I had heard of the clitoris, but I wasn’t sure exactly where to find it. It was rumored to be near the vagina, but being fifteen, I had never actually been in, on, or near a vagina myself, except of course, when I was born, so I couldn’t pinpoint it with any sort of accuracy. It was a vaginal enigma and I was on a quest to get to the bottom of it. Like looking for a missing person. You know that person is somewhere, but you just don’t know where that somewhere is.
My fellow fifteen-year-old anatomical detectives stoked my overheated hormones with tales of driving girls wild by playing with their clitorises. I did my own tale spinning. Not one of us knew what in the world we were talking about. At the same time, each of us was certain that he was the only one who didn’t really know, so admitting your ignorance by asking for exact locations was completely out of the question. The need to know drove me to the all-knowing, Grand Poobah among us, the highly experienced sixteen-year-old Eugene Venetulli.
Eugene was looked upon as a sexual god ever since the fourth grade when he brought a vial of his own semen into school, far before any of us were able to manufacture a vial of our own. Supposedly he got Miss Nunge, the ninth grade music teacher, pregnant. He would know where the clitoris was. I managed to sit next to him on the school bus one day where I popped the question.
“It’s in the belly button, you dumb dipshit,” he said.
“I said it’s in the belly button, you deaf dork.”
“In one of those little drawings in Webster’s Dictionary, it looked like it may be a little lower than that, but I couldn’t tell for sure,” I squeaked back.
“Then go fuck the dictionary.”
“Are you sure it’s not near — you know — the vagina?”
“Of course I’m sure, dickweed, it’s in the belly button. You stick your pinky in it and play around in there. You can use your thumb or one of your toes if you like. And you lick it a lot. Drives the bitches bat-shit. I’ve done it hundreds of times.”
“You lick it?” I giggled.
“Like the bottom of a bowl of Fruit Loops. Now leave me alone and let me nap.”
I got off the bus feeling as if I were just told where to find Amelia Earhart.
As it turned out, I didn’t get to put this knowledge into action for over a year — on a blind date with Estelle Bortofsky, our rabbi’s Israeli niece. But that’s another story best kept between Estelle and me. Suffice it to say that I never sought out Eugene Venetulli’s advice again, and I eventually sent Estelle an apology note.
Marvin is president of The Shadow Group, a marketing consulting firm. He is also a visiting professor at Pratt Institute, an adjunct professor at St. John’s University, and a founding board member of the Bronx Charter School for Better Learning.
Before forming The Shadow Group, Marvin was Executive Creative Director and Executive Vice President at Young & Rubicam Advertising Inc.
Marvin is married to Ellen, a psychologist, and has two sons, Andrew and Jacob, a daughter-in-law, Kathleen, a granddaughter, Drew, and a grandson, Mick. His dog, Fudge, recently left the family after a long and adventurous life.