Who was your cartoon crush? Good Girls reckon everyone has an “animated sexual awakening”

A woman with glasses and dark, curly hair and an orange blouse stands against a white wall, her hand to her chin and a quizzical expression on her face.

Who was your cartoon crush? It's common to look back and realise you had feelings for an animated character. (Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels)

Whether it was Simba, Shego, or Prince Eric, we all have a character who made our heart flutter, say Mikayla Robinson and Siobhan McGrath of Good Girls podcast.

Having feelings for a fictional character is a common experience among adolescents.”
— Mikayla Robinson, Good Girls podcast
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND, May 13, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Think back to your childhood and the movies you watched. Did you pretend the charming Aladdin was your boyfriend? Did you imagine dancing with Belle from Beauty and the Beast? Or were Mulan and Li Shang your #CoupleGoals?

Whether it was Simba, Shego, or Prince Eric, we all have a mildly embarrassing story of a character who made our heart flutter, say Mikayla Robinson and Siobhan McGrath of the Good Girls podcast (linktr.ee/goodgirls_podcast), presented by HUD App.

“Having feelings for a fictional character is a common experience among adolescents,” Robinson says. “That’s not to say that they understand what sex is or want to have sex with an animated character. We’re talking about being drawn to a character and being confused about that sense of attraction, because it’s a new feeling and you don’t have any context for it."

“This is not a topic for children,” McGrath says. “It’s something you can reflect on as an adult and realise, ‘Yeah, I did have a crush on that character.’ And we know that a child having a ‘crush’ on someone is not the same as adult attraction.”

The animated films of the late 1990s and early 2000s were particularly popular among the 20-somethings Robinson and McGrath spoke to while researching the subject for a recent episode of the Good Girls podcast. “The turn of the last century was a particularly interesting time for kids’ movies,” McGrath says. “There were a lot of very good-looking animated characters on our screens, like Pocohontas, Hercules, Tarzan. Even animals and non-humans like Nala and Simba from The Lion King and Sully from Monsters Inc were mentioned.”

Although it may sound like a trivial topic, Robinson and McGrath say that the “animated sexual awakening” is an important rite of passage, but that it’s often accompanied by shame, fear, or disgust. “Young people don’t understand what they’re feeling and don’t know how to articulate it, and part of this shame comes from a lack of age-appropriate sex education,” says Robinson. “Sex education still doesn’t address the concept of pleasure, so the happy feeling an adolescent might get when thinking about a favourite character often also makes them feel ashamed.”

Robinson and McGrath encourage young adults to talk about their cartoon crushes as a way of normalising sexuality and the natural human response they had. “This is a universal phenomenon,” McGrath says. “Even celebrities have talked about characters they felt attracted to.”

Celebrities who have admitted to having animated crushes are Eddie Redmayne (the lioness Nala from The Lion King), Anna Kendrick (Robin Hood portrayed as a red fox from the 1973 animated version), Liam Neeson (Wilma Flintstone from The Flintstones), and Rupert Grint (Bo Peep as she appears in the Toy Story movies).

“Let’s reframe the ‘animated sexual awakening’ as a natural, harmless, fun part of adolescence,” says Robinson. “No one should be made to feel ashamed of something that’s so common and enjoyable.”

For more information:
Mikayla Robinson and Siobhan McGrath of Good Girls podcast are available for comment and interviews. Contact: Katherine Granich, PR for HUD App, at katherine@hudapp.com

About the Good Girls podcast and HUD App:
The Good Girls podcast aims to change society’s perception of “good girls” by discussing lived experiences and off-limit topics, showcasing real, multi-dimensional humans with valid wants, needs, and desires. Each week, hosts Mikayla Robinson and Siobhan McGrath explore a different topic covering all things love, pleasure, sex, relationships, and life. The Good Girls podcast is sponsored by HUD App, which offers an alternative approach to commitment-free dating. HUD App is a casual dating app that helps you find like-minded people who are looking for exactly what you’re looking for. With over 11 million downloads worldwide, HUD App is designed to foster open, authentic communication around sex, sexuality, and desire. Available on iOS and Android devices. To learn more, visit hudapp.com

Katherine Granich
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