"A man recounts his first sexual encounter at
thirteen with a man in his 40s, calling it “a pretty good introduction to sexuality.”
On Saturday, June 18, 2005, I conducted the following interview with a 52-year-old university professor who had had his first experience of sex at the age of 13 with a man in his 40s.
My one experience of boy-man contact -- I was
thirteen -- was actually fine: gentle, exciting, not pressured.
Q. Could you tell me more about that please?
He let me know he thought I was pretty but let me do the exploring.
Q. How old was he?
I'm guessing here -- probably mid-40s. He was very hairy and I found that fascinating.
Q. You: how long did it go on?
Two encounters, about two weeks apart. He was rumored to be gay and I was curious and put myself in his path. He was quite sweet about it, let me use him to explore, learn.
Q. Is there any way in which you feel what he did was inappropriate, that it would have been better for you had he declined to let you explore?
I had only just hit puberty, so at the time I was incredibly eager just to let myself explore and find out about male bodies. I hadn't even seen an adult erection before. I think he was very restrained -- body exploration, masturbation, not kissing, no anal approach. Afterward, I felt strange about it, but I don't think it was about age, it was fear of my own sexuality in the times.
Q. I know you answered in a round-about way, but I'd like to ask again, is there any way in which you feel what he did was inappropriate, that it would have been better for you had he declined to let you explore?
Hmmm. again, at the time, I was so impelled by arousal and curiosity, it just didn't present itself that way. I was so eager to find out what it was to touch a man sexually. And like I say, I felt odd enough about it that after those two encounters I never went near him again. But I don't think it was because of his age.
Q. You feel that reaction would have been the same had he been another kid your age?
I think it was because I was a thirteen
year old in a fairly middle-class Midwestern town, and male-male desire was shameful. I don't think I would have admitted my curiosity to a kid my age.
Q. Interesting, so in a way, he was a safer way for you to explore?
And like I said, I was frankly fascinated by that mature body: the hair, the heft. His orgasm was initially frightening. It was so intense and (at least in my memory) he came so much. I had climaxed by then, but with little semen.
Q. There are those who say that a thirteen
year old child cannot genuinely want sex, that they may seek it as a surrogate for more wholesome affection or other reasons. What would you say to that?
Well, as to wanting sex, I think those people maybe need a frank discussion with a
thirteen year old. I was desperate to have someone touch me erotically. Whether a guy that much older was ideal, I just don't know. I certainly don't think it bent me, or affected my later sexual life. I think it would have been different if I had felt pressured. But he may well have manipulated my curiosity.
Q. How do you mean?
Well, I was a relative stranger. He had to have realized if I was hanging about near his property it was because I was curious about him.
Q. I see. When you said "manipulated," did you mean that in the pejorative sense?
Well, he chose to let it happen. An outsider could say, as the adult, it should have been his role to stop it there. But in fact, I think it was a pretty good introduction to sexuality.
Q. Okay, yes, so my question is, do you believe it would have been better for you had he declined your interest?
I've certainly known a couple of men whose first experience was sucking off a straight peer, then getting beaten up in one case, outed and humiliated in another.
In later years, I'd think about the guy when I masturbated -- we had moved away by then -- so I don't think I was ever wishing it hadn't happened. Of course, the cases we hear about are those where there has been pressure or force.
About it being an emotional surrogate, that may be true sometimes. I had a largely absent father, and I've wondered if my interest in that guy was a sort of substitution. But even if that was so, would it have been better to just have that lack?
One thing I'm quite sure of -- those encounters did not influence my being gay. I was well aware of that -- though frightened of it -- well before.
I prepared the above transcript of the interview and sent it to the subject for review. He replied in an e-mail on Monday, June 20, 2005 with the following comments:
That looks like an honest version of what we exchanged. Like I said Saturday night, I doubt it will convince someone solidly set against the idea.
And I would have to add, I think my experience was a minority one, in two senses.
- First, most guys that age (future straight or future gay) have their initial explorations with other boys of roughly the same age.
- And second, I fear (though in truth I don't know) that a lot of man-boy encounters are more predatory than mine was. But that second point could just be an instance of me buying into prevailing cultural assumptions.
One detail may be relevant: he let me touch him any way I wanted, which did lead to his orgasms; and he let me touch myself in his presence, which led to mine; but he did not touch me genitally or in any way suggest that things progress toward, say, fellatio or anything anal. Whether that was admirable restraint in the presence of a neophyte, or pure preference, I can't in any way know.
When creating this website, I wrote back for permission to include this interview in it. He replied in an e-mail on Wednesday, July 13, 2005:
This looks OK to me. Two things that maybe you should add:
(1) When we moved away, back to an area where I had a trusted childhood friend a year and a half my senior, that's where my sexual experimentation continued. So I wouldn't say I had any special draw toward older guys. That kind-of cuts both ways:
- On the one hand, I'd say as explorations the two sorts of encounters provided fairly similar pleasures, so the older guy might be seen as having exploited a kid's raging hormonal urges.
- On the other hand, the fact that I moved comfortably to experimenting with a peer suggests that I hadn't been acting out of some quest for a male parental figure, as is the model of some behaviorists, I believe.
(2) The one place I do think the guy took some advantage of my inexperience was his strategy for keeping me silent about the encounters. He stressed there would be very bad consequences if word got out, and that they would be equal for both of us. I can understand retrospectively his need to do something like that, but it was not in fact true, and it did rather scare me. I wonder if that's why I didn't go back again -- but I only wonder that retrospectively; I certainly don't recall forming a reason in my mind then, just didn't ever try to approach him again. "