the boy down the street/the honest ones

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic
a young man reflects on losing his virginity to another boy at age 10 and what it taught him about gender and being a man.

Submitted: March 31, 2016

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Submitted: March 31, 2016



I was ten years old when I started having sex with the boy down the street. We would go off into the woods together and take turns pretending each of us was Kelly from Saved By the Bell. That part was the other boy’s idea, because he was thirteen and he knew that one of us had to pretend to be a girl. I can’t remember if he ever came. I don’t think my body was capable of it at the time.


Eventually, my parents found out about what was happening. I can’t remember how exactly. I think the boy down the street was doing the same thing with other boys, and after two of them got caught together, every parent whose son hung around that boy began asking questions. I denied it at first, but my parents were unflinching in their interrogation. I told them what had happened, and I don’t expect to ever feel so ashamed again in this lifetime.


It was one thing for a ten-year-old boy like myself to have sex with another boy out in the woods. But what still troubles me is that everyone treated the boy down the street like a pedophile—just because he was three years older and he’d begun puberty. So that was it. He was branded a pedophile and his life was destroyed. Every parent in the neighborhood told their children to stay away from him. People egged his house and smashed the windows until the boy, his brother, and his hated parents moved away. I remember that they were not well off to begin with.


The boy was thirteen. I was ten, and we’d had what I thought was a consensual sexual relationship.


I heard recently that trauma can be a retroactive thing. I maintain to this day that I was never traumatized by the sex, but that I was definitely traumatized by other people’s response to what had happened. I was the victim of pedophilia, damaged goods. But my mother was determined to keep people from finding out, because children who’d been molested in my town were brutally made fun of all the way to the end of high school. I can even remember joining other kids in targeting someone else.


It wasn’t until I went to university that I started telling people about going out to the woods with the boy down the street. Looking back, I think I did it because university was the first time my chronic depression ever settled on me for a long period of time, and being the victim of molestation seemed like the easiest way to explain it. Plus I was in an Honours English program and had been reading a lot of Freud.


When I started telling people about my experience, I don’t know what I was trying to accomplish. I’m ashamed to admit that sometimes, I used this story to convince girls that I needed healing and that the only way to do so would be to sleep with me. I’ll also admit that when I tired of those girls, I would use this same story to argue that I was too vulnerable to see them anymore. I remember crying as I said it, and I’d like to think some of it wasn’t acting, that there was real pain there. But there might not have been.


I heard someone the other day talking about a new mandatory school curriculum for sexual education, one that taught kids that homosexuality was normal. He was arguing that school was going to turn his seven-year-old son gay. What I think he was really worried about is that all little boys are gay, or at least they’re not straight—not until they hit puberty and the world horsewhips them into treating women like sex puppets. Young boys join sports teams because they want to be cool and to fit in. But put a microphone in any locker room and you’ll hear just how regimented they are about being a man. None of them are 100% straight, of course, but God do they try to be. They’re trying so hard to be, in fact, that they’re willing to torture others with fag jokes and call girls sluts just to prove it. Tell me I’m wrong. If you’ve been inside a locker room and want to argue to rape culture doesn’t exist, you’re not paying attention.


Another thing that always fascinated me about boys was the work they would put into treating women as currency. I remember hanging out with a bunch of friends one time, and we were trying to rank the girls in our school according to their hotness. If anyone expressed attraction for a girl whom the others had deemed to be ugly, that person was called a fag. If you’re going to treat women as status objects, you need to get consensus about the relative value of each one. If you don’t, how will you ever know the value of fucking them?


I didn’t masturbate successfully until I was in university.


I had my first blowjob before my first kiss. Remember though, that it was the boy from down the street.


I fantasize about rape at least once a week. I have a hard time getting an erection with a real person, but no problem at all with porn. I don’t believe I’m an abusive person or even a bad one. I’m fairly convinced that every hetero man in my culture fantasizes about rape. These are the same men who’ll argue that rape culture doesn’t exist; they’ll even punch you in the face for suggesting it. They’re willing to accept that women have the ability to vote, work, and all that. But they don’t want you coming after misogyny’s greatest place of refuge—the back corners of their minds. You try to shine a light in those corners, and they’ll behave like a person whose very existence is being threatened. It’s not an exaggeration to say that they feel as though you’re cutting their dicks off, because they have absolutely no clue how they would live without the fantasy of owning a woman completely, of owning all women, of lying back and accepting the eternal blowjob that their culture has promised them.


Ask a hundred young men what they’d do if they woke up one day and their dicks were gone. I’d bet you a lot of money that more than 50% would say suicide, and those would be the honest ones.

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