“Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep;
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen….
Please, please, please,
give me big boobs.”
At my grandma’s funeral, I received a prayer card with this very prayer. I recited it almost nightly. It made me feel somewhat connected to my Grandma who had passed on. Now that I had opened the communication channel between me and God I made wishes at the end of my nightly prayer. And quite often that prayer was for boobs. I didn’t have a deep understanding of God, I didn’t attend church, but I had a degree of faith that this all-powerful being could grant me what I most desired: boobs. At the ripe age of eight years old, my deepest desire that I privately confided in God was boobs.
I remember using my bright pink Dell laptop one day and curiously making my way to the search bar. And what did my little fingers type out? “Boobs.” And straight I went to Google Images. Boobs. Oh, how I wanted boobs. I wanted boobs on my own body. Like many young girls, I longed for the day I could be like the cool teen girls that graced the screens of Disney Channel. But on top of this desire to have my own boobs was a desire to interact with other boobs, which I thought was what every girl was thinking.
In the third grade, I really was into being a spy. I would frequently visit spymonkey.com which had all the gadgets: grappling hooks, invisible ink pens, special goggles, and so on. During free time at school, I took out my diary, orange with hot pink and white flowers decorating the cover, and got to calculating. My friends Sarah, Stella, and I would do what we knew best: addition. We would look at the prices for the spy gear and calculate how much of our allowances we’d need to buy the gear we so deeply desired.
One day during this process, we somehow broached the topic of bad words, curse words, words that were only meant to be whispered. “Do you know the bad word that rhymes with ‘duck’?” Stella said. Sarah seemed to know but I looked at Stella a bit puzzled. I shook my head. “Okay, try to guess.” I started to go through the letters. “Ummm buck?” “No.” “Cuck?” “Nope.” “Fuck?” “SHHHH! Not so loud!”
Fuck. Never heard of it. And to my curious third-grade mind this meant one thing: I must research. I recall standing in my kitchen and genuinely looking at my mother, with complete genuine curiosity, and saying “Someone told me a bad word . . . What does ‘fuck’ mean?” And I can honestly tell you I have no recollection of her response. But I do know her response was not satisfactory to me. So I went back to my pink Dell laptop with my Yoshi backdrop and I opened Google. And moved my mouse back to that oh-so-inviting search bar and simply typed in the word: “fuck.” And this is when my world changed.
Moments like these are pivotal in one’s childhood journey. Learning the word “fuck” changes a kid. A layer of innocence stripped away. Innocence was stripped away, but it was just genuine childish curiosity that brought me to that moment.
So there I was, googling “Fuck.”
- have sex with (someone).
- ruin or damage (something).
1. an act or instance of having sex.
1. used alone or as a noun or verb in various phrases to express annoyance, contempt, or impatience.1
And when words are confusing, images.
Images included some people giving the middle finger, some memes, some random stuff.
But it all changed. When I added: “ing” that’s when my world really changed. I closed the window so fast.
What can I say, dicks are quite frightening. Especially when flashed in your face for the first time ever.
Fuck . . . Fuck-ing.
The next day at school I did not inform Stella about my newfound research. I in fact told no one. Not a small feat for someone as blabber-mouthed as me. “Fucking” was my secret. No one would know of the results of my research.
So I began a research routine. I would open my pink Dell laptop with the Yoshi background. I would begin with a couple of viral videos, music videos, the usual content. But then I would choose one of those music videos. There were two music videos that kind of started it all. One I was specifically barred from watching from my parents (which was honestly something they didn’t do often): The “California Girls” music video by Katy Perry.
(My prior boob research had now conjoined with my current research endeavors.)
The California Girls music video doesn’t need much of an explanation. The opening has girls. Girls with bras that spray whipped cream. Yes.
Another favorite was the video for “Toxic” by Britney Spears. The scene. That scene. The one with her in the airplane bathroom. Yeah.
And of course, while I screened these videos, I thought my fixation on the girls was what every girl experienced. But quite frankly, it was gay as shit. Anyway. After those videos, the little devil on my shoulder told me to continue my “fuck” research. I knew I wasn’t supposed to look that stuff up. I had to make sure nobody was around and that my volume was low, this confidential information could not be leaked. When I was sure nobody was around, back to the search bar I went.
I ventured to YouTube.
Then, in 2009, there actually were a few results. But most of the time I got deterred by a number of adult-content blockers. But as my research continued I maneuvered the web and found some fascinating content. And that is what it was to me, fascinating. I did not know if I hated it or liked it. It was intriguing yet deterring. I wanted to look, but I also wanted to look away. I looked at the women with admiration. Admiration that fueled my nightly prayers to grow big boobs. It all tied back to that desire to grow up faster, to be seen as attractive; I wanted to be admired for my body because all the media I consumed reinforced that boobs=attractiveness=importance. In retrospect, there was an overlap in the types of admiration I experienced. I wanted to be these women but also wanted to be with them. I did not know what “gay” or “bisexual” meant at eight years old, all I knew was that I liked looking at the girls in music videos and so on. And I thought every other girl felt the same way.
What made the research quite vulgar was the men. I couldn’t bear it. They made the videos look violent. The sounds, the visuals, everything about it looked unpleasurable. What made the huge dicks that paraded across the screen most bearable was completely censoring them. I wanted to create a force field so I could just watch the girls. My strategy was to physically hold my hand over the men so I didn’t have to see the painful-looking penetration.
So I continued to adventure on my unsupervised escapades across the Internet. I recall “Fucking outside” or “Fucking in public” had some interesting YouTube results. On any video I found with a man, I simply could not feel aroused with the huge, ugly, things penetrating the girls. It looked painful. I could not imagine someone experiencing that. Even when I researched and came across something called “Soft porn” the penises bothered me. So I continued to use my hand as a forcefield against the enemy: men. I wondered, is there a way the men could just not be there? Genius question. I wouldn’t need to wield my dick repeller all the time.
“Girls kissing girls.”
Like I said, gay as shit.
And then my problem was solved. This would be the prologue to my non-heterosexuality.
This confidential research project was my big dirty secret. I knew it was wrong. Because every time I heard someone coming I would exit out the window so quickly. My stomach would drop if I heard the creak of the floorboards or a door closing or a voice. Big dirty secret. I didn’t know why it was wrong, but I knew it was wrong because adults don’t talk about it to kids. “Fucking” isn’t a research topic for third graders. I did feel a bit ashamed and guilty, but never to the point where I was going to stop. It was too fascinating. And I was the only one who got to know about it. Why would I stop something that felt so good?
Side note: Let me tell you something about eight-year-old girls. It is probable that they have taken up humping as a hobby. I used to think it was just me. Guilt and shame made it an unbroachable topic for years. But as an adult I’ve conversed with other women, and just like me, they were humping literally everything all the time. Like dogs. Girls discover this sort of pleasure a lot younger than boys yet puberty lessons and sex ed love to exclude female pleasure from the conversation. This is all to say, humping was a hobby of mine.
My internet adventures were going well until one day I heard those words that every child dreads. “I need to talk to you.”
It was nighttime, and my mom was sitting on the bed in the guest bedroom. I sat down on the bed and faced her. The lights were dimmed, and the bedside lamps were glowing. Ominous. She asked me if I knew what this was about. I felt a lump in my throat. I looked down at the bed and she had my laptop. She told me that she saw my search history. As an eight-year-old that was not a detail that I took into account in my top-secret investigation. Damnit. Then she explained, “Everytime I would go to see what you were doing on your computer, you were just on the home screen.” Damnit. Another detail I did not take into account. I was punished by getting my computer taken away. I had no more laptop which meant no more spymonkey.com or girlsgogames.com no more YouTube . . . and of course, no more research. I knew that my secret was a bad one, that’s why I hid it from everyone. I felt embarrassed, guilty, shameful, and exposed. For any age this would be completely and utterly embarrassing, but I was eight. I was eight. And because I was eight, I didn’t even fully understand what was wrong with what I was doing because I was a kid. I was just a kid. My parents were upset because I was too young. Third grade is not the ideal age for this exposure to this genre of entertainment. But they explained to me that they were concerned I was learning what sex was from these videos. Learning what sex was in an inaccurate and possibly damaging way. And they were right. Porn is not a good representation of sex. It’s performative, it’s unrealistic, it’s mostly catered to the male gaze (which is why the dick repeller force-field is necessary), it can be violent, and for a third grader to consume that as the foundation of their sex education is not ideal. Of course I say this in retrospect, but my eight-year-old brain did not really comprehend anything other than I did something bad, and now I’m in trouble.
I felt defeated but I still had someone. I had God.
My prayers for boobs did not cease. And my prayers were answered. Every day, I still pray and thank God for my big boobs that he so graciously gifted me despite my sins. And for that I am eternally grateful.
- Lexico by Oxford English Dictionaries, s.v. “fuck,” Accessed January 4, 2022.