Haha, you don’t know what fannies is

Content warning: don’t read this if you don’t want to read about childish misunderstandings of how sex and genitalia work.

When we received sex education in Year 3 (ages 7-8), I had a few subsequent misconceptions. (Poor word choice, maybe. Misconstrue…ments? Is that a word?) A lot of them didn’t get cleared up until Year 6 (ages 10-11) and 7 (11-12). For starters, I thought puberty was ‘buberty’ because I never saw it written down until Year 6.

For some reason, I was afraid of pooing too hard and shitting out my vagina. I don’t mean pooing out of my birth canal (though that would be extremely grim); I mean actually pooing my mutton tube out of my body and having it land in the toilet. No idea why I thought that, apart from perhaps that a vagina looked vaguely like a poo in the diagrams (which also didn’t accurately convey that an unoccupied vagina lies flat and isn’t a constantly-open void).

They told us that sperms are microscopic (something that didn’t get through to a fellow pupil in secondary school, who thought sperms were tadpole-sized), but not that they are conveyed in a liquid medium and are emitted only upon ejaculation. I thought men constantly exuded a miasma of sperm wherever they went, and that because the sperms were microscopic they’d drift through the air and float everywhere. I was scared of sitting anywhere a man had sat or walking where he’d walked, in case I got pregnant.

Later I learned about sperm being suspended in liquid, but because they didn’t properly tell us about ejaculation and wanking, I assumed that people who donated sperm had to have a needle inserted into their bollocks to extract the sperm. Kind of jealous that half the population can donate gametes for science just by wanking into a cup instead of by surgery. The closest I’ll get to tossing off for science is if they repeat that experiment with a woman flicking her bean in an MRI scanner.

I had to get all my information on menstruation from my mum and from books. Sex education taught us only that the uterus grows padding, then sheds it if unneeded. I assumed that meant I’d piss it out. From internet anecdata this seems to have been a common misunderstanding. It’s interesting that the birth canal is mentioned but its separation from the urethra isn’t made clear – and that ‘vagina’ is used for the whole cunt and not just the birth canal. Did they think learning ‘vagina’ and ‘vulva’ would be too hard for us?

I don’t remember learning anything about cocks, even though my schools’ sex education was never gender-segregated. I think I was about 18 when I learned penises have muscles, for example (and was then disappointed to learn that most penis-owners can’t make them go like meatspin under their own power).

I don’t remember where I learned about the existence of the clitoris (might have been Year 7). I certainly wasn’t taught in school how big the clitoris really is and that it isn’t just the nub. I was pretty angry when I found that out – pleased to have learned something new about my body, but angry that this information had been kept from me. I’ve also only very recently learned that cis women have prostates (formerly called Skene’s glands). You could argue that we don’t really need to know about these things to have sex, but it’s too fascinating not to tell! The ‘seam’ on the underside of a cock is effectively fused pissflaps that developed differently – like a caterpillar’s munching jaws morphing into the butterfly’s proboscis. That’s amazing. Why wouldn’t they tell us this?

Spume from roomy wombs

Dear Nadine Dorries,

As you are clearly obsessed with wombs, I thought you would want to know all about mine. Perhaps, as Stavvers points out, if enough of us write to you and tell you about our wombs, this will sate your weird obsession and dampen your desire to control what people with wombs do with them.

My uterus is retroverted; a condition often associated with heavy flow and painful cramping (woefully true, in my case). Between my womb and cunt is a remarkably long vagina – in fact, it was the first thing the gynaecologist said when I had my first smear test. (I had previously been seen by a nurse, who couldn’t actually jack my mutton tube open wide enough to see my cervix, and so had forwarded me to the gyno.) Though my vagina is normally long, during my period it concertinas shorter, and I can easily reach my cervix with a finger. It feels like the tip of a nose. Probably like yours does when you stick it in other people’s businesses.

My uterus hasn’t really done anything more exciting than do some periods – which it does, with convenient regularity; and get beaten up by prostoglandins, which my body probably makes too much of. When it sheds its ovarygravy, it lasts for four days, ranging from thick, badly-stirred cunt Ovaltine to a thin trickle.

Hopefully my letter has gone a little way to satiating your womb obsession, and you can go about your day doing something more productive than writing baseless arguments about why it is your duty to restrict our bodily freedoms.

Yrs,

Steel Thunder.