It began in the good name of wholesome, family fun. It was a Thursday night and we were watching the 1958 cinematic classic Auntie Mame. Mame is working on her memoir when her ghostwriter (and downright dirty scoundrel) O’Bannion begins to make sexual advances. He lays one hand on Mame. “You’ve revitalized me,” he bellows, kissing her in a dramatic swell of passion. My chest pounding — surely 12 is too young for a heart attack — I fled to the bathroom. It was there that I came to the stunning realization that it was not, in fact, my heart pulsating at the speed of a viral meme, but my vagina throbbing like the bass line of a Metallica song.
Awoken to the beat of my ever-palpitating vaginal glands, it became the soundtrack to my daily routine. Whether I was dissecting dead vermin in biology lab, eating a particularly robust nectarine, or listening to my mother describe the series of “bulbous” sculptures she had seen on exhibit at The Met — I could hear its cadence, taunting me. Afraid I’d surrender to the sound, I resolved to silence it.