Posts Tagged ‘theater’

This may be slightly incoherent, and I apologize for that.  I wrote it in about 6 different sessions over the course of a month.

***Please note:  Laws regarding the depiction if children in the context of sexuality differ widely by region, both within and between nations.  Know the laws in your area.  This recollection will include children in sexual situations.  It is not intended to be erotic, though it may be graphic.  Neither the author nor the hosting service is responsible for any law the reader may be breaking by viewing this content.

Little Tree and the
Eleven-year-old Summer

Prologue: I have many early memories.  I remember walking into my bedroom in the house in Germany, along with stealing something my mother was baking off the kitchen table.  I remember the living room and the steps with no backs, and the basement where I played with my friends and tried eating cat food.  I also remember the large (to me, anyway) back yard with its split rail fence and small dust pit where Sissy and I would put snails we had kidnapped from around the yard.  As they started to move out, we’d poke them saying, “no you don’t,” and they’d pull back inside their shells and tumble back to the center.

And all of this from before I was 3.  I could (and hope to) fill many pages with memories from the first 10 years of my life, but those memories have a different feeling to them than the memories that follow.  I remember the events, but they’re in flashes.  Sometimes I can remember actually doing the things I remember, and sometimes I only remember them as stories.  I know they’re my memories and not things my family told me because I’m the only one who remembers them.  But the quality is different from 10 on.  I better remember being that person.  Not just doing what he did.  But that feeling is starting to fade.  My memories from middle school and 4th and 5th grades are starting to feel more like the memories that precede them.  It is a bitter reminder that what is past will not come again, ever.  But I will remember.

I’ve said all this before, but I felt I needed to say it again.  What follows is less vivid than it was, but more vivid than it ever will be again.

Awakening: I started puberty around the time that the quality of my memories change.  I hope and believe that is a semi-coincidence.  That the change in my mind occurred at that age for reasons of adolescence, but not puberty.  Surely people who mature later still have that shift in the quality of their remembrance around the same age.  I know my belief is founded upon my wishes, and not science, but I believe that the final stage of childhood cognitive development would occur even without the presence of adult sex hormones.  If the ability to reason abstractly was not independent of puberty, then child prodigies would not have existed as they did in western history when puberty occurred so much later than it does today.

Anyway, it was while I was 10 years old that I began puberty, nearer to my 11th birthday than my 10th.  Towards the end of 5th grade we were shown a video about puberty.  I remember being very interested and enjoying the diagrams of boys’ genitals.  I don’t remember being surprised.

While I cannot recall my earliest sexual thoughts – my sexual awakening – by the summer after I turned 11, after 5th grade, I was sexually aware and very curious.

That summer my mother signed me up for swim team and theater camp.  I may have been in some other camps too (I remember something about “Yellow Submarine” and paper airplanes) but they weren’t as important.  Swim team was at the YMCA.  I have never been an excellent swimmer (I tend to sink.  At least I’m not a witch.) but I liked to swim anyway.  And swim team had a perk that made up for the fact that I was the weakest boy in the team.

The locker room.

I quit the team after the summer and never saw any of the kids on it again, and I never really got to know them anyway, so the only two I remember were two boys: one my age, the other a little younger.  After practice was over, all the boys would end up in the locker room at the same time.  We’d shower (some in suits, some not) and change, but the three of us would hang around taking our time, enjoying each other’s company.  And, at least in my case, enjoying the view.  For some reason, at that point in life I had no trepidation about being naked in front of others.  Perhaps it was because everyone else set the precedent that nudity was OK.  So the boy my age and I would just chat (about nothing I can recall), usually naked, and laugh at the younger boy while he ran around goofing off, always naked.  I very much enjoyed the view.  The other boy would sometimes whisper to me to look at the younger’s penis when the boy was out of view for a second.  All in all though, swim team and the locker room were not too significant except for one thing.

Because of swim team, I owned a speedo.  I’ll come back to that.

Theater camp.  Bold as I was at swim team, I was timid at camp.  I got a small role in the musical and got a chance to act and sing, giving me a further taste for performance beyond what I’d gotten from various children’s choirs.  After each day, campers had an opportunity to go swimming at the college pool, or stay at the theater and help with the “techie” part of the production.  (The camp was run by the local college.)  I went swimming.

When it came time to change into our swim wear, however, I did not have the confidence to strip down in front of the other boys.  We all took turns changing in the bathroom.  I was disappointed, but I wasn’t going to go against the flow.

The first time we went swimming, I wore my regular trunks.  But when we got to the pool, a large group of boys (a little younger than myself) from one of the other summer programs were wearing speedos.  I swam, admiring them, and was disappointed that I wasn’t wearing my own speedo, since it was obviously OK to wear it there.  So the next day, I changed into my speedo after camp.  Unfortunately, none of the speedo boys from the day before were there.  I searched the pool, but every boy in it was wearing trunks.  I wasn’t about to be the only boy in such revealing swimwear, so I left my shorts on and discretely left the pool.  (I probably gave the chaperone a fit.)  I discovered after going back to the theater that there was a lot more fun to be had there than at the pool, so I never tried again.

Fair is Fair: While not at camp, that summer after I’d turned eleven I started to play with a neighborhood boy named Little Tree.  (He wasn’t Native American, but he certainly was educated.)  He was two grades below me.  Nine years old.  Little Tree taught me how to masturbate.  Before him, I knew that such an act existed, that it felt good, and I knew the rudiments of it.  One “played with” one’s penis.  I had no technique though, and the mild sensations I got from tickling myself down there (I literally moved my fingers over my penis as one would to tickle a child’s foot) were not worth the time and effort.

At some point, he and I were going to go swimming.  I arrived at his house already wearing my trunks so I waited in his living room while he changed in his room.  I may have been impatient, or I may have been eager to relive a portion of swim team, or most likely both.  I can’t really remember my motivations, but I walked down the hall and not so accidentally walked into his room without knocking.

I either had wonderful timing, or I was one heck of a lucky kid, because I entered the room just as he had his pants down, crotch bare, and facing the door.  I got a nice look at his little package.  He cringed and sort of did that folding inward maneuver to cover up and probably said something about not being ready yet, but he didn’t seem particularly upset.  (Knowing what I think I know now, I can’t imagine he would be.)  I apologized and left.  Shortly after, he came out and we went swimming.

Not long after that we were at my house playing in my room with some set of toys or other.  I gathered my courage and then reminded him of that event.  He said he remembered.  He didn’t show any kind of emotion about it, giving the appearence of disinterest.  He certainly didn’t seem ashamed, nor angry, nor amused.  I told him that, in a “fair is fair” sort of way, I would show him what was “under my underwear.”  He seemed agreeable, but showed no eagerness.  I could tell however that he did think that would be fair.

I was being clever though.  I hadn’t exactly planned it from the beginning of the day, but I’d thought up the plan and the wording of my offer based on the situation.  I had recently started wearing my speedo under my underwear.  I was a strange kid.  I really like the speedo though.  It felt nice.  The material felt good against my penis (especially when I got hard) and I just generally felt sexy in it.  I didn’t think of it that way at the time, lacking the vocabulary, but that’s what the feeling was.

When Little Tree agreed, I unbuttoned my shorts, unzipped the fly and pulled down the front of my briefs, revealing blue spandex.

I thought it was funny.  He just looked blank.  I explained (kind of disappointed) what they were and that I was wearing them just because I enjoyed it.  Then I gathered my courage yet again and offered this time to let him see my penis.  You’ve shown me yours, now I’ll show you mine.  That was really the original plan.  The speedo thing was just a joke.

This time he agreed with less hesitance and more intensity.  Just a nod.  So I struggled for a second (three layers of fabric can be hard to manage) and showed him my penis.  I don’t think I was hard, though I may have been given all the tension leading up to that moment.  He looked, I pulled my pants back up, and we continued playing.  No big deal at all.

Some time after that, likely after the start of sixth grade since I remember we were both wearing long pants, I was over at his house after dark playing video games.  Now, as an eleven-year-old, I loved video games.  Unfortunately, my parents refused to buy gaming consoles for me.  (Although now I am quite happy to have grown up without them.)  So when a friend of mine had Super Nintendo or Sega, I preferred to play at their house because it increased the likelihood that we’d play them.  Little Tree had both.

An Idle Mind: The event with the bathing suits opened a door, but we didn’t walk through it until this night.  We were playing an SNES basketball game.  As I said, it was dark out, but not so late I had to go home.  After playing for a while, Little Tree got bored and moved to the couch.  I wasn’t very good at the game, so I joined him, letting the game go into demo mode.

At some point, in his boredom, Little Tree stuck his hand down his sweatpants and started fiddling with himself.  I was vaguely intrigued, but since I couldn’t really see anything, I was mostly disappointed that we weren’t playing the video game anymore.

I watched him for a bit.  Then he told me to do it too, so eventually we were both slouching next to each other, our hands down our own pants.  I started to worry that his mother would come in from the kitchen and catch us, but Little Tree assured me he’d already thought of that and would be able to see her coming in the reflection off the fish tank across the room.  I was skeptical, but we didn’t get caught.

A little later it was time to go home.

Education: After the discovery of each other’s interest in his own “boy parts” we started playing in his room a little more often.  We would shut the door, then open his closet door, which would block off a corner of the room from view in case somebody entered without knocking.  Then we plopped down on the floor facing each other, lowered our pants and went to town.  Initially I just tried to “tickle” myself, and it was fun, but I didn’t get a lot out of it.  Little Tree recommended I try his way: two fingers on top, thumb under.  I was reluctant – why should his way be any better? – but I gave it a try and liked it much better.

I was not immediately aware after my awakening into the world of sexuality that penis length was something that boys tracked.  I didn’t realize that and start measuring myself until a little while later, but I was aware that I was much larger and more developed than Little Tree.  (Understandable, since he was nine years old.)  I had hair.  He didn’t.  I was quite a bit bigger than him down there.  While I found the difference in our levels of maturity interesting enough, it wasn’t a source of pride or pleasure as it would be later.  But I did enjoy looking at his body.  Not to the extent that I would today…

In all our sessions together I never once had an orgasm while he was around.  Shortly after we started, however, I took our new game home with me, trying it out alone in bed.  For several nights the result alone was the same as with company.  Pleasure for a while, then boredom.  Little Tree talked about having orgasms – I think he may have had some in front of me – and I was starting to think I was missing some critical piece of information that would get me there.  So one night after I left his house and went to bed, I started jacking and just kept going, determined to get to “the end.”

Academically, I knew what to expect.  Between school sessions on puberty, books my parents gave me and the testimony of Little Tree, I had quite a bit of information on the subject.  I knew it was the eventual result of sex (and masturbation), that it was accompanied by ejaculation in men and boys who were old enough (obviously, I didn’t see this from Little Tree) and it was extremely intense and pleasurable.

Knowing and experiencing: two totally different things.  After pushing myself for what seemed like a very long time, I started feeling something different starting to build.  I thought, “this is it.  It’s starting,” and pushed on faster.  Then it hit.

The first wave completely blew my mind.  Not what I had expected.  I may have enjoyed it for an instant, but not enough to remember.  The intensity was truly beyond anything I’d ever experienced, and that was scary.  It just kept going.  Kept getting bigger.  And I had no control at all.  I couldn’t stop it, fight it, slow it, anything.  It built to such intensity that I had no clue how to interpret it other than pain.  It hurt!  And I started to fear that it actually would never end.  When it finally did end, I literally had a mess on my hands to boot.  I decided I was never going to do that again.

That lasted a whole day.

As uncomfortable as the experience had been, the build up had been very pleasant.  And of course my adolescent hormones were not to be ignored.  So I masturbated to my second orgasm the very next night.  This time it didn’t take anywhere near as long to get there, I knew it was coming and knew better what to expect, and the orgasm itself was very likely less intense.  It didn’t have 11 years of build up to release, I guess.  It was much more enjoyable, and I was actually able to interpret the sensation as pleasure.  Masturbation very quickly became a nightly habit.

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch:  After a while, Little Tree started to change the content of our masturbatory sessions.  The first change was the introduction of toys.  Not sex toys, but regular kids’ toys.  Namely Vac-Man.  (Nemesis of Stretch Armstrong.)  Vac-Man came with a hand operated vacuum pump to suck the air out of the doll.  Little Tree used it for other purposes.  He would place the business end over his glans and work the pump, claiming it felt wonderful.  He offered to let me try it, and I was curious enough even though I felt that no plastic toy could replace good ol’ skin on skin, but I was too large to fit.

In addition to the toys (Little Tree would also hump his various stuffed animals, etc.) make-believe games were added.  They were originally his idea (I was too shy and resistant to change – not to mention inexperienced – to suggest them myself) but once we started, I was definitely the one more into them and likely to ask to play them.  The real purpose of the games was to get around the idea that boys didn’t have sex with boys.  We clearly wanted to have sex with each other (although I never thought about it that explicitly) but we knew that that just didn’t happen.  (It is funny how un-self-conscious kids can be.  It simply never occurred to me that by being a boy trying for sex with another boy, trying to get around that rule, that I was proving the rule false.  Boys did have sex with boys.  Perhaps not often, but it happened.)

One game we played was the “let’s pretend you’re a girl and I’m a boy” game.  In that game, Little Tree would wear a pair of sweatpants with a hole in the crotch that served as his vagina and I would try to get my penis into it.  I never really liked that game very much because a) I could never get through since there was really nowhere to go and b) the fabric didn’t feel anywhere near as nice as my hand.  The game I preferred was the “let’s pretend we’re on a planet where boys and girls both have wieners” game.  (I’ve always been a fan of Science-Fiction it would seem.)  No pants involved, and I liked rubbing myself against him.  He, however, didn’t seem to like that game as much.  Eventually there were some less “formal” arrangements that involved us grinding on each other, but he often seemed reluctant to make direct contact, preferring to wear underwear or something.

Enter, Stage Left: Of course we were doing this during the day at his house, door closed, while there were other people in the house.  Eventually we were going to get caught.  And we did.  At some point his mother walked in while I had my fly down and dick out while Little Tree laid on top of me grinding away.  Very embarrassing.  Little Tree leapt across the room, pulling up his pants while I rolled over on the bed, stuffing myself away and zipping up, trying not to be obvious.  Right!  Like she wouldn’t notice that.

She stood there with that “are you kidding?” look and asked, “what are you doing?  Playing doctor?”

I was sufficiently shamed that I couldn’t speak.  I could tell she was being sarcastic anyway.  Little Tree didn’t seem to notice, however.  He responded, “yeah, and he’s the doctor,” pointing at me.  I was mortified.

But his mother just shrugged, put down the laundry or whatever it was she had come in for, and left.  That was the end of that game for the night but nothing changed for us after that so we thought we’d gotten away with it.  I had no clue how…  We later discovered that we in fact hadn’t fooled her.  I was trying to get him to spend the night at my house (where we could have uninterrupted privacy for our games).  (And that was the reason I used to convince him it was worth trying.)  He wasn’t allowed to spend the night or have friends stay over as a rule, but I convinced him to press his mother for special permission.  When he did, she told Little Tree that the reason he couldn’t stay at my house was what she had caught us doing earlier.  (?!  Then why didn’t she make an effort to stop us then?)

The Man Behind the Curtain: While sex was a significant and fun part of our friendship, it was not by any means all of it.  We still went swimming, played Power Rangers and other role-playing games outside, rode bikes, talked, played video games and all the other things kids do together.  He even came with my family to pick out our Christmas tree that December.  (I have pictures of that trip, which is the only reason I remember it.)  Little Tree’s boredom with a video game is what got us started with our sex games and is what got me started with my general sexual education, but it was my desire to play a video game that nearly started me on a different sexual experience.

One of my favorite games to play at Little Tree’s house was Streets of Rage II.  I just thought it was the greatest game ever.  One day I went to his house and asked if we could play it and he told me didn’t own that game.  I assured him he did.  We’d played it before.  But he explained that the game we’d played was borrowed from his brother, who’d taken it back.  Little Tree’s brother (after some information I received later, I’m skeptical if he was really Little Tree’s brother or some other relations, but brother is what I remember Little Tree calling him) was in his twenties and lived in the basement of the house.  so obviously it shouldn’t be hard to go and borrow it again.  Little Tree told me that his brother wasn’t letting him borrow games anymore, but if I really wanted it I could go ask him myself.  He was home at the moment.

I was a shy kid.  I didn’t really like talking to people I didn’t know.  (It still makes me uncomfortable.)  Especially adults.  I had met him (let’s call him Mark, for convenience) once or twice before and even played Sega in his little apartment/room.  I didn’t really like him.  The feeling was vague and I didn’t understand it, but I think it was his general disrespectful attitude towards the rest of the household along with how filthy his room was.  Little Tree’s room was messy, but Mark’s was dirty.  Stained.  And smelled like cigarettes.

So I wouldn’t do it.  I made Little Tree go and ask for us.  (Read: ask for me.  Little Tree didn’t really want to play the game, I think.)  So he descended into the basement to ask Mark while I waited in the hall at the top of the stairs.

When Little Tree returned, he game me Mark’s response.  Mark would lend us the video game if I would have sex with him.


It wasn’t stated so bluntly, but that was the gist of it.  Little Tree said that he had told his brother about the games he and I enjoyed. When I expressed my reluctance to agree to the proposal (bribe, lure) he assured me that it would be fun.  That he had done it with Mark before (probably quite often) and enjoyed it.  I asked him to explain what I would be asked to do, and he gave a description of what he’d done in the past, but he was either vague, bad at verbal description, or I was too naive to understand what he was talking about.  I know it wasn’t oral or anal, but was somewhat more involved than the grinding that Little Tree and I did.

In the end I decided the game wasn’t worth it.  We went and did something else for the rest of the day.

Thing is, revulsion at the idea of having sex with a man was not part of my reluctance at all.  Some time after I turned eleven, I was granted internet privileges by my father.  It didn’t take me long to discover pornography.  At first I sought only women, enjoying the boobs and the occasional vagina.  I liked the vagina better.  More interesting.  The boobs were just sort of there.  But after a while, all the lady pics started to bore me.  (I would speculate that I like all children that age would be, was just excited by the forbiddenness and sexuality of the image rather than by the woman herself.  Or perhaps I was truly pan-sexual at eleven and grew out of it.  That’s certainly the simpler explanation.)  So I started looking at men too.  I had a favorite website for a while that had mostly pictures of women, but some solo men as well and some “co-ed” pics.  In my searching I would also occasionally look for pictures of children, but I never found any.  So it was not his age or gender that made me reluctant.

Part of my reluctance was my vague dislike of the man.  I just got a bad vibe from him.  That being said, even that I would have been willing to put aside, because I was intrigued by the proposition.  And I wanted that video game.

It was my anxiety over facing the new, the unknown, that made me turn down the deal.  I didn’t understand what exactly was expected of me.  I wasn’t comfortable with the environment.  (I didn’t like the basement.  It smelled.  Had he come to me, I’d have been more comfortable.)  I was shy and didn’t really know him.  And finally, I was being asked to face it all alone.  My understanding was that Little Tree would not be joining us.  Just me and Mark.  That, I think, was my greatest source of anxiety.  Had Little Tree offered to come with me, I think I would have said yes, despite everything else.

I am of two minds about the outcome of that day.  On the one hand I am disappointed.  I missed out on a unique experience that would have been very relevant to my life.  As far as I can tell I never received another proposition from an adult.  (By which I mean I was oblivious to any others that might have been given.)

On the other hand, it would very likely have been a negative experience.  Because I didn’t like him, and because I was so nervous, the experience could very well have been traumatic.  According to the report by Rind, Bauserman and Tromovitch it is primarily the level of anxiety along with knowledge of societal taboos that determine if a sexual experience will be viewed as negative for a child boy.  (They found different results for girls.)

I am glad things turned out as they did.  If for no other reasons than it saved me from having to lie seven years later.

Epilogue: One day while I was a freshman in college, my mother called.  After talking for a few minutes about this and that she mentioned that a neighbor (who had an 8-year-old daughter) had looked at an online sex offender database to see if any sex offenders lived in the neighborhood.  Guess what.  One did.  In Little Tree’s house.  And it was Mark.  My mother proceeded to ask me if anything “bad” happened to me while I was playing over there.  (I am reminded of an equally vague question asked by the mother in The Man Without a Face.  “Has he ever touched you?”  To which Chuck responds, “of course.”)  Of course I responded, “no.”  I left it at that.  She was relieved, but went on to say something along the lines of “no wonder Little Tree turned out so bad.”  At the time, I got angry.  And I let her know it.  (Not something I’d usually do, so I must have been pretty mad.)  I told her that she really didn’t know anything about what went on in that house.  She didn’t know if the man ever did anything to Little Tree, and even if he did, there were many things in Little Tree’s life that could have influenced him.  she shouldn’t put all the blame on an event she didn’t even know happened.

Of course, I know it did happen.  And for all I know it did contribute to his abysmal performance in school (he repeated 8th grade) and eventual juvenile delinquent persona.  Or perhaps it had more to do with lax, callous, uninterested parents, the company he kept at school and in the neighborhood after he and I stopped playing (around when I turned 12), or both.  I don’t know.  But my point was, neither did she.

I do know this, however.  I later looked at that database myself.  Mark wasn’t convicted of sexual assault against a minor.  It was against an adult woman.

Appendix: After my interview to become a mentor I was given a packet – a handbook – for the organization.  In it it lists the behavioral signs of sexual abuse.  Of note are:

  • Overly sophisticated knowledge or interest in sexual behavior
  • Sexually acting out with other children, adults or toys
  • Excessive masturbatory behavior
  • Change in school performance 

Regardless of your view on the moral and ethical nature of childhood sexuality, all of these certainly applied to Little Tree.

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