(BLSB) - The First Gay Experiences of Three Young American Men

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Boys Denim Fashion (1989).


From "...And Then I Became Gay": Young Men's Stories by Ritch C. Savin-Williams (New York; London: Routledge, 1998).

Only rarely, about 10 percent of the time, was an adult stranger the first partner. At that time the encounter was not construed by the early adolescent as abusive but as serving a very important function.

I was thirteen and he was in his early thirties. At a shopping mall and he asked me for a light. I said I had to go to the bathroom. He followed me into the bathroom. He came and I think I did. He initiated the fondling in the stall but it was honestly mutually wanted. I was curious but a little nervous that someone would walk in. He asked me to come back to his place but I was afraid something would happen to me, like kidnap me. I was pleased, glad, and scared. I wanted to explore more. I wanted a man in my life who was accepting, there, and caring. I told no one and I didn’t want to. Society said “bad!” so I didn’t talk about it. I wanted it to repeat so I returned to the mall, but I never saw him again.

Even more rare were circumstances in which the adult sexual partner was known by the early adolescent. One youth was quite intimate with his first partner, his older brother. The brother was openly gay but their first sexual encounter was unexpected.

With my brother at age thirteen and he was twenty-two, after a friend’s wedding we spent the night in a double bed in a hotel room. Just after my shower, he gave me a whole body massage, which was something we always did for each other. This time, however, I got a little hard and then he noted I had grown so much since he last saw me naked. He asked me jokingly if he could suck my dick. I said “yes” so we got off on each other. He me and then I did him. He came all over me but I did not. This lasted for a month until he headed back to work. I do miss him as a friend and a brother. Was nothing romantic. I also miss the people I met through him.

Only later did he realize that society would label their interactions as incestuous. But, “I liked it, felt good. I wanted to do it again and again. I already knew my brother was gay and that I was attracted to men so this did not prove or disprove that I was gay.”

[...]

The youngest age at which a relationship began was when a youth was twelve years old; the oldest, twenty-five. Both were affairs of six to nine months, began slowly, and were evaluated by the youth as a good relationship with no contact since termination.

Twelve years of age and lasted nine months. He was twenty-two years old, a science teacher in my school. It developed over time and was great. We became friends and I invited him over once when my parents weren’t home. I practically had to force sex on him because he was afraid about losing his job. Ended when I went away for the summer and he wasn’t a teacher at my school no more.


Boys getting onto each other's shoulders for greased pole game in White Springs, Florida, United States (4 July 1982). Folklife Collection. Florida Memory Program, Florida Folklife Collection, Florida Photographic Collection, State Library and Archives of Florida.