I was in my first year of secondary school when a new craze started. It was always something, prior to that it had been yo-yo’s and Pokémon. I’m sure you remember the type of thing. It would start slowly, with perhaps one or two of the older kids showing off a new prize in the playground. Soon it would spread, and gangs of children would huddle together and talk of the new magic that had descended into their lives. Who has one? And more importantly, who hasn’t? Anyone who did not catch on quickly would be derided amongst the terrifying packs of school goers. Suddenly it was the only thing of worth that existed, and parading your personal specimen made you feel like a god of Olympia that had recently come into possession of a shiny new hero.
This specific craze was a small furry toy animal (usually a hamster) that had a string protruding from its arse. When the string was grasped and yanked all of the way out, the toy would vibrate and hum. They were basically expensive cat toys, but at that moment in time they were small nuggets of wonderment that had been sent to delight. I bought into this craze, and was the proud owner of tan and white beauty. Oh what fun we all had, holding on to the shaking toy and laughing with dizzying joy. Sometimes we’d really let our hair down and would put the shaking toys onto a table and watch them judder across the surface.
I was in IT, and I and a pal were once again playing with our pet shop fodder. After a while my friend turned to me, holding up her toy with a serious expression on her face
“Do you know what these are called?”
I did not. The shame burned inside of me, and I was torn between wanting to know and not wanting to let my ignorance show
“I’ve heard a couple of different names” I said coolly. Possibly I tossed my hair at this point, I can’t recall
“Why don’t you tell me the name you know?”
She paused, and then imparted her knowledge to me
“They’re called dildos”
Dildo. What a magnificent title. I was elated. I repeated the name to myself over and over, not wanting to forget it. I told as many people as I could. Some seemed genuinely fascinated, others smirked. Well, forget them. If they’re not impressed by the beatific dildo then it’s their own loss. Later that evening I sat chatting in the kitchen with my mother, whilst she made the dinner. I remember recalling my earlier conversation, and wanted to pass the news over to my mum. Well, they like to be kept in the loop. I drew in a long breath, and proudly exclaimed
“Mum, I have a dildo”
She froze, and turned to stare at me. Why was she reacting so? Surely she should be happy for me?
“What?” She asked, in a strange voice.
I could tell that something was wrong, but once again said
“I have a dildo”
I died a little.
I won’t go into the details of her explanation to me, just know that once I caught on to what she was saying I covered my ears, and nearly had a fit from the embarrassment. My parents were very open about sex, but I was at the age that I’d rather die than hear them talk about it. I remember staring at the work top, wishing for the ground to open and swallow me up. I truly lost some of my innocence that day, and never again have I discussed sex toys with my mother