Was there anything more shrouded in mystery when you were growing up than sex?
Nope, probably not. (Maybe because people called it “the birds and the bees” ― confusing much?) Below, grown men and women share the funniest things they believed about sex, puberty and pregnancy when they were little.
1. “When I was little, I thought that if I pumped my hands together 20 times a night my boobs would grow. I did this a solid two years in the hopes of becoming at least a B cup like my mom. To my disappointment, I’ve barely been an A cup my whole life. Sigh...” ― Shea Curry, actress and blogger at Shameless Mama
2. “When I was a kid, my friend’s older brother told us ― that’s where 90 percent of misinformation comes, a friend’s older brother ― that sex was ‘kissing while you’re naked in the shower.’ I’m not sure where he got that from, or how he justified the shower as an essential part, but yeah, I switched from baths to showers after that so I’d be one step closer.” ― Dan Perlman, comedian
3. “My parents told me that a stork delivered me, and I think I believed them well into middle school.” ― Julie Krafchick, creator and producer of the “Date/able” podcast with host Yue Xu
4. “I thought if I was in a hot tub the same time as a boy, I would get pregnant. Not having sex or anything like that. Just actually sitting. And on top of that, I just knew if there was a better ratio of girls to boys, it would decrease my odds of getting pregnant. I never got in a hot tub alone with a boy, because, you know — math.” ― Ebony Kenney, blogger at Magic, Sex and Coffee
5. “There was a rumor going around middle school that yellow 5 (the food coloring in yellow Gatorade, Mountain Dew, etc.) shrank your penis. I was worried about that, so I never drank anything yellow. A large part of me still believes this today.” ― David Drake, comedian
6. “When I was a kiddo, my parents would try and find an activity for me to do so they could have ‘alone time.’ Eventually, I figured out what they were doing behind the closed bedroom door, and over time, I noticed that no noise ever came from the bedroom. So I began to think sex was a silent event. Imagine my surprise when I was deflowered, and the woman I was with began expressing herself audibly.” ― Nathan Timmel, comedian and author of Hey Buddy... : Dubious Advice From Dad
7. “Watching soap operas when I was home sick from school led me to believe that you 100 percent had to wear a silk nightgown while having sex. When I found out you could totally opt into being naked (or not, you do you), I. Was. Shaken.” ― Kate Cartia, blogger at As Kate Would Have It
8. “I thought a bong was a penis pump until probably high school. Let me explain: When I was 9, I saw ‘Austin Powers,’ which, as you might remember, featured a penis pump. One day not long after seeing this classic bit of cinema, I was with my friends at recess when we stumbled upon a bong on the playground. In my warped child mind, it looked just like the penis pump from the movie! How did I think it worked? Well, the entry point should seem obvious, and I figured you used the mouthpiece to pump it. Being the narc that I was, I ran over to a teacher and told them I found ‘something bad.’ The teacher’s reaction confirmed it for me. It was definitely something grown men were sticking their dicks into.” ― Angela Spera, host of “This Is Why You’re Single” podcast with Laura Lane
9. “When I was really young, like 13, my Italian neighbor Fabio once told me and my friends that if you have sex with a woman too hard you could get her pregnant. I knew that there was no way this could be true, but I planned on being very gentle when I finally did have sex just to be safe. Sadly, that didn’t happen for a long time.” ― Anthony Bonazzo, comedian and actor
10. “There was a couple years early in my life where I got horny, but I didn’t know about sex yet. Mostly I was turned on by the idea of getting dirt on clean clothes, I think, because that was taboo at the time.” ― David Drake