My first inkling of what sexuality was, came from my mother’s explanation of where babies come from. As nearly as I can remember, it was something like “The daddy puts his penis in the mommy’s vagina and sperm comes out of it, into her. The sperm combines with eggs that her body makes, and together they make a baby.”
This information struck me as quite novel, like nothing I’d ever heard before. So I passed it along to Elroy, whom I considered a good friend. His immediate reaction was “let’s try it.” I didn’t like the idea. Because suddenly I didn’t like his attitude: he was not treating me like a friend anymore. He felt pushy, nasty. His smile was twisted. And over the next few weeks, as he continued to express interest, it quickly became not something to do together, but something he was going to do to me. He seemed to get a lot of pleasure out of threatening to do it. I became afraid of him. Luckily there was an easy threat of my own that would deter him: “If you do, I’ll put on my mother’s lipstick and kiss you with it and get it all over you.” I didn’t even have to tell him it was hard to get off. Just the thought of having it on him — not to mention being seen with it — repelled him.
I had learned as well as he had, the cultural expectations for how to behave around the subject of sexuality. Even though we had never known what sexuality consisted of, the repertoire sprang full blown into our behavior as soon as the occasion presented. He threatened, enjoying the power trip. I, scared and feeling powerless, manipulated him by means of his expectations of masculinity.
Some time later, thinking about what Mom had said, I became puzzled about one detail. “How long does the daddy leave it in?” I asked her. “Until a wonderful feeling happens,” she reported. That might have been encouraging, if Elroy hadn’t already turned me off with his threats.
How did the basic information, that I had thought was so interesting, become the script for this ugly transaction? This is the question of pornography.