Unto the pure, all things are pure.
A friend of mine asked me what my mother said about “down there,” and I said, “Nothing.”
Indeed, when someone spoke of “down there” to me I thought they were talking about Australia. If I had a date who wanted to go there, I sent him to a travel agent. I didn’t know I had anything of importance between my shoulders and my hips, unless it leaked….which it did all too often…. And it still does, but in a different way, thank goodness.
Women in the forties did not discuss their body parts by name even among themselves. I studied biology in high school and college, and understood the entire theory of reproduction, but I didn’t believe a single word of it. I was absolutely certain that babies emerged from the belly button. That was obviously the only logical exit. It was impossible for me to believe that God would put a reproductive facility in a plumbing area. It didn’t make sense and God ALWAYS made sense. Didn’t he?
I knew what a breast was of course. It was the best part of the turkey, but a vagina was a word I could not fathom. I thought it might be a twisted blood vein of some kind and I was pretty sure it wasn’t a good thing to have. My instincts told me that if I had vagina problems I would get into a great deal of trouble. I had no idea what a penis was but I assumed it was a kind of flag pole or railway cautionary signal. I realized my mistake when I married and received one in a very unexpected place.
We never called our body functions by their clinical names either. We referred to our products of elimination by numbers.Relieving ourselves was such a private act that my mother assigned different numbers for us so no one would know what we were talking about. Instead of 1 and 2, we did 4 and 76. This caused much embarrassment at school when I needed to leave the room. When I told my fourth grade teacher I had to do 76, she was delighted. “That’s the spirit, Lynn Ruth!” she said.
She handed me a flag and insisted we all sing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” in honor of the brave Minutemen who gave their lives for our country.
The performance was stirring and the entire class joined in with loyal and true countrymen that they were. The delay created a good deal of unexpected laundry for my mother when I finally got home, too late to perform the deed in the accepted manner.
Nice Jewish girls who obeyed their mothers (and I was one) would not have dreamed of disrobing in front of anyone including their girl friends and certainly not a man. When we experimented with romance, we did a great deal of groping and it was always in the dark. I had absolutely no idea what a naked man looked like but I knew pretty well what happened to his crotch when we were exploring one another in the back seat of a car. The first time I actually saw a naked man was on that outdated, provincial, no longer relevant evening: my wedding night. My husband came out of the bathroom and I said, “What do you do with that thing? Pole vault?”
He didn’t think I was funny.
Women these days have no problem discussing their body parts and cosmetically improve them at every opportunity. A friend of mine from Minnesota did an entire monologue on the danger of pole dancing in the winter in her home town.When I was her age, I had no idea what pole dancing was and when I heard her not more than one month ago, I thought she was talking about a ritual dance they did in Warsaw. My crotch was not a topic of conversation ever…not when I could have used it for a variety or recreational pursuits or now when it doesn’t always obey me as it should.
This same feminine orator treated us to a long, painful monologue on her coochie and I thought she was discussing insect infestation in her furniture. Why on earth didn’t she just spray the thing with RAID? Or call an exterminator. He would know the right procedure to eradicate her vermin, wouldn’t he?
I consider myself a liberal, free thinking woman and I have no problem being open and honest about any topic. I always enjoy a passionate discussion about something stimulating, but I do not consider my clitoris a very hot topic. I prefer an intelligent debate on my right to get paid the same wage men receive for a job I know I do better or how to find a shoe that doesn’t hurt five minutes after you walk in it. I have never really hungered for a discussion on how to give myself an orgasm, which is probably a great loss. I live well below the poverty line and cannot afford to go to the movies. An orgasm might have been a nice cheap entertainment substitute but to my mind it could not possibly measure up to the cinema unless I could sustain it for an hour and a half with a few colorful previews to launch the event.
I was discussing eternal youth during a theater intermission with a group of people sitting near me not too long ago when a gentleman well into his eighties said, “I run.”
“You what?” I said.
“I run and I can keep up an erection for twenty minutes…no problem.”
Had he regressed into his childhood and taken up hobby engineering? I knew little boys loved fiddling with nuts, bolts and electric motors but I assumed they outgrew that kind of thing once they had a bank account. “How lovely for you!” I exclaimed. “And what are you building? A moving robot? A ferris wheel?”
He muttered something but I couldn’t make sense of his words because I had never heard them before. I caught something about tumescence and I smiled and said, ”I love sweet potatoes, too!”
I went into the lobby to get a coffee and when I repeated the strange terms the little guy had used, the woman behind the counter said, “He was talking about his sexual prowess. Men that age usually can’t perform properly, but my guy is great. I had to get a special cream so I would be ready for him.”
“Ready for him for what?” I asked. “Does he run too?
She blushed. “No. To keep moist,” she said.
I patted her hand. ”I use Nivea,” I said. “It worked for my mother and it works for me.”
She paused for a moment and then she said, ”You better finish your coffee,. You can’t take liquid into the theater.”
I gulped down the steaming liquid and then I smiled. “You know I never would have guessed that guy was an actor. I wonder where he performs.”
There is no sin except stupidity.
About Lynn Ruth
Causes Lynn Ruth Miller Supports
Habitat for Humanity