DOING IT DOGGIE STYLE

When I turned nine I was finally allowed to go to the park with just a fellow kid for company, instead of an adult chaperone.

So this one day I headed down the park with my nine-year-old neighbour, Charlotte. She was short and asthmatic, not that that’s important to this story – I’m just trying to set the scene here, folks.

Charlotte and I skipped off to the park, which was five minutes away from where we lived. And, importantly, close to a council estate.

There we were, playing on the swings and eating Sherbet Dib Dabs, when we were approached by three young scoundrels from said council estate. These boys were mad, bad and dangerous to know. Or – if you’re not a naïve, middle-class, nine-year-old girl – mouthy 11-year-old boys in shit shell-suits, this being the late 80s.

They badgered us about whether we a) liked ‘Mars bars parties’ and b) liked doing it ‘doggie style’. Now, I was no fool. We were the generation that witnessed the birth of the ‘fun size’ Mars bar and similarly diminutive sweets. I was confident that I not only knew precisely what a ‘Mars bar party’ was, but that I had attended a fair number of them already. I didn’t mind them, but was more of a Milky Way girl, myself.

But this ‘doggie style’ business warranted further investigation. And so I hurried home, with Charlotte – now on the verge of an asthma attack, such was the viciousness of our taunting – in tow.

Some days later, I plucked up the courage to ask mum what ‘doing it doggie style’ meant. I remember that moment very clearly. We were in the kitchen, doing the dishes, while I half-watched my dog – a black Labrador bitch – through the window in the garden. Doing a particularly strenuous shit.

As my mum fumbled through phrases like “sex” and “from behind” and “like dogs” and “from behind” and “from behind…”, it somehow – somehow – got construed to me that dogs, to put no finer point on it, fucked each other up the arse.

This made logical sense to me at the time. I knew that, as a rule, lady bits were at the front. And ‘back’ bits – as my dog was so helpfully displaying – were the bum. But I’d also seen dogs mounting their fellow hounds in the fashion being described. Boys mounted bitches. (And vice-versa, if my hot-to-trot pooch was anything to go by. Boys mounted boys, too – honestly, I’d seen all sorts down the local heath. Conclusion: they were a pretty wild bunch, dogs.)

But this resulted in a serious and long-standing misunderstanding for me – namely, that ‘doing it doggie style’ meant anal sex in both canine and human terms.

As my childhood sexual education progressed – from Claire Rayner’s ‘The Body Book’ and the ‘special cuddle’ between mummies and daddies, to James Bond movies and Pussy Galore – I’d occasionally spare a thought for dogs and their penchant for anal. Rayner taught me that daddies lay on top. Roger Moore taught me that sometimes mummies and daddies rolled around in boats. But always with that front peg slotting inside the corresponding front hole. Why did dogs buck the trend?

No, seriously – what was with that?!

Why was their plumbing so different? I tried to picture the routing – presumably girl-dogs’ vaginas could only be accessed first through the anus… Perhaps, once inside, there were two channels..?

What about foxes, I wondered? I was mad for foxes for a while, there. I kept a dossier on them as part of some epic school project. I also fancied the Disney cartoon Robin Hood, and – much as that hottie featured in many formative fantasies – I didn’t like to think of him and Maid Marion indulging in back-door activities.

It was a troubling time.

But, TERRIFYINGLY, this misunderstanding spilled well over into my becoming sexually active. It had just lodged there, this notion that ‘doing it doggie style’ meant anal. Maybe it’s testament to a parent’s power over the malleable young mind. Maybe it’s a damning indictment of my school’s sex ed lessons. Maybe it’s because I was a bit of a twit who lacked any kind of enquiring mind.

Pity the man who tried to manoeuvre me into the all-fours position later in life – I’d leap up like a cat on a hot tin roof.

I’d pretty much worked my way through the whole Kama Sutra before I consented to this, one of the three most basic sexual positions… aged 19.

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