It was a Sunday in July, 1971. I was 8 years old about to turn 9 in August. Back then we lived in Northeast Philadelphia in a neighborhood called Lawndale. On Sunday my father would take me and my sister Janice to a bookstore called Brad Allen’s in the next town over. I don’t really remember why we went to that particular bookstore, but the main reason was so my father could get the New York Times. My dad read the Sunday times for as long as I can remember. Without fail he would get that paper every Sunday.
So sometimes he’d take me and Janice with him. Maybe it was just to spend some time with us and give my mother a break.
My parent’s would probably turn you down if you wanted a toy, but they’d normally say yes to a book. When we would go to Brad Allen’s my dad would usually let us each get a comic book or something.
For the life of me I can’t remember a single other comic book that my dad got me at that store. I kind of remember him letting me get some little digest sized books about insects and mammals, but other than that, zip.
But Vampirella #12 holds a very significant, almost watershed moment in my life for me. Technically it wasn’t a comic book. It was the size of a magazine. It cost fifty cents.(Comics at that time cost fifteen cents) The comics inside this magazine were in black and white and for a little older reader.
I just thought the cover looked cool with the creepy looking vampire dude, holding the lady. This is a classic scene in any old horror movie.
When we got home, I started reading it. The first story was about Vampirella. The artwork was solid but I wasn’t thrilled with the story. But the next one was ‘the one’. It was entitled, “The Eye of Ozirios.” It was about this warrior queen named Amazonia from a land called Karkassone, who after this evil Baron and his minions kill a bunch of villagers and kidnap their women, she takes it upon herself to stop him. Armed only with a magical sword she leaves her palace to get some payback.
She’s a hot blonde queen this Amazonia. She goes to the bad guy’s palace and starts shredding the scenery. Slicing limbs, chopping off heads, stabbing hordes of bad dudes. Her steel blade drinks deep from many a man’s flesh.
The interesting thing that lends itself to this story, is that over the course of three pages and all of this violence, Amazonia’s clothes are starting to shred and come off. The metal breast plates and mail tunic are gone and she’s naked from the waist up.
She fights hard and kills many of them, but alas is eventually disarmed and captured.
By this time she’s just down to a white rag hanging around her waist that barely covers her buttocks and pubis. She’s shackled and then tied to an X shaped wooden cross. She’s to be sacrificed to The Eye of Ozirios.
Eventually Amazonia escapes and destroys the eye by throwing a sword into it. Once it’s destroyed whatever comes out of it kills all of the bad guys and then turns them to dust. Our girl, still wearing only what could be compared to a torn handkerchief for a bottom, walks bare breasted back to her city.
So let’s review: Hot blonde queen. Great body. Loads of violence. Clothes being torn off. Nudity. Domination. Humiliation. Bondage and Sacrifice.
That’s a lot of sexual imagery for an 8 year old boy. But he doesn’t know that. It’s just a crazy barbarian story and he loves reading stuff about barbarians, broadswords and monsters.
But while reading this particular story I got an erection.
First of all, let’s look at the science.
Boys get erections all the time. According to specialists erections in kids is not uncommon and is not a cause for concern.
The causes? Often early erections come for no reason at all. According to specialists, they are most probably just uncontrolled reactions, like startling or gripping, and simply indicate that the child’s nervous system is working properly. Erection could also mean that the boy’s bladder is full and he “needs to urinate”. In younger boys mild constipation can cause intermittent erections that are not painful and the problem resolves immediately.
How to handle child erections? We all know that babies are curious, eager to learn more about themselves and the world. Child erections are part of his attempts to get to know his own body. Although they may make you feel embarrassed, it’s important to handle these situations with utmost attentiveness and tact.
You mustn’t make the boy feel ashamed, as if he is doing something dirty. Keep in mind that your behavior at these first stages will influence his sexual outlook and behavior in later years.
Try not to panic and don’t let the boy get over excited. You can put him in a cool bath and try to distract him until thing return to normal.
How kids are likely to react: Erections are very common in most young kids. They usually start in early childhood. Some kids find them pleasurable, but many feel uncomfortable when the erections are strong and last for a while. In such cases, as they are not accustomed to this kind of feeling, they sense something abnormal, so they complain or cry out in pain.
Basically boys get erections all of the time for no reason at all. It may just be the body running diagnostics on a part of the vessel that will need to work properly in the future.
I remember getting erections all of the time as a kid, and to be honest with you I remember it was just a physically uncomfortable feeling. Not stressful, or cause for alarm just something your body did occasionally. It didn’t last long and you forget all about it.
Because there’s nothing to sexually tie to it. You’re prepubescent. Your penis’ only function is liquid waste elimination.
But… I noticed that every time I read this comic magazine, (which contained other stories with naked women in them) I got an erection. So after a while getting an erection for me became a sense of arousal. I don’t think I had all of the facts of life yet, but my body was automatically responding to the visual stimuli.
Nudity wasn’t taboo in my house growing up as children. My parents weren’t hung up on all of the nonsense tied up in how the human body is dirty. I remember us all being cool with being naked when we were little kids. It was an honest healthy environment. But once puberty hits, the doors close and privacy is respected. It was just a natural transition.
So if anybody ever tells you some garbage about sexuality being a choice, walk away from that moron. It’s just biology and science and how you’re wired. I was predisposed to like girls more than boys. My brain and body were already wired to enjoy the sight of the female form.
So thank you Dad, for buying me Vampirella #12 back in ’71. It was the first glimpse of understanding my own developing sexuality as a boy.
In a closing note, I will tell you I have a copy of the original Vampirella #12 framed in the hallway in my house. No one knows why that particular comic is framed, but now they do.
The lovely Vampirella! Her magnificent legs!
If you’d like to see what made me horny forty-five years ago, I found a link to an archive so you can take a look!
And finally, here’s a little video I found online. This girl’s a cute cosplay Vampirella. If she ever showed up at my house, I’d happily let her sink her fangs into my neck!
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