Within seconds of the lights going out at my first slumber party, a voice in the dark said, “Stephanie, do you know how people do it?’” It was the fifties and I was eleven. I didn’t have a clue what ‘doing it’ meant. Until that night, my fantasies were about being the fastest bike rider in the neighborhood. But fevered whispers meant there was shame in my innocence.
“Have you ever seen a naked man,” the twelve year old hostess whispered. My belly filled with hollow dread.
“Sure,” I said, as nonchalantly as possible. “My little brother, all the time, and once my dad, but that was by accident.”
“Well, then you already know what a weeny is,” she said. Terrified of what was coming next, I covered my head with the blanket. She continued. “When a man and woman do it, it’s exactly like putting a hot dog in a bun.”
Totally, blindsided, that was enough initiation for one evening. When they spoke again, I pretended to sleep. Lurid visions of body parts and questions about why anyone would want to do that to themselves or others consumed me. For the rest of the night, an uncooked wiener in a white bun floated across my mind’s eye.
In the morning, I left for home on foot, giving myself time to make a plan for what to do with this new knowledge. First, I thought, repeat hot dog in a bun often enough that it can be said with authority. Second, seek out campfires and other activities involving the dark. Then, do what was done to me: drop this bomb on the naive and unsuspecting, as in, my siblings.