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Listening In On Boy Talk

Charlotte Faltermayer, [source unknown], June 15, 1998

The three boys, all twelve, have requested that their moms not be allowed in the room. W. takes pains to close all the doors to the dining room where the discussion is going to take place. At one point, he gets up to chase away his little brother. W.'s friends H. and P. are twins, but H. quickly points out,

"Trust us. We have completely different views on the subject." 

The subject is sex. Do the boys think about sex?

"Do we ever," giggles W.

"Yes is the short answer," says H. "We think about when we will have sex and who it will be with. We've seen nudity--on TV, in Playboys."

"He took them from my dad last year," P. interrupts. "My dad is a writer, and he was using them to research an article."

Why did H. take the Playboys? 

"Put yourself in our shoes," he explains. "You're twelve years old, and you're alone in the house. What would you do?"

The three boys have checked out Beverly Hills 90210, which, says H., 

"definitely had enough sex going down."

The Internet is tempting and accessible but, says W., 

"you never really use it because it takes so much time and money." 

They say the movie that really got their juices flowing was the vintage frat-boy flick Animal House. W. saw it at a sleepover, and the twins' say their older brother brought it home one night. Says W.: 

"It really opened me up to sex."

Do the three hang out with girls much?

"I have no shortage of time with girls," says H.

"He certainly doesn't," says his twin.

"What I mean is, I have a lot of friends who are girls," says H., stressing that the conversations don't get much into sex. "I'm really careful how I talk to girls. You have to have personal limits. Sex is not something I go around blabbing about." 

But girls are enough on their minds so that P. taped a phone conversation his brother was having with a classmate about girls.

The three have attended school dances where they've seen people "grinding" and getting "frisky and stuff." At the ice-skating rink, P. saw a seventh-grade couple tightly
embracing and passionately kissing. "It was pretty scary," he says.

The subject turns to other classmates. "I think he likes boys," says H. about one. He and W. start to imitate the classmate, talking in high voices and with their hands. What makes them so suspicious?

"He went out for five months with a girl and didn't kiss," says H. "I went out with someone for five days, and we did kiss."

"Maybe he's bisexual," says W.

"The vibe here is over-homophobic," says P. with a look of disapproval.

"We really try not to be homophobes," says his chastened brother.

How much sex goes on among the other kids in their grade?

Says H.: "There are some who do make out; they do hang out on the couch at parties. I think they go as far as kids our age should. They can't go beyond the make out stage because somebody will find out."

But, says W., "the only reason they don't go further is because they're afraid rumors will be spread."

The three devise a makeshift formula to measure appropriate sixth-grade sexual activity. On a scale of 1 to 10, 

level 2 is hand holding, 
4 is hugging, 
6 is kissing and 
7 is

"If they're feeling each other up with their clothes on," says H., "then one thing leads to another. They're twelve years old.

You know what I mean? "

Before you know it, you'll have kids our age having sex." Says W.: "The frenching thing is the edge." 

For now.

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