A Short Essay Ending in an Unexpected Cookie Metaphor
When I was eighteen, I got cast in a one-act play called "Anal". It was not about someone with obsessive behaviours of organization.
My mother, of course, was horrified. Though it was a tasteful (and hilarious) script, which consisted largely of a young couple arguing about whether or not to experiment with anal sex, she was adamant I shouldn't participate. She was convinced it would ruin me, destroy my reputation, hinder future job prospects. To be a part of something so vulgar was respectable society suicide, she thought. But I, ever the rebellious sibling - not to mention eagre to flex my recently acquired muscles of legal independence
- refused to quit the play. It was a catastrophe. An argument of the sort we hadn't had since the darkest of my most homronal teenage days.
Eventually, though, I suppose I won, because both parents ended up coming to see the play, and clapped along with everyone else (if perhaps, a little more reticently) as I poised to shove a cucumber up my castmate's ass in the final *ahem* climax of the show.
It was a hurdle, certainly, and my mother has since enthusiastically attended two different productions of the Vagina Monologues, including one in which I faked a full-on orgasm from start to finish while lying on a yoga mat onstage. I won't pretend she didn't probably cringe at that part (hell, I might have if it were my daughter) but she was there, and she was supportive.
When I first told her about my new job at The Art of Loving, she was horrified all over again. It's not appropriate, she said, for a young girl to be working in that kind of shop. What would people think? And what exactly would I be doing anyway?
But the thing is, my mother is not a bigot. Quite the contrary, she's a left-wing-voting, all-embracing, hate-free kind of lady. She's private about sexuality, sure, and she probably won't be attending our G-Spot Erotic Massage live demonstration any time soon, but she's certainly no Dr. Laura. I remember her explaining to me when I was maybe nine years old and horrified I'd done something awful, that it's called masturbation, and it's a wonderful hobby.
So what is it about our society that makes even someone like my mother recoil in horror at the very thought of being open about sex publicly? Of it being part of my job? Of acknowledging it, even the weird stuff, the kinky stuff, and celebrating it? What is it that, when I say "sex shop" makes her think of blacked-out windows and racks of porn and 25 cent peep shows? And what is so wrong with blacked-out windows and racks of porn and 25 cent peep shows anyway?
Personally, I'd love to live in a world where working in a sex shop is like working in a bakery, or a candy store. I want everyone I know asking if I can get them discounts, if I know any good cookie recipes, if they can come and visit. I know we all love sex at least as much as we love a good cookie, so why can't we all admit it as readily? Why can't we all share? Cookies for everyone, I say! Cookies!