Despite the fact that the majority of us exist as a result of our parents having sex, there is nothing more horrifying than being forced to remember the fact that the people you call Mom and Dad once rubbed genitals with each other.
Even if not walking in on the parents mid-thrust, stumbling across artifacts of their carnal predilections can be a reality-shifting event in the life of a child. Possibly more so, because it's evidence that they're having something other than vanilla, procreational, missionary sex.
We asked people to tell us about stumbling upon the toys, costumes, porn, or other erotic doo-dads that forced them to imagine their progenitors bumping uglies.
I was like 14 maybe, and 100 percent positive my uncle was on drugs, so I decided to search his room the next time he left to find the drugs and bust him (and party with them myself). With my cousin acting as lookout, I started going through his drawers, looking behind pictures and shit like that. I opened one drawer and found a giant pocket pussy stashed in a black bag. I was shook but undeterred, so I kept looking, sure I'd still find the drugs.
I gave up my search when I opened his computer briefcase to find A USED TAMPON IN A PLASTIC SANDWICH BAG. I have no clue what exactly he was planning on doing with it, but it was clearly being saved for some shameful, pervy purpose.
- Ashley, Montebello, California
Looking for socks in my mom's top drawer, I found a solid glass banana—yellow and green-tipped—shoved behind her belongings. I'd seen this downstairs in the cabinet before, a typical, once innocent, household decoration. I don't think I initially processed that she was using it for sexy time stuff but remembered previously thinking to myself that it would make for a great dildo, but there was no way in hell it would fit. When it clicked later that this was her toy, I was actually proud to have such a thrifty and creative mother, even when it came to her choice in sex toys. Always stepping out of the box.
- Vivian, Cedar Falls, Iowa
I was in ninth grade, and I came home from school, and there was a package at the door. It was from like drugstore.com or somewhere inconspicuous and addressed to my mom. I opened it, purely out of curiosity since I'd opened packages of hers before. Inside was a bunch of DVDs and vibrators, various sized dildos, and handcuffs. I was fucking mortified and called my mom right away. I told her she got a package, and she was like, "OK, great. Put it in my room." I was like, "Well, I opened the package." She pauses and asks what was inside it. I told her I didn't know if I should really say, and she goes "Oh, that's all for a friend. Please just leave it upstairs in the box."
We never talked about it again, but I did find the stuff from the box once more when I was trying to find clean bedsheets in my parents' closet. Honestly, it's really, really shocking for me, though, because my parents are SUPER religious. I've never even seen them kiss before. It made me happy in a way to know they still have sex, but I don't know. Maybe my mom just uses all that without my dad because my dad is such a pure man.
- Mimi, NYC
I lived with my grandparents for a while, and there was this locked cupboard at the base of their entertainment system shelf. I became convinced that something important was in that cupboard. I waited for an extended opportunity when nobody else would be in the house. Shortly before that, I made plans to sneak the key to the cupboard off my grandpa's keyring, which I did, expecting he wouldn't notice (there were a LOT of keys on there of varying sizes). When the coast was clear, I opened the door.
Inside, there were a bunch of paperback erotica books and three videotapes. They were hand-labeled bootlegs of porn. I put one of the movies on, and I could not believe my eyes. I was seeing actual sex (this was in the days way before the internet), and I felt like I had become an adult that day. I checked the other tapes. The second one had a movie on it called Pretty Peaches (I'm pretty sure I'm remembering that right), but the third one kind of freaked me out.
It contained a movie called Verboten! that I can't find online anywhere, but it was a Nazi fetish film. I don't think it was actually porn, but I do remember some nudity and whipping. I was extra freaked out, because, y'know, Nazis: bad and Grandparents: Jewish.
I was never really quite comfortable around my grandpa after that.
- Kevin, Portland, Oregon
Watch: An interview with two people who just had sex.
One day, my parents started dropping the name "Rosie" into their conversations, and I had no clue who they were talking about... until I found a clear pink vibrator in my mom's drawer while I was putting away laundry years later while in middle school. I think they bought it together for their 20th anniversary.
- Joli, Philadelphia
I was ten years old and was digging through my parents closet and found this video. I popped it in the VCR, and my eight-year-old brother and I started watching. We'd never seen a real porno before, so we had a hard time processing this tape that appeared to just be people getting things stuck in all their holes.
Our housekeeper walked in on us and was like, "What are you watching?!" We turned it off right away. The next day at breakfast, my parents told me we shouldn't have been watching that and gave some BS excuse as to why it was there in the first place. I later found out it was gift to my dad from my uncle who owned a video store. Every Christmas he'd give my dad a new bunch of XXX tapes.
Several years later, I stumbled upon the complete collection, full of amazing titles like Hanky Panky, The Flintbones, and Buttman vs. Buttwoman. You can only imagine how it felt to discover such a cache as a young teenager.
- Jason, Los Angeles
Over the course of my childhood, I got pretty good at hunting down the Christmas presents my parents had hidden all over the house. Unfortunately, over the course of those searches, I also uncovered a few items from my parents' love life that I wish I hadn't.
The latex, nipple-less top and accompanying hood were probably the most scarring discoveries, but the erotica books I found buried in my dad's dresser drawers were particularly hilarious in hindsight. In the book collection was a humiliation and cuckolding-themed novel. This would be no big deal if, 15 years later, my dad hadn't turned into the type of loser who calls Trump critics "cucks."
- Martin, Trenton, New Jersey
I came across this super slutty trashy lingerie set while snooping in my mom's dresser when I was 15. Rather than slamming the door shut and pretending like I'd never seen it, I decided to borrow the outfit for a bit to wear while I gave my then boyfriend a lap dance.
I put on the lingerie, put my desk chair in the middle of my childhood bedroom, and turned on a black light. I was probably 100 pounds and an A-cup, wearing the negligee of a woman with D-cups. I'm certain it wasn't a good look.
- Jade, Buffalo, New York
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