Breda’s post reminded me that I was all of five years old when I had my first epiphany, though I didn’t learn the word until encountering James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man in my teens.
The epiphany was that “Maria” of Sesame Street (played by Sonia Manzano) was exotically hot. Again, I was five. She was only three years into her tenure on the show at that time; young and smokin.’ I didn’t know what to do with those feelings until a bit later, but it sure made the show fun to watch while I figured it out!
My informal survey of fellow males over the years has elicited similar admissions of Maria being The Woman who awakened our awareness of females as objects of attraction/obsession, and in all cases it was at ages well before puberty was the ghost of an idea in our biochemistry.
They had her wearing those breast-clinging tops and tight jeans on purpose, I tell ya! Thanks, Sesame Street!