Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Strange Sexual-Related Incidents of My Childhood and Teen Years

If you couldn't tell already, all that stuff in the news, has got me thinking about stuff lately.

One of the things on my mind is all the strange sexual stuff that happened to me as a child and teen.  I don't think any of it was was really traumatic or damaging.  Although I have been asked twice if I've been sexually abused (once by a medical professional) because of certain behaviors I have. So I've sometimes wondered if I'm one of those who was abused too early to consciously remember.  But I'm doubting it. There are probably other explanations...like maybe past life trauma?  Past life alien abduction? 

Anyway, I'm just going to list the things that happened.  This is probably mostly for myself.  I doubt anyone cares all that much.  The future me might care someday, though.  I like keeping records.

1. According to my mom, when I was very young (below age 5) I insisted that our neighbor show me her breasts.  For some reason, I associate Jaws with this story.  Strange.  I think maybe we were playing a Jaws game?  Did my mom tell me that?  Or did I have some sort of subconscious memory of the event?  Maybe I didn't remember the breast part consciously, but I remember enough to know we were playing a Jaws game.  I picture it being a game like Ants in the Pants.  

Here. I found a picture of the game.  It does exist.  Maybe my mom DID remember and mentioned that we were playing the game when I had a sudden need to see my neighbor's breast.

Did our neighbor give into my demands?  I doubt it.  

2. When I was a teen or young adult, we listened to an audio cassette of my sisters and I when we were children.  I think we were talking to my grandfather and/or father.  At one point, one of the male adults asked me why I was holding myself.  I ended up saying something like, Because I like it. Or I like how it feels. I probably felt embarrassed when I heard that, but I hope a part of me feels the way I feel about it today.  I like that there was a time in my life that I felt uninhibited, innocent, and honest about my sexuality.  

3. When I was in the lower elementary years, my friend decided we should kiss each other.  I vaguely remember going through with it, but I'm not 100% sure if we did.  I've gone through life thinking/saying that I didn't have my first kiss until I was 18.  If that early one happened, I never counted it. I think it was because my friend was a girl, and I didn't count homosexual kisses?

Well, I'm not sure I even knew what homosexuality was back then.

4. I remember my parents telling me that my third grade teacher complimented me on my school photo by saying I had a sexy smile.  I think that, in these days, many parents would immediately report the teacher and he'd be a teacher no longer.  

This teacher was quite beloved.  I think he was popular at the school.  My family liked him. I liked him.

I don't remember being at all offended by the compliment. From what I remember, I LIKED hearing that.  I also don't think my parents were at all offended.

I think things were a bit different in the 1980's.  

5. In my older elementary school years, a friend pressured me to show her me my breasts.  And I think she touched them.  My sister might have watched the whole thing.  As far as I know, there was no Jaws game in the scene.

 It was all quite innocent, in my opinion.  I don't think I felt violated.  At most, I might have felt a bit shy and embarrassed.  

I've read stuff lately that makes me wonder if some people would see it as some kind of sexual assault.  Was it not consensual enough?  I don't think I said no, but I'm pretty sure I wasn't showing enthusiastic excitement about the whole thing. 

Was it okay, because it happened with two young girls who were (probably) not lesbians?  What if it had been a friend's brother who pressured me to show my breasts?  Would it have been wrong then? How about if my friend turned out to be a lesbian?

6. We went to family camp.  My older sister had a camp boyfriend.  I was about nine or ten years old.  The boyfriend gave me quite a bit of attention.  I loved it, because it was usually my younger sister who got all the adult/teen attention.  I was usually ignored.  I usually felt unloved.

My older sister said something about the guy writing a letter or...poem maybe?  It talked about how he wished I was older.  I seriously doubt he said anything sexual. It was probably more romantic.  I feel really ick just writing romantic when talking about a teenager expressing his feelings for a tween.  But in those days....I don't remember anyone having a problem with it.  My sister acted like she thought it was sweet, although I've sometimes wondered if she wasn't secretly bothered.  NOT in a my-boyfriend-might-be-a-pedophile way, but in a jealousy kind of way.  

Back then, the only thing that bothered me about the whole situation is the next year at camp, the boyfriend totally lost interest in me and then set his attention on my younger sister.  Then I was the one who was jealous.  

The boyfriend might have been a pedophile, and in those days people could be more open about it.

On the other hand, he could have just been someone who enjoys the company of young children.  I liked young children when I was a child and teenager.  I NEVER had any sexual interest in them.

As for the romantic poem thing.  That's a little disturbing.  On the other hand, at least he said he wished I was older instead of actually making a move.  He could have meant something completely innocent, like...I see qualities in you that I hope to someday find in someone closer to my age.  I think in those days we could more easily give someone the benefit of the doubt.  These days, we're more likely to quickly jump to a pedophile accusation.

6. I remember in middle school, a boys saying to a friend, loud enough for me to hear, She thinks about sex all the time.  I remember feeling embarrassed and ashamed—maybe worried that what he said was partly true. No, I didn't think about sex ALL the time. But maybe I worried that I thought about it more than what was normal for girls my age.

 I guess that's probably the worst I've had in terms of hurtful sexual harassment.  When I hear what other people have had to endure, I kind of feel like I've dodged a bullet.  

I'm wondering if some people might be bothered by my phrase, "hurtful sexual harassment".  They might say, ALL sexual harassment is hurtful.  I don't agree.  I think it really depends on the audience.  For me, most of the sexual-related questions and comments I've received have been simply annoying.  That being said, most of what I've encountered has been online...in very minimal amounts.  I haven't had to endure it at work or other situations where I can't easily escape.  

7. When I was a teenager, we went to Los Angeles.  My dad had a wealthy business connection/friend that let us stay at their house.  The idea is we'd dog-sit and house-sit in exchange for having a true Los Angeles experience.  What we especially loved is that part of the deal included a real life actor. He worked for my dad's business friend.  I guess? 

The actor was handsome, funny, and a great tour guide.  I sometimes Google him to see if he's had any major successes.  It doesn't seem like it, but I hope he's found happiness in other ways.

That's besides the point, though.  I'm kind of going off topic (like usual).

Anyway....

My dad decided that in order to thank the house owner, we'd make our own movie starring us and the real life professional actor.  It's a pretty clever idea, actually.  If you want to give your kids a memorable Hollywood experience, make a video together.

My dad played the part of screenwriter, director, and cameraman.  

In one of the scenes, he set it up so it looked like my younger sister and I were secretly watching him take a shower.  Then either my sister or I said something like, I guess Dempsey is a boy dog!

The joke was that one of the dogs very often jumped/humped my younger sister.  So by spying on my father, we were able to learn a bit about male anatomy and come up with a scientific conclusion.  

I don't remember ever being bothered by this.  Nor do I remember any of my family protesting.  We've watched the video multiple times through the years.  I don't remember anyone ever saying, Shit. That's a bit sick, actually.

It wasn't until this year, with Trump/Ivanka stuff, and Weinstein, etc. stuff that I'm suddenly thinking...Holy, fucking, shit.  Why did any of us feel that was okay?  

I wonder if I had at least been offended and embarrassed that my father implied that, his teenage daughter, was ignorant about male anatomy.  

But what about the incest aspects?  

Yuck, yuck, yuck.

Maybe it would have been cute/funny if we were both much younger.  Like a six year old and four year old?  Well, I think that might have been cute if it actually happened naturally and was caught on film?  But I think my sister and I were around the ages of 10/15.  Or maybe 9/14?   

I don't  think it's cute and/or normal for kids that age to be watching their father taking a shower.  Nor do I think it's funny (in a ha ha way) for a parent to want to imagine or pretend their kids are watching them take a shower.  

Why did we think it was okay?

Why was it seen as funny and not disturbing?

What did the owners of the house think when they saw the video.  I'm pretty sure I've heard that they loved the video.  Did they really?  Did they think the shower scene was funny?  Or did they secretly think we were a really messed up family? 

Well, knowing what goes on with Hollywood people, I wouldn't be surprised if they were completely okay with it.  

All in all, our views towards sexuality are changing.  What was seen as innocent and funny in the 1970's, 1980's and 1990's is now often seen as disgusting and dangerous.  And even stuff deemed okay a few years ago is now being labeled as wrong.

In my days, consent was simply not saying no.  It didn't matter if you wanted to do something, didn't mind so much doing something, or would rather not do something.  It was only assault or rape if you gave a forceful no.  These days, from what I'm hearing, every sexual act needs permission, and all permission needs to be granted with happy enthusiasm.

In some ways, I like this. Because I've hated being pressured into doing things I don't want to do...whether it's sexual or having to attend a social event.  Another part of me worries, though, that we're going too far.  A month or so ago, I watched The Office.  Jim (John Krasinski) kissed Pam (Jenna Fischer) without her permission, and even though she was engaged to another man. 

I saw the scene as being very romantic...because I knew deep down Pam loved Jim.

Will we ever be able to see such behavior as being romantic, or will it now be always labeled as assault or harassment?

Are we throwing the baby out with the bathtub?

The bathtub definitely NEEDS to be cleaned. It's horribly filthy.  On the other hand, I hope we don't completely lose all of the perverted innocence of the later 20th century. 

We probably do need to lose 99.99999% of it.