The Moment We Realized We Were Horny

The Moment We Realized We Were Horny

It doesn't really matter when you discovered sex and/or how to do it. Let's discuss what was it that made you want to find out.

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Sexual awakenings can look like all sorts of things. Maybe it’s the first time your best friend grazed your hand with her fingernails. Or a certain fuzzy fruit suddenly looked curvier than you ever thought possible. Perhaps you noticed your mom opening a package of Mr. Clean Magic Erasers and realized you’d like to rub Mr. Clean’s shining, bald head. Did you watch the 1999 movie The Mummy? Then, like many other millennials, you likely found yourself quietly moaning for a solid 125 minutes.

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We all have a moment when we looked at something and thought: “I want to fuck that.” Here are ours:

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2 / 7

Dougray Scott’s bulge in Ever After

Dougray Scott’s bulge in Ever After

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Screenshot: YouTube (Fair Use)

The first time I realized I was attracted to men (sad) was probably when I was 3 and proposed to my childhood BFF at a bowling alley. He said no, inevitably setting the tone for much of my adult dating life. The second time was watching Ever After. The 1998 riff on the classic fairytale, Cinderella, has an absolutely stacked cast featuring Drew Barrymore, Anjelica Huston, a bb Melanie Lynskey, and the wildly handsome Scot, Dougray Scott. Scott plays Crown Prince Henry, this retelling’s version of Prince Charming, and, damn, did I want that prince to crown me. The key point here is that Scott was put in incredibly tight pants for this role, which he sauntered around in for the entirety of the film and filled out immaculately. All of which is to say that his bulge was on full display. The bulge was so prominent—in many sexual fantasies outside of simply my own and the film—that if you google “ever after prince henry,” it suggests “ever after prince henry pants.” Long live those pants. —Jenna Amatulli

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3 / 7

Water for Elephants (the book)

Water for Elephants (the book)

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Illustration: Amazon

I used to think my sexual awakening happened to Backstreet Boys’ Millennium album, back when I was 7 and I would hide in my room to listen to it alone. I’ve come to realize that no, I just wanted to be left the fuck alone while I listened to some cool jams that showed me the meaning of being lonely. Horniness didn’t rear its monstrous head until seventh grade, when my group of girlfriends began circulating hot tips about the book our moms were all reading, Water for Elephants. That book had it all: an erotic dancer with swinging breasts, shaved testicles and hard penises, and a fairly explicit sex scene (or at least, a sex scene that seemed explicit until I found a copy of Nora Roberts bodice-ripper about a headstrong woman who moves West and meets a cowboy with a dark past a few years later.) I thought long and hard about it while lying in bed each night. I fantasized about running away to the circus to befriend large land mammals and fall in love and then some. And I called up my friends on the phone—the landline; it was 2007—to titter about how we had discovered something contraband, something bad. After all, it was 2007, we were in middle school, and horniness was forbidden.

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Ban all the explicit books you want; preteen girls will still find a way to disseminate such vital educational material. — Sarah Rense

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4 / 7

Ryan Lochte in the 2012 London Olympics

Ryan Lochte in the 2012 London Olympics

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Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images (Getty Images)

Before staging the world’s dumbest crime in Brazil in 2016, attempting a redemption arc on Dancing With the Stars and eventually meeting his wife on Tinder, Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte was the first human being to make me really, actually think about sex. I was but an unsuspecting tween scrolling through my Tumblr feed, as one does, or once did, when I stumbled upon Team USA promo photos of Mr. Lochte clad in nothing but a speedo, dripping in chlorine, with an effortlessly empty, clueless look on his face. The rest was history. The next thing I knew I was on a forced family camping trip desperately wading into the woods for even just one bar of cell signal, trying to post a series of tweets wishing my man luck on his races by sending an SMS text to 40404. When I wasn’t attempting to tweet at him that summer, I was writing graphic—I mean seriously, concerningly graphic—diary entries about how much I longed to fuck him. In the decade since Lochte sparked my sexual awakening, he and I have ultimately ventured down different paths—he chose filing a false robbery and blaming it on Brazilian people in the 2016 summer Olympics, and I chose, well, journalism.—Kylie Cheung

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5 / 7

The original Star Wars cast made me bi

The original Star Wars cast made me bi

American actors Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford on the set of Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back directed by Irvin Kershner. (Photo by Lucasfilm/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
Photo: Lucasfilm/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis (Getty Images)

I was 6-ish, and my parents were tired of watching Disney movies. They wanted some adult-level fun after I said my mom’s favorite Disney movie, The Fox and the Hound, was stupid. We had the Star Wars original trilogy VHS box set. What possibly could Star Wars do to a youth such as myself?

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Well, I fell in love with Harrison Ford as condescending-yet-sweet outlaw Han Solo and Carrie Fisher as the sarcastic, brilliant and hot Princess Leia. At six years old, I had no idea what bisexuality was, let alone queerness. I wouldn’t say I was confused as to why I wanted to be Leia’s only hope, or why I wanted to behead Jabba the Hutt for treating her like that, but I knew I loved her and Han equally. I wanted to save Han from the carbonite and also take over Chewy’s spot as first mate to help Han fly the Millennium Falcon.

When Leia and Han finally kissed in The Empire Strike Back, I was hooked and horny for Han and Leia. I didn’t know humans could be so hot?! Leia is doing mechanical repairs (so hot) and then Han interrupts her. While Han flirts, she says she doesn’t like scoundrels — she likes nice men. Then he replies, “I’m a nice man,” before a huge smooch! My tiny brain exploded back in the 90s, and more than 20 years later, rewatching that clip while writing this, my little queer brain died yet again. They’re unbelievably sexy and fun, and I refuse to acknowledge that the space wars ever broke apart the general and her scoundrel. —Caitlin Cruz

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6 / 7

A bag boy in a supermarket

A bag boy in a supermarket

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Photo: Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images (Getty Images)

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in men and seeing them naked (years before I understood that sex was a thing), but there is one moment that sticks out as a definitive awakening, probably when I was around 5 or 6 years old. While in the supermarket checkout line with my mother, I looked at the guy bagging our groceries and the bottom dropped out of my stomach. It was like spontaneous G force, an entire rollercoaster’s worth of thrills in a glance. I had no idea what it meant, I could only feel it. This guy who stopped me in my tracks and teased an entire realm of senses that it would take years for me to finally enter — I barely remember what he looked like, honestly. The best I can conjure is a mullet and acne. He could have been 15 or 30—I was so young that all who were older seemed equally old. I think he looked vaguely like George Michael to me (his hair may have been feathered), and I think that what I was actually recognizing was mutual queerness, though I had no idea what that meant or how it even applied to me at that point. It was just kind of some sixth-sense type shit, queer recognize queer. As with other guys that I just knew were like me before I could accept what that was, I found myself unable to look at the bag boy for more than a second or so before averting my eyes and then working myself up to steal another glance. He was like the sun. He woke me up. —Rich Juzwiak

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