My mum was the one who showed me porn for the first time. I was 8.
An interview with Talia.
Talia | Age: 21 | Location: London, UK | Occupation: Preparing for university | No. of sexual partners: 27
***Warning: content of explicit nature***
Why did you take part?
It seems necessary for me to open up about some things. I feel like I’m pretty open about them but I haven’t talked about them in a pretty long time.
What events in your life shaped your sexuality? What’s your story?
My mum played a major role. We had a strong erotic relationship. Very bizarre. It was always there. From the time I was 4 or earlier there were always advances. She would touch me and get off it. Kiss me on the mouth. We’d have naked dances. She’d ask me questions about her lovers and about how to be sexual from a really young age. She was always very open in front of me. With her lovers, I’d see them - the first time I remember seeing my mum have sex was pretty early. I was around 4 and got thirsty so I went in the kitchen and caught her having sex on the floor. I got really excited. Not sexually excited, just excited - like ‘what’s going on?!’ They didn’t stop even though they saw me. After they finished my mum told me not to worry - she told me he had a problem with his dick so she wouldn’t get pregnant. I asked them what they did and if they’d do it again. I felt shame about this encounter for a long time after.
My mum was the one who showed me porn for the first time. I was 8. She was talking with her friend and I was bothering her. She gave me this DVD and said “go watch this”. And even though I had seen her have sex it was still strange to see the porn. I felt like I did something wrong. I took it to my friends and showed it to them. From then onwards, we’d meet up and see porn together. We wouldn’t touch ourselves. We all had very different reactions. One friend was genuinely excited by what she could see. Another one was scared. Another pretended to be excited to show off. I just felt confused. Trying to understand what was going on. I think I was trying to understand the act that I had seen with my mum. I was trying to make it ok.
When I was 8 we were in a steam room, me, my mum and her friend’s daughter. My mum asked me to lick her nipple. The daughter of her lover got jealous and she started to do it too to her other nipple. My mum apparently also did something to my aunt’s son. They had a fight about it and haven’t spoken since. Until I was 6 things seemed natural. Once I was 6 I became really critical of her. The way my mum handled things and talked about people. I was critical about the way she loved. She had a very ill way of showing that. I felt shame for a lot of years.
At 10 I gave my first blow job to my mum’s 60 year old friend. She’d leave me alone with him - we were on this island on holidays where they’d smoke weed and dance. He’d touch me. I didn’t know what sex was and felt very confused. I told my mum and asked her to leave the vacation. She said he should leave instead. I remember seeing him collecting seashells on the beach after that. She hit the man with a big stick. I was quite traumatised by her hitting him in front of me. She told everyone and they said how sorry they were. She was victimising herself. No one talked to me; they just looked weird at me. I asked her to go to the police but she said no. So next time things happened at 14 I didn’t tell her because the idea of her repeating this process was crazy. At 14 we were in a bar (in Greece it’s super normal to have drinks in bars when you’re young) and there was this guy sitting near us in a bar. My mum asked if he could be my guardian angel for a bit of time. I sat to have a drink with him. He told me to come to his house. He turned out to be into bdsm. He bit me and touched me. On another occasion in the bar he introduced me to his friend. They both put their hands in my panties and then touched each other. The owner of the bar would check a little bit to see if his wife was looking. But he wasn’t that bothered. He also said he was fucking the waitress without his wife knowing. I remember the waitress’ presence made me feel a bit safer.
At 16 I had sex for the first time. Of all the things that happened to me, there was no vaginal penetration before that.I didn’t want to have sex at 18 because I knew my mum had sex when she was 18. I had no interest in the boy but he seemed like a good candidate. He wasn’t a virgin but he didn’t believe that I was either.
My mum was quite aggressive towards me too. She would come up with these imaginary plots against her. It was usually about me trying to destroy her relationships. Blaming me for all kinds of things and start fights. When I was 8 my grandfather moved to Athens. He was very pleasant and sweet. He took me to monasteries. They had chickens and cats and chanting all of which I liked. It was a bit of an oasis to have someone who was sweet. He’d leave every time my mum would be aggressive towards me though. He pretended that there wasn’t a problem until I was 16. He’s always try to make me go back to my mum.
At 16 I couldn’t handle her anymore and I became heavily depressed. Last year I finally found the strength to fight for my life. To do things for myself. I avoid being around my mum a lot. It’s the reason I’m not in Greece anymore. I don’t want to have a relationship with her. Right now it’s still necessary to be in touch since she’s still pays for my course. I try to keep contact to a real minimum. The reason why I didn’t start working was because of my aunt. She had a similar relationship with her mum and went to Austria and worked like a dog. She still does. That seemed like just another cage. She just works for money and that’s not the life I want.
In the beginning I had sex with quite a few guys but none of them I particularly liked. There was a sense that I wanted to fall in love but I didn’t want to be with someone for the sake of it. I didn’t want to for instance see a person for more than 2 weeks if I didn’t think I could fall in love. I postponed being in a relationship. My mother and my grandmother were jealous and I worried I would be like them. So my first relationship was this open relationship where I think i was trying to test if I would feel jealous. I didn’t find myself feeling that a lot though. I really loved that person but I wasn’t in love.
I did fall in love but it didn’t work out. I’ve been so critical and distant from my family for so many years. I haven’t found anyone that I wanted to be around with much. I think this made me fight a lot for the relationship. I’m still in love with this person. I’m trying to do the right thing. He’s not in love with me but is attracted to me. We really appreciate each other. I like being able to turn things into a joke. When I’ too close to a situation that harms me, it’s better to take some distance one way or another. To make it fun.
I went to a brothel on my own for 2 days. I found an advert in the newspaper - for “massage workers”. They would give you 1500 Euros per month plus tips. I didn’t keep any money. I felt a bit guilty because I didn’t do what was required.I didn’t have sex with anyone. I spent two days in there just giving massages in there. I was working 10-12hrs a day. Once there was this lawyer. He offered me money. He showed off to me. I don’t really value money so I was like “so what”. He valued himself because of it and so he was starting to lose it. In his eyes I was just a dirty prostitute. He wasn't prepared for that. When someone gives you money they believe you owe them something. They’ll have no barriers. It was very curious to see people so revealed. I found a lot of people not be able to relax. It was really stressful. That’s why I stayed there only for 2 days. I felt like I was pushing my fortune. Something could have happened to me. The dungeon the owner was a really old mean fat lady. She was ruthless to men. Her daughter was junkie and she’d bring her son to the dungeon. He was 6. I would take him out every day and we’d play games. I would hold him on my back and we’d pretend we were crashing buildings as giants. I could see that i was starting to mean a lot to this boy. I wasn’t ready for trying to adopt him so I left. It really hurt him.
My life is still entirely based on fortune, which is very dangerous. I’m sometimes scared. I really hope I’ll get into university. It’d mean having my own room and my own desk and having my books in one place. When it comes to trust I think I want to trust people because my mum didn’t. I know that mostly people don’t mean to hurt you and that makes it ok. And when they mean it there’s something to work on and that’s ok too. I want to adjust the relationship I have with this person according to our needs.
I find it easier to be attracted to women, physically. With the exception of one girl, I don’t think I would consider having a relationship with one though. It’s like admiring a sculpture. I really admire seeing women and being around them. I can enjoy the exterior much more easily than that of men. There is a manner in women that I enjoy. We don’t have to have lengthy conversations. I enjoy being quite silent around them. I would like that with someone I have a relationship with but I wouldn’t want that to be a single element. The girl I feel most attracted to has a great mind. She is a wonderful person. A musician.
What does sex mean to you?
I guess its meaning changes according ot the person you’re with. Right now because I’m in love it’s affection and playfulness. There is an element of vulnerability and adventure. I’m still trying to understand what it is, like when I was a child.
What’s difficult about sex?
Everytime I tried to have sex with a girl it felt wrong or difficult. It reminded me of my mum and that just brought on disgust. I think that might be why I like strip clubs. It’s a safe environment.
I feel quite relaxed about sex right now. I know how to say no. In the very beginning I thought that saying no would hurt the other person’s feelings.
What do you most enjoy about sex?
Sharing something with someone else. Creating a dance together that is very unique just for the two of us.
Do you orgasm?
Yes. It was difficult in the beginning. It took me a few years. I can orgasm most of the time right now. Getting away from my mother helped.
How often do you have sex?
That varies a lot. When I’m out of a relationship about once every two months. Now with the person I’m in love with things are really not that stable.
Do you masturbate?
Yes. Maybe once or twice a week. It’s hard for me to fantasise about myself. It always includes other people. The last fantasy was with this person I’m in love with. I could see us as two octopuses in the sea on a very sunny day. No idea whose tentacles were whose. Slowly floating. It’s always something like that - animals, things. It’s never a normal image of two people.
I used to watch porn for a while, mostly to do with humiliation between women. In real life it isn’t the kind of a relationship I want to have with someone
How do you see female sexuality portrayed in the society?
I have a friend her name is Marina - she’s highly involved in open communities. I’d explore these with her but I wouldn’t participate. I was curious about what was going on. I don’t explore that so much anymore. In open communities women feel that the more open you are the more interesting you are. Which I think is false. Sometimes we’re open but we’re open for the wrong reasons. I’ve been to a nudist village where they have orgies everywhere. It all felt a bit forced. No one will make you do anything but there is something implied that I don’t really like.
What’s your advice to women?
I have trouble giving advice to many people at once. If it was a problem it’d be easier. Sometimes giving advice can have the opposite effect to what you’re trying to give.
What’s your advice to men?
Is there anything you want to explore?
Not really. I’m open to trying things if I desire them. I enjoy nature. Having sex in nature maybe.