah. Still didn’t make me want to have that much sex.

  9. Here’s what popped into my mind while I was reading…”When what’s left of you {me} gets around to what’s left to be gotten, what’s left to be gotten won’t be worth getting, whatever it is you’ve (I’ve} got left.” I think that’s how it was said. Danny Kaye to Bing Crosby in “White Christmas”. Anyway, your writing – super mega funny…as always!!
    ~d.

  10. Fantastic! I suspect there is one more phase – the one that brings us full circle. We’ll be seventy or eighty and one or the other will suggest sex and we’ll stick our fingers in our ears and say, ‘la,la,la, I can’t hear you.’

  11. Congratulations on a brilliant piece of writing Darla. Both funny and honest. Also like the heading – its not easy coming up with simple yet funny headings.

  12. Oh, wow, LOLOLOLOLOL! Geez….Darla, wait, jeezum crow, gosh darnit! 😉 I’ll pray that it gets better for you, girl! Perhaps try drinking some Naked Juice (do they have that in Maine?)…suggestive name and super healthy to give you BOTH energy to stay awake, LOL! Oh, I have so many suggestions, but I’m laughing too hard to share ’em, but really, I empathize…at least I did when I was also married…jeeeezum crow! XOXO-SWM

    1. What is this Naked Juice you speak of?? Hmm?? Do tell!
      Well, we are getting better at not falling asleep during sex. And not falling asleep right before sex. And picking sex over Conan O’Brien. It’s a slow process but I know it’ll get better.

  13. Ha! 🙂 Darla, is there any more topic left, of which you can’t make fun of. I am going to repeat the same thing as always, You are an awesome writer Darla. 🙂

  14. I could’ve written the first part of this post for sure — totally freaked out by the idea of kissing or doing anything with a boy. I never understood those movies like Man in the Moon where the young girl daydreams about her first kiss. Ugh — I could not stand the thought. True story, I broke up with a boy in 7th grade when I found out he was going to try to kiss me that night. AND I broke up with another boy in 8th grade when he asked me to meet him at the movies because I was freaked out he’d try to kiss me there.

    Is it immature that I still snicker when I hear the words “do it”?

    Great glimpse into one person’s history of “doing it” (or not “doing it,” too).

    1. Haha! Oh my god, I can relate. Well, when we played kissing tag, it was only the innocent kisses on the cheek. I don’t think I had my first real kiss until I was in high school. And even then, it was really, really bad. Just horrible.

      The whole entire sex concept was just this ominous thing that clouded my days when I was young. I had no idea others had the same experience. I always thought I was a total prude. Or just super-vigilant about catching cooties.

      Now when you say, you could’ve written the FIRST part, so the other parts you can’t relate to? lucky you! You go, girl! rrraaaaarrrrr! boom chicka bow wow

      1. Ha! I was 16 when I first kissed a guy and it was a guy I had dated for weeks. When he’d drop me off at my house, I’d fly out of the car like a crazy person to avoid any physical contact. The first kiss was the worst. It couldn’t have been more awful. I was shocked that he wanted to keep dating me after that horrible mess. And then I still hated kissing after that.

        Not just lucky me, lucky my husband.

        Don’t you ever post about sex again. Ever. Never. Look what you just made me write here. Jeezum crow, Darla!

      2. Hey, Angie. I have something very important to ask of you. Would you mind terribly if I copied your comment above and just pasted it into a widget on my sidebar? In all caps? And underlined it? Or made it my blog’s tagline?

        She’s a Maineiac: The first kiss was the worst. It couldn’t have been more awful. I was shocked that he wanted to keep dating me after that horrible mess. And then I still hated kissing after that.

      3. By the way, I will be sure to never, ever, EVER write about sex again. Don’t you worry about that!

        Do you know how incredibly scared I was to click publish on this one? Well, I was as freaked out as the day that teacher handed me a maxi pad in front of everyone. [shudders] So this is a one-time only post subject for me.

  15. See!! Reality IS funny. Rob and I have gotten down to grunts. One grunt means, “Not tonight”, and two grunts means…. Gosh, I haven’t a clue what two grunts means, we seem to just use one grunt.

  16. This made me think of being that age when kids told lustful sex jokes and we all laughed even though we didn’t have a clue what the joke meant. Okay, I didn’t have a clue. Maybe the other kids did.

  17. Hahaha, Darla! I think working at a sexual health center for a few years was both the best AND worst thing I’ve ever done. I’m totally informed about EVERYTHING sex-related, but for some reason, I don’t think it’s a turn-on for my husband to hear about the % effectiveness of various birth control methods or the consistency of my cervical fluid. 😉

    1. Get out. You worked at a sex health center? I’m beginning to see where I went wrong in life when I accepted the Yankee Candle position….
      I think you’re right, we can know way TOO much about sex for our own good. After trying to get pregnant for so long, I also know waaaay too much about cervical fluid consistency. I wish I could un-learn that stuff now…

  18. Funny and, at times, painfully true.
    My first question to my Mom about sex also was my last. I was in 7th or 8th grade, I was curious about a rumor I heard in school.
    Me: “Is it true you can’t get pregnant if you wear tight jeans?” (BTW, I was not even remotely near to having sexual contact.)
    Mom, thru clenched teeth: “Yeah, if you keep them zipped up.”
    (That was the last time I asked for any info about sex from my Mom.)

    1. Oh my! That sounds exactly like something my mom would’ve said. Actually, I don’t think she’d even say anything. I can’t think of one single thing my parents said about sex to me. They grew up in another time, that’s for sure. I learned everything from my friends. I will be sure to talk with my kids, although I’ll want to crawl under a rock!

  19. Like you, I seemed to be several years behind everyone else when it came to understanding sex. In junior high — and well into high school — the other kids would come up to me and tell me a dirty joke just so they could see the bewildered look on my face. And when I finally started to figure things out, I couldn’t believe it. I remember thinking, how is it possible that anyone would ever want to do that?

    1. I still think that! Actually, I have a bewildered look on my face most days about most things in life.

      I was just on the FP page and see you’re still up there and most likely will be all holiday week. Didn’t this happen to you last time? And you were up there a good two weeks straight? Couldn’t happen to a better blog! I hope you enjoy your holiday today.

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