Take a wild guess as to how.
By ‘destroyed my childhood’, I mean it in sort of a classic way – that is, that I became aware of sex thanks in part to Digimon, specifically the fandom surrounding it in America. Sure, I’d had sex ed classes in school, but we all know that these don’t really tell you anything about sex; insert A into B, nine months later POOF! Babies! Its not a hell of a lot different from when they used rabbits as the means of teaching my mother and her classmates about sex when she was twelve years old back in the 60’s (although in her case, there was also a side-note that, no, tampons do not devirginalize you, since that was still a common fear at that time).
Anyway, once upon a time, as a wee eleven year old, I was young, innocent, and new to the anime fandom, having watched Sailor Moon and Samurai Pizza Cats as any seven year old watches any cartoon, sans any awareness of its origin. But Pokemon’s entrance into my life changed that, and before I knew it, I was a merry little anime fan, albeit mostly via whatever was being broadcast on TV. Which is what brought me, inadvertantly, to Digimon.
So, there I was innocently browsing for fanfiction, and I came upon a story that looked like it might be interesting… but it was labeled ‘lemon’ – what did that mean?
ARGH! T.K. AND KARI DID WHAT?!?!?!
On the upside, at least the author of that particular piece strove to set the story in the future, so that the characters were not a pair of eight year olds any more, but sixteen year olds. Sadly, the BL fanfic starring two of the boys from the third season, Digimon Tamers, did not age the boys, thereby giving me a pretty explicit taste of shouta-con (Haunted Junction, though, was the show which taught me what that had been in the first place, albeit in a far, no pun intended, tamer fashion). To this day, that story remains one of the most explicit things I’ve ever read, which is pretty disturbing, all things considered.
So, thanks to the pervy authors of Digimon fanfics, I learned about sex. I learned about straight sex, gay sex, lesbian sex – you name it (eww, furries…), I found it in a Digimon fanfic, although usually by accident, since the entire thing was a learning process wherein I discovered what the terms ‘lemon’, ‘lime’, ‘yaoi’, ‘yuri’, and ‘PWP’, among others, meant. So, yes, I’m sitting here admitting that much of my early knowledge of sex came from Digimon fanfics. Those fanfics also taught me what homosexuality was, since I quite honestly wasn’t aware of it prior to that, my declarations of marital intent as a five year old to my best friend notwithstanding.
To be slightly tangential, I actually suspect that learning about sex from fanfics isn’t entirely uncommon amongst anime fans who started in on the fandom fairly young. And, after all, is it really all that different than learning about sex from a dirty magazine or from Girls Gone Wild videos? Other than the fact that fanfics tend to be more diverse in terms of intended audience (e.g. both genders, all sexualities) than the aforementioned items, not exactly. (This isn’t to say, though, that either method is particularly realistic in its depictions, but it is more informative than middle school sex ed is, generally speaking… not that this is exactly difficult.)
Armed with the knowledge gleaned from these fanfics, I took my first steps on the path to full-blown perversion – I don’t even bat an eye at explicit incest fanfics or corn scenes now. But, hey, at least I’m not a pedophile, so I guess it all turned out ok.