I believe it was the summer before 7th grade that I discovered how to jerk off. I was over at the neighbor’s house, and they were watching Fast Times at Ridgemont High back when HBO was a box on your TV. The scene where Phoebe Cates gets out of the pool, combined unfamiliar hormones, and the realization that girls aren’t icky, really brought me into adolescence. I don’t think I made it home before my voice started changing, pubes started sprouting, and those previously childish erections gave way to something more primal, urgent, and exquisitely painful. Then later, locked in my room, I had my first self-induced orgasm, and it became a regular thing.
Then, something started happening. I eventually started to ejaculate, and I was horrified! Now sex education existed at the time, and they taught us about ejaculation, but it was very vague. Men had this. Woman had that. These parts go together to make a baby. Masturbation doesn’t make you blind or give you zits, and you may have nocturnal emissions. But the teacher didn’t go into the mechanics of cumming. Anybody who has experienced or witnessed the miracle of ejaculation knows that it isn’t a single action, but a series of pulses and spurts, but as a boy around twelve, I was certain that my love pump was defective.
“Why does it do that? Shouldn’t it all come out at once? Girls are going to laugh at me, and everyone will know I’m a freak. What do I do?” I couldn’t bring myself to consult my single mother.
“Mom. We need to go to the doctor because when I jerk off, It comes out wrong.” So, I carried this dark secret with me for a couple of years; an eternity at the time.
Back in the early 80s, moving pornography was rare. The internet was far off. VCRs hadn’t made their way into everyone’s home. There were XXX theaters, but they didn’t let under-aged kids in…thankfully. All we had were porno mags, discretely hidden, so as not to be confiscated by horrified parents. Contained within were pictures of semen on women’s faces, asses, and tits, but no real insight as to its mode of production and transportation.
It was around that time that I met a friend Thaddeus Ingram (RIP). His mother and stepfather were bikers, and led a life of partying, riding, and rallies, so Tad was often left unsupervised. One day, I was over at his house. We were smoking some pot, and he said: “Check this out.”
Tad has found his parent’s collection of 8mm Swedish Erotica films, and the projector. We proceeded to turn one of his Kiss posters around as a makeshift screen and we loaded up a reel.
Kids today, with easy access to porn could never understand, but to see moving hardcore sex for the first time was mind blowing! There was no sound, but luckily the films were closed-captioned. “RIDE IT, RED” came across the screen when the ginger actress was on top of the male performer. Another scene that comes to mind was where a woman was engaging in anal sex, and the caption was: “AAARRRRGGGHHH!”
Anyway, anyone who has watched pornography knows that while a woman’s orgasm needn’t be verified, a man’s needs to be documented with physical proof. This involves the final scene with the male performers standing over a woman, masturbating furiously, making goofy faces, and cumming somewhere on the girl’s body.
“Wait! His does it too!” I thought, almost out loud. The same thing happened in the next scene…and the scene after that. This tremendous burden of shame, secrecy, and insecurity had been lifted from my shoulders, chest, prostate, vas deferens, epididymis, and all other reproductive components that I learned about in that worthless sex-ed class. My love pump functioned just like everybody else’s! I no longer had this sense foreboding when I fantasized about all of this impending sex that would hopefully be happening very, very soon!
As a side note regarding 8mm projector technology, if you didn’t rewind the film, and just played the “take up” reel as normal, it projected the film up-side-down, and backwards; not squiggly digital backwards, but in perfect reverse. So, Tad held the projector upside down, and we watched a final scene, which was the premier scene in reverse, and I’m laughing hysterically as I type this, remembering the dude standing over a kneeling woman, cock in hand, and watching semen leap off her face, and back into his urethra…in separate spurts, of course.